≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

is from page 720 of the 2007 Liberty Fund edition (Bettina Bien Greaves, ed.) of Ludwig von Mises’s 1949 treatise, Human Action:

They misconstrue their own arbitrary value judgments derived from intuition as the voice of the Almighty or of the nature of things.

DBx: Mises here refers to persons of many different ideologies each of which proposes schemes by which the government will (attempt to) engineer society to better appeal to the fancies of the adherents of these ideologies.

Critics of the free market never tire of hurling at proponents of the free market the uninformed charge of ‘celebrating greed’ or of wishing to elevate petty, materialist desires over noble and meaningful social goals such as community, family, diversity and inclusion, solidarity, the glory of the nation, etc., etc., etc. (The particular noble and meaningful social goals that are said to be undermined by free markets differ, of course, across the wide variety of opponents of liberalism. The fancies of today’s Progressives differ in their details from the fancies of today’s Natcons, which themselves differ in their details from the fancies of the adherents of this or that other world-saving ideology.)

Yet whats more self-centered and greedy than demanding that society itself be re-engineered to suit ones fancy? Even if, contrary to fact, each individual choosing and acting in free markets seeks to gratify only his or her narrow material cravings, that person isnt nearly as greedy and as arrogant – and certainly is not as dangerous – as is someone who presses the government to re-engineer society to suit his or her fancies.