F. A. Hayek’s insights into the differences between “spontaneous order” and “constructed order” can help us describe how social institutions grow and change, but contrary to much libertarian and conservative thought, they do not offer legislators and judges any normative guidance. One problem is that although altering a social or legal institution may seem like attempting to impose order when viewed at close range, it may seem like part of a spontaneous order when viewed as one experiment among many within society as a whole.