RE: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 14:56:48 MDT

KPJ wrote:
> Anarcho-capitalism seems to require a society based on personal freedom.
> However, since the current societies do not fall into that cathegory.
> A company actually creates a mini-state with its own hierarchical
> dictatorship.

A dictatorship implies an organization capable of resorting to violence to
enforce its will. Corproations do not have this ability. There are no IBM
secret police arresting their rival's customers, no Microsoft assassins
eliminating key enemy personnel, and no armies of Dell and Compaq
infantrymen clashing to secure the buying public's dollars.

The only thing companies can do now that they couldn't do in a pure
anarcho-capitalist society is bribe politicians to pass laws - and lobbying
for protectionist legislation is one of the few things I haven't heard
Microsoft accused of.

> Since companies buy and sell the stuff, it seems only natural to me that
> anarcho-capitalism will not work too well in that environment.

The PC market is one of the least regulated markets in existence. It should
therefore be expected to work better than most other markets, and any
failures it does exhibit should be a result of government intervention.

So, what do you do when a company you consider to be inferior comes to
dominate the market? Accusing them of evil anti-competitive practices misses
the point - companies would do the same kinds of things in a stateless
society, and in that case there would be no one to stop them. No, there are
really only two viable explanations: either free markets don't actually work
very well, or your personal evaluation of which companies ought to do well
is somehow flawed.

Now, the interesting thing here is that our standard arguments for why
central control is bad predict that the second explanation will usually be
correct. In general, I can't reliably tell which product is best for you,
you can't predict which one is best for me, and neither of us can speak for
Tom, Dick or Harry. It should therefore not be surprising if the dominant
product in an industry isn't the one you like - all that means is that most
of the market has different needs than yours.

Billy Brown

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