The post-monopoly world

I'm enjoying Kevin D. Williamson's new book, "The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome," a proposition from the cheerful end of the TEOTWAWKI spectrum.   Williamson begins with these questions:
Why is it that the [iPhone] in my pocket gets better and cheaper every year, but many of our critical institutions grow more expensive and less effective?  Why does the young Bengali immigrant [who served me coffee this morning while using her own iPhone] have access to the same communication technology enjoyed by men of great wealth and power, but at the same time she must send her children to inferior school, receive inferior health care, and age into an inferior retirement?  And how is it that Apple can make these improvements while generating so much profit that one of its most serious corporate challenges is managing its "cash mountain"--about $100 billion at this writing, and headed toward $200 billion by some estimates--whereas government at all levels is running up enormous debts to fund stagnating or declining services?
The author's thesis is that monopolies always crumble, to be replaced by smaller units whose performance improves under competition, and that governments follow this same trajectory.  I'm curious to see if he can make it stick.


Grim said...

Cf. with Joseph Schumpeter's argument, which I've mentioned several times in this space. I think we're seeing something similar happening in the intelligence world right now -- the bigger infrastructures aren't able to keep up with their nimble competitors, even though they have all the advantages of monopoly.

Ymar Sakar said...

The thing about advancements in government is that it isn't funded by money or tech gizmo wizards.

It is funded by blood. That is the ultimate coin of the realm.

Dead competitors, like dead political opponents, are of no threat really. If people with power cannot compete fairly, they merely must play a different game.

Most of the American tech companies fund Democrats, assuming they don't fund everyone at once. Once an advantage has been accrued, they will not let it go.

A lot of people think at this time that conflict born of blood and hate should be suppressed, like the French and British thought about Hitler invading Poland or the Rhineland. It's not a problem so long as it can be suppressed, since we saw how much blood was required in WWI. We don't want to go back there again, if we can help it. So let's be smart about it. Let's resolve things peacefully.

What people don't want to accept is that it is this very desire that will lead to a even more bloody war than the one they imagine.