Random ALL CAPS posts on this group

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Fri Jan 23 21:31:19 CET 2015

Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> writes:

> Ben Finney wrote:
> > Freedom of expression entails an obligation on the state to not
> > quash anyone's expression. It does not affect anyone who is not the
> > state; it imposes no obligation on the PSF.
> By this reasoning, you would be perfectly comfortable with a state of
> affairs where a media monopoly suppressed any and all dissenting
> viewpoints, provided that it was a *privately owned* monopoly and not
> the government.

To answer this more directly:

Expression between people – the field relevant to the freedom we're
discussing – occurs naturally and with little effort. It is not an
activity requiring high startup costs, and the market for it is as large
as humanity.

A monopoly on media is inherently unstable for this reason, so a
<URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopoly> is highly unlikely
ever to arise. Competitors will arise frequently to end the monopoly, if
no state action is taken to stop them.

If you are positing a media monopoly capable of suppressing any and all
dissenting viewpoints, it can only persist in this because the state
prevents any competitor to that monopoly. So this is still effectively
the state acting to quash freedom of expression.

 \          “Now Maggie, I’ll be watching you too, in case God is busy |
  `\       creating tornadoes or not existing.” —Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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