A couple days ago I described how Amazon.com has come under attack from liberals at the Seattle Times and elsewhere for not spending corporate money on philanthropy. I ended the post by expressing the opinion that “There is no real moral justification for corporate executives giving away their stockholders’ money to third party.”
Today it is more or less conventional to talk about big corporations having a “social responsibility” to do all sorts of things, like philanthropy, that don’t put money in their stockholders’ pockets. Obviously many executives would argue that they are behaving in a perfectly moral way when they spend their stockholders’ money on charities and causes. Many boast about it in their advertisements and their annual reports.
To argue against such a well-entrenched (but wrong-headed) idea, I’d like to defer to someone far smarter than myself.
“Moderation is OK, in moderation.” Ronald Reagan
As the presidential primaries roll on we here the usual debate about what gives a Republican presidential candidate “electability.” One school of thought is that a more moderate candidate gives the party its best chance of winning in a nationwide general election. Another school of thought is that a principled conservative, like Reagan, can attract more voters through the power of his obvious convictions.
If history is any guide, nominating a squishy moderate might be the wrong thing not only for the Republican Party, but for the nation as a whole.
In his brilliant book The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis describes what he sees as the different visions God and the Devil have for the human race. God, says Lewis, wants us to be servants who can eventually become His sons, while Satan wants us to become mindless cattle who will eventually become his food.
Lewis was not talking about politics, but he could have been. Today in America the conservative vision is more or less what Lewis saw as God’s vision: each American functioning as an individual, taking responsibility for his own life and actions. The liberal vision treats “The People” as a herd of cattle, who need to be led and cared for by a supposedly elite group of politicians and bureaucrats.