Re: guns (Re: Cell phones of death!)

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 11:48:25 PST

> If you dont trust people then who do you trust? A goverment is made up of
> ...People.

Ah, but therein lies an implied untruth. There isn't an equivalence there.
Collective entities --- social organizations, markets, governments --- are in a
very *real* sense entities in themselves. They exhibit "entelechy," emergent
behaviors which may not be aligned with the interests of most, or even any, of
their constituent sub-organisms. So it's quite reasonable to trust individuals
and yet be suspicious of collective organisms.

Certain collective organisms seem more worthy of trust than others. Markets
(and organisms interacting within and driven by market-like forces) exhibit
behavior that is generally understandable and which, at least arguably, leads
to an optimum general level of satisfaction among its constituents.
Governments on the other hand, designed with all of our best intents, never
seem to do better than barely pleasing half of the population while pissing off
the other half. And religions as social organisms --- well, don't get me
started, but religious organizations have historically been some of most evil
and predatorial collective beasts on the planet, IMO.

Who you gonna trust? Individual human beings --- and that only in a
tit-for-tat sense, with initial and continued cooperation (trust) as long as
it's returned. And maybe --- MAYBE --- one can trust certain ecosystem-like
social organisms, i.e. markets and such. If you can't either pin
accountability on an organism (as you can with a human individual but not with
many collective organisms) *or* understand and accept / trust that the organism
will behave in a reasonable way (as with ecosystem-model organisms, like
markets) then there's just no rational basis for trust.


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