Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 18, 2012

in Hubris and humility, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from page 25 of the 3rd edition (1998) of Paul Hollander’s indispensable 1981 account – Political Pilgrims -  of intellectuals’ eagerness to be duped by madmen and monsters into supporting, in the name of ‘social justice’ or some other abstract utopian notion, the most heinous tyrannies (footnote excluded):

I am referring here primarily to the “revolution of rising expectations” which contrary to popular belief, has been much more a Western than “Third World” phenomenon.  Clearly, the growth of individualistic expectations and their corollary – the unwillingness to accept scarcity or deprivations of any sort – have contributed to the intensification of social criticism both on the part of intellectuals and the social groups for whom they strive to be spokesmen.

Free-market capitalism unleashes entrepreneurial creativity and energy to raise the living standards of ordinary men and women to heights unimaginable just a few generations ago – and, in doing so, perversely inspires historically or economically (or both) uninformed intellectuals to leap onto moral high-horses and gallop about shouting false warnings of the dangers and unfairness of free-market capitalism.

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