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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages xiv of Philipp Blom’s 2010 book, A Wicked Company:

Their morality was not one of wild orgies, unrestrained greed, and heedless indulgence, but of a society based on mutual respect, without masters and slaves, without oppressors and oppressed.

DBx: Blom here refers to, and corrects a common misunderstanding of, the morality of the French enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century – thinkers such as Denis Diderot and Thiry d’Holbach. But Blom’s description applies also to modern libertarians and classical liberals, who are frequently mischaracterized as proponents of libertinism and greed.

We classical liberals / libertarians might be mistaken to argue that social harmony and maximum possible prosperity for all is possible only when individuals are allowed a great deal of freedom to choose as each sees fit within a system of secure private property rights. But it is slanderous to accuse us – because we reject both the utility and ethics of any system that compels everyone to join in a consciously chosen and state-enforce centralized plan – of effectively advocating a Hobbesian war of all against all in which to the victors go the spoils.