Praxis

May 26, 2007

I have nothing worthwhile to say about Friedman

Filed under: Friedman, Uncategorized — duncan @ 3:37 pm

I’m reading Friedman’s ‘Capitalism and Freedom’. It is simplistic and foolish; but the issues it raises are profound, and I’m not capable of adequately addressing them.

This is how foolishness wins.

This is how evil wins.

My experience of reading: every line opens up a library to study; every chapter demands a life’s work of response. Impossible! Impossible!

The result: all one’s dreams and desires get crammed into the little one is capable of saying.

Friedman’s thesis: that capitalism and political freedom go hand in hand.

Friedman is brutally unclear about what ‘political freedom’ means.

I have so little to say; but I’ll say this (the obvious):

If you are poor, you are not free.

Friedman writes: because capitalist exchange is voluntary, capitalism does not coerce.

But poverty coerces. We will do anything for food. The entrepreneur employs the starving, and everyone is free.

We are free, with blood on our hands.

We are free, with blood on our faces.

God knows there are other difficulties with Friedman’s thesis. But ‘freedom’ is not an concept that admits of simple analysis.

2 Comments

  1. Solution: be glib.

    Like I just did there.

    Comment by Tom — May 27, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

  2. Oh I’ll be glib. Don’t worry about that. I’ll be more than glib. I’m developing new forms of glibness, because regular glibness isn’t glib enough. They don’t call me Glib of Glib Hall for nothing. (Etc…)

    Comment by praxisblog — May 28, 2007 @ 2:23 pm


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