I was playing with my gandi registration stuff yesterday, and today I noticedthat I accidentally changed the primary nameserver from dachte.org togandi's sites. I changed it back, but at least for now, dns is slightlymessed up. There is a faint chance that my email might be messed up forsome sites. Oops.
Yesterday evening I was having problems sleeping, so I talked with an oldfriend about politics, philosophy, economics, and the future on AIM forseveral hours. It was a very interesting conversation, although in retrospectI wish I had tried to sleep a bit harder -- I turned what would've been mildlynot enough sleep to considerably under my comfort zone. Anyhow, let's justsay that he's a catastrophist, and believes that within 8 years, the U.S.government will fall apart as the economy dies. It seems unlikely to me, butI don't know enough about economics to definitively gainsay his thoughts.He does suggest there are ways to greatly increase one's chances of survivalafter said collapse happens, but they seem kind of iffy to me. I really don'tthink hoarding gold/silver would do squat in such a world, and hanging outwith a gun with survivalist conservatives doesn't actually sound that safefrom the masses to me. I actually had this conversation with him, roughlyspeaking, the last time I heard from him, a long time ago. What's new to meis that I now hold, in that situation, that some kind of a command economy,transitional or not, would likely hold a very useful role in making suresociety works at a basic goods-distribution level. Hmm. More on that later..
I also think that anarchy would probably not last long -- even if the federalgovernment were to collapse, I believe people would band together forprotection, and the existing power structures provide an attractive defaultfor how things are arranged. In most areas, I think cities could be relativelyself-sufficient, and with use of the local military/police, food could beensured until a less forceful type of motivation were reinstated. Government,Law, and rules are emergent in society. Although we might not like the newones, I don't think we'd be in anarchy for too long before new order startedto grow.
Ahh, yes, back to command economies. Is his apocalypse at all similar tothe socialist revolution that some of my other friends suggest? In the end,would I prefer to see anarchocapitalism or socialism survive? Hmm. I'll gowith the socialists on this one. I have plenty of reasons.. A lot of thevalue in society is the cooperation between people, and I just don't thinkthat anarchocapitalism would provide much of a basis for cooperation. Ourcurrent form of capitalism provides that basis, roughly speaking, but Ithink anything much more anarchocapitalistic would be very difficult in thatarea. Use of guns, violence, and large-scale coercion always lie beneathsociety, providing a 'gold standard' foundation on which society flows, but aswith power politics, it can't be the whole house, and like the foundation ofa house, it's ugly and isn't something you can or should see very often. I guess, thirdly, capitalism is in some ways inefficient, and when it is unsureif the 'voodoo games' of capitalism can provide for people, a command economycan eliminate some of the waste and inequalities and make sure that everybodyat least gets something of basic needs materials. If need be, for example,a police/militia force could either force people to work farms, or work ititself, and probably could gather sufficient food to provide some level offood to the masses. Finally, I'm not willing to accept nor stand by if largenumbers of people, as he suggests, were to starve out of economic disaster.Nor, I suggest, would they be willing to accept it. I don't care how manyguns he has, nor how remote or well-guarded his gated community is. If a newgovernment isn't fast in coming, I can just imagine gangs and similar gatheringtogether and heading right into those gated communities, fighting for theirlives, and maybe a bit out of spite, to take what's being hoarded.
- shrug* I don't think that any of this is likely, but a what-if can be amusing.