The Order: Planned Vs. Spontaneous.

In the political context, the word “order” is often identified with the term “New World Order”. This could also be called the Planned Order. It is driven by the State, political committees and directives, and men with badges and guns. The self-styled motto of the Planned Order is, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” The rest of us roll our eyes at this.

There is a rival concept: the Spontaneous Order. It is driven by ourselves. No political directives are required. We cooperate with each other because we want to for mutually beneficial reasons. We submit to common legal codes because we believe in them.

The Planned Order and the Spontaneous Order are at odds every step of the way. The Planned Order envies and despises the Spontaneous Order, which vice versa resents the interference of the Planned Order.

There is no question: the Planned Order looks impressive. Visually, it is colossal. Militarily, it can crush people into bits. Economically, your very life savings is so comparatively tiny as to not even appear on the Planned Order’s tiniest radar.

The Planned Order is what you see when you go somewhere like Washington D.C., that glorious city on a hill. You see enormous government buildings complete with roman columns and shining white facades. You see imposing, black-clad police officers and uniformed soldiers standing guard at entryways. They are prepared to shoot intruders dead on the spot should they threaten the honorable, brilliant politicians and bureaucrats who keep the machinery of government moving smoothly – most especially the parts where they steal your money and waste it.

And speaking of them, the politicians and bureaucrats! Such stately figures, moving forward boldly in their $3,000 suits every step of the way, looks of pure vision and determination under their furrowed brows. Every last one of them appears to be marching into a glorious future full of possibility and wonder, guiding us by the light of their genius.

This is the Planned Order. Kneel, knave, and be honored to witness such magnificence.

But there is also the Spontaneous Order. Comparatively, the Spontaneous Order is visually unimpressive. No marching soldiers. No genius bureaucrats of Lenin-like vision. No gleaming white architectural monstrosities with roman columns; not usually, at least.

But the Spontaneous Order is there. In fact, it’s all around you. Especially in America, where the free market reigns supreme. The Spontaneous Order is the mass cooperation and interaction of individuals in an economy coming together to make deals for mutual benefit. It is “spontaneous” because no planning boards or steering committees are required to make the order function. Everyone is self-directed. Interaction is voluntary. People figure out what they want, and they get it. People figure out what others want, and they give it to them. All for a fee, of course. “Let’s make a deal.” 

The two orders coexist, to some degree. But the Planned Order is greedy. The Planned Order is constantly seeking new ways to get rid of, or marginalize, the Spontaneous Order. The best national example of the Planned Order is North Korea, in which the government basically plans everyone’s lives and interactions. A single step in the wrong direction can get you and your entire family killed.

Meanwhile, the United States is a great example of the Spontaneous Order. The markets are free. Society is free. The vast majority of social and business interactions go on without much interference from the government. For the most part, we get along and cooperate because it works and it makes us rich.

The USA was an even better example of Spontaneous Order pre-1913, when the size of the US government was a tiny fraction of what it is now; but it is still good enough.


Globalism, meanwhile, is an almost inevitable process. Our own individual worlds grow while the earth seems to shrink. People become more connected and work together in new ways. Families become more mobile and move to different areas. Part of this is the natural consequence of advancing technology: the Internet, the cell phone, and cheap transportation.

But like order, there are two forms of globalism. One is planned by the State. The other undercuts the State. And also like order, the two are at odds.

For basically a century, it had seemed like state globalism was unstoppable. We got the UN, EU, NATO, NAFTA, WTO, IMF, CFR, Trilateral Commission, etc etc. All of it was designed to usurp national sovereignty from voters and hand it over to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who answered only to each other. To some extent, they succeeded. Most European nations have almost entirely surrendered their national sovereignty to internationalist bureaucrats at the EU. American consumers have been subjected to NAFTA rules beyond the authority of their local government, and NATO military obligations that they never had any interest in.

But the tide is turning. Brexit was the first major crack in the “one-world” globalization process. The major catalyst for this was open borders; Britons were simply fed up. So they struck back at the ballot box when given the opportunity, and now the European Union is reeling with shock. But Britain may have only been the beginning: many think that Italy and France may shortly follow.

The age of unimpeded state globalism is ending. Voters are beginning to fight back for their national sovereignty from international bureaucratic organizations. The EU is cracking, and the TPP is dead in the water. The environmentalist Kyoto Protocols never even got off the ground. With any luck, NAFTA and NATO can be disposed of in short order. Trump is in a position to do this, if he so decides. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, market globalism is will continue. This assertion may upset some people. But I refer to free trade, not open borders and bureaucratic globalism. I am referring to people buying, selling, and communicating over the Internet. Market globalism will continue to operate and improve our lives wherever free people are allowed to make deals with each other. This is the spontaneous order in action. It is antithetical to the State.

The planned order gives us overpriced taxi cab cartels. The spontaneous order gives us Uber. Take your pick.


The Planned Order and Bureaucratic Globalism are both cracking. Brexit and the election of Donald Trump are the two most visible sign of this. Donald Trump may turn out to be a dud of a president, but the symbolism of his election cannot be denied: a rejection of State-sponsored globalism by American voters. This cheers me up.

Let’s hope it continues. We can trade and interact peacefully alongisde the rest of the world without the unnecessary yoke of bureaucratic idiots. Let freedom ring.

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