8 June 2019 – Is PZ Myers Undermining Capitalism? No, But He Is Lying

PZ is at his most incoherent when he’s ranting about economics. We have no reason to doubt his expertise in the field of biology, but outside that field his level of knowledge drops precipitously. And when it comes to economics, we think he has something like negative knowledge – what he thinks he knows, he actually has backwards. Reading his posts on the topic will make you dumber in a whole host of ways. Today we’ll highlight just one, from a post he did on capitalism and food.

PZ Myers Lie:

“One of the ways we’re undermining capitalism, at least, is that we avoid prepared foods even more. I’ve been getting hunks of raw vegetables and doing all the cooking myself.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/08/stop-eating-now/

Facts:

The first thing we should do is highlight PZ’s choice of verbs. He wants people to think he’s “undermining capitalism,” but he doesn’t want to say that he’s “buying” something in the very next sentence – you know, actually using the capitalist system he wants to denigrate to purchase goods – so he uses the verb “getting” instead. We assume he’s not stealing these hunks of raw vegetables, or conjuring them out of thin air, which means he’s buying them on the free market.

And if he’s buying his vegetables, then PZ is most definitely not undermining capitalism, he’s practicing it, which makes this a PZ Myers lie.

Analysis:

For those of you who think PZ might have his tongue firmly planted in his cheek here, and that there’s no way he thinks he’s going to undermine capitalism, consider the last two sentences of his post: “…you can stop exploiting animals right now as a step in the direction of the ultimate overthrow of capitalism, but we have a long way to go yet. Don’t give up just because we haven’t achieved perfection.”

He wants capitalism overthrown! To be replaced by…what? PZ’s not telling, but you can be sure he’ll never admit it is a system like those currently tearing apart Venezuela or Cuba.

We once equated capitalism with freedom in the comments section of Pharyngula, and you might have thought we’d said the world was flat. We got more pushback for making that point than almost any other point we made during our time there. But, the comments section of Pharyngula is where debate goes to die, and there’s really no debate about this: capitalism is all about freedom and choice. PZ can choose to follow whatever type of diet he likes because of capitalism, not in spite of it.

We want to reiterate this point: PZ is practicing capitalism, not undermining it. His refusal to buy meat or other items from his local supermarket sends them a small signal to drop the supply of those goods by a fraction. If enough people do that – try to ‘undermine capitalism’ like PZ and don’t buy meat/processed foods – companies would respond by putting less of those items on the shelves.

That’s capitalism/the free market.

We read a great piece this week by an economist named Don Boudreaux called Capitalism. Is. Working. We recommend it to you and anyone who reads PZ Myers on a regular basis.

We’d recommend it to PZ, but he wouldn’t care. We have no idea what alternative to capitalism PZ has in mind, but we pretty sure it wouldn’t work as well. Nothing else has.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post and 3 posts on other stuff.

Since 30 May 19: 8 science-related posts, 32 non-science posts.

20% of PZ’s posts on a “science blog” have been about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 16 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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