RE: Good political thinking made more compelling

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 07:43:32 MST

Jacques Du Pasquier [] wrote:

Two suggestions. First, insisting that freedom and responsability are
something nice to have on an individual basis strikes me as not the
right course (it may be the course taken by Ayn Rand's novels, but I
haven't read them so I don't know). It so happens that this only
appeals to very few people (the ones with high self-confidence), which
is probably the reason why libertarian ideas are still so marginally
accepted. But when people realize that personal freedom and
responsability must be protected for the society to flourish and solve
its problems, then, if the argument is convincing, it should appeal to

### In the above paragraph and in the one below you describe the two reasons
why liberalism is not widely accepted - and I agree with you totally.

For an ideology to be accepted, it has to appeal to the most basic needs of
humans. It has to appeal to the will to survive (e.g. by providing a hope of
an afterlife, or a social safety net). Appeals to other ideals (justice,
liberty, reason) are successfull only insofar they interact with the basics.
If you ever pose a choice between freedom (e.g, to reach the stars or to
starve) and survival (as in a guaranteed full belly), survival wins hands


The other suggestion is that much of it should be modelable into a
computer simulation. Doing the modeling, then showing what happens
when you add a law, etc., should be enlightening. (One obvious
difficulty is that one of the main virtue of freedom is invention
brought by diversity, and invention doesn't seem very easy to model ;
but you could use genetical algorithms on a specific solution space for

### This is the other reason for liberty's failure - most modern humans do
not possess sufficient knowledge and intellectual modelling capacity to
understand that taking shortcuts by uninhibited exploitation of other
persons' work leads to a net loss to almost all involved, almost always. It
took thousands of years to end slavery - and it ended not because the
slavers actually understood how maladaptive it was in the long run, but
because societies without it grew richer and stronger, showing empirically
that freedom works better.

The connection between a state-guaranteed pension and your enhanced survival
is "obvious" to almost everybody. The connection between the taxes and
enforcement apparatus needed to support such benefits, and reduced overall
economic performance (which then leads to reduced survival), is apparent
only to a few.

If the above is true, the for liberalism to succeed you need: an average IQ
equivalent to today's IQ of 120, and a reinterpretation of the basic tenets
of liberalism in terms of survival of all innocent humans.

Maybe the Singularity will help.


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