Re: Free Markets Decentralized?

Anton Sherwood (
Mon, 06 Apr 1998 19:26:24 -0700

> Anton Sherwood wrote:
> > If I "vote" with my money to decree that
> > cilantro is not food, even if I'm in a
> > majority there are still a minority who
> > buy and eat cilantro, and a minority of
> > restaurants who use it. And though in fact
> > I am evidently in a tiny minority, most
> > restaurants will leave out the cilantro if
> > I ask them to.

Yak Wax wrote:
> The majority is in control of what food is supplied, even if you don't
> buy and eat it.

That claim is contradicted by the availability of specialty food in
every city. (Did you read my first sentence above?) The majority say
"no tofu!" and yet tofu is sold. The majority say "Who needs to pay
retail for water?" and gourmet bottled water is sold. The majority say
"beer is beer" and microbreweries sprout like mushrooms.

> > > But what about your firms interaction
> > > with individuals (i.e. customers)? Do
> > > you consider that a centralist
> > > relationship?
> >
> >Where's the center?
> The firm would be the centre, even if it is 'controlled' by the
> customers.
> Again, the firm is the centre. Just because it has not been quite so
> successful at forcing me to use its product (like a government) it is
> not decentralised. And just because there are more firms than
> governments, they are not decentralised. And just because firms are
> smaller than governments, they are not decentralised.

If you cut out everything else in the world and look only at the trades
of a particular actor, yes, it is naturally "centralized" - as has
already been conceded at least once. I can't see the advantage of
describing a free economy, with millions of actors each trading with
thousands of others who may not know of each other, in such terms.

"How'd ya like to climb this high without no mountain?" --Porky Pine
Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685