Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

The need for change

"Change the Social Contract? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA." -- Branden Robinson

No, not the Debian Social Contract, but the more familiar one--the one between Government and People.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to provide a place for me to set down in writing my ideas about my own Anarchy (with a capital A) and the various parts of the system which must be defined precisely if I'm to convince anyone of my idea. Also, I'm under no delusion that my ideas as they currently are will hold out for very long; it is a secondary hope that in my writing I will clarify things to myself as well as any readers, and eventually develop a fairly robust system. Of course I'm prepared to question my premises and should they prove incorrect, I'll just have to start over.

There are lots of misconceptions about the word anarchy. The most common one, I think, is the idea of a government-less mob roaming the streets burning down buildings and raping passer-bys. But to me, that's hardly different from the stereotypical pirate; it's not at all my Anarchy. Even mobs have leaders, as they are necessary to keep the mob moving and focused. Because of the confusion, any time I write about my Anarchy it will be capitalized; there is much I disagree with in various formalizations of "anarchy".

So I'm going to get it out here that when I write about Anarchy, I'm not writing about the usual idea of anarchy. My system involves things like laissez-faire capitalism (at the moment), non-violence, and various "rules" a society following my system must observe to survive in a world where not everyone follows my system.

I've noticed that even self-proclaimed anarchists have no problems with violence, while my system plans to make use of a form of non-violent non-cooperation inspired by Gandhi. I will be later defining the details of this system, and as I experiment things will most likely change, but let me give a simple reason for why I think we need a different system for violence in the first place. Eye-for-eye philosophies have been the norm for thousands of years--and why shouldn't they, they're intuitive--if you hit me, I will hit you back with equal force to conserve lost (individual) utility. Now, dear reader, think about it. This system for dealing with violence has been advocated for so long, and yet the results are far from appealing.

I'm not blaming humanity's violent behavior on the system itself, no, but I am arguing that the system is not a useful one for reducing violence. A violent episode is always more violent when both parties join in, and violence tends to attract more violence. If you're lucky, you'll hit back and end the fight with one blow. But how often does that happen...

I use similar reasoning for why we need a different form of government. Monarchies, dictatorships, communism, pure democracies (a-la Greece), and republics (a-la USA) have all failed to manage the Freedom of the People, which is the real currency they use to empower themselves. Now before you go off to write a flame calling me unpatriotic or a communist-sympathizer, a quote from Isaac Asimov is in order:

"when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

Just because I think the USA government is bad does not mean I think it is equally bad as any dictatorship. I'm actually quite glad to be living in this country where I can easily come up with ideas and not worry (much) about the government killing me for them. That said, anyone who thinks the system as it currently exists is flawless needs to pay more attention. Our economy is crumbling, the government is over-powered, the Really Important Things aren't being taken care of, the rest of the world is starting to come around to us again after the Bush-era (but we'll see what happens), and ever more is our government sliding away from the founding principles of the Constitution (a number of which were very good). Am I spreading FUD? I hope not, but I seriously doubt this government will last another ten years at its current rate, and in ten years I want to be successful with a family and not worry about overthrowing an ever more corrupt system.

What you can expect from my writings are scenarios and explications of how the society ought to function in my Anarchy. I mentioned my system will make use of laissez-faire capitalism, but because there are so many good arguments and explanations for its cause elsewhere I won't talk about it very much except maybe to remind readers what exactly I'm talking about. (Not all capitalisms are the same.) If you're interested in some sources for learning about a great economic system, feel free to send me an email.

Finally, I'm not highly confident in my ideas. I need experimental results, I need to write them out, and I need to hear opposing and orthogonal views. I hope that any interested readers will provide thoughtful comments with sound reasoning and if possibly math and evidence to back them up. At the time of this writing the commenting system is unfinished, but that will change in the near future. (I've purposefully kept myself from writing about this sort of stuff or trying my write-once-a-day experiment until I have the comment system working.) All of my posts relating to my Anarchy will contain that tag, along with whatever others I see fit, so the series shouldn't be too difficult to follow. I look forward to thinking about this stuff and revisiting old conclusions, and if anyone besides myself makes use of them then it's an added bonus.

Posted on 2009-07-19 by Jach

Tags: Anarchy, government, non-violence, philosophy


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