Day By Day

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Romance of Capitalism

Ann Althouse links to a post charging that the Rolling Stones sold out to corporate interests and lost their authenticity and elicits this comment:
In fairness to the author, the divide she discusses isn't political-economic (i.e., capitalism versus its alternatives), it's merely the aesthetic: the perceived continuum between authenticity and crass commercialization.

After R.E.M. declined Microsoft’s reported $12 million offer to license “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” to roll out Windows 95, the Rolling Stones quickly grabbed the money for “Start Me Up.”

When severely tested, R.E.M. stuck to its policy not to lend their music to non-artistic uses. Whether that decision was principled or foolish, the most important factor was that it was their right to choose.


I agree that rock & roll is inherently capitalistic, moreso that than the author gives credit. But the best argument for capitalism, especially to those who are suspicious of it, isn’t that maximum commercial exploitation is always necessarily good, or cool, or even "rock & roll."

It’s that capitalism is the system that best preserves the right of individuals to choose how to order their own affairs in harmony with their beliefs and values. And gives others the choice to embrace or reject the result.
 Exactly! I couldn't have said it better. 

Read the post and the entire discussion here.

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