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What would an EA do in the american revolution?

by quinn1 min read7th Jan 20214 comments

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I think this is an important question.

1. Can any factions, dynamics, tendencies, individuals be thought of as "protagonists" from an EA perspective?

2. Could you make this determination in real time?

3. What factions, dynamics, tendencies, individuals were missing? 

Feel free to assume that you'd start from some privilege (can read and write, mostly), if you want to factor out a heroic rags to riches prologue. 

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Gwern argues here against supporting the American revolution.

It's worth noting that a large part of the argument there (but far from all of it) would not apply to this question unless you were in such an influential position that you could have a meaningful effect on whether or not the war took place at all.

So I read Gwern and I also read this Dylan Matthews piece, I'm fairly convinced the revolution did not lead to the best outcomes for slaves and for indigenous people. I think there are two cruxes for believing that it would be possible to make this determination in real-time: 

  1. as Matthews points out, follow the preferences of slaves.
  2. notice that a complaint in the declaration of independence was that the british wanted to citizenize indigenous people. 

One of my core assumptions, which is up for debate, is that EAs ought to focus on outcomes for sla... (read more)

My first guess, based on the knowledge I have, is that the abolitionist faction was good, and that supporting them would be necessary for an EA in that time (but maybe not sufficient). Additionally, my guess is that I'd be able to determine this in real time.