Quote of the Day

From Jim Bennett’s new bookThe Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century, at 34-35:

[T]he market economy is more than the absence of socialism. It is more than the absence of interventionist government; it is the economic expression of strong civil society, just as substantive (rather than formulaic) democracy is the political expression of a civil society and civic state. Majoritarian mechanisms no more create civil society than wet streets cause rain. There is theoretically no reason why democracy needs a market economy, or vice versa — but in practice they are almost always found together. This is a clue. Entrepreneurship in business uses and requires the same talents and often the same motives that go into starting a church, a nonprofit organization, or a political party. The society that can create entrepreneurial businesses tends to be able to create the other forms of organization as well — often the same individuals start several of them at different stages in their lives.

Analyze and discuss. One blue book.

(Still weird at Amazon, saying it hasn’t been released yet. This is wrong. I’ve got mine. So it’s been released. I am assured that this problem is being worked on.)

This passage points the way backward toward Tocqueville and other analysts of Anglo-American civil society It also points forward to a deeper, fuller understanding of what a free market and a free society really look like and how they actually work as a matter of historical and contemporary fact, rather than philosophical speculation, wishful thinking, or unfounded animosity. As of page 59, the book is so far as good as I hoped it would be. There may be other interim reports. Once I have devoured and digested the whole book I plan to provide some comprehensive thoughts.

5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. Finally have a decent machine, a decent hook up, and am settled in the Deep South … who would have thought going from “America Junior” back to the real thing would mean a downgrade in technology, servers, no broad band, etc. Love the report, am calling you on the carpet over lumping “philosophic speculation”, “wishful thinking” and “unfounded animosity” as terms in a descending order of coppulas — if “philosophic” (i.e., the real thing) informs speculation, it is either the genuine article, or derogatory fighting words. Tocqueville would take my side (hows that for clever)

    Nothing to complain about with your post actually, but do need to find a way to pass on my new details to Johnathan so I can find a way to post occasionally — first time since July I am capable of doing so. Am still separated from machine (and address book) outside of US.

  2. Carl! Use the heliograph!

    Seriously, send me an email at the address listed on the contact page. I’ll get you straightened away.

  3. Carl, good to hear from you. Sorry to hear the South is more backward than Canada. But not surprised.

    Do whatever Jonathan says.

    OK, so I used “philosophic” loosely to mean speculative rather than founded on fact. I will accept humbly a stern glance from Tocqueville where he now resides in the empyrean, and maybe even from Aristotle or even St. Thomas Aquinas.

    I promise in the future I’ll try to be good.

  4. Combining freedom of action in the economic realm with freedom of choice in the political realm yields a heady mix. The USA has led the way for over 220 years, and slowly Canada, the UK, Australia, NZ, and a few other countries have caught on.

    That kind of freedom scares the hell out of leftists, islamists, and other totalitarian sorts.

  5. Markets and democratic forms of government take a lot more faith in the individual purchase and voting decisions of the average person than do autocracy or Fordist technocracy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the U. S. is the most religious major industrialized nation.

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