[extropy-chat] Anarchy + Transparent Society + Bushido =Survival

Technotranscendence neptune at superlink.net
Wed Apr 25 10:43:52 UTC 2007

On Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:35 PM ben benboc at lineone.net wrote:
> The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I would expect a society where everyone carried
>> weapons to work very politely.
> Is this a testable hypothesis?
> Do we have any examples of such societies, past or present?
> What about gang societies in certain cities?

Is everyone armed in such societies?  I thought that the cities with
strong gang cultures in the US -- e.g., LA, NYC, Newark NJ -- are cities
with strict gun control.  I would expect such cities to have few people
carrying guns -- save for criminals.  So, I would question your example.

> Or is that a bad example, because the gang members are
> all 'bad guys'?

No, it's a bad example because in places where criminal gangs rule, it
tends to be the case that few people are legally allowed to be armed.

This doesn't mean that The Avantguardian is correct, but it means your
counterexample does not really speak directly to his position.

In fact, your example reminds of me of Thomas Hogarty's "empirical"
cases against anarchy:

"Thomas Hogarty tries to rule anarchy inferior on empirical grounds. He
provides three case studies to support why we should have government. As
his first example of anarchy, Hogarty points out that brown rats do not
have government, and, in fact, often bite each other. As his second
example, Hogarty discusses how the children in Lord of the Flies did not
have government and engaged in many malicious acts. As his final
example, Hogarty argues that a prisoner-of-war camp during the American
Civil War provides an example of individual interaction without a state.
Rather than acting cooperatively, the prisoners engaged in aggressive

"All three case studies lack cooperation, so Hogarty concludes we need

"In response, Virgil Storr questions whether Hogarty's examples justify
government. Yes, Storr agrees, brown rats removed from their familiar
packs and placed among rats from different localities do in fact bite
each other, but he questions how much this experiment can tell us about
human cooperation. Storr also questions the extent to which a children's
novel, a work of fiction, can be used to draw inferences about
interaction under anarchy. Finally, Storr takes issue with the treatment
of an overcrowded POW camp as a case study in anarchy. When government
imprisons a group of people and controls their supplies, we should not
be surprised if conflict arises. To Storr, none of these examples
provides evidence of deficiencies in anarchy."

>From http://www.mises.org/story/2127

In other words, it's almost like you're providing prison as an example
of an armed society -- ignoring the fact that in prisons only a few
people are legitimately able to be armed and even those who are
illegitimately armed are a small minority.  This means the rest are

> Would such an armed society /require/ everyone to be armed?
> Whether they wanted to be or not?

Don't we have at least one society where that is a requirement:
Switzerland?  Isn't each Swiss household required to have a gun?

> I suspect it's not that simple.

I suspect you're right, though not given the example you bring up.  In
fact, I think that that case actually supports The Avantguardian.  That
said, however, I suspect that politeness has more to do with other
cultural factors.  Of course, these factors would seem to be reinforced
by people being allowed free access to arms.  Why so?  Well, politeness
would be one way of defusing most situations that might lead to
violence.  The abusive might, under such conditions, think twice before
insulting or abusing the wimpy guy.



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