Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jul/12

15

Against the Hotel/Porn Axis

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Via the Daily Mail:

A Christian scholar and a Muslim leader have teamed up to ask hotel chain[s] to stop offering pay-per-view porn.
Robert P. George, Princeton University professor and former chairman of the Christian group the National Organization for Marriage wrote a letter to hotel owners along with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, the founder of Zaytuna College, a Muslim university.

Both men requested that the hotels ‘do what is right as a matter of conscience’ and stop selling pornography to guests.
They say that as a conservative Christian and a devout Muslim, the pair have a lot to disagree on. However, on this issue they are of one mind, CNN reports.

‘We appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good,’ they write in the letter.

Milton Friedman:

…The doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Quite.

Unless they are only addressing owner-managers, what George and Yusuf are suggesting is a little obscene itself. Shareholders first, please, gentlemen.

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3 comments

  • jb · July 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    The doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity.

    I’m not sure why we should believe this. To me it looks like just another slippery slope argument, which in this case happens to be being used in defense of free market fundamentalism, as opposed to one of the many other fundamentalisms that are out there. “Shareholders first” isn’t a given, it’s a very specific approach to organizing society, and it isn’t only leftists and religious conservatives who have doubts about whether it is always the best way.

  • John · July 17, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I guess on this point I’m going to out-libertarian the great Milton Friedman. Social responsibility is fine, as long as the owners are OK with it. I have no problem with the idea of Chick-Fil-A being closed on Sundays. They are clear on their reasoning…take it or leave it.

    I think “shareholders first” is the best way to run a corporation, for the simple and powerful reason that the shareholders own the company. Just as I own the shirt I am wearing and ought to be able to do whatever I choose with it so long as it does not violate the rights of others, so it is with a corporation. Porn, no porn, it is up to them. Religious leaders have a right to ask for no porn, and the company has a right to take the advise or not.

    See what a glorious thing libertarianism is :)?

  • Rollory · July 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    What they said. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with hotel owners agreeing that pornography is socially harmful and declining to offer it, even if doing so would increase their profits. Profit is not the ultimate good.

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