Re: POLITICS: Re: Avoiding nuclear anarchy

Mark Grant (
Wed, 8 Jan 1997 22:27:52 +0000

On Wed, 8 Jan 1997 wrote:

> As a clarification I should also say that I do not necessary
> propose to prevent the development and use of very dangerous
> technologies altogether, but only their use by are not
> sufficiently responsible and careful.

Yes, but as John Clark just pointed out, governments have killed far more
people (usually their own citizens) this century than amateur murders.
Hence governments are the very last people who should be allowed to
develop these technologies, yet they are also the ones who would be
enforcing this ban.

This argument is basically equivalent to the US government's arguments in
favor of banning secure ecryption and most government's arguments in favor
of banning weapons (can't let those irresponsible people get them). Both
such arguments remove citizens' defences and increase the power of the

To give you a simple example, should the Russian government be allowed to
develop nanotech and the Chechnyans not? Or the Afghans? If the Russian
government had it would have hesitated to use it against the rebels?
Unlike nukes a targetted nanotech attack wouldn't have destroyed the
cities they wanted to control. Who has an army large enough to enforce
your ban on the Russian government?

Or if you prefer, how about the US government and Vietnamese?


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