Dave Rogers makes a few oopsies in his Competing Messages: Commerce and Sociality posting (Hat tip to Doc Searls). He asks "What presses back against competitive commerce?" and then answers his own question saying "Very little, it turns out." Oops! He misses one thing, which causes the rest of his argument to tumble to the ground. All this commerce, all this competition exists for one purpose: to maximize cooperation. Who decides when the level of cooperation is sufficient? Consumers. Consumers are what pushes back against commerce. Consumers regulate commerce, continuously in time and space. If you disagee, try selling something people don't want. Try selling something when people want something else more.
Dave also thinks that government is not a competitive enterprise. Oh, no, how wrong! The state governments in the United States are competitive. There are no legal barriers to prevent you from moving from one state to another. You can subscribe to any state government you want, simply by changing your residence. No permits, no forms, no fees, nothing but the cost of moving your butt from one place to another. In this manner, the states must compete for citizens and tax dollars by enacting the most sensible laws.
Of course, we have allowed the federal government to interfere in this process. We have allowed it to take on tasks it was never intended to perform, tasks that the Constitution gives it no permission to perform. For example, the Department of Energy. Or the Department of Education. Mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. Completely illegal organizations.
And as for Dave's final point -- that commerce corrupts society -- I'd be happy to socialize with him over a beer at the corner pub -- and I'd even buy -- but that would be that awful corrupting commerce, wouldn't it?
One last point: "This just in...". Yes, Upstate New York is a beautiful place.