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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 262 of the 1975 HarperPerennial printing of the third (1950) edition of Joseph Schumpeter’s profound 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy:

All of this goes to show that without the initiative that comes from immediate responsibility, ignorance will persist in the face of masses of information however complete and correct…

Thus the typical citizen drops down to a lower level of mental performance as soon as he enters the political field. He argues and analyzes in a way which he would readily recognize as infantile with the sphere of his real interests. He becomes primitive again.

DBx: Thus did Schumpeter anticipate the theories of rational ignorance and rational irrationality. Because  political actors personally incur almost none of the material costs of their actions, the beliefs and other motives that prompt political action can be whackadoodle or evil without the actors paying much of, if any, a price for holding such crazy beliefs and acting on such vile motives.


Schumpeter died on this date, January 8th, in 1950.

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