Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on April 8, 2021

in Adam Smith, Hubris and humility

is from pages 86-87 of University of Notre Dame philosopher James Otteson’s marvelous and hot-off-the-Cambridge-University-Press book, Seven Deadly Economic Sins (2021) (footnote deleted):

In [Adam] Smith’s view, most decent people would recoil at the thought of superintending the private decisions of their fellow citizens. But not all people would recoil at the thought of it; some would embrace and even relish it. Which type are more likely to avoid such an authority, and which are more likely to seek it out? Smith’s argument is that the people who get themselves into such positions of power over others are often those we would least want in those positions – because they will tend to wield their power as extensively as they possibly can.


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