… is from page 185 of Jim Buchanan‘s 1990 essay “Socialism Is Dead but Leviathan Lives On,” which is reprinted in volume 1 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty:
When the very elementary step is taken to extend the behavioural models of economics to apply to public choosers, to those who participate variously in political roles, as voters, politicians, bureaucrats, planners, party leaders, etc., the romantic vision that was essential to the whole socialist myth vanishes. If those who make decisions for other are finally seen as ordinary persons, just like everyone else, how can the awesome delegation of authority that must characterize the centralized economy be justified?
Jim died this past January. Were he still alive, he would today celebrate his 94th birthday.