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October 24, 2007


Patrick R. Sullivan

Excellent, especially this:

' Yet even as he makes his central points, Scott appears unable to make contact with his intellectual roots--thus he is unable to draw on pieces of the Austrian argument as it has been developed over the past seventy years. Just as seeing like a state means that you cannot see the local details of what is going on, so seeing like James Scott seems to me that you cannot see your intellectual predecessors.

'That the conclusion is so strong where the evidence is so weak is, I think, evidence of profound subconscious anxiety: subconscious fear that recognizing that one's book is in the tradition of the Austrian critique of the twentieth century state will commit one to becoming a right-wing inequality-loving Thatcher-worshiping libertarian....'

Kind of like the ending to Graham Greene's 'The End of the Affair', where, even though, the atheistic protagonist has suffered so many (and powerful) demonstrations of God's power that he can be in no doubt of His existence, he nonetheless says: 'You may have gotten her, but you're not going to get me.'

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