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Thursday’s Deep Thought

There is often a rational basis for the irrational.

I like to think of this in conjunction with various theories of macroeconomics which attempt to project using aggregates under various assumptions of rationality.  Of course, that purported rationality is quite often gratingly absent, rendering aggregation theories inaccurate in hindsight. 

Note also that the temptation of even the laissez-faire economist is to base one’s theories on the presumption of beneficial exchange, when in fact, many actions taken will not and cannot be ultimately beneficial, whether in hindsight or otherwise.  This also presumes a value theory implied but not articulated, where “ultimately beneficial” cannot be made to differ among rational actors. 

In short, there is no possibility of a rationalist utopia.  Where everyone exercises their reason and only their reason (Ayn Rand’s dream world?), we would still end up with imperfect results, self-destructive behavior, and suboptimal progress. 

The ultimate question is whether we accept those as necessary conditions to the sufficient condition of freedom.  Our other option is government intervention, whereby we are left without our freedom …and with imperfect results, self-destructive behavior, and suboptimal progress.

I’ll take freedom, thanks.

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