Re: Gov't Loves Gov't

Charlie Stross (
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 09:51:43 +0000

On Wed, Jan 21, 1998 at 09:39:26PM -0800, John K Clark wrote:
>>The day some libertarian thinker dreams up a non-coercive economic
>>system that is not susceptive to the tragedy of the commons is the
>>day I become a libertarian.
> You say that almost as if you think non libertarians have solved the problem.

No; nobody has solved the problem. I assert, however, the libertarians
_should_ be interested in the issues, because if they _can_ propose a
workable solution they'll gain a lot of converts from among the (large!)
body of people who agree that the current system ain't working, who
don't like big government, but who don't think that an unrestricted
free market is the ideal answer. Otherwise, all you're going to do is
carry on preaching to the choir.

>>Alternative: a political system that is not amenable to bribery,
>>nepotism, or corruption and that follows the old dictum of kings that
>>"he who rules best, rules least".
> Any political system will work perfectly in a population of brilliant saints,

... which I think we agree the real world is sadly lacking ...

> the difference is that the Free Market will work, not perfectly, but pretty
> damn well even with real flesh and blood human beings, probably intelligent
> machines too.

It works better than any of the known alternatives, I'll concede that
much. Question: why the hell isn't anyone looking for new, hitherto-unknown,

-- Charlie

"Money is a symptom of poverty" -- Iain Banks