If I could impart one lesson on politics or economics here it would be this simple one: Private monopolies are ALWAYS better than government monopolies because one is implicitly backed by a gun and the other could be taken down tomorrow by a dude with ambition.
Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Insert reminder here that Ron Paul is the only candidate that truely agrees with you.
I’m not sure I completely agree here.
Not only are more and more companies employing private military firms to safeguard their interests, but governments are still accountable to their publics whereas private firms are only accountable to their shareholders. Both are equally capable of tyranny, but companies are much more efficient at it – if they choose to be.
what about a dude with ambition AND a gun? I’ve known plenty that could take down both.
“But the government always has our best interest at heart. Corporations are only concerned about proft”
-The Ivory Tower
In the history of the world, who has killed more people? Private citizens and their corporate entities, or governments?
Ryan, that’s a fallacious argument and you know better. Who has had more of a chance? And how many times has a government killed at the behest of “private citizens and their corporate entities?”
Not all governing bodies derive their power from coercive force and threat of violence, and not all corporations play fair. (And often, the only thing forcing them to is the counterbalancing force of government.)
A monopoly of either would be disaster. Period. Hierarchical power structures with total power do shitty things. It doesn’t matter what you call it.
Wal-mart is the most evil.
Are you sure about that? Look at the history of secessions. How many happened peacefully? And how many of those weren’t at least at the brink of violence? Yes, governments (democracies) exist at the request of citizens, but at their very core, they derive their power from force and the threat of violence. That is EXACTLY why people band together and grant them that power, because it’s persuasive.
Of course monopolies are bad–but private ones are NATURAL and they die natural deaths. Government monopolies die only in tandem with the fall of the government itself. Or by “official decree” Ask yourself, would it be easier to start your own company that defeats FedEx or convince ALL of America to pass a constitutional amendment that ends the Post Office.
i think people have a problem of accepting this because the corporations/monopolies we’re familiar with are more like quasi-government entities
Where the hell did all these idiot-socialist readers of this blog come from?! For a blog whose entries often focus so much on the entrepreneurial spirit and rational self-interest, I am shocked at some of these responses. Ryan’s last response says it the best. Natural, private monopolies dont and cannot last. They simply are the first movers. The barriers to entry in the market break down and the playing field levels. Most obvious example, google snatching the market share from Microsoft. And how about, oh, I dont know, the very company that publishes this site?! Rudius could very well become a private monopoly of internet media, but its model will be copied and tweaked, and the market share will be changed. If anything, with the uber-efficiency of the web, internet monopolies do not last much time at all.
If you’re really that humorless, my first comment was made in jest.
I read somewhere a while back that some time after Estonia left the USSR, their newly elected President enacted a huge series of classical liberal reforms, because he was so inspired by Milton Friedman’s documentary series Free To Choose.
Today, Estonia is rapidly becoming a powerhouse within Europe and is arguably one of the most advanced countries in the former Eastern Bloc. How often do you hear this reported?
Here are the articles on Estonia’s Prime Minister and how Milton Friedman influenced him. His privitization program is credited with helping the country.
I think the types who still advocate socialism and central planning are like those washed up high school football players who still talk about the glory days and how they could have made the State finals. The dream is over and they can’t let go.
Pike is 100% correct.
I’m not some “socialist idiot.” I think the combination of the free market with the new distribution possibilities of the Internet age will allow capitalism to do what Marx could only dream of – give people the opportunity to free themselves. (But it will require them to actually work for it.)
I’m not some crazy left wing anti-corporate type, either. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy in to this “corporations always do things better” zealotry that’s coming into vogue as of late.
Corporations are nothing more than just another hierarchical structure of organizing people to attain a goal. Depending on your goal, various different organizational types have strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing inherently fair, natural, or magical about corporations.
You of all people, Ryan – an intelligent guy who has expounded endlessly on the need for clearheaded, objective thought, should know better than to make absolute assertions that X is ALWAYS better than Y. You assert governments are ALWAYS backed primarily by the threat of force, and imply that could NEVER be the case by an organization that follows the corporate model. If you can’t find the counterexamples, you might want to consider the possibility your biases are becoming an issue.
Every virtue listed here in this thread of corporations only exists because their power is limited by governments.
I’m not even in disagreement with you that in *most* cases, a private monopoly is better than a government one, so there’s not much point arguing after this point. I just found such an absolutist statement by you surprising.
“Every virtue listed here in this thread of corporations only exists because their power is limited by governments.”
really? So there have never been any big-business enterprise that just wanted to make money? they all wanted to take over the world and commit genocide and starve the people of it’s own country, and invade and murder neighboring countries?” …’cause there have been many, many governments to do so.
In fact, though, Ryan, I would agree that a judicial system needs to be in place to prevent force, fraud and/or coercion. I have to concede that, because I am not an anarchist.
I do agree that a private monopoly is ALWAYS better than a government monopoly by it’s very nature. It’s a value-producing entity, a wealth-creating machine. A government monopoly is more like a social program than a grand-scale value-for-value exchange. A government that is involved in our economy has over-stepped it’s boundaries. It’s job is, objectively, to make sure everbody plays fair.
Exactly. That’s the thing, private monopolies are still tied to public demands (ie the consumer) but try voting the DMV out of office. It’s not a function of democracy, it’s an institution that is isolated from opinion and whose authority is pretty much entirely based on the implied force of the government (the police, etc)