The Non Sequitur of the “Dependence Effect" Essay

1330 WordsJun 3, 20106 Pages
1. Introduction: The problem or issue the author addresses is who should control the means of production – the private or the public. 2. Summary of the article/argument. von Hayek counters Galbraith’s The Dependence Effect by pointing out that the crux of the argument relies on a flaw that ultimately leads a faulty conclusion. While agreeing that many of our wants are created by production, von Hayek illustrates that society’s “highest” desires, including art, literature and education, are instilled in us by there very creation. Were it not that, say, the works of scholars, artists and writers ever created then there would be no desire for the Mona Lisa, Romeo & Juliet and Plato’s The Republic. 3. The author’s conclusion is……show more content…
Clearly, in such a case, people are being treated as means to corporate profits, rather than ends. Galbraith uses this claim of moral wrong to justify redress. Galbraith’s solution is equalized re-distribution, where by the means of production are controlled by the state. The only way to prevent this injustice, he claims, is to let the state decide how wants are fulfilled. This will prevent the moral wrong committed by the producers who are creating demand in order to generate profit. It is, however, inconsistent for Galbraith to reach this conclusion. Galbraith would have us take from the collective, by force if necessary, in order to prevent the manipulation of individuals. In other words, to prevent people from being treated as ends the solution is to treat people as ends. The Inconsistency of the “Dependence Effect” In The Non Sequitur of the “Dependence Effect” von Hayek critiques Galbraith’s argument (in The Dependence Effect) that the means of production must be controlled by the state. Galbraith, a socialist, argues that consumer demands are manufactured - by the very companies that create products to meet those same demands. Because these wants are created, rather than intrinsic, Galbraith contends, they are not urgent or important. The completion of Galbraith’s syllogism provides that ultimately the state should own the means of production to

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