Wednesday, 7 October 2020

"He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them." #QotD

"Every half-wit can use a whip and force other people to obey. But it requires brains and diligence to serve the public. Only a few people succeed in producing shoes better and cheaper than their competitors. The inefficient expert will always aim at bureaucratic supremacy. He is fully aware of the fact that he cannot succeed within a competitive system. For him all-round bureaucratisation is a refuge. Equipped with the power of an office he will enforce his rulings with the aid of the police.
    "At the bottom of all this fanatical advocacy of planning and socialism there is often nothing else than the intimate consciousness of one’s own inferiority and inefficiency. The man who is aware of his inability to stand competition scorns 'this mad competitive system.' He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them."

          ~ Ludwig Von Mises, Bureaucracy p. 95



  1. This is a contradiction I have never heard explained. Politicians are widely recognized as liars, cheats, and scum, interested only in accumulating power, often at the expense of the citizens of a country. Yet many people are also convinced that politicians are the only ones honest, rational, and capable enough to run whole sectors of the economy (medicine, finance, transportation, construction, housing, and others).

    The way most people get around this, I think, is to convince themselves that it's only the Other Side that lies, cheats, and commits fraud. MY side is pure and honest and only wants to help! All evidence to the contrary is studiously ignored.

    1. I think the answer to that largely lies in most people thinking altruism is a virtue, and pursuit of self interest is a vice. By those standards politicians are superior, even if often dishonest because they can be voted in or out based on how well they adhere to altruistic standards. Business by contrast is obviously pursuing it's self interest and not directly answerable to the voter. Hence whilst they may distrust politicians, they distrust the free market even more.


Comments are moderated to encourage honest conversation, and remove persistent trolls.