… is from page 19 of my GMU Econ colleague Richard Wagner’s excellent 2014 monograph, American Federalism: How Well Does It Support Liberty?:
So, how is it possible for democracy to conflict with liberty? Democracy is a scheme for governing human interaction. But so is liberty, which is a system of regulation grounded on private property. Private property is a regulatory system that accommodates the voluntary organization of social interaction. Economic theory explains how it happens that a society where individual action is largely organized through private property is able to generate coherent patterns of societal activity without there being any entity or organization to plan that pattern.
DBx: Indeed. And because markets put to use far more knowledge than can possibly be put to use by government officials charged with overriding markets, market processes – while of course never perfect – are far more sober and reliable than are the intoxicated-ass meanderings and stumbling of industrial policies and other schemes of overriding market processes.