Re:Socialism and Force(Was Extropy and Rednecks)
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 11:13:22 -0800 wrote:
> Consider: a group of socialists gets together and builds themselves a
> space station. They agree that the property will be the common ownership
> of the group, with specified procedures for group decisions. This is
> analogous to how a corporation works. The whole thing is organized
> voluntarily, and all the means of production are controlled by their
> society. Where is the force?
> Hal

Terry Donaghe, <>, replies:

> Good point, but I was referring to governments. In the case of the
> spaceship we may not be talking about a government. What if someone
> on the ship worked really hard to create something *really* valuable
> and then decided not to share it with her crewmates. Since she's
> confined to a spaceship, her association with her crewmates is no
> longer voluntary. Would they have to resort to force to make her
> share her creation or would the socialist commune partially dissolve?

Distinctions between governments and mutual agreements go by the wayside if we assume that everyone involved voluntarily agreed to live by the rules of their society. Newborn children are a sticky issue with this approach, since they are born into society without agreeing to anything. Generally you can consider that while minors they are bound to obey their parents, and then when older they have a choice between accepting the rules of society or leaving.

This would work best in a system where emigration was possible, such as the space station (not space ship) I was proposing, where the assumption is that other space stations with different rules would exist, or of course on a planet where different countries existed with varying rules. We have even discussed the possibility of people choosing their rules on an individual basis, rather than on where they live, although that gets pretty complicated.

The lady who made something and then wanted to keep it is violating the rules that she herself agreed to (assuming that private ownership was not allowed in their society). This is unfortunate for her, but that is the price we pay for saying that people own their own lives. They have to be able to bind themselves to rules.