… is from page 164 of the 1991 Liberty Fund edition of Bruno Leoni’s brilliant 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law :
Everyone knows his personal situation and is probably in a better position that is anybody else to make decisions about many questions related to it. Everyone probably has more to gain from a system in which his decisions would not be interfered with by the decisions of other people than he has to lose by the fact that he could not interfere in turn with other people’s decisions.
The only exceptions to the rule identified here by Leoni are those people who have an excess supply of arrogance and officiousness – people who get great personal gratification from ordering their fellow human beings about. And while such people are precisely the sort who, above all, are least to be trusted to control the levers of state power, such people are also the sort who are most intent on doing whatever it takes to grab hold of, and to maintain tight and greedy grips, on those levers.