Monday, December 22, 2008

Quote for the Day

Another one from Theodore Dalrymple's "In Praise of Prejudice: The Necessity of Preconceived Ideas":
It has been one of the great mistakes of contemporary social thought, at least as exemplified by the policies pursued by governments, that the most important aspect of the environment into which children are born . . . is the material or economic aspect. The absence of some physical appurtenance has been regarded as a terrible deprivation, while moral squalor and emotional instability had been attributed to material poverty alone. The solution that suggests itself, then, is the improvement of the material circumstances into which children are born, until such time as they are equal.

However, people who think like this do so because they have asked the wrong question, or looked down the wrong end of the telescope. They have asked where poverty comes from instead of where wealth comes from. You might as well ask how ignorance of cardiac surgery ever came into being, rather than knowledge of it, as if cardiac surgery were an activity natural to man in his most primitive state.


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