Sunday, August 25, 2013


When "reporting" becomes ancillary to the regime, how many commonplace transactions become non-euvoluntary?

Will it or no, and I make no character assessments whether you do or don't, your commerce o'er amber waves of grain suffuses agents of the state with the lard they seek to pack the bearings of the war engines sent abroad to rain fire and death.

Don't get me wrong. I admit some bias as a pacifist, but I acknowledge that with unbiased (and by this, I mean the technical definition bit where omissions are random rather than systematically skewed) information, the median voter could still pretty easily come to the conclusion that violence against foreign nationals could be consistent with a rational moral and economic calculus. I might disagree with the rationale that leads to such an outcome, but the thing is, when (h/t Abby Hall) the Secretary of Defense refers to "intervention" in Syria as an option, it beggars belief that a responsible journalist would parrot this language. Or ever stoop to using the term "kinetic action" or any of the other kayfabe-laden doublespeak that oozes from between the lips of politicians.

Commerce that sends tax money to DC to fund fluffy bunny wars isn't euvoluntary.

Commerce that sends tax money to DC to rain hellfire on schools and orphanages is euvoluntary, provided that a) you're aware that this is part of the cost of war and b) you agree that the marginal benefits outweigh the marginal costs.

That the news organizations have selected for editors and journalists who dutifully refrain from approaching the regime with such skepticism suggests to me that the median voter, if better informed, would more likely find foreign aggression to lie a bit further afield from the national interest.

Also, this is probably more of a tweet than a blog comment, but if you really worry deeply about the plight of the oppressed, perhaps a better solution is to offer asylum instead of marching off to war. Just sayin'.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?