So I had this thought while I was swimming yesterday. Swimming is a great way to think. The only thing better I've found is trail running, but that's because if you lose focus on your breathing when you're trail running, you don't choke yourself of chlorine and likely urine enriched water.
Now, just to warn you all... This is going to offend people who lean right. You can get offended and offer an opposing view in the comments, but please don't start bitching and whining about stereotypes and then progressing toward bad language when I ask you to back up your opinion. Since this is my blog, my opinion rules, and the burden of proof rests upon you... Or something like that...
So I work with a guy, who likes to refer to himself as a free market capitalist. He's a nice enough guy, and I think if I needed help, he would likely be willing.
I've seen him make some big purchases lately, and I've noticed something... All that matters to him is price and value.
Now I'm not exactly unlike that. I like getting value for my money as much as the next guy, but I will differ from him slightly if there are extenuating circumstances...
If I want to purchase a product and I find out that along with the best value for money, my product is also responsible for child labor in China, or helps fund war efforts in Africa, I will make it a point to go somewhere else or go without.
I fully suspect that my co-worker will ignore these details because to him there are irrelevant. He believes the market should speak for himself, and as far as any resultant moral responsibility, that probably belongs to those who are first in line perpetrating the crimes.
Now I don't know this for sure, but my interactions with him lead me to believe that this is the case. As further evidence, I cite myself, a former free market capitalist and a person who would likely have done the same thing.
So where do capitalist and the rest of us differ? I don't think socialist, liberals, communists, or any other group would like to deprive themselves, and if we could better our situation I think all of us would.
I think the difference lie in the moral expense of our decisions and this is where I'm going to make the generalization.
In general, most capitalists worry only about the sticker price, return on investment and cost to them when considering a purchase or other financial based decision.
I suspect the rest of us, if aware of extenuating circumstances would like consider the other costs as well - moral, environmental and all of that.
I think it ties in with the post I did a few weeks back regarding a certain Conservative Christians opinion that God put us here to rape the earth. I think many of the Free Market Capitalist folks are likely the Conservative Christian types as well, and they've been endowed with an incredible sense of entitlement, and as long as I get what I want, screw the rest of the planet...
Now, they won't admit that, and they'll likely cite their God, Jesus of Nazareth in their defense - plus they give all that money to their Church, and that's charity because it says so on their tax forms. But the funny thing is that Jesus wasn't a Capitalist, in fact, I suspect Jesus would have been an almost pure democratic socialist these days.