≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 121 of Julian Simon’s posthumously published 1999 volume, Hoodwinking the Nation:

I believe that the demands of the everyday necessity to make a living constrain the flights of fantasy and the excitement of prophesies made and believed. And as society becomes richer, fewer people and groups are prevented by this necessity from indulging themselves in these emotional orgies.

DBx: Truly prophetic.

We humans immersed in today’s spectacularly productive global, commercial economy take for granted a level of material prosperity that could not have been dreamed of by the most powerful potentate just a few hundred years ago. This prosperity is overwhelmingly good, but it’s not without serious downsides. As Simon notes, this prosperity enables more and more individuals to consume the luxury good of emotional orgies.

Enormous quantities of time and emotional energy – and resources – are spent fretting about and “addressing” environmental risks the true magnitudes of which simply don’t justify such expense. What’s really being produced and consumed by too many ‘environmentalists’ is the emotional thrill of fighting an Evil Villain and, in the process, fancying oneself superior to the masses who haven’t yet seen the full danger posed by the Evil Villain.

The fact that the Evil Villain is cartoonish is a feature and not a bug for these ‘environmentalists,’ for only by portraying the danger as coming in the form of an Evil Villain are they free to disregard real-world complexities, uncertainties, and the inescapability of trade-offs.

Very much the same mindset – made possible by our enormous prosperity – explains the fevers for DEI “initiatives,” ESG “investing,” and wokism generally. Only fantastically wealthy societies can afford to indulge this nonsense and hope to get away with it.

And only fantastically wealthy societies can and would attempt to shut themselves down in order to slow or stop the spread of a respiratory virus.


Julian Simon, pictured here, died suddenly on this date 25 years ago. Only four days shy of his 66th birthday, he was struck down at far too young an age. The world needs his wisdom now more than ever.