Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 13, 2012

in Civil Society

… is from page 75 of Paul Seabright’s excellent 2004 book, The Company of Strangers (original emphasis):

More subtly, disdain for money has often been a coded expression of the insecurity of aristocrats and those who lived on inherited wealth in the face of wealth acquired through economic activity and – especially – trade.  This insecurity may have had important social and economic consequences, through the way it shaped attitudes toward economic activity in many societies, from ancient Athens to modern Britain. The historian Martin Wiener has argued that the “decline of the industrial spirit” in Britain was due to exactly such unresolved insecurities among such dominant figures in British culture, from the landed aristocracy of the nineteenth century to the literary and artistic influences on so important a figure as John Maynard Keynes.


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