A Philosopher Muses in his Cups....
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Roger Scruton, normally a philosopher (of a right of centre disposition), who has to be read carefully to comprehend his meaning, turns in a lighter piece in the New Statesman( 29 May) HERE.
“Of Dogs and Rye
Nothing goes better with an evening in Virginia than a glass of whiskey, writes Roger Scruton
"If ah git to heav'n, then fust thing ah do is shake that man's han' as invented whiskey."
Only in rural America will you hear a remark like that. I suggest that whiskey was not invented by a single person, but emerged, as Adam Smith would say, by an "invisible hand".
"Well, ah gonna shake that han', too." "Amen," adds the chorus, for we are in Southern Baptist country, and God's ears are pricked. I question whether an interest in whiskey would survive the passage through the pearly gates, to which I receive the sensible reply: "So why did he get us all so innerested in whiskey down here?" God has a lot to answer for in old Virginia.”
How do you shake ‘an invisible hand’? Lazy journalists, academic economists who should know better, and now, major brained philosophers, think ‘Adam Smith’ and immediately think ‘invisible hand’, even though the metaphor meant one thing to Adam Smith and something entirely different to the aforementioned people.
Adam Smith most definitely would not say whisky (nor US whiskey) 'emerged' by via invisible body part, unless said philosopher had imbibed some of the 'water of life'.