Idling With Dr. Johnson: Capriciousness

Thinking of Obamacare, the Iraq war authorization, Chinese Walmart slaves, the myth of the "invisible hand," and the "jobs Americans won't do," I stumbled upon this, from The Idler:

Forms of government are seldom the result of much deliberation; they are framed by chance in popular assemblies, or in conquered countries by despotic authority.  Laws are often occasional, often capricious, made always by a few, and sometimes by a single voice.  Nations have changed their characters; slavery is now nowhere more patiently endured, than in countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty.

—from Samuel Johnson's The Idler, No. 11, June 24, 1758

Aaron D. Wolf

Aaron D. Wolf

Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor.  His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (, and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).

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