[ExI] Spreading beneficial ideas and institutions/was Re: The Evils of the West

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 15 14:50:11 UTC 2009

--- On Tue, 4/14/09, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 3:22 AM, Lee
> Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>
> wrote:
>> On the world stage, this means trying to help all
>> societies
>> acquire the Western institutions that deliver the
>> goods.
> Historical experience should show that such external "help"
> is a
> recipe for disaster - including to some extent for the
> "helpers".

There is a time honored way that beneficial ideas and institutions spread that seems to avoid or at least minimize these problems.  This is to spread them via peaceful informal trade to allow them to diffuse.  This allows individuals to decide what to accept or borrow on a local level.  (Sure, there are network effects in many cases.  If all your neighbors suddenly start using a different money, then this makes it very hard for you to not switch.:)  This is much better, IMO, than using the IMF or the military to force feed foreigners ideas or institutions.

Also, the ideas and institutions that many seem to cherish -- free markets, individualism, freedom of expression, religious tolerance, property rights -- all start out in this informal, diffuse fashion.  It's not like some semi-fascist empire came in and imposed them on Western Europe in the Late Middle Ages in the name of helping its victims.




More information about the extropy-chat mailing list