… is from page 14 of James M. Buchanan‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism:
But the classical liberal edifice would fall quickly if persons are independent in the sense that they fail to recognize themselves in an interdependent nexus of social interaction – a nexus that involves other persons to be reciprocating, acting and choosing human beings like themselves.
Indeed. No one person knows, has ever known, or can possibly know all that must be known to make a pencil. Vast social cooperation is required for the production of something even so mundane (to us lucky moderns!) as an ordinary commercial-grade pencil. We are all, each and every one of us, hugely and mightily dependent upon the creativity, knowledge, efforts, choices, and willingness to take risks of hundreds of millions – in some cases, of billions – of our fellow human beings.