Re: Gov't Loves Gov't

Peter C. McCluskey (
Tue, 27 Jan 1998 09:39:55 -0800 ("Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin") writes:
>> From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
>> Linux is an example of a free non-market non-capitalist solution.
>What you say about Linux is true except for the claim that it is
>non-market and non-capitalist.
>Linux does compete in a market both for users against other operating
>systems, and for programmers against other programming projects.

Only if you stretch the word market well beyond its original meaning
of a place where people buy and sell things (i.e. make it synonymous
with a free system, in which case the word market doesn't serve much

>And the capital is essential to its effort. It happens to be almost
>entirely human capital -- something nobody but libertarians and

Which would still exist in a free non-propertarian system, which most
people wouldn't think of as capitalist. (Guru George) writes:
>What would happen if people went against the conditions of use (or
>whatever it is you see that's pasted all over linux when you first come
>across it)?

Not much. The violater would get harrased a bit, and wouldn't derive
much benefit from the violation.

>He means that linux has not been made free by a political process but by
>the free decision of those involved. Perhaps "capitalism" and "market"
>aren't quite precisely what's being pointed out here, but certainly a
>classical liberal or libertarian system of property rights is presupposed.

How would Linux be different if there were no property rights for
information? (none) ("Lee Daniel Crocker") writes:
>Coase's work makes that completely irrelevant. In a sufficiently
>free market with sufficiently low tansaction costs, the optimal
>result will be found /regardless of initial distribution/. So why
>whine about how anyone came to own things originally? It doesn't
>matter; what matters is working on reducing transaction costs.

a) reducing transaction costs is hard; and
b) Coase only proved that the result would have optimal efficiency;
most people use a broader notion of optimality which includes some
measure of how much property they own.

Peter McCluskey  |  | Has anyone used           | to comment on your web pages?