“In short, starting from different conceptions of how much a given individual can know and understand, the constrained and the unconstrained visions arrive at opposite conclusions as to whether the best social decisions are to be made with the most individual knowledge of a special kind or by systemic processes that mobilize and coordinate knowledge scattered among the many, in individually unimpressive amounts.”
“The power of specifically articulated rationality is central to the unconstrained vision. The power of unarticulated social processes to mobilize and coordinate knowledge is central to the constrained vision.”
Thomas Sowell in A Conflict of Visions – Ideological Origins of Political Struggles p 47
Adam Smith articulated by Dr. Sowell. Capitalism can be simply described as the acceptance of the dispersed nature of knowledge. Conservatism can be similarly described as the acceptance of unarticulated knowledge embedded in customs and institutions. Rational thinking must be balanced with objective empirical data and unarticulated knowledge.
The success of the American experiment is largely due to the fortunate combination of dispersed political power being elegantly synchronous to the dispersed knowledge of the free market.