[ExI] Fwd: Non-commie Aussies

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 04:54:30 UTC 2009

This got accidentally off-listed.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 1:49 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Non-commie Aussies
To: Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 6:18 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/6/29 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> I wonder, why are you asking these questions? I have a vague idea that
>> you may be working up to present an argument in favor of democracy, or
>> against private ownership, but how?
> My problem is that although I may be unhappy being subject to a
> democratic government, I would be terrified to be at the mercy of
> unfettered wealthy corporations or individuals, who could kill me if
> they found it expedient. If they had inhibitions about straight out
> murder, they could kill me by polluting the environment, enslave me by
> means of indentured labour, buy up all the land and push me into the
> sea if I couldn't pay the rent; all with "freely" negotiated
> contracts. Through government, people decide that they don't want to
> allow this sort of behaviour so they set up rules and taxes to prevent
> it, costing the capitalists money in the process.

### I understand your worries, and if you dig deep in the archives
here you will find me articulating similar points is discussions with
Dan, before I became an anarchist like him. But now I think that was
putting the cart before the horse: Democracy does not prevent your
enemies from killing you, does not prevent pollution, or slavery. All
these ills are due to immorality of the people, and a democracy made
of immoral people will endorse slavery, mass torture, genocide. Just
look at the history of Rome, Greece, Poland, the US. A democracy is
mostly a way of pretending that the masses have much to say (look at
Eliezer's analysis of the actual public input in presidential
elections - the public is responsible for two bits in a 20-something
bit string). As long as it's made up of reasonably honest people, a
democracy will produce reasonably honest policies most of the time. If
the people, both the elites and the masses, are immoral, no amount of
democratic procedure will stop them from screwing you over.
Conversely, capitalism is inherently moral because it makes the
respect for property into the moral bedrock of the society, and it
harnesses human self-interest to protect property (of which your life
and liberty are a form), thus making it more resilient in the face of

The proper way of looking at it is to pay attention to the moral
development of the populace, rather than the details of the political
system. These of course exist in a two-way feedback with each other
but the primary driver of change is always moral and intellectual
growth. If enough people could outgrow the desire to forcefully
control others, we'd have a very nice capitalist society and a
paradise on Earth, and probably nary an election in sight.


Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD
Chief Clinical Officer,
Gencia Corporation
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Charlottesville, VA 22903

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