Re: Private armies
Mon, 21 Dec 1998 10:37:06 -0700

den Otter had written:
>It's more rational to
>sacrifice a little freedom now, and reap unprecented autonomy later.

To which I responded:
> I don't think it's rational at all. If you sacrifice freedom, you've
> already defeated yourself. How are you going to reap autonomy by a
> of surrendering it?

den returns:
>I meant "sacrificing"/limiting freedom in the sense of being
>willing to make some concessions in order to make cooperation
>with not *completely* like-minded people possible.

I'm all for compromise, as long it's not a compromise of basic principle. I don't expect any two people ever to be completely like-minded; indeed that would represent a loss for the diversity of opinion necessary for progress.

To clarify, I'm quite willing to refrain from *exercising* my freedom under the right circumstances - and in fact I often do - but I will never *surrender* my freedom, nor cease to uphold the primacy of liberty.

That said, it seems we're in basic agreement though we use different words.

>> >Due to human nature it is currently impossible to create a non-coercive
>> >society.

>> You need to support this. I hope to hell you're wrong.

>Well, if I were wrong the world wouldn't be the way it is, would it?

Invalid conclusion. There are all sorts of reasons I can think of for the world being the way it is without assuming that human nature constrains it to be exactly so.

>Libertarian societies would be the norm as, actively supported by
>the majority of (naturally individualistic, assertive and rational)
>people, they would quickly outcompete and replace any pockets
>of totalitarianism. This obviously hasn't happened so far, and the
>only logical reason I can think of is that (apparently) the majority
>of people doesn't embrace libertarian thought.

That the majority of people don't embrace libertarianism is certainly no argument that human nature makes a free society impossible. The vast majority also think that transhumanism is blasphemous, against human nature, pure fantasy, or downright silly. What do you conclude from this?

Moreover, your argument about libertarianism "competing" with totalitarianism (or governmentalism in general) is flawed by the fact that there is obviously no free market in the hegemony "business", not even in the flow of ideas. Even in a democracy, people's access to information is greatly tainted by the ruling powers. Power freaks don't want to know, and don't want anyone else to know, about alternatives to the power game. And the willing sheep who look to their "leaders" to relieve them of the responsibility for their welfare don't want to know, either.

Reminds me of the clerics who refused to gaze through Galileo's telescope.