Feb 152010

For those who attribute basically good and selfless motives to government, consider this logic:

This sort of argumentation reflects a general double standard of morality that is always applied to State rulers but not to anyone else. No one, for example, is surprised or horrified to learn that businessmen are seeking higher profits. No one is horrified if workers leave lower-paying for higher-paying jobs. All this is considered proper and normal behavior. But if anyone should dare assert that politicians and bureaucrats are motivated by the desire to maximize their incomes, the hue and cry of “conspiracy theorist” or “economic determinist” spreads throughout the land.

From Rothbard, For a New Liberty

  4 Responses to “Quote of the moment”

  1. We perhaps hope for Platonic philosopher-rulers, but get fallible, venal, corrupt and self-serving folk (just like the rest of us, so our peers). But there is something different: the morality demonstrated by those in command goes hand-in-hand with the respect they obtain – this applies in the private sector as well.

    And if Cameron really does take on the corruption of the lobbyists, the MPs’ misdemeanours will seem very insignificant by comparison.

    • Very true. Though I often wonder what the difficulty with the lobbyists really is. I mean, from where I’m sitting, surely all the MPs have to do is say ‘No’! That’d break the power of the lobbies PDQ. But if they will keep saying ‘yes’, the corruption is here to stay.

  2. Aw, man. I’d so love to read New Liberty. Sadly, I hate reading long PDFs on a laptop/etc, and can’t find a paper copy. Ah well. I could give the audio book a try.

    • I don’t much dig the PDFs either, but it’s worth it in this case – I’m not even noticing that I’m reading it on the compy! Truly it is gripping stuff.

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