Re: [sl4] Re: Property rights

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Tue Jul 08 2008 - 09:58:37 MDT

Bryan writes

> Lee wrote:
>> Surely, you must admit, it depends on the capabilities of the
>> individuals who emerge from the history at a particular point.
>> Probably even cultural aspects of their historical situation
>> determine just as much.
>> I posit that in many cases the people simply are not capable of
>> self-rule or are absolutely too unprepared for it by their own
>> cultural history. We also can surely judge that this was the case in
>> many historical societies we're aware of.
> I'm wondering what makes you think that nations and governments somehow
> magically (vitalism) makes it so that these same unprepared people are
> able to come together and somehow make it so that they are prepared.
> It's simply not true.

Yes it is! Yes it is! :-) In all the cases we know about, it
took several hundred years for self rule of large powerful
nations to emerge. Now it's no great trick for a small tribe.
Even Iceland has a very nice history to follow. But---and
this is the key point---whenever population densities in human
history reach a certain level, a "Great King" or other autocrat
emerges. Watch Babylon, Egypt, Rome, China, India, Greece
(fell to Alexander for *exactly* the usual reasons), and so on
and so on.

England from 1215 to 1700 is the real case to study! Just how
did the practices and institutions (that were so gleefully grabbed
and held on to by the American colonies by year 1730) ever
develop *in spite of the power of the "Great King"*? It
was unprecedented.

> We all have our favorite examples of inefficiencies and ridiculousness.
> It's still the same fundamental problems.

Yes, but millions of people (so far in history, given their own limitations
and their upbringing and their cultural baggage) simply NEVER spontaneously
go from domination of elites and a great King towards any sort of self rule.

I'm surprised that by now you aren't starting to be just a bit frustrated
by how your own impeccably logical ideas don't seem to be affecting
thousands, yet alone millions, of fellow Americans. They just look at
things differently. Evolution takes a long, long time.

It's fascinating to think what would happen if everyone woke up with
a minimal IQ of 140 tomorrow morning. Would libertarianism and
minarchy and so on make more sense to them? Would they be
quicker to see what was in everyone's common interest? I doubt it,
because how do you go from the status quo to there? Yet I do think
that within 30 years, we would make great, great progress in the world
towards self rule.


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