There's also the misunderstanding of Adam Smith's point about the "invisible hand." We're supposed to celebrate and lean into our greed and selfishness, because collectively that's supposed to add up magically to a moral outcome, or at least to a better one than would result from central, moral planning.

The social Darwinian lesson is applied internationally, too, against anything like the UN. Realistically, each country is selfish and acts only to further its narrow interests, and collectively that struggle is supposed to produce the best possible outcome for the planet. UN tinkering is like the government's interventions in the market that only mess things up.

As I point out in the article linked below (and as lots of other people have pointed out), this ignores Adam Smith's book on virtue theory which is supposed to be paired with his book on economics.

But I agree that practical questions often become paramount for busy, powerful people. They can't be bothered with philosophical questions in general. Perhaps their advisors are supposed to consider those deeper questions, but often those responsible for leading an organization get bogged down in bureaucratic or tactical matters, and only presuppose their implicit solutions to the philosophical problems. The leaders' behaviour indicates what they really believe, regardless of how much thought they've put into it. The nature of the organization or institution, too, dictates the answers of the framers of that institution.

For example, the self-divided structure of the US government shows that the framers were opposed to tyranny but also to democracy. Dominant forces in the private sector would eventually be able to capture the self-crippling American government, as has happened in the Gilded Age and as has happened again over the last few decades.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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