Try to explain social life as the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. You will soon be saying that the hedonist begs the question, for even supposing that man does pursue these ends, the crucial problem of why he thinks one course rather than another likely to produce pleasure, is untouched. Does the guidance of man's conscience explain? How then does he happen to have the particular conscience which he has? The theory of economic self interest? But how do men come to conceive their interest in one way rather than another? The desire for security, or prestige, or domination, or what is vaguely called self-realization? How do men conceive their security, what do they consider prestige, how do they figure out the means of domination, or what is the notion of self which they wish to realize? Pleasure, pain, conscience, acquisition, protection, enhancement, mastery, are undoubtedly names for some of the ways people act. There may be instinctive dispositions which work toward such ends. But no statement of the end, or any description of the tendencies to seek it, can explain the behavior which results. The very fact that men theorize at all is proof that their pseudo-environments, their interior representations of the world, are a determining element in thought, feeling, and action. For if the connection between reality and human response were direct and immediate, rather than indirect and inferred, indecision and failure would be unknown, and (if each of us fitted as snugly into the world as the child in the womb), Mr. Bernard Shaw would not have been able to say that except for the first nine months of its existence no human being manages its affairs as well as a plant.
Not much doubt to me, that he is quoting Bernard Shaw approvingly here. But in my infinite curiosity, when I Googled the phrase as it is, no results came up. I do enjoy a challenge, and I did find what I sought. Now I can show others. What Bernard Shaw did actually write is virtually identical, in his "Maxims for Revolutionists", which is at the end of his book "Man and Superman". That is where you can find the following: (on Page 238)
Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
It's nice to know what informs people's opinions. In this case, Walter Lippmann's. Be it Communists, Fabians, Progressives or some other form of centralized planning, it's always the arrogance. It's the arrogance that I just cannot stand.