Kletzer on Hierarchies and Markets

quotes sociology

22 Jan 2020

Christoph Kletzer on hierarchies and markets:

Markets and hierarchies are the prototypical forms of human interaction, they are not simply arbitrary institutions we at some point in time came up with on the drawing board and which we can either use or leave to one side. They are features of the logic of human interaction as such. This means that you cannot get rid of them, even if you tried, you can only employ them beneficially or harmfully. Markets and hierarchies are but the outer form of the complex interactions of actual human desires. They will cease to exist only when human desires cease to exist. Just as banning a market has never gotten rid of it but only ever pushed it out of public view and created a black market with usually worse consequences for the most vulnerable market participants, so the banning or dismantling of hierarchies does not really get rid of them but produces analogous black hierarchies, which harm all the participants. The beauty of a good nation, the art of its government, its constitution, its national wit and customs is to engage both hierarchies and markets in a productive and healthy way.

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