Re: Final draft of my philosophical platform now on line

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon Aug 16 2004 - 23:41:48 MDT

At 09:08 PM 16/08/04 -0400, you wrote:
>On Aug 16, 2004, at 8:07 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
>>At 01:40 PM 16/08/04 -0400, you wrote:
>>>Such a meme, becoming at least temporarily and locally dominant, *causes*
>>>times of increasing wealth.
>>I don't believe you can demonstrate this.
>There are already lots of well-researched tomes out there
>demonstrating it. If you're interested, I can point you
>at some offlist.

Sure. However, the connection between falling income per capita and war
mode can be stated in a few sentences, it is backed up by much historical
data and has a sound EP model behind it. The logic flow is that rising
income per capita shuts off the human psychological traits that lead to
wars or related social disruptions.

>>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.
>The Saudis would have had to have a very dysfunctional political
>system indeed to have failed to capitalize on that much found wealth,
>but even so, I don't think I would characterize their society as one
>of increasing wealth, but decreasing.

That depends on the time frame you take, from the peak to a few years ago a
combination of falling oil prices and rising population reduced the income
per capita by 75%. There are other factors, but it is worth noting that 15
of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. If oil doubles in price, their income
doubles, but over time their population growth (birth control is outlawed)
will eat up any possible increases in revenue.

>>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.)
>I don't know to what extent the Easter Islanders would have been
>helped by a market system, since I know little about that situation.

It would be well worth reading about it.

I draw somewhat different information from this tragedy than Jared Diamond
did, but I don't think more of a market system than they had would have
been of any help.

Keith Henson

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