A free society is one in which individuals are free to discover for themselves the available range of alternatives. In his masterly critiques of the theory of central planning, Hayek directed attention to the circumstance that the information available in an economy is always scattered among countless individuals, never concentrated in the mind of a single central planner. Hayek pointed to the need for a social institutional structure capable of organizing the scattered scraps of available information so they can be used for the efficient allocation of society’s resources. The competitive market, Hayek showed us, is a discovery process, on in which society discovers what options are feasible and how important they are.
– Prof. Israel Kirzner
(H/t: Cafe Hayek)