Re: [OPE] free competition

Date: Sat Apr 09 2011 - 09:20:01 EDT

> Well, ever since there has been capitalism, competition has been subject to
> some laws and regulations at least, and, competition also involves blocking
> competitors from competing. So it would be wrong to equate "free
> competition" with anything like the "perfect competition" of economists. The
> question is then one of exactly "how free" free competition is.
"Free competition" is not quite the same concept as "perfect competition"
since the latter requires additional characteristics not necessary for
the former (e.g. in a perfectly-competitive market, there is consumer
sovereignty, a standardized product, no advertising, etc.). Yet, perfect
competition could be thought of as a sub-set of free competition.
BOTH are ideological constructs of mainstream (especially neo-neo-classical
economics), although the ideology of free competition began with classical
political economy and is related to the policy doctrine of laissez-faire.

The question you ask is just as meaningless as asking "just 'how perfect' is
perfect competition?".
Instead of talking about monopolies (which do exist, but are relatively rare
or are quasi-monopolies like public utilities firms) or free competition
one should be talking about oligopolies which are 'monopoly-like' in
many ways.
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Sat Apr 9 09:20:51 2011

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