[ExI] Under the libertarian yoke was Re: Next Decade May See No Warming

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat May 3 03:03:03 UTC 2008

2008/5/3 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 8:17 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >
>  >  Suppose it's true that global warming will happen and that it will be
>  >  a disaster, and suppose it's also true that there is something that
>  >  could be done now to prevent it. Even if this is understood by
>  >  everyone, the free market is unlikely to give rise to action to avert
>  >  disaster if such action results in loss of short and medium term
>  >  profits for individual enterprises. It's a variation on the Prisoner's
>  >  Dilemma: you would be foolish to restrict your energy use or switch to
>  >  more expensive "green" energy sources if you're going to lose money as
>  >  a result and, in any case, no-one benefits from your trouble unless a
>  >  majority of people voluntarily follow your example. The only way to
>  >  solve the problem seems to be if there is an opportunity to vote to
>  >  *force everyone* to adhere to a plan which, although profit-sapping,
>  >  will at least be disaster-averting.
>  ### Stathis, long term exposure to statist propaganda may have sapped
>  your desire to use your imagination, hence your usage of the words
>  "only" and "force everyone" (the state, in three short words).
>  But I am sure you still could think your way through the problem and
>  come up with non-violent solutions (i.e. solutions that do not
>  postulate the use of a unitary player/organization applying
>  overwhelming force to cause conformity of action). I know of such
>  solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma, which work beautifully in other
>  real-like contexts, so let me challenge you:
>  Brainstorm here with us on how to solve the problem of global warming,
>  assuming that we have been invaded by highly advanced (and therefore
>  libertarian) aliens, who say they will fry with lasers everybody who
>  initiates the use of force but they won't help us otherwise in dealing
>  with our problems (of course they won't, they are heartless
>  libertarians). So, willy-nilly, if you want to avoid a miserable death
>  on a parched planet, you have to deal with global warming without
>  simply grabbing a gun and going after people who disagree with you.

It wouldn't be a matter of a few people forcing their views on
everyone else. The issue is that, as Jef said, the superrational
course of action is to cooperate, while the "rational" course of
action is to defect.

The two choices are:

(a) no-one is compelled to do anything - everyone gets 50 units of utility;
(b) everyone is forced to cooperate - everyone gets 100 units of utility.

Knowing all this, I and everyone else would *willingly* agree to be
compelled to cooperate. Collectivist anarchism might allow for such
cooperation while free market anarchism would not. If the advanced
aliens are all libertarians this may explain the Fermi Paradox.

Stathis Papaioannou

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