Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 29, 2014

in Curious Task, Hubris and humility, Myths and Fallacies

… is from page 12 of philosopher Michael Huemer’s 2012 Studia Humana paper, “In Praise of Passivity”:

Voters, activists, and political leaders of the present day are in the position of medieval doctors.  They hold simple, prescientific theories about the workings of society and the causes of social problems, from which they derive a variety of remedies – almost all of which prove either ineffectual or harmful.  Society is a complex mechanism whose repair, if possible at all, would require a precise and detailed understanding of a kind that no one today possesses.  Unsatisfying as it may seem, the wisest course for political agents is often simply to stop trying to solve society’s problems.

Unfortunately, there are great personal rewards for those who persuade a gullible and superstitious public to subject its collective self to the equivalent of being treated by a college of medieval economic proctologists.

Bryan Caplan has more here.

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