Big business, big government and the big lie

While contemplating my place on the political compass, it occurs to me that my philosophy tends to support diversity and liberty. To me the fundamental superiority of a society, economic system, defence system or ecological system based on diversity is self evident.

To me, monopoly, duopoly, and oligopoly are bad things to have. I prefer cooperatives in place of "natural monopolies" and democratically controlled, government owned system, when market diversity and cooperatives are not possible. If diversity does exists, then I am all for the competitive free market. I am also for government intervention when markets become controlled by oligopolies, duopolies and monopolies.

Big businesses evolve into lumbering dinosaurs. Systems that become highly specialized tend to develop flaws that only become apparent in times of change. Change can often result in a fatal blow to systems that lack diversity.

For example ...

In 1900 Milwaukee american elm trees became the preferred tree to shade streets, and by the mid 20th century the elm lined street looked like green cathedrals. Without the protection of diversity, the City of Milwaukee lost its magnificent foliage as dutch elm disease ravaged the human planned elm mono-culture. A few american elms survive to this day in corners of the city, on streets where the elms where mixed with maples and oaks.

A diverse system of commerce ...

The Internet is based on a technology that creates networks based on peer-to-peer communications. On a very simplistic level, general purpose computers can used to build all the element of Internet technology. The software used by a router or a server is essentially the same. Information on the Internet is routed by software through a system that is designed to have a distributed knowledge of itself. It is the core concept of inter-domain routing that differentiates the Internet from traditional centrally switched systems. Distributed intelligence allows the system to operate when damaged to a far greater existent than possible with systems based on centralized switching. The traditional telephone system is based on dumb devises attached to a central office switch. Internet systems need no central office switch. The Internet is the antithesis of centralization unless controlled by big business or big government.

The Internet standards as defined by the IETF are limited to communication protocols. The diversity is in the implementations. Because the IETF uses a public peer review process the protocol standards tend to be far more robust and resistant to fatal flaws than proprietary standards developed within large corporations.

Centralized communications systems breakdown during crises. The Achilles heel being the central office. We would be far better off in a world with multiple overlaid Internet based systems in times of emergency than the traditional central office telephone system. The only thing the old telephone system has going for it is a -48 volt power supply and the fixed knowledge of where the wire is. The power and the fixed nature makes operation when the power company has a failure and 911 more predictable, yet the same technical enhancement can be integrated into Internet based systems using power over Ethernet and LOC combinded with TXT records in DNS to identify the location and address. The telephone companies use the dedicated power and 911 features as weapons against competition, while they design new systems based on the competitor's offerings.

Fortunately for utilities (and unfortunately for our society,) in our economic-political system the dinosaurs have an opportunity to escape extinction through the use of political action committees and lobbyists.

At the core of our utilities problem is the creation of vertically integrated monopolies or duopolies. When one or a few own the production, distribution and delivery, the consumer pays. We have the technology to interface many producers of information to a common delivery system. We also have the technology to safely and reliably deliver power from many producers to a common power grid. The common network and the common power grid should be viewed in the same way as the town market. These should not be controlled by a single producer. If I could, I would replace city power grids with an open cooperative of power producers; as in turn I would replace the telephone and cable local loop with an open cooperative of service providers using Internet based technology.

This is a model of true free markets.

Where I agree with Milton Freedman is that monopolies are a product of government policies. What we have created in America is an alliance between big government and big business that supports the creation of and perpetuation of monopolies, duopolies, and oligopolies rather than true open markets.

Large business and large government create social stratification and hurt the middle class. This enforces the segregated society. Lack of opportunity make the poor feel helpless which leads to a downward cycle of crime and poverty. These large corporation use money to influence the media and the political system so as to perpetuate the accumulation of power and money by few at great cost to economic and social mobilty A.K.A The American Dream.

Many businesses working in a mixed cooperative and competitive market leads to a strong middle class. This leads to opportunity. Lower the bar for small business, open the networks and power grids to any and all producers and providers. Open telecommunications and power systems combined can create a new wave of entrepreneurship and economic diversity for America.

Is this not a self evident path to a new information economy and energy independence?

Add Monopoly is Competition to the Orwellian list of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery; for Monopoly is Competition is the current FCC and Wisconsin PSC policy.

All part of big business, big government and the big lie.


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