Author Topic: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance  (Read 285 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,523
    • Boiling Frogs
Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« on: December 23, 2013, 02:02:14 AM »
By Brian Doherty
Reason Magazine
12/19/2013

The advantages of classical liberal market cosmopolitanism--the idea that it's best to set aside peaceful differences of opinion and creed and worries about different races, nationalities, and genders when deciding how we interact with the world--has a great track record of making us all richer and happier.

The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.

There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!"

That has a different feel than: "I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn't agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, I don't think you should be arrested for it."

A stern insistence on boycotting or refusing any truck or barter with those who hold different beliefs or practice different ways of life (peacefully) does not directly implicate specifically libertarian questions about rights or freedom. No one's freedom in the true libertarian sense is harmed by people trying to drive them from society or the market because of their beliefs or creed as long as it is done through mere refusal to associate, or advocacy of refusal to associate. We have no right for others to do business with us or to tolerate our beliefs or practices as long as said intolerance does not turn to violence.

http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/19/of-ducks-and-gays-and-tolerance
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 02:02:36 AM by Luis Gonzalez »
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 44,073
  • #ToldYouSo
Re: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 08:05:44 AM »
I'm not quite sure where the author is going with this, at least not from what's posted here.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,523
    • Boiling Frogs
Re: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 08:42:06 AM »
I'm not quite sure where the author is going with this, at least not from what's posted here.

i didn't post the entire blog entry because of copyright issues.

Did you click on the link to finish reading the article?
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 44,073
  • #ToldYouSo
Re: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 09:51:04 AM »
i didn't post the entire blog entry because of copyright issues.

Did you click on the link to finish reading the article?

At least you could follow up with the punch line.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,523
    • Boiling Frogs
Re: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 10:09:36 AM »
At least you could follow up with the punch line.

I do business with this guy, let's call him Dominic (primarily because that's his name).

Dominic is a world class a$$hole, and I disagree with him on everything up to and including what constitutes "morning" and what would make one "good". Seeing Dominic in the morning is the antithesis of any morning being "good".

He's opinionated, vainglorious and vulgar and has absolutely no issue with calling anyone who disagrees with his take on life, business and the Universal order of things a &^%#$$ retard.

After a few weeks of taking crap from him, I gave it back in spades.

We don't like each other, but I have a product that he needs at a price that he likes, and he pays cash.

We conduct business.

What this author is saying is that this practice of boycotting companies and people over differences of opinion, hurts the free market and in turn, damages a system of commerce that up to now, has made us all a wealthier, happier nation than most.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 44,073
  • #ToldYouSo
Re: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 10:19:53 AM »
I do business with this guy, let's call him Dominic (primarily because that's his name).

Dominic is a world class a$$hole, and I disagree with him on everything up to and including what constitutes "morning" and what would make one "good". Seeing Dominic in the morning is the antithesis of any morning being "good".

He's opinionated, vainglorious and vulgar and has absolutely no issue with calling anyone who disagrees with his take on life, business and the Universal order of things a &^%#$$ retard.

After a few weeks of taking crap from him, I gave it back in spades.

We don't like each other, but I have a product that he needs at a price that he likes, and he pays cash.

We conduct business.

What this author is saying is that this practice of boycotting companies and people over differences of opinion, hurts the free market and in turn, damages a system of commerce that up to now, has made us all a wealthier, happier nation than most.

Why should boycotting over differences of opinion hurt the free market?  Participants in a free market transact based on their preferences; they tend to buy what they prefer over what they do not.  Preferences are essentially opinions:  what the holder believes about a particular good and about what makes that good attractive or not; they also include the holder's views/beliefs about the company that produces a particular good - the brand, if you will.  Accordingly, there is no rational way of pulling out just one set of opinions and saying that this, and only this, category of opinions harms the markets.

In fact, just the opposite occurs:  if a significant number of participants decide to not purchase goods from a given seller, then that seller will, in the first instance, feel pressure to drop the prices for its goods - basic supply and demand, but on the firm level - which benefits those market participants who choose to not boycott that seller.  In the second instance, if such a boycott continues, that seller will reduce the amount of inputs it buys, thereby leaving more of those inputs available for other producers to buy, and also putting downward pressure on the prices of those inputs because the drop in demand is the functional equivalent of an increase in supply.  That benefits those other producers and, in turn, those participants who buy what those producers sell.

It's a little like the stock market, which is driven more by psychology than by actual fundamentals - which is why those whose trading style is based on fundamentals can find both underpriced and overpriced stocks.

Finally, if psychology - preferences based on opinions that are only tangential to a certain materialistic view of the value of goods - were not relevant to the proper functioning of a market economy, then a top-down government-controlled economy would allocate goods more efficiently than the market because the objective, materialistic value of an asset is significantly easier to determine from the outside.  For example, the same house would suffice for everyone with a given family size and no one would even consider buying a more ostentatious house, or one that had functionality in excess of the basic minimum needed to sustain life, if psychology was not relevant to the functioning of the markets.  A panel of experienced, knowledgeable scientists is in a much better position to determine what every individual needs as a bare minimum to live without significant hardship, than is any one particular individual.  However, there is more to life than just surviving, and what that more is depends largely on each individual's psychology, which is why a free market, rather than a government-controlled market, is more efficient at allocating scarce resources.

In other words, the impulse that compels someone to boycott a business because they don't like what the owner of that business is saying about something that has nothing to do with the business at hand is part and parcel of what makes a free market work, not something that detracts from the functioning of that market.

Where boycotts of that sort become harmful is when they're backed up by the government and the threat of coercive enforcement against anyone who refuses to go along with the boycott.  That's why the laws making incandescent light bulbs illegal - based largely on enviro-liberals' views that those light bulbs should be boycotted - are harmful; the mere fact that everyone voluntarily decided at the same time to swear off incandescent light bulbs, thereby driving them from the market, would not be harmful.  That's why the auto body companies stopped making horse-drawn coach bodies and started making horseless carriage bodies - because the market demand for the former dropped and for the latter rose.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 10:32:31 AM by Oceander »


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf