Re: Re[2]: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 09:28:29 MDT

On Mon, 10 Apr 2000, Matt Gingell wrote:
> Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > Treating an operating system like a utility, where having a standard
> > system provides for maximum benefit for all, according to the typical
> > big brother/big government apologist, then an operating system monopoly
> > should be to the best benefit of all. And hell, you trust your
> > electricity to be provided by one company, your water and sewer are
> > provided by one corporation. Your police services are provided by one
> > corporation. A government is a corporation, and a monopoly one at that.
> You know, I actually like living in a civilization. Honestly, this
> Mad-Max, me-and-my-gun libertarian stuff doesn't really appeal. What I
> don't understand is why you're so much more afraid of big government
> than big capital. What's the basis of this business good / government
> bad thing? It's all just power. If it weren't the US government, it
> would be someone else. It seems to me if you randomly switch
> "Gnomes of Zurich" and "BATF", the ultra-leftist/ultra-rightist paranoias
> become indistinguishable. The fixation is the same - only the label on
> the obsession changes.

The biggest difference between big business and big government is that in
big business the power is distributed between many competing companies.

Having lived in both extremes (or at least as extreme as they get in the
U.S.), I can say that "civilization" in very libertarian areas is not very
different than "civilization" in more traditionally socialist areas with
heavily delegated authority. I've lived in areas where there was no real
law enforcement and I can tell you that it is nothing like "Mad-Max". In
fact, it tends to be much more civil and friendly since there is not an
explicit power heirarchy. Everyone minds their own business, just about
everything is accomplished by contracts between individuals (often not
even written), and conflicts are often arbitrated amongst the people
themselves. Overall, I find these societies to be exceedingly fair and
free, whereas I often find more socialist locales to be rather arbitrary
and capricious in their use of the power delegated by the people. In my
experience, the greater the distribution of power, the less abuse of
power that occurs. In a system of distributed power, you *have* to play
fair, as you will never be in a position to exercise your power with

The argument against big government is that since they represent a highly
centralized power, they are almost never required to play fairly and can
exercise arbitrary power with near impunity at almost any time.

-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:12 MDT