Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 1, 2019

in Reality Is Not Optional, Virginia Political Economy

… is from page 44 of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom’s important 1990 book, Governing the Commons:

External coercion is at times a sleight-of-hand solution, because the theorist does not address what motivates the external enforcer to monitor behavior and impose sanctions.

DBx: Yes. But more than “at times”; this unscientific move is quite common.

People acting politically are commonly assumed to be immune to the limitations and ‘imperfections’ that afflict people acting non-politically. The force that somehow infuses near-godlike abilities and motives into people acting politically remains forever mysterious. Yet the belief in the reality and reliability of this mysterious force runs widely and deeply. It is a dogma that is both more absurd and more dangerous than nearly all of the many others that have so often duped human beings into mindsets of self-destruction.

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