Common Sense: Why is it so Uncommon?

Written By: Leon Felkins on January 12, 1996

Revised March 4, 2000

Copyright 1996, 2000

This essay is a further elaboration on the concept of "common sense" that I wrote about in "Common Sense". This is a difficult subject to discuss as it is another one of those concepts which is in very common use but has no precise definition or may have different meanings to different people. Nevertheless, I will try to define it in terms of, what I believe to be, what most understand it to mean. To further clarify the meaning, I will go into some detail with examples and related material.

For completeness, I will repeat the small amount of material already covered in the general introduction.

"I despise philosophy, and renounce its guidance -- let my soul dwell with common sense."
-- Thomas Reid, 1764


Note 1: See the classic book, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek in which, way back in 1944, he warned that all governments -- not just the Nazis -- are always trying to increase their control and to decrease individual freedom.

Note 2: See James Bovard's book, The Farm Fiasco. A quote: "
The main effect of farm programs is to force farmers to do inefficiently what they would have done efficiently without subsidies, to force Americans to pay more for food, to drive up the price of farmland and to squander pointlessly tens of billions of dollars a year. . . The issue is not whether the United States will have ample food in the future, but whether politicians will continue controlling American Aagriculture.

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