Anton Sherwood (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 18:40:13 -0800 (PST)

: Anton Sherwood <> wrote
: >Experience suggests that if an agency is empowered to override
: >the choices of the marketplace, it will go far beyond "solving
: >the problems that the market cannot solve" and extend its power
: >as far as it can reach.

Arjen Kamphuis writes (Nov 6)
: That's not my experience.
: Because why are so many European governements privatising things like
: railroads and telecom then? Giving away control over transport &
: communication to 'the market'? Not the thing power-hungry 'terrocrats'
: (one of the strangest - and paranoid - terms I've learned on this list)
: would do.

Perhaps I exaggerated a bit; but why did they take control over transport
in the first place?

: Of course it is a US-interest to keep as much of the world more or less
: capitalistic, you make products, you need customers to buy 'em.

It's more the reverse, in my view: we like to buy stuff, so we need
producers to sell to us (in exchange for our products). Trade policy
that emphasizes exports is foolish: you can't eat exports.

: If the US had not fought the Cold war (and WW-II) many more people would
: have died. There was no alternative, you can't coexist with the likes of
: Stalin and the German guy. You win the war or you get dead/annexated
: (almost as bad).

And if we'd let the Georgian and the German beat on each other for
a few more years, before we intervened? We might have been rid of
both of them.

: But maybe I still do not fully understand anarchocapitalism. In such
: a society, without a state of any sort, who makes and upholds laws?
: or is it every person for him/herself?

Most law enforcement *is* at the individual level.
You have locks on your doors, no?

Theoretical sketches: David Friedman, _The Machinery of Freedom_.
Practical examples: Bruce Benson, _The Enterprise of Law_.
Fictional hints: Neil Smith, _Converse and Conflict_;
Neal Stephenson, _The Diamond Age_.

: How do you go from the present situation to such a system?

That's the hard part! The important thing is to prepare the culture,
to teach people that obedience to the State is not the same thing as
justice; that the State is not something divine and eternal, but a
creation of imperfect men, which ought to be discarded - not merely
reformed - when it proves destructive to the purposes for which it is
generally held to exist. When enough people understand that, we can
build parallel institutions, to be ready when the State is weakest.

Most "revolutions" simply take the apparatus of the pre-existing State
and give it new commands - not only because the apparatus is convenient
to the conquerors, but also because most people can't imagine living
without their favorite state office (and there's already a supply of
bureaucrats who know how to run that office!).

My dream is to build free institutions *beside* the State, in no way
dependent on it, so that if the State should crumble we'll be no more
disturbed than if some big corporation - AT&T, let's say - goes out
of business. (I don't mean to imply *no* disturbance. If AT&T crashes
millions of people will be inconvenienced for a few weeks, but there
are other wires.)

: Are these questions explained in a practical manner in any of the books
: on the Extropian Reading list? (no I haven't read them all, still busy)

(has anybody read them all??)

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*