Today’s Quote of the Day is from page 77 from the 1973 reissue of Richard Schlatter’s 1951 book Property Rights: The History of an Idea (link unavailable):
It is a commonplace of intellectual history that each age must find new arguments to justify and defend its interests even though the interests themselves remain the same.
Indeed so. You won’t read anything particularly groundbreaking in this blog, or many other economic books and blogs. You’ll see economic analysis applied to new problems (or old problems), but the conversations are very much the same the ancient Greeks had. Since Day 1, humans have faced the economic problem and have developed with varying institutions to deal with the problem, but century after century, age after age, the institutions have been attacked and defended.
The words I say here are not much different from the men who have come before me, men like Milton Friedman, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Harold Demsetz, Armen Alchian, Walter Williams, Frederic Bastiat, or John Locke. That is because, in many ways, we are still having the same conversations as they did. And I imagine these conversations will persist long after I am dead.