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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

Since it seems this thread will never die, enough of CTRL-d, it's time
to try to shift it to a better grasp on the issues. May I suggest that
the various participants consider two points:

I. It is obtuse to generalize about government, just as it is obtuse
to generalize about operating systems. Some sorts work better than
others, and what seems to make the most difference is the quality of
community control. Some, like Debian, have an active community with
substantial input from users. Others, like the USA, are largely
controlled by relatively few; in classical terms, the US is far closer
to an oligarchy than a democracy.

II. It is false to presume the only options are government or
market. Most of economic life is neither. To see this clearly, just
keep in mind Adam Smith's criterion for when a market exists: there
are so many buyers and so many sellers that no one has power over the
price. In most of the world, there are many buyers and very few
sellers, and the sellers have great power over the price. Just how
many oil companies are there, for instance?

III. Perhaps it would be useful to focus on this:

\flamebait on\
Despite the political prejudices of a great many participants, Debian
may be the world's best instance of socialism in practice. If
socialists were smart, they'd learn something from this. Ditto
capitalists.  Double ditto libertarian hardliners.

It is sickeningly clear that most argue in bad faith, refusing to
let the other side's arguments sink in. The normal traffic of this
list is highly helpful and informative. This thread is not.

\flamebait off\

To everyone else: if I have contributed to keeping the thread alive
when it might otherwise have died, I apologize.

PGP key 1024D/99421A63 2005-01-05
EE51 79E9 F244 D734 A012 1CEC 7813 9FE9 9942 1A63
gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 99421A63

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