Re: A Challenge To All Extropians

Peter C. McCluskey (
Fri, 1 May 1998 18:20:32 -0700 (Paul Hughes) writes:
>A point they seem to overlook, is if the overall economy and means of
>production are accelerating, why then would a increasingly larger segment have
>to work harder just to keep up? Simple mathematics tells us that either more
>and more people will be better off (as you have eloquently demonstrated), or
>conversely a decreasingly smaller elite grabs the whole pie.
>If their conclusion is the latter, then it's a major blow to any free-market
>principle. At this point, why would the rest of us give a damn about
>free-markets when it means increasing numbers of people will suffer? If they
>are standing behind their principles of insisting on free-markets despite the
>large loss of human life, what does this say about them? This is the *real*
>isssue I'm forcing.

The extreme form of your fear (millions starve to death because technology
has been made obsolete) is fairly easy to discredit. Suppose 10 million
people were laid off tomorrow because a new invention drastically reduced
demand for the jobs they had been doing. Instead of starving, wouldn't
they be better off forming their own economy, using simple technology
and trading among themselves? (Not that that's likely to be the best they
could do, it's merely the simplest to describe).
I see no sign that automation has been causing or is likely to cause a
significant number of people to need to work harder to maintain a stable
standard of living. As to how hard people will need to work in order to
upload, I don't know. (Paul Hughes) writes:
>**** So again I ask, is their any anracho-capitalist who can demonstrate how the
>free-market can support and sustain a wide-spread liesure-class society without
>resorting to "faith" that it simply will. If your conclusion is that we must all
>continue to work in some form or another, then I DON'T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

I.e. you are only interested in promises of a free lunch from people who
don't trust promises of a free lunch? (Randall R Randall) writes:
>Whoops. Sorry, but without using force, you have to
>provide someone else with value, in order to get
>value from them.

I guess you've never heard of Linux, Netscape, the Red Cross, etc?

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list