The free — or freeish — market is the best way we’ve found so far to ensure that more people are eating than are starving. It works. But it doesn’t work pretty. It’s crude. It’s messy. It works like a 20 year-old Compaq with a frayed power cord. It gets the job done, but magic? No. So don’t make a religion out of it.
The marketplace is devoid of morality. It doesn’t reward the good and punish the bad. It doesn’t even reward the hard working. Or the smart. Or the capable. It shoves a bunch of money into the pockets of people who may, taken as a group, be somewhat more capable than those who aren’t getting the cash, but that in no way suggests that any blessed individual is deserving or any screwed individual is undeserving.
The winners need to believe they deserve what they get, and the losers need to believe that all they really need to do is try again and they, too, will be winners. It’s about 75% bullshit. Because as much as people hate to hear it, success or failure is, like all of life, affected by more than free will and positive thinking. DNA, environment and pure luck all have a role in your life. And the magic of the marketplace doesn’t somehow exert its magical magitude and reshuffle that deck.
He makes a good point here. Nature is like an engineer: she’ll put together whatever hack works, and perfect it later through a process known as kaizen in Japan, or incremental upgrades.
Natural selection works demographically. You may be the better lemming in a fight, or have saved more food for winter but alas, a limb above was weak and fell… doom on you. So you die, but statistically, the better lemmings prevail and so lemmings as a species get stronger.
Same way with social Darwinism, but capitalism isn’t a perfect form of it. Yes, most poor people are that way because they’re disorganized mentally… but there’s 2% of them who are probably not. Same with the upper middle class… 98% are that way because they worked hard and worked smart. But 2% are just flukes, or work in Hollywood.
While everyone around us seems to be panicking because of this recession, we should use this time instead to think about what society would most accurately reward our best people and encourage the rest not to breed.