… is from page 94 of Joseph Henrich’s 2020 book, The WEIRDest People In the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous (footnote deleted):
As in nearly all societies, individuals don’t consciously design the most important elements of their institutions and certainly don’t understand how or why they work.
DBx: Is there wisdom about human institutions that is more fundamental than this bit of wisdom? I can’t think of any. And yet this foundational piece of wisdom is very often ignored. To win office, most politicians promise voters that they – politicians – understand just what ails society and, if given enough power and obedience, will intervene to successfully ‘solve’ the ‘problems.’ Too many voters, eager to believe in the dogma of secular salvation centered on the use of coercion by the state, delight at these false promises. Destruction ensues, and is more or less proportionate to the amount of intervention.