The Voluntaryist Reader


The main idea: Hayek’s concept of cultural evolution must be furthered by taking into account the conflicts between different replicating entities: the group, the individual and the meme itself.

11. Cultural Evolution

1.1 Friedrich Hayek’s last work (and the one I personally find the most compelling) The Fatal Conceit  elucidates his concept of cultural evolution. In short, Hayek states that social mores, intermediate in nature between reason and instinct, are subject to an evolutionary process. Those human groups that sport the mores which are better suited to boosting their numbers will expand at the expense of groups following less adapt traditions. Though such norms are (most of the time, at least) not the products of any deliberate human rationality, they still ‘behave’ as if some human intelligence periodically reviewed their usefulness, a special case of Hayek’s celebrated spontaneous order.

1.2 I will have to skip here Hoppe’s critique of…

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