November 28, 2012

Quote of the Day

Where wealth and livelihood are entailed, where teams act together and have time and incentive to think carefully, a good assumption is that people--management, labor--act rationally. Unfortunately, journalists who might be prepared to brave bullets in a war zone nonetheless lack simple courage to see what's in front of their eyes in a matter like the Twinkies bankruptcy. The reason is endemic: Not enough is at stake for the media itself to cause the media to prefer an uncomfortable truth when a comfortable fallacy is at hand. -- Holman Jenkins
Posted by John Kranz at November 28, 2012 12:13 PM

"...a good assumption is that people--management, labor--act rationally."

Due to an odd twist of fate my birthday is on the same day of the year as famous philosopher Karl Marx. So I did some reading and studying about Marx many years ago. I reached the conclusion that the man was definitely a genius and the concept of from each according to his ability and to each according to his need was a beautiful idea, if you are an ant. It just doesn't work for human beings. Sort of like my beloved horses have the natural reactions of prey animals and no amount of training teaches them the reactions of predators.

In contrast to Mr. Marx, MY life philosophy is based on the idea that man is Rational. I thought Rationality was required to survive and pull us out of the caves and build cities. Lately, however, I have been wondering whether that premise deserves to be checked. Is it a good assumption that people, “act rationally?”

I predicted on these pages the day before the election that we would lose due to the trained irrationality of the electorate. Now I wonder if the irrationality is innate and I’m the aberration?

Posted by: dagny at November 29, 2012 6:08 PM

It does not help that the media do not "prefer an uncomfortable truth when a comfortable fallacy is at hand."

Yours is the concern that left me so despondent on November 7 -- are there really enough rational voters left and is there a way to reach them with factual information? My basic cheerfulness has kicked back in but I have not answered that question yet.

My überleftist, Bezerkley-grad niece shares your Birthday and is quite proud of the connection to Karl. I told her I loved Marx because I hold that ideas matter and people matter. That 100 million people died because of one person's bad ideas is proof.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2012 6:47 PM

Proof it may be. But those who are irrational cannot or will not connect the piles of bodies to the ideas that caused them.

Posted by: dagny at November 29, 2012 7:24 PM | What do you think? [3]