For Hayek, the law is logically and chronologically previous to the government. That is the meaning of the rule of law: a political order founded on the law. Since the political powers receive their legitimacy from the law, the latter is exogenous to the political subsystem. That is why Hayek regards the law as a spontaneous phenomenon. This is not a description of the political reality, but a theory on a political system based on the rule of law which the social scientist can derive normative statements from.