Gov't NOT coercion?

John K Clark (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 23:04:21 -0800 (PST)


Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 Ian Goddard <> Wrote:

>I think Kristen is exactly right to suggest that there's no
>difference between large private and large government scenarios.

I think the difference is like day and night. It's true that if a private
company kept getting bigger and more powerful and if the competition kept
getting smaller and weaker then eventually it would be fair to call it a
government. I can't point to the exact point where this transition occurs,
but I can't point to the exact point where day fades into night either.

>>With government there is no place else I can go if I don't like it,
>>but I can always find a landlord someplace who has rules I like

>IAN: So long as you have enough money to pay all the rents and tolls
>in between you and him.


>As soon as you ran out of money while looking for that good landlord,
>you could quickly find yourself in debt slavery.

I wish it was not necessary to work for a living, but wishing does not make
it so, no economic system can change that.

>>in fact there is nothing stopping me from becoming a landlord

>IAN: The price of land is one thing that could stop you.

Then I'll look for cheaper land, or work harder and make more money,
or better yet, work smarter.

>the only problems with gov't stem from the fact that it's so big

The problem is it has no competition.

>>Besides, land is not very important.

>IAN: It's as important as owning all of it means owning the basis of

That sounds very 18'th century-ish, times change. As an Extropian you know
that even the old cliche about land, "they're not making any more of it" is
not true. You should also note that the richest man in the world did not make
his money from land but from information.

>Saying land is not important and that gov't is a big problem is
>incompatable, because it's simply the claim to the ownership of so
>much land that makes the gov't what it is.

It's incompatible only to those who say the government's claim is valid and
I'm not one of those.

>since the size of the land claim is the basis of the "evils" of

Land claims is not the problem, in the USA there is lots of land in private
ownership that the government has never claimed ownership of. The problem is
that there is no area of wealth, value, or life they don't claim the right to
control and the fact that they usually have the muscle to back it up.

>I'm just countering 100% anarchy. Minarchy.

If it worked I wouldn't mind a small very limited government, but its been
tried and it doesn't work because it refuses to stay small and limited.

On Mon, 27 Oct 1997 kristen brennan <> Wrote:

>if coercive government did disappear completely, wouldn't
>power-mongers just switch their mechanism from coercion to

Certainly, but what's wrong with that? At this moment you are trying to
persuade me that your ideas are correct and you are acting ethically, if you
put a gun to my head and told me to say "Kristen Brennan is correct" then
you would not be.

>John Clark noted that Germans probably wouldn't have attempted
>genocide against the Jews en masse without the Nazi military machine.
>But would a Nazi propoganda machine have been equally effective?

Lots of people may not like them, but how could they kill the Jews if there
was a large well paid army protecting them?

A word about "propaganda", it would be wonderful if there was a infallible
way you could always tell truth from falsehood, but there is not. The best
we can do is let everyone have his say and then fight it out in the free
market place of ideas.

John K Clark

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