Re: Atheist Propoganda?

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 10:56:20 MST

If there's a strong state, variations in the "smoking hole" scenario
abound. You can adapt your play so as to optimize your advantages in the
fractal legal landscape, you can influence governments with the money
you start to make, you can have them throw up legal roadblocks to
competitors, reforming the legal landscape to your advantage, you can
simply pay investigators or regulators off, while your competitors
don't/can't, because they don't know who's honest and who can be
"greased"--all with the complete deniability that "you're just playing
the game of capitalism as it's played"...

Charlie Stross wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 11:56:58AM +1000, Emlyn wrote:
> >
> > Is there actually a concept of "economic violence", which might mirror
> > physical violence, and describes what orgs like M$ routinely commit upon
> > competitors*?
> Let me take a stab at it ...
> "Capitalism" is a a value-neutral framework, like "technology"; it
> is a convenient shorthand that invokes various practices of trade, use
> of invested equity to produce goods which can be traded, and so on.
> However, you can approach a transaction within a capitalist economy
> in two (or more) ways.
> You can try to do deals where _everybody_ who is party to the deal
> profits; the buyer gets something cheaper or unavailable elsewhere, the
> vendor makes a tidy profit, and everyone is happy.
> Or you can try to do deals that leave the other parties at the bottom of
> a smoking hole in the ground -- the buyer loses their independence, the
> vendor walks away with a blood-signed contract giving them ownership of
> the buyer's soul. (You may respond that the buyer was bloody stupid to
> join in this contract in the first place, but I submit that standardizing
> on Microsoft's software simply to remain compatible with everybody else who
> is doing so is _exactly_ this type of deal.)
> Both transactions are superficially fair insofar as they took place within
> the same economy, but I know which one _I_ would prefer to be party to.
> Does this stand up to inspection?
> -- Charlie

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