… is from page 499 of the 1988 collection of Lord Acton’s writings (edited by the late J. Rufus Fears), Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality ; specifically, it’s a note drawn from Acton’s extensive papers at Cambridge University:
Free trade, to improve the condition of the people and fit them for freedom.
DBx: So true. Protectionism, in contrast, fits people for servitude. This truth holds regardless of the ideologies and political allegiances of those who press for protectionism.
Tariffs, subsidies, and other obstructions on peaceful commerce are every bit as destructive of material well-being and of people’s moral character when endorsed and designed by conservatives such as Oren Cass, Daniel McCarthy, and Marco Rubio as when endorsed and designed by “Progressives” such as Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.