Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friedman's Law, or Why It's Hard to Discuss the Future of Capitalism
"Here and there, the grandiose legacy of a country in love with freedom of movement must be celebrated, even as we figure out new and more efficient ways to get around. Now, more than ever, we need Hummer, in all its defiant, obnoxious, thoroughly American glory."
I'm invoking a new rule. It's called Friedman's Law. Like Godwin's Law
, it says, in discussions of next-gen capitalism, when someone refers, inevitably, to communism, the discussion's over. It's named for the great Milton Friedman
--who was smart enough never to dismiss discussions about the future of capitalism simply by invoking a ghastly straw man, but always argued his corner with grace and force.
An example. Yesterday, a fellow called Matt DeBord
sent me a series of the most bone-headed tweets I've ever received: an automotive and econ journalist (really??), he argued that clusters and charter cities were "trekkie-nomics" (ie, communist, socialist, collectivist). In point of hard, cold, fact, both are ideas pioneered by diehard neoclassical econ Nobel Laureates, whose essence is to make markets
Any serious econ journalist should either 1) know that, 2) ask an expert when they don't know that, or 3) not invoke the spectre of communism, and, instead learn that for themselves.
So the above is a quote by an article from Matt DeBord, which might place all the above in context. Do I even need to connect the dots for you?
Some people can't grapple with challenges of a creating better future because they don't really want one.