Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quote of the Week - Karl Popper on Freedom

"Although I consider our political world to be the best of which we have any historical knowledge, we should beware of attributing this fact to democracy or to freedom. Freedom is not a supplier who delivers goods to our door. Democracy does not ensure that anything is accomplished — certainly not an economic miracle. It is wrong and dangerous to extol freedom by telling people that they will certainly be all right once they are free. How someone fares in life is largely a matter of luck or grace, and to a comparatively small degree perhaps also of competence, diligence, and other virtues. The most we can say of democracy or freedom is that they give our personal abilities a little more influence on our well-being."

-Karl Popper, "On Freedom" (1958; 1967) essay republished in Alles Leben ist Problemlösen (1994); translated as All Life is Problem Solving by Patrick Camiller (1994)

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