Half Step Forward, One Step Back
YouHadMeAtHayek delivers a youtube presentation of the metaphor of the invisible hand in the modern context, basically asserting it is a metaphor for “the market”. Your can watch it HERE
It is accompanied by the this very brief text:
“What uneducated or overly biased people think of the invisible hand is not usually what either Adam Smith meant, nor is it what most modern economists or political philosophers think.”
Make of that what you will – it led me to watch the presentation – and to be mildly disappointed. I had no disagreement with what the presenter was saying about markets compared to central planning (Hayek, of course). He still ties the metaphor to markets, albeit emphasizing that it does not exit as a physical entity or even as a mystical force; he insists it is metaphoric, but identifies its object as “the market”.
Lost Legacy regularly shows that such interpolations as an IH of “markets, supply and demand, prices, or even the “hand of God”, are quite false, especially when attributed to Adam Smith (scroll through previous posts if you are unfamiliar with our stances on these issues, or look up my papers on Social Science Research Network at SSRN on the modern myths of Adam Smith’s use of the IH metaphor).