Friday, November 2, 2012

Locke Was Right

"...Locke was simply right in one decisive aspect. Everybody, not just the rich, gets richer in a system of liberal economy. Gross inequalities of wealth persist or are encouraged by it, but the absolute material well-being of each is greatly enhanced. Rousseau, followed by Marx, taught that the inner logic of acquisition would concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, completely dispossessing the poor and alienating them from the means of becoming prosperous. Locke's great selling point has proved to be true. Joining civil society for the sake of protection and comfort is a good investment.

One may continue to believe, as somber critics will do, that the way of life of such a society is repulsive and the motives for association are inadequate and corrupt. But that is not quite the same as the progressive impoverishment and enslavement of mankind at large. Most of all, the poor, the many, the masses - however they are now qualified - become supporters of "the system," out of crass self-interest, and that destroys the revolutionary movements. The humanness of life may be lessened, but that is not accompanied by starvation."

- Allan Bloom, Giants and Dwarfs (1990), pg. 221

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