Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Like lipstick on a pig in high heels.

Often when I'm reading Kunstler or Calculated Risk or Boondad Blog, I think to myself, "I wonder where the fools go to read about economics."

Then I discovered here.

It's not the lipstick that's the problem, Megan. It's the pig wearing the lipstick.

For instance, in this post Megan parrots the libertarian let-them-have-drugs line, while fretting about the effects. That is, of course, not the interesting part, however.

As I've written before, I don't think that there's any metaphysical state which can be defined as the "true" self, such that people shouldn't depart from it. We all have multiple potential selves within us, none of which is more "real" than any other. To me, the important question is: does the self I have now want to be different from
what it is in some fundamental way? If so, you have a perfect right to seek
other, more satisfying selves, whether through drugs, transcendental meditation,
or voting for Barack Obama.

You're not talking about personhood, Megan, you're talking about persona. The shell we create to provide a buffer between ourselves and the world. It's not a bad thing to do, but it is not our true selves, almost always. When we are true to ourselves we experience the most satisfying feeling of all, that of knowing who we are and accepting that person. Not seeking out a mask to find something more satisfying than the false front we are currently projecting onto the world.

When we know and trust ourselves, we make decisions based on who we are, not on what someone else tells us to think and do. We don't need drugs or religion or the style section of the newspaper to tell us what to feel, want or need. It's this profound lack of knowledge and understanding of human nature that makes Megan a poor columnist, not her sex or her size or her make-up. It's why she so often says, "I don't understand why people __________."

She really doesn't understand. And if you don't understand people, how can you hope to understand human behavior in the marketplace?


Righteous Bubba said...

Typo by the pig bit.

The fretting about effects, though, is part and parcel of maintenance of the pose: the pose can only be maintained in the fortunate circumstance that you don't have to worry about crackheads stealing your shit.

If you're isolated via wealth from whatever the effects of your stupid ideas might be then you get to go persona-shopping and pick out the one with the nicest shoes.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks. I'm astonished I don't have more typos, actually.

Yes, the fretting is very pro forma. McArdle frequently posts on how others have bad habits and she has none, so I guess she isn't familiar with cause and effect. Consequences are for the little, less perfect people.