Re: Libertarian or "Dynamic" Socialism (fixed)

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Sat, 04 Jan 1997 18:22:20 -0600

What the heck is this business with Libertarianism and Socialism being
used as synonyms? Libertarianism may be defined very simply as the
belief that government is evil and that the optimal society has a
government which does not act except in cases of "force and fraud"; many
are unsure about "fraud"; a few dispense with "force".

The capitalist-vs.-socialist dilemna is also very simple. Capitalists
put their faith in the emergence of the wealth-maximizing property; to
put it another way, a society in which every person attempts to maximize
his personal wealth will have maximal global wealth. Socialism is the
belief that everyone should try to maximize global wealth. Socialism
doesn't work because capitalism is more strongly supported by our
evolved emotional architectures. If billions of years of evolution all
worked to ensure that the individual who maximized global wealth
survived and reproduced - as in the case of hive colonies - then the
U.S. would have collapsed instead of the U.S.S.R., as the citizens asked
themselves why they should sweat for no conceivable global benefit.

I don't know what delusion is leading someone to claim that most
Libertarians are socialists, but this is drastically and maximally
contradicted by my personal experience.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.