Tag Archives: ideals

G. K. Chesterton

The only way to discuss the social evil is to get at once to the social ideal. We can all see the national madness; but what is national sanity I have called this book “What Is Wrong with the World?” And the upshot of the title can be easily and clearly stated. What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.

G. K. Chesterton, What Is Wrong with the World, London, 1910, ch. 1

Robert Nozick

The capitalist ideal of free and voluntary exchange, producers competing to serve consumer needs in the market, individuals following their own bent without outside coercive interference, nations relating as cooperating parties in trade, each individual receiving what others who have earned it choose to bestow for service, no sacrifice imposed on some by others, has been coupled with and provided a cover for other things: international predation, companies bribing governments abroad or at home for special privileges which enable them to avoid competition and exploit their specially granted position, the propping up of autocratic regimes—ones often based upon torture—that countenance this delimited private market, wars for the gaining of resources or market territories, the domination of workers by supervisors or employers, companies keeping secret some injurious effects of their products or manufacturing processes, etc.

Robert Nozick, ‘The Ideal and the Actual’, in The Examined Life, New York, 1989, p. 280