Re: Final Challenge to Socialists

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 14:25:02 -0500

Joe E. Dees wrote:

> Ok, you support the existence of government. But do you support
> the
> existence of a coercive (violence, theft toward the individual)
> government? If so, how do you support those views in terms of
> Extropianism. If not, please explain how a non-coercive government
> could exist...
> An entirely non-coercive government cannot exist; such an absolute
> is an abstract, unreifiable construct, resembling a "straw saint" (an
> "if we can't have perfection, let's not have anything" kind of
> argument). But since there are necessary, essential and
> indispensable services which only some form of government can
> provide, it is useful for us to keep total non-coercion before us as an
> asymptotically approachable goal, towards which we strive by
> working to make the government we must have as non-coercive as
> possible, while still able to perform its necessary, essential and
> indispensable functions for us. If this violates some obscure tenet of
> Extropian dogma, then there's something wrong with Extropianism at
> that point, for the very concept of dogma is itself a coercive,
> intellectual freedom-stealing one (even antigovernment dogma).

Wrong. There is a form of nocoercive government. It is called a hyperdemocracy. In a hyperdemocracy, it isn't one man, one vote, its one man, one veto. Thus, nobody can be coerced into anything, as all it takes to stop a new law is one veto against it. What is required to make such a system work over the long term is that a) the original Constitution be set up such that it guarrantees maximum functional freedoms to everybody equally, but b) also give effective mechanisms for people to pursue remedies to intrusions into their freedoms by others. It should recognise the market as the ultimate arbitrator of cost and value, and should set some basic rules for the organization of cooperative organizations of individuals such that they don't violate individuals freedoms, inside or outside the organization. The articles in such a document should be vague enough in general areas to allow for new technologies or cultural changes without need for revision, but also be specific enough in the freedoms area such that violators cannot dissemble and fudge the facts, and should be clear enough about what is considered coercive government such that individuals can easily take private legal action against the government. The government should be subject to its own laws.

Mike Lorrey