Creationism and Intelligent Design in the Economy

Brandon's post about Patri's post about socioeconomic creationism made me want to kick myself for not writing up an idea I had been sitting on: an analogy between creationism and intelligent design in the economy.

It used to be that a lot of people believed in flat-out economic creationism: these were the communists and other totalitarians that thought they could create an economic order out of whole cloth. Literally every detail would be mapped out beforehand. Like creationism as belief about the natural world, this idea has been thoroughly trashed and we don't really have to take people intellectually seriously when they believe it.

But now, in both areas, we have softer versions of the same old nonsense. Intelligent design aims to take the overwhelming natural evidence for evolution by natural selection of billions of years and say that it was directed from on high. All this news about the Federal Reserve lately reminds me of the "intelligent design" of the economy. Sure, markets do things sometimes, but they are guided by this power on high that really controls the essentials. It's the economic Almighty that's making the pivotal decisions that everyone else acts out in the countless transactions that happen everywhere, all the time.

I know that this is not exactly the same as what my colleagues were talking about, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. Stay tuned, Micha is next.

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I've been making this

I've been making this analogy for years, but I didn't want to spoil Patri's, Brandon's, and your parade. The creationism analogy is fun for the whole family! See: What Does The Free Market Require?, Mindless Automaton Redux, Human Action, Not Human Design, The Magic Meme is Spreading, Foreign Policy Creationism, Do You Believe In Magic?, The Falling of The Heavens, and, of course, everyone's favorite, Turtles All The Way Down.

I guess the point of my post

I guess the point of my post was to analogize the belief in socialism turning into the belief in the Fed's magic powers with the switch from creationism to "intelligent design," a point not really covered in that collection. It's the Fed's magic powers that have center stage in mine.

True, it's a good point.

True, it's a good point.

Yet you're governmental creationists.

That's right, markets are produced from the natural interaction of human beings but government was placed on earth by the old ones using eldritch magic. See, I can be absurdly pretentious too.

Just reading down the list there

GovernmentalDarwinist shall get props for his funny post!

Cheers,

TPF

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good luck