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Just finished reading "How the Scots Invented the Modern World" by Arthur Herman. If you're not one of those easily bored by philosophy and history, I highly recommend it.

It really is amazing the similarities between discussions of the proper role of government going on in Scotland in the 1700's and the discussion going on now in this election cycle. In fact, all of the social issues of today seem to be addressed by those early Scottish philosophers. One quoted paragraph from the book, about David Hume: "So, in order to survive, Hume concluded, society has to channel out passions in constructive directions. Through social rules and and conventions and customs, internalized by its members and made into regular habits, it turns what might be socially destructive impulses into socially useful ones. The passion of lust becomes licit within the confines of marriage--which not only prevents social discord, but actually helps to propogate the society's members." As we read today of people screaming that government ought get out of the marriage regulating business, or who wish to force a change in the definition of marriage, these words seem almost prophetic in nature, especially - "but actually helps to propogate the society's members."

I knew that Locke, Adam Smith, Hume, et al, heavily influenced our founidng fathers.
Now I'll have to actually read Hume's "A Treatise of Human Nature", along with some of the other Scottish philosopher's works. They should certainly make more sense than "Das Kapital", which I have read.

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