May 8, 2016

Quote of the Day

Or consider it a partial Review Corner. Deirdre McCloskey has closed her trilogy with an (750 page) exclamation point. It is too good to read quickly and far too important and comprehensive to summarize. I'll share some quotes along the way and some effusive, fatuous praise at the end. This section compares Adam Smith, Jane Austen, and Benjamin Franklin.

In Smith's time, and now again in the regulatory state, few believed that a masterless society would be possible. The haunting fear by governing elites supported by worried citizens stirred up by an antitrade clerisy was then, as it still is, that ordinary people will do bad things if left alone. Unless overawed by the threat of state violence in police or planning or regulation, ordinary people, especially the lower classes, will spurn priests, stop paying their rents and taxes, not save enough for old age, kill each other, not buy enough insurance, speak against the government, appear with hair uncovered, refuse military service, drink to excess, commit unnatural acts, use naughty words, chew gum, smoke marihuana--committing in sum, as Bill Murray put it in Ghost Busters, "human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria." -- Deirdre McCloskey

Quote of the Day Posted by John Kranz at May 8, 2016 1:40 PM
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