Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 11, 2022

in Adam Smith, Complexity & Emergence, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 290 of my colleague Peter Boettke’s 2021 paper “Liberalism, Socialism, and Our Future,” as this essay appears in Pete’s 2021 book, The Struggle for a Better World:

Immature modes of reasoning – for example, bad people do bad things; good people do good things – must be replaced by the more mature and disciplined reasoning of “invisible hand” explanations.

DBx: Indeed so. Unfortunately, much of today’s economic ‘reasoning’ is immature, and highly so. The quality and usefulness of an appalling amount of today’s economic ‘reasoning’ is the polar opposite of that which is found in the works of Adam Smith.

A notable fact is that intellectuals who are especially prone to practice such immature ‘reasoning’ are those intellectuals who call themselves “progressive.” They like this moniker, I suspect, because they mistake intentions for results. Because progressives’ calls for government intervention into the economy are motivated by their sincerely held good intentions – and because they are so arrogant as to commonly suppose that anyone who disagrees with their preferred means is someone who is ill-intentioned – progressives mistake what they wrongly believe to be their singularly excellent intentions as evidence that they are more ethically and intellectually advanced than are those of us who are so insufficiently enlightened that we oppose their preferred means.

Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: