Libertarian or "dynamic" socialism (fixed)

John K Clark (
Thu, 9 Jan 1997 20:55:18 -0800 (PST)


Richard Brodie <> On Wed, 8 Jan 1997 Wrote:

>[The Internet exists] at the pleasure of a multitude of

I don't think many governments are receiving much pleasure from the Internet
these days. The only ones that have found a way to control it are some third
world dictatorships, they just don't allow a Internet hookup and even forbid
individuals from owning a computer. This works pretty well, and it works
even better in guaranteeing that they will remain an economic and intellectual
backwater forever. This solution doesn't seem practical in large industrial

>Just because a price would naturally be X in a free market
>doesn't mean the price SHOULD be X.

Just because The laws of Nature say the speed of light is 186,000 miles per
second doesn't mean the speed SHOULD be 186,000 miles per second. I wish the
speed was higher, and that value for PI, 3.1415926535..., what a pain,
it should be exactly equal to 3. Government should change the law!

>government frequently attempts to do good things space travel

And we end up with a white elephant like the space shuttle.

>quick economic recovery, for example

Politicians always come up with hair brained schemes that they say will move
the economy in a direction that is good, the fact that it involves government
work projects for their friends is pure coincidence and those who call it pork
are being oh so very unkind.

These Bozos claim they can steer an economy in any direction they want, just
like a pilot can steer an airliner, it doesn't work.

We can design an airliner so we can make it fly in any direction we want just
by moving a few controls, but we can't do the same thing with an economy and
point it in the direction of prosperity because nobody can understand the
economy in which they live, the more they understand it the more they change
it. Airliners are ridiculously simple machines compared a human being, and a
human being is a ridiculously simple machine compared to a modern healthy

You can control a plane because it has an enormous mass compared to air, and
it's moving at an enormous speed, and drag will not slow it to a stop because
it has an enormous engine, so it's easy to make a prediction about how the
plane will behave when the control surfaces are in a particular orientation.
Also, when you learn more about the airplane that doesn't cause the plane to
change. The idea that an equivalent economic machine could be built and that
our fearless leader could just "point and shoot" it in the direction of
prosperity and provide individual freedom as a bonus is just plain loony.

>that would not happen in a free market.

I certainly hope not!

>sales taxes and income taxes are difficult to hide if
>one of the parties is a licensed business that must keep
>records and books.

Oh there will be plenty of records and books, but no way to check if they
are correct. In the present day you can be sure that a supermarket did NOT
pay it's wholesale suppliers in untraceable digital cash, the infrastructure
for a large company to do such a thing just does not exist, YET. Because of
this, the government could detect a discrepancy between what the store bought,
what is still in the store, and the tax the store gives to the government.
The government would then sue for back taxes and put the supermarket
executives in jail. As for income tax, both I and the XYZ corporation I
work for tell the government that I make $10,000 a year, we don't tell them
about the other $200,000 they wire to my anonymous bank account.

It's on a much smaller scale something like that might be happening now.
Although I have absolutely no personal experience of this, and would never
dream of doing such an evil thing, I have heard rumors that even now private
individuals sometimes agree to perform certain services such as home and
car repair at a discount if they are paid in cash. I can only speculate as to
why they prefer cash.

It would be the same with business income taxes. Many people might guess
somebody was not paying their tax, they might have their suspicions, but in
most cases very few would have an overview of the entire company and be able
to PROVE how much in total the company bought and how much in total it sold.
The number of people who could prove which individual was responsible for the
company being in this illegal condition would be even fewer f not, evolution
would favor smaller, smarter, more discreet companies.

I'm not saying government will never make a conviction, small scale stings
would be possible, just as they sometimes stop drug smugglers, but its
effects on the industry as a whole are nil.

So why can't we do this now, what more infrastructure do we need?

We need to set up digital banks that deal in anonymous untraceable cash
using Chaum's protocol or something similar; the same could be said for
credit cards and checks.

We need to make untraceable petty cash safe, private and easy to use,
this is very important because then government would be ignorant not
only about what the store bought from its suppliers but also how much
it sold to its customers.

We need something like PGP's "web of trust" model, only larger and more
robust, for reputations, then you could safely make loans even to
anonymous pseudonyms.

We need something more bulletproof than anonymous re mailers, it's not fair
or realistic to expect operators of such services to long resist the
enormous political heat that will be brought to bare, we need the true
anonymity that DC nets can bring.

We need to make strong cryptography easier to use and standards need to be
set up and agreed upon by the business community.

It might even be necessary to start a new currency but I doubt it.

Technical solutions to these problems have already been found but putting
them into practice will not be easy and will take time. Government will try
to stop it every step of the way with money-laundering laws, disclosure laws,
"know your customer" laws etc. Governments often try to fight economic trends
but in the long run they never win, they can delay change but they can't
stop it.

>what is to prevent someone from setting up a government once
>your anarchy is established?

My Private Protection Agency. To be more precise, my PPA does not prevent
someone from setting up a government, it just protects me from being forced
to join it.

>John. What the Nazis did WAS essentially anarchic.

Anarchy means "no Government", although some prefer the term "no center".
Using either definition, how on earth can you say Nazis Germany was an
Anarchy? It sure as hell had a Government, and the strongest center of any
society in History. By the way, I hope you don't infer by this that I'm saying
any Anarchy will be a good one, nothing is always good. If you want an
example of a nasty Anarchy, try a lynch mob, a much better example for your
purposes. I should add that all the lynch mobs in history can't hold a candle
to a few days work at one of the larger Nazi death camps.

>They illegally whipped up a bunch of support for executing
>the Holocaust.

Illegally? These monsters did not violate any law, at least none passed by

>Wealthy people, large groups, people with connections have
>exponentially more power than ordinary folks. With no laws
>regulating behavior, there is nothing to mitigate this power.

If Government is to protect us from the rich and the powerful then that means
that Government must be even richer and even more powerful. Question: Who is
going to protect us from Government which has exponentially more power than
ordinary folks? Ask any of the many millions of people that Government has
victimized, those that are still alive that is, and they will tell you the
answer, NOBODY.

>People's wills and motivations are not driven by the amount
>of money you pay them.

Then why do we pay the police?

>Look at you: no one is paying you to write these words.

What are you talking about? It's well known that everybody, every single
person, receives 5 cents from the Extropian Institute for each word they post
to this list, why do you think people include so much quoted material and
have such long, long, signature lines? You mean they're not giving you your
share when you post? Good heavens man, I'd be insulted if I were you, you
should complain!

>Likewise, you don't have to pay soldiers much to beat people

Only when it's easy to do. In your other post you said you don't like it when
people draw lessons from History, but you don't seem shy about doing it, so I
will too. History has show that if you want your soldiers to revolt against
you, especially in a dictatorship, the quickest and easiest way to do so is
not to give your soldiers the pay you promised them. The dictator will tax
everybody else without mercy to keep the military happy.

>I don't recall the United States butchering hundreds of
>millions of its own citizens this century.

I do recall that less than 30 years ago the United States forced millions of
its own citizens to go 12,000 miles from their home and then fight and often
die in a idiotic war they did not believe in.

If it makes you feel any better I will concede that if you ranked
governments on a scale with demonic on the bottom and saintly on the top I
would place the United States Government above 99% of all Governments that
have ever existed. Do you really think this fact should make me look more
favorably toward the idea of Government? The optimist says this is the best
of all possible worlds, the pessimist says you're right.

John K Clark

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