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Through a glass darkly

"Our views on the way a government should run the economy can be described as “libertarian”: that is to say freedom to develop trade and industry within the framework of a strong and clear law. The most important part of the case for this economic freedom is not the way it produces greater prosperity but its consistency with certain fundamental moral principles of life itself. Each soul or person matters; man is imperfect; he is a responsible being; he has freedom to choose; he has obligations to his fellow man.

Morality is personal. There is no such thing as a collective conscience, collective kindness, collective gentleness, collective freedom. To talk of social justice, social responsibility, a new world order, may be easy and make us feel good, but it does not absolve each of us from personal responsibility. We don’t carry out our moral commitment by taking up a public stance on these things, but only by choosing to do something about them ourselves. You can’t delegate personal morality to your country. You are your country."

Thoughts on the Moral Case from the Margaret Thatcher Papers in Cambridge (courtesy of a Chicago based reader)

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