Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Those Scots!

I refer in the previous post indirectly to a great quotation from Adam Smith, one of the great minds of the 18th-Century Scot intellectual movement (which, as far as I can still tell, elaborated all that was useful in the current PoMo movement, and avoided all that was so stupid).
in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

Can there be a better analogy? What a brilliant metaphor.
And sadly, it does describe exactly why our governments are likely making things worse, not better. They imagine the other chessboard he describes.
He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them


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