It’s 2017. Business as selfish, self-centered, a-social, ‘it’s-all-about-money-sorry’, is gone. So many people say. ‘Old fashioned views, we have moved on, people’.
It’s 2017. Milton Friedman (1912-2006) is gone. His statement of purpose is gone: ‘There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud’
Milton Friedman is gone. But he is back to support Making Things Great Again. Perhaps reluctantly.
It’s 2017. Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is gone. Her individualistic a-social approach to life is now praised by the new right and her books are back in the reading lists of super-conservative US power-men. Her take: “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute”
BTW, I asked an American friend what he thought of the incredible Rand revival. He emailed me: ‘I happen to believe that Ayn Rand was a sociopathic thinker of colossal proportion only loved by social Darwinist people because she provided them with a fantastic conformity bias mirror. She promoted an individualistic world and despised the state hand, but no Rand’s followers have bothered to notice that she ended up cared by the welfare state that she hated so much’. My friend always has a word or two.
Ayn Rand is gone, but, no, she is back . She just went for a long ideological Sabbatical walk.
Then, in 1990, somebody wrote: ‘Politics is boring, but more importantly there is no money in it! As a successful businessman, I am naturally selfish, and the idea of representing the interests of others is alien to me’
The author, a Donal Trump, now lives in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA.
It’s all in circles. ‘Naturally selfish business’ meets ‘own happiness as the moral purpose’, meets ‘social responsibility as profits’.
Digression: Months ago I mildly (very mildly because he was bigger than me) defended the idea of company as community in a stupid-why-did-I-get-into-that discussion with an American ‘businessman’ in an airport lounge. I got: “Are you a socialist or what?’. It was very early, sugar was very low, I was very tired and very silly to even discuss. But it gets worse. The socialist thing took me by surprise. What did I reply? ‘No, just Catholic’. I could have said just joking, or just Gold Card, or just excuse-me-have-to-find-the-restrooms. But no, I didn’t. His laser look at my socialist eyes almost made me blind.