Natural attraction and free market vs. force, extortion and “mandatory” stuff.
I used to live in Germany for some time. Back in 2015, there was a lone Supermarket there, that declined to carry Germany’s biggest newspaper, called “Bild”. It’s the most widely circulated in Europe. In Germany, “Bild” is available at every street corner, in train stations, at bus stations, airports, on public screens, providing an ever-present feed of agitated headlines. But when one small grocer dared decline the newspaper, all hell broke loose. The supermarket was attacked across media and by politicians left and right, claiming that this grocer was “censoring the free press”. What then happened, was hard to believe: The distributor of the paper threatened not to deliver any more papers and magazines at all to the grocer. “If you don’t take this paper, you don’t get any!”, they were saying, like a petulant child.
The grocers said that it’s their right to decide which items to offer in their store and they couldn’t be forced to carry items they didn’t like. They were wrong. The distributor’s extortion scheme worked and he was finally forced to carry the newspaper. Carrying it was mandatory. For those able to read German, you can read some of the original 2015 story here and here.
Unfortunately, the mafia-style shakedown was widely applauded. “Nobody has the right to censor the press!” said…the press. Back then, I couldn’t believe it. One little shop choosing not to carry a newspaper is hardly “censorship”. The newspaper is easily available everywhere else.
I really dislike one side forcing another. Just like I have the right to choose what I post on my website and to choose which news I read, the shop owner has the right to choose which items to offer. But what was even worse was that I knew something else about this particular distributor. About five years earlier, this same distributor, banned a spiritual/alternative news magazine that was run by a close friend of mine. Overnight, the high quality, intelligent magazine lost nationwide distribution and was no longer presented in stores. It eventually went out of Business. But nobody cried “censorship” then. But when this one grocer did not carry the trashy, fear-and-anger-based newspaper “Bild” everyone went nuts. So I learned a real lesson there on “how stuff works”.
One of the beautiful things about a free market is that we get to see what people really want and like, by natural attraction. Sadly, I don’t believe that a truly free market has ever been allowed. Many countries that claim to be “free market countries”, aren’t. My country, USA, is claimed to be a free market economy.I’ll use only one example here, to show, that it isn’t: Amazon.
Amazon did not gain success through free market competition. The company is subsidized and sponsored by the Government. It receives U.S. Post Office subsidies that other book sellers don’t get, giving it a gigantic advantage and forcing smaller book sellers out of Business. What does that have to do with free market? Nothing.
Amazon absorbs competing Businesses. They monitor to see which products of independent sellers perform the best. Then they produce their own version of that item, offer it for sale for a better price than the original seller. Or they kick the original seller off their platform altogether. How’s that any different than Chinese brand rip-offs? Or again, a mafia-style racket?
I have published more than 30 books with the help of Amazon. I owe much of my book success to their rapid distribution. Because they take a large chunk of an authors money and because I wished to experiment with “Amazon independence” a little, I published my last book without the help of Amazon.
What did I learn? It is not easy to be independent of Amazon! I received hundreds (!) of messages from people complaining why I haven’t published the book to Amazon or Audible (an Amazon company) or Kindle (an Amazon company). Because I did not give it to Amazon, it is the worst selling book I have ever published.
Which is why, I finally made the book available on Amazon. But I hope that reading this makes some of you think about what it means to support independent book sellers, independent publishers and independent authors. I appreciate that Amazon is really quick at delivery and very good at what they do. But it’s also important to support independent small Businesses whose “success” is not manipulated through Government.
Powerful people attract what they want. Weak people force what they want. A powerful person attracts the right partner. A weak person must resort to forced sex (rape). A powerful product sells by itself. A bad product must be forced onto people by making it mandatory, compulsory, required by law.
If something is good, you don’t have to force it, people will voluntarily seek it. Which brings us to the hot-button topic of mandatory vaccines. I don’t believe in mandatory vaccines. I don’t mind vaccines. Their emergence correlates with improved health and longevity. But I do think it should be a person’s choice. Making vaccines mandatory, as in most countries, is forcing needles and substances into people against their will. And that’s, at the very least, ethically questionable.
When has it ever worked, long-term, to force people into things “for the greater good”? Never. Using the law of attraction, it is a person’s job to make something attractive enough, so that people voluntarily get it. If there were a real pandemic, people would line up to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. No extortion needed. None of this “mandatory” nonsense needed. If the problem is real, people will know its real and speedily move to get it solved. There is no need for me to force them to.
But if I think you are too dumb to act responsibly and need to be forced “for your own good”, I’ll start talking mandatory vaccines. It means I don’t think you should learn to make your own choices and through trial and error, mature and grow into an adult. I think, choices should be made for you. Would you want a person who thinks that way about you, in your life? Would you listen to anything they say? Of course not.
If something is good, true and beautiful, people will naturally and eagerly flock to it, gravitate toward it, follow it, go for it, look for it, want it, talk about it, promote it. It sells itself. And those who don’t want the goodies? Well, that’s up to them, isn’t it? There is no need to force, extort, bribe, push. Before the world gets a whole lot better we need to learn more about attracting, magnetizing, creating value, and convincing others through love, not fear.