The Libertarian Tradition

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Jane Jacobs (1916–2006)

  • The Libertarian Tradition
04/22/2011Jeff Riggenbach

Jacobs was a libertarian whether she knew it or not. The conclusions she drew were Misesian, just in a different way. Jacobs has also been compared to Hayek. Her The Death & Life of Great American Cities told essentially the same story as Hayek's The Use of Knowledge in Society. A city is a marketplace that cannot be planned.

In the works of Jacobs, the order present in a well-functioning urban area emerges as the result of human action but not human design. It arises from a myriad of individuals each pursuing their own interest and carrying out their own plans, within a framework of rules.

The basic logic of Jane Jacobs's work must lead an attentive reader inexorably to a libertarian view of human social relations.

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