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

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon May 5 06:58:23 UTC 2008

2008/5/5 Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com>:

>  > 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.
>  >
>  History is full of examples of would be world improvers who thought they
>  had this argument down pat, knew very much what would be best or were at
>  least determined to find it and force everyone to adhere.   When they
>  have come to power many tens of millions of their own people have died
>  prematurely.   We should really be extremely careful not to fall into
>  this old deadly pattern yet again.

Yes, I don't want to be told what to do by someone who thinks they
know best for me. But assume for the sake of argument that the above
two cases (a) and (b) apply and are seen to apply by everyone

>  > Knowing all this, I and everyone else would *willingly* agree to be
>  > compelled to cooperate.
>  If you agree to cooperate then their is no need for compulsion.

If I agree to pay you in exchange for goods then I am tacitly agreeing
to being compelled to pay and you are tacitly agreeing to being
compelled to provide the goods. This is not the best possible
arrangement for either of us. The best arrangement for me is that I
get the goods and am then free not to pay, and the best arrangement
for you is that I pay but you are then free not to give me the goods;
but of course, if this was the actual arrangement there would be no
trade. Therefore, the best deal that either of us could realistically
strike is to agree that both of us will be compelled to hold to the

Stathis Papaioannou

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