Detoxification of Capitalism and Freedom

Soon it is time to look at my footage; there’s no reason why the timelapse film won’t have worked – I did lots of test footage – but inevitably I feel quite anxious about what it will look like. There’s no time to reshoot if it hasn’t worked… The mushrooms have been beautiful and have spread spores further than ever before, giving some beautiful tidemarks.

And I’ve been ploughing through Capitalism and Freedom…so much of it reduces down to price and profit: monopolies are bad because they mean prices are higher for consumers (and for no other reason), the only possible social responsibility of corporations is “to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.” Maximisation of money is the prime good, within “the rules of the game”; which should be set up so that “an individual pursuing his own interest is, to quote Adam Smith again, “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”” So, as long as we don’t actively harm other people (and he is pretty casual about the possibility of indirect impacts), and act always to maximise our income, everything will be just fine. He ignores the evidence of how people actually act – for example, in accumulating wealth and resources (see this NASA study for how the interplay of inequality and resource over-exploitation plays out) and has a very sunny view of the consequences of profit-seeking (no worries at all about pollution, poor working conditions, the influence of corruption on civic society, although he does caution against the rise of a corporate state.)

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