≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 11 of the 2000 Liberty Fund reissue of Geoffrey Brennan’s and James M. Buchanan’s 1980 volume, The Power to Tax:

[I]n all practically relevant cases, governments – or more accurately the individuals involved in governmental process – do possess the power to coerce. They do exercise genuinely discretionary power, and it is both empirically reasonable and analytically necessary to assume that over some range they will exploit that power for their own purposes, whatever these may be.

DBx: Throughout all of modernity this insight was – and was correctly regarded to be – a mark of prudence, maturity, and seriousness of thought about the nature of humans and of politics. Yet there seems to be today an increasingly large number of people who childishly interpret such statements as evidence of a secret scheme to enrich oligarchs and to disenfranchise and virtually enslave the masses. Examples of these people include the atrociously ignorant, utterly misinformed Nancy MacLean and the distressingly large number of ‘scholars’ who find merit in her dumpster-fire book of fallacies, Democracy in Chains.