Re: We luv the guv't

Technotranscendence (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 21:34:04 -0500 (EST)

At 10:08 AM 1/16/98 +0000, Charlie Stross <> wrote:
>Seriously, though. If you look at things from the perspective of social
>darwinism, an argument can be made that Government -- as a concept --
>must have been, if not beneficial, then at least a functiona, rugged,
>and competitive concept at some time in the past. Otherwise it wouldn't
>be so ubiquitous today.

By that argument, anything that is must be great. And stupidity is quite
pervasive, so it must be "if not beneficial, then at least a functiona[sic],
rugged, and competitive concept".:)

>I don't like facile generalisations like "government BAD" and "free market
>GOOD". Both institutions may bring benefits and may be open to abuse,
>depending on the specific implementation. What I want to know is WHY
>governments at the end of the twentieth century have become bloated,
>inefficient, and counterproductive monsters that are resented by many
>of their citizens.

A better question would be: when have governments ever not "become
bloated, inefficient, and counterproductive monsters that are resented
by many of their citizens"? It might just be the nature of the beast
rather bad people that makes government do this. If this is so, then
we must either kill the beast (the anarchist solution) or put it on a tight
leash (the minarchist ditto). To dream that if only your team was in
power and all the good that would do is only to repeat the last few
millenia of reform and revolution.

Also, the big difference between government and markets is that the
former uses force, the latter persuasion. Whenever one proposes
to use the government to do anything, one is supporting the use
of force to achieve that end -- which generally means one is
assuming persuasion would not work. Now, would a posthuman
or even a mere transhuman need to use force?

Frankly, I don't think this list is a good place for this debate.

A'bas l'etat!

Daniel Ust