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The answer is probably the same reason why I am fond of FA Hayek. In preparation for an undergraduate seminar I am running on Hayek, I came across a thought that is as powerful as the one I have at the top of the website. Here it is, if not in exact form:

“the main merit of individualism is that it is a system under which bad men can do least harm. It is a social system that does not depend on its function finding good men to run it, or to have men become better than they are, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent but more often stupid … the danger is not that some particular class is not fit to govern, every class is unfit to govern, the laws of liberty tend to abolish the reign of race over race and faith over faith

The Communist purges happened because idealists on the left could not appreciate the wisdom of this insight. Much political bickering occurs today for the same reason. This is an application of the way I think about my religious and economic life.

Whereby the Catholic faith encouraged me as a child to live by the Golden Rule, “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You” I have morphed into my current life to live by a different rule, what the late Paul Heyne called, “the Silver Rule.” What is such a rule? Before stating it, it is a rule that is necessary for living in a complex world of billions of people, in a world where multitudes of information whiz  by each of us every nanosecond at the speed of ligjt, it is a rule that is necessary in a world of strong self interest, and where men are not omniscient and all powerful. In short, it is the only way I see you can live your non-family life  – and the older I get, I feel like much of your family life should be run this way – at least between the adults. I have been called misanthropic for following such a rule, but I believe the evidence of human history is squarely in my (and Hayek’s) side. So what is this so called Silver Rule?

“Do not do unto others as you would not wish done to you.”

We will explore the implications of such a view over the course of the next  3 or 4 months.

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