Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 26, 2017

in Civil Society, Cooperation, Trade

… is from page 144 of my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold’s excellent – and now more relevant than ever – 2009 volume, Mad About Trade (footnotes deleted; link added):

Unknown-2Success in the global marketplace requires winning the trust of strangers, proving reliability, and cooperating with people of different language, culture, ethnicity, and race.  The late Pope John Paul II, in a 1991 encyclical called Centesimus Annus, described the global economy as a sphere of activity where “people work with each other, sharing in a ‘community of work’ which embraces ever widening circles.”  In this expanding economic community, the pope observed, a market system encourages the virtues of “diligence, industriousness, prudence in undertaking reasonable risks, reliability and fidelity in interpersonal relationships, as well as courage in carrying out decisions which are difficult and painful but necessary, both for the overall working of a business and in meeting possible set-backs.”  As markets expand across borders and into new regions of the world, those “bourgeois virtues” increase at the expense of such vices as sloth, mistrust, duplicity, prejudice, and xenophobic nationalism.

DBx: Trade is civilizing.  Therefore, man-made obstructions to trade are man-made obstructions to civilization.  Protectionism is uncivilized.  Protectionism is a policy pushed by barbarians and brutes.


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