[PD] [OT] Re: expr alternative

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 26 16:58:36 CEST 2011

----- Original Message -----

> From: Simon Wise <simonzwise at gmail.com>
> To: Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca>
> Cc: "pd-list at iem.at" <pd-list at iem.at>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 6:41 AM
> Subject: [PD] [OT] Re:  expr alternative
> On 26/10/11 12:26, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>  Le 2011-10-26 à 10:32:00, Simon Wise a écrit :
>>>  Their corporate strategy regarding creating and maintaining a monopoly 
> on as
>>>  many technologies as they can, and taking a percentage of every 
> transaction
>>>  within those monopoly platforms is very sensible and reasonable way to
>>>  maximise profits if you have the resources and embrace free market 
> principles.
>>  A monopoly is not a free market.
>>  Laissez-faire doesn't make a market free either.
>>  What do you mean by « free market » ???
> <** off-topic warning - stop reading immediately if you are not interested 
> **>
> By "free market" in that context I am talking about the grab-bag of 
> ideas that are promoted under that label by a very noisy and influential section 
> of the press and economics commentators (especially but not only in the English 
> speaking parts of the press) and are embraced as some kind of axiomatic 
> "good thing" by many voters in this part of the world (Australia).
> I mean the underlying assertions that the best way to manage the allocation of 
> resources across society is allowing everything to be bought and sold for a 
> dollar price, and that the best decisions for a society are made when responding 
> to the so-called invisible hand of the market.
> I mean the assertion that the profit motive and 'success' in this market 
> is the only workable way to decide what activities should receive funding and 
> resources in our society.
> I mean the assertion that to ensure the best management of the facilities and 
> services that we all rely on for a decent life these should be sold into private 
> ownership and the management disciplined by this free market. And yes, this does 
> often lead to monopolies, and yes - the profit motive (seen as pure and fair and 
> not tainted by other inappropriate motivations by many free market advocates) 
> combined with a minimally regulated market and the potential for a monopoly 
> means that corporations big enough to do so will of course put a lot of effort 
> into achieving such profitable monopolies within this market. Those, like Apple, 
> that do achieve this position are then lauded as examples of the positive and 
> profitable outcomes achievable by such market based policies.

From the context, I thought it was clear that this is what you meant when you used 
the term (people also call this "free market fundamentalism").  It's not a set of 
principles, but a rhetorical technique that company A uses to publicly rail against regulation X, 
which doesn't benefit them, while quietly lobbying for regulation Y, which does.  It's 
more persuasive than saying, "One dollar one vote."

> Clearly from my tone above I do not believe that this "free market" is 
> a fair or decent way to organise society, though it is probably a reasonable way 
> to deal with the distribution of the kind of goods and services that are not 
> basic things expected by everyone, and that can be readily bought and sold in a 
> shop or such.
> Simon
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