Competition (was: Corporate transparency)

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Wed, 9 Jan 2002 02:52:44 -0400


On Wed, Jan 09, 2002 at 04:08:01AM +0000, Russell Turpin wrote:
> Owen Byrne:
> >Because its not competition and its not capitalism. ..
> >Stalinism, Totalitarianism, Fascism, whatever you want to call it.
> 
> Being a nominalist, I'm entirely pragmatic about choice
> of labels. Since this is what has traditionally been
> called capitalism, I'm going to stick with that term. I
> find it just creates confusion to assign new meanings
> contrary to common usage. If you think traditional
> capitalism didn't exhibit the features you describe,
> then where we differ is our understanding of 18th and
> 19th century Anglo-American history.
> 

Well, being an English major at one point in my life, I tend
to believe labels matter. In fact its the gist of my argument. 
18th and 19th century Anglo-American history may be about the
practice of capitalism, but I think competition is central to 
the theory of capitalism. And if the practice doesn't match the
theory, but you continue to use the label to identify the practice...

Frankly I don't give a damn about capitalism or communism, anyway. 
I'm much more interested in the decline in participatory democracy worldwide.
Labelling a process with a misleading name and expounding on the benefits of that
process ad nauseum is an important tool of propaganda. I'm not accusing you 
of that - "capitalism" and "freedom" are just my hot-button words these days.

> >Plus I'm sympathetic to the herbivores...
> 
> In the analogy, the herbivores are just different kinds
> of firms. Business processes, interpeted in the broadest
> sense, are the alleles. Entrepeneurs and managers are
> snippets of chromosomes available for recombination, as
> are all workers to the extent they carry relevant
> knowledge from firm to firm. Consumer demand is sunlight.
> 
> 
See I thought the herbivores were the consumers. You are matching up
with my "economist" stereotype by assuming unquenchable demand.
But again its something that I don't like - the assumption of a passive
 consumer.


Owen