Microsoft Hatred FAQ

David Schwartz davids at
Wed Oct 19 05:34:55 CEST 2005

"Roedy Green" <my_email_is_posted_on_my_website at munged.invalid> wrote in 
message news:u3dbl1l2pbsdluivl7l4enl9k440ci9tif at

> On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 11:53:29 -0700, "David Schwartz"
> <davids at> wrote or quoted :

>>>> Wrong. The only obligation Microsoft has is to their shareholders.

>>> If you genuinely believe that, you are a psychopath.

>>    That's almost as convincing as "that's what you think".

> If your only obligation is to a group of person, that makes you a sort
> of slave.

    If you voluntarily take on a job that includes obligations, and have the 
right to leave any time you want, you are not any sort of a slave.

> What about obligations to family, community, yourself?

    Microsoft has no family, and doesn't have a self in this sense. 
Microsoft executives have obligations to family, but this should not affect 
their performance as executives, in which capacity their obligations are to 
their shareholders.

    As for obligations to community, no, there is no such obligation. An 
executive who devoted his company to his community against his shareholders' 
wishes should be fired. The company exists as a vehicle to execute the 
desires of the shareholders. That's why they get to vote on who runs it.

    That does not mean that acting to support the community can't be the 
shareholder's wishes or can't be in the bests interests of the shareholders, 
of course. But qua corporation, it's purely a vehicle to execute the 
shareholders' wishes.

    Corporate executives also have an obligation to obey the law, of course. 
If, hypothetically, you had a company that had a majority of shareholders 
who wanted to break the law, an ethical executive would pretty much have to 


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