Competition or Stagnation

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“From the individualist point of view, competition is synonymous with emulation, or stimulation. . . For individualists, then, the expression ‘freedom of competition’ means the complete possibility for individual affirmation in all fields. In other words, full opportunity for every individual, in association or alone, to present, diffuse, and put into practice all conceptions and methods with similar or differing aims, without any fear of restrictive interference by a State, governmental administration, or any human being whatsoever. In the field of economic action freedom of competition means full opportunity for the producer – in association or alone – to develop his individual effort according to his taste. That is to say, to put into action his ingenuity, to call on his creativity and personal initiative, without the fear of clashing with a regulation which limits the conditions of his production. . . .

“Any hindrance of this opportunity, or liberty, has as a result the increase of uniformity. Who says ‘uniformity’ says fossilization, regression, retrogression. In an environment in which there is no competition degradation results: the producer, instead of evolving towards the artist, devolves towards the labourer; the latter recedes into the automaton; and the consumer loses himself in fatuity and vulgarity. . . . The concentration of manufacture into the hands of a few, mass-production in immense industrial barracks, conscription and permanent armies – all these push the human personality towards the beast of the herd, making it into flesh for shepherds and dictators. . . .”

Introduced June 2014.

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