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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 254 of Matt Ridley’s insightful 2015 volume, The Evolution of Everything:

Yet creationism in government shows no sign of fading. To this day, despite the resurgence of liberal values that came after the Second World War, and especially after the Cold War, the knee-jerk assumption on the part of much of the intelligentsia is still based on planning rather than evolutionary unfolding. Though politicians are regarded as scum, government as a machine is held to be almost infallible.

DBx: Statism is a religion. It is a faith in the state’s power to work miracles and in the benevolent concern that “our” leaders have for our well-being. Adherents to this faith – and many are evangelical about it – dogmatically attribute all observed good to the state and deny that any good is possible unless it be somehow arranged by the loving intervention and intelligent design of the state.

Those who reject the dogma of statism are treated as anti-social pariahs. Those who explain that complex and beneficial social order arises – emerges – spontaneously and unplanned are dismissed, ironically, as dogmatists whose unfaithfulness, were it more widely accepted, would unravel and ruin society.

Statists, simply unable to grasp the reality of emergent, spontaneous, complex order, trust that all that is good in human society is traceable ultimately to the wise and wonderful conscious designs of the state, and that all that is bad in human society is caused by inadequate worship of the state and a resulting failure to allow It to guide our affairs.

Statism, in other words, is the application to human society of the primitive belief in creationism. Despite most statists’ pride in their unusual smarts and learning – many boast B.A.s, B.S.s, M.A.s, M.S.s, MBAs, M.D.s, Ph.D.s, or J.D.s from elite universities! – they are as ignorant and as unreflective about society and the economy as the most cartoonish opponent of Darwin is ignorant of the origins of opposable thumbs and the migration of geese. As with the most cartoonish opponent of Darwin, no amount of sound reasoning or careful observation will shake the statist’s ‘knowledge’ that society is the creation of the state and that humanity will progress only so far as the state lovingly arranges for our progress.

Creationism and its corresponding belief in a loving, higher power is simple. It requires no thought: Whenever a problem is believed to be encountered, turn prayerfully to the state. The only obligation of the faithful is to obey and be thankful that we humans are blessed to be ruled by such an awesome Lord.