Years ago, you described “American Buffalo” as being about “how we excuse all sorts of great and small betrayals and ethical compromises called business.” In this book, you defend enormous payouts to C.E.O.’s working for failing corporations. You seem to have changed radically.
I have. Here’s the question: Is it absurd for a company to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to a C.E.O. if the company is failing? The answer is that it may or may not be absurd, but it’s none of our goddamned business. Because as Milton Friedman said, the question is not what are the decisions but who makes the decisions. Because when the government starts deciding what’s absurd, you’re on the road to serfdom.
File this one under 'oh for fuck's sake.'
Contrarianism is all well and good, and goodness knows there are plenty of dippy hippies in the theatre world, but this is just making a virtue of idiocy. Put aside the issue of responsibility that comes with being tied into a precarious world economy. Mamet is reflexively arguing that any private business decision, no matter how reckless and collaterally damaging, is inherently better than government, just because, and he's relying on tired bumper sticker sloganeering--"on the road to serfdom"--to "prove" it to boot.
The modern conservative movement takes a nearly erotic pleasure in infuriating liberals (or at least thinking it's doing so), but saying something like this fills one with more pity than anger. David Mamet is a man of tremendous intelligence and talent, and so more than anything it's simply sad to see him now cutting off his brain to spite his face.