Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 19, 2012

in State of Macro, The Economy

… is from page 31 of Jane Jacobs’s insightful 1984 book, Cities and the Wealth of Nations:

Nations are political and military entities, and so are blocs of nations.  But it doesn’t necessarily follow from this that they are also the basic, salient entities of economic life or that they are particularly useful for probing the mysteries of economic structure, the reasons for rise and decline of wealth.

Anthropomorphizing any collective is dangerous intellectual business.  Even more dangerous – intellectually and, potentially, physically – is anthropomorphizing the collection of people who claim membership in a nation and regarding that collective as possessing some unitary and transcendent reality, as well as assuming that the government that asserts sovereignty over that collective is much like the mind that governs an individual human being.

Here’s a post from 2006 that I did on Jane Jacobs’s wisdom on this matter.

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