2013년 7월 16일 화요일

[발췌: Hayek's Constitution of Liberty] Chapter 3. The Common Sense of Progress

출처: F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
자료: 구글도서


※ 발췌(excerpts):

Chapter 3. The Common Sense of Progress

Man never mounts higher than when he knows not where he is going. ─ Oliver Cromwell

( ... some long words about this quote ... )


1. ( p. 92 )

2. ( p. 93 )

3. ( p. 96 )

4. ( p. 98 )

  In a progressive society as we know it, the comparatively wealthy are thus merely somewhat ahead of the rest in the material advantages which they enjoy. They are already living in a phase of evolution that the others have not yet reached. Poverty has, in consequence, become a relative, rather than an absolute, concept. This does not make it less bitter. Although in an advanced society the unsatisfied wants are usually no longer physical needs but the results of civilization, it is still true that at each stage some of the things most people desire can be provided only for a few and can be made accessible to all only by further progress. Most of what we strive for are things we want because others already have them.[12] Yet a progressive society, while it relies on this process of learning and imitation, recognizes the desires it creates only a spur to further effort. It does not guarantee the results to everyone. It disregards the pain of unfulfilled desire aroused by the example of others. It appears cruel because it increases the desire of all in proportion as it increases its gift to some. Yet so long as it remains a progressive society, some must lead, and the rest must follow.

  The contention that in any phase of progress the rich, by experimenting with new styles of living not yet accessible to the poor, perform a necessary service without which the advance of the poor would be very much slower will appear to some as a piece of far-fetched and cynical apologetics. Yet a little reflection will show that it is fully valid and that a socialist society would in this respect have to imitate a free society. It would be necessary in a planned economy (unless it could simply imitate the example of other more advanced societies) to designate individuals whose duty it would be to try out the latest advances long before they were made available to the rest. There is no way of making generally accessible new and still expensive ways of living except by their being initially practiced by some. It would not be enough if individuals were allowed to try out particular new things. These have their proper use and value only as an integral part of general advance in which they are the next thing desired. In order to know which of the various new possibilities should be developed at each stage, how and when particular improvements ought to be fitted into the general advance, a planned society would have to provide for a whole class, or even a hierarchy of classes, which would always move some steps ahead of the rest. The situation would then differ from tht in a free society merely in the fact that the inequalities would be the result of design and that the selection of particular individuals or groups would be done by authority rather than by the impersonal process of the market and the accidents of birth and opportunity. It should be added that only those kinds of better living approved by authority would be permissible and that they would be provided only for those specially designated. But, in order for a planned society to achieve the same rate of advance as a free society, the degree of inequality that would have to prevail would not be very different.

  There is not practicable measure of the degree of inequality that is desirable here. We do not wish, of course, to see the position of individuals determined by arbitrary decision or a privileged conferred by human will on particular persons. It is difficult to see however, in what sense it could ever be legitimate to say that any one person is too far ahead of the rest or that it would be harmful to society if the progress of some greatly outstripped that of others. There might be justification for saying this if there appeared great gaps in the scale of advance; but, as long as the graduation is more or less continuous and all the steps in the income pyramid are reasonably occupied, it can scarcely be denied that those lower down profit materially from the fact that others are ahead.

  The objections spring from the misconception that those in the lead claim the right to something that otherwise would be available to the rest. This would be true if we thought in terms of a single redistribution of the fruits of past progress and not in terms of that continuous advance which our unequal society fosters. In the long run, the existence of groups ahead of the rest is clearly an advantage to those who are behind, in the same way that, if we could suddenly draw on the more advanced knowledge which some other men on a previously unknown continent or on another planet had gained under more favorable conditions, we would all profit greatly.

5. ( p. 100 )

  The problems of inequality are difficult to discuss dispassionately when members of our own community are affected. They stand out more clearly when consider them in their wider aspect, namely, the relation between rich and poor countries. We are then less apt to be misled by the conception that each member of any community has some natural right to a definite share of income of his group. Although today most of the people of the world benefit from one another's efforts, we certainly have no reason to consider the product of the world as the result of a unified effort of collective humanity.

  Although the fact that the people of the West are today so far ahead of the others in wealth is in part the consequence of a greater accumulation of capital, it is mainly the result of their more effective utilization of knowledge.
  • There can be little doubt that the prospect of the poorer, "undeveloped" countries reaching the present level of the West is very much better than it would have been, had the West not pulled so far ahead
  • Furthermore, it is better than it would have been, had some world authority, in the course of the rise of modern civilization, seen to it that no part pulled too far ahead of the rest and made sure at each step that the material benefits were distributed evenly throughout the world
  • If today some nations can in a few decades acquire a level of material comfort that took the West hundreds of thousands of years to achieve, is it not evident that their path has been made easier by the fact that the West was not forced to share its material achievements with the restthat it was not held back but was able to move far in advance of the others?
  Not only are the countries of the West richer because they have more advanced technological knowledge, but they have more advanced technological knowledge because they are richer. ( .... p. 100 )

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