Re: Working Within the System

From: E. Shaun Russell (
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 21:45:26 MDT

(I would argue the whole post, but don't have the time...)

Adrian Tymes wrote:

>> Ten years ago this remark would have been on target. Five years ago the
>> matter would have been arguable. Today it is simply ignorant prejudice.
>> Microsoft's current performance in both these areas is in the top 25% of
>> industry, and still improving at a steady rate. They aren't the best in the
>> world, but they are much better than average, and unless the Unix vendors
>> get their collective act together they *will* be the best in another five
>> years or so.
> virtue of having bought up or run out of business all competition
>that did have their act together.

If I had a byte for every time I heard this sentiment, my hard-drive would
be full. What is unfair about "buying up competition?" The competition
has the choice of either selling its business --usually at a profit-- to
the larger company, or finding a way to remain successful as competition.
Simple. No one's rights are being abused, it is simply a case of: may the
best business win. Bill Gates has done what every entrepreneur dreams of:
created a series of extremely successful products which have changed the
face of the marketplace in such a way that competition is hard sought. He
has been successful, and made a lot of money. He started his company, he
has shaped his company's direction, and now he is being condemned for that
success because his competition is too inept to follow suit.

The idea that a monopoly is *always bad* is absurd. Microsoft products are
reasonably priced and easy to use. Linux is free and somewhat easy to use,
but its creators have not been able to market it as well as Microsoft --is
that Microsoft's fault? According to the sentiment of the ruling, it is.

Look at the same scenario on a smaller level: In Orangetown, U.S.A., there
were a whole host of orange groves competing with each other. For many
years each grove made approximately the same revenue, and sold oranges
which were arguably not all that different from each other. One day, a
young man moved into Orangetown and realized that the market was stagnant.
As a result, he opened up an apple orchard. The buying public of
Orangetown was shocked at this new commodity on the market, and began
buying just as many apples as oranges. With the growing revenue from the
apple demands, the young man was able to invest in new ways of growing and
distributing his product. Many orange groves declared bankruptcy due to
their inability to adapt to the market, while other groves began
experimenting with apples. After a few years of being very successful, the
young man was able to buy out any of the orchards which had new
distribution and growth ideas; the competition was more than happy to sell,
as competing with the young man was very tough. The end.

Ultimately, a market is determined by consumers. Given the revenue of
Microsoft prior to November, consumers obviously weren't too upset by any
of Microsoft's practices...the products were still being bought, and few
were complaining. But now, the government has to step in to protect all
the weak competitors. Suddenly, the market drops, and everyone stands
around scratching his or her head wondering why.

E. Shaun Russell Extropian, Musician, ExI Member <KINETICIZE *YOUR* POTENTIAL>

Hear my music at:

"The creation of the future is in the creation of the present"

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