It’s important, in this context, to
remember that leftists always accuse
their enemies of what they are, themselves
Demand Versus Demands
by J. Neil Schulman
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Here’s an irony for you.
The word “demand” as it is used in economics and “demands” as it is used in politics sound like the same thing—yet the two words are polar opposites.
In economics “demand” is what someone wants and what those who want their business work to supply.
People want to communicate to other people who are far away. That’s the demand. To satisfy that demand Morse supplies the telegraph, Bell supplies the telephone, and Tesla supplies the radio.
People want to be able to have light after the sun sets. That’s the demand. People supply torches, gas lights, and electric lighting.
A man wants an erection or a delayed climax. If there are lots of men who want that this is a market demand that stimulates the hunt for or creation of pharmaceuticals to make penises hard or delay ejaculation. The desire is a demand. The entrepreneur looks for a supply with the entrepreneur’s typical motive being profit by meeting demand with supply.
But “demands” in political use is semantically closer to what a foiled bank robber with customers as hostages asks for to release the hostages unharmed.
“Medicare for All!” is a current political slogan used by political candidates. But what is demanded is not demand in the economic sense. No entrepreneur can by invention or offering any combination of products and services supply to everyone regardless of age the medical, hospitalization, and pharmaceutical coverage the United States federal government now provides to seniors, paid for by taxes and fiat money.
But the stark difference between “demand” and “demands” only begins here.
I have had my entire adult life a musical dysphoria caused by being the son of a virtuoso classical violinist who cannot, himself, play the violin. I can imagine myself playing violin at expert level but imagination, alone, can not enable me to do it.
This is not my only dysphoria.
I have never had the upper body strength to do a pull-up, a push-up, or to climb a rope, although I would have loved to have this capability.
I have never had the physical stamina to run for more than a short distance before running out of breath. I am dysphoric—unhappy, in less clinical language—that I have never been able to run a marathon.
There are people born with male bodies who feel they are gender displaced and belong instead in female bodies, and there are people born with female bodies who feel they are gender displaced and belong instead in male bodies.
If we apply politics we have the political demand that self-identification for gender be granted regardless of physical genitalia, in public rest rooms, locker rooms, and showers.
In our current day the transition from one sex to the other is aspirational and not fully achievable despite hormonal treatment and cosmetic surgeries.
Political demands cannot turn a male into a female or a female into a male.
No male transitioning to female can then be inseminated to pregnancy and bear a child to birth.
No female transitioning to male can then ejaculate semen and impregnate a female.
No dysphoria—no imagination—can overcome the stark fact that a biological technology to accomplish a full gender transition does not yet exist.
Economic demand just might.
As demand set before entrepreneurs, the gender dysphoria of living in the “wrong” body could encourage the development of a full sexual transition as a future market product.
My desire to play the Brahms Violin Concerto—or to run a marathon—might inspire some entrepreneur to satisfy that experience in virtual reality, if not in actual reality.
The difference between “demands” and “demand” is the difference between an idiot holding a gun and a potential customer for a new product.
You only get the satisfaction of a demand in a world where demands aren’t made by first taking hostages.
Neil Schulman @ Agorist.com
© 2018 by The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved. Web and email links with attribution permitted and encouraged. Other reprints permitted only with prior permission of the author.
Was that worth reading?
Then why not:
This site may receive compensation if a product is purchased
through one of our partner or affiliate referral links. You
already know that, of course, but this is part of the FTC Disclosure
Policy found here. (Warning: this is a 2,359,896-byte 53-page PDF file!)