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Interface Based Monopolies and Absolute Monarchy Yet
British absolutism is not specious, it is just very discreet, as you might expect in a
more polite society, at the chattering class level, than ours.
The point here is that the "Laws of Soccer" are an international convention which it
pleases Her Majesty, Queen of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and a lot of France,
too, considering claims quietly shelved but never renounced, to adhere to. She most
graciously allows subjects in her vassal-states to compete agaist each other, just
short of civil war, under a uniform ball-pitch interface specification published in a
mix of French and English by the Federation International de Football Association. In
the world of war, commerce, and sport, republican democracy and absolute monarchy, not
to mention Roman, Hebraic, and Islamic Law all co-exist, if just barely.
As for the mythic British Constitution, as late as the Falklands War, it pleased Her
Most Whatever Majesty to exercise some very quaint powers no less absolute than the
previous ER's that would astound a libertarian, not to mention an ordinary liberal
like me. I have an, admittedly narrow, but strict interpretation of the "takings
clause". But, Her Majesty has to take very little because it only pleased her in the
first place for anyone else to have Life, Liberty or Property and only so long as she
did not need it, say, for some war.
The fact is that there is still only one sovereign in the U.K. and it is the Royal
Person, not the people, not the market, and not co-equal Committee Chairmen or Press
Barons, or Princess Di, or anybody else on earth. That curious fact does not preclude
the "Mexican stand-off" that parliamentary democracy amounts to in Britain and a
limited amount of fiddling with capitalism and socialism, for that matter. But, the
UK, during recent wars and crises of succession, falls back on vestiges of the English
monarchs' once absolute power. That is how Winston Churchill became and remained Prime
Minister after Chamberlain resigned and Halifax was not chosen.
Yes, Law Lords in Britain are more important than some people but very much less than
the Sovereign or the Parliament, and no more than any other Peer, some of whom are
very clearly still hereditary idiots.
In America today, the federal system, including the several states' residual
sovereignty, is also vestigial or ceremonial. It is a nuisance for every lobby in
Washington but municipal bond lawyers. It is no more than a temporary expedient for
the so-called States Rights crowd, who have never been interested in anything but
Property Rights anyway.
Nonetheless, the various causes of those interested in rapid technological progress,
other than naval vessels or big bombs, have always advanced first and furthest in
states where powerful vested interests in Washington or London, for that matter, could
be "worked around".
This is germane to today's topic because what is not practical in Washington, by way
of nationalizing an interface, is still practical in one or among several states and
is, in fact, our traditional way of getting things done in global markets under
conditions of rapid technological change or under greater than usual decrepitude of
the federal government. All those as despair of our politics today should not resort
to extravagant legal or dumb direct action. We have more than one manual on the
pipe-organ of state, just as Britain can slide into and out of its parliamentary or
absolutist modes of governance as the need arises. We can be sophisticated about this
any time we can stop being intimidated by pseudo-sophisticated literati and bring
ourselves to any collective resolution at all.
When some firms in one state prove the practical worth of a technical innovation, for
instance, other firms in other states quickly follow, diffusing technology and
improving it very rapidly. One firm, no matter how influential in Washington, can not
keep this from happeing. And, this process of technological diffusion goes even
faster, if the federal government is filtering out the "innovative marketing
practices" or "financial bubbles" which debilitate both market economies and any sort
of civil or military order.
Again, I repeat, low-bandwidth farmers, merchants, and mechanics a century ago could
and did handle much the same matters at issues as we face today. Sure, the laws of
information were unheard of , but the laws of thermodynamics were not. And, the latter
are almost the same equation and mostly still just logarithms.
Here's a question: If some people are so smart and productive today, why can't they
get much done, that got done in only slightly different form a long time ago? One
reason is that people who use "practical" and "real" and "implementation" as
buzz-words just can not imagine that quaint and archaic as opposed to pedestrian
things can be those, too.
The difference is surprise, as in "Birnum Wood come to Dunsenaine". That is Will
SHAKESPEARE, yet another low-bandwidth guy who may not have been as smart as Scott
McNEALY, Bill GATES, or even Erick Andrews, but understood a more than a bit about
implementing core laws and regulations after his own archaic fashion.
Erick Andrews wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Nov 1997 11:27:37 -0500 (EST), John Robert BEHRMAN wrote:
> >Now, here is a curiosity: Great Britain, while an absolute monarchy and a unitary
> >state, competes in soccer as England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland seperately.
> To suggest that The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland [sic], is
> an "absolute monarchy" is specious. The queen may indeed have the power to
> dissolve Parliament, and if that were to happen, presently, there would be grave
> trouble from the citizenry as well from the Law Lords. And a "unitary state"?
> Piffle! The UK is one part of a commonwealth of nations.
> I guess I don't see a point here; soccer (football) is played all over the world.
> Are we talking sovereignty, monopoly, or football?
> It appears to me that the core laws and regulations exist for taming monopolies
> like Microsoft, but that the practical and real problem is that of implementation.
> Erick Andrews