Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Moral defense of capitalism?
Author: email@example.com Posted: 1/14/2000; 7:53:57 AM Topic: Moral defense of capitalism? Msg #: 14441 Prev/Next: 14440 / 14442
posted quote: "What would it mean, by contrast, to decree that the buyer has a right to dictate the terms on which he wants to buy a product? To do so would be an assault on the rights of the seller. It would transform the seller into a servant, there to take orders dictated by the buyer."
What these fine folks seem to be forgetting is history. According Adam Smith, the theoretically free market would allow the buyer to choose between a host of products, it would also allow producers who produced products that consumers desired to flourish. Of course this model has been partially subverted by things like branding and fashion, but if we follow this as the basis of capitalism and look at the historic time frame of the DOJ investigation, what else was available? Apple was mired in sub-4% market share and sinking fast, Linux and opensource was off the screen, allowing MS to pretty much dictate the terms in the market. Add to this the fact of 'product lock-in' in the corporate sector, and I don't see much MS capitalism occuring in that historical period of time.
The big buzz is now the speed of competition and internet time, but internet time and the so-called rapidly changing market doesn't effectively combat product lock-in and previous investment. Unless drastic changes or an earth shattering shift occurs the other of the competitors are left with the rest of the market. What really is suprising is the DOj didn't focus on MSOffice.
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