[ExI] Advocacy and libertarian optimism

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed May 13 04:59:42 UTC 2009

Dan writes

 > Lee wrote:
 >> Dan wrote (5/7/2009 2:46pm)
 >>> Regarding how reform should be attempted within the
 >>> present system, I disagree that perpetuating or
 >>> expanding the system is the correct approach.
 >> Yes indeed. And I commend you also for pointing out
 >> that we can only hope to move towards eventual positions
 >> that appeal to us, and ought not outright advocate those
 >> eventual positions.
 > Actually, I do think one ought to "outright advocate
 > eventual positions."...

 > If you'd read the articles I wrote, the ones I quoted

Oh, I did. Sorry about the above. I definitely read
into one thing you'd written what I dreamily assumed
had to be the case, namely that you agreed that it
sounds completely unrealistic to people to talk of
extreme libertarian solutions, when they can't even
intuit problems with centralized education or
health care.

Even more important, just what really secure
knowledge do we have about what is feasible in
the long run? What do we know about future
technical developments, possibly including
the singularity and nanotechnology? These
could move people with tremendous force in
all sorts of conceptual directions. Pure
libertarianism might seem as quaint as many
18th century ideas seem to us now.

I won't argue strategy any longer with you;
(I can see myself that some things are futile :).

But *given* say a feudal culture circa 1000 AD
that you found yourself a part of, you'd still
be a classic libertarian? Me, at that point,
I'd either be advocating more or less obedience
to the local lord or to the king, whichever would
get us into an era of free trade sooner.

I see our current situation as analogous, except
that unlike you or me being propelled back to
1000 AD, we are in ignorance about what social
and technical developments are going to occur.
The concept of free individuals having a maximum
impact on what happens in their daily lives,
and having to suffer a minimum from legal
restraints, is entirely dependent on how evolved
our culture is.

We're very lucky, both historically and comparatively
contemporaneously, to have as good a shot as we have
to getting people to understand incremental changes.

And yes, I did read you about "tailoring" your
message to different audiences, and I understand.


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