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RE: GPL & commercial software, the critical distinction (fwd)

Forwarded message:

> From: Matthew James Gering <[email protected]>
> Subject: RE: GPL & commercial software, the critical distinction (fwd)
> Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:14:32 -0700 

> The Mafia has had two primary characteristics:
> a) the use of force

not necessarily.

> b) trade in elicit and prohibited goods and services

not necessarily.

What the La Familia represents in Italian social history is a concentration
of resources within a geographic region. They were the 'law of the land'.
There was no need for violence or any other covert economics. As those
groups got bigger and interacted more with each other conflict arose.
This conflict was the primary spark in the creation of the 3rd party that
hadn't existed prior to this time (note that the market exists before the
'government' per se). The period of time to pay particular attention to in
Italy's particular case is when the city states began to coalesce into what we now term Italy. This
is a good example because the mountains in Northern Italy acted as barrier
to outside influence to a certain degree and the spine of the boot forced
life to focus on the sea coast. This made maritime trade and it's speed
advantage over foot or hoof obvious. It also allowed a larger geographic
area to enjoy a nearly homegenous culture.

What is really interesting is that so many cultures have these sorts of
organizations. Consider the growth of the Tongs in China with the loss of
the concept of tribe within general Chinese culture. Also interesting is
that economists as a general population doesn't study these periods to any
degree worth mentioning. Historians do however.

> Unless you can claim a reference to a Mafia at some time and place that
> had neither characteristics and a market which they monopolized which
> lacked any other intervention, then this all is utterly irrelevant to
> the discussion at hand.

Not at all, as demonstrated above.

       To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.


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