Monday, December 15, 2008

...or is there?

Well, it appears that the class action suit against Google Books is being resolved, and Google feels free to make some texts available that it has been sitting on for years. Among those newly available files are an incomplete run of The Univercoelum and Spiritual Philosopher (1848-49), one of the periodicals that merged to form The Spirit of the Age, an important part of the literature of mutualism. Joshua King Ingalls was among the contributors to The Univercoelum, and the available issues contain a number of previously hard-to-access articles, and information about several more.

It's certainly not every day that I get to read an Ingalls piece that I have not read before, and I was amused to find that one of the "new" articles was about "Competition". It's an interesting bit, subject to a few conflations of its own, but quite readable if you take notice of the fact that in it "competition" is specifically tangled up with the desire for monopoly, or at least for advantages beyond those provided by superior ability. Competition "is the term used to signify that inhuman struggle for the mastery, which characterizes all grades of business, under existing social conditions." That's clear enough, even if it isn't the only way to discuss these things. After all, the main problem with conflation is that it so often happens unconsciously, or covertly.

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