The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge Quotes.

11. "In 1976, when eight million Indians were sterilised, Robert McNamara visited the country and congratulated it: ‘At long last India is moving effectively to address its population problem."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

12. "Most of the so-called robber barons got rich by cutting the price of goods, not raising them."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

13. "People increased their birth rate in response to high child death rates. Make them richer and healthier and they would have fewer babies, as had already happened in Europe, where prosperity had led birth rates down, not up."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

14. "Language is just as rule-based in its newest slang forms, and just as sophisticated as it ever was in ancient Rome. But the rules, now as then, are written from below, not from above."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

15. "Our habits and our institutions, from language to cities, are constantly changing, and the mechanism of change turns out to be surprisingly Darwinian: it is gradual, undirected, mutational, inexorable, combinatorial, selective and in some vague sense progressive."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

16. "If you divide the world into those countries where the majority live in cities, and those where the majority live in the countryside, you find that the former are four times as wealthy, in terms of average income, as the latter."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

17. "the complexity of society does not imply a planner."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

18. "Specialisation, accompanied by exchange, is the source of economic prosperity. Here, in my own words, is what a modern version of Smithism claims. First, the spontaneous and voluntary exchange of goods and services leads to a division of labour in which people specialise in what they are good at doing. Second, this in turn leads to gains from trade for each party to a transaction, because everybody is doing what he is most productive at and has the chance to learn, practise and even mechanise his chosen task. Individuals can thus use and improve their own tacit and local knowledge in a way that no expert or ruler could. Third, gains from trade encourage more specialisation, which encourages more trade, in a virtuous circle. The greater the specialisation among producers, the greater is the diversification of consumption: in moving away from self-sufficiency people get to produce fewer things, but to consume more. Fourth, specialisation inevitably incentivises innovation, which is also a collaborative process driven by the exchange and combination of ideas. Indeed, most innovation comes about through the recombination of existing ideas for how to make or organise things. The more people trade and the more they divide labour, the more they are working for each other. The more they work for each other, the higher their living standards. The consequence of the division of labour is an immense web of cooperation among strangers: it turns potential enemies into honorary friends. A woollen coat, worn by a day labourer, was (said Smith) ‘the produce of a great multitude of workmen. The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the wool-comber or carder, the dyer, the scribbler, the spinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dresser . . .’ In parting with money to buy a coat, the labourer was not reducing his wealth. Gains from trade are mutual; if they were not, people would not voluntarily engage in trade. The more open and free the market, the less opportunity there is for exploitation and predation, because the easier it is for consumers to boycott the predators and for competitors to whittle away their excess profits. In its ideal form, therefore, the free market is a device for creating networks of collaboration among people to raise each other’s living standards, a device for coordinating production and a device for communicating information about needs through the price mechanism. Also a device for encouraging innovation. It is the very opposite of the rampant and selfish individualism that so many churchmen and others seem to think it is. The market is a system of mass cooperation. You compete with rival producers, sure, but you cooperate with your customers, your suppliers and your colleagues. Commerce both needs and breeds trust."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

19. "From the perspective of today, or from that of a Cobden-Mill-Smith liberal, there is not a great deal of difference between the various -isms of the twentieth century. Communism, fascism, nationalism, corporatism, protectionism, Taylorism, dirigisme – they are all centralising systems with planning at their heart."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

20. "The market is a system of mass cooperation."
- Matt Ridley, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge

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