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And this will last for approximately five minutes until a new ruler establishes themselves either through resource monopolisation or through pure threat of force. And they will never be short of toadies.

Why is the default assumption by libertarians that if the government is brought down, human nature will suddenly, completely change?

My view of libertarianism is that it's not a movement to 'fight government'. It is just a system of views that once productive forces of society achieve certain level, government at least as we know it will become redundant. And there is little 'new ruler' can do to establish himself if people don't need a ruler.

>> And there is little 'new ruler' can do to establish himself if people don't need a ruler.

How charmingly naive!

I don't know that people have needed a ruler at many times in history, but there has always been one. A power vacuum almost always results in war, revolution almost always results in war... basically humans like war and leaders. I don't think that will ever go away. We're tribal animals.

Even if people don't need a ruler, leaders will arise, and some of them will recruit violent men to force their will on others, growing into warlords. Factions will fight each other, people will die.

Better, IMHO, to have a codified power structure that seeks to eliminate or at least mitigate these flaws.

Well, if there is little government can do to control (like people using p2p currencies on a massive scale and encrypting their communications), and with production structure not suffering from possibility of monopolism (which we are close to having now), how will the government exercise their control? Of course we will always have some sort of government, but over years, it will become more and more irrelevant, not able to control/regulate things it claims to.

>> people using p2p currencies on a massive scale

I'm not of the faith that says that p2p or crypto currencies are necessarily a good thing. I, personally, think it's a good thing that democratic governments can exert control over fiat currency in order to attempt to mitigate economic disasters. I certainly don't think that the (for example) bitcoin model is a good one.

>> and encrypting their communications

I'm not really sure what this has to do with governments or control. I don't think democratic social order necessarily depends upon being able to surveil everyone, it's just a trap that the current bunch have fallen into.

>> production structure not suffering from possibility of monopolism

I'm not really sure what you mean here either, but it's hard to forsee a state in which monopolies are somehow impossible, or how the lack of them would imply the lack of need for government.

>> how will the government exercise their control?

In much the same way they do now, by the majority of us granting a democratic government a monopoly on the use of force. I'm not sure what bearing the form of currency, or encrypted comms, or even a utopian ideal of monopolistic impossibility have on this.

--edit-- Please do not take this as me saying either that I think the way governments have handled currency is good, or the way they do ... pretty much anything is all totally awesome. Far from it.

--edit 2-- The use of language is interesting here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you see government as the external imposition of control on to otherwise free citizens? I see it as (at its best) free citizens banding together to achieve collective goals and prevent the worst of human nature overtaking us. The rhetoric and the social measures that come from government in this day and age are pretty abhorrent, but collective defence, roadbuilding, education etc are (to me) vital and useful functions.

Then the incentive structures have changed to no longer support statehood. See my earlier comment on how to easily figure out the viability of the various forms of anarchism.

"It seems to me that the fastest way to evaluate this idea is to look at how an organization is propelled to statehood in the first place. If incentive structures support states, they will exist."

Since government is the current default, the onus is on you to prove that the incentive structures that select for statehood have changed in a significant way. (Or that they are going to change or could be changed.)

>And there is little 'new ruler' can do to establish himself if people don't need a ruler.

Did you, as an uncoerced free man, ever swear an oath of fealty to the US government? (The pledge of allegiance doesn't count.) Did your parents? Did their parents? Did their parents? Has anyone?

Anybody who may have elected to be governed by the United States is now dead, and the chances are good that you're not even related to them by blood. The vast majority of people who have lived under some form of government in their lives almost certainly did not choose to.

EDIT: Unless they immigrated. Forgot about that option. If you immigrated to the United States, you are exempt from this thought experiment.

But not totally, because you probably weren't stateless when you did.

>there is little 'new ruler' can do to establish himself if people don't need a ruler.

What about sending his group of followers door to door shooting people who don't acknowledge that he is the leader?

True enough. Human nature is (moresthepity) what drives all of this ... which is why it is unlikely to change any time soon. In other words, we are all royally screwed.

It is interesting and fortunate that the NSA/GCHQ scandal was still bubbling away as a news item when the story broke about the UK government's moralizing censorship crusade. Viewing these two stories through the lens of my (inevitably dim) perspective on human nature has led me to some unsurprisingly depressing conclusions. (Apologies for the cross-posting):

You might not always get what you want, but the converse is more frequently true. For example, positions of power and authority tend to be occupied by the sort of person who actively seeks out greater power and authority. In contrast, those with no real desire to dominate and control others neither seek nor achieve power. As a result, our elite political, legal and corporate offices are inevitably dominated by an elitist, authoritarian culture and mindset. For as long as we allow people to self-select, even implicitly, there is nothing we can do to prevent this.

The authoritarian mind is characterised by a desire to dominate and control others. The more invasive, disruptive and widespread the control, the more satisfying it is to the authoritarian, and the greater the validation of their elite status.

Sex; particularly issues of sexual morality; are behavioural characteristics that are tremendously intimate, personal and difficult to rationalise/control. It is this very intimacy that makes the exertion of control over sexual behaviour so very compelling: Control over sexual behaviour is like crack cocaine to the authoritarian mind.

Time and time again throughout history, those in power have sought to control the sexual behaviour of their subjects, a motive that is exactly equivalent to the alpha male in the pack controlling access to the harem, and reminding all the beta males of their status by rubbing their noses in their inability to mate.

Technology is a lever - it gives increased power to those who wield it. Modern technology is already enabling those in power to gain greater control over their subjects. It is inevitable that technology will embed itself ever more intimately in our lives, and it is inevitable that this technology will be used by the alpha males in our society to exert their domination and suppression over the rest of the population - to mock, to belittle and to abuse those who are not in power.

Basically, as technology becomes more powerful, and exerts a greater influence over our lives, the humiliating and belittling reminders of our subservient role in society will become more and more pervasive ... and there is nothing that we can do about it.

The existence of the state - and the forceful dominance of one group over another - has always been the moral equivalent of rape - but the power of the state has always been diluted to such an extent that we have been able to persist in the illusion of freedom and self-determination. Technology is ending this dilution, and the truth of our subservient relationship to the state will forcefully re-assert itself in our everyday lives.

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