Re: Justice and Punishment

Alejandro Dubrovsky (
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 14:24:41 +1000 (GMT+1000)

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Dan Fabulich wrote:

> At 04:54 AM 4/4/98 +1000, you wrote:
> >If their human capital is worth almost nothing to the market (as it is, or
> >otherwise their income would be higher), it is also worth nothing to their
> >PPA.
> A PPA, even a tyrannical one, supported by people who are worth nothing to
> their PPA, would not be in business for long. I conclude that they are
> worth something, and to the extent that they are, another PPA would be
> willing to support them.

no, your first conclusion was right, they won't be in business for long.
Which just means that they'll go PPAless, which just means they are easy
pickings. They are worth very little by definition, since we are assuming
an open free market and their incomes are almost nonexistant.
> >not really, it just means that his growth wouldn't grow, but it does not
> >mean that his growth would decline. He could just keep a stable state and
> >spend all his profits on his whims.
> It would decline relative to those around him, who would continue to grow
> at a far faster rate.
so??? it's still not declining with respect to the targeted people and
that's the only relation that counts.

> >So, again we are trusting the powerful to be wise, just like in a
> >dictatorship, monarchy, democracy, or any other form of centralised
> >government.
> I'm not trusting anybody. I continue to assert that Bill Gates would be
> crushed if he tried to pursue the policy of enslavement. The fact that he
> knows this is only an additional safeguard.
> >the indians will not be hiring anyone cos they will be dead.
> Sorry, I'd missed this. I'd thought he was trying to enslave the Indians,
> but you had meant he was trying kill them. My mistake...
no, enslavement was not the purpose since their human capital is not
worthe the trouble. so i would say that this affects your second last
statement: you ARE trusting the powerful to be wise, etc.

> >And as i
> >showed before, Gates could do this with just using his profits. (And if
> >you don't like the numbers, change the 10000000 indians for 1 million
> >indians, the actual number is inconsequential to the argument as long as
> >that number reaches Shocking Proportions (tm))
> ... but in that case, perhaps you'd best consider that right now he could
> just as easily purchase some attack helicopters from a defense contractor
> (he could afford it), renounce citizenship in the United States, and then
> bribe the current Indian government into not stopping him as he razes their
> cities.
i am not saying that he could not do it now, although i think he would
have much more trouble in getting through it, personal ownership of attack
helicopters is forbidden i think, so he would have to bribe people in the
US, buy some kind of transport method, bribe every country he goes through
with that transport, and then bribe the indian government, and i don't
think that last one is going to be an easy bribe. i would say it would be
a much more expensive exercise.

> As Clark pointed out, if Bill Gates suddenly decided to stop at nothing to
> kill you or me or 10 million people out in India, we'd ALL be in serious
> trouble, especially under our current political system. Anarcho-capitalism
> won't be able to put a stop to this sort of thing; it is not utopian.
> However, at least under anarcho-capitalism the Indians could legitimately
> employ someone else before Bill Gates decided to launch his assault. They
> would not have to support their corrupt government while they were under
> attack. As I see it, they would have a chance.
i would say the anarcho-capitalist system is the only one where they don't
have any chance at all. in the current system those 10000000 have a much
greater leverage on india's army than in the PPA based one.

> >I addressed this in my previous answer to your mail. The profit to your
> >current PPA is greater than the potential profit to the other PPA, etc...
> Which I also explicitly disproved. People would pay at least as much if
> not more for freedom.
you didn't disprove anything, you just seem to assume a huge package is
attached to the words "freedom" and "tyrannical" (which i never used in my
description of the PPA's action, BTW). In this context, tyrannical just
means they make you pay more than you want to pay, which, if you switch
some other "more liberal" PPA which makes you pay more, it still fulfills
this definition of "tyranical". so please, don't use words that have
everyday meanings attached to them which do not fit in this scenario.

> >I don't see this at all. War is expensive for both sides. Your PPA
> >doesn't have to fight anyone if no other PPA tries to "rescue you". And
> >no other PPA will try because they know that your PPA gets a higher profit
> >from you than they would (since that is the point of your rescue,
> This, I repeat, is simply untrue.
> >otherwise they would try, and probably succeed, but this means that they
> >would get more out of you than your current PPA). Analogies with
> >nation-states ad infinitum.
> Though the conclusion to this point is telling. They WOULD probably
> succeed, because they WOULD get more out of you than your current PPA.
> That's our whole point.
then how does that benefit you? you are still paying more than you wanted
to? what was the point of the switch? is this another assumption of the
baggage attached to the word tyrannical which you were using to describe
the current PPA?

> >Depends what you mean on "this whole land". If you mean the US, i would
> >say they get a very nice forced profit from you, and almost complete
> >autonomy from any civil law. this is probably more profitable for them
> >than forcing a military dictatorship (they are tricky things to run, very
> >personnel-intensive, and probably not worth the trouble).
> The military gets paid well, but not half as well as they could be. Not to
> mention the fact that, at least for now, they only receive the wages which
> the politicians allow them to receive. There's no question, the military
> would DEFINITELY profit by rejecting this policy and taking over the country.
"There's no question" and "DEFINITELY". brilliantly supported argument.
the first one is simply false, since i questioned it in the paragraph you
were answering to, and "definitely" doesn't do much better. so, i have to
ask, how do you know? and how are you so sure?

> >Depends on your idea of freedom. I don't see it as something only
> >quantitavely rather than qualitatively different from the current state.
> I'm not certain what you mean by this, but I can assure you that freedom is
> not binary. Someone at the point of a gun is more free than someone
> physically strapped to the ground, but clearly less free than someone who
> isn't being threatened at all. I see these as quantitative, not
> qualitative changes.
i fail to see the relevance of this to the argument. sorry.
Alejandro Dubrovsky