Re: Singularity: can't happen here

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 01:58:08 MDT

Russell Blackford wrote:
> Chuck Kuecker said
> >It's just another baby step toward the eventual police state.
> Sounds like it, though I await a cogent summary of what it is actually
> intended to do, without having to interpret the bill myself. There must be
> someone on the list who has a good grasp of and interest in IP/IT law who
> could really lay it out for us. I, for one, would find this very useful.
> >Why does this
> >whole subject make me think of how they are trying to control "g*ns"?
> I have no idea. Look, I know there are strong views about guns on this list,
> but there are theoretical arguments why even a minarchist state should
> enforce a monopoly on the tools of violence and coercion.

Should the state enforce a monopoly on means of self-defense?
Should a state be empowered to prohibit self-defense or make it
nearly impossible except for a few martial artists?

>They are not not
> necessarily *good* arguments - I have no particular position one way or the
> other about gun control, am quite happy that discussions about it are
> relegated to some other list that Mike Lorrey runs, and don't want to have
> an argument about the issue with anyone on any side of it.

Then I suggest you don't open up the subject here.

> I simply say that
> most people you'd want as allies - politicians, lawyers and public
> intellectuals - would find the analogy with gun control not very useful.

Too bad. Allies at what price? The issue is human freedom and
self-determination. It has many aspects. That we agree to
group with others to stop one anti-freedom tactic does not mean
that any of us should muzzle ourselves about any other aspects
of such freedom that concern us.

> am finding it difficult to think of even one person whom I know off this
> list with whom I could use such an analogy to suggest that the proposed
> legislation is a *bad* thing. You might conclude that I am surrounded by a
> peer group of liberal intellectuals; perhaps so, but those are the people we
> need on side in the struggle to limit the power of the state.

We are going to limit the power of the state by granting that
the state should have unreasonable power over our lives? Come

> Are there better analogies we can look at? My own touchstones for laws that
> attack our freedom (despite being passed by modern liberal democracies) are
> the political advertising legislation that was struck down as unconstutional
> over here in the early 90s - which, among other things, would have prevented
> any paid advertisements on political matters by ordinary people and lobby
> groups, leaving the established political parties with a monopoly - and, in
> the US more recently, the Communications Decency Act. Of course, we have all
> these preposterous drug laws, but that analogy is not going to appeal much
> more widely than the analogy with gun control. Just as most people don't
> like guns, most people don't like drugs. Mutatis mutandis for the proposed
> laws against cloning.

The drug laws are a very, very important analogy as nothing else
has so expanded the power of the state and so trampled on
individual rights in this country in recent times. I am not
interest in emotional appeal to people's prejudice. I am
interested in appealing to their self-interest and freedom and
the good of all of us. I don't plan on combining work against
the SSSCA with all other subjects. But I also don't plan on
walking on eggshells about what my views on other subjects are
in order to fight it.

- samantha

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