Thursday, December 02, 2010

Here's a point I don't think I've heard before

From Bryan Caplan's Anarchist Theory FAQ:
If everyone drives on the right side of the road, isolated attempts to switch to the left side will be dangerous and probably unsuccessful. But if everyone drives on the left side of the road, the same danger exists for those who believe that the right side is superior and plan to act on their believe. Similarly, it is quite possible that given that a government exists, the existence of government is a stable equilibrium; but if a system of competitive protection firms existed, that too would be a stable equilibrium. In short, just because one equilibrium exists and is stable doesn't mean that it is the only possible equilibrium. Why then is the state so pervasive if it is just one possible equilibrium? The superiority of this equilibrium is one possible explanation; but it could also be due to ideology, or an inheritance from our barbarous ancestors.

4 comments:

The probligo said...

Interestingly, Samoa recently changed from driving on the right to driving left.

The reason? So that rellies in NZ and Aus could export cars to Samoa for their family

What kind of impact did that have politically? None, really.

Al said...

Driving on the left is clearly a barbarous relic.

The probligo said...

That says little for NZ and Australia then, huh! :D

Al said...

:)