Re: Individual Responsibility

Twirlip of Greymist (
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 15:09:14 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 7, 12:56pm, Suresh Naidu wrote:

} way too frequently. The amount of environmental damage one person
} can do when he doesn't have total control over a large organization is far less.

Like a government?

} On his own he could pollute a small piece of land, as the
} businessman he can destroy an entire ecosystem. Capitalism gives power to

Uh. The problem here is having organizations where lots of people will
do what someone else wants. Such seem to be endemic to the human
species. But in an ideal system a business could only ruin its own
land, which it would probably prefer not to do, while a bad government
can ruin everything.

In the real world, there's public land, and even more public air and
water, and yes, unethical businesses cheerily go after those. So do
unethical individuals, such as sheep farmers on early English commons,
or everyone who drives a car.

} reason I advocate anarchy is because I hope it will
} encourage the same principles of mutual aid that have helped us evolve to
} this point, so we can develop into a species that will take itself to the

The problem I see with your form of anarchy is that it requires a
commitment to mutual aid which is probably unrealistic to expect of any
grouping of autonomous entities, of any species.

} so the only way to prevent this from happening is to minimize the absolute
} power anyone has over anybody else.

But how? Bottom-up approach: tear down any one who's getting too large.
A very common solution, used by many tribes through accusations of
sorcery. "He's wealthy, he must be using sorcery, he caused my chickens
to become sick." None of these tribes are going to the stars any time

Top-down: have a really big power that can easily minimize anyone else's
power. The problem is obviously to control the great power.

At the moment we seem to have a middling approach, of letting multiple
powers form and play against each other, including a government.
Long-term success is unknown.

} Let's face it, any system would work if people were a bit "nicer".

Yep. But anarcho-capitalism hopes to work by letting people's
meanness cancel out and channeling their greed into mutually useful
areas. Pollution is coming through a channel that needs to be blocked.

Anarcho-socialism, or whatever you want to call it, seems to require
that people be nice.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"Some would sooner die than think. In fact, they often do." -- B. Russell