Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on July 5, 2014

in Hubris and humility, Nanny State, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from page 69 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism; it is a truth that is sadly and dangerously ignored by many people – for example, by those who rightfully get morally indignant at the prospect of government intruding into their bedrooms, but who simultaneously also demand that government force taxpayers to subsidize some bedroom materials:

Equal liberty is a two-way street.  A person might be quite firm in a commitment involving attempts by others to impose their values; freedom from coercion is a quasi-universal desire.  But a willingness to refrain from imposing one’s own values on others is a less recognized and surely less widely accepted commitment that is also essential.  ’Don’t tell me what to do’ and ‘Do what I say’ – these are not compatible admonitions.

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