Justice and Punishment

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 13:45:27 -0700 (PDT)


On Mon, 6 Apr 1998 Alejandro Dubrovsky <s335984@student.uq.edu.au> Wrote:

>i would say nations are profit motivated, but the boundary between
>profit and power is not very clear cut.

True. I can't draw a sharp line between a PPA and a nation, if a PPA was
large enough and strong enough it might start to look a lot like a nation.
I can't draw a sharp line between day and night either.

>>Nations have a geographical location , PPA's do not.

>Not by definition,

By my definition they do, otherwise it's not a PPA.

>but they would very probably become localised since weaponry is

I don't follow.
1) ICBM's, H bombs, airplanes, anti aircraft guns, and even high power rifles
are not localized.

2) We have Private Protection Agencies today and not one of them has an
exclusive territory.

>It's easy to change nations if they let you

No, it's no easy to change nations, even if they let you. You must find a new
job, a new house, a new school for your kids, you must learn a new culture,
a new language, and make new friends. Changing nations is something you do
only if things have gotten so intolerable you are absolutely desperate, it's
not like changing car insurance or your PPA because you think you might be
able to get a 2% better deal someplace else.

>it would not be easy to change PPAs if they didn't let you.

It's as easy as reaching for the nearest telephone, and unless your PPA was
more powerful than all the others put together they would have to let you.

>>PPA's settle differences with arbitration, Nations prefer force.

>most nations settle through negotiation, wars are rare.

Large asteroid impacts are rare too, but they're still important because when
they do happen their effects are huge, however I wasn't just talking about
external disputes with other nations, but the way it treats its own citizens.
If government needs money they take it, if I object to them stealing my
property they will use force to get their booty, as much force as they need
to, up to and including a bullet in my brain. They will NOT take "no" for an
answer, they'll make me an offer I can't refuse.

>arbitration (the more powerful PPA could select an arbiter closer to
>its likings).

If I get into trouble I'd like my mother to be the arbiter, but unless I'm
more powerful than everybody else I'm not going to get everything I want, and
if I am that powerful then I don't need an arbiter at all, I'll just have
everybody shot. As I said, the arbiter is paid by the case and is picked
before the dispute and by BOTH parties bases on the arbiter's record.

>Wars only come when the sides don't agree on their relative strength,
>this happens with nations as well as with PPAs

I never said violence would fall to zero, I did give my reasons for thinking
the rate would be less than it is now with nation states.

>>Please explain to me how a PPA consisting of 40 million Germans
>>could murder 6 million Jews

>I'm sure the germans were spending more than 14% of their GDP on
>their army,

Of course they were, and if I was there at the time I'd be giving the Nazi
army money too, all I had, because they didn't have a PPA system so if I
didn't pay they'd put a bullet in my brain. Anti-Semitism was rampant in
Germany, lots of people hated Jews, but I do not believe 40 million Germans,
or even 40 thousand, would voluntarily pay 14% of their gross income to kill
Jews and keep doing so for years. I have no trouble believing that 6 million
Jews would pay 14% of their income to stay alive, and a great deal more if

>there would be no need for all germans to join the same PPA, just
>the part that would count (ie the bit that has 80% or so of the
>wealth) You could probably do it with the top 1% of germany

If you're talking about the top 1% then you're talking about the Jews,
before Hitler Jews were the wealthiest segment of German society.

>>If you're an Indian fisherman and you think that big bad Bill Gates
>>is out to get you and that your 10 million member PPA is too small
>>and weak to protect you, then join a bigger stronger one.

>but you can't afford it. A PPA would not take you if it thought you
>would be more costly to keep than what you pay,

If 990 million other Indians can afford a PPA to protect them from Bill Gates
why can't I?

>it's very relevant how much the other PPA is extorting from you,

It's even more relevant how many people this psychotic PPA is extorting
because that's a measure of its total power. If the number was very large,
much larger than any other PPA, then it would be very difficult to dislodge
and might be close to world domination, but how did it get so big if it used
such unpleasant tactics? I'm not saying it's impossible, maybe it could start
as benign, offer great service and be much more efficiently operated than any
other PPA and so charge lower rates, then when they had gotten far bigger and
better than anybody else they suddenly send a memo to their many employees
that there is a change in policy and we're going totalitarian, if anybody
tries to leave our PPA shoot them. It could happen, but it's a hell of a lot
more likely that the US Army will do it and take over the world.
And that's not very likely.

>since how much you they will spend on keeping you depends on this
>figure, and how much you will have to spend to fish the guy out
>depends on that figure. why would you loose other customers?

You're saying that if the customers of my PPA are worth on average a thousand
dollars each to me then another PPA can use $1001 worth of force to steal a
customer from me because it wouldn't be profitable for me to defend him.
Nonsense. If I did that all my customers would lose confidence in my PPA and
I'd be out of business in a flash. It would be as if an insurance company
never paid a claim to a customer higher than his premiums. As owner of a PPA
I would be willing to pay not $1002 but millions of dollars, or however much
it took, to stop that business calamity from happening.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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