Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don Boudreaux

says, in Thoughts on Freedom ~ The Ideas of Liberty and FEE
But as with all products, liberty’s benefits are not fully obvious on first inspection. They must be explained, and explained in ways compelling to the hearer and not simply convenient for the messenger. Also, as with all products, the ideas of liberty have competitors, many of which are fraudulent and others of which are merely, if honestly, defective. These competing ideas—not in spite of, but often because of, their weaknesses—frequently find ready customers. The world is full of people too ready to believe that reality is optional or that this or that Great Man will save us from earthly evils.

Such crude beliefs are powerful, in part because they permit the uninformed to hope for outcomes that the informed know to be impossible. These beliefs are powerful also because they convince the uninformed that someone else—the Great Man, for example—will do the bulk of the work while all that ordinary people must do is to obey and await the imminent earthly paradise.

By themselves libraries stuffed with the finest research and scholarly advances are useless against the power of such beliefs. The distilled essence of these ideas of liberty must be part of mainstream thinking of ordinary people. Making sure that the ideas of liberty do get a fair hearing in the minds of ordinary people—and that people understand what benefits liberty holds for them and their children—requires skilled retailing.

Railing against the Sheeple and flaming everybody with a (slightly) different frame of reference won't get the job done.

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