I’m continuing my reporting on the current installment of Conservative Estimate, the recently founded website that is devoted to demolishing Conservatism.
Yesterday Mr. George showed us how the profit motive stands more or less in constant conflict with the Good.
Today he examines the way in which this conflict can erode personal morality.
If you will join me over the orange swirling flags, we will go over his argument.
Mr. George begins by noting that thinking like a profiteer, if you do it long enough, can become a habit. And habits are difficult or impossible to resist, except by those with an indomitable will.
But how many people fit that description? Do you have a character that strong? Isn’t there some desire or craving or weakness that you will give in to under most circumstances? Or are you a person of iron willpower who will never succumb to temptation?Mr. George then suggests that a candid response to that question must, in all probability, be negative:
If you are being really honest, you must confess that you are not one of the very few who have passed beyond all temptation, someone who is utterly impervious to being cajoled by flattery, seduced by sex or money, corrupted by the notion that you can do something immoral without being caught.He goes on to say that most people must make the same confession, and that we must conclude that the profit motive will erode the moral sense of most people.
[N]early everyone is like you. So you can be sure that given the pressures of living in the world of business, the profit motive will begin to eat at most people’s sense of morality. If you can resist, it more power to you. But it would foolish to expect that of most people. And it would be far safer for you to expect them to submit to the temptation rather than resist it.You can read the whole post here.
Tomorrow, Mr. George takes on a slightly different topic: he shows us how the Myth of Capitalism gives us a very twisted image of the world, because of its twisted notions of human behavior.
I’ll be reporting back each day as a new installment appears.