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Freedom isn’t free

“Whatever else liberal democratic societies have had in common, there’s this: they’ve all been rich. The two pillars of liberal ideology—the right to undisturbed enjoyment of one’s property and the right to a fair share of society’s resources, at least enough for a decent subsistence—may be fundamentally inconsistent, but the contradiction has usually remained implicit. There’s generally been enough money around to keep everyone off the streets, except for a minority of desperate or adventurous souls, quickly crushed by the National Guard and the secret police. In a society that makes more promises than it can keep, prosperity is the root of all harmony. When prosperity fails and those promises are called in, choices have to be made.” – George Scialabba, “Liberalism Reconsidered”

Published inEconomicsGeorge ScialabbaPolitics & Law

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