There are those who say they only want free markets if they make the world better and poor people rich. On the face of it, this is bizarre: an unhampered market must lead to both, it can do no other. Markets, therefore – whether free or not – are perfectly irrelevant to whoever says this. It is plain that we are not dealing here with an empirical, “wertfrei” statement, but a moral one, based on an underlying moral belief about what are “the right kind” of consequences. Namely, a policy is good if we expect it to have the consequence of helping the poor; bad (or indifferent) if we do not expect it to have this consequence.
A has x, B does not.
A having x = :)
and A not having x = :'(
but B having x = \o/
then, as \o/ – :'( = :D
and :D > :)
because it yields a net benefit to society of > :) B having x is the only just, moral, ethical, humane, etc, state of affairs, and violence (threatened or actual) may be used to bring it about.
For a less scientific treatment (involving bananas), see here
Politics in a nutshell:
Peter has a banana. He says that eating it would leave him feeling “pretty good”.
Paul (who does not have a banana) says that eating a banana would make him feel “on top of the world”.
Peter says being dispossessed of the banana would leave him feeling “a bit gutted”.
Paul says if he were to receive a banana he’d be “over the moon”.
If we subtract “a bit gutted” from “over the moon”, we are left with “chuffed to bits”; and if we subtract “pretty good” from “on top of the world”, we are left with “tip top”. As “chuffed to bits” ranks higher than “pretty good”, and “tip top” ranks higher than “a bit gutted”, not only are we justified in taking Peter’s banana and giving it to Paul, we are morally obligated to do so.
This originally appeared on Bogpaper
It’s an unwritten rule that you should never explain a joke. I don’t know whether it applies to blog posts too, but just to be on the safest of safe sides I’m going to explain this one in advance. The point of this post is to bring into the sharpest relief possible the assumption that underlies all political action, in the hope that in seeing it up close in this extraordinarily clear-cut case the reader will go on to see it – and reject it – in every case.