Tagged: greed

The Invisible Hand, Without Shame

That cynical men will exploit a human problem for their own petty advantage, without concern for ultimate outcomes beyond their own immediate gain, is obvious. This cynicism explains most of what is called “foreign policy,” most of what is called “medicine,” most of what is called “education,” most of what is called “entertainment,” and most of what is called “lawmaking.” But none of...

Anti-Elitism

Hatred of “elitism,” with its inherent suspicion of anything that seems to imply a standard of human superiority, follows inevitably from long immersion in political and moral egalitarianism. Democracy, the political product of the principle of equality run amok, is the fertile soil of egalitarianism’s most spiritually invasive weeds, gradually fostering a general, almost instinctive anti-elitism. In practice, this anti-elitism constitutes a most...

Notes on Hollowness

Today’s mass entertainment is obsessed above all with two themes: superheroes and zombies. This is self-revealing, as we are indeed trapped in the age of the undead, whose only mode of living is to suck the life out of others, and whose only hope of being saved from their emptiness is to lose themselves in the last realm of imagination left for hollow,...

The Great Debate: Socialism vs. Capitalism

Socialism mistakes productivity for greed. Capitalism concedes the point, and proceeds to mistake greed for virtue. Socialism believes there can be no freedom as long as there is private property ownership. Capitalism believes the legal right to hold material goods in one’s own name is a sufficient condition of freedom. Socialism asserts that it is wrong to judge men as better or worse...

False Wit and The Greed Is Good Fallacy

The profit motive is not inherently evil. Nor is it inherently moral. Everything depends on what a man is seeking to profit from, how he hopes to gain that profit, whether the need he is claiming to meet is a legitimate need in natural human terms, or a harmful and illegitimate one, and what interests are being furthered by the efforts and gains the profit-seeker is pursuing.

Some Things I Have No Time For (Part Two)

I have no time for people who tell me the profit motive is freedom, or that greed is a virtue. The profit motive is merely one of a thousand reasons to act in the state of freedom — certainly a practically useful reason, but hardly definitive of the state of freedom, anymore than what Aristotle calls useful friends (co-workers, regular customers) are definitive...

Gimme Some Money!

Donald Trump signs a two trillion dollar stimulus package, passed in bipartisan fashion at lightning speed, before anyone stops to (a) read the law, or (b) find out whether any of this “stimulus” is even needed. And that, of course, is completely leaving aside the more fundamental question — but who worries about those anymore? — of whether the government of an ostensibly...

Plutus Envy

Yet again, socialists are out to prove beyond any doubt that their ideology is entirely rooted in, and fueled by, one overriding passion: envy. There is no subject more revealing of the Marxist mind than “the rich.” The moment a Marxist (or socialist or progressive) is asked to explain why it is problematic that some people are enormously wealthy, while others are not,...

The Profit Motive, Greed, and Tyranny

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. — President John Adams, 1798 Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? — Milton Friedman, 1979 In a famous 1979 interview, Phil Donahue challenged Milton Friedman to defend capitalism against the charge that it fosters greed. Friedman deftly parried that greed motivates men in all nations, not merely...