Tony Hollick (
Sat, 8 Aug 98 18:47 BST-1

Max More wrote:

> I find this an odd use of "mean". Thatcher was mean only in the sense
> that she wanted to steal less money from tax-payers to give to scientists
> feeding at the public trough. I'd like to see *more* "meanness" of this
> kind. I'd rather scientists receive funding because they can persuade
> people to give them money voluntarily.

Max, this is a _travesty_ of what Thatcher did, and why. Taxes _increased_ under Thatcher (so she had no problems with 'stealing' money from people); while 25% of British manufacturing industry (the sort of private outfits who might employ scientists -- although few actually do) just disappeared, crushed out of existence by high interest rates and a continuation of ruthless bureaucratic oppression. GNP growth was negligible -- all the suffering was for nothing. A cruel hoax.

(Politicians will always tax to the maximum; all that ever changes is who gets the money. You can campaign for tax reductions (which only the rich will ever get); or you can campaign for your slice of the pie. Guess what makes better sense effort-wise).

What _did_ change 'radically' is the _identity of the beneficiaries_ of those feeding at the public trough; with a radical skewing towards the already better-off (i.e. the beneficiaries of past injustices). I can't think of _any_ libertarians or honest entrepreneurs who are better off as a result of the Thatcher years. Ask Chris Tame.

> On the other hand, perhaps I should complain about how mean the government
> is not to hand out free money to philosophers.

As well you might!

[A] The Thatcher cutbacks made it well-nigh impossible for philosophy lecturers you might approve of to find a place to teach, while all the existing lecturing remained stuffed with Statists of various hues. Some of the philosophy lecturers locked out of posts thusly include people whose names will be familiar to you. You will remember that Universities are primararily there to provide credentials and entry papers to a ruling elite in a hierarchical Statist society.

[B] There's a 'public-goods' trap in asking for money to promote our ideas. People think: "If these people succeed, they'll succeed anyway, without my help. And I'll get the benefits regardless. Whereas if they fail, I'll have wasted my money."

[C] As we found when fund-raising for anti-tax campaigns in 1979 onwards, the rich said 'Who's paying taxes anyway? Shaddup!!". >:-} The moderately well off didn't want to risk reprisals from the Revenue Service; and everyone else pointed to the public-goods trap mentioned earlier. Or their eyes glazed over.

>Meany Max

Not mean, Max, just unthinking. 95% of all the medical scientists and technologists who ever lived are alive and working right now. Ditto for other scientists and technologists who provide the backbone, the impetus and the detailed support for your entire programme! Now guess who's paying them.

Why you should want to bring your entire Extropian programme to a grinding halt, followed by rapid reverses as the vital expertise is lost, is anyone's guess. You _do want_ your programme to succeed, don't you, Max? Preferably in your own lifetime? >:-} You're not perchance run by Thanatology Inc.? >:-}

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      Tony Hollick, LightSmith  (LA-Agora Conference) (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation) (NorthWest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment)

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