≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 440-441 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James Buchanan’s Spring/Summer 1994 Cato Journal article, “Notes on the Liberal Constitution,” as this article is reprinted in Choice, Contract, and Constitutions (2001), which is volume 16 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan (footnotes deleted):

As a start, it may be useful to extend our hindsight into the pre-romantic, pre-socialist epoch, back to the 18th century, and to try to recapture the constitutional understanding that so excited the philosophers as well as the politicians. Until and unless such a shift in the modern mind-set is somehow achieved, all efforts at constitutional dialogue aimed at basic reform will essentially be wasted. Governments, no matter how organized, will remain basically unchained, and the politicians-bureaucrats will continue to facilitate the mutual exploitation of each by all, in Anthony de Jasay’s “churning state.” Economies will founder, and, increasingly, potentially valued product will disappear into the “black hole” of that which might have been.