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Self-Regulation and Human Progress – How Society Gains When We Govern Less - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Self-Regulation and Human Progress: How Society Gains When We Govern Less

Evan Osborne


Does humanity progress primarily through leaders organizing and directing followers, or through trial and error by individuals free to chart their own path? For most of human history ruling classes had the capacity and the desire to tightly regiment society, to the general detriment of progress. But beginning in the 1500s, Europeans developed a series of arguments for simply leaving well enough alone. First in the form of the scientific method, then in the form of free expression, and finally in the form of the continuously, spontaneously reordered free market, people began to accept that prog ... More

Keywords: self-regulating social systems, political control, scientific method, freedom of expression, free-market ideology, human dynamism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780804796446
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804796446.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Evan Osborne, author
Wright State University