31.3.17

CLASSICAL LIBERALISM.

Reason's Deirdre McCloskey evaluates Three Influential Ideas from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Nationalism and socialism: influential in a bad way.  Expanded liberty: influential in a good way.  Go read the article.  Then heed his advice.
Read Adam Smith, slowly—not just the prudential Wealth of Nations, but its temperate sister The Theory of Moral Sentiments. And return in spirit to the dawn of 1776, when the radical idea was not nationalism or socialism or national socialism, but "the obvious and simple system of natural liberty" that allows all men and women to pursue their interests in their own ways.

It was a strange but very, very good idea. Still is.
Yes, although the temptation to Rely on Wise Experts rather than stand back and let emergence emerge is understandable.  But aren't there enough failures of Expertise now to make its doctrines as suspect as The Divine Right of Kings?

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