Friday, March 24, 2017

As Opposed To Tilting At Windmills

My comment on Adam Gurri's article... A Critical Defense of Commerce

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There’s quite a bit of goodness in your defense of commerce. However, you really didn’t mention commerce as communication. I just published a blog entry on the subject and tweeted you the link.

Regarding the terms “producer” and “consumer”… you certainly took the time and made the effort to produce this article. Then I took the time to consume it. Yum. Of course I didn’t literally eat your article. So I agree that there are plenty of situations where “consume” doesn’t seem like the best word. There’s always room for improvement.

Regarding a thick moral groundwork versus the assumption of market neutrality…. say that you did allow the Invisible Hand to determine the order of a list of links here on LiberalCurrents. Bob comes along and wants to donate $1000 dollars to put a link to his racist website on the list. Do you accept Bob’s money?

Let’s say that you do accept Bob’s money. In part because the $1000 dollars only places his website towards the bottom of the very long list. However, then Bob’s friends come along and donate lots of money in order to help move Bob’s website up the list. On the one hand, Bob’s racist website is now on top of the list. On the other hand, you ended up with lots of money. That you evidently didn’t spend to put your preferred links above Bob’s link.

Of course I wouldn’t be happy about the outcome. I wouldn’t be happy that the bad guys (them) outspent the good guys (us). But the alternative is to bury my head in the sand. This alternative is not acceptable because I need to see and know the truth… even if it isn’t pretty. I have to follow Socrates into the harsh light rather than remain in the shadowy cave of comfortable delusions.

We can’t tackle the biggest problems with reality if we don’t truly know what they are. Well, in this case the very biggest problem is obviously the system that keeps us in the dark.

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