Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on July 17, 2013

in Hubris and humility, Politics

… is from pages 17-18 of Ronald Max Hartwell’s “Introduction” to the 1979 Liberty Fund collection The Politicization of Society (Kenneth S. Templeton, Jr., ed.) (footnotes excluded):

But why have the intellectuals become politicized?  Why have the intellectuals rejected liberalism?….  Is it so astonishing?  Are not the actions and beliefs of the intellectuals self-interested in a very obvious way?  Intellectuals dislike liberalism because market economy [sic] does not reward them according to their own estimation of their obvious social worth.  Intellectuals, therefore, prefer economic systems which give them a place in the sun, in which their cash rewards are almost certainly higher, and in which power rewards are undoubtedly higher.  Intellectuals play leading roles in the bureaucracies of the state, as advisors, experts, and administrators, and increasing the power of the state means increasing the power of the intellectuals.  Their “cult of the powerful state,” therefore, is not disinterested, even though their self-interest is well rationalized.

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