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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 26 of Tom Palmer’s 2013 essay “The History and Structure of Libertarian Thought,” which is chapter 4 of Why Liberty, an excellent 2013 collection edited by Tom (footnote deleted):

Absolutism had an economic theory to accompany it: mercantilism, the idea that the king and his bureaucracies should direct industry, forbid this enterprise and subsidize that one, grant monopolies to favored companies (a practice now referred to as cronyism), “protect” the owners of local industries against competition from lower priced imported goods, and generally manage trade to the benefit of the ruling powers of the state, with the aim of bringing money into the state’s treasury.

DBx: A major thrust of liberalism as it emerged in the 17th and (especially) 18th centuries was against mercantilism and its countless predations.

Among the early 21st-century’s more curious ironies is many “Progressives'” embrace of mercantilism. And among the early 21st-century’s more pathetic ironies is many conservatives’ embrace of Trump – and of the mercantilism that is central to Trump’s world view – largely because Trump so discomfits “Progressives.”