Re: META: Memes and War [was: Tomorrow is a new day]

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Sat Nov 13 2004 - 15:56:14 MST

--- David Clark <> wrote:

> In fact your *war meme* hypothesis might be
> correct but you have not given
> any good reasons why anyone should believe you.
> I put forward a theory of war that had to do
> with the perceived relative
> weaknesses of countries.

According to Howard Bloom in "The Lucifer
Principle", up-and-comers are more aggressive as
well as more willing to try new things. Your
'perceived weakness' scenario is more in line,
IMHO, with Bloom (whom I revere; I think he's an
important thinker right now; see for more)

Having said that, I regard extreme inequality and
the fear of scarcity as a destabilizing force,
and a great current threat. While my attitudes
are generally libertarian, I find the
Libertarian/Ayn Rand attitude toward economics to
be rather sociopathic. Nobody has a 'right' to be
a billionaire, since they do not work a thousand
times harder than anyone else, nor are they a
thousand times smarter. Intellectual capital
always builds on the efforts of others who went
before, thus taking something from the
'intellectual commons.'
When I mentioned 'socialism' earlier, I was
lambasted with bad economic growth stats for
Sweden. But I never said Sweden's economy was
booming; I believe I used the word 'livable,'
which refers to other factors, some intangible.
However, I will simply point out that Sweden has
a higher average life expectancy than the United
States. Economic inequality is bad for the health
(if you're on the bottom).
Furthermore, stratified countries seem to spend a
lot of money putting guards between the haves and
the have-nots (and much of the guards' salaries
are paid by the have-nots!) When the government
is busy guarding ill-got gains, it gets very
nosey toward social reformers and malcontents.
The military writer James Dunnigan (whose books I
highly recomment) considers high levels of
banditry to be a form of low-level warfare, a
surprising but (to me) convincing notion.
Scarcity and inequality, in other words, lead to
warfare, but not the (rare) flashy
tanks-at-the-border kind of war so much as the
(very common) simmering insurgency and the
syndicalist's bomb.

Anyone who dismisses my comments as the addled
ravings of a granola-headed egalitarian naif
should at least consider that a laissez-faire
Libertarian AI might feel no responsibility to
feed *you*. The social contract exists for a

Tom Buckner

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