[ExI] To Arms!

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Mar 29 05:58:23 UTC 2009

Stathis writes

> 2009/3/27 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:
>> No, I attribute it to liberals (what we call over here
>> people like you). I attribute it to the mindset that
>> can no longer distinguish between a lawfully run society
>> based upon freedom and liberty, and a society whose
>> infrastructure is poor and whose people are ruthless.
> How are the liberals responsible for that?

I would have to look at a previous post to find out what
"it" was exactly.

My line

 >> the mindset that
 >> can no longer distinguish between a lawfully run society
 >> based upon freedom and liberty, and a society whose
 >> infrastructure is poor and whose people are ruthless.

was a dig at the previous writer, who seemed to hold that view.
(I haven't got to his rejoinder yet.)

>> Challenge: give me any historical or current example
>> of a better behaved society than that of, say, Iowa
>> or Minnesota, (which are for the better part free of
>> the contamination that afflicts places like New Jersey
>> and New York, and which are no more corrupt than
>> Sweden or Iceland).
> So what's the essential difference between the well-behaved and badly
> behaved states?

Good question! I would say that between the *really* badly
run states in the world and the relatively okay ones, it
comes down to cultural specifics. But I think you meant
between the (U.S.) states given. The more corrupt (American)
states are historically older, which seems to allow for
the growth and development of corruption.

It's also quite likely (in my opinion) that in those two
states I gave that were relatively less corrupt, they
possess greater trust, in Fukuyama's sense of the term.
Diversity, quite a number of people are beginning to
realize, reduces trust, creates divisions, and supports
mutual hostility (despite the earnest pleadings of the
media and propagation outlets (schools)).

>> Of course, to you [a previous writer, not necessarily
 >> Stathis], it is an absolute tragedy if someone
>> freely chooses to not work or contribute in any way,
>> and so starves to death, a tragedy that is not at all
>> the individual's fault, but merely the fault of society.
> I must admit that prior to joining this list I didn't think that
> anyone seriously questioned the idea that one of the main purposes of
> civilised society was to provide for the basic needs of its citizens.

Yeah, well you were basically correct because we aren't many.

> I knew there was debate about exactly which services should be
> provided, how they would be funded, and so on, but not that it might
> be wrong to have any public services at all. So I suppose this is just
> one of those matters where we will reach an impasse due to having have
> different basic principles.

Probably. But younger people growing up may be less wedded
to their prejudices and established ways of seeing things,
not to say values, and get a better view or be more

>> You really should read Pinker's "The Blank Slate" to
>> find out the latest research concerning the delusion
>> of Rousseau (and everyone since, like Marx) that we
>> all start off as blank slates and that all evils are
>> attributable to the environment. It's just not true,
>> Dagon.
> If personality is more inherited than environmental, then that means
> the evils of the world can't be mainly due to personality. Otherwise
> what genetic catastrophe would explain the behaviour of the German
> people under the Nazis, for example?

I have to agree (though you need not reach back to the Nazis
for a demonstration). The evils of the world are *not* mainly
due to personality (I am *so* glad you agree, given the current
climate of demonization of greedy capitalists and what-not, who
many see as a personal exhibition of evilness). Instead the
evils of the world for most part are do to bad or inadequate
institutions, e.g. the unequal distribution of capitalism,
the unequal distribution of lawful behavior, and the unequal
distribution of liberty.

> There are plenty of examples of third world countries where the
> government does everything it can to suppress any activity that might
> be construed as impeding business, for example by eliminating trade
> unionists or other liberal/lefty types, not to mention refraining from
> spending any money on public services, and these countries are a total
> mess.

I imagine that the ones you have in mind are the kleptocracies
run by a dictatorial elite for their own benefit. If you have
other examples, I'd love to hear them, thanks.

>> Conditions in the big cities
>> should *never* have been allowed to get out of hand.
>> The corruption should never have been tolerated, (e.g.
>> Chicago 1850-present). As soon as recognizable underclasses
>> begin to form, they ought to have been either massively
>> deported, or subjected to resettlement on reservations,
>> where they'd be compelled to go back to agriculture or
>> any kind of honest toil in order to survive.
> You seem to be saying that such government intervention would be -
> what? a lesser constraint on liberty? - than regulating banks.

You've got me there! As with any vigilante action, sometimes
the lawful established order, as Jefferson himself prophesied,
needs to be overcome, and in this case the liberties of certain
elements, e.g. organized crime or the underclasses, must be

But it's either that or eventually perish. France, for example,
needs to do what it would instantly have done in any century
before the 20th, namely expel its Muslim population. It's
either that or cease eventually to have a modern western
society at all!


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list