|Hume and Smith|
Conversely, it’s hard to see why profound instability in social institutions doesn’t trouble Wade more. He’s much taken, for instance, with the difference between tribal and modern societies, but one of the most tribal peoples on the planet, the Scots with their clans, are now identified with some of the most modern of ideas and attitudes. Were David Hume and Adam Smith precocious carriers of a mutation that swept Edinburgh?
Like I said, figuring out the engines of history is the big leagues of erudition and nobody is all that good at it yet. It's easy for anybody to trip up. Wade does in places, as does Orr here in trying to score what he thinks is a slam dunk on Wade: Hume and Smith!
Of course, the Scottish Enlightenment was a product of the Lowland Scots, who had been settled English speakers for a long, long time. Orr is getting them confused with the Gaelic-speaking Highland Scot clans. As Thomas Babington Macaulay vividly pointed out in his 1855 History of England, his Highlander ancestors tended to be more or less barbarians into the 18th Century. Now Macaulay might be a better example of what Orr is groping for (but then that would be derided as Whig History.)
Similarly, consider the immense institutional differences that distinguish North and South Korea, ones that appeared only decades ago. The people who live north and south of the thirty-eighth parallel have very similar genes, so why do their social institutions differ so dramatically?
That's not really a tough question. From my careful study of history (mostly watching Team America: World Police), I've deduced that there appears to be this Kim family ruling North Korea.
C'mon, North and South Korea have been the go-to libertarian example for at least three decades. Can we come up with some newer ones? Also, as North Korea gears up for a fourth nuclear bomb test, I'm not sure it's such a good idea to insult their intelligence.