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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, at least politicians represent the people...

At least one of you is comforted by the fact that the "average" American is well represented in the American political landscape. Why is this so? Well, since most people vote, the politicians and the policies they implement must be somewhat in accord with the voter's beliefs or else they would not have been elected or would not be reelected.

Except it is not so. Why? It is not a fact that most people vote. In fact in 2004 it was 58%.

Here is a nice summary that should shatter the illusion that political opinion represents in any way the "average" American:

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