There’s always something to howl about

Glow, baby, glow: The revolution will be illuminated . . .

Seth Godin is on a tear about fluorescent light bulbs, and I join him in it not just because he’s promising a link for a trackback.

No, there is a matter of profoundly-important principle here: The redemptive power of Capitalism. The curly fluorescent bulb shown above is one of many in our home. Bulb-by-bulb we are swapping out the old Edison-style bulbs with fluorescent bulbs.

Is it because we’re granola-fed greenies right down to our Birkenstocks? Not hardly. It’s because we’re greedy, and we want to hold on to as much of our money as possible. Lumen for lumen, fluorescent bulbs are a lot cheaper than incandescent bulbs, and, because they are outrageously long-lived, they are cheaper to replace as well.

I have zero faith in the good intentions of capital-E Environmentalism as a movement. I see it as a further expression of the global totalitarian movement. The original Marxist argument — the vicious exploitation of the incredibly rotund poor people — is so obviously absurd, Environmentalism was cooked up as an unanswerable substitute.

If there were such a thing as a true environmentalist movement, its very first target would be government interference in real estate — starting with the collectively-owned roads that yield up thousands of acres of pristine land to taxpayer-subsidized development every month. The fact that capital-E Environmentalism does nothing to combat the massive environmental destruction caused by government argues to me that its actual objective is — surprise! — more government, not “saving the earth.”

But this is not about Environmentalism, it’s about Capitalism. Just as companies like Pur and Brita used the free market to solve the problems resulting from government mismanagement of the potable water supply, so, too, are entrepreneurs using simple market solutions to reduce the costs of government-regulated energy — “saving the earth” as an unintended consequence.

You have to give Marx his due, though. World-wide, 159 years after the publication of The Communist Manifesto, Marxism has produced nothing but mountainous mounds of corpses — 160 million and counting. In that same time, Capitalism has taken us from coal oil lamps to fluorescent bulbs (and light-sensitive LED night-lights in our hallways), from horse-drawn carts to supersonic jets, from the filth and pestilence thought to be the lot of man to the precipice of the conquest of all disease.

So, after 159 years of perfect records on both sides — nothing but incredible wealth from Capitalism, nothing but mass-murder from Marxism — who is the bad guy? Wal-Mart, of course, vicious exploiter of the incredibly rotund poor people and corporate cheerleader for fluorescent light bulbs.

Oh, well. The universe is apprehensible to the senses. We live enmired in Marxist propaganda, but there is nothing to prevent an individual mind from discovering the truth of wealth and its destruction. And as an incomparable expression of the wealth-building power of Capitalism, it’s hard to find a better symbol than the light bulb. Not the cartoon image denoting an epiphany, but simply that tiny, inexpensive device that permits the human mind — the sole source of Capital — to work on long after the sun has gone down…

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11 Comments so far

  1. Doug Quance January 3rd, 2007 8:23 am

    Not only are they efficient – fluorescents can last a loooooong time.

    I have one in my living room that has been on for more than ten years. Yes – more than ten years. It draws only 13 watts, so it’s monthly cost is less than a buck.

    I use it as a security light.

    A typical Edison bulb lasts 750 hours. A long life can go a few thousand. Imagine how many bulbs I would have replaced in ten years.

    Yeah, compact fluorescents are the way to go.

  2. Greg Swann January 3rd, 2007 8:40 am

    > Imagine how many bulbs I would have replaced in ten years.

    And think about all the spots affording difficult access: Overhead in bathrooms and the kitchen, upside-down fixtures in the dining room, ladder-height ceiling fans. In the garage or the attic, one CF bulb might be enough for a lifetime…

  3. Galen January 3rd, 2007 3:46 pm

    I use old-school bulbs in the winter – all that “wasted” energy is heat, which supplements the crummy forced-air heating in my house.

  4. Monica Ricci January 5th, 2007 6:59 am

    I love this post. You are my hero!

  5. […] There has been talk lately about fluorescent bulbs‘ merits (and demerits); buying a few is a start. Soon you might find yourself recycling or riding a bike to work! […]

  6. Enrique January 8th, 2007 7:34 am

    Our 21 first Capitalism is not Adam’s Capitalism.
    Making money and saving the planet are not mutually exclusive.
    The Communist Manisfesto was written for an industrial based Capitalism not a digital one.

  7. Pedro’s Spot | United Bloggers January 8th, 2007 2:32 pm

    […] How many marketers does it take to get you to screw in a light bulb? from 12gurus (the blog), I Do So Love Compact Fluorescent LightBulbs! from adam jusko’s bessed blog, ten things i didn’t about compact fluorescent lightbulbs until last week from MisEntropy, ten things i didn’t know about compact fluorescent lightbulbs until last week from MisEntropy, …With the bulbs you have from Clicked, Think Green Thrifty from True Story | Thoughts by Doug True, Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs from Happiness, Wellness and Healing, Seeing the Light from erniesblog, Its A Hard Habit To Break from The Happy Burro, House Lighting Tip #1 from Make a good house a GREAT home, How many Realtors to screw in lightbulb? from StarMaker Jason, A Good Idea from john t. unger studio, Let there be light! from mike brewer, You Light Up My Life (And My House) from Your Life. Organized.    Motivational Speaker , Wal-Mart Is Pushing Energy Effiecient Bulbs from NeoNetMarketing, Light bulbs from DJ Orion – the diary, An energy efficient hack – literally from, The Turn of the Bulb from The Real Estate Zebra, Why I use compact fluorescent light bulbs from Search Engine Marketing Blog from Elixir Systems, The problem with those compact fluorescent bulbs from Simon Payn’s Effective Customer Newsletters, The Curly, Cute CF Light BulbCompact Fluorescent Blubs – The two big fundamentalflaws from Taco’s Toppings, Doodley Bulbs AreSquiggly! from The Learning Curve, Screw the Future – BumperSticker from The Learning Curve, Confessions from the darkside from ?berEye, Wal-Mart Environmentalism from Acton Institute PowerBlog, Money saving tip: fluorescent light bulbs from Adventure Money, Energize Your Business from Customer Service Experience, Fab 5 on Friday from Balanced Life Center, Glow, baby, glow: The revolution will be illuminated . . . from BloodhoundBlog, How to light up 2007 from communicatrix, A Case For Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs from Content Blog, The Blog Push for Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs from Conversion Rater – web analytics, online advertising, and website publishing., Seeing the light – New Years ResolutionsSave $66 with a Light Bulb? from jcCommerce, Why Is It So Hard to Sell CF Lightbulbs? from LandingTheDeal, Gimmie a C! Gimmie an F! from Medium & the Message, Why don’t people use Compact Florescent lightbulbs? from Here’s The Thing, Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs And The Lazy Gal from No Limits Ladies., How many bloggers does it take to shift traditional lightbulbs dominance? from Pedro’s Spot, Who doesn’t want $66? from JK’s Journal, How many bald guys does it take to screw in a light bulb? from Sly Bald Guys Forum, Save $66 per light bulb in your house from Sly Bald Guys Forum, Just one, Seth from Sparkplug 9 >> bizhack, Compact Florescent Lightbulb Packaging from The Deets, The CF Lightbulb that Could. from The Mostly Honest Truth, Do you make the same mistakes as Wal-mart and Seth Godin? from thinks, Ilu bloger?w potrzeba ?eby wkr?ci? ?ar?wk?? from Zielone Migda?y from Build A Solo Practice, LLC,  from Free From Blog. […]

  8. Fred Rogers January 9th, 2007 7:30 am

    You forgot to mention how many people Capitalism has killed.

  9. Jeff Turner January 26th, 2007 8:25 am

    Greg, great post. My wife wrote one similar a while back. Thought you’d like to see it.

  10. […] Bloodhound talks about the capitalistic victory of technology. […]

  11. […] wrote about that much about a year-and-a-half ago, in a BloodhoundBlog post about compact fluorescent light bulbs: I have zero faith in the good intentions of capital-E Environmentalism as a movement. I see it as a […]