Re: Private armies

den Otter (
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 22:45:17 +0100

> From: Michael Lorrey <>

> den Otter wrote:
> > And there you have it: a power vacuum will *always* be filled by some
> > new form of government. Anarchy is inherently unstable due to human
> > nature (we freedom-loving individualists are a small minority).
> Well, its all a matter of what memes are used to sustain the system.
> Unfortunately, we have had too many people making anti-individualist
> slogans like "United we stand, divided we fall.", "We must hang
> together, or surely we shall all hang separately.", "when evil men
> conspire, free men must associate." into grand patriotic mottos

Though they've no doubt been abused many times troughout history, these are nonetheless sound memes. We are no Powers, and therefore must co-operate in order to improve our situation (up to a point where co-operation is no longer necessary, i.e. SI status). I prefer the one by Anders: "Individualists of the world, unite!"

, while
> individualist mottos like "Give me liberty or give me death", "Live
> free or die",

I beg to differ: there is no greater oppressor than death. When you die, any possibility of becoming free and happy once more dies with you. It is better to endure oppression if death is the only alternative, and patiently await the possibility to rise up and crush your enemy.

"a society which surrenders some small measure of freedom
> for security shall end up with neither",

If you don't do it, you won't have a society at all (bye progress, hello suffering and death).

"from time to time the tree of
> liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots."

This one makes more sense...

> reacted against as extremist, even though they were stated by the
> founding fathers (Thomas Paine, General John Stark, Ben Franklin, and
> Thomas Jefferson, respectively).

Well, maybe the founding fathers were extremists then :-) Or maybe it's just rhetorics, not to be taken literally.

> While the American Revolution was very broad based, it was not supported
> by more than a simple majority at the time, so collectivist and feudal
> serf groupthink was still pretty prevalent even after the most able
> Tories headed back to England or moved to Canada after the war, and the
> feds had to work hard to keep the colonies from splitting up after the
> war anyways, especially when such questions as slavery were debated.

But how does this counter my argument??

> Nor is it a given that any vacuum will be filled by a government.

This rule has always applied so far: no region of significance has had a true power vacuum for long. It goes against human nature to leave such a vacuum. Eliminate tyrant A, and B, C and D will jump in asap. That's why Saddam was left in power, for example.

> a primitive anarchy will tend to be colonized by a more advanced
> government, a high tech anarchy would not necessarily do so, especially
> when high power, low cost mini weapons give the individual the ability
> to exert a big punch against a larger enemy, especially in an insurgency
> environment.

And what will you get? Lebanon or Afghanistan probably. No serene power vacuum, but a constant war between factions of various size and ilk. Needless to say, not too pleasant (though certainly not boring). Most likely, one will sooner or later gain the upper hand and either kick out, wipe out or absorb the rest. Then the cycle starts all over again (unless, of course, they all kill eachother at some point).

Additionally, an established society of PPAs in an
> ungoverned market is hardly a vacuum of power, its merely distributed,
> rather than centralized power.

As even John Clark admitted, the transition from the status quo to a PPA society is a very difficult and uncertain point. If governments collapse at all before the Rapture, it will most likely be into chaos followed by new governments or roving bands of thugs, depending on the damage done. Why would people get so smart and rational all of a sudden (are you planning to put LSD into the water supplies or something? Nah, that would just turn them into hippies).