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Quotation of the Day…

… is this level-headed one from page 627 of the final (2016) volume – Bourgeois Equality – of Deirdre McCloskey‘s soaring trilogy on the essence of bourgeois values, on their transmission, and on their essential role in modern life (link added):

unknown-1The right wing has worries about national power rankings the way the left wing has worries about individual income rankings.  But in uplifting the poor, rank is not the point.  Level is.  Modern economic growth is not about seventh-pessimism rankings, and was not caused by exceptional national power to do violence.  After all, backward Russia in 1812 and 1941-1944 turned back invasions from a technologically advanced and militarily powerful Western Europe, as it had done in the Great Northern War against Sweden in 1709.  The Great Enrichment is about an irreversible arrival of the poor at the Washing Line … caused by their own efforts made productive by accepting the Bourgeois Deal of letting the bourgeoisie innovate for the long-run good of us all.  Not national rank.


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