[ExI] Conscientious objections

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Nov 28 09:56:24 UTC 2012

On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> On 17/11/2012 09:16, Max More wrote:

>> I do think (contrary to my younger self) that some collective goods and
>> free rider problems cannot be solved TODAY and so cannot call myself a true
>> libertarian, but I remain supportive of that as an ideal and hold out hope
>> that we can eventually make that an achievable form of society. In the
>> meantime, certainly we could move a huge distance in that direction.
> Libertarianism as the limit as technology makes the world as low-friction
> and rational as possible? Hmm, limit libertarianism has a nice assonance.

### Exactly! (to both Max and Anders) There are various technical
pre-conditions for the realization of any complex system - our
ancestors could not progress from small tribe organization to a large
ancient theocracy without first inventing granaries, script and other
technologies. Furthermore, their natural hunter-gatherer predilections
had to be adjusted (usually in a very brutal selection process) to
allow existence in a hierarchy, with meek acceptance of dominance
unthinkable in a primitive tribe - this is what Robin has been writing
a lot on his blog. So progress or change in a society is likely to
require multiple and frequently non-obvious adaptations, both in terms
of human knowledge and in human desires.

I envision anarcho-capitalism as a system that explicitly proscribes
territorial power monopoly while using non-violent market interactions
between humans as the primary means of organizing human society. "The
Market" means simply non-communal, supply-and-demand interactions
between consenting participants, usually with a system of prices. Most
humans are communitarian, violent towards out-groups, and dislike the
use of explicit prices within the in-group. I see these traits as
leftovers from the stone age - but inveighing against reality does not
change it. For now it is impossible to build a stable, large-scale
ancap society.

I do believe that anarcho-capitalism or limit libertarianism is the
best possible social system for any self-replicating sentients, and
this means us, humans. (As a side-note, sentients designed and made by
a central authority may of course have completely different social
optima). "Limit libertarianism" is actually a very good term -
sufficiently cryptic and yet easily comprehensible once explained. It
also conveys the meaning very well: a system designed for maximally
efficient (i.e at the limit of possibility) fulfillment of individual
desires. Plus it does not contain references to two of many people's
most hated or feared social conditions.

More importantly, the notion of limit libertarianism provides a
direction, a theoretical goal to move towards. Whether the system can
be actually implemented today or even in the easily-conceivable future
is not as important - what matters is that any change that brings us
closer to that asymptotic limit is a form of social progress,
predicated perhaps on technological development, or on
learning/modification of individual humans and human institutions.
When discussing this notion with others we do not need to explain the
yet-impossible - but we can analyze the incremental change towards the
goal, explain that each step is beneficial and that limiting
communitarianism and violence while expanding the scope of trade is
the very soul of progress. We don't have to hem and haw when accused
of being utopians - we can boldly proclaim we intend to go the the
very limit (and then maybe beyond)!

OK, so from now on I will say to all and sundry that I am a "limit
libertarian" and see where the conversation goes.


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