Them and Us

John K Clark (
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 10:38:22 -0700 (PDT)


"den Otter" <> On Wed, 27 Aug 1997 Wrote:

>Intercontinental travel will probably remain relatively slow and
>cumbersome for a long time to come,

Slow relative to what, Star Trek? Travel has never been cheaper in the
history of the human race and it's getting cheaper, but that's nothing
compared to what's happening in communication. Trying to keep people in their
place, in the same little pigeonholes they've been stuck in for centuries is
just not going to work.

>and way beyond the financial capabilities of your "dollar an hour"
>people. In other words: if you want cheap workers, they'll have to
>live relatively nearby.

Where the people who work for me want to live is up to them not me. Obviously
if they don't like to travel and they don't want to live near me then there
could be a problem, unless they tele-commute.

>Since most of the good spots are already taken by the more fortunate

All spots are only as good as what people make them to be.

>this means heavy concentration in shitty areas, which traditionally
>are a source of crime and unrest.

I remind you that the worst crime of this or any other century was committed
by a gang of thugs from a white tribe.

>Before you know it you'll have apartheid and the like.

Apartheid was precisely why the immigration policy of South Africa caused
unrest. If the law says that you don't have as many rights as I do because
you have more pigment in your skin than me, then it doesn't take a brain
surgeon to figure out that it will cause unrest.

>>As for cultural differences preventing free immigration, if I found
>>a culture to be unpleasant then I wouldn't want to go to that land,
>>if I didn't then I would. What's the problem?

>The problem is others (less "fortunate" than yourself) coming to *you*.

As long as I'm not forced by taxes to support these people then I don't see
the "problem", and if they want to come here then they must not dislike my
culture all that much.

>If immigration really was totally free, all successful places would
>be overrun even faster by masses of poor immigrants (in your case
>wave upon wave of Mexicans, I guess).

Today virtually any Mexican who wants to live in the USA can, it's illegal
but that's a small point. Indeed many Mexicans do just that, they want to
live here because the welfare is so nice, and this delights me because it's
destroying the system. If we didn't have welfare then they would only come
if they could get a job and become productive, and what on Earth is wrong
with that?

>In the ever more automated modern society there [is] will simply not
>be enough work for all these people

Not at minimum wage, but there could be at a dollar an hour, and if not then
they won't come here because there would be no reason for them to do so.

>The "private protection agencies" will probably evolve into *states*,
>with their own "turf" (country), "protection money" (taxes) etc.

States claim rights that individuals or corporations don't have, even if the
advantage is small at the beginning they use it to gain more power and soon a
monster has evolved. Private Protection Agencies (PPA) have no rights an
individual doesn't have and if they tried to get more the competing PPA's
would not like it. The aggressive PPA would need a large very expensive army
to enforce its edicts and that means it would have to charge a higher premium
for its services and that means customers would drop them like a hot potato
and go with another agency, they wouldn't be thrilled about turning their
front yard into a war zone either. No money no army.

Also, the leaders of countries tend to the sort of people who like to have
power over people, the CEO of successful private protection agencies would be
the sort of people who are more interested in making money than saving face,
if not the stockholders of the agency would be very unhappy, they'd dump him
and find somebody who can make money not glory for them. It's a fact,
stockholders don't give a damn about glory, they want cash.

There is yet another safeguard, the instant a PPA starts acting in a
totalitarian way, shut off it's money supply, go to a competitor and stop its
cancerous growth in the bud. That is a powerful tool that we don't have today,
you are forced to keep sending money to your country even if you hate what
it's doing.

Does all this prove that a PPA can never turn into Big Brother? Of course not,
we're talking about human relationships not something simple like mathematics,
but I think it does show that it would be more unlikely to turn bad than our
present institutions.

>you might end up with a truly medieval "city state" scenario, with
>bands of thugs roaming the countryside, despotic rulers, lots of
>small wars

Medieval? It sounds like you're reading the morning newspaper.

>You must be wise indeed.

Yes, modest too.

John K Clark

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