Commerce and Business

David Musick (
Mon, 4 Nov 96 20:14:19 UT

After reading my post regarding commerce being basically agreements between
people to trade and business being a way of organizing resources to achieve
one's goals, banjo replied:

"OK, several things...
1) you seem to totally integrated the "Human Relations as Commerce" meme.
By your definition Romantic Love is Business.
2) are you married, in a Relationship, is this a relationship based on trade ?
3) im curious as to how you define success as in "The most successful

4) Re:"We are all responsible for our own lives"
are we also responsible (to some extent) for the lives of our neighbours,
children, aging parents, the mentally ill, intellectually handicapped ???"

Regarding #1: I'm not saying that all human relations are commerce; I'm
saying that commerce is an agreement to trade between two or more people. I
was saying this to counter the view that commerce alienates people from each
other. I think commerce and trading generally bring people together into
common goals rather than alienating them.

I would say that Romantic Love has a LOT of similarities to trading, enough
similarities that I would call it a form of trade. It is basically an
exchange between two people, a mutual sharing; and that's all a trade is: a
mutual sharing. When I call Romantic Love a form of trade, you probably think
I am debasing Romantic Love and dragging it DOWN to the level of commerce.
But what I'm really doing is illustrating how wonderful commerce can be in
some of it's finer forms. What I'm trying to do is to get you to reconsider
your negative view of commerce by showing you one form of commerce which you
think is wonderful, namely, Romantic Love. I suppose if you had an orgasm
every time you bought or sold something, you'd have a very positive view of
commerce already, just like you do of Romantic Love.

Regarding #2: No, I am not married or in any sort of romantic relationship
currently, but if I was, I would view it as being based on the same principles
that trade is based on: mutual sharing. When we trade, we are both sharing
what we have with each other. Like I've said before, business and trading can
be warm, dynamic relationships between humans in love, or they can be cold,
impersonal transfers between people who don't care about each other. You seem
to have the view that commerce must remain limited to only the cold,
impersonal kind. I prefer to have my commerce be of a warm and loving nature.

Regarding #3: I define "success" as being able to effectively achieve one's
desires. Those who have what they want are successful, and the degree to
which you are satisfied with your life is your degree of success in your life.
Because I desire close and intimate relationships with other humans, I view
cooperation with other humans as being very important in becoming successful
in my life.

Regarding #4: Are we responsible for the lives of those around us who are
unable to take care of themselves? First, I would say, we are "responsible"
for whatever we choose to respond to. I don't think I or anyone else is
obligated to respond to the needs of those around us, but anyone can choose to
respond to those needs, if they want to. I, personally, have chosen to be
responsible for the needs of the poor and helpless on this planet. I did not
HAVE to make this choice, but I made it because I truly care about other

The main cause of poverty, in my opinion, is the poor's lack of the
appropriate knowledge and skills necessary to create wealth for themselves.
(And I mean CREATING wealth, by adding value to one's resources through
intelligence and ingenuity, not just taking it from other people) To help
them I am currently becoming highly educated myself and working on developing
inexpensive and highly effective forms of education that can be easily
implemented by anyone. The most important thing, I believe, is to teach
people how to be self-training and self-motivated, so that they use whatever
resources available to them to educate themselves and increase the amount of
resources available to them so they have more to learn from and work with.

Oppression and tyranny also have a lot to do with poverty, but if the people
were more educated and skillful, it would be much more difficult to maintain a
tyranny over them and oppress them.

- David Musick

- question tradition -