Friday, 5 April 2013
Short-range NAP for individuals
A strategy optimal for a system as a whole is not necessarily one that is best for each individual. The prisoner's dilemma is an example where the best strategy for individuals is one detrimental from a global perspective.
In the same way the Non-Aggression Principle being optimal by some global criteria (economic efficiency, Universally Preferable Behaviour) does not necessarily imply its universal superiority for individuals. The example of Prince Harry - and other members of the political class - is the case in point.
In reality most people are not anti-NAP, they just follow a short-range version of it. They limit non-aggression to friends, family, clients, trading partners, friend's friends etc. Hence they support programs which benefit their immediate social network at the expense of other people.
A world where individuals follow a short-range NAP is divided into millions of often overlapping and relatively peacefully cliques with violence increaseing in relationships between people from different cliques. The simplified schematic borrowed from Animal Social Networks shows such world.
This is more-less what the real world looks like. Each clique represents one individual's social network connected with a short-range NAP. Violence may emerge where the cliques meet.
This is a state of things which the Voluntaryists oppose.
But is it necessarily beneficial for all individuals to extend their short-range NAP to a full NAP and therefore eliminate all areas of violent conflicts? I have not seen empirical evidence that it is. Each individual needs to decide by themself which range of NAP serves their needs best.