Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"If you're not outraged...

...then you're not paying attention."

I wrote a while back on how people always seem to want to "pick sides," ie: choose between two opposite factions and put thier full faith and affiliance behind the one the pick... even when there are more that just two sides to choose from. Initially I was writing about the farse of our US political parties, but the phenomenon applies more broadly. I think that in general, people want to believe all descisions are boolean (either-or with just two options) simply because this worldview eliminates ambiguity.

I'm thinking now of the split in "sides" reflected in this WSJ article. It gives some detail on both a corporation behaving very stupidly, and government behaving very stupidly. My observation is that I (as an ardent supported of the free market) have often defended corporations against government, with the unexamined assumption that the the government is always in the wrong and the private enterprise is therefore the aggreived party. While the former statement is still likely to be true, I (and other would-be defenders of private enterprise) need to recognize that the latter isn't always true. Supposed capitalists can be some of the worst enemies of free enterprise, especially when they weild political power.