… is from my late Nobel-laureate Jim Buchanan’s May 2005 address at the Foundation for Economic Education; the title of Jim’s talk is “Restoring the Spirit of Classical Liberalism“:
The first step towards such restoration requires us to recognize that our basic institutions are the heritage of a public philosophy clearly articulated by our eighteenth-century forebears, notably by Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment as well as by the American Founders. It was they who refined a set of norms, rules, procedures, and practices that we now simply take for granted: the rule of law with its universal and nondiscriminatory application; separation of powers; and universal and open franchise. This means guaranteed protection of person, property, and contract, with periodic elections, open entry into competition for political office, and constitutional limits on the extent of governmental action. That is the institutional heritage of classical liberalism, which we must zealously protect.