[ExI] Private and government R&D

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 03:01:24 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 8:01 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> A rich and powerful individual or corporation would have no trouble
> squashing anyone that gets in their way, either directly or
> indirectly. This is the main reasons traditional anarchists are not
> capitalists: the wealthy have power over the poor, in the same way
> that government has power, but without even the pretence of allowing
> the governed a say in how they are governed.

### What makes you think so? Do you see rich individuals and powerful
corporations embedded in morally advanced societies routinely
squashing anyone that gets in their way? What kind of society did you
grow up in?

> Suppose you are a mining company with a turnover of tens of billions
> of dollars a year. A village is situated on top of a resource you want
> and the villagers refuse to move. You figure it will cost you $5
> billion in bad publicity if you forcibly relocate the village but gain
> you $10 billion in extra profits (you could also just kill the
> villagers and save on relocation costs, but that would cost you $15
> billion in bad publicity, defeating the purpose of the exercise).
> What's to stop you forcibly relocating the village? Why would you give
> consideration to anything like a principle of non-violence or
> non-coercion if you can see it would adversely affect the bottom line?
### You seem to be you asking me what a psychopath would do in this
situation. This is not an enlightening question.

It is much more fruitful to ask e.g.:

How many of the richest capitalists are psychopaths? How many of
top-level politicians are psychopaths? Are people who ascend by
serving customers more or less likely to be psychopaths, compared to
people who ascend by force, propaganda, lies, and extortion?

Is a society built on the principle of non-violence less or more
likely to promote a psychopath into a position of power, compared to a
society that enthusiastically embraces violence?

Is initiation of violence good? Is it possible to stabilize a
non-violent society, assuming some fraction of citizens follow my
suggestion to truly forswear the initiation of violence?

Try to answer those questions for yourself.


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