13 June 2009

The only way towards a liberal anarchy

You know what my main objection is to Libertarianism ? It's that I don't trust enough people to be egalitarian and, well... just plain good in a moral sense. Given human nature, a completely free, laissez-faire system would rapidly devolve into an oligarchy of the rich.

"But, but...we'd protect individual freedom!" Uh, yeah...right. When your values are primarily materialistic, power concentrates where material wealth does - in the hands of the (rich) elite.

But what if we lived in a post-scarcity society, like The Culture of Scottish SF writer Iain M. Banks ? Where society is governed by extremely powerful AI "Minds" that administer this affluence for the benefit of all and maintain an almost totally egalitarian, stable society without the use of any form of force or compulsion, except where necessary to protect others.
"In vesting all power in his individualistic, sometime eccentric, but always benign, AI Minds, Banks knew what he was doing; this is the only way a liberal anarchy could be achieved, by taking what is best in humans and placing it beyond corruption, which means out of human control." --- Chris Brown, Journal of International Studies, 2001

Indeed, Banks does know what he is doing, and apparently knows human nature pretty well, too. But until we can place "what is best in humans" outside of any chance of corruption, well...you'll have to forgive me if I don't get too excited by the more fringey forms of anarcho-capitalism.