Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Sat, 6 May 2000 22:43:56 +0200

On Sat, May 06, 2000 at 05:19:08PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> As for "not on topic", suggestions that bear on a fundamental change
> in business environment presumably are on topic....
> >>>>> "Lynn" == Lynn Winebarger <> writes:

>     Lynn>     That the penalties proposed by the DOJ are hardly close
>     Lynn> to something like nationalization.  Or for that matter, that
>     Lynn> we should feel sorry for them, or that imposing sanctions on
>     Lynn> an entity that has broken the law is unreasonable, or that
>     Lynn> even the thought of nationalization is unreasonable, are all
>     Lynn> pretty ridiculous.
> "Entities" don't break laws; people do. 

That is naive ... the fact is, as Jonathan stated in a more formal
way, that is is like saying that the gun is respnsible for the
shooting. If the executives of a company do not do what the
shareholders expect, they are being replaced. And so on in the whole
hierarchy. So in the end, it is immaterial to know the actual person
who comitted the crime, it is basically a corporate crime.

From: Brian Bartholomew <>
> These artificial legal entities are chock full of innocent people,
> both employees and stockholders.

no one is innocent, all are accomplices, and the shareholders more
than anyone else ... they create the pressure. But no one is directly
guilty either, except the company itself.
  Not that I would be adverse sending CEOs to jail more often. That is
the only pressure that could fight off the pressure of the market.

> Even if the conviction is for criminal behavior, the DOJ should not be
> thinking (at this point) in terms of "punishing" Microsoft or even its
> executives.  (That will come later, when those companies that have
> arguably been harmed by the monopolistic behavior the government has
> so kindly already proved in court come forward to collect treble
> damages.)  They should be thinking of how to preserve the enormous
> productive capability of that organization while removing its ability
> to impede progress in the industry.

are you saying that a surgeon who saves lives everyday should be
treated differently from the common man when he commits murder.
  Please explain.

> That's why the very idea of "nationalization" is ludicrous. 
     ......... I can't see _any_ good that
> would come of it, except for increasing the supply of sinecures and
> attendant patronage for politicians.  This may work for la belle
> France, with its ENArques (who are all so pure and incorruptible, eh,
> Bernard?);

  I said nothing of the kind, but on the average, the French civil
servants are competent and good servants of the state.
  I am not defending the idea of nationalization, but was just giving
a piece of information. Actually, though in the constitution, this
rule does not seem to be enforced.
  Now, I do not see a difference between private or state monopoly...
both are wasteful... and MS is rather an uneffective company whan it
comes to providing good software... in my opinion (which I decline to

>     Lynn> I find laughable the notion that
>     Lynn> artificial legal entities, with no natural human rights,
>     Lynn> should be above equally harsh penalties for breaking the
>     Lynn> law, or, for that matter, that anyone would attach moral
>     Lynn> significance to it. It's ludicrous.
> You are seriously confused about the nature of the modern corporation.

I do think that you, Stephen, are seriously confused.
  Corporations are totally independant entities, that do not care
about mankind, any more than you care about your own cells. The fact
that they are not sentient is immaterial.

  If we do not control corporations, harshly, they'll control us
... and are already doing it to a large extent. They have more
influence on politicians (as corporate entities) than the voters.

> What you are suggesting is that millions of retirees and middle class
> investors should have their investments destroyed. 

Why not... they take a risk ... they do not mind big wins, they should
not mind larges losses. Isn't that the american way ?
  They did not complain that MS was making a profit, and were not too
choosy about the way it was obtained. I do not recall anyone
complaining that they wanted their money earned more fairly.



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