Re: Why Microsoft is a Threat to Freedom

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 12:08:29 -0800 (PST)

> >While I have nothing against a voluntary consumer boycott, why is
> >it that the MS-bashers always seem to want someone to use guns, like
> >the FTC, rather than actually competing with them?
> Guns? Real or otherwise? Haven't seen those. What's the FTC, some US
> Federal agency?

Yes, I'm using "guns" here metonymously for "government"; the FTC is
the US Federal Trade Commission--the agency responsible for preventing
free trade in our fair country. The Department of Justic (DOJ) is
also looking at Microsoft for the hideous crime of freely negotiating
contracts with PC-makers. We have to put a stop to that, of course.

> >Here's a free clue: the MS monopoly /will/ fall, as every so-called
> >monopoly in history always has, despite the fact that the government
> >will do everything in its power to keep it in power.
> Was is not the US governement that broke up the monopoly of Standard Oil,
> thus ending a monopoly that consumers and the competition could not break?

No, it was not, though most American history books will tell you that.
When the US passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Standard's market share
was less than 60% and /falling/, having once been 90%. This happened
because of agile competitors, not guns. Don't confuse the politician's
excuse for a law with the actual results of a law. The former is what
gets written in hitory books, but the latter is what really counts.

> It is well known that Shell (Royal Dutch Oil) frequently buys patents
> for solarenergy and hydrogen fuelcells and puts them in a vault.

Patents are government-enforced monopolies, not free-market ones.