Saturday, February 22, 2014

Disposed to disturb the peace of society

Those Scottish Enlightenment guys were incredible. They have an extraordinarily long shelf life.

From Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires.

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