Website owner:  James Miller

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The free market just supplies what people want

You write something that you think is really good, you would like to publish it, but the work is rejected by publisher after publisher. Is the fact that no publisher is interested in publishing it a reflection on the quality of the work? Rejection hurts. How seriously should the rejection be taken? Does the unfavorable judgment of many mean the work is poor?

Publishing is a business. The purpose of any business is to make money. That is why the business exists. A person starts a business to make money. Otherwise he wouldn’t waste his time. Everyone in life looks to his own interest. Here, his interest is to make money. Since his interest is in making money, his main question is, “What can I sell?”, “What do people want?” His main interest is in where the demand is. He will offer the public what is in demand. If the demand is for high caliber works of literature, that is what he will publish. If the demand is for pornography, he will offer people pornography. This same thing is true for the motion picture industry. It is also a business. It also exists to make money. It also asks the question, “What do people want?” If the demand of the society is for motion pictures of high moral caliber, that is what the industry will produce. If it is for trash, that is what the industry will produce. The production of television programs. It is also a business. It exists to make money. So the main question for it is also, “What do people want?” It simply gives people what they want. If they want pornography and trash, that it what it will produce. The same is true in the music industry. It is a business. It exists to make money by selling music. It asks what the public wants. If it wants trash, that is what it will produce. It will favor artists who produce trash and record them. What we are talking about is a kind of law pertaining to business. Business offers people what they want. It assesses what it thinks they want and that is what it gives them. If a business doesn’t offer people what they want, another business will, and they will go out of business. Business responds to current reality. It has to in order to stay in business. Another example is the food industry. It offers people what they want. If what they want is Twinkies, that is what it will offer them. If they want high sugar sodas, that is what it will offer them. If they want foods that are made to taste better through the use of lots of sugar, sodium, and fat, that is what it will offer them. It doesn’t assess what is most healthy for them, what would be best for them, and offer them that. It assesses what they want and that is what it offers to them. It has to. If it doesn’t, a competitor will, and they will go out of business. I think of another example: Churches. Churches tend to offer people what they want. Instead of sticking to principle and truth, they tell people what they want to hear. As social morals change, as cultural attitudes and outlooks change, the messages of churches tend to change. It shouldn’t, but it does. Otherwise the church risks losing members and going out of existence.

We are talking about cold, hard facts of life. It is the free enterprise system. The free enterprise system is the old, natural system that has been around for about as long as man himself. It is the only system that works. Private business does not assess what people ought to have or what is best for them and then offer them that. It offers them what they want. It leaves to them the judgment of what is best for them. Now if we assume that what most people want is not what is best for them, but rather, what is bad for them, what result would you expect? We are talking about the laws of the free market. If they want cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, is it any surprise that the market provides it to them? If what people want is pornography, is it any surprise that the content coming out of Hollywood becomes more and more depraved? If what they want is lots and lots of sweets and high fat foods, food that make them obese and diabetic, is it surprising that the market provides it?

I do observe this. If we assume that people are naturally inclined toward depravity and that the market senses it and provides them what they want, then the mass media in responding to their debased tastes, tends to over-shoot and provide them with ever and ever increasingly degenerate content. It thus not only responds to demand, it also changes morals, changes people, creates demand. It makes them ever and ever more degenerate by offering ever and ever more depraved content. It turns into a vicious circle, spiraling lower and lower. Because the mass media is so ubiquitous, it thus has the power to corrupt an entire society.

Nov 2014

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