Justice and Punishment

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Tue, 7 Apr 1998 21:51:45 -0700 (PDT)


"den Otter" <otter@globalxs.nl> On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 Wrote:

>Yes, the system relies heavily on the competence and benevolence of
>the leader

And is precisely the fatal weakness of your system.

>but of course he'll be elliminated by someone if he does too
>outrageous things, so that's a safety.

No, our leader will be eliminated unless he ignores trivial things like
benevolence, justice and transhuman principles and concentrates all his
energies on just one thing. A dictator's full time job is to remain dictator,
nothing else. If he doesn't want to work at it full time I guarantee you
somebody else will want to and get his job as a result.

>You want someone who does his duty but doesn't enjoy it _too_ much.

Such people never become dictators and if they did they would not last.

>The system is more or less a constitutional monarchy, but not a
>hereditary one.

The first thing the dictator would change.

>if it fails...well, you can always try anarcho-capitalism.

It will fail and then you're stuck with it because Big Brother has
surveillance over his subjects so complete Stalin would have drooled, he also
has a very sophisticated torture network that would terrify everyone and he
has the power to throw out any verdict of the courts that are "obviously"
wrong. Good luck trying to get rid if that monstrosity.

>minimum wage is the difference between 10 reasonably paid workers or
>30 badly underpaid workers.

OK, but why is that economically smart or moral? Now you have 20 workers who
are not paid little, they are paid ZERO.

>a smart ruler won't go against the people's wishes *too* often.

A smart ruler will shoot the people who go against his wishes. The trouble
with all this is that you're assuming the ruler has values very similar to
your own. Unlikely.

>The adequacy test is meant for government employees (especially in
>important functions)

I agree, there would be an adequacy test, the ability to stay in power.
Do that and you pass the test, end of story.

>In reality, no state on earth has enough power to just do anything
>with its people, and the politicians know it. As long as you need
>them for maintaining the system you can't just kill them.

Cambodian politicians murdered close to 30% of the nations population.
Percentage wise I think that's the best that's been accomplished this century,
but they didn't have anything as powerful as the hellish machines your brave
new world would have, with a little work I'm sure a new record could be set.

>anarchy inevitably leads to structure,


>and structure leads to centralism.

No. Where is the center of the Internet? Where is the center ofbiological
life, where is it controlled from?

>Wherever there's an organized structure of some kind and capitalism,
>there will be bribes.

Bribes are much rarer in capitalism than in politics.

>Civil remedies still depend on a government to enforce them.

They do now, but you see no way that could ever change. I do.

>I can imagine all sorts of mafia types having a ball, no longer
>hampered by even token government intervention.

The Mafia exists because they provide a service that people want that can not
be obtained any other way, like drugs, prostitution, gambling, money
laundering and high interest loans. Without government help by making these
victimless crimes illegal the Mafia would be dead.

>I would expect a greater number of "brown shirts" (bullies that are
>only tough enough to terrorize unarmed or badly armed people) in the
>PPA business

You would prefer bullies so tough they terrorize well armed people?

>while the army is more about patriotism

The last refuge of the scoundrel and one of the major wellsprings of human

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

Version: 2.6.i