Backwards on Fascism

Story: Following Bill Gates' Linux Attack MoneyTotal Replies: 6
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Dec 30, 2005
2:31 PM EDT
Sorry, but Fascism is "titular ownership of private property, but you get to keep it only so long as you abide government regulation of how, when, where, etc, you get to utilize your property".

I'm not disagreeing with the abuses you're seeing, they certainly are abuses. But the abuses are not because Microsoft owns the government, or is more powerful than government.

Those abuses are because politicians hold power for sale, and Microsoft is buying in order to attempt to maintain their bottom line.

If the politicians did not have the power available for purchase, Microsoft would not go to them.

Microsoft also knows how tenuous their hold on their own "property" is, being prosecuted on two contenants by different governments, with only the most vague glossing over of the fact that the prosecutions are politicians going after a cash-cow for "donations".

I whole heartedly recommend the articles on for discussions on styles of economics, of which fascism is just another category.


Dec 30, 2005
3:03 PM EDT
Ok, now I see the error.

Quoting FDR as an expert in economics is not only "appeal to authority", he was a virulent fascist in his deeds and programs.

If you want quotes on economics, quote an economist and not a politician.


Dec 30, 2005
6:19 PM EDT
Hey Bob,

Quoting FDR as an expert in economics is indeed pretty warped, but I'm not sure that quoting an economist is any better.

Dec 31, 2005
7:27 AM EDT
I think the horror of what FDR saw when presented with the information about Standard Oil caused him to make the statement. You can own a government and it doesn't cost that much. These guys can be bought off for a pittance. It's sad but true.

When the current governor of California campaigned, he kept saying he has his own money and doesn't owe anything to special interests. To whom do you think "special interests" applies? If you have the fattest checkbook on the block, then you can make sure you're at the top of the special interest list.

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2005
12:07 PM EDT
Jimf, in terms of the "court economists" one usually hears about, who for example think Greenspan did a "good" job, I agree whole heartedly. However, I think you will find the discussions on to be of an entirely different character.

Tadeslte, FDR was just trying to distract attention from his own alphabet-soup of federal regulatory agencies and policies. He didn't want people to recognize his own fascism.

"the horror...information about Standard Oil"

This is interesting. During the time of Standard Oil's operation, prices for all petroleum products dropped substantially. The efficiencies that S.O. used to undercut the prices of their competition rippled outward, and other companies had to innovate in order to stay in business. And stay they did, requiring S.O. to continually innovate themselves.

Can you provide some citation as to what this horror might have been?

As to the present governor of California, good sir, if I open a septic tank I am not going to act surprised about what I find floating to the top.

Happy New Year, indeed.

Dec 31, 2005
12:41 PM EDT
Bob_Robertson: I'm as critical of FDR as most historians. But, reload on Standard Oil, please. Will somebody defend Microsoft 70 years from now the way you just defended SO.

When the Standard Oil case went to the Supreme court, the files contained over 14,000 pages with 2,500 pages of testimony. The company sabotaged competition such as causing refineries to explode and they killed people. Rockefeller ran a gambit to buy up land where competing refineries had pipelines and used paramilitary units to guard, secure, takeover and fight competition.

The price issue you brought up was how Rockefeler drove the competition out of business. Price wars - ever hear of those.

He put his competitors out of business by having the railroads align with him and report competitors deliveries. He owned everybody in politics by bribing judges, senators, congressmen and politicians all over the US.

Movies were made depicting the situation including "Meet John Doe" with Gary Cooper.

Standard Oil is well chronicled. BTW, many legal actions occurred related to Standard Oil including after the break up.

It was a horror story about a man and his decendants who almost pulled the US into a dictatorship.

With regard to citations, I'm not aware of a single source and people usually pay me for the kind of research required to give you a working understanding of the cases and history. It's too bad that our educational institutions only glance over the story.


Jan 01, 2006
10:37 AM EDT
"Our" educational institutions, may they be left not one stone resting upon another and the ground they are on sown with salt, gave the same account to me, less some very interesting details that you have provided. Thank you, I appreciate your attention to detail.

"Price wars" have two results: lower profits for the competition and for the one "waging" the war. Without improvements in efficiencies, it is just as likely that the wager will fail as it is the wagee. The wager must also raise their prices after a "successful" price war in order to make back their losses, creating an opening for a competitor to step in and undercut them. Or, as with Microsoft having their cash-cow be Office and not Windows, one product has to be able to cover the losses made in trying to undercut the competition with some other product. But, just like before, that creates an opportunity for competition. I see this as why Microsoft reacted with such vigor toward the Massachusetts ODF decision.

The only way a price war can work is if the price can be dropped without any later raising it back up above "market" rates. Regardless of how those efficiencies are achieved, excluding force and fraud of course, the real winners are the consumers. And if I DON'T lower my price with an increase in efficiency, the Fed.Gov will prosecute me for price fixing. Catch-22, or fishing for campaign contributions.

I recommend the chapter on Standard Oil, and for that matter the rest of the book, _How Capilalism Saved America_, by Thomas DiLorenzo.

Microsoft? I no more begrudge them their success with Windows than I begrudge GE their success with Lexan. Any prosecution is too late to matter, just as Standard Oil was losing market share, IBM had to deal with Amdahl, DEC and the other mainframe producers, while Apple and the free *NIX environments have equaled or surpassed Windows the entire time. Most of Windows success is due to marketing and exclusive OEM installation contracts, both of which are wearing mighty thin.

Looking back in 100 years, the very short life-span of Microsoft's "monopoly" will be seen clearly. The only reason it seems like a long time and so terrible to us is that we are living through it.

I couldn't agree more with your sentiment, that Microsoft (and Standard Oil for that matter) deserves prosecution for their obfuscated and missleading EULA and for their deliberate sabotage; their foibles and corruption should be plastered across the sky for all to see, and especially the failings of their products deserve to be known far and wide.

But no one was ever, EVER forced to buy their products. The only agency capable of forcing someone to pay for them at gun point is government.

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