The petition was originally written by Apple Macintosh user Mark Da Cunha; this version includes edits and additions by TIA editor Robert Tracinski. The grassroots petition ended up receiving over 30,000 online signatures as part of an initiative launched by Mark Da Cunha for the Moral Defense of Microsoft.
To: US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Janet Reno, and President Bill Clinton.
The Declaration of Independence proclaims that the government’s fundamental purpose is to protect the rights of the individual, and that each individual has an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Throughout America’s history, this noble idea has protected the individual’s right to pursue his happiness by applying his energy to productive work, trading the products of his effort on a free market and rising as far as his abilities carry him.
Over the past century, however, this freedom has been under attack, and one notorious avenue of this attack has been the antitrust laws. Under the guise of “protecting the public,” these laws have allowed envious competitors and power-hungry officials to attack successful businessmen for the crime of being successful. It has led to the ugly spectacle of the creative geniuses of the business world — the men who have made this country great — being branded as oppressive tyrants, whose hard-won business empires must be broken to pieces and subjected to the control of government regulators.
The Justice Department’s current suit against Microsoft is the latest example of this trend. It is based on envy for the productive ability of Microsoft and its founder, Bill Gates. The result of this suit, if successful, will be to deprive Mr. Gates of his right to control his own company, and to deprive the company of its ownership and control of its products.
The Justice Department’s case — and indeed the entire edifice of antitrust law — is based on the bizarrely inverted notion that the productive actions of individuals in the free market can somehow constitute “force,” while the coercive actions of government regulators can somehow secure “freedom.”
The truth is that the only kind of “monopoly” that can form in a free market is one based on offering better products at lower prices since, under a free market, even monopolies must obey the law of supply and demand. Harmful, coercive monopolies are the result, not of the operation of the free market, but of government regulations, subsidies, and privileges which close off entry to competitors. No business can outlaw their competitors — only the government can.
We hold that Microsoft has a right to its property; that it has the authority, therefore, to bundle its properties — including Windows 95 and Internet Explorer — in whatever combination it chooses, not by anyone’s permission, but by absolute right. We hold that to abridge this right is to attack every innovator’s right to the products of his effort, and to overthrow the foundations of a free market and a free society.
We do not want to live in a country where achievement is resented and attacked, where every innovator and entrepreneur has to fear persecution from dictatorial regulators and judges, enforcing undefined laws at the bidding of jealous competitors. We realize that our lives and well-being depend on the existence of a free market, in which innovators and entrepreneurs are free to rise as far as their ability can carry them without being held down by arbitrary and unjust government regulations.
As concerned citizens, we ask that the Justice Department’s case against Microsoft be dismissed. We call for a national debate over the arbitrary and unjust provisions of the antitrust laws and for an end to the practice of persecuting businessmen for their success.
Sign the above petition at www.MoralDefense.com