Spontaneous Order and the Imago Dei

  • Kevin J. Brown


Murray Rothbard once wrote that production, among other things, is “essential to man’s prosperity and survival” (Rothbard, 1998, p. 35). To produce, it is implied, is to survive. The idea that one’s labor is a marketable commodity assumes this consequentialist notion of production: a person’s labor and subsequent productivity contribute to the organization, economy, and society, and the value created through the production mechanism is compensated accordingly in the free-market system. Given production’s importance, it is often accompanied by varying degrees of deliberation, planning, and organization. However, and perhaps in a counterintuitive fashion, contexts do arise where effective and efficient production occurs outside the presence of planning mechanisms. Moreover, the spontaneous “order” that develops tends to be sustained because it works.