Archive for November 2011
In other words: if you acknowledge a flaw, it’s okay to continue indulging it. The rationale for getting up at inconvenient hours, taking time away from a holiday ostensibly spent with friends and family, and putting up with enormous crowds of people is the financial savings. However, that rationale has worn so thin – it’s become so obvious that “Black Friday” is a net loss for those who partake in it – that the only way to continue to harm oneself is to pretend that one isn’t really harming oneself. In other words: if partaking in “Black Friday” really were harmful, that is what it would look like. No one actually does that, so it couldn’t be harmful (and proceed to evade the fact that the quality of life costs are no worth the financial savings – to say nothing of the fact that most of the purchases are not even legitimate wants or needs anyway, but simply concocted as a pretext to partake in the shopping itself).
The following commentary was already used elsewhere on this blog, virtually verbatim, but popular advertising is in such a deplorable state it’s completely appropriate to simply reproduce it here, in reference to this.
“A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls—with no principles, rules, or theories to define either. Since the introduction of controls necessitates and leads to further controls, it is an unstable, explosive mixture which, ultimately, has to repeal the controls or collapse into dictatorship. A mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, its goals, its laws—no principles to limit the power of its government. The only principle of a mixed economy—which, necessarily, has to remain unnamed and unacknowledged—is that no one’s interests are safe, everyone’s interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it. Such a system—or, more precisely, anti-system—breaks up a country into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense, as the nature of such a jungle demands. While, politically, a mixed economy preserves the semblance of an organized society with a semblance of law and order, economically it is the equivalent of the chaos that had ruled China for centuries: a chaos of robber gangs looting—and draining—the productive elements of the country.
A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force. In the absence of individual rights, in the absence of any moral or legal principles, a mixed economy’s only hope to preserve its precarious semblance of order, to restrain the savage, desperately rapacious groups it itself has created, and to prevent the legalized plunder from running over into plain, unlegalized looting of all by all—is compromise; compromise on everything and in every realm—material, spiritual, intellectual—so that no group would step over the line by demanding too much and topple the whole rotted structure. If the game is to continue, nothing can be permitted to remain firm, solid, absolute, untouchable; everything (and everyone) has to be fluid, flexible, indeterminate, approximate. By what standard are anyone’s actions to be guided? By the expediency of any immediate moment.
The only danger, to a mixed economy, is any not-to-be-compromised value, virtue, or idea. The only threat is any uncompromising person, group, or movement. The only enemy is integrity.” – Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Art imitates life… and over-the-top artistic humor provides the momentary relief of not having to believe life to be real. It allows the consumer to briefly tell himself “if it were real – if that were really the kind of culture I was living in, then that is what would be happening. But, because that is not happening, I must not be living in that kind of culture.” In this day and age this – this “service” – and not the qualitative superiority of one’s product – is what differentiates one’s brand from the competition on the minds of consumers. It allows the consumer to compromise his reverence for sportsmanship by letting him rationalize that all he has is a healthy sense of humor. These kinds of twisted thoughts – which Buffalo Wild Wings is exploiting and furthering here – are what allows a man to compromise in every other realm of his life, and to live the life of prey one minute and predator the next that a mixed economy demands.