RE: POL: Extropianism and Politics
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 08:50:13 -0800 (PST)

Billy Brown [] wrote:
>Anarchist proposals are much more speculative than ideas for
>constitutional reform, which makes their actual results much more difficult
>to predict.

Hardly. David Friedman makes some very strong game theory arguments for his anarcho-capitalist ideas producing a stable society thru negative feedback, whereas any kind of government has positive feedback loops; if the government takes more power it can more easily take power in future.

>Consequently, it would only be worthwhile to take a chance on
>such ideas if they seemed likely to give much better results.

Uh, they do seem likely to give much better results. That's why many of us here think they're a good idea; or did, since a lot of the anarchists on the list seem to have dropped out in the last few months of statist invasion.

>Now, a limited constitutional republic can come fairly close to the
>libertarian ideal of complete personal liberty.

For one or two generations, if that; then it's doomed because the system contains the seeds of its own downfall.

>A successful anarchist scheme would offer very similar results. You would
>pay voluntary fees for police protection instead of taxes, but you would
>still have to pay.

Why would you have to pay? If you don't want police 'protection' you just buy a gun or two and protect yourself. That's not an option in a government system... and anyway, private protection will be a lot cheaper than compulsory tax-funded government 'protection'.

>You would have a larger choice of legal regimes, but the
>kinds of laws we really care about wouldn't exist in either scheme.

Sorry? What? Huh? Where do you get that idea from?

>In contrast, the most likely failure mode of a controlled anarchy scheme
>is simple, uncontrolled anarchy.

The whole point of anarcho-capitalism is that it doesn't have a 'likely failure mode', because it has negative-feedback systems which begin to act any time that the system starts to move from a stable state. This is why I, as an engineer, like it.

>Those who have power take whatever they want
>from those who don't, which results in a society with all the problems of
>despotism and none of the advantages.

Only if you assume that a couple of hundred million well-armed anarchists are just going to stand aside and hand over their money to a few thugs.

>The end result is very
>unpredictable - you could get anything from a tolerant democracy to a
>totalitarian regime, and you can get it in a matter of a few years.

Nonsense. Once an anarchist society gets into a stable state it is very stable. The problem is getting from here to there, not staying there.

>So summarize: pure anarchy is a monster far worse than all but the most
>oppressive of governments.

So name a few anarchists who've killed tens of millions of their own people on a whim? I didn't think you could.

>Any scheme of controlled anarchy is a stroll
>along the edge of an abyss, with no past experience to guide our way.

Oh, the horror! Life might be different to the way it is today! Gosh, I'm so scared! Please Big Mummy, protect me from the evil anarchists and their ungodly 'freedom'!

>I agree that we have problems here, but getting rid of government does
>nothing to solve them.

I'm not saying that getting rid of government would save DC; I'm saying that government cannot survive in a future with the kinds of technologies we talk about, unless it becomes a Borganism with complete control over ever member of that society. Otherwise it's doomed.

>Besides, the situation isn't nearly as bad as you
>seem to think (your irate group has to include some very rare specialists),

That is scientists, technicians and military weapons experts; the very people *most* likely to get pissed off by overbearing governments. McVeigh, remember, is ex-military and was taught to blow things up by the US government.

>(sensors are
>improving much faster than destructive technologies, for example).

'Mr President, sir, we've just detected a missile launch from Montana, sensors say it's carrying a thermonuclear warhead. It'll be here in two minutes.'

Yeah, those sensors are really going to help, I mean like at least you'll have time to kiss your ass goodbye before it gets vaporized. That'll be cool.