Some Smoggy City, CHINA – While Americans bicker over economic policies and try to disagree on the best way to guide the nation toward prosperity, it seems the object of Adam Smith’s over-referenced phrase has floated across the Pacific to get itself dirty (quite literally) in a different kind of muck. Skeptics will no doubt raise some obvious questions:
1) What good would the invisible hand be in a communist country, where the common good must, by definition, come before the individual? While that is a nice sentiment, self-interest now reigns. The common good is still important, but it has been stripped of its old meaning to be more harmonious with other goods. The hand has been enlisted to guide people toward their own ambitions and desires – whether it be a new bicycle and a steady job or Hummer and designer dog jacket – while another hand, working in unison, waits ready to collect or to swat. It is in the interest of the individual not to be swatted, of course, which encourages one not to be too curious about where everyone is headed or whether or not anyone else is actually with them.
2) How could an “invisible” hand be perceived at all, let alone photographed? The answer to this question lies in the high levels of particulate matter in the air, which collect on the surface (invisible things still have form, remember) of the hand and makes it perceptible to the naked eye (consider what happens in Hollywood films when an invisible person puts on a raincoat or smokes a cigarette). Based on this phenomenon, some analysts suggest that with stricter environmental regulation the hand might actually remain invisible.
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 12:00 pm and is filed under China, NEWS FLASH and tagged with capitalism, communism, consumerism, economics, economy, fake news, free market, invisibility, invisible hand, Pollution, smog, social commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.