Re: Final draft of my philosophical platform now on line

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 18:07:59 MDT

At 01:40 PM 16/08/04 -0400, you wrote:
>On Aug 16, 2004, at 9:00 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
>>At 04:50 PM 15/08/04 -0700, Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>>As you know, the central tenet of libertarianism is the non-initiation
>>>of force as a succinct guide to proper human relationships. While I
>>>admit it is free-floating it has much to recommend it.
>>True, but it does not make the evolutionary psychology reality test.
>>It is also only one side of the behavior switch for war built into humans
>>by evolution. Such a meme could only arise during times of increasing
>>wealth per capita.
>Such a meme, becoming at least temporarily and locally dominant, *causes*
>times of increasing wealth.

I don't believe you can demonstrate this. I can certainly demonstrate that
wealth such as the Saudi's obtained from oil had little to do with a
non-initiation of force as a political philosophy. I also think that if
Easter Island had been populated entirely with libertarians just before
their 90-95% population crash it would have made no difference. (Except
perhaps in the names of the memes each side used to dehumanize the other
side prior to killing them.)

>It's unclear at this time whether it will
>also have continued to be widely viable *during* times of massively
>increasing wealth.

If my thesis about the "war switch" is right, then general increasing
wealth greater than population growth will keep humans out of war mode.

Along such lines, as long as China has increasing wealth per capita, I
predict they will not start a war. (They can still be attacked and that
will set off a war.) But if they suffer economic reversals, the social
forces leading them toward war will be considerable.

Consider Argentina and the Falklands war if you want a clear example.

Keith Henson

PS. Wars are *adaptive* for hunter gatherer societies. That does not make
necessarily make wars adaptive to later societies.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:48 MDT