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"Intellectual Property" Vesus the Free Market

Beyond those aspects of everyday life that require a reasonably sound grasp of the words one uses to think and discuss what they are doing, like working, shopping, preparing meals and tending to daily affairs, most people have no idea what they are talking about, because they have no real grasp of what the words they use mean beyond a vague, "I kinda know what it means," sense.

For example, almost no one knows what the word, "capitalism," means. Many, perhaps most, people use the word, "capitalism," to mean, "the world of business," particularly, "big business." That is what is usually meant when the United States is described as a "capitalist country"—a country dominated by "big business."

Capitalism has a narrower meaning when used by conservatives and libertarians. What these and others interested in political economy mean by capitalism is a, "free market." A free market is an economic or business environment unfettered by any government intrusion, regulation, or control. Capitalism, in the "free market" sense, does not exist anywhere in the world and is a concept for an ideal rather than an actuality.

The "free market" idealists frequently hold up big successful businesses as examples of "free market" success, but in this day of government control of everything, businesses do not become big ones without colluding with the government—except for the war-industry, all the other "successful" businesses are protected from free market competition by government enforced restrictions on possible competition in the form of regulations, permits, licenses, grants, patents, and copyrights.

In my previous article, "Demonstrations, Protests, and Other Adolescent Tantrums," I explained how the intellectual property racket is used to create government protected monopolies by preventing others from entering those businesses, and depriving the market of cheaper and better products.

Capitalist Crooks

Patent and copyright laws are frequently painted as fundamental laws of capitalism. If it is capitalism in the "big business" sense it is true. If it were capitalism in the "free market" sense, it would not be true, because all such laws are inimical to a free market.

The entertainment business is sometimes used as an example of successful free market enterprise, but the entertainment business is almost wholly a government enforced monopolistic racket—a racket that lines the pockets of both the politicians that support it and the "executives" of the largest movie and music corporations.

For example, here is a list of congressmen and senators who received money from the SOPA and PIPA supporters together with the amount of the bribes they were paid:

    From Pipa Sponsors:
  • Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY] $864,265
  • Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] $665,420
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY] $556,525
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA] $544,424
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT] $416,250 (head sponsor of pipa btw)
  • Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO] $347,406
  • Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO] $341,700
  • Sen. Robert Portman [R, OH] $337,525
  • Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC] $275,950
  • Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA] $272,750
    From Sopa Sponsors:
  • Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] $3,502,624
  • Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY] $2,648,770
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY] $2,080,651
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA] $1,431,843
  • Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA] $1,364,872
  • Sen. Robert Portman [R, OH] $1,363,009
  • Sen. Patrick Toomey [R, PA] $1,291,744
  • Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO] $1,019,172
  • Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL] $911,296
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT] $905,310
In every way, the collusion between the business monopolists and government enforcers operates like any other gangster organization. When the crooked businessmen cannot buy the politicians off, they resort to threats.

Here's the former politician crook, now the head business-side crook Chris Dodd, making a typical threat:

"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

So long as those who think they support freedom and free markets continue to support the intellectual property racket there will never be a free market, and government thugs will simply become more powerful.

[If you are in doubt about the nature of Intellectual Property, please read the articles: "Patent Absurdity and Tyranny of the Mind," and the earlier one it references, Commentary - Intellectual Property.]

For further reading on anti-intellectual property, see the Molinary Institute's:

Anti-Copyright Resources links.

You may also be interested in these articles by Stephan Kinsella. He is a lawyer and tends to be a bit "lawyerly" in style, but makes sound arguments against the intellectual property racket:

Stephan Kinsella

—(01/24/12)