Re: virus: Sexuality and monogamy

Kevin M O'Connor (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 16:06:49 EDT

On Sat, 14 Sep 1996 10:00:33 -0500 ken sartor <>

>I base this on my _belief_ that people are better off trying to run
>own lives as opposed to having others tell them how to behave. While
>most people do not apparently act always in their own self interest as
>viewed by an outside observer, they do at least get to choose what is
>important to them. Giving the job to someone else usually means the
>government chooses what is best for us and i have no confidence that
>they can do an objectively better job and total confidence that they
>can do a subjectively worse job.

While I strongly support the rights of individuals to pursue their own
objectives with minimal government interference, I also recognize that
government does alot that a group of rational individuals each pursing
privite ends would not accomplish. Even an anarchic society populated by
well-meaning, thoughtful and compassionate individuals is not likely to
produce transcontinental rail or highway systems, establish air-line
saftey standards, create a national weather service, or protect the
environment in places that most people will never visit. If there were a
contest were between logging companies and enviromentally conscious
individuals who lived in the area to be exploited, and if the local
environmentalists lacked recourse to the law and to the social structure
government provides for resolving disputes, you never even would have
heard about the conflict. It would have been over before it ever reached
your ears.

Imagine if everybody coughed up ten bucks and put it in a pile. Do you
think that money would be put to better use if we gave it to NASA or if
everybody took their ten dollars to the mall and spent it on whatever
they thought was best? Granted, some people would put that money to very
good use, but most of it would go towards frivolous junk that would have
minimal impact on anybody's future well-being. Are enough people going
to agree on what constitues the best return for their money to put up
weather or communiction satellites?

Finally, what I fear more than potential abuses of power and
mismanagement of resourses by a democratic government in an
information-rich and increasingly open society is the
potential abuses of power and mismanagement of resourses by transnational
corporations who answer to no one but their stockholders. You think
governments are short-sighted? Your elected official may not be able to
see past the next election, but the ceo's of the really big corportations
don't seem to be able to see past the next fiscal quarter. What costs
more; double-hulled oil tankers, or ineffective environmental clean-up
efforts and extensive media spin-doctoring and damage control? That
depends on how you look at it. In the long term, the double-hulled ships
are cheaper, but on the day you place the order for the ships, the
single-hulled version is cheaper. Judging by their actions, how long a
view do the decission makers at Exxon seem to take?

Who do you think is more interested in lulling you into an apathetic
stupor, the government or the companies who want you to buy things?
Who's put more resources into influencing beleifs and behavior? Who's
better at it? Watch a Bob Dole ad and then watch an ad for Pepsi or
Levi's. The political ads are so annoying because they are so clumsy in
their attemps at psychological manipulation. Sandwhiched between two ads
designed to sell you products, an ad selling you a political position is
so obvious in it's attempted manipulation that it's just annoying. That
will change as politicians increasingly utilize the services of Madison
Avenue meme masters. Still, government does not push the envelope in
applied manipulation. The politicos are on a well established path; a
path blazed by the product pedlers.

Rant ends.

Take care, all. -KMO