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Quotation of the Day…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On November 27, 2013 @ 9:33 am In Civil Society,Politics | Comments Disabled

… is from pages 193-194 of the 1993 re-issue of Rose Wilder Lane’s beautiful 1943 volume, The Discovery of Freedom [1] (original emphasis):

The American who leaves Government to the politicians, permitting or urging the men of his party, when they are in office, to increase their power and use it upon other Americans for his benefit, and howling when men of the other party are in office increasing their power and squeezing him for the benefit of other Americans, is trying to evade his responsibility.

He will not evade it; he can not.  His natural liberty is responsibility.  He is born free; he controls his life and his affairs; he is responsible for them.  In trying to make any other person responsible for his welfare, he must try to transfer his control of himself to that other man, for control and responsibility can not be separated.

In demanding that men in Government be responsible for his welfare, a citizen is demanding control of his affairs by men whose only power is the use of force.

It’s a question that cuts to the heart of political matters: Why in the world does anyone suppose that people who specialize in and excel at winning political elections are also uniquely skilled to excel at running other people’s lives?  Or why in the world does anyone suppose that people who vote – people who specialize in their daily lives in jobs as diverse yet as narrow as baking, butchering, neurosurgering, massage therapying, teaching economics, writing newspaper columns, driving taxicabs, movie acting, managing department stores, and on and on and on – are, when in the voting booth, endowed with sufficient wisdom and detailed knowledge to have a productive say in how millions of strangers will live their lives?  Such suppositions are senseless.

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[1] The Discovery of Freedom: http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Freedom-LFB-Jeffrey-Tucker-ebook/dp/B007ZVBE0C/ref=la_B001IQULNQ_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385562772&sr=1-2

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