≡ Menu

Run Away from Such Officious People

Here’s a letter to two people who sent to me yesterday a blast e-mail:

Ms. Amanda Litman & Mr. Ross Rocketto
Run for Something

Ms. Litman and Mr. Rocketto:

Your blast e-mail from yesterday boasts of Hillary Clinton’s support for your organization’s “efforts to recruit young progressives to run for local office.”  Judging from the tone of your e-mail, I and other recipients of your note are supposed to be inspired by the prospect of twenty- and thirtysomethings seeking and seizing political power.

Yet far from finding this prospect inspiring, I find it simultaneously saddening and frightening.

It’s saddening that you attempt to attract young people out of the private sector (where success would spring from these young people each creatively discovering ways to persuade others to voluntarily trade with him or her) and into the ‘public’ sector (where success springs from these young people organizing or joining coalitions large enough to ham-fistedly force others to do these young-people’s bidding).

It’s frightening because power, while dangerous in anyone’s hands, is especially dangerous in the hands of people who are enticed during early adulthood into believing both that they are fit to order others about and that such commandeering of the lives of others is noble rather than nefarious.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030


Next post:

Previous post: