How is it possible that millions and millions of people located in disparate places—each individual in possession of a unique perspective, particular goals and needs, and a personal knowledge of their community and circumstances—can come together in voluntary cooperation to create something far greater than any one individual could have achieved?

This was the question asked by Nobel economist Friedrich Hayek in his seminal critique of wannabe central planners. The question itself acknowledges that there are many things in an infinite sea of facts, data points, and bits of knowledge that you and I can’t possibly know. This humility—knowing that there is much you don’t know, is the basis of a political philosophy based on individual freedom. It’s the bottom-up approach.

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