From: "Daniel F. Vukovich" <vukovich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 01:41:36 -0500
At 04:39 PM 7/29/98 +1200, you wrote:
>Sorry this is hasty:
>the point about markets for Hayek is that they create information, not
>that they allow pre-existing information to be uncovered, although in
>the process of the market the preferences of individuals are revealed.
Nesta and all:
well yes and no: no they dont spontaneously create the info, and yes to
some extent the price info pre-exists, in that a "market" participant is
"born into" the info. Maybe there is a dialectic (if Hayek is even that
rigorous), but at any rate a relay. Not a big disagreement here regardless.
>Its the preferences, the extent to which people are prepared to pay,
>which creates the price which is really a coding for the value people
>put upon things.
Right I guess, and here we see a very classical, Smithian non-recognition
of a gap between Value and price. That Hayek -- unlike Schumpeter or even
Keynes -- knows nothing about marxian economics goes withot saying.
>The weird thing though really is the Darwinian bit: through the
>'spontaneous order' of the market, a form of evolution takes place.
>Because no individual is all-knowing, no one can take responsiblity for
>the progress of humanity, but because of the amalgamation of myriad
>decisions in the market place human progress is achieved. The market has
>evolved, like the church and family as a result of this kind of process,
>as well as being an instrument of it.
Yes the evolutionary process is weird, especially because it is only and
always a leap of "faith" on Hayek's part. This is also a *spontaneous*
evolutionary process, which again strikes me as sloppy and absurd. Hayek
doesnt have to be as "scientific" and rigorous as Darwin, but he could at
least try if he is doing something other than preaching to the converted.
There is also a striking absence of an even loosely Foucauldian analyses
of, say, "incitement to discourses," or something called "power" being at
work, if only silently. Come to think of it, Schumpeter's work on the
system-driving entrepreneur might be a more interesting relation to F and
subjectivty and incitement.
>The best thing about Hayek is his insistance on the >subjectivity of the
individual, so he avoids the >mechanistic nature of homo economicus.
He indeed fetishizes the individual (of course its the only thing he
believes in), but this is not equivalent to the subject, let alone to
subjectivity, in Foucault's or for that matter Lacan's sense. So too I
find his "individual" the quintessence of homo economicus. Quite rational,
this market-fellow, and quite un-connected to any time or space outside the
individual instance of exchange. This guy is narrowly rational, pursuing
his self-interest and making necessarily half-assed but quite rational
decisions about price/value. Yes we know Hayek is wary of rational planning
and abstractions but his dupe in the "actual" markets seems pretty
classical to me, still a pure product of the discipline of economics.
But maybe I (or we?) should stop here, or else become hagiographic about
this symptom, this sycophant. As for further valuations, and the relation
between rationality/irrationality and governmentality, right now I defer to
President Wynship Hillier's post.
English; The Unit for Criticism
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign