Fair Competition

A political term, meaning competition based on real, total information instead of the explicit or implicit lies issued from the most powerful cheaters.

Fair Competition is the ideal that (utilitarian/welfare) liberalism tells us to strive toward, as a stable way to enhance any reflective dynamical system's informational state.

The French most often misinterpret fair competition, that they traditionally translate as "libre concurrence" ("libre" meaning free) instead of "concurrence loyale" that fits better. They tend to associate this "free" competition with lack of rules, unlimited possibility to cheat and to threaten, etc, and many politicians use this association as a repellant against people defending freedom. But this stems from misuse of the word "free". The freedom that classical liberalism is free enterprise, that is, freedom for anyone to enter the competition and invest one's resources in any civil activity; should existing competition fail to fulfill some needs, or do it at excessive prices, free entreprise guarantees that new competition will fulfill the opportunity of making a living out of reducing costs for the consumers. Fair Competition is the dual requirement for Free Entreprise; it means that the competing parties must abide by rules of respect of each other and of the consumer, that law and justice should enforce whenever it is doable; it means that the overhead for obtaining information that helps choose among the competition should be reduced. This in particular means that no information should be concealed to consumers, that no misinformation be spread among them, that there be actual competition and no trusts that racket people.

Please be aware that sadly, "fair competition" is often used as a slogan, outside of any theoretical context that gives it any meaning, and sometimes in fallacious ways that distort such worthwhile contexts. For instance, there is currently an outstandingly high power of the advertisement lobby over the mass-media; these people try to justify their methods, by an argument that does indeed justify the existence of similar corporations, but of completely opposite methods: they invoke the need for consumer to be informed about products that exists in any liberal market, so that the competition be fair. Sure, information is cheerly needed, but propaganda is not information, for it contains much more noise and disinformation than it contains information. To be fair, advertisement should be based on actual, objective arguments, all of which must be easily checkable by the advertisee, not on slogans, fallacious associations, and calls to people's lowest instincts.

It may be noted that "fairness" is ultimately a subjective idea, which varies from individual to individual; your ideal of fairness may not be identical to mine. As such, enforced "fairness" is merely the imposition of the will of a single person, or an arbitrarily large grouf of people, on everybody else, and as such, not an absolute concept by any means.
-- kaufman@jabber.dk

This comment about "fairness" beeing a subjective idea smells like relativism. It is typical to hear similar themes from people that defends (consciously, defending their own interests, or unconsciously, as result of brainwashing) exactly these most powerful cheaters pointed out by Fare in this article... as to say that you have not the right to stop to being abused.
-- MaD70

Since writing this article, a long time ago, I've become convinced that the only fair trade is free trade, and that the root of all monopolies is in the monopoly in law-enforcement. I've become convinced that force cannot create "objective" information but only subject all information to the very subjective indeed whims of whoever holds the big stick. In other words, imperfection -- in information as elsewhere -- is intrinsic to the world, and it cannot be declared away by authority, only displaced and increased (see the Law of Eristic Escalation). In other words, while I have gained no additional sympathy for big and abusive corporations, I've learnt that these two qualifiers are largely independent, and I've lost this sympathy my education implicitly induced into me for the biggest and most abusive corporation of all: Government. Thus I became a libertarian. See for instance my article Microsoft and Government: A Libertarian View on Monopolies. As for TUNES, consider the analogy between "government" and "kernel", law-enforcement and invariant-enforcement -- and don't sweep out of the picture the cost of enforcement and the cost of finding out what laws or invariants to enforce. Now let's go back to coding.
-- Faré

This page is linked from: Computing Liberalism   Monopoly   Open