Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on November 27, 2011

in Civil Society, Complexity & Emergence, Cooperation, Hubris and humility, Law

… is from page 3 of the original 1961 Van Nostrand edition of Bruno Leoni’s pioneering book Freedom and the Law (original emphasis):

[N]o relativism could prevent us from recognizing that in any society feelings and convictions relating to actions that should not be done are much more homogeneous and easily identifiable than any other kind of feelings and convictions.  Legislation protecting people against what they do not want other people to do to them is likely to be more easily determinable and more generally successful than any kind of legislation based on other “positive” desires of the same individuals.  In fact, such desires are not only usually much less homogeneous and compatible with one another than the “negative” ones, but are also often very difficult to ascertain.


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