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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 442 of George Will’s profound 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility:

Extravagant political aspirations breed dangerous political practices.

DBx: Indeed.

People – especially, but not exclusively, young people – love talking about “remaking society” and “changing the world.” Nice words. Inspiring sentiments. Horrible ideas.

Not only does much of today’s world not need “remaking” according to any sensible criterion, but to attempt to remake the world from the top – using state coercion – is unavoidably to obstruct the private plans and actions of the great majority of individuals. We as consumers cannot be left free to spend our incomes as we choose. We as producers cannot be left free to spend our efforts as we choose.

Moms, dads, job seekers, workers, investors, small-business owners, big-company CEOs, immigrants, anti-immigrant protestors, radio-talk-show hosts, authors, wine connoisseurs, rock-climbing enthusiasts, “social-justice” warriors, retirees, college students – flesh-and-blood individuals, each with his or her own unique preferences, plans, abilities, and knowledge become pawns to be moved about by those who are in charge of “remaking” society. (Well, most individuals become pawns; a very tiny number are selected to be knights, bishops, and rooks. These latter are invested with the delegated power to leap over and through great swaths of the lowly pawns whose society is being “remade,” allegedly – or so say the rulers and their agents – all and only for the benefit of the pawns.)

Society cannot – literally cannot – be remade. The reason is that society was not made in the first place. Society evolved into its present existence. Attempts to “remake” it according some design are destined only to create hell on earth, as history amply teaches.