Re: Joe's Universal Corporation (tm)
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:53:40 -0700

Joe writes:
It appears as if <> complained:

|There you go again. You simply assume that without Big Brother, companies
|will become monopolies. You also make the odd assumption that a monopoly
|a defacto state. Where are the premises to back up these assertions?

No, I do not assume that. I asked what stops them from doing it.

Can't you see that the very question implies the assumption that there's something that needs to be stopped? "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

I deny your implicit proposition that an abusive monopoly can arise in a free market. It's up to you, as the asserter, to establish that proposition; until you make your case, there's nothing to argue about.


|In point of fact, a true monopoly is an exclusive franchise _granted and
|enforced by government_. F'rinstance, the Post Office, or AT&T before the
|breakup, or most utilities. So your question is absurd.

        does not imply that


True but irrelevant. I was simply giving the dictionary definition as a base to argue from; I never asserted the converse.

>If you do not have a State, then the State cannot grant nor enforce a
>since the State does not exist.

Of course. One excellent reason to abolish the State, n'est-ce pas?

>A monopoly situation only requires that a group has the power to enforce

So far, so good...

>This happens for instance when there exists only one real actor on the
>Or when there exists a few organizations on the market that cooperate and
>make sure that the prices stay high (an oligopole or trust situation),
>de facto comprises a monopoly situation.

Hold it right there, sport. Let's examine the assumptions you're trying to smuggle in here. You need to support your belief that there is likely to be only one real actor (whatever that means) on the market, or a collusive handful.

You're also overlooking the fact that the market is driven by competition as much as by cooperation. What's to stop a new company taking market share from a big conglomerate that tries to jack up prices beyond consumers' willingness to pay? It happens all the time - despite the sometimes enormous entry barriers erected by "government" regulations.

A minor point: an oligopoly is not _de facto_ a monopoly situation, though it may be _de jure_, since it "smells" like a monopoly.

>The organizations then have the power to decide on the market. With no
>to stop them, they can decide whatever they wish. Thus, you get yourself
>the State, except the State now consists of boardroom executives.

You're equivocating big time here, Joe, at least by implication. The power a company has is a function of its ability to please its customers. The power of the State, on the other hand, is the power to force compliance, i.e. military/police power. No lexical sleight of hand can conceal the fundamental difference between these two uses of the word. If you think there's a necessary relationship between them, make an argument for it. I deny that economic power is the same as political power.

>I can only see one way to get rid of the State and not get it back: that
>cannot become centralized in the hands of any one group.

I'm with you here. Power to the people! Sounds like the market to me.

>Therefore I asked how do you propose to do that. It does not happen by

No, unfortunately not. It'll take lots of hard work to educate enough people to the point where they decide to laugh their "protectors" out of town and take their lives into their own hands. It may never happen, though I tend to be moderately optimistic. Meanwhile, we can steadily chip away at the credibility of the "State".

Towards the revolution,