Market Society and Social Order

The original constitution of the United States was only a few pages long; the rules and clauses of the proposed European Constitution, by contrast, fills several volumes. Some claim that the complexity of the European constitution is a reasonable reflection of the complexity modern societies. Others argue that simple rules are still appropriate for a complex world. Underlying this dispute is the following fundamental question: is the social order of modern societies more a product of conscious design, or of (unplanned) individual actions? What is the relation of planned elements of society (constitutional rules; particular regulations) and aspects of society that emerge spontaneously as a product of human choices (such as people's market-based activities)? Is social planning the enemy of individual freedom, or is such planning freedom’s precondition? What is the moral significance of the decline of socialism, the paradigm of planning in the economic realm? On what institutions does capitalism rely? Can those institutions be morally justified?