Capitalism: The Forgotten Ideal
I'm an admirer of PJ O'Rouke, both for his political positions, and for the wit that saturates his writing. The following, referring to a quote by Adam Smith, the famous Eighteenth Century Scottish philosopher, was highlighted by Jonathan Pearce at Samizdata. Mr Pearce used this quote as the opening paragraph of an excellent review of O'Rourke's book, On The Wealth of Nations.
"Smith did believe free markets could better the world. He once said, in a paper delivered to a learned society, that progress required "little else...but peace, easy taxes, and tolerable administration of justice." But those three things were then - and are now - the three hardest things in the world to find. Smith preached against the gravitational load of power and privilege that always will, if it can, fall upon our livelihood. The Wealth of Nations is a sturdy bulwark of a homily on liberty and honest enterprise. It does go on and on. But sermons must last a long time for the same reason that walls must. The wall isn't trying to change the roof's mind about crushing us."I might hasten to add that I'm also an admirer of Adam Smith.
- P.J. O'Rourke, On the Wealth of Nations.
Tip of the battered gray fedora: Samizdata.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!