February 21st, 1999.
"On Competition & The Market."
Of all human powers operating on the affairs of mankind, none is greater than that of competition. It is the action of endeavouring to gain what another endeavours to gain at the same time. It is the striving of two or more for the same object. It is rivalry.
Commerce, is but another name for competition. At first commerce is not competitive. Some innovator, simply, within the law, has his way and makes profits, often -- huge profits, witness Bill Gates. Then competition takes over. As Bentham said: "From high profits in trade comes an influx of traders -- from an influx of traders, competition among traders -- from competition among traders, reduction of prices." No matter whether you like competition (you should as it brings availability and lower prices to all); or, not (those who don't like to work, don't) -- competition is a process that goes on unceasingly in every sphere of our lives.
As for the market: There is among mankind an immutable law (natural law) which has assisted the human race to gain great heights in its civilization process. This is not a question to anyone who is acquainted (even if only slightly) with history, particularly recent history. This immutable law, of which I speak, is an egocentric (whether distasteful, to a particular individual, or not) mechanism driving an extended order of collaboration. This "market," a complex of interacting individuals or groups of individuals, all working consciously to advance themselves, in its operation advances society as a whole, albeit, unconsciously.