Re: The Violence Solution
Wed, 31 Dec 1997 19:40:25 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 31 Dec 1997, Hara Ra wrote:

> How about eliminating "government" and privatising its functions. Can
> you say the word "libertarian"??

I'd rather not. We need a more nuanced understanding of the social and
political institutions necessary to maintain civilization in the face of
the future (can you say the word singularity?) than libertarianism tends
to provide, imho. Smash the state, sure, but then what? While
privatizing and pluralizing functions presently performed (mostly
brutally, always badly) by monolithic governments will definitely
eliminate the State, nothing will eliminate government. I read David
Friedman's _Machinery of Freedom_ as a sketch of (some of) the kinds of
institutions of rational governance that are likely to survive the
dissolution of the nation-state over the course of the next half-century,
rather than as a recipe for eliminating government altogether. It is
useful to distinguish the notion of government as a word for the practices
and institutional arrangements that emerge to deal with discord and
articulate the flows of meaning, value, and force among a plurality of
actors, and State as the word for the fiction that some one institution
can be assigned this task by maintaining a monopoly on the "legitimate"
recourse to physical force.

Dale Carrico |
University of California at Berkeley, Department of Rhetoric

If you want to tell people the truth be sure to make them laugh.
Otherwise, they will kill you. -- George Bernard Shaw
State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. -- Nietzsche