Re: Final Challenge to Socialists

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 17:43:29 -0500

Joe E. Dees writes:
> "My individually refusing to do business with a polluting company will
> not deter them from polluting in the process of manufacturing
> products to sell to those who do not share my squeamishness."

It's very hard for a company to have several manufacturing processes for the same goods, directed at different social groups. Most likely, they will adopt manufacturing practices that satisfy some compromise between production efficiency and public squeamishness.

You can also refuse to buy anything from anybody who deals with any company that you disagree with, or you can make contributions to the causes offsetting the negative influence of the company that you deal with every time you make a transaction with it (the lists of all such companies, their estimated secondary and tertiary influences on your interests, and recommended offset payments may be calculated by your trusted interest groups and downloaded into your PDA at minimal transaction cost).

Besides, you can buy voting shares in these companies, or buy resources that you would like to see preserved, etc. If none of these seems sufficient, it means that the rest of the society is not as scared of pollution as you are, and wants to spend a larger share of resources towards other goals.

Using free value exchange and the power of persuasion looks like a decent way to reach a peaceful balance between conflicting goals of different social agencies. Coercion doesn't promise such balance, and also requires lots of resources to establish and maintain that could be put to better use.

Alexander Chislenko <> <> <>