More Tibor Machan

by Don Boudreaux on November 19, 2008

in Myths and Fallacies

Here’s a letter, with an important point, appearing a few weeks ago in the New York Times:

To the Editor:

Margaret Atwood is a fine novelist but a poor
moralist. The common good she speaks of cannot be promoted literally
since such a good is impossible to know, if it exists at all other than
as an utterly general idea. The ”we” that one can care about is a
small number of intimates, whom one knows and can effectively benefit.

American founders had the best idea of the common good: securing the
rights of all to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This is a
common good that avoids meddling in the lives of people one doesn’t
know, leaving them to do the best for themselves, their families and
their friends, instead of aiming for a utopian, impossible and futile

Tibor R. Machan
Silverado, Calif., Oct. 22, 2008

writer is a professor at the Argyros School of Business and Ethics at
Chapman University and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.


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