. . . is the title of a new article over at The American. It starts with some references to Prof. Luigi Zingales' fine "Capitalism After the Crisis" in the new journal National Affairs, in which he riffs on the distinction between "pro-business" and "pro-market," and goes on to discuss the increasingly destructive nature of Washington influence peddling.
Since business is business, companies can adopt the philosophy of Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind,” that as much money can be made from a civilization’s destruction as from its rise. Furthermore, while it might be thought to raise some problems of personal ethics, management can take the next step and say they owe it to the shareholders to help that destruction along if that is where the opportunities are.However, it is unlikely that the increasingly mutinous middle class will understand such fine points of corporate and Washington ethics, or forgive a business culture that promotes destruction and stagnation.
[W]hile one cannot escape one’s time, and if destruction is at hand it is reasonable to go into the salvage business, it would be wiser for businesses to band together to defend free market culture and make their money from our civilization’s rise instead.
Yes - I know that Rhett was not actually a scoundrel. Parse his words carefully, and you note that he himself would not destroy, even if he would profit from destruction caused by others. Rhett was continually a builder and an admirer of builders, with a contempt for the vaporous upper classes of the Old South.