Thursday, December 19, 1935

“Old Bill” Suggests—

Suppose that a teacher in a high school algebra class, instead of merely struggling to inculcate a minimum of essential understanding in dull but receptive minds, was confronted by an actively argumentative opposition.

What would his chance be?

The answer hardly needs stating. He would never prove, in argument and against individual self interest, even hypothetical self interest, so much as the first ten pages of the book. Between those who lost power of attention, those who remained prejudiced and those who never would understand more than the outward forms of what he was saying, he might well tear his hair and quit.

For much the same reason, no complicated economic explanation ever has much chance in either politics or finance. People vote for what looks like self interest in one case and the stock market goes up because it goes up in the other.

A crowd of people is different from a crowd of sheep. The people can think. But, as people do not think, the general results from people and sheep are strikingly similar.


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