Message in a Bottle

Monday, May 31, 2004

Who is the "Typical Intellectual"?

Don Boudreaux from Cafe Hayek thinks intellectuals are ignorant of the fact that implementation requires power.
It’s true that nothing thrills the typical intellectual more than the prospect of his pet abstract theory being imposed whiz-bang, full-bore by government planners upon a subject population. (Note: this typical intellectual typically does not think deeply enough to understand that whenever government planners force any scheme upon any group of people, no matter how well-intentioned and how divinely promising that scheme might be, standing behind the seemingly genial planners are armies, armed policemen, and jailors. Always.)

One might wonder wether intellectuals aren´t more interested in, well, intellectual activities, but that´s another question. What makes me wonder is how Don fails to see that government force stands behind all public institutions. Like property rights. To have property rights you need armies, armed policemen, and jailors. Always. So what´s the deal again?