"The real danger comes from assaults on the human capital that made land scarcity irrelevant in the first place. We can pollute Lake Erie. In fact, we did. During the 1960s every environmentalist declared with angry assurance that Erie was biologically dead forever, kaput, finite, over. And yet in the 1990s we can bring it back for fishing and swimming, and did, if we have our wits about us. . . . . The modern world is different from a zero-sum world, which Malthus theorized just as it was disappearing forever. . . .If we have our wits about us. Responding to the real danger threatening our future, I argue, requires attention to human freedom. It is human freedom which has given us the wits to prosper." (34-35)I have not yet read her entire book, but I think the first chapter is a marvelous defense of capitalism and freedom.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wits To Prosper
Deirdre McCloskey in THE BOURGEOIS VIRTUES: