Capitalism works best when corporations must woo their customers instead of government.
There is something in the liberal mindset that does not understand ‘choice’ when applied to individual responsibility. In a recent comment stream one such reader stated –
“Do people actually choose to be poor? How many poor people would refuse a million bucks if handed to them by their daddies? Do people choose to die young because they can't afford proper healthcare? Do people choose to be hungry or watch their children starve? Do people choose to be homeless and sleep under a tarp in the snow? Do people choose to be miserable? I think not. "Individual choice" is corporate double speak for the freedom to pollute, sell us products that are unsafe, and use our children as cannon fodder to rid the world of leaders and economic systems not to their liking, all in the name of profit. Don't you get that you are being conned?”
Since the apparent answer to such ‘choose’ questions is NO, then that is sufficient reason to 1) require those not so afflicted be forced to sustain the afflicted, and 2) that there is a mysterious yet substantial connection between the notion of ‘freedom to choose’ and a nefarious catalog of corporate misbehaviors. Before going further, I want to emphasize that such a belief and its follow-on reasoning is a common thought pattern among our liberal brethren – the above commenter is not flying solo.
Astounding as it may be, it is clear that the liberal does not consider or understand the causal sequence of mediating events/states that is usually involved between a decision to do/be or not, and the resulting state of misfortune. They see it as a one step process – you either chose to, say, “watch your children starve”, or it was visited upon you by fate. And since no one would really choose misfortune, it had to be the result of spontaneous and pernicious fate, or worse, the inevitable outfall of capitalism, corporatism, Christianity, greedy enterprise, free markets, and other divers trappings of social injustice.
Today cultural norms handed down through family and private institutions have been replaced by millions of pages of government regulations restricting and redirecting behavior into what government considers ‘socially just’ channels. These regulations are really diktats enforced with the state’s full authority and power. Resistance summons deadly force.
For the last forty plus years the state has been in a campaign to create the homogenous and compliant Progressive Man by reducing/restricting the influence of family and culture on children. The result has been the creation of two generations of Americans weaned to be fragile (see Taleb) members of society through an educational process that emphasizes self-esteem while minimizing performance and self-reliance – the youth are taught that it is not the individual but the collective that accomplishes everything of worth in society, “You didn’t build that!”
In such institutions critical thinking and planning are not in the curriculum because by implication those functions are handled for your benefit by the state. On the individual level such pursuits are futile and best left to ‘professionals’ provided by the collective.
The result is that corrective feedback paths for the individual are never ‘installed’ and/or are prevented from developing. The dominant watchword is that youth must be nurtured in an environment of uncompromising safety and security. The child is then taught that adulthood really involves doing what you like best – ‘whatever floats your boat’ – with the expectation that the state will pick up your expenses at the margin in order to secure your dignified and fulfilling lifestyle. There is no room for ‘if you choose to do this, then these things will most likely happen, and you will wind up in one of the following buckets of deep shit’. Such counsel would be considered as 'judgmental' or one of the other politically incorrect interventions into a young life.
Instead, the teaching is that ‘if you follow your narcissistic desires, and wind up in deep shit, it was someone else’s fault, and the government is there to help you out – go forth, not to worry’. Bottom line, since you didn’t explicitly choose the smelly bucket you find yourself in, you therefore are not responsible for falling into it or climbing out of it. It's OK to become a ward of the state. And as we rediscover from collectivist commentary, if you reject this worldview then you have been conned by the evil corporatists.