In the Beginning was the Command Line

JoeHill joehill-rieW9WUcm8FFJ04o6PK0Fg at
Wed Dec 10 15:24:36 UTC 2003

On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 09:55:07 -0500 (EST)
Robert Brockway <robert-5LEc/6Zm6xCUd8a0hrldnti2O/JbrIOy at> wrote:

> Personally I think pure capitialism can be quite dangerous.  It tends to
> transfer power & money into the hands of the few at the expense of the
> many.  OTOH, Regulated capitalism can be quite healthy (IMHO of course :)

Your "humble opinion" is in fact backed up by some pretty big guns. Read
anything from Adam Smith, all the way up to giants like Keynes or Galbraith, and
you will find that you are on some pretty solid ground there.

The problem really isn't that Capitalism is a totally free market, as you seem
to be hinting at, it's that it is in fact *not* a free market. It concentrates
power around those who *have* capital, and therefore works against the free flow
of trade, and also against innovation. Once a corporation has obtained a
position of power, there is very little incentive to compete or innovate, more
to keep pushing the same obsolete product at higher and higher profit.

This is what has allowed Microsoft, a business doing what anyone would expect a
business to do in a Capitalist environment, to use the power of concentrated
wealth to make it more difficult for others to compete, so as to further enrich
their shareholders and other beneficiaries.

Of course, having the State take over the reigns of the economy is no better, as
Galbraith's famous quote humourously implies:

"In Capitalism, man exploits man. In Communism it is exactly the opposite."

Money is not the root of all evil, it's the way we *use* money that is so
harmful. Someone on this list, a ways back, pointed out that there are far more
viable economic models insofar as trade and commerce, one of which, IIRC, was
based on the idea that money does not increase in value over time
(incentive to hoard, stagnate), but actually loses value over time (incentive to
spend, build, expand).

JoeHill ++ ICQ # 280779813
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"Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vice versa."
-- Bakunin
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