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I work for an organization for which the buzz word "compromise" has great appeal. However, I am not a fan of compromise - I feel that it should be used as a last - very last - resort. I think that operations generally run more smoothly if the person with the better idea gets his / her way. However, in my organization almost all differences are "resolved" by compromise even where difficult people who disagree as a matter of course are involved - on the simple belief that compromise is always the best option. However, I feel that compromise can be used as a means of control, as a way of ensuring that the other person cannot win, etc. What is your opinion?

You're right that compromise can be used as a form of control. But so can being uncompromising. Compromise can sometimes impede efficiency; but sometimes it can facilitate it. From where I sit, I don't think that one can defend as a general principle either the idea that compromise or being uncompromising is better. When and where to compromise is a matter of art--or, perhaps in more philosophical terms, a matter of prudence, in the sense of practical wisdom. Much depends upon the context: what sort of people are involved, what's at stake, what the purpose and mission of the institution is, what sort of time and resource constraints one faces. There's a great deal of difference in making a decision about what to do about an imminent ICBM attack and what sort of retirement hobbies one might explore. In addition, compromise does work better, in my experience, when those involved have cultivated certain complementary habits and sensibilities. That is compromise works best when people value...

1.) Would you label free market/vanilla capitalism (however you choose to answer) as moral or immoral? Now, is it more or less moral in comparison to its alternatives, such as socialism and all its variations? 2.) Is it moral/immoral to infringe upon property rights in the name of the "common good"? Thank you for your time. I am a student with a strong interest in governmental philosophy and appreciate the concise answers your website provides. Sincerely, Alexander C. R.

Okay, here's a concise answer: Immoral, unless certain predictable consequences are mitigated or corrected. Why? Well, it depends precisely what you mean by capitalism. If one takes a pure form of market capitalism, I'd say it's immoral because it makes no evaluative judgments that take into account the distribution of goods and services or costs and benefits, the suffering of various actors, or considerations of flourishing. Says the radical capitalist: whatever outcome the market produces is okay. I disagree. I think that because of (1) the profound importance in human life of the issues and (2) the intimate connection between (a) economic matters like distribution and (b) moral matters like need, fairness, flourishing, justice etc. the operations of a capitalist economy must be regulated, guided, and directed to produce morally desirable outcomes. In particular moral considerations should guide economic activity to produce outcomes that are fair, moderate and equitable, outcomes that promote...