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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 130 of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Alberto Mingardi’s superb 2020 book, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State (original emphasis; footnotes deleted):

After 1848, liberalism (or, as we call it not, classical liberalism) began to come under attack from enthusiasts for State action – by the nationalists from the right and the socialists from the left. The anti-liberals, inspired on both sides by Hegel, have this in common: they substitute for human action by individuals in society a single path ordered by the State. Said Lord Acton in 1882, “Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State, be it the advantage of a class, the safety or the power of the country, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the support of any speculative idea, the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute.” And you know what he said about absolute power.

DBx: This truth is one of many that proponents of industrial policy ignore or romantically wish away.