Agnotology and the 'Free Market'

story © Michael Betancourt, May 10, 2013 all rights reserved.


Capitalism itself is reified in the idealized “free market” as the necessary (and natural) order of the world in the conception of ‘market competition’ as a variant of Darwinian natural selection (evolution); agnotology is the creation of uncertainty and ambivalent ‘fact’; it is a competitive tool incompatible with the idealized “free market” of capitalism.

In this economic model actors are assumed to act rationally in pursuit of their own best interests. This rationality is a requirement, since rational selection enables the Darwinian competition to proceed: products/producers compete for customers whose selections must be based upon a logical analysis of the different products’ merits. Thus, accurate, factual information is fundamental to this ideal market, no less than the unemotional (disinterested) contemplation of the customers themselves.

Agnotology renders capitalism’s ideal “free market” impossible: companies operating in the marketplace must provide a full, factual disclosure about the nature of their products being sold for the market to “choose” the best product. Agnotology enters at precisely this point by undermining our ability to evaluate both products and claims made about them; thus, a priori, rendering the competitive discovery of the "best" impossible.

Copyright © Michael Betancourt  May 10, 2013  all rights reserved.

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