Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quotes of the day

Don Boudreaux highlights a couple of quotes from David Mamet's new book The Secret Knowledge. The first addresses politicians and spending:
Our politicians, left and right, are, to belabor the metaphor, the wastrel son: they are free to spend, to chase fantasies, and to squander resources, for the resources are not theirs, and there is no penalty for their misuse or loss.
This is completely obvious, and yet cannot be emphasized enough. Politicians are in the business of spending other people's money. Suffice to say people tend to be much more carefree about spending money that is not their own.

Another choice passage focuses on political theater:
Having spent my life in the theatre, I knew that people could be formed into an audience, that is, a group which surrenders for two hours, part of its rationality, in order to enjoy an illusion.  As I began reading and thinking about politics I saw, to my horror, how easily people could also assemble themselves into a mob, which would either attract or be called into being by those who profited from the surrender of reason and liberty – and these people are called politicians.
Indeed. Politics is a nasty business which often attracts the most duplicitous, conniving and arrogant among us. One of the best arguments for small government is to to limit the amount of power such individuals wield and the opportunities for them to create and exploit divisions within society.

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