… is from page 17 of the 1991 Liberty Fund edition of Bruno Leoni’s soaring 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law:
There is no such thing as “social opinion” in many cases, nor is there any convincing reason to dignify as “social opinion” the private opinions of groups and individuals who happen to be in a position to enact the law in those cases, often at the expense of other groups and individuals.
Perhaps the most destructive myth of modern times is the myth that proclaims that non-corrupt democratic elections with a wide franchise reveal or discover “the will of The People.” The completely illegitimate anthropomorphization of collectives is a dangerous error, one as easy to commit as it is hazardous to liberty and widespread prosperity. (By the way, Leoni’s defense, in this volume, of A.V. Dicey’s criticism of administrative law is intricate, deep, compelling, and important. It is a defense of Dicey that profits immensely from Leoni’s understanding of the fatal ease with which government officials are taken to be faithful representative of The People. On this question of the desirability of administrative law, Hayek, as Leoni explains, erred by failing to appreciate the depth of Dicey’s criticism of administrative law.)