Friday 26 December 2003

Quote of the day

"It was all part of this terrible attack on people by those who had nothing better to do than to give advice on all sorts of subjects. These people, who wrote in newspapers and talked on the radio, were full of good ideas on how to make people better. They poked their noses into other people’s affairs, telling them to do this and to do that. They looked at what you were eating and told you it was bad for you; then they looked at the way you raised your children and said that was bad too. And to make matters worse, they often said that if you did not heed their warnings, you would die. In this way they made everybody so frightened of them that they felt they had to accept the advice."
... as spoken by Mma Precious Ramotswe in Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith.

Note this:

In an interview on the publisher's web site, Smith says he thinks the country of Botswana "particularly chimes with many of the values which Americans feel very strongly about -- respect for the rule of law and for individual freedom."
I had already read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, McCall Smith's first book about Detective Ramotswe, and the theme of individual responsibility and personal freedom jumps out from almost every page. The heroine and her husband-to-be are both self-employed entrepreneurs with a deep respect for independence and a healthy distrust of politicians and government employees. Christmas has resulted in my now having the next four books in the series. I have little doubt that the libertarian theme running through McCall Smith's delightful books is one reason for their tremendous popularity.