Monday, March 15, 2010

Very Good Sentence-Paragraphs

From John Nye:
In a sense, Western markets are like Western medicine: Just as an outbreak of incurable plague would lead to both a renewed search for sound cures and an atavistic appeal to folk remedies, so the Depression stimulated both productive thinking about the sources of business instability as well as destructive appeals to extreme nationalism, protectionism and military aggression.

The whole article is excellent. I'm still pondering this passage. In a plague, medicine drives people to one extreme or the other out of fear: both those who are thinking progressively and those who are appealing to folk remedies do so because they want to stem the plague. Do markets drive people to similar extremes because of fear, or is there a confounding variable in the comparison?

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Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty