Assessing the Risk of Doing Harm

Attributive identity is all important when assessing the risk of doing harm.

There is a whole lot of unhappiness (detriment) associated with the attainment of zero marginal cost.

According to conservatives, economic fortune is an act of self-determination. If you lose your job to “the big risk,” and your income is near zero, just conform to the demands of the marketplace (the invisible-hand ontology), work for next to nothing and, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul say, poverty is being reduced. The invisible hand is so efficient, matching supply with demand, Rifkin says, that people are working at zero-marginal cost, gladly working for next to nothing, free to enterprise in the global collective commons–“the internet of things”–on demand in the pursuit of happiness.

Working (adding supply to meet demand) at zero marginal cost is exactly what capitalists intend to do. It makes them happy but, like Hobbes said, not without risk.

For conservatives it is reasonable to assume that, with so much supply added to meet demand, yielding to so much surplus value at near-zero marginal cost, a person has every reason to be happy in the pursuit of success unless there is someone out there to prevent it. Usurping your right to self-determine is a symbol of their status (trying to be king) like “stateists” are apt to do.

Between the zero margin of the invisible hand and the authority of the stateists, what’s the probability of self-determination?

Paradoxically, Rifkin says, near-zero marginal cost is putting capitalism out of business, but this is a false attribution. Zero marginal cost is due to monopoly power, and to control the risk (the overwhelming authority, the self-determination) of that power we demand government authority. By default, people that are losing the value to self-determine by means both public and private naturally collect into a commonly divisible purpose–surviving the predictors.

For liberals, the predictor of fate is big corporate money. For conservatives, it is big government authority. For 99% of us the probability of success is equally small and the probability of choking on “the risk” is equally “big.”

“The big risk” is commonly divisible (like Geithner says, we all must yield to it, which tests the level of stress) but it exists with differing attributions.

Ryan and Paul refer to an on-demand existence as yielding to the invisible hand that whips us with monopoly power. When do you ever hear conservatives say we need to decentralize big corporate power? Never, because how big you grow your business (how powerful you are–how “big” you can make “the risk” and stress everybody else out, which tests, or controls for, your social class–i.e., rich or poor) is the measure of success, attaining the nuisance value (the measurable harm) of zero marginal cost.


About griffithlighton

musician-composer, artist, writer, philosopher and political economist (M.A.)
This entry was posted in Political-Economy and Philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.