… is from page 9 of the original 1960 Harvard University Press edition of Frank Knight’s collection of lectures, delivered in 1958 at the University of Virginia, titled Intelligence and Democratic Action:
Man is an opinionated animal, and contentious, as well as romantic (uncritical) in forming opinions. This is true in all fields of knowledge, but especially in those dealing with people and institutions, and most notably with respect to value judgments. In consequence, the need for intelligence in a democratic society confronts dis-harmony within human nature.
DBx: So true.
Economics reveals to those who truly learn it vast amounts of phenomena unseen to those who don’t learn economics. Because of this reality, those persons whose material welfare or ideological attachments are furthered if others remain blind to phenomena revealed by economics have a positive interest in denying the reality of the unseen phenomena.
And because remaining blind is easier than exerting the effort to see past the fogs and mirages to what exists over the horizon, those whose welfare or ideological attachments are promoted by others remaining blind to phenomena revealed by economics have little trouble convincing their fellow human beings that economists who are forever pointing out the unseen are to be ignored or even, on occasion, demonized.