Re: Justice and Punishment

Dan Fabulich (
Mon, 06 Apr 1998 03:15:44 -0400


Alejandro Dubrovsky wrote:

>whoever said there would be a government around?
>BTW, i don't think this has been done countless times throughout history.
>I can't come up with even ten events where 10 million people were directly
>wiped out by a government.

If you recalculate in terms of the fraction of the population being
devastated, then you'll find a lot more than five. This is not really
relevant, however.

>general consensus? by whom? again, your argumentative style leaves much
>to be desired. you could try using less "definitely"s and other such wide
>sweeping statements and try slightly more concrete or better thought out

<sigh> Look, I don't make any disparaging comments about YOUR
intelligence, nor do I attack your ideas simply by saying how bad I think
they are. I disagree with them with arguments, and add the *definitely*s
for emphasis.

So can we quit w/ the attacks on "argumentative style?"

>I, just one case i suppose, would not beg for strong leadership. i really
>don't know how a mostly educated and wealthy western type population would
>react to this scenario, since i don't think its been tried before. please
>correct me on this, since as i said before, my history knowledge is

You know, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I would beg for strong
leadership either.

However, authoritarianism does tend to become popular when the economy is
doing poorly (but what a horrible solution!), which almost inevitably
results when governments topple; perhaps due to the immense amount of time
and energy which could have gone towards producing useful goods, but
instead went towards waging war.

Also, without private property, you lose the price mechanism; without money
to coordinate the economy, output falls even further. The combination of
these two could easily be the one-two punch authoritarianism needs to take

Maybe nanotech would cover this... maybe not.

>i agree, but with one big condition: evenly distributed wealth as a start
>point. There are natural advantages of mass production which i don't
>think would be compensated for in a free market system, or if it did, it
>would take an extremely long time, and i don't really like asymptotic

What exactly are you referring to here?

>otoh, anarcho-capitalist "societies" could also exist in an
>anarcho-socialist world, and if they are more effective then they would
>also thrive and multiply

This is interesting... Do you think they would? If not, why not?

>that is pretty much what i'm hoping will happen with the help of nanotech.

So we agree here. This is a good sign...

>again, with wealth redistribution, no problem. without it i don't think
>it's a sufficiently big step. i admit that wealth redistribution isn't an
>easy task, but again, nanotech might (hopefully) have something to say
>about this.

Not sufficiently big? In your opinion, is it so small as to make it worse
than not stepping at all, or is it, as I suggested, just one step in the
right direction?

>it would definitely help, since there wouldn't be anyone powerful enough
>to do anything of such magnitude. And i don't think anarcho-capitalism
>makes slaughter any harder than it is now

I do, and we both know why we think this. :)

>if i remember correctly, it was i who described what i thought your PPA
>would be able to do. again, if i remember correctly, i did not use the
>word tyrannical. i did describe a PPA which would be able to control you,
>by which i meant that it could make you pay, even if you did not want to
>and wouldn't let you switch to another PPA (i realise now where the
>tyrannical and other assumptions come from, i'm sorry for the confusion).
>now, from this scenario: PPA is getting x units per second from you as
>pay. you want to pay y where y < x. Another PPA would be willing to be
>paid y, but it would not be able to get you out of your current PPA's
>control since your current PPA would be willing to spend f(x) (where f(x)
>is a monotonically increasing function which refers to what a company
>thinks you are worth) on protecting you while the other would only be
>willing to spend f(y) toget you. f(y) < f(x), so you are stuck where you
>are. If you are willing to spend z, where z > x, then, yes, you will be
>taken out of your current PPA's control, and put under another PPA's
>control which charges you z, but they have to make sure that they recoup
>what they lost in getting you which has to be greater than f(x). so,
>unless your current controlling PPA is stupid and doesn't know how to
>calculate the f function, then you'd end up spending more on your new one
>than on your current one.

You're leaving off the COSTS of such a system. I referred to these
previously, but in summary, the PPA has a cost advantage because it doesn't
have to pay money to force me to stay with the PPA, whereas the state must
force me from leaving. I defined this difference in costs as the "window
of freedom." By charging only a fraction of the window of freedom less
than the state, the PPA can charge less than the state, while still making
it worthwhile to rescue you if necessary. This window becomes larger as
the PPAs become more powerful.

>no, i don't think that the head of the australian military could, unless
>it got support from the us military. but even if he could, i think there
>would be more (or at least the same) number of people who could take that
>decision in an anarcho-capitalist system as in the current one.

True, including the independent agencies who could step in to prevent this
slaughter from occuring.

>i agree with everything until the last sentence. why does a ppa have less
>power than the army? don't they fill exactly the same role?

Because a PPA has competition.

>consider the
>colombian army hired to protect the oil pipes. this is just one of the
>more explicit forms of it, but if you consider a government to be just a
>business, then the army is constantly just a ppa.

Except that it's monopolistic and won't let you leave, as a competitive PPA
system would.

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