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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 39 of Steven Pinker’s excellent 2018 book, Enlightenment Now (original emphasis):

Intellectuals hate progress. Intellectuals who call themselves “progressive” really hate progress. It’s not that they hate the fruits of progress, mind you: most pundits, critics, and their bein-pensant readers use computers rather than quills and inkwells, and they prefer to have their surgery with anesthesia rather than without it. It’s the idea of progress that rankles the chattering class – the Enlightenment belief that by understanding the world we can improve the human condition.

DBx: These “Progressives” also hate an institution that is essential to progress – namely, private property markets in which entrepreneurs and businesses are free to innovate and to reap the profits from their successful innovations, but in which these same entrepreneurs and businesses succeed only by meeting the demands of consumers each of whom spends his or her money as he or she chooses. “Progressive” intellectuals despise commerce because, in their blinkered and distorted visions, it is contemptible.  “Progressive” intellectuals are so incredibly vain – and economically uninformed – that they cannot imagine ordinary people flourishing absent the interventions of intellectuals (‘the brains’) in league with the state (‘the brawn’).