The upshot is that most people have never heard of unplanned, undesigned, or spontaneous order. When they hear libertarians talking about markets unregulated by the state, they can’t digest the idea. How can there be order without a top-down designer or regulator? How can markets regulate themselves? Those are reasonable questions for the economically unschooled. The explicit order they are familiar with is associated with someone’s conscious plan. Asking them to believe we can have order writ large without plan or command is like asking them to believe that if you quickly removed a table, the dishes wouldn’t fall to the floor.
Our job is to teach one of liberalism’s most groundbreaking insights, namely, that societies run themselves without plan or command — when allowed.
Our objective is not merely to find libertarians or to persuade people to hold pure libertarian policy positions. Rather, it is to help people to understand the freedom philosophy so they will be the best possible advocates of liberty. It’s not enough to be able to recite the bottom-line position on any particular matter. We have to understand why that position is the right one. That requires a deep understanding of liberty and society. And that’s why the striving for liberty is a life-long commitment.