The key to success in business? Profitably serve as wide a customer base as possible. Mass production is the lynchpin. And it’s also at the heart of why many intellectuals hate capitalism: Serving the mass of mankind is “beneath” them. They have a higher calling. They serve Justice, or The Truth. Or, say, Beauty.
This curious by-product of capitalism is what Austrian-American economist Ludwig von Mises called “The Anti-Capitalist Mentality”: The tendency of intellectuals to react against the very instrument that serves the common man even while they ballyhoo the “cause” of the common man.
Mises and others focused on intellectuals’ envy as the reason for their strange, seemingly inexplicable “turn.” Why bite the hand that feeds so many? Because that hand doesn’t reward intellectuals enough!
F.A. Hayek added another reason: Incomprehension. How markets work is beyond the designs of any single mind. Intellectuals tend to be prejudiced in favor of singular minds. Theirs, at least.
The great revelation at the end of the last century followed from that: Command-and-control societies must fail. Regardless, though, “planning” does happen in a free society. Piecemeal. You plan. I plan. And entrepreneurs plan to serve us both.
And entrepreneurs of genius successfully serve millions, make a lot of money for all concerned, and find new ways to make life easier, more enjoyable.
And even intellectuals approved.
A revolutionary, indeed.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.