Re: Justice and Punishment

Dan Fabulich (
Thu, 02 Apr 1998 18:51:14 -0500

At 04:28 AM 4/3/98 +1000, you wrote:
>> Theoretically, he could, but after doing so he wouldn't be Bill Gates
>> anymore. He wouldn't just have to have lots of money, he'd have to SPEND
>> his money (all of it) in order to get that kind of power.
>first of all, he wouldn't have to spend all his money. He earns more per
>unit time than those 10000000 Indians combined, so he would just have to
>spend a couple of months until the indians run out of funds.

This is untrue. They may well run out of reserve capital, but so long as
their health and safety is in jeopardy, they will constantly be working to
preserve themselves; they can never be stripped of their human captial
unless killed. At best, Bill Gates would keep on spending his money on

Also, don't forget that most of his income comes from wise investment
strategies, not just from the software sales. If he's spending a major
portion of his revenues on surpressing the populace, he will be severely
cutting into the growth of his income. This decrease in growth would
cumulate over the years, eventually costing him far more than surpressing
the people ever would have been worth to him. If he continues to persist
anyway, you can be sure that his reserves would dwindle down to nothing
over time.

And best of all, Bill Gates, being a wise investor if nothing else, KNOWS
this, and therefore would NEVER try such a thing: he'd much rather invest
in something that will actually pay for itself in the long run than throw
money at such a stupid plan.

>Second of
>all, even if someone did have to spend all his money (say a lesser god,
>like rupert murdoch or ted turner), that is still way too much power to
>give to one person. Most of the psychotic dictators around the world
>didn't get anywhere near that figure (arguably only three ever made it
>there, counting side effects and other stuff)

Perhaps I should have made this clearer... if Gates *were* to spend all his
money, he'd be crushed by his competitors in no time flat. And while Gates
is picking up the pieces of his squandered fortune, the indians will be
hiring a PPA to protect them from people like him in the future.

>That is if your PPA lets you decide where your money is
>going to go.

If it doesn't, YOU DISOBEY THEM, with the support of the other PPA, who
profits by helping you do so. That's part of the point of this whole system.

>I think the analogy with the nation state is pretty useful.
>you could fund another nation, (a la cubans in the US), but only if that
>other nation is more powerful than your current one.

The problem with this analogy is that you're still thinking in terms of
nations, where you have to stage an overthrow (ie win a war) in order to
live under a new form of government.

In the instance of PPAs, on the other hand, even tyrannical ones, we're
presuming that they're actually trying to do a cost-benefit analysis with
respect to what they're doing. A tyrannical PPA will not simply throw
itself at all other PPAs indiscriminately if its customers decide to look
elsewhere. That would be economic suicide. It's simply not worth it to
pursue a "stay with us or suffer the consequences" policy when you're
competing with other PPAs, because war is expensive. An agressive PPA
simply can't compete with a peaceful non-interventionist one; the agressive
PPA would eventually go out of business, no matter HOW power-hungry they were.

It comes down to this: it's worth more to me not to be oppressed than it
is worth to others to oppress me. No one can maintain for long a policy of
spending money on things which aren't worthwhile to them; such fools will
always go out of business in the long run, so long as other competitors
exist to take up the slack.

>And that does not
>guarantee that your new PPA won't do the same thing, even though it
>might not be to the same degree (again, a la cubans in
>the US).

True, you don't have guarantees. What guarantees do you have now of the
same thing? As John Clark pointed out, what's stopping the US armed forces
from turning this whole land into a military dictatorship?

I agree with Clark that anarcho-capitalism will not guarantee freedom,
(nothing will,) but rather that it is the political structure most likely
to uphold it.