The Future: Review of Blaine Winship’s Moralnomics



What is morality? Is something that can be judged on an objective basis? Or is it a subjective amorphous concept that is relative to facts and circumstances in any particular situation? Is it an ideal that only religious authorities can define? What about natural law? What about standards of decency, common sense? How does the golden rule shape morality? Is the golden rule a definition of a morality?

All of these questions are at the core of Blaine Winship’s treatise or exposition on what it means to live, work and play in a civilized society. The author argues for the preservation of a bottom-up society or in other words, a democratic free market economy with limited government.

Whether or not one agrees with Winship on the proper role and sphere of government, understanding and making decisions on all of today’s hot button issues flow from lawmakers and officials’ concept of government, whether expansive or narrow. If you are eligible to vote, even if you have not registered, remaining apathetic to the impact of government, markets and business, private civic, community, and charitable organizations, and individual responsibility is a non-starter. Society evolves, changes. So must people through adaptation and education. Otherwise, you become a clog in a wheel. Enough people acting this way, and the world might just turn into the dystopian apocalyptic novel envisioned by Sarah Rees Brennan in Tell the Wind and Fire and John C. Dalglish’s Far From Home.

In terms of the writing, it gets a bit preachy to the point of being tiresome, at least with the constant use of the word “moral,” though the concepts of bottom-up and top-down are excellent. Blaine Winship clearly defines the different isms,communism, socialism (modern and classic) and fascism. The discussion of economics, in some parts, will throw readers who have not had that recently or at all, but it is necessary.

As to Moralnomics, it is one view. Undoubtedly there are others and Blaine Winship acknowledges this and encourages thoughtful discussion on the issues he raises whether you agree with him or not, either completely or partially. That is what the freedom of speech and association is all about, after all.

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