Guest Post: Spontaneous Order And The Jersey Shore

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

It’s tough to do just about anything today without experiencing the far-reaching hand of the growing regulatory state.  Virtually everything the average shopper see on the store shelf is stamped with government approval.  With the increasing use of red light safety cameras and even domestic surveillance drones, the dystopian world which George Orwell painted so brilliantly in 1984 is sounding more prophetic by the day.  The result is a new generation that is coming of age amongst a pervasive and all-inclusive nanny state.  With a federal register that grows by tens of thousands of pages each year, tyranny is spewing forth across America from Leviathan’s home of Washington D.C. every single day.

While the seeds of big, progressive government were planted decades before in the midst of the first World War and war between the states, it wasn’t until the New Deal did the United States finally succumb to a full blown welfare state.  Family support and voluntary mutual-aid societies were replaced in a matter of years by a coercive bureaucracy.  Perhaps the most unfortunate element of the rise of the welfare state is that the line between society and the state has blurred even further.  The growth of democracy is often accompanied by the public identifying itself with the state.  In the people’s minds, it then becomes impossible to imagine how society would function without the political class in direct control.  The state is gradually turned to for all of life’s dilemmas without proper consideration given to how peaceful solutions could be utilized.  Masked in its role as savior, the state is given an opening to extend its true role as the great societal exploiter.

This occurs even as there are many ways society can cope with perceived complications when left to its own devices.  It is a great myth that humanity can’t organize itself without the assistance of government.  There is, in fact, a natural order that develops within even the most unnoticeable of tasks.  The most immediate example is the queue line at any grocery store.  At least in America, it is generally accepted practice that one must wait their turn while wishing to be checked out.  “Cutting” in line is seen as a social stigma.  Yet nowhere is this written down as a formal rule.  Private grocers may enforce such a rule but often times there is no need to.  Decades of tradition have done the job for them.

The line at the grocery store is just one example of how order is established through unplanned methods; or what economist Friedrich Hayek referred to as spontaneous or “extended order.”  In his book The Fatal Conceit, Hayek described extended order as

a framework of institutions – economic, legal, and moral – into which we fit ourselves by obeying certain rules of conduct that we never made, and which we have never understood in the sense of which we understand how the things that we manufacture function.

To Hayek, civilization is the result of an “order” that was “not from human design or intention but spontaneously: it arose from unintentionally conforming to certain traditional and largely moral practices.”  The cooperation and division of labor which allow a market economy to flourish were the result of spontaneous order.  And because enterprise is the best means by which people can achieve their objectives, it can be deduced that the decentralized control of productive factors, otherwise known as laissez faire capitalism, is mankind’s saving grace from a life of incredible hardship.

The beauty of spontaneous order is that it is all around us whether we realize it or not.  Its biggest enemy is the encroaching omnipotence every government represents.  Politicians are infatuated with the idea of controlling others or they wouldn’t be politicians in the first place.  The idea that societal order can arise without their permission is a terrifying prospect.  To public officials, spontaneous order means “we don’t need you and your guns to tell us how to live.”  Politicians end up combating the notion by overly emphasizing any reported tragedy as a justification for more laws and governance.

Recently in the state of New Jersey, there has been a rash of drownings on the state’s shoreline.  So far this summer, there have been a total of five deaths related to drowning.  These drownings all have one thing in common: there were no lifeguards on duty at the time.  In response, one of the supervisors of state’s beaches is asking for the legislature to “pass a law imposing stiff fines for anyone caught swimming after lifeguards have gone home.”  Some lawmakers are considering proposals to alter the current laws so that towns are less liable for any drownings.  There is even some talk of extending life guard coverage.

What doesn’t get mentioned in any news coverage is that all of the recent Jersey Shore drownings have something else in common: they occurred on public, or socialized, beaches.  These beaches are governed primarily by local municipalities that leave them free to the public in the evening.  Many people visit public beaches during this time because, according to the Asbury Park beach safety official Joe Bongiovanni, “it’s free.”  Combined with government authority and the ability of victims and their families to sue the town for drowning accidents, beach-goers are given a false sense of security that someone will pay for the costs of their own mistakes.  In other words, they make choices they may not have made otherwise.  As Paul Mulshine of The Star Ledger points out, “people who take such risks feel it’s someone else’s responsibility to save them from themselves.”  Rather than stop bad behavior, increasing the amount of lifeguards on duty will just incentivize risk taking.

The real solution is to privatize the beaches by having the various local municipalities relinquish their control.  Allow the market to function and for the beaches to fall into private hands not through crony public-private partnerships but allowing individuals to procure the land through methods such as homesteading or establishing a type of joint-stock company.  The difference between the open market and government is that bureaucracies are always using a top-down approach to develop the perfect solution to even the most negligible of problems.  On the other hand, the market finds solutions in so many different ways that it is difficult to imagine just how it would operate when left uninhibited.

In his classic “Fable of Shoes,” Murray Rothbard demonstrates just how ridiculous it is for enemies of the marketplace to vilify supporters of enterprise by asking “how can business provide for so and so if government doesn’t do it?”

The libertarian who wants to replace government by private enterprises in the above areas is thus treated in the same way as he would be if the government had, for various reasons, been supplying shoes as a tax-financed monopoly from time immemorial.. [H]ow would most of the public treat the libertarian who now came along to advocate that the government get out of the shoe business and throw it open to private enterprise? He would undoubtedly be treated as follows: people would cry, “How could you? You are opposed to the public, and to poor people, wearing shoes! And who would supply shoes to the public if the government got out of the business? Tell us that! Be constructive! It’s easy to be negative and smart-alecky about government; but tell us who would supply shoes? Which people? How many shoe stores would be available in each city and town? How would the shoe firms be capitalized? How many brands would there be? What material would they use? What lasts? What would be the pricing arrangements for shoes? Wouldn’t regulation of the shoe industry be needed to see to it that the product is sound? And who would supply the poor with shoes? Suppose a poor person didn’t have the money to buy a pair?”

Judging by how abundant shoes have become, it should be obvious that the market, that is millions of people economizing and trading voluntarily, has done a decent job of turning footwear into a relatively inexpensive good.

In a free society, it would be unjust to force some into paying for the constant supervision of those less cautious of life’s risks.  Just as a child learns to avoid a hot stove by painfully touching it, we all learn through misfortune.  The Jersey Shore drownings, tragic as they are, should serve as a lesson all beach visitors.  Common sense isn’t something to be legislated.  It can only form when the right incentives are involved for people to make smart decisions without relying on a central source of authority.  And just like the free market, common sense is also a product of spontaneous order.

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fonzannoon's picture

There is a population bubble going on that needs to correct itself. If you go swimming at night in the ocean and you disappear in a rip tide then you were the part of natural selection that was very much selected for extinction. If anything they should encourage this activity.

Rainman's picture

Absolutely brilliant insight !

Skateboarder's picture

It's easy to give up responsibility, especially in this day and age when everything you consume seemingly just is, nicely pre-packaged and ready for consumption, and all the services that make one's life easy are taken for granted. What is difficult is realizing that whatever you have, whatever you can get, can go away in just a week's time if the machine grinds to a halt, if the power grid goes down, if the very state of life that we are in is merely a step or two above what people lived like a hundred years ago... a thousand years ago.

People don't train themselves to face hardship because everything comes so easy now. This builds complacency, apathy, arrogance, a need for some higher authority to support the continuity of your existence.

As the saying goes, "nothing builds character like good ol' hardship." You have to learn to live and not simply exist to see that there are greater things than being handed the illusion of false security.

knukles's picture


The population bubble means a whole boat load more people... as in downright crowded.
So all the more people to do dumb ass things and drown/get washed away bt a tsunami/Humongoloid car accidents heretofore impossible in say the 30's when there were no 346 lane highways... etc.

And then it's all covered 24/7/365/subatomic by media... so we're simply gonna know more, more often and more often than not...
Like a Jersey Shore Drowning, who gives a fuck anyway?

Then add onto it, the normal human tendency to which our egos push, toward greater control, power, property, money and prestige and there's a perfect platform for a bunch of retards to add in additional legislation....

Further enthralled by a bunch of people who love to talk about fixing social shit and doing nothing their little selves (a process referred to as hypocrisy) but turning "it" over to TPTB... which reinforces the total cycle of anal societal decay.

KK Tipton's picture

Blaise Pascal - Online Library of Liberty - Week of 5 June, 2012 -

Ut olim vitiis, sic nunc legibus laboramus (“Once we suffered from our vices; today we suffer from our laws”)

roadhazard's picture

Everything is so sleepy here in the mountains a streaker gets front page news. It is amazing the carnage and stupidity that goes on down there in the flatlands. You can have it.

Anusocracy's picture

Those drownings are Mother Nature's way of saying your genes aren't needed.

natty light's picture

I don't think risk-takers who make a bad decision are necessarily due for culling from the population. Lots of inferior genetic specimens eg retarded people are protected and are not removed.

Blowback away but it is the truth.

FreedomGuy's picture

That's not particularly natural selection, like swimming at the exact spot a hungry shark is swimming. It's more in the realm of bad luck.

A Lunatic's picture

Warning: be alive at your own risk.

Thisson's picture

The argument presented here in a real reach.  People don't risk drowning because they think that they can sue the municipality if/when things go wrong.  There are plenty of drownings on private property as well.  I think there's something else going on here, which is that ignorance in society is rising to a fatal level.  People are being raised in a such a manner so that they can no longer take care of themselves.  How hard is it to avoid drowning?  How hard is it to know, before hand, what to do if caught in a riptide or undertoe?

fonzannoon's picture

How hard is it to not go in the fkin water at night when there is no one to save your ass? Or,if you do go in and get dragged out in a rip, have your last thought on this earth be "well I bought my ticket".

Matt's picture

A more important question:

statistically, is the rate of drownings going up dramatically, or are they in line with historical norms?

If the latter, it is simply a matter of too much media attention suddenly applied to an existing problem.

I would be in favor of removing liability for people drowning in the ocean. I mean, really, how far out can you sue the city? What is the imaginary line drawn where it is determined that you are far enough away that you are responsible for yourself?

Without changing these rules, with the proposed solution of privatizing all the beaches, it seems that people who fall off a boat and drown within the waters designated private property could still have their surviving family members sue the private land owner for failing to save their lives.


Theta_Burn's picture

This happens more or less, every couple of yrs here,  after the LG's leave its a free for all , always has been, it is clearly posted "no swimming/swim at your own risk" this = no liability, in fact in my 30yrs actually going to the bch here, I've never heard of any of these towns getting sued because of  a drowning. 

 "Beach-goers are given a false sense of security that someone will pay for the costs of their own mistakes"  this should read "its hot and a nice swim in the ocean would be nice...BUT that ocean does look a little rough and probably should be careful..

But in the land of dumbfounded dipshits its clearly somebody elses fault, cause the coffee cup didn't say the coffee is hot...

The more productive solution would be to post a "what to do when caught in a rip current" which by the way NJ is notorious for.

Educate don't legislate


Joseph Jones's picture

Re. "educate don't legislate": San Francisco has one of the most wealthy and well-educated populations extant.  The homosexual community receives more education and taxpayer funded services than anywhere on earth, dare I say even more than NYC.  

Last I checked (I moved from CA in the middle part of the last decade) the SF homosexual population spreads HIV like it's  going out of style.  There's a certain strange, suicidal part of the community that actively desires to acquire HIV if they don't already have it.

Go figure.   

Theta_Burn's picture

For most, common sense, better judgement, and education are tossed aside when genitalia's start rubbing

blunderdog's picture

Sure, but it's not really a homosexual phenomenon.  Once you get people addled with sex and/or drugs, they just don't tend to be all that rational. 

Check out how many jealous straights have killed a lover over an affair, or some random victim while they were lit up like a Christmas tree. 

SF's a pretty good spot for gay sex parties and lots of drugs, that's for sure.

VallejoVillain's picture

The billboards for them queers are disgusting. The sight of two men holding each just doesn't sit well.

Jena's picture

The population most affected by HIV in the U.S. today isn't white and homosexual, it is black and heterosexual.  The Washington D.C. area HIV rate of 3.2%, which is higher than Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal, and just behind Nigeria.   The national rate is around 0.3%.  

Read more here:


Jena's picture

But if you think that has nothing to do with you & you live on the East Coast:

1) Don't plan on ever needing blood (you can't always bank your own or rely on friends & family);

2) Don't plan on ever needing a blood product (you don't where it's come from and it isn't synthetically made yet);

3) Be wary of organ and tissue donations;

Not all surprises are HIV.  Lots of other viruses/pathogens come along with the overal package.

4) Overall public health may take a hit with a 3.2% HIV rate.


mrdenis's picture

my body will only accept cow's blood .........

palmereldritch's picture

"The population most affected by HIV in the U.S. today isn't white and homosexual, it is black and heterosexual."

Sadly, there is a reason for this phenomenon, courtesy of psychotic eugenic obsessed criminal elites:

Following the storyline of “HIV came out of Africa” researchers at the Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center and San Antonio Military Medical Center, have concluded that people of African descent are more likely to have a genetic trait that makes them “more susceptible” to contracting the HIV virus.

Matthew Dolan, co-author of the study suggests:

The benefit that the Africans got from a mutation that gave them some resistance to malaria has, statistically at least, rendered them some increased susceptibility to HIV.

The question researchers asked was: how do some people exposed to HIV contract the virus while others do not?

The study analyzed more than 1,200 US military service men and women infected with HIV to answer questions about the genetic aspects of the disease.

In 60% of African-Americans and 90% of Africans, a genetic trait was identified that made HIV 40% more prevalent than in Caucasians.

These researchers did not consult Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan ecologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who says that HIV was created deliberately in a laboratory as a biological weapon.

Maathai stated at a press conference after receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize that:

Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.

Maathai maintains that HIV was created by,

agents to wipe out other people . . . In fact [the HIV virus] was created by a scientist for biological warfare. Why has there been so much secrecy about AIDS? When you ask where did the virus come from, it raises a lot of flags. That makes me suspicious.

She asserts that HIV was created for the purposes of population control in Africa.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Homosexuals hate themselves. It's not that complicated.

So do people who inject drugs.

respect the cock's picture

Miller is a clown...I tend to lean libertarian on a lot of issues but some of his "ideas" are absolutely ludicrous.

Hype Alert's picture

They've always been raised like that, but we're interfering with the natural selection process. People are being protected so much they are not being eliminated from the gene pool. In fact, we are paying them to breed and paying them to not think for themselves. If you want something unsustainable, there's your prize.  If you can't afford one child, why would you have 15?  And why should anyone else have to pay for it?

The other thing I noted is he wrote people standing in line which I don't agree with.

The line at the grocery store is just one example of how order is established through unplanned methods; or what economist Friedrich Hayek referred to as spontaneous or “extended order.” In his book The Fatal Conceit, Hayek described extended order as a framework of institutions – economic, legal, and moral – into which we fit ourselves by obeying certain rules of conduct that we never made, and which we have never understood in the sense of which we understand how the things that we manufacture function.

I'm sorry, was he absent from school the day the kid breaking in line got his ass beat? 

MachoMan's picture

Yep.  The article cited also includes "tort reform" lol...  as if the shit hasn't been around for...  decades if not centuries (even tort law under the common law was always "reforming").

The other issue here is sovereign immunity and qualified immunity...  so the state of new jersey allows itself to be sued for any and all reasons?  My local municipality is sovereign and immune...  regardless of how negligent.  Had a case where cop t-bones driver X causing life threating and permanent injuries/disfigurement due to the negligence of cop.  Is city liable?  Yes...  to what extent?  To the extent the city has liability insurance coverage...  How much coverage does the city have?  $10k lol.  Why does the city not pay for more insurance coverage?  Because it doesn't have to, it's fucking immune from suit.

So I'm having a hard time understanding why any municipality is shaking in its boots about a negligence lawsuit...  no one gives a shit about turnip lifeguards...  and the city is the only deep pocket...  and if the city is immune from suit...

Am I missing something here?

Theta_Burn's picture

Nope, absolutely no litigation pending...

Bob's picture

Apparently you're missing all his earlier work, which focuses on similarly gripping fantasies that relate primarily to his own neoliberal utopian dreamworld and how much better and gooder it is than this one. 

You're right, no connection. 

It's another autistic masturbatory exercise in neoliberal ideology, defined in Wiki as "based on the advocacy of economic liberalizationsfree trade, and open markets. Neoliberalism supports privatization of state-owned enterprisesderegulation of markets, and promotion of the private sector's role in society."

He's just a tool.  But his constituents love the fucking beach:

Make better sense now?  All your beaches are belong to us, suckers.


sgorem's picture

what the article omits is that more than half of the Jersey Shore drowning victims had cinder blocks tied to their legs, hmmm, in Jowsey?:) now that's Darwinism at it's finest.

FreedomGuy's picture

I agree the example and interpretation is bad but the point is valid. We put money in FDIC insured banks because government guarantees it. We do not evaluate which banks are better and we cannot tell them apart. Even when the morons like BofA and Citi go under the government bails them out. So all the stupid decision makers, ineffective corporate management processes, etc are preserved. What should have been economic natural selection is aborted.

I read an article in a car magazine this week about the future and self driven automated cars. One of the points was that when necessary it could be turned off and driven manually as now. My thought was how skilled will anyone be at driving if they have rarely ever done it? As a libertarian I also considered the endless government control scenarios, as well.

Snakeeyes's picture

How about the growing THIEVING regulatory state? Nevada takes 75% of hardest hit fund and uses it for "admininstrative expenses." No help to consumers, lots for bureaucrats.

The Count's picture

Something more for the common sense department. As tragic as any shooting (or other method) is when innocent people are killed by a lunatic is...

Mayor Bloomberg, a true moron, immediately calls for tighter gun control. The anti gun lobby has a problem with logical thinking. There is something called cause, and something called effect. I would like to tell him that Switzerland has the most liberal guns laws in Europe. And I think everybody would agree that Switzerland is considered a safe and civilized country.

A Lunatic's picture

Not all lunatics are violent. Just sayin'.

fonzannoon's picture

Allow me to add how about you don't bring your 3 month old child or your 3 year old child to the midnight showing of Batman on opening night. How about you stay the fuck home and at least try to act like a parent.

The Count's picture

You took the words out of my mouth... But of course your form of plain common sense is not acceptable to the mind police.

MachoMan's picture

The compassion here is overwhelming

fonzannoon's picture

Hey Machoman I read your posts and I really respect what you have to say. What I think you may miss here is that my heart actually aches for these poor kids that get exposed to situations that they should never have been put in. I have become a total sap as I have gotten older and make it a point to try to defend people, especially kids, that can't defend themselves. Compassion for the stupid parents? None.

smiler03's picture

So Americans are praying for families afflicted by a lunatic.

12 dead and 59 wounded

Red light "accidents" in 2008

7,770 dead and 733,000 wounded

Which is a bigger threat to American lives?

Red light cameras, shameful, robbing you of your rights to run a red light.

No wonder you have so many people on disability, never mind, you can always pray for them.



freedogger's picture

The solution to red lights accidents is to increase the amber duration by a second. Often the contracts between cities and the camera company prohibit decreasing the amber duration. So no, it is not about saving lives, it is just another tax.

Isotope's picture

The solution to red light cameras is to get a 1-2 watt handheld laser and use it to examine the lens of the camera at night.

Sofa King Confused's picture

A 22 works quite well also.....not that I have done that before.

goldfish1's picture

How many people are getting killed in the middle east due to our aggression and imperialism?


goldfish1's picture

How many people are getting killed in the middle east due to our aggression and imperialism?


Harbanger's picture

"Switzerland has the most liberal guns laws in Europe." Liberal gun laws to the average  American means a ban on guns.  Sucks how the progressives hijackd so many words to confuse.  Unfortunately Bloomberg is considered a liberal to many although he's anything but.

tankster's picture

Yes, but its not because they have liberal gun laws!

Why do all you dick-wagging gun worshippers think your gonna be on the winning end of an exchange of fire. The odds are you will Not be. This country proves again and again they're not emotionally intelligent enough to carry guns.

And as for protecting your 'physical' at the end-of-days? It better be buried somewhere cause you can bet that someones coming along with a bigger stick than you.

fonzannoon's picture

I would rather be on the losing end of an exchange of fire with an opportunity to defend myself and my family than go down begging on my knees totally helpless against a person who most likely acquired a firearm illegally.

Most people are not emotionally intelligent enough to carry guns, and the real nut jobs certainly did not get it by applying for a permit.


fonzannoon's picture

Hey tankster, good shit man. I appreciate that response. Not because I feel validated. But because It's awsome to see open minded people out there.

petolo's picture

Most people lack the selfless gene to do anything but save their own arse. Why did no one grab this psychopath below the knees in the dark. It seems no one ever has the instinctive courage to take thelaw into their own hands. Even a mouse will fight to the death to save its offspring. No thinking involved.

bshirley1968's picture

Do WHAT?!  A MOUSE?!  "the selfless gene"?

My God, what University of Alice In Wonderland do you people come from?

It's call CHARACTER people and genes don't have shit to do with it.  It is something that is taught, learned, instilled.  Obviously you missed out on any of that.  Your parents might have been willing to die to save you but they did you a disservice in raising you a dumbass.

Mice eat their young as well.  Is that too a noble attribute of your family?