Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - 21st Sep 19
Is Stock Market Price Revaluation Event About To Happen? - 21st Sep 19
Gold Leads, Will the Rest Follow? - 21st Sep 19
Are Cowboys Really Dreaming of... Electric Trucks? - 21st Sep 19
Gold among Negative-Yielding Bonds - 20th Sep 19
Panicky Fed Flooding Overnight Markets with Cash - 20th Sep 19
Uber Stock Price Will Crash on November 6 - 20th Sep 19
Semiconductor Stocks Sector Market & Economic Leader - 20th Sep 19
Learning Artificial Intelligence - What is a Neural Network? - 20th Sep 19
Precious Metals Setting Up Another Momentum Base/Bottom - 20th Sep 19
Small Marketing Budget? No Problem! - 20th Sep 19
The Many Forex Trading Opportunities the Fed Day Has Dealt Us - 19th Sep 19
Fed Cuts Interest Rates and Gold Drops. Again - 19th Sep 19
Silver Still Cheap Relative to Gold, Trend Forecast Update Video - 19th Sep 19
Baby Boomers Are the Worst Investors in the World - 19th Sep 19
Your $1,229 FREE Tticket to Elliott Market Analysis & Trading Set-ups - 19th Sep 19
Is The Stock Market Other Shoe About To Drop With Fed News? - 19th Sep 19
Bitcoin Price 2019 Trend Current State - 18th Sep 19
No More Realtors… These Start-ups Will Buy Your House in Less than 20 Days - 18th Sep 19
Gold Bugs And Manipulation Theorists Unite – Another “Manipulation” Indictment - 18th Sep 19
Central Bankers' Desperate Grab for Power - 18th Sep 19
Oil Shock! Will War Drums, Inflation Fears Ignite Gold and Silver Markets? - 18th Sep 19
Importance Of Internal Rate Of Return For A Business - 18th Sep 19
Gold Bull Market Ultimate Upside Target - 17th Sep 19
Gold Spikes on the Saudi Oil Attacks: Can It Last? - 17th Sep 19
Stock Market VIX To Begin A New Uptrend and What it Means - 17th Sep 19
Philippines, China and US: Joint Exploration Vs Rearmament and Nuclear Weapons - 17th Sep 19
What Are The Real Upside Targets For Crude Oil Price Post Drone Attack? - 17th Sep 19
Curse of Technology Weapons - 17th Sep 19
Media Hypes Recession Whilst Trump Proposes a Tax on Savings - 17th Sep 19
Understanding Ways To Stretch Your Investments Further - 17th Sep 19
Trading Natural Gas As The Season Changes - 16th Sep 19
Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - 16th Sep 19
These Indicators Point to an Early 2020 Economic Downturn - 16th Sep 19
Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - 16th Sep 19
Stock Market Looking Toppy - 16th Sep 19
Is the Stocks Bull Market Nearing an End? - 16th Sep 19
US Stock Market Indexes Continue to Rally Within A Defined Range - 16th Sep 19
What If Gold Is NOT In A New Bull Market? - 16th Sep 19
A History Lesson For Pundits Who Don’t Believe Stocks Are Overvalued - 16th Sep 19
The Disconnect Between Millennials and Real Estate - 16th Sep 19
Tech Giants Will Crash in the Next Stock Market Downturn - 15th Sep 19
Will Draghi’s Swan Song Revive the Eurozone? And Gold? - 15th Sep 19
The Race to Depreciate Fiat Currencies Is Accelerating - 15th Sep 19
Can Crypto casino beat Hybrid casino - 15th Sep 19
British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - 14th Sep 19
Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - 14th Sep 19
War Gaming the US-China Trade War - 14th Sep 19
Buying a Budgie, Parakeet for the First Time from a Pet Shop - Jollyes UK - 14th Sep 19
Crude Oil Price Setting Up For A Downside Price Rotation - 13th Sep 19
A “Looming” Recession Is a Gold Golden Opportunity - 13th Sep 19
Is 2019 Similar to 2007? What Does It Mean For Gold? - 13th Sep 19
How Did the Philippines Establish Itself as a World Leader in Call Centre Outsourcing? - 13th Sep 19
UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - 13th Sep 19
Energy Sector Reaches Key Low Point – Start Looking For The Next Move - 13th Sep 19
Weakening Shale Productivity "VERY Bullish" For Oil Prices - 13th Sep 19
Stock Market Dow to 38,000 by 2022 - 13th Sep 19 - readtheticker
Gold under NIRP? | Negative Interest Rates vs Bullion - 12th Sep 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads and Discs's Replace, Dealer Check and Cost - 12th Sep 19
Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - 12th Sep 19
Increased Pension Liabilities During the Coming Stock Market Crash - 12th Sep 19
Gold at Support: the Upcoming Move - 12th Sep 19
Precious Metals, US Dollar, Stocks – How It All Relates – Part II - 12th Sep 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Madmen and Government Regulations

Stock-Markets / Market Regulation Aug 18, 2009 - 07:10 AM GMT



Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleJeffrey Tucker writes: The AMC's Madmen, themed around New York advertising executives in the 1960s, captivates viewers for its plots, fashions, shocking levels of political incorrectness, and, most of all, because of the way its draws viewers so closely into a world of the early 1960s that they never knew.

It seems like time travel, like all of this is really happening. It's so realistic that 20-something bloggers constantly talk about how "dead on" the show is, as if they would even know. The whole show has become such a culture phenom that it defines for the whole generation the way it views the postwar/pre-Woodstock era of America.

Having some affection for those fashions and times, I was prepared to like the show, and there is no question that the production values are the tops. But hidden inside the show turns out to be another agenda, which seems designed to glorify the regulatory state that came after the times featured in the show.

A few specific instances. Everyone is smoking, mostly chain smoking, and mostly indoors. It gives today's viewers a sense of creeps to observe the extent of it, as if everyone is working on making for themselves an early grave. And you get a sense of what must have been an overwhelming stench of stale smoke. Hardly anyone can watch scene after scene of this without a sense of discomfort, even to the point of feel grossed out.

A hidden aspect of watching this is to think: thank goodness for the bans on smoking today and thank goodness for the warnings on cigarettes that tell consumers what these people didn't know.

The ubiquity of cigarettes is only the most conspicuous aspect of the overall feeling of danger and creepiness that appears in scene after scene. There is daytime office drinking to an extent that would surely raise questions in the context of modern workplace regulations.

The treatment of women in the movie is egregious and shocking, with every office girl getting ahead by slutting around and dressing mainly to please the men. They are overtly treated like toys, not humans or professionals. Harassment doesn't quite describe it. It is nothing short of ghastly.

Was this really the plight of professional women in those days? Well, the message goes, thank goodness for laws against discrimination and also laws against sexual harassment. If we take even one step away from the regulatory seizure of American business life, we would surely be back in this Hobbesian jungle of booze, abuse, and early death.

But a woman in the show can avoid this hell by choosing instead to be a "housewife," which means making the perfect home for her hubby, and otherwise standing around gossiping with the neighbors and going to tea and growing increasingly lonely and desperate. Meanwhile, her working husband at the office is carousing around and sleeping with the office girls while she pretends not to notice, since — what other options does she have?

Here again we get a picture of a wild world of patriarchal domination and savagery before the federal government tamed it.

This theme appears in scene after scene. The kids in the house are constantly doing dangerous things like wearing plastic bags on their heads, since this was of course before federally mandated warning labels appeared telling us not to do this. Mothers, you see, are way too stupid not know to tell their kids not to suffocate themselves with plastic bags, which is why we need a Consumer Products Safety Commission.

The same is true with cars. And with drinking. And seatbelts. And every other thing big and small you can think of. Every high-profile federal intervention is given a subtle endorsement because we are shown in high relief the sheer awfulness of the world before Leviathan took over our homes, businesses, and public and private lives in every respect. Without them, we would surely be blow-drying our hair in the tub.

This was the constant theme I observed in the several episodes I watched. I'm sure others can think of examples that appear in every episode. It is a Hobbesian tale that posits the inability of society to improve itself without the helping hand of the master.

The truth behind most of the regulations we have today — laws against discrimination, harassment, safety rules, and even smoking — is that there was already a social and cultural movement against the dangers featured in Madmen. This support for change was effectively nationalized by the federal government in the form of coercive rules, rather than permitting social, economic, and cultural pressure to bring about its own noncoercive solutions to social problems.

It is easy to forget while watching the show that this is, after all, fiction: a story made up by writers and producers with themes chosen by them for a purpose. Call it a libertarian-induced paranoia if you want, but I strongly suspect that a part of the agenda of this show is to propagandize for the regulatory world that came after, as if it, and only it, saved us from an eternity of grave social injustice and mortal danger to our lives and dignity.

I'm still waiting for a show about the real madmen of the era, those who imagined that fastening a noose around the whole of business culture was the only way to get us to behave in a civilized way.

Jeffrey Tucker is the editor of Send him mail. See Jeffrey A. Tucker's article archives. Comment on the blog.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules