Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What an Idiot

jebus. I wanted to start some shorters, but the following needs its own post.

Ask the editors: What difference does it make to the recession if Citibank and Bank of America fail?:

In some sense, all of history's progress from lives that were nasty, brutish and short to today's splendiferous buffet of iPhones, nine-month courses of physical therapy, and year-round fresh broccoli can be summed up in three words: gains from trade.
iPhones. That's the first thing Megan thinks of. A fucking toy. It's fun and useful, but it's a toy.
More importantly, tho, she just gave us a new candidate for stupidest thing ever said. The advancement of humans out of the trees isn't because of our posture, opposable thumbs, and intellects, our capacity for language and our ability to harness the natural forces around us into technology, it's because some asshole came along after the fact and put a price tag on that technology. Megan continues;
We live better than a tribe of chimpanzees roaming through the primordial forest because we specialize and then exchange the fruits of our skills with each other. Trade, as the ecoomists [sic] say, increases the size of the economic pie to be divided between us.
Trade is what individuated us as a species from other primates with which we share a common ancestor, obviously. Of course trade has played an often vital role in the development of cultures, but I'm going to go with George Carlin and say that it's the marketplace and organized religion that most fundamentally hold back humanity today. (He said the game is up, and it was won by the priests and the traders long ago.)
Megan thinks the pharmaceutical divisions of giant corporations are the reason medical scientists make discoveries, and here we're seeing one of the underlying beliefs that makes such stupidity possible. Instead of trade being a mix of good, bad, and indifferent that has accompanied man since the dawn of recorded civilization, Megan sees it as the driving force of our development.
It just saddens me to see emotional cripples who think that without greed people have no motivation in life. Agriculture was not created by trade, and the simple, quite possibly originary idea of trading, say, the seeds of one crop for the seeds of another has as much in common with socialism as capitalism. It's a similar mistake to those fundamentalist Christians who think no one ever had a problem with murder until Moses came back from his hike. It reduces me to a kind of awe, to see such a powerful display of ignorance.


bulbul said...

Shorter Megan McArdle: Fuck homo sapiens, homo economicus rulezzzz!

Chad said...

I guess all the wars and ventures into colonial oppression that were started over motives of trade and economic hegemony were just bumps on the road, then.