A hypothetical I like

Once again, Bryan Caplan wrote something I wish I had written first.  Here he asks how the world would change if everyone shared your factual beliefs.  I started wondering this when one of my lefty friends started learning more and more econ and realizing a few things that typical lefties don't like to acknowledge.  In tandem with this, he grew more and more philosophically along Rawlsian lines, so he still advocated things I thought were bad ideas.  It came to me that convering lefties to my way of thinking wouldn't be enough to get all the way to the end of the line I wanted to go down; I'd have to convert them to my values, which is much more difficult.  In the meantime, I'll take agreement on facts.

But as for Caplan's question, my answer probably isn't much better than this is.  The world would still be far less libertarian than I'd like given the juxtaposition of my facts and their values.

But we wouldn't see Che's mug everywhere, or the hammer-and-sickle on patches and posters.  We would probably have an education system like David Friedman's recommendation in The Machinery of Freedom: students would be allotted X dollars for education, which would cover the cost of a publich school.  By adding some of their own on top of that, they could attend private schools, and these would be the vastly more widespread.  This could very easily go wrong, but I'm willing to try it.

My view of the facts of the undeclared Iraq War doesn't make me think U.S. armed forces would be hanging out there for long.

As for the Drug War, who knows?  The average person doesn't care too much about abstract legal questions, and the Bible-thumpers probably do prefer fascism to a world where people make choices they don't like.  I suppose now that I think about it, historical and archaeological facts make what I consider to be a supremely damning case against the major monotheistic religions anyway.  I didn't think of it when I started this post, but that being a pretty damn good result of the world sharing my factual beliefs, I suppose I can stop speculating and have you check out Caplan's post.

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If they shared my facts and my values

If everyone had exactly the same factual beliefs that I have, and if they also all had exactly the same values that I have, then the world would still not transform into a libertarian utopia, because people act in accordance with their self-interest. Just as a mugger's self interest drives him to extract money from his victim, so does the self interest of voting blocks drive them to support politicians who send money their way. The self-interest of the governments' agents drives them to jealously guard its power, and the self-interest of ordinary citizens drives them to keep their individual head down while (they hope, in vain) someone else will come along and defeat the state.

If everyone in the world

If everyone in the world shared my factual beliefs and values, I think it WOULD instantly turn into an agora.
I'm serious. Public servants would immediately resign and homestead anywhere convenient or become their own bosses in peaceful competition with each other, authority would be questioned into oblivion, aggression would be tossed into the dustbin of History as a worthless kludge unfit for even getting an easy buck.
Self-interest would be immediately more rationally pursued, getting people to stop participating in the vast pyramid scheme of the state out of simple understanding that they'd be vastly better off if they kept outside of it, including even the guys at the top. Nationality would become self-appointed. People would be incapable of any form of jealousy or envy, but still feel the drive for self-improvement out of examples around them.
But if only the factual beliefs are concerned, well, it's hard to tell. More rational self-interest, probably, with the austrian econ lore, and strong natural right following as everyone would start using propertarian justice instead of positivist or religious ethic norms and confront that to their own values.
People who'd been egalitarian would doubt their feelings about fighting inequalities and have a hard time coping with the factual knowledge that there can't be such a thing as "economic equality", but at least they'd know that everyone would be better off if they would just laisser-faire, and would engage in massive promotion of charities. People with strong egotistic urges would probably just lead the way in business and commercial negotiations, knowing that the record-track of tough-but-honest-and-just deeds would be worth more than any double-crossing could ever be. In fact, I can't really think of personal values that wouldn't find a way to express themselves in a libertarian world like what I advocate. Well, except for some sadistic psychopaths.

List of Abandoned Beliefs

Randall wrote: "...one of my lefty friends started learning more and more econ and realizing a few things that typical lefties don't like to acknowledge."

Randall and others: How about a list of lefty beliefs, values, attitudes etc. that have to be abandoned as one studies Econ? What are the new beliefs etc.?

Bill Drissel