Re: Libertarian Economics

Geoff Smith (
Sun, 21 Sep 1997 14:45:55 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 22 Sep 1997, Joao Pedro wrote:

> Hi!

> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > > Why don't people kill each others? Because there is a law against it,
> > > make murder legal and you will see people killing each others.
> >
> > What a hideous, depressing view of humanity. I can't speak for you
> > personally, but /I/ don't murder because /I/ personally find the act
> > morally repugnant. I think most ordinary people are the same. There
> > is always the occasional psychopath, but it is clear from history
> > that the all the truly large-scale brutal mass murders are perpetrated
> > by armies, under the auspices of a government, not by individuals.
> You mention one important word, History. You want to see the conclusive
> proof to my claims about human nature? Look at the human history of the
> last 10'000 years. The human gene pool is roughly the same for the past
> 100'000 years which means that the gene pool of Canadians (the country
> in the world with the best quality of life, according to my last
> statistics)

You think our gene pool is roughly the same as France centuries ago?
Obviously you haven't been here.

People of Euro-descent are a minority at my university.

> is the same of the ruthless troops of Napoleon

Sorry, this comparison doesn't work. The Napoleonic Code is the
father-document of modern law. Napoleon's empire was far from

> or the
> British army that destroyed villages one after the other in it's
> imperialistic conquest. You want to see how life was with no penalies
> for murder? I can write to you some stories of the Dark Ages in Europe,
> you want to hear what was life for Portuguese farmers in the 14/15th
> centuries or can you just imagine?. Do you think that the German people
> have been genetically mutated since the holocaust? The genes are the
> same, the difference is in education, in memes.
> You say that armies are the mass murders and not individuals. You are
> just telling me I'm right, murderers, just like peaceful persons are a
> result of education and not genetic causes (with a few, sporadic,
> exceptions). The German army had to work much to make it's soldiers to
> kill the Jews, remember that the Germans had an education and the army
> had to destroy the compassion German soldiers had in order to use them.
> The pure human nature, without education can be seen in a state of
> anarchy. Inform yourself about the Dark Age or about human life on Earth
> when civilization was not yet established. Civilization prevents the
> expression of the true human nature by education, by culture.
> You can argue, most persons are not violent. I might even agree (most
> women are much less violent than men) but even that only a minority is
> violent in the start (let's imagine a sudden abolition of death penalty
> in the US), the others would soon realize that this was the best course
> of action (even the most peaceful ones!).

I find your statement that violence is human nature completely ridiculous.
Europe is a bad example because it has always been violent. Instead, look
at a place like Tibet. In the far distant past, they were considered the
most violent civilization on earth. They were bloodthirsty and militant.
They would kill their own warriors on a dime for discipline. Overnight,
they became what I would call the most peaceful civilisation on earth. No
government brought around this change, nor was their any great amount of
education available(beside the teaching of Buddha) Certainly, their
education was of a lesser quality than many of the violent countries that
exist today. What does this say about human nature?

I think it says that human nature is a very illusive thing, soon to
eradicated entirely. Some people live to eat other human beings, some
people live to serve other human beings(not for dinner!) What is natural?
Is a beaver's dam natural? Is the Hoover Dam natural? Does it even
matter? We're all in the same universe, why do we need a nature, and how
can you see it so clearly?

> I see people insulting
> themselves for small reasons, I see men (yes, men are the main cause of
> violence) fighting for practically nothing. As soon as the judicial
> system falls, violence is a reality (except, perhaps, in Canada and
> other nations with few social problems), just look at Rwanda. Mail me
> privately and I'll send a dozen of cases (from peaceful Americans who
> were 'carried away' during the riots, ex-Nazi soldiers, stories of the
> conquest of America and the slaughter of natives, civil societies before
> 1 AD, etc).

People will do bad things, and intrude on others freedoms. The question
is, do you think it is justified for a governing agency to impede on
EVERYONE'S freedom, to stop these "bad" people?

How bad do you think people really are?

> I don't know (or knew) what negative feedback is, some of you also
> disliked this, I still don't understand why, Anton Sherwood wrote:
> > Be fair, `negative feedback' is a term of art that probably
> > isn't in an English-Portuguese dictionary. I understood
> > the principle long before I knew what the phrase means.
> There is actually a phenomenon called feedback inhibition that occurs in
> enzymes but from there to knowing what negative feedback is, with only a
> few knowledge of economy, goes a long way.

If you are in microbiology, you should know what negative feedback is. I
learned about negative feedback in high school biology. If you understand
how the human body regulates hormones in the thyroid, you understand
negative feedback.

Most hormone systems work by negative feedback. If hormone A is in excess
in the body, it will initiate the release of another hormone B which will
bind to the hypothalamus and stop the release of hormone A.

> As for economy, your arguments haven't convinced me that free-markets
> are the best solution, on the contrary, they convinced me that
> free-markets aren't a wise solution. Anyway, I shall not discuss this
> subject again on the list.
> Other thing that seem to have bothered was my lack of knowledge and my,
> primitive, questions. Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > Doesn't anyone read books anymore? Why do so many people on the net ask
> > elementary questions which are much more satisfactorily answered by
> > going to the basic literature rather than by a flurry of incomplete or
> > sketchy net responses? Who wants to spend time typing in elementary
> > introductions to basic libertarian thought?
> I haven't counted all the replies I received but apparently some do.

If you had been here for longer, you would realize that a large amount of
volume on this list is new people coming to the list asking the *same*
questions, making the *same* silly points and mistakes. This diverts
people's attention from more important topics. I am definitely guilty of
this crime, and I'll apologize now to all those people who see my newbie
posts as same old, same old.

I have, however, learned a lot from my ignorant questions and comments.
My advice for you, Joao, is to be more open to the ideas of the people
that have been here ten times longer than you and have seen many people
come onto this list thinking they know one percent of one percent of
anything. I don't think anyone who has been on this list for a few months
will make that claim.

> > It all comes down to individuals taking responsibility for their own
> > education, and respect for others. What do you think the secretary of
> > state would say if you walked into a Cabinet meeting and asked a basic
> > question about the Presidency?
> First, the secretary of state would need, unlike myself, to know basic
> things, that's his job, that's what he's paid for. Second, I sent a
> simple message with a few questions, some persons had the time to answer
> them. If you really think I shown no respect, I apologize but I don't
> believe you've spent more than 10 seconds to read the start of my
> message (where it was obvious that I had simple questions) and erase it.
> If, in those 10 seconds, I made you lose some important business, some
> great touchdown or your dinner got cold, I apologize.

Maybe people are glancing over your posts because you have obviously
glanced over the introductory message to this mailing list. Joao, people
are not impressed with your posts because you have obviously not read any
of the suggested material in the introductory message to this mailing
list. Your post is not uncommon; on the contrary, posts like yours are
bogging this list, and people are getting a little tired of answering the
same old questions, over and over. I'm sure you can understand this.

> On a personal basis, I don't mind talking about subjects that are
> interesting to me for hours, I don't mind answering all the questions in
> the world. Obviously some of you are different, once again, if I caused
> any pain to anyone with my message, I apologize. Please note that this
> only applies to my first message, the others are just responses to the
> responses of persons who had time to answer my questions.
> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > Joao deserves insults. He is not merely ignorant, he is willfully
> > ignorant; he /has/ been pointed to sources of information (I pointed
> > to some myself), and he chose to waste our time instead. That's not
> > just ignorant, that's rude. I can respect someone who has spent
> > some time studying and thinking about an issue who then argues with
> > me, but not someone who doesn't want to learn, and who just wants to
> > hear his prejudices validated.
> My reply to Michael Lorry can be basically applied to you but I would
> also like to add that insults usually don't make persons do what you
> want. Well, at least that's my opinion but, probably unlike you, I'm not
> used to insulting other persons so I'm also a bit ignorant in this
> subject.

People begin to lash out a little when they see newbies making blanket,
uniformed statments like "people are violent by nature"(this is a
paraphrase, obviously) People on this list are very open to new ideas,
and when you say something controversial like it is dogma, it is almost
disturbing. One of this list's purposes is to get away from "accepted
wisdom" and pontification.