Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ya Gotta Hand it to Ayn Rand

I'm having a conversation with a childhood friend with whom I recently reconnected.

Pretty awesome fellow. He's a successful artist with pronounced Objectivist (Any Rand) / Libertarian leanings. Not ideologies I care for, I admit.

I have no doubt as to his goodness as a person or his intelligence. Frankly, I've seen and participated in enough political demonization to last me the rest of my life. And seondly frankly, I'm done with that. Ick, blech, patoo. Yuck. How does a bloke get by thinking so many people around them are bad people? Ain't right, I say.

More interesting than the fellows goodness or badness was his framing of free market principles as an issue of moral imperative, rather than one strategy for distributing goods and services.

So far as I can tell, even when given examples of free market failings, the only moral choice is to stick to free market principles, regardless of how well or poorly goods and services may have been distributed.

One has to give mad props to Ayn Rand for successfully promoting Free Market As a Moral Imperative. It strips the actual distribution of goods and services from the economics model and makes economic decisions as binary in nature: on or off. Right or Wrong. Objective. Objectivist.

The success of an economic decision to benefit the consumer or efficiently distribute goods and services seems to become secondary to the assumed morality of free market principles.

It seems we're dealing less with an economic model and more with a ethical or moral code, which seems a bit on the odd side.

No comments: