How Does Paris Get Fed?

Sophy Ramírez  | 13 de noviembre de 2019  | Vistas: 91

Sandford Ikeda questions how social cooperation and spontaneous order takes place, with an analogy of the question, How does Paris get fed?, considering obstacles for economic development.

He describes the designed order like the one that takes away individuality, that is imposed and people do not pursue their plans but the designer’s ambitions. Contrarily to the spontaneous order which comes out of something without a plan, that may look chaotic, everyone can seek their plans without interfering with others.

Economics as a science deals with this kind of order, because spontaneous order, unlike a parade in North Korea, they are not machines that are designed from the top down.”

After this, the professor describes the importance of economic freedom, how this function with some rules that help to promote success and lists the biggest obstacles for this development:

  • Scarcity 
  • Human and natural diversity
  • Imperfect knowledge

Ikeda describes these obstacles and a chain effect that could improve social interactions to get outcomes. He emphasizes the importance of social and inclusive networks or environments, from little groups of people to big cities.  

Why should we associate with one another if we’re all the same? If everybody has the same, there are a few reasons to come together and associate with each other. If we’re all the same is the differences with the right rules of the game that enable us to associate and to trade profitably, with advantage.” 

Then, the professor explains some economic elements that would be a solution for these obstacles such as market prices, entrepreneurship, free association, rule of law, among others.

Finally, Ikeda concludes that these obstacles may be an indispensable element of the dynamic for the economy that sustains cities like Paris.


Expert on the economy of cities, professor and author


Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín