Saturday, 28 January 2023

"Society is nothing but the combination of individuals for cooperative effort." Meaning, we generally gain from the existence of others

“In the state of isolation, our wants exceed our productive capacities. By virtue of exchange, our productive capacities come to exceed our immediate wants. Implicit in exchange is division of labour...”
~ Frederic Bastiat, from his Economic Harmonies

“The individual lives and acts within society. But society is nothing but the combination of individuals for cooperative effort. It exists nowhere else than in the actions of individual men.”
~ Ludwig Von Mises, from, his book Human Action

When you live in a rational society, where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus: the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you. When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labour, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible...”
~ Ayn Rand from her essay 'What is Capitalism?'

“Economic competition is not a process by which the success of the biologically fit brings about the extermination of the biologically weak. On the contrary, it is a process by which the success of better products and more efficient methods of production promotes the survival and well-being of all. It is a process in which the success of the more able raises the productivity and improves the standard of living of the less able....
    "So far from being the law of the jungle, the freedom of economic competition emerges as the true principle of the universal brotherhood of man.”
~ George Reisman, from his book Capitalism
"Economic competition is one of the unfortunate accidents of terminology; what it means is simply the freedom of individuals to cooperate through exchange with the others who offer (or accept) the best terms."
~ Frank Knight, from his 1944 lecture “The Planful Act: The Possibilities and Limitations of Collective Rationality,” as reprinted in Knight’s 1947 collection, Freedom and Reform [hat tip Cafe Hayek]

“The very fact that an exchange takes place is proof that there must necessarily be profit in it for both the contracting parties; otherwise it would not be made. Hence, every exchange represents two gains for humanity.”
- Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, from his Le commerce et le gouvernement considérés relativement l'un à l'autre

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