Re: virus: Re: Virus: Sociological Change

Martin Traynor (
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 17:47:58 +0000


On 17 Dec 96 at 10:17, wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:
> > What does anarchy assume about human nature that isn't true?
> My, that pushes the research base....
> The real question is, "How long can an anarchy stay an anarchy before it
> mutates to some other governmental form?"

But I think the answer to that question is in part dependant on any
mistaken assumptions about our nature that it is making. It will be
quicker to mutate if there is some element of it which goes against
the grain of humanity.

> It looks like a nonstandard psychology [hopefully(?) attainable by
> education] is required to stabilize an anarchy.

Can you elaborate on this please? Do you mean something inate in our
psyches or do you mean cultural influences. The latter certainly seem
to play a big part; most people feel that government is necessary
simply because they have never experienced anything else (learned
helplessness of a sort, which the powers that be are happy to
promote). This much at least can be reversed by education, albeit
with difficulty. I'd predict at least a couple of generations of
general exposure to the meme before society was in a state where
anarchy would have any chance of gaining a foothold without quickly
degenerating into chaos.

> Certain assumptions
> about tech level may also be required.

Agreed. There are certain technologies (real and imagined) which
facilitate it but the ones that spring to mind do so by reducing the
power differential. This would imply that it's not the level of
technology but who controls whatever technology is available that is
the real crux.

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Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves. Tolkein