… is from page 1 of the June 2022 typescript of Deirdre McCloskey’s paper, forthcoming in the Erasmus Journal, “Most Policy is Impossible”:
Yet most rights, except in a society of utter slaves in the silver mines of Laurion, are implemented by DIY, door locks, self-protection, shopping trips, family life, friendships, neighbors, mutual respect, blame, fictions, dreams, and a liberty of choice having little or nothing to do with state coercions by kings or parliaments. Wikipedia is a spontaneous order. The international order of nations evolves with no world state supervising. The German language evolves through the non-state action of adolescents, not through state-financed committees of professors. The stocking of US grocery stores evolves through the supplying and the demanding of 30, 000 or 40,000 new packaged consumer goods every year, under one percent of which become regular items. A society not entirely supervised by a tyrannical state or by brutal masters evolves largely by itself in art, science, sports, language, journalism, cuisine, hobbies, manners, child raising, conversation. There is no case that state coercions are any more foundational, and a good case that they are much less so, than ethics and convenience, what philosophers of language call ‘conversational implicatures’ and what the rest of us call common sense.