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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 16 of 2009 Economics Nobel-laureate Elinor Ostrom’s 1997 Presidential Address to the American Political Science Association; the address is titled “A Behavioral Approach to the Rational Choice Theory of Collective Action,” and is published in the March 1998 issue of the American Political Science Review (emphasis added):

Without individuals viewing rules as appropriate mechanisms to enhance reciprocal relationships, no police force and court system on earth can monitor and enforce all the needed rules on its own. Nor would most of us want to live in a society in which police were really the thin blue line enforcing all rules.

DBx: If most of society’s rules are obeyed most of the time by most people – and mostly because most people believe that doing so is simply the right thing to do – that society will be mostly harmonious and peaceful. And only such a society has any prospects for also being prosperous.

Human nature being what it is, such extensive rule-following will occur only if the rules are ones that grow organically from the life of that society rather than ones that are imposed in the form of legislation or administrative diktat. This fact isn’t much changed if the legislation and diktats are imposed by governments chosen democratically.


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