[ExI] Usages of the term libertarianism

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 21:49:31 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> I suspect on the contrary that "natural" monopolies do exist. Take for
> instance the IT world, where a good-enough program can establish a
> stronghold simply out of time-to-market, by becoming a de-facto standard
> invulnerable to any technical prowess or lower price by competitors'
> products.

### The history of technology is full of "invulnerable standards" that
succumbed to competitors. Even network standards (IT standards belong
to this group) are open to competition. Think MySpace, AOL, Wang
Computers, Cray Inc., Atari - where are they now?

First-to-market is not something done "simply", or else everybody
would have done it already. Coming up with a product that works
well-enough to fulfill the desires of users even a month earlier than
competitors already provides social value (i.e. satisfaction of
desires) - but failing to keep up with competition quickly dissipates
the hold on market, as noted above.

> It remains to be seen whether such monopolies should be fought, OTOH.
> According to some theories, funds for private R&D, especially
> breakthrough-oriented R&D, can exist in a market society only inasmuch as
> the market is not perfectly efficient, and allows for some "parasitic" extra
> margins that allow its financing.

### You may be referring to neoclassical theory - it was a great step
forward when it was first formulated but it's clear that it fails to
account for the discovery role of economic activity. IP laws are
sufficient to provide for private R&D (which is the vast majority of
all R&D), no need for cartels there (but then, no need to fight
cartels either).


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