We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

We need a free-market version of corporate social responsibility. We need to equip businessmen with an ethical code that tells them there’s a principled reason not to get in bed with the government.

– Jonah Goldberg, in this week’s Goldberg File email, quoted (quotulated?), at much greater length, by Nicholas Russon.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Fred Z

    “We need to equip businessmen with an ethical code that tells them there’s a principled reason not to get in bed with the government.”

    OK then, how about, “I will clop you up along side your head if you get in bed wit the government.”

    I’m tired of talk.

  • Paul Marks

    “I will clop you up along side your head” is what the government is good at. If businessmen are going to be swayed by that argument – then they will all get into bed with government (if “might is right” – then get into bed with the power that is the most mighty).

    And beware those who say “let us fight them” – as there is no practical plan presented for VICTORY, so what is this fighting for? My guess is that Cass Sunstein’s idea (actually it is a lot older than when Sunstein suggested it) of government sponsored “anti government” activity – in order to discredit the “anti government” position.

    As for businessmen – if they do not understand (or do not care) that it is immoral to accept subsidies from government (of get government regulations to hit competitors) then they will be quite likely to cheat their customers and business partners also. In short it is not a good idea to do business with people who are in bed with the government.

    By they way – often “good deals” with the government turn out bad, bad for the “clever” businessmen who made the deals.

    Got high prices during war?

    Watch out for the “war profits tax” after the war. “But that was retrospective legislation – I do not have the money to pay this tax, no one said the business would have to pay this tax….” – the reply (translated) is “I will clop you up along side your head” so the business enterprise is destroyed (as the British aircraft industry was destroyed after World War One – they took their “big profits” and reinvested them, but then came the retrospective tax demand…..).

    Even Iraq was not really profitable for many of the enterprises involved – because the contracts kept changing (“but you can not do that….” errr yes they can).


    Some(not all) private insurance companies thought they would make money by cooperating with Barack Obama.

    What fools – what utter and complete fools.

    The “easy money” from government does not tend to turn out that way.

  • Heh, this would not be the first time that Paul makes me go a-googling, and I yet again find the exercise rewarding.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I can’t really think of a single economic argument for virtue – but if there is one, and it’s compelling, then businesses run by sociopaths ought to be indistinguishable from those run by the conscientious. Somehow, I doubt this is the case.

    The great problem with morality not based on a God making frowny-faces in the background is that there’s no reason to bother with it: I can cause you pain or pleasure, but what’s your pain or pleasure to me? So long as I can get away with it, my pleasure is the only one I need to consider: and if I can’t get away with it, my ‘virtuous’ actions will be based on pragmatism, not morality, and will continue only until I can successfully ‘get away with it’ again.

    Lest I be villified as the most amoral horsethief yet unhanged, let me add that I consider telepathy (for reasons I have adduced elsewhere) to be a robust if low-level phenomenon that blurs the separateness of individuals, so that ‘doing unto others’ really is ‘doing unto yourself’. From there we can get to a traditional golden-rule style of morality pretty easily.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, thanks for the newspaper!

    Maybe you and Patrick could go into partnership. :>))

  • Mr Ed

    For examples of getting into bed with the governing party, to which it was affiliated, look at the Co-op bank in aspects of this story.

  • You are most welcome, Julie. As to said partnership, I’d be honored – but alas, Patrick was smart to grab the least annoying newspaper, leaving me with that bastion of Progressive “thought”…