Art Carden, while discussing a couple of interesting passages in Atlas Shrugged, offers what would be a nice coda to my recent post “In a Funk” (which talks a bit about how to deal with the depressing reality that we are in a difficult stage in the history of liberty):
I’m reminded by passages such as these that while Adam Smith was right that “there is much ruin in a nation,” I owe it to my children to do what I can to fix it.
I’m surprised that he, as an economist, didn’t take up the opportunity cost angle and cost-benefit analysis angle. I would imagine that someone like Bryan Caplan, his fellow blogger, would say that almost all attempts to “fix it” will be wasteful given the low expected returns on such behavior especially compared to tending your own garden (perhaps in a way that makes the children better able to survive that decaying nation and be happy in the bubbles that they can create within it).
But I’m with Art. Keep fighting for liberty until nature (or the state in some places) chokes the last breath out of you! And remember that part of the job of “fixing it” is to transmit a love of the spirit of independence, an understanding of what it means to be a free person, and an appreciation of the philosophy and literature of liberty to the next generation (especially to our own children).