Re: The Spike, nanotech, and a future scenario

The Low Golden Willow (
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 21:23:16 -0700 (PDT)

} Michael Lorrey wrote:
} > starting from. WHile one would think that the death of the Soviet Union,
} > the end of Socialism in China and most other control economies, as well
} > as the end of the welfare state in many western nations, would be enough
} > of an indicator to prove the point that "free enterprise is the superior
} > economic system", there still seem to be plenty of people on this list

Soviet/Chinese style state socialism is pretty well refuted, yes, as is
whatever Britain was doing before Thatcher. Is the welfare state itself
discredited? The US is doing well and Europe poorly at the moment, but
it wasn't so long ago that things were the other way around. And
Europe's busy trying to shoehorn itself into a single currency, which
currently (because of Jacobs' arguments) doesn't strike me as the
brightest of ideas. (Anyone know how Norway and Switzerland are
doing? Especially Norway.)

And the stuff I was babbling about a few days ago was leftist anarchism,
which has a larger track record than market anarchism. Between 1936 and
1939 much of Spain successfully went anarchist, becoming more productive
than before the war (although repudiating debts would help the
factories) and doing most of the fighting against the Fascists. Whether
the new society would have been stable over time, or in peace, or as
innovative as the market, is unknowable. And while the anarchists trumpeted
the difficulties they had to overcome I can't help thinking that being
caught up in a war of Good vs. Evil must help feelings of solidarity
and avoidance of the selfishness we feel would break the system without
the automatic restraint of private property. (And in my reading I did
run across various things I didn't like.) Still it did work for a
while, and wasn't been observed to fail on its own merits, and involved
a lot more people than the Libertarian Party can claim.

Yes, market economies beat the hell out of anything else that's been
properly tried. Not all conceivable alternatives have been tried,
however. Particularly any variety of real anarchy other than the ones
which degenerate into warlordism or involve unusual circumstances or
entities (Internet, international law, fighting off Fascists and
Communists simultaneously.)

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"Umm. Systems analysts rarely call their parents from across the
country in response to mysterious problems. Still more rarely do they
disappear. It is not part of the technical mentality to disappear."
-- R.A. MacAvoy, _Tea with the Black Dragon_, Oolong