Monday, October 10, 2011

spontaneous order and the provision of public goods

A couple interesting examples on planet money recently on what the economist Sugden calls spontaneous order, or probably more accurately how the philosopher Dewey envisioned Democracy, not as voting which is deeply problematic but of group decisions made through some percolating consensus of the masses . One is the hacker group Anonymous that just meets in a massive chat room where people non-hierarchically just throw out ideas of who to attack next until some kind of vague consensus emerges and the other is the Occupy Wall St group which I haven't been able to figure out what they want, and I guess Planet Money's point is that they don't know what policy they want but they want some consensus based participatory democracy where you get a mass of people together and a group consensus somehow emerges. Reminds me of the Prairie dogs who "vote" where to move based oh where heads are facing.
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