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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 29 of Jim Buchanan’s 1958 book Public Principles of Public Debt [2]:

[I]t is rather strange that it [an “essentially organic conception of the economy or the state”] could have found its way so readily into the fiscal theory of those countries presumably embodying democratic governmental institutions and whose social philosophy lies in the individualistic and utilitarian tradition.  The explanation arises, of course, out of the almost complete absence of political sophistication on the part of those scholars who have been concerned with fiscal problems.  With rare exceptions, no attention at all has been given to the political structure and to the possibility of inconsistency between the policy implications of fiscal analysis and the political forms existent.  Thus we find that, in explicit works of political theory, English-language scholars have consistently eschewed the image of the monolithic and organic state.  At the same time, however, scholars working in fiscal analysis have developed constructions which become meaningful only upon some acceptance of an organic conception of the social group.

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