Benevolence isn’t inefficient and I’m a big fan of benevolence. It’s just that it’s not enough. It’s okay for a group of twenty-five or fifty people where everyone knows everyone. But when you have 300 million in the US or 7 billion in the world, if we were self-sufficient and we had to produce everything for ourselves we’d all die, or 99% of us would die. So we have to cooperate with each other. But the only way to cooperate with each other in such large numbers is through markets.
At the time when he lived in 500 BC, [Confucius] was the epitome of good governance. He was the epitome of progressive ways towards a peaceful and just order. And he pioneered many things that we would regard today still as extremely important.
You all have, undoubtedly, friends in New York and San Francisco and Berlin and Tokyo and Australia or whatever, all of whom you have much more in common with than you do with your neighbor. You’ve created diasporas of interest. The death of distance has created many different new forms of country. Countries which aren’t based on how far it is from us to those guys over there, but new countries based on what you’re interested in.