I enjoyed reading filmmaker Kevin Smith’s ‘Tough shit.’ He has some very amusing stories about Bruce Willis, being fat, etc. But I’m just too sensitive for my own good that I regret Smith’s utterance of typical anti-market sentiments.
CAPITALISM =/= MONEY
Smith narrates how he had invited the late George Carlin to appear in ‘Dogma.’ As they were threshing out their contract, Smith was worried that Carlin was a “capitalist pig” and would ask for too large a salary.
Is the desire for money then to be equated with being ‘capitalist’? Can we call a holdupper a ‘capitalist’ because he demands your wallet?
The problem here is defining markets or capitalism as being primarily about money. In fact, it’s about the freedom to exchange property as one judges best. Money is simply the most exchangeable product there is.
|But who is the one insisting |
on equating labor with their
George Carlin would have just been as ‘capitalistic’ to have exchanged his comedic services for the satisfaction of appearing in a movie influenced by Carlin, as opposed to the satisfaction of receiving a large check.
ZERO-SUM BULLSHIT IN HUMAN AFFAIRS
Here’s something Smith said:
In order for you to ascend, someone somewhere has to descend. In order for you to have so much, someone somewhere has to have far less. Someone has to sacrifice in order for you to succeed ― even the audience, which gives up its money for your art.
This is a careless statement obviously made by someone who has never really thought through politics, who has been fed the same intellectual garbage propounded by the political elite.
IT’S CALLED EXCHANGE, NOT SACRIFICE
|What’s in it for the virgin?|
The value of a product is not derived from another’s sacrifice, but on its ability to satisfy certain wants, which may or may not involve ‘sacrifice.’ The idea that my enjoyment of a Quarter Pounder is at the expense of some dying child elsewhere, is precisely the guilt-tripping used by politicians to milk citizens of their money. In fact, the remaining starvation on Earth in this prosperous day and age has nothing to do with insufficient resources but capital- and choice-destroying governments that inhibit the conditions that do make for economic growth.
And while it is understandable for Smith to be grateful to an audience willing to pay to hear him talk, this does not mean they are worse off than he is as a result of buying tickets. In fact, they’re better off than if they had been coerced to keep their money.
Even Smith would admit that his wife ‘sacrificed’ her career for the ‘greater good’ that is their family.
HOW TO REACH A TYPICAL ARTIST-SOCIALIST
Most artists or artists-kuno are vehemently anti-censorship. They recognize the importance of allowing freedom of expression, in that this is precisely how goods ideas evolve and propagate in a kind of ‘natural selection’ of ideas.
(The fact that the common intellect is so abhorrent should not be discouraging, since sound philosophical and aesthetic ideas have always been a minority.)
WHAT TO TELL THE ARTIST-SOCIALIST
So I imagine I could reason with artists thus:
Why should your logic in support of freedom of expression not be extended to freedom to trade goods and services? Why is exchanging ideas any different from allowing markets to thrive sans state intervention?
Does it follow that if you don’t agree with the morality of a certain economic transaction, that you should ‘censor’/regulate it? So why not censor ideas that may be considered immoral by some?
|Not someone with whom|
I would use this argument.
And once that open-mindedness to the concept of free enterprise is reached, you can get to the technical aspects of the real impossibility, and not just inadvisability, of government intervention.
The only hitch that I see here is if a so-called anti-censorship person still believes in libel/slander laws, the belief of which is inconsistent with freedom of expression.
In that case, just tell your debating opponent, “Oh yeah? Fuck you!” (I’m kidding. Tell them to read this blog and download my books.)