Posted by: erichosemann | October 12, 2009

Moore and Mackey

Michael Moore and John Mackey are two individuals who’ve maneuvered within the maze of scarcity and inequality well enough to generate profits for themselves.  John Mackey saw a scarcity of large grocery stores specializing in organic products; Michael Moore saw a scarcity of documentary films criticizing certain aspects of American social and political life.  Mackey built his Whole Foods empire, Moore built a reputation as popular voice of the opposition.  Both did their work well within the boundaries of capitalism and free enterprise.

Moore is highly critical of capitalism, though like every other enterprising individual, he has greatly benefitted from it.  Mackey, conscious of the beneficence of the capitalist system, sings its praises and defends freedom and enterprise.

Both men should be praised for their efforts to work within a world of scarcity and inequality.  Even if we disagree with Moore’s motives, that his work exists and thrives is evidence enough that we live in a free society.  If we didn’t, his views would either be officially endorsed by government, or he would have to petition the government to promote them.  Instead, he promotes his ideas using capitalism.  This is not a contradiction but a manifestation of one of freedom’s greatest virtues.  No communist or totalitarian society would fund or promote ideas contradicting its existence.  Yet in a capitalist society, ideas flourish, whether contrary or complimentary to that society.

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