Saturday, August 22, 2009

Matt Ridley on Consistency - or Lack Thereof

Matt Ridley writes the Natural Order of Things in The Spectator HERE:

Today, generally, Adam Smith is claimed by the Right, Darwin by the Left. In the American South and Midwest, where Smith’s individualist, libertarian, small-government philosophy is all the rage, Darwin is reviled for his contradiction of creation. Yet if the market needs no central planner, why should life need an intelligent designer? Conversely, in the average European biology laboratory you will find fervent believers in the individualist, emergent, decentralised properties of genomes who prefer dirigiste determinism to bring order to the economy.”

This article is an excellent read and I highly recommend it you. The paragraph is but a taste.

Ridley makes an interesting case, slightly off centre in his depiction of Adam Smith, though what is attributed to Smith in the American South is probably as stated, but is somewhat at variance with his actual views, not that I would expect many on the Right to realise their misperceptions.

As for Darwin, I hadn’t thought of him as particularly in tune with leftwing thinking, as Ridley brings out the “individualist, emergent, decentralised properties of genomes”, which is a long way from the left’s passion for central control and regulation.

Yes, it is an uncomfortable clash of opposites, making consistency a rare dish for those with an appetite for it.

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