Free – what ?

10 Mar

My usual warm recommendation of Nick Cartwright’s blog applies as fully as ever – this is in lieu of my remembering how the Comment function works – and yes, I’ve tried ‘Leave a Comment’ :-).

Nick’s reflections on Markets and Morals prompt me to muse about the two different things he discusses as potentially free – free morals (liberalism, to use the more usual term) and free markets (which Marx calls capitalism).

Is there a reason to differentiate between them and have one free-er than the other ? If so, which should be the free-er one ?

Would it be surprising if the State were to held to have a legitimate interest in regulating further the content of cheap beefburgers, but not in regulating morals more generally ? Since it is the writer’s impression that horsemeat is not thought harmful – and so perhaps no crime has been committed ? – what then is the basis for objecting to cheap burgers from cheap shops, if not a moral one ?

Since these debates are often about sexual morality, perhaps that is the real distinction – between (say) commercial morality and sexual morality ? But which has more potential for social damage – sexual immorality, surely ? So you’d think that *that* is more legitimately the State’s concern – but for an intuition that that is (somehow) ‘private’ – so is that the true distinction ? Or just one of a number of factors ?

As I say, a very thought-provoking post – paste this into your browser …

http://nicholascartwright.co.uk/?p=82

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