… is from page 8 of the final (2016) volume – Bourgeois Equality – of Deirdre N. McCloskey‘s great trilogy on the essence of bourgeois values, on their transmission, and on their essential role in modern life:
The prejudices, which is to say our justifying discourses, would not matter if the issue were divergent judgments about, say, the latest ice cream flavors from Ben and Jerry’s. We could then, in the easygoing English phrase, “agree to disagree.” Chocolate Therapy versus AmeriCone Dream. Whatever. But the judgment about whether the System has worked for ordinary people, and why or why not, is too important to leave to personal fancy or to prideful skepticism or to a political identity adopted in late adolescence, never to be reconsidered in the light of new evidence or mature understanding, reaffirmed daily by the particular group of shouters and sneerers we tune into on cable TV. If we are to help the remaining poor of the world, as ethically speaking we should, the political judgment needs to be made soberly and scientifically.