26 October 2010

Bill Whittle on Wealth Creation

I extend a hat tip to Harry Binswanger for calling attention to this excellent video on his private list.

In the video, Bill Whittle of PJTV makes stunningly insightful observations about wealth creation, including the relationship of prosperity to freedom and the fact that in a free exchange all parties benefit. (I say "stunningly" because I am unaccustomed to hearing such things spoken of outside of Objectivist circles.)

As good as Whittle's video is, he does expose the Achilles heel that is typical of conservatives--namely, religiosity (though in this case it seems somewhat latent). No fewer than four times Whittle uses the word miracle to apply to the general progress and prosperity that freedom and capitalism make possible. This is a terrible mistake--and an inexplicable one too, considering that in every other respect Whittle is completely rational. Why bring superstition into it? There is nothing magic about political liberty leading to prosperity; this follows from facts, reason, and logic. It is possible that Whittle is trying to indicate something other than the strictly supernatural meaning of miracle; perhaps he means "awe-inspiring" as opposed to "inexplicable act of God." But if so, why use the word in the first place? Why be fuzzy instead of precise right at the moments that it is most important to be clear?

Despite this flaw, the video is well worth watching.

I fixed a typographical error.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Bill Whittle is indeed great to listen to because he seems to understand far more about what make America great then most conservatives. In the video after this one he talks about natural law and which he correctly identifies as being based in man's nature and knowable whether you are religious or not.

However, he then goes on to say that America is based on Judeo-Christian values. What exactly he believes to be those values I don't know. He has many of the flaws of conservativism though more muted than most.