Subject: Re: Fwd: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 15:16:45 +0900

>>>>> "Ben" == Benjamin J Tilly <ben_tilly@operamail.com> writes:

    Ben> If acting in the public interest is temporarily in their
    Ben> interest, they will not hold back from doing so because
    Ben> they might do you a favour.  Of course the fact that
    Ben> they act in your interest in one second won't stop them
    Ben> from acting against your interest in the next.

Jeez, Ben, you should know better than to segue from "the public
interest" to "acting against some individual's personal interest" that
way.  The public contains a lot of individuals, and sometimes
Individual A's interest correlates closely with "the public's", and
sometimes it doesn't, by definition of "individual".

Life's like that, ya know?  Much of the time the "problem" here is
just that Individual A succumbed to the temptation to confuse his
personal interest with "the public interest" just because everybody he
hangs out with is like him.

Note that individuality also means that some members of "the public"
are benefitting from that corporation's change of focus (outright
fraud aside).  Who's to say that said corporation isn't acting "in the
public interest" most of the time?

Of course you know all that, that's why you cited _The Logic of
Collective Action_.  But let's not lead the lambs astray.

Of-course-I-support-free-software---its-in-MY-interest-ly y'rs,

-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.