Monopoly, Oligopoly, Cartel, Trust

Thus far a summary of ethical basics. At this point suppressives put intention into action: suppressive tools enter the scene. A good starting point is one of their common denominators: monopoly and oligopoly. Studying how many forms of suppression work mechanically, sort of, this is a basic one finds, regardless of which variation on the theme happens to be the case in point.

Time and again we have observed that monopoly and oligopoly are no good for us. So much so that we observe as universally applicable common sense its exact opposite: the “principle of risk spreading”. It has been said that, if power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. When one or few have total control over something vital to all of us, sooner or later that one or few will exploit the situation to the detriment of us all. Do I need to say more?

Well, this is one of the fundamental components that you are going to discover in the field of Economics: monopoly, oligopoly, cartel, trust. Whereas oligopoly and cartel mean total control in the hands of too few rather than monopoly in the hands of only one, the widespread term “trust” means: 1) so large an economic entity or group of entities, so concentrated its control, regardless of how formally monolithic or partitioned, that it is a monopoly, oligopoly or nearly so; 2) an economic entity whose basic purpose is shielding its owners and beneficiaries, by concealing or whatever other means, allowed to do so under applicable law.

In the final analysis, whether it’s monopoly, oligopoly, cartel or trust the point remains the same; hence, for sake of conciseness, let’s consider all these terms as synonims from now on.