[ExI] Private and government R&D

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 12:50:16 UTC 2009

2009/7/24 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 7:57 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2009/7/23 Max More <max at maxmore.com>:
>>> Actually, no, it won't. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience, Damien.
>>> Private companies sometimes (too often) do crappy things. But it's just not
>>> right to react to one personal instance to damn companies in general. Some
>>> companies understand that making things difficult for customers is really a
>>> bad idea (in competitive markets).
>> Yes, this is the point. A company will decide to engage in good or bad
>> behaviour depending on how it believes it will affect profits. We
>> might hope that good behaviour is more likely to increase profits than
>> bad behaviour, but there is no reason to believe that this must be
>> true in general.
> ### I am convinced that you are missing the point, Stathis. What
> matters is not whether a small entity may in principle decide to
> engage in bad behavior, but rather the relative frequency and
> destructiveness of bad behavior in general under various legal
> regimes. I keep insisting that a regime based on monopoly and violence
> will always generate more bad behavior than a polycentric regime based
> on a principled refusal to initiate violence.

But the grander principle in a pure free enterprise system is that
those entities which do whatever it takes to prosper will... prosper,
at the expense of the less efficient. Sort of a tautology, like
biological evolution. And, like biological evolution, prospering may
involve cooperating or it may involve growing big teeth and devouring
your prey. Monopoly and violence might be the natural order;
cooperation by individuals to limit monopoly and violence, effectively
putting restrictions on their own selfish urges on the proviso that
everyone else is restricted by the same rules, is a way to prevent
this from happening.

Stathis Papaioannou

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