RE: comparison of underground economies (was Commie Nonsense)

From: altamira (
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 11:05:53 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> That's a good question and one a lot of anarcho-capitalist
> technophiles have
> talked about idly from time to time - often in the context of
> where to build
> the Ultimate Mad Scientist Enclave. If I understand your
> question, I think
> the answer has to be a country like Mexico where, with enough payola, one
> could buy "freedom" from regulation. I've certainly seen it work in the
> "street economy" of the Mexican cities I've spent time in. The
> problem, of
> course, is that corrupt government functionaries have a nasty
> habit of not
> staying bought. Once you start down the road of corruption and opacity,
> there's really no exit . . .

True. I think this is where N. I. Vavilov (Soviet plant geneticist who's a
sort of a mentor of mine--I guess I'm what you'd call a posthumous
student)made a wrong turn. He seemed to be trying to work enough within the
system to stay on the good side of those in power (many of his published
papers contain references to the brilliant Soviet economy and so forth) and
yet maintain his scientific integrity. His actions indicate that he
couldn't conceive of a scientist who would refuse to see the truth and
would, in fact, deliberately falsify data in order to suck up to the guys
controlling the food and other useful assets.

There are certain counties in northern CA whose whole economies depend on
the cannibis trade. The locals make very little effort to enforce anti-drug
laws, not because they are personally paid to look the other way, but
because EVERYone's business would suffer if the growers were seriously
harmed. If you could count on people's self-interest to work this way all
the time, a bit of payola here and there, plus building up the local economy
would keep you going; but it DOES seem to be true that there are people who
live by the creed: "If I can't have it, nobody's gonna have it," who would
destroy or obstruct out of envy, even though such destruction and
obstruction have negative effects on everyone's life, including their own.

I think many of the people who call themselves environmentalists fall within
this category. And I say this as someone who has great concern that the
human species may be in the process of exceeding the carrying capacity of
this planet. The most vocal of the "environmentalists" are acting in ways
that indicate they're concerned with destruction and obstruction per se
rather than with any love of human-kind.

Back to the main subject of this post, though--I wasn't thinking of buying
freedom. Rather, I was thinking in terms of maintaining low profiles.
Inefficiencies in surveillance, that sort of thing.


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