Different types of libertarians?
December 24, 2008 at 3:50 pm #4560
This is an objective fact, as you’ve yourself mentioned in your last sentence. Lets not put political correctness above factual correctness. Would TSI want that sort of image?December 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm #4561
I just find it amusing that anarchists think that if the government was gone everything would be great.
I´m not sure a lot of anarchists think that. There are clearly lots of other factors that determine how well a society functions, probably a lot more that the single question of whether there is a state or not. There are societies that probably, at any given time, will function better with a state, and there are others that will almost always work better without.
When looking at the general performance of Somalia though I would hardly think it is fair to compare it to western liberal democracies. Compare it to other countries in the neighborhood, like Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia. No, I am not planning to emigrate to Somalia, but if I for some reason was forced to emigrate to one of these countries it actually starts to look rather appealing, relatively speaking.
The moon also is a de facto anarchy. I am not planning on moving there either, even if I had a free ride there. Because other factors make it rather unhospitable.
I would not rule out the fact that anarchists have moved to Somalia. But probably then from opressive states in the area rather than from the western world.
If higher level of state involvment in society was what created successful countries North Korea would be totally awesome.
More info on Somalia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy_in_SomaliaDecember 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm #4557
One modification I would like to try is to weigh the votes based on how much relevant objective information each individual voter possesses about the subject at hand. The more knowledgeable may have more votes than the scatter-brains…Could the information itself be fairly weighed & judged objectively? Could this be done without somewhat ostracizing other people, or at least giving them the feeling that their input is not worthwhile? There is ignorance in any society, but even a fool can possibly offer something wise, some bit of insight that no one else may have thought of or mentioned. Personally, I’d rather educate the scatter-brains, or try to, giving them the information to pick up on it for themselves. That is how we do it with the political leaders of most countries, anyway…even though much of the time they are not the “expert” in a particular situation, they have numerous resources to tap into for information & advice, and they still have their say on what direction government will go in.Also how about the possibility of the system being hacked by crooks?Very true…voting security would always be a worry. At least with traditional voting there has been the physical aspect with paper or punch cards to fall back on, but this is also inefficient & time-consuming. Perhaps electronic, with a signed paper backup should any doubts arise? Also, if full general disclosure could be agreed upon, it would be possible to see who voted what way and perhaps eventually someone would turn onto the fact that people’s votes weren’t being recorded properly. Of course, there are certain issues that you would greatly prefer to be discrete about in your vote, such as a judgment to ban someone, etc.A lot of decisions are complicated by the fact that there is a limited amount of money. Voters may vote themselves free education, free massages and vacations when voting on individual initiatives, but who’s going to balance the books??One would hope that the group as a whole would not be terribly foolish, but if so, that they would have enough resources to pull themselves back together again afterwards and learn from any errors in judgment. This is where anarcho-capitalism can come into play. How to ensure that each person acts as responsibly with resources as if it were their own, as if they had a real stake in this? In capitalism, if they are mostly your resources, it is mostly your say, you would certainly look out for your own. This allows you to carry a lot of personal force backing up our extraordinary economic growth, through capitalism, for individuals, corporations and countries. Of course, that is not to say that in an anarcho-capitalist society, or even in a democracy, people wouldn’t, or haven’t, also been carefree with money. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7621771.stmDecember 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm #4565
Yes, my last sentence was intended as a restatement of your remark in an unmistakably tolerable form.
Ill leave the intolerable interpretations to the imagination. While someones subjective opinion of a group of people is also in itself an objective fact, its not a fact we care to discuss here. The mission statement of TSI is not to provide free bandwidth for everyone to vent their opinions.
Note, im not accusing you of anything, just trying to stay ahead of potential problems by being clear.December 26, 2008 at 1:15 am #4566
This opinion was expressed in the context of an ongoing discussion that I did not initiate. To suggest that I was “venting my opinion” implies I was ranting and making bigoted statements. You need not apologize for someone else’s backwardness. You don’t have to make such a show of being tolerant and politically correct.December 26, 2008 at 2:14 am #4567
The idea that the reason anarchy is not turning out to be bliss in Somalia is that it is not being tried with the right group of people is a cop-out, as well as a bit racist. It is a lot like saying, “The reason socialism failed in Russia was they did not have the right group of people. With Obama the Americans can make socialism work.” I think both are wrong. In general if a philosophy depends on the “right group of people” to work, then I think something is wrong with it.December 26, 2008 at 3:17 am #4569
Race is not the issue here, the degree of enlightenment and farsightedness is. If it helps put things in context, my ethnic origin is South Asian.
I agree that a fundamentally flawed system cannot be made to work with any type of people, but I don’t see how even a sound system can succeed if the participants are not aware of its nuances and participating whole-heartedly in it. Socialism failed because of innate shortcomings in the ideology, but libertarianism (assuming it is the “right” ideology) isn’t going to succeed with people who didn’t choose it and don’t understand its basic premises, IMO.December 26, 2008 at 2:02 pm #4568
I agree that a philosophy should be universally viable, but I also think that the details really matter when dealing with something as complex as human nature, in the way that the philosophy in society manifests itself &/or it is put into action…or the balance of philosophies, since it is rare to encounter the pure form of any one philosophy by itself in society & government.
There is also this…the predominant race of a particular society is one thing, the history & culture of a society is another. I don’t know Somalia at all well enough myself, but there are other cultures where capitalism, for instance, can be mostly bypassed in monetary form. Living in a diverse & fast-paced city in England the overwhelming majority of people for many, many generations have comfortably had a culture making use of money, involved in absolutely everything. Living out in a beautiful part of the countryside of the Dominican Republic I encountered a form of this, plus met another culture that had a slower pace to life…other communities that, of course, would recognize the value of money in a very big way, but was remarkably able to live life mostly without it for their basic necessities, living generally off of the land, helpful enough to aid others without payment, sometimes trading, bartering & so on, perhaps with some support of friends & family, be able to protect their own, and still know how to have a good time of it. I couldn’t live like that, I am too used to another lifestyle, but I admired their self-sufficiency and it was interesting to see. The fiestas rockedDecember 26, 2008 at 2:06 pm #4570
You dont need to be so offended, because, like i explicitly stated, im not accusing you of anything. And neither was I suggesting you were ranting: that remark wasnt adressing you, i was trying to adress your PC complaint. Not everything goes here, thats what i was saying. What does and does not go here, is for TSI to decide, this being their property and all. They have the right to be exactly as PC as they want to. I havnt had explicit moderation instructions, so ill just have to go with the next best thing: my personal subjective judgement.
As far as i am concerned, you are free to declare africans have black skin, and women have boobies, and that you believe this to be due to genetic causes. You are free to cite and discuss research, say, investigating the link between race and intelligence, if it is at all relevant to the discussion. All im asking is that everyone leaves their value judgement out of it. We dont care to hear it, and we do care to keep this a pleasant place for everyone interested in seasteading.
The bottom line being: if i see anything equal to, or more inflammatory than ‘i dislike [insert group of people]‘, my urge would be to instantly ban the originator of said opinion, although id probably discuss it with the other mods first.December 26, 2008 at 6:44 pm #4572
Yes, minister of truth. I shall be punished for thinking thought-crimes. The sacred fairy-tale multicultural kindergarten of political correctness must not be contaminated by mere facts. As punishment I shall banish myself from these fora for ever and ever. Goodbye!December 26, 2008 at 9:47 pm #4573
Once more, im not accusing you of anything, nor have i even considered handing out any kind of punishment. All my remarks have been completely general, and not aimed at anyone in particular.
So unless anyone else is impressed by it, you can stop trying to victimize yourself now.
To which id like to add: given how personally adressed you seem to feel by my hypothetical musings, you might want to take more note of my thoughts on civility than your writing implies you have.December 27, 2008 at 9:02 pm #4574
I love the idea of an explicit social contract, at least, for some seasteads. But it does require tracking people and identifying them, so that you know everyone in your domain has signed the contract. There are downsides to a society which does that, and I think it is important for there also to be “free-for-all” zones with no monitoring or restrictions on movement. But I think it’s a good system for some.
Also be careful not to slip into group selectionism – one society may outcompete each other in the long run, but that doesn’t mean such a society can be established or be stable given the competitive desires of individuals. A society of angels where everyone was honest and no one stole or lied would save money on protection from theft and fraud, and would thus in the long-run outcompete a society composed of imperfect humans. But the former society is a fantasy because it is not stable against thieves joining it (and in fact would attract such people).December 27, 2008 at 9:05 pm #4575
I am not so down on libertarian socialism as others here. Given the idea of an explicit social contract, there is nothing un-libertarian about signing a contract which specifies that you will be part of a socialist society because you believe that is the way you would like to live. On the other hand, my libertarian beliefs are not merely about what type of society I consider desirable, or moral, but about what sets of rules and incentives I think tend to work in practice. And I think socialism doesn’t work well in practice.
That said, the smaller the group, the better socialism will work. And there are societies today, like Scandinavia, where socialism seems to work pretty well. I certainly hope that some groups of seasteaders choose to go in the socialist direction, both to provide more variety of options to people choosing a society, and to generate data about how well socialism works on seasteads, and what sets of rules work best. I’m just not going to live on one :).December 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm #4576
Somalia’s economic success demonstrates that government is not as necessary as most people think. This is a point in favor of anarchism.
Would I want to live there? No. Institutions, culture, and infrastructure matter. I don’t just want an absence of central government, I want effective market anarchistic institutions to provide the infrastructure for a safe, prosperous society. They don’t exist in Somalia, and I doubt they will grow there. We need to open a new frontier to try out new systems.December 27, 2008 at 9:15 pm #4577
I don’t think that the inborn qualities of the people are relevant, but I do think that the existing culture and institutions (the nurture, not the nature) do affect whether anarchy can work.
Which is more likely, that anarchy can work if we take 10,000 anarchists and put them in a seastead city, or if all government disappears in a 10,000-person city in Russia? I think the former has a much better chance of working, because the people are in a new place and forging new institutions which they understand and are committed too.
I don’t want to depend on “the right group of people”, but…culture matters.
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