Re: The Sovereign State and Its Competitors

The Low Golden Willow (
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 15:50:45 -0800 (PST)

On Apr 1, 3:10pm, anonymous wrote:
} Robin Hanson:
} > It seems to me we are far from the point where the losses from
} > moving are less than the losses from defending via central military
} > coordination.

} coercion has usually triumphed. Decentralized security will, when
} it is a viable and widely recognized technological option, have far greater
} funding, and thus the possibility of winning even in the face of substantial
} battlefield inferiority.

May never be an option on Earth. Banks' Culture was born this way: in
mobile space habitats. Ships and portable land. Not the situation we

The Dutch, Venetians, and Swiss all have had semi-republican governments
for a long time, or at least had aberrant relations with feudalism. The
Netherlands and Venice are swamplands -- poor or even nonexistent land
(dikes) and bad areas for heavy chivalry (glug glug). Swiss mountain
valleys are hard to attack as well. The Appalachians are said to be
somewhat reclusively independent, certainly from "revenooers", but are
dirt poor, unlike the three afore-mentioned republics.

} So, the question for futuristic analysis is how a decentralized voluntary "military",
} which might take the form of cryptography, untraceable payments and
} communications, cooked books, offshore corporations, hit squads to deter
} tax audits, and so on, can fare against tax collectors. We see right away
} that traditional centralized military solutions are useless in combatting this
} decentralized threat. You won’t make a tax-evading Wall Street investor

Property tax. Poll tax. Visible wealth tax -- most people won't find
that Swiss bank account very useful if they can't buy anything with it.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Holy Wood!...was that special sort of beautiful area which is only
beautiful if you can leave after briefly admiring its beauty and go
somewhere else where there are hot tubs and cold drinks. Actually
staying there for any length of time is a penance. -- _Moving Pictures_