≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 8 of the newly published third volume – Bourgeois Equality – in Deirdre McCloskey’s soaring trilogy on the essence and role of bourgeois values in modern life:

You will perhaps doubt that the Great Enrichment happened, or that it was so great, or that it will continue – or doubt that it is justified, in view of environmental decay and consumerist excess.  But the evidence, regarded without prejudice, is overwhelming.  From about 1800 to the present the world’s economy did something good, which looks to be permanent and looks to be justified.  If contrary to the evidence we cling to our prejudices about economic history – our view that the Industrial Revolution was impoverishing, or that the Great Enrichment was an irremediable environmental disaster, or that Europe is rich only because of poverty in the Third World, or that the new rich are always getting relatively richer, or that after all any enrichment is vulgar – we will mistake how we got here and will give mistaken advice on how to move forward.  We will betray the remaining poor of the world.

On Thursday (April 21st) on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, I’ll have a conversation with Deirdre.


Next post:

Previous post: