December 3, 2017 by Anders Ingemarson
Yes, yet another article about the depravity of entertainment, media and political high rollers! Don’t despair—we’ll cover an angle that deserves more attention: the fact that freedom in general, and capitalism—with total separation of state and the economy—in particular, provides the best long-range protection against predatory sexual behavior.
“For those like Weinstein who are out in the private sector, we need to leave people as free as possible to speak and publish so they can criticize and expose the corrupt elites, which is the only thing that eventually stopped him. And we should leave the economy as free and vibrant as possible so that people have more ways to get around creeps who like to set themselves up as gatekeepers whose favor you have to curry if you want to get ahead.”
A major reason why so many media and entertainment personalities are being exposed now is the radical reshaping of their industries. Since the dawn of the internet, and especially since bandwidth became abundant and cheap enough to allow for streaming to a screen near you (flat-screen, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.), competition has dramatically intensified and become more diversified for both the delivery (cable, satellite, phoneline, wireless, broadcast) and content (Netflix, Amazon and others entering the field). Gone are the days when the power was concentrated to three major broadcast networks and a few studios.
With the power diluted, the incentives to protect the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have been reduced. Women pursuing an entertainment or media career have more professional options than they used to, meaning that both “coming out” about the past and saying no in the present are less likely to be a death sentence for their careers.
And main stream media journalists, feeling the competition from bloggers and other online writers, are being forced to throw some caution to the wind to stay relevant. Caution that previously contributed to the cover-up of sexual misconduct that supposedly “everybody knew about” but nobody exposed.
None of this would have happened without capitalism’s positive impact on media and entertainment. It is no coincidence that advances in information technology is indirectly and directly responsible for the majority of the current disruption; information technology has been the most uncontrolled and unregulated—the most free and capitalistic—industry in our country the past 50 years.
With women in media and entertainment professions having more options, and journalists being, well, more journalistic, the opportunities for gatekeepers currying sexual favors will be dwindling, meaning that these industries will lose some of the attraction in the first place for men seeking an outlet for their creepiness.
And the positive effects are not limited to media and entertainment. Other industries have been put on notice as well. Our guess is that the revelations over the past couple of months have caused quite a few sleepless nights in many quarters, and quite a few past transgressors will think twice before (again) repeating their offenses.
What other areas may be (over)due for similar revelations? An educated guess is to look for fields protected by government controls and regulations preventing disruptors from exercising their individual rights to enter the field, thereby sheltering the gatekeepers and perpetuating their power. Higher education is a reasonable bet, and although the thought is particularly revolting, perhaps K-12 education. If there is a problem as we suspect, the long-term solution is to let freedom ring and let uncontrolled and unregulated capitalism rule by separating state and education.
“If the elites are corrupt (and we should always assume that they are), then we should give them as little political power as possible, subject to as many limits and checks and balances as possible. Every time we contemplate giving some new power to politicians or government officials, we should assume that we might be giving that power to the moral equivalent of Harvey Weinstein—and then we should think twice about it. […] Our elites are corrupt, and we shouldn’t be surprised. It is an old problem: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is also an old answer to that problem, a lesson we should all know already: that freedom is the enemy of power and the only escape from its corruption.”
These men’s sexual misconduct started before their political careers. Politics just became another outlet for their urges. Most likely an unhealthy quest for power for power’s sake early on manifested itself in a desire to sexually prey on and control women. Later, politics became an additional vehicle for their power lust.
Again freedom and capitalism is the solution. By removing government controls over the economy, Washington, Montgomery, St. Paul and other political power hubs will become less attractive to such men; with total separation of state and the economy, holding public office would simply not come with the “fringe benefit” of wielding power over women and men. And by subjecting the political control of the proper functions of government—national defense, the police and the courts—to as many limits and checks and balances as possible, power lusters would for the most part stay away from politics altogether.
Freedom and capitalism do not guarantee the complete elimination of sexual misconduct. But their inherent qualities of giving individuals more career choices in the free market place and of limiting political power do guarantee that the freaks who engage in sexual misconduct—in private industry and in politics—are relegated to the fringes of society.