Re: Voluntary End of Privacy ?

Daniel Fabulich (
Sun, 28 Jun 1998 16:05:23 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 28 Jun 1998, Michelle Jones wrote:

> do you mean to discontinue the outmoded practice of using privacy-violating
> technology? do we then develop communications technology that is
> encoded for privacy? ok, i see, but i am still interested in the notion
> of hiding in plain sight. i want to go ahead and offer the government
> the ability to track me down with little or no effort, then downsize the
> government to compensate for this convenience i am handing over
> to it.

Sorry, I haven't been following this debate for long, so excuse me if I'm
rehashing old points.

You cannot give the government extra abilities while downsizing the
government. The two are mutually exclusive.

It is a common belief in democracies that we can make the government do
what we want it to. People think that if the majority wants a government
which will have tremendous powers but not abuse them, then that's the
government we'll get. This seems reasonable on some level; common sense
dictates that if the majority wants something to happen, it will happen,
because people vote.

Unfortunately, this sort of evaluation is faulty in a representative
democracy. Even imagining that we could convince the majority to agree
with our political philosophy, this would in no way guarantee that the
government would actually change. It will always be more profitable in
the short term to lobby a politician for special interests than it will be
to research the issues and choose the best candidate. And if you're the
politician, there's nothing stopping you from saying "OK. You want a
special tax break for unions/industry/Internet commerce? I want expanded
powers. [Remember, the more powers a politician has, the more he/she has
available to sell!] If you support my power grab, I'll get you your tax

In short, nothing you can do or say can prevent a politican from abusing
his/her powers, even if the majority is opposed to the idea. The only way
to prevent this is by actually preventing the government from doing its
job: by making it more inefficient, by creating a system by which it is
hard to pass laws, and ultimately by eschewing government entirely.

> in fact, i want to become the government in a sense. i have no
> desire to control anyone. i want to *create* something that would
> cause people to come to me or us, voluntarily, to join, to plug in
> to the superorganism and evolve to the next plateau... spike

Then you want anarcho-capitalism, *not* government. The government forces
people to join. If you want something voluntary, then go create a private