Open Thread: The Directed Society

Long time since we had an open thread. So say what you will. Today’s quote is by Walter Lippmann (1889 – 1974), the celebrated American writer, political commentator and journalist. I am currently reading his book The Good Society (1937). A brief quote below the fold.

I have sought to examine this design of the future not only in its fascist and its communist embodiment but also in the gradual collectivism of democratic states, trying to determine whether a society can be planned and directed for the enjoyment of abundance in a state of peace … I have come finally to see that such a social order is not even theoretically conceivable … I realized at last that a directed society must be bellicose and poor. If it is not both bellicose and poor, it cannot be directed. I realized then that a prosperous and peaceable society must be free. If it is not free, it cannot be prosperous and peaceable. It took me some time after that to understand that this was no new discovery, but the basic truth which the liberals of the eighteenth century taught at the beginning of the modern era.

Author: Atanu Dey


3 thoughts on “Open Thread: The Directed Society”

  1. Yes indeed, let’s talk about Singapore. Here’s our friendly neighborhood website,“2015 Index of Economic Freedom”, about Singapore.

    Singapore’s economic freedom score is 89.4, making its economy the 2nd freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is unchanged from last year, with gains in the management of government spending, monetary freedom, and labor freedom offset by a slightly lower score for freedom from corruption. Only 0.2 point behind Hong Kong, Singapore ranks 2nd out of 42 countries in the Asia–Pacific region.

    From that site:
    See Full List of Country Rankings

    Just look at the full ranking. The correlation between economic freedom and the prosperity of a country is so stark that the causal link between the two is impossible to miss or deny. India is not prosperous because India is not free. It ranks 128th, in the 4th group labeled “Mostly Unfree”, after “Free”, “Mostly Free”, and “Moderately Free”. It’s time to recognize that fact.


  2. China is at 139 🙂 And good lord, do you have to quote anything produced by The Heritage Foundation? Their motivation and authenticity is highly suspect. I’m not defending the lack of freedom in India – perhaps India’s rank here is reasonably accurate.


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