Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Unlimited Supply of Amateur Reformers

“The most prevalent theme in President Barack Obama's Dec. 6 Osawatomie, Kan., speech was the need for greater "fairness." In fact, though the president never defined the term fair(ness), he used it 15 times“. - Walter E. Williams (1)

As previously elaborated upon, “fair” is what you are doing and the other person is not doing, -or- fair is where you go to get your pig judged. “Fair” or “fairness” are subjective contextual terms that boil down to political double speak.

However, deferring to William Graham Sumner, we find some insight:

“The amateurs always plan to use the individual for some constructive and inferential social purpose, or to use the society for some constructive and inferential individual purpose. For A to sit down and think, What shall I do? is commonplace; but to think what B ought to do is interesting, romantic, moral, self-flattering, and public-spirited all at once. It satisfies a great number of human weaknesses at once. To go on and plan what a whole class of people ought to do is to feel one's self a power on earth, to win a public position, to clothe one's self in dignity. Hence we have an unlimited supply of reformers, philanthropists, humanitarians, and would-be managers-in-general of society“. (2)

(1) Economic Fairness, essay by Walter E. Williams, 12/14/2012

(2) What Social Classes Owe to Each Other, William Graham Sumner, 1883, chapter eight: On the Value, as a Sociological Principle, of the Rule to Mind One’s Own Business, page 69.

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