Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 4, 2015

in Hubris and humility, Man of System, War

… is from page 8 of my colleague Chris Coyne’s superb 2008 book, After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy:

Sustainable social change requires a shift in underlying preferences.  This shift can be influenced through brute force or through voluntary acceptance.  I contend that the latter is more effective in generating liberal democracy.  I further argue that a key mechanism for generating sustainable change is a commitment to free trade, not only in goods and services, but also in cultural products, ideas, and institutions.  Unfortunately, throughout the history of U.S. foreign policy, including the recent occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, emphasis has been placed on military occupation and reconstruction while inadequate attention has been paid to the alternative of exporting liberal values, ideas, and institutions through non-intervention, trade, and exchange.


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