Nobody likes being told there is no such thing as a free lunch. But it is incredibly important. Unless someone reminds the public that free lunches are illusory, they may never figure out how to get a meal in the first place.
Alex Salter, Economist-Man and His Never-Ending Battle
Rapists, thugs, and thieves improve their lives by using coercion or threats of coercion to reduce the range of options available to others. Civilized, peaceful, and productive people improve their lives by using commerce to expand the range of options available to others. Neither the raw facts of the matter nor the ethics of these alternative courses of action are altered one bit if the rapists, thugs, and thieves hire well-dressed agents to carry out their schemes and rename these plunderous schemes “trade policy.”
– Don Boudreaux
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
“Do you wonder why Sen. Bernie Sanders and his ideas are so popular among American college students? The answer is that they, like so many other young people who think they know it all, are really uninformed and ignorant.”
Walter Williams, “Dumb American Youth“
Socialism and communism literally objectify the individual, who exists only as a means of advancing the interests of the state. There is no individual, and no valid reason for people to have rights, separate from their membership in and contributions to the state.
Michael Munger, “Capitalism and Objectivification“
Recycling costs money, harms the environment, and uses the one resource — time — that is truly non-renewable. But it gives folks a way to show publicly how much they love the Earth. That’s fine, but making landfill-worship mandatory violates the separation of church and state.
Michael Munger, “The recycling-industrial complex”
“Socialist revolutions, to be sure, have occurred throughout the world, but never where Marx’s theory had predicted—in the most advanced capitalist countries. On the contrary, socialism was forced on poor, so-called Third World countries. And those revolutions unwittingly condemned the masses to systemic poverty and political dictatorship. In practice, socialism absolutely failed to create the nonalienated, self-managed, and fully planned society. It failed to emancipate the masses and instead crushed them with statism, domination, and the terrifying abuse of state power.”
Though their characters are in general much less correct, and their merit much inferior to that of the man of real and modest virtue; yet their excessive presumption, founded upon their own excessive self-admiration, dazzles the multitude, and often imposes even upon those who are much superior to the multitude.
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments
From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.
It would appear that we have made our decision. It appears that the implosion has begun.
Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely; or to be that thing which is the natural and proper object of love. He naturally dreads, not only to be hated, but to be hateful; or to be that thing which is the natural and proper object of hatred. He desires, not only praise, but praiseworthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be praised by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of praise. He dreads, not only blame, but blame-worthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be blamed by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of blame.
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments III.I.8
There are people that our society tells us that we should admire, and there are people whom we should admire.
We desire both to be respectable and to be respected. We dread both to be contemptible and to be contemned. But, upon coming into the world, we soon find that wisdom and virtue are by no means the sole objects of respect; nor vice and folly, of contempt. We frequently see the respectful attentions of the world more strongly directed towards the rich and the great, than towards the wise and the virtuous. We see frequently the vices and follies of the powerful much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent. To deserve, to acquire, and to enjoy the respect and admiration of mankind, are the great objects of ambition and emulation. Two different roads are presented to us, equally leading to the attainment of this so much desired object; the one, by the study of wisdom and the practice of virtue; the other, by the acquisition of wealth and greatness. Two different characters are presented to our emulation; the one, of proud ambition and ostentatious avidity. the other, of humble modesty and equitable justice. Two different models, two different pictures, are held out to us, according to which we may fashion our own character and behaviour; the one more gaudy and glittering in its colouring; the other more correct and more exquisitely beautiful in its outline: the one forcing itself upon the notice of every wandering eye; the other, attracting the attention of scarce any body but the most studious and careful observer. They are the wise and the virtuous chiefly, a select, though, I am afraid, but a small party, who are the real and steady admirers of wisdom and virtue. The great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers, and, what may seem more extraordinary, most frequently the disinterested admirers and worshippers, of wealth and greatness.
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (Part I, Section III, Chapter III)
“The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements— all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics— to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind ” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.”
“How to Read a Book” by Charles Van Doren, Mortimer J. Adler
Tom Morris explores Senator Marco Rubio’s Statement, “For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”
Tom gets it right. Work and thought are not and should not be exclusive.
“Doing without thinking is much more dangerous than thinking without doing.”
Tom V. Morris, Welders and Philosophers