The Non Sequitur of the “Dependence Effect"

Topics: Means of production, Mona Lisa, Ethics Pages: 4 (1325 words) Published: June 12, 2010
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…
von Hayek cheerfully disassembles Galbraith’s argument by showing there is no direct link between the source of wants and their relative importance. Galbraith would have us believe that the desire for these are not important, simply because “production creates the wants it seeks to satisfy.” von Hayek disagrees that only the intrinsic wants of food, shelter and sex are important, showing that, while producers and advertisers can influence our wants, the product cannot determine want as Galbraith implies.

4.My view of the author’s conclusion is…
von Hayek’s defense of the free market is sound, but, fortunately for me, an attack on the logic rather than the ethics of the argument. While von Hayek identifies Galbraith’s fallacy and defends the attack on liberty and the market, he ignores the core moral argument and misses an opportunity to dispatch of The Dependence Effect on its own grounds.

5.In the course of your summary, make any appropriate association with ethical theories or scholars we have read already. Producers, via advertising, create these non-original desires. When their motivation is profit the producers are not interested in the lives of the consumer – they only wish to influence the consumer in order to...
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