Re: Atheist Propoganda?

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 03:11:33 MST

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:03 MDT