[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 07:10:34 UTC 2008

On Feb 10, 2008 8:34 PM, The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi Rafal,
> Thanks for a cogent analysis of the data rather than simply a political
> position. This is precisely the response I was hoping for.

### Thank you, thank you :)

> Given the continuation of current trends, it seems likely that market
> forces will in time result in a "winner take all" economic singularity
> where no matter what you buy or where you buy it from, your money ends
> up in the same "hands". This is far worse than a simple monopoly since
> a classical monopoly only applies to a single commodity whereas an
> economic singularity is not so restricted.

### No, market forces do not result in "winner take all" outcomes,
except in certain network-dependent goods, such as the operating
systems and territorial extortion (state, gangland) businesses that I
mentioned, and some others (electric plugs, disc players... but not
toasters or radios....can you see why?). In the vast majority of
markets free trade results in a power distribution of business sizes,
with a few big players and a long tail of progressively smaller
providers. This is a standard economic analysis finding, you can look
it up. For every merger and for every bankruptcy there is a split and
an IPO. Think about it - if the market really tended towards
concentration of power (as Marx thought, but then the wasn't the
sharpest knife in the drawer), then by now, with spread of capitalism
over the globe, there would be fewer businesses than 30 or 130 years
ago, right? But in reality there has been an explosion of independent
economic activity, in all areas that have less state regulation (even
some networked businesses, like airlines, phone companies - why do
have more of them now than 30 years ago?). Really, the market doesn't
make for absolute winners - for that you need some massive violence,
or threat thereof, a prerogative of the state.
> So is there truly any difference between such an entity and a communist
> regime? Are there any condolences you could offer to the larvae of the
> formerly rich that can ameliorate their disappointment at having been
> sidelined from the "big game"?

### Of course, Stuart, if there was a Megacorps owning everything it
would be exactly as bad as a commie government, because, well, it
would *be* a de facto government. What matters is the essence of
things, not their names.

But please note that it's a long way from "everybody may own based on
first posession or contractual exchange" (i.e. the essence of
capitalism) to "everybody must obey the vanguard of the proletariat".
If a sufficient number of participants are not smart enough to see the
value of freedom/capitalism, and are ready to give it up for trivial
short-term gain ("security", "fairness", "protection from predatory
competition"), yes, a capitalist system will eventually become
unstable, and will mutate back into a feudal, totalitarian or other
nastiness. Is that an argument against capitalism? For capitalism? An
irrelevant observation? You tell me!


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