Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

Recommended Photo Store
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on October 31st, 2011 (All posts by )

    A later realization – I suppose I have sensed it most of my life, but I have understood it philosophically only during the preparation of this talk – has been the beauty of the idea of the pursuit of happiness. Familiar words, easy to take for granted; easy to misconstrue. The idea of the pursuit of happiness is at the heart of the attractiveness of the civilization to so many outside it or on its periphery. I find it marvelous to contemplate to what an extent, after two centuries, and after the terrible history of the earlier part of this century, the idea has come to a kind of fruition. It is an elastic idea; it fits all men. It implies a certain kind of society, a certain kind of awakened spirit. I don’t imagine my father’s parents would have been able to understand this idea. So much is contained in it; the idea of the individual, responsibility, choice, the life of the intellect, the idea of a vocation and perfectibility and achievement. It is an immense human idea. It cannot be reduced to a fixed system. It cannot generate fanaticism. But it is known to exist; and because of that, other more rigid systems in the end blow away.

    V.S. Naipaul, “Our Universal Civilization” (1992) in The Writer and the World.


    2 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      This reminds me of Hayek’s discussion of value and its importance to the individual. While one individual may highly value a large and diverse collection of musical recordings, another may value a similar collection of books, still another sufficient extra money for gasoline and supplies to allow them to travel to remote places to hike and kayak.

      When socialist government, or any controlling authority, decides for you what you need and how your wants are best met by allocating your money and resources for you, it (they?) have eliminated your ability to allocate that money or those resources in a way that best makes you happy.

      In the name of the greater good, all individuals, odd shaped pegs that they all are, are forever being pounded into the round hole the socialist government has allocated for them. It’s sees as the greatest good a time when all pegs are pounded into precisely the same size hole. Perfect equality, complete misery.

    2. veryretired Says:

      It should be remembered also that the authors of this phrase were classically educated, and their use of the term “happiness” is in the Aristotelian sense, not simply some form of mindless enjoyment.

      As the comenter above notes, interests, and ways of obtaining intellectual, spiritual, and physical satisfaction may take any number of various forms, and the path to one person’s happiness might be markedly different from that of another.

      The pursuit of happiness means the right to engage in a series of choices, both major and minor, the ultimate goal of which is the development of one’s natural gifts and talents to their fullest extent within a rational moral framework.

      Such a path requires the greatest range of personal autonomy and creative freedom. It is exactly the form of liberty which would most appeal to a man of multi-faceted interests such as Jefferson.

      It is, by definition, therefore, anathema to the collectivist mentality, whose highest value is stability, to the point of stasis, to be reached by the obedient conformity of all members of the group.

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.