Friday, February 12, 2010

Niebuhr on regulation

The New Republic magazine has reprinted several articles by Reinhold Niebuhr written decades ago. This great quote comes from "Liberals and the Marxist Heresy:"

The fact is that an economy can neither be totally regulated nor totally unregulated; just as men can be neither masters of their historical fate nor mere prisoners of destiny. Neither dogma is totally true. Modern communities do not live in the harmony assumed by the one dogma, nor do they move inevitably to a climax of social tension as the other dogma assumes. So the healthiest modern nations have distilled truth from the tension between both equally untenable dogmas and have preserved their health by practices which followed neither too consistently.

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