Comments on: Supercapitalism == super http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/ Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: www.thehelpbook.net http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-27333 Tue, 08 Jan 2013 03:40:53 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-27333 Really excellent position, surely note your understanding on the topic. This is the first time I go, but I assure you will not be the final, I hope everybody who reads this I believe the identical.

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By: Dave Jobson http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14556 Fri, 08 Feb 2008 03:19:51 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14556 I agree with Robert Reich’s suggested solution of democratic capitalism including the elimination of corporate tax and corporate lobbying etc. but will it be enough? There is still a problem and that is that consumers and investors who are also voters will form political parties that will advocate for what they see as personally advantageous. Wealthy individuals will join political parties that prefer low personal income taxes, no social welfare and will not regulate in any way that would reduce corporate profits. Parties which do advocate for more social responsibility will have difficulty getting elected. The pro corporate profit party is more likely to be successful in attaining power and the result will not be much different than what we have now.

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By: Mikko Särelä http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14555 Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:25:07 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14555 I personally was a little bit sceptical of the book at first glance. Normally, I would have put it squarely in the leftist camp of idiotic free-market system opponents (which is not to say that all of them are such, but that I would have put this book in that camp). But being recommended by Lawrence, and as essential for corruption, I decided to give it a try.

I was not surprised that I did not agree with the author on what values we should have government state (e.g. I oppose minimum wage, etc.), but I was surprised, to my great joy and shame, that his analysis of what has happened during the past decades was very accurate and told in a way that enabled me to understand something new. I also agree with him that we do have a problem and that we should find ways to make politics a democratic institution of public policy. Not a battle-ground for corporations that seek to maximize their profits (I don’t see anything wrong with maximising profits, but see something wrong, when public policy is hijacked for this purpose). And I also agree that his ideas on how to proceed are better than any I have seen before.

The situation we are in, reminds me, in a scary way, of the times of roman republic, in which, after conquests had brought huge properties to certain families/parties, the boundaries of private profit, military action, and public policy slowly vanished, until at the end all were the same under the rule of an emperor. The ultimate outcome of the game for bigger and bigger profits at the expense of all else.

So thank you for recommending this book. I shall await your next recommendation with anticipation. We have a problem we need to solve while we still have time. Hopefully, we still have time.

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By: oliver http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14554 Thu, 29 Nov 2007 07:18:50 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14554 I might have mentioned: The principle of fair competition implies that corporations effectively have certain duties toward people–such as truth in advertising, honoring guarantees, and maybe reasonably guarding against harms through defect (but hence the calls for tort reform) etc.–because any corporation that disobeys these psuedo-duties will enjoy an advantage over competitors in the market that conform to them. Why should we expect any to conform? Maybe because under the rule of law, language and perhaps other means of representation between legal entities needs to be sacrosanct. Unless the corporation uses an emoticon, so we know it’s only joking ;-) Something along those lines maybe? Corporations communicate with people, and people are liable to understand these communications according to people principles…even though by now we can recognize ads and commercials and know that what the supermodel says about the fat-free cookie in such a context isn’t what she thinks or what she’d tell us to our faces, and is probably far from the truth besides. Free speech is a constitutional right of persons, after all, not corporations,

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By: oliver http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14553 Thu, 29 Nov 2007 06:42:28 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14553 Sorry: I overlooked the “strong special interest” clause when I question how good a job government does at internalizing creativity.

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By: oliver http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14552 Thu, 29 Nov 2007 06:33:22 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14552 We don’t need to see corporations as people to see how and in what way we might require them to behave “fairly” as opposed to “morally.” Fairness requires that the same rules and constraints apply to all competitors, and that no competitor cheats. It’s competition between corporations (and other forms of business entity) for market share that efficiently supplies us goods and services at a reasonable cost, so it behooves us to have laws, enforcement and penalties such as are necessary to make it a real and pure competition–that is, a fair one.

“government is pretty good at forcing internalization when it benefits strong special interests (again, copyright),”

“Pretty good?” I guess you know best. But it’s private and often personally financed litigation that enforces the internalization, and at least sometimes the little guy needs to sue a corporation for the little guy to internalize anything, and surely all the time the corporations know this.

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By: assman http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14551 Tue, 30 Oct 2007 10:43:33 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14551 “To those who defend capitalism, I have a question. Isn’t it at least apparent that capitalism and the market are two different and very contradictory things even if they are essentially though of as being more or less same things? Capitalism wants profit and nothing else. But profit suffers from competition, which is why most major companies put in a lot of effort in destroying a true market. Additionally, why should the government be restricted from coming to the market? Exactly how are we to view it as triumph of the market that Americans pay more for slower corporate provided internet access and connectivity than do residents of many countries where the government has stepped in? And what is so bad about government anyway? Theoretically it is all WE have to resist the depredations of power. One can’t really hold the idea of democracy and weak government (excluded from the market) up at the same time.”

Depends what exactly you define the market as. Why no government because government is a monopoly. Have competitive governments (anarchocapitalism) and then there is no problem.

Is democracy compatible with capitalism? Actually a better question is, is anything other than capitalism compatible with democracy. Capitalism and democracy have always coexisted. Is weak government compatible with democracy. Sure. Why not? Again historically American government was weaker than it is now and America was democratic so why shouldn’ t the two be compatible

BTW, it is correct that in Somalia there is no last mile problem.

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By: Dean Jansen http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14550 Mon, 29 Oct 2007 11:43:19 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14550 I picked this up after reading your review and am in the middle of it right now. It has been incredibly engaging read, thus far… I’m looking forward to finishing it up.

Thanks for the recommendation :)

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By: Dan Luke http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14549 Mon, 29 Oct 2007 03:36:41 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14549 HH,

I made my last post after reading only Lessig’s post and only a few of the comments. Now that I’ve read the full thread, I would like to pay you a compliment. Your rhetoric is at once beautiful and devastating. Your comments are as elegant as they are trenchant. Still, I can’t help but wonder what might happen if you cast your pearls before something other than swine, so to speak. In the hope that I am casting my pearls before the proper entity, I would like to make some comments on what you have written, and ask a question or two as well.

You write: “Thomas Jefferson could have devoted a decade to drafting articulate letters and petitions to the British Crown addressing the amelioration of policy toward the colonies. He did not. Lessig can retreat to the safety of issuing mild exhortations for reform. I and many others are hoping that he will not.”

HH, have you ever read the Frozen Republic by Daniel Lazare? He argues that Jefferson deeply distrusted centralized power and wanted to establish an agrarian idea. Yes, America is a more urban then rural society, but agrarian interests (The Red States) have grossly disproportionate power as a direct result of Jefferson’s ideas. We are now living in a version of his agrarian ideal. There is also the point to consider that had we remained part of England, we would now enjoy the benefits of a much more egalitarian society. Anyway, I would like to know more specifics about what you hope Lessig will do. By invoking Jefferson, if you were simply making the point that actions speak louder than words, I agree.

I would like unpack this comment:

“I remain baffled by the reluctance of highly intelligent modern observers to grasp the potential magnitude of the political transformations that will result from the radical novelty of one billion people who are now effectively in continuous electronic communication all over the world. This development absolutely dwarfs the innovations of Gutenberg and the Encyclopedists. Yet commentary on the future of Internet society remains firmly focused on consumer appliances and chitchat.”

Well, have you considered that maybe the observers of which you speak aren’t so intelligent? And which observers are you talking about, exactly? And what difference does it make if they’re smart if they lack imagination and good will? By framing your question this way, (…highly intelligent modern observers…) I have to question the degree to which YOU grasp the potential magnitude of the political transformations that will result from the radical novelty of one billion people effectively in continuous communication all over the world. Don’t you get that you are now the highly intelligent modern observer of which you speak when you make intelligent comments in a public forum available to be read by billions of people? To whom else should we look? I mean, either it’s you or it isn’t. If you beg off, you contradict yourself. The shackles that currently bind us are ones which are mind-forged. They can be easily thrown off by thinking differently which I exhort you to do. At least allow me to attempt to explain how it might be done.

Also, your comment seems to indicate that you are not aware of a certain fundamental truth that in other instances you have made reference to in the above exchange. Except for a few places on the internet, there is no meaningful public discourse. The intelligent public observers of which you speak are invariably mouthpieces for the high priests and priestesses of the cult of money lovers. They’re at the podium right now, and they sort of set the agenda for what gets talked about and how. Don’t expect them to start going on about how the internet, if used properly, could cause their annihilation. The only way that they can conceive of the greatness of the internet is by thinking about how it might be useful for making someone billions of dollars. That’s about it.

The money-lovers are an absurd lot (as anyone who has read Richistan can attest) and we need to start bringing them to greater public ridicule. There are branches of social science already established which attempt to understand the causes and pathologies of poverty. That there is apparently no similar branch which attempts to understand the causes and pathologies of grotesque wealth might be viewed as a testament to the degree to which we are blind to it. But indeed it is a problem every bit as insidious as poverty and springs from various disturbances in human character.

HH, you speak of money-lovers, but let me ask you–do you feel like you adequately understand from where the impulse to love money comes? I would posit that it is of piece with the impulse to love ice cream. In the presence of a virtually unlimited supply some people find it difficult not to over indulge which goes at least part way in explaining why there are so many fat people today. For all but a blip of human history, the only environment there was one of scarcity. There really was no need to devise an accumulation off-switch. Those who speak of the virtues of self-interest and greed are making reference, even if unwittingly to this important impulse. And I too agree that it has its place. But in the same way that a rat will continually inject itself with cocaine under certain lab conditions, we will just endlessly accumulate money and whatever. We need to examine and understand this impulse a little better.

And unlike the accumulation of obscene weight, there is no social opprobrium reserved for those who accumulate obscene wealth. In fact we champion and celebrate those heifers who dwell in the outer reaches of plutocracy. Why should it be so?

But if people bend to anything at all, it is to social pressure. There may be no way to eradicate the impulse to be become a heifer, but we can at least make it unfashionable to do so in the same way that we have made smoking cigarettes unfashionable. I mean, Imelda Marcos isn’t the only one who has accumulated 4,000 pairs of shoes (while many children around her died of starvation). To a certain extent, as argued by the notable Peter Singer, when you have a billion dollars in your bank account and people are dying because those funds are unspent, you are committing atrocities. (How’s that for something for some of you money-lovers out there to chew on?)

Further, HH, declaring that the internet is big, great, and awesome, 300 X’s better than radio TV and the Gutenberg press combined doesn’t really amount to a whole lot. If only in some vague way, this is obvious to everyone by now. We need to start imagining what we want it to do and how we want it to do it. I mean very specific ideas. I have plenty of ideas that I will be happy to share. If you are willing to indulge me, I hope that you and others bring the precision and force of your intellect to these ideas I have so that they may be annealed in some fashion.

You write also this:

“This is a monstrous result of unchecked profit-making selfishness, and it cannot be addressed by retreating into the primitivism of tribal society or the dogmas of super-capitalism. Collectively-devised world-wide regulation is required to defend the public good.”

That’s spot on.

To those who defend capitalism, I have a question. Isn’t it at least apparent that capitalism and the market are two different and very contradictory things even if they are essentially though of as being more or less same things? Capitalism wants profit and nothing else. But profit suffers from competition, which is why most major companies put in a lot of effort in destroying a true market. Additionally, why should the government be restricted from coming to the market? Exactly how are we to view it as triumph of the market that Americans pay more for slower corporate provided internet access and connectivity than do residents of many countries where the government has stepped in? And what is so bad about government anyway? Theoretically it is all WE have to resist the depredations of power. One can’t really hold the idea of democracy and weak government (excluded from the market) up at the same time.

In conclusion, though I have spent a great deal of time writing this post, I’m rather sick of writing. There needs to be a call to action. HH, as I’ve said, you make terrific arguments. If you know of a cause that needs joining, let me know where to sign up. I’m happy to do any kind of work. If not, I encourage you to join my cause. I don’t want to spend another minute writing essays. I am eager to take action NOW. If anyone’s interested in devising a plan, let me know. 503-946-8389

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By: Dan Luke http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14548 Mon, 29 Oct 2007 00:34:01 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14548 Tiger tiger burning bright in the forest of the night…W. Blake

HH–The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.,,you make it seem as if there is no hope…that corporations are simply too powerful to go up against. Where does that leave us?

The truth is the pards in question are made of paper and not muscle and sinew. Am I the only one here who has watched the Wizard of Oz? I would recommed it before Reich’s book.

To Lessig: Of course the singular drive for profit is constantly at odds with the public weal. But watch your arguments:

“If government were doing that sensibly, it would force carbon producers to internalize the negative externality of carbon (something our current government doesn’t do), just as it would force those who benefit from creative work to internalize the positive externality of creativity (something our current government is obsessed with doing).”

Not being a member of the intelligensia, I can only guess that this is an argument against the cap and trade system of offsets. What is wrong with it if, for the same amount of money I can reduce a greater amount of co2? If this is so, you may make a moral argument, but you won’t make a convincing practical or economic argument. The other part of the argument I’m not smart enough to understand–should choose different wording if possible if you want to be heard and understood by a wider audience.

In your precis of Reich’s book, Mr. Lessig, you did not, as Blake might have said, “dare frame [the] fearful symmetry” (of the tiger). Why do we need to hobble it? How exactly does the profit motive interfere with the public weal? What does it do and how does it do it? Where does it sleep at night, how does it kill, what is its favorite prey? Does it really bother us, or only lambs? When we know better about all of these things perhaps we can devise a strategy.

The argument that corporate power should be curbed is hackneyed. I need to know particulars. I, for one, deeply resent having to take a piss test every time I apply for a job. I regard that as a gross violation to say nothing of how it promulgates the so-called war on drugs, and the prison industrial complex. If urine today, blood tomorrow and then semen, and then DNA. Can we talk about this for a minute?

I presume that the intellecuals that frequent this blog will automatically dismiss this as philistine (I’d still like to hear your arguments though). But this is the kind of thing that you can get people to care about. Challenging power is ultimately about getting people to care, so remember that. Otherwise whatever you want to do it is going to etnernally remain a discussion among academics and nothing more.

To extend the metaphor, tiger’s are endangered. Tigers are no match for people with the right implements. So let’s get busy making the right implements.

It would be extremely easy to do if people simply sat down and decided that they wanted to do it. I for one have plenty of suggestions. Let’s talk about what we want to do and how we’re going to do it. Let’s be creative and let’s have fun while doing it. 503-946-8389

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By: Stuart Buck http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14547 Fri, 26 Oct 2007 04:10:01 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14547 How careful is Reich’s book overall? I ask because of this.

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By: Alex http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14546 Fri, 26 Oct 2007 01:26:46 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14546 “there is something fundamentally wrong with trusting these machines (corporations) to restrain the drive for profits in the name of doing the right thing.”

I have been reading your blog for years, and you are still writing really good stuff like this. Keep up the good work!

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By: HH http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14545 Wed, 24 Oct 2007 04:52:20 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14545 Jardinero1 exhibits the increasingly common inability to distinguish between volleying and a tennis game. Simply hitting the disputative ball back over the discussion net is not argument. No matter how many times one lobs the term “platitudes,” it does not make a convincing argument.

But Jardinero1 is not interested in exploring an issue or proving a point. He has the revealed truth firmly fixed in his mind and has come here simply to denounce those who might endanger the two great pillars of money and selfishness upon which his world view rests.

Television and junk journalism have set the bar for discussion so low that Jardinero1 probably thinks he is actually contributing to a dialog by typing the blog equivalent of nyah! nyah! at regular intervals. On this blog, he is simply embarrassing himself.

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By: Jardinero1 http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14544 Wed, 24 Oct 2007 03:28:04 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14544 HH, still more platitudes and either/or dichotomies.

“Jardinero1 appears not to have heard of “enlightened self-interest” Maybe I have, maybe I haven’t; I don’t know what that has to do with the rest of your case. Still, I agree with you, casewise.

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By: HH http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14543 Wed, 24 Oct 2007 00:58:21 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14543 “I rest my case.”

Jardinero1 has a strange notion of discourse if he thinks he has made a “case,” but someone who quotes himself clearly suffers from a lack of argumentative resources. If he does wish to depart (again) from this discussion, I offer him a large farewell present, an enormous example of neglect of the public good:

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Ocean/Moore-Trashed-PacificNov03.htm

“…the scale of the phenomenon is astounding. I now believe plastic debris to be the most common surface feature of the world’s oceans. Because 40 percent of the oceans are classified as subtropical gyres, a fourth of the planet’s surface area has become an accumulator of floating plastic debris.”

This is a monstrous result of unchecked profit-making selfishness, and it cannot be addressed by retreating into the primitivism of tribal society or the dogmas of super-capitalism. Collectively-devised world-wide regulation is required to defend the public good.

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By: Nathanael Nerode http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14542 Wed, 24 Oct 2007 00:48:19 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14542 Jardinero1 appears not to have heard of “enlightened self-interest”.

The “public good” is something which is in nearly everyone’s best interest, at least in the long run. That almost certainly includes *you*. Classic example: universal free vaccination. It’s worth your money, because by suppressing a contagious disease worldwide, it’s a disease *you* and your family never have to worry about catching again.

The “public good” obviously exists. Ignoring the public good in favor of temporary private benefits is bad for almost everyone. Easter Island’s destruction is a classic, proven example.

Altruism of the “volunteer” sort, done primarily to feel better about oneself, is irrelevant to the public good. What is *relevant* is things like this:

While running an insurance company, you have two choices:
(1) Be honest with your customers, while still making a decent profit
(2) Cheat and lie to your customers, offering them policies they don’t need, which exclude every important risk, etc.

In the short term, (2) *will* make you more money. In the long term, (1) is the right way to go, even if there’s no government regulation, *not just* because it’s right, but because eventually people will catch on, your reputation will collapse, people will avoid you, and may even retaliate.

(1) is obviously the “public good” option.

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By: Jardinero1 http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14541 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 22:56:22 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14541 “He presents only platitudes, mis-statements of fact, a refusal to answer specific questions and deliberate mis-associations between certain posters on this blog and various schools of thought.”

Thank you HH, I rest my case.

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By: HH http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14540 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:56:21 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14540 “So as not to seem the troll I will refrain from pursuing this thread any further. I would be pleased to let HH or anyone else have the final word.”

The final word is proving elusive, but I shall persist. Jardinero1 appears to be a somewhat confused person. He cites an article from the outer limits of anti-government ideology, in which Somalia is declared to be better off under primitive tribal rule than it would be with a functioning central government. The Von Mieses cult site he references features articles with titles like: “The Song That Is Irresistible: How the State Leads People to Their Own Destruction” But then Jardinero represents himself as a sensible and moderate individual. He believes in charity and generosity – as long as he is in full control. His personal mythology of independent pursuit of personal profit exists inside a massive US economy dominated by gigantic corporations, including the insurance underwriters on whom his living depends.

What people like Jardinero1 dislike is political evolution beyond the tribe. The nation-state, with its power to tax and destroy, and its ability to give money to undeserving poor people is their great shibboleth. Thus they have an even more intense dislike of any notion of global governmental frameworks, like the schemes Professor Lessig may pursue. They appear to be blissfully unaware of the growing similarity between unaccountable global corporations and the monolithic nation states they oppose. The pursuit of profit is no protection against the evils of institutional corruption, as any scrutiny of Enron or Halliburton would reveal.

It is perhaps the supreme irony of the triumph of the greed-is-good school that the institutions they champion, profit-seeking global mega-corporations, are developing many of the repressive and destructive behaviors of the governmental institutions that they revile.

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By: Jardinero1 http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14539 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:09:28 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14539 I’m gonna chime in again. Brooksfoe, you are right, there is no last mile problem in Somalia. Somalia is an interesting case study in statelessness. Try the following link for a counterintuitive analysis:

http://www.mises.org/story/2701

I would suggest that HH offers no analysis. He presents only platitudes, mis-statements of fact, a refusal to answer specific questions and deliberate mis-associations between certain posters on this blog and various schools of thought. Seeing virtue in self-interested behavior does not make one a libertarian or an anarchist, or anything else for that matter. Acting self interestedly does not preclude altruistic behavior. This is plainly evidenced in the business and corporate world by the enormous amount of volunteerism, charitable giving and philanthropy. Personally, I self-interestedly run an insurance agency, also I donate about twenty hours a month to some municipal business and various not-for-profits. Needless to say, I personally and intellectually resent these simpleminded either/or dichotomies where one is either altruistic and public-minded or one is a greedy blood-sucker. You can be both HH, Brian Gordan, et al.

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By: François Rey http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14538 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 15:54:22 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14538 If you’re interested in the weapons used by corruption then this article will be an interesting read:
Anatomy of a Swat from a Lawyers Perspective
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0504/S00241.htm
This was brought to my attention by Catherine Austin Fitts: http://www.solari.com/blog/?p=196

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By: brooksfoe http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14537 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 13:28:42 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14537 If we had hyper-super duper hardcore jungle capitalism there would be no last mile problem.

True. In Somalia, there is no last mile problem.

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By: Leo Lipelis http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14536 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 12:53:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14536 HH: Well spoken. You are articulate and you reason very well without falling into any ideological extremes.

To deny the existence of an altruistic drive in human beings is insane, and it even goes against what the latest scientific research is telling us about ourselves. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4766490.stm http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/

I would go so far as to say that people who deny the healthiness and existence of altruism are not only insane, but they are psychopaths who are harming our society. They suffer from a form of dementia.

It’s gotten to the point where sharing is now under a serious threat of being redefined as an immoral action. Sharing has been rightly taught to kids by the good moms and pops for generations, and now powerful financial interests are hell-bent on redefining something good as “evil” simply because it stands in the way of exorbitant and easy profits.

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By: Brian Gordon http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14535 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 04:36:44 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14535 Larry Brewer: What are you on about? We may livein a digital age, but that doesn’t mean it’s an either/or world. Both governments and corporations can be corrupt, at the same time, even.

HH: Very well-written rebuttals.

I am beginning to wonder if the “tragedy of the commons” concept is a fiction invented after the rise of remote and concentrated power in order to make it seem like individuals can’t be trusted to cooperate in their own collective best interests. After all, what kind of person would destroy the commons in order to enrich himself? It speaks to character and a lack of respect for others.

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By: Larry Brewer http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14534 Tue, 23 Oct 2007 04:09:51 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14534 I find it so interesting how many people have no trust or confidence in ” corporations” or the people who work for them ie: your neighbors, friends or even family members but somehow have complete confidence in total strangers because they are government employees or worse yet politicans whom all have an agenda and are beholden to special interests no matter which side of the asile they are from. Government is not always the answer but many times the problem.
Why we think someone who has never had any real world experience in anything but government or acadamia is an expert is beyond me, someone is elected to office then suddenly he or she is an expert on any subject you care to talk about, just doesnt make sense to me!.

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By: HH http://www.lessig.org/2007/10/supercapitalism-super-1/#comment-14533 Mon, 22 Oct 2007 00:09:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html#comment-14533 Yes, enabling widespread access to knowledge is an obvious example of serving the public good. Note that when Benjamin Franklin proposed establishing the first public libraries, he encountered opposition from book publishers who complained about reduced sales. Franklin, and succeeding generations, rightly judged that the benefit to the public good outweighed the interests of the publishers. Some of our libertarian friends would declare that every book lent by a public library is a theft of property from the author and publisher. Fortunately, their views do not prevail. The reason there is so much animosity toward the public Internet and digital culture among the selfish is that it permits pro-bono acitivity of a novel and extensive nature. The Money-God worshippers intensely dislike anything that undermines the power of the Money-God.

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