Illusion of Perfectibility

In a recent critical essay about economist-philosopher Friedrich Hayek, Jesse Larner notes:

... Hayek understood at least one very big thing: that the vision of a perfectible society leads inevitably to the gulag. Experience should have taught us by now that human societies are jerry-built structures, rickety towers of ad hoc solutions to unforeseen problems. Their development is evolutionary, and as in biological evolution, they do not have natural end-states. They are what they are continuously becoming. Comprehensive models of how society should work reject the wisdom of solutions that work and deny the legitimacy (indeed, from Lenin to Mussolini to Mao to Ho to Castro to Qutb, deny the very right to exist) of individuals who demonstrate anti-orthodox wisdom. Defenders of these models are required by their own rigidity to invent the category of the counterrevolutionary.

To Hayek, this is what socialism, communism, and collectivism—he makes little distinction between them—mean: the dangerous illusion of perfectibility. ...

(from "Who's Afraid of Friedrich Hayek? The Obvious Truths and Mystical Fallacies of a Hero of the Right", by Jesse Larner in Dissent magazine; cf. Common Understanding (1999-10-08), Muddling Through (2002-08-21), In Search of the Fulcrum (2004-03-19), Empire of the Sun (2005-08-08), Arkhipelag Gulag (2008-08-04), ...) - ^z - 2008-09-08

(correlates: BringIt, CertaintyAndDoubt, TalentForCollaboration, ...)