Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 15, 2021

in Philosophy of Freedom

… is from page 389 of Michael Oakeshott’s 1948 essay “The Political Economy of Freedom” as this essay is reprinted the 1991 Liberty Fund collection of some of Oakeshott’s work, Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays:

The history of institutions,’ says Acton, ‘is often a history of deception and illusions.’ Arrangements which in their beginnings promoted a dispersion of power often, in the course of time, themselves become over-mighty or even absolute while still claiming the recognition and loyalty which belonged to them in respect of their first character. To further liberty we need to be clear-sighted enough to recognise such a change, and energetic enough to set on foot the remedy while the evil is still small. And what more than anything else contributes to this clear-sightedness is relief from the distraction of a rigid doctrine which fixes upon an institution a falsely permanent character, and then (when the illusion is at last recognised) calls for a revolution.

Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: