poly: Anarchy and Empiricism

From: Damien R. Sullivan <phoenix@ugcs.caltech.edu>
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 13:30:00 PDT

On May 5, 11:35am, Robin Hanson wrote:
> Subject: Modeling Economic Singularities

> I don't think Perry and I are communicating effectively enough. Is there


I remember thinking when I started dipping into econ journals that there was a
thrilling amount of actual studies going on, but I don't know enough to speak
for the actual amount. OTOH I've also recently read Hayek decrying economists
(of some time ago) focusing on measurables because they were measurable, even
though for complex systems he thought qualitative reasoning might be the
closest we could get to what really goes on.

I do find it interesting that Perry can be simultaneously a purist anarchist
and a purist empiricist, considering the absence from the record of any
successful anarchy, and particularly of any anarchic society as complex as
ours. Iceland may have been close, but I"m sure Perry will agree there are
many differences between Iceland and the US, and who knows how those might
affect things?

I would be happy to advocate the creation of a disgoverned area, such as
Montana, subject only to federal law or a proper subset thereof. Then
anarchists could go there and try to build a society without the chaos of
Albania, post-Imperial China, or any other place where government collapsed to
be replaced by warlords. But I wonder how any empiricist can strongly
advocate the absence of government in the absence of any data in support of
such an extraordinary theory.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)

   A flurry of pale green new leaves leaped into the air and vanished, golden
veins flashing, into the upper mist.
  "But when will they fall?" asked Jame, staring after them.
  "Not until they reach their winter host tree far to the south. They'll
come back in the spring."
Received on Tue May 5 20:33:25 1998

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