Competition (was: Corporate transparency)

Russell Turpin
Wed, 09 Jan 2002 05:50:05 +0000

Owen Byrne:
>Well, being an English major at one point in my life, I tend to believe 
>labels matter. ..

I didn't say they didn't matter. I said I was pragmatic
about the matter.

>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 my point is that competition, as important in this
theory, is widely misunderstood.

>And if the practice doesn't match the theory, but you continue to use the 
>label to identify the practice...

It's a theory, not a definition. If the theory doesn't
explain the facts, you improve the theory. The economic
system that America and much of west Europe practiced
in the 19th and 20th centuries will continue to be
called capitalism, perhaps with some hyphenated prefix,
just as ostriches will continue to be called ostriches.
You're free to call them something else, of course.

>You are matching up with my "economist" stereotype by assuming unquenchable 
>demand. ..

Do you assume there is an infinite amount of sunlight?
A biologist would tell you that the amount is limited,
and that this is important to the biosphere.

>But again its something that I don't like - the assumption of a passive 

The analogy is imperfect in several ways.


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