Re: "Sufferance", was Re: Learn to shoot

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sat Oct 28 2000 - 10:47:26 MDT

The US population is a prisoner of the "War on Drugs."

Under the aegis of that evil plan, many constitutional guarantees have been voided
by the state, thus the state voids itself.

Laws and practices of forfeiture without trial have added corruption to our
state-sponsored police forces.

The right to grow hemp as the founding fathers of the country did is disallowed,
although it was temporarily reallowed during World War II for utilitarian reasons.

We remain in a state of prohibition, which is almost universally known as the source
of more crime than it prevents, not to mention the very state of prohibition makes
actions to be technical illegality of all those against which it is biased.

The practice of religion allows any to define their own spiritual recourse, I
interpret that to mean that any can do almost anything which is not a violent nor
property crime, nor safety hazard to others. Rather it is to say: the Constitution
says we can do these things, and that the state cannot deny that legally. No
Constitutional amendment has ever passed to deny that nor to belay the validity of
the Constitution in any other way, that's why they are Amendments, the government
can not legally operate outside of its bounds.

About guns... well... the right to bear arms happens to be a Constitutionally
defined freedom, and quite a literal one. I am of the mind that any adult without
violent or dangerous history should be able to collect fully automatic weapons.

About martial law, there are various ways to influence the population. Perhaps most
critically, if the population is content and thinks itself free from martial law,
then it is less likely to revolt. There are several figurative opiates.

About gun threads on extropians, I would prefer to talk about exotic super-weapons.


Michael M. Butler wrote:

> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> > The US population exists at the sufferance of the US military until such time
> > as the average Joe owns a tank and a fighter jet.
> Ohhhh boyyyyy. You really are not thinking of the US military's shining
> successes in Vietnam and Somalia, to name a big one and a small one. One
> could just as easily reformulate the status quo as "The US population
> approves of the suspension of its rights and will continue to do so
> until things get as bad here(/someplace) as they were in Chechnya." In
> that case, things turn into "Every member of the force of US troops
> enforcing martial law out on leave exists at the sufferance of every
> streetwalker with a hatpin/kid with a rock/..."
> We've got a moderately long way to go before anybody but the wild-eyed
> thinks that's transpired, as long as everyone who has a 401k is happy.
> Actual martial law might put a crimp in that.
> That said, consider that some fairly reliable sources suggest that, to
> name a high profile example, some people suggest that the active
> membership of the IRA (the Irish one, not another financial instrument)
> at its peak might have numbered 200 souls or so.
> Stimulating a disproportionate inappropriate reply in force is part of
> the standard tactics of low-intensity/insurgent/guerilla politics/war.
> So if, hypothetically, the heat ever gets turned up on the US population
> in general, and the "sufferance" of which you speak turns to more
> obvious _suffering_, it still won't in all likelihood be the general
> population (appearing to be) doing the fighting. But the idea of
> fighting pitched battles with "fronts" and so forth is terribly
> last-century.
> "Speak not of Revolution / until you are willing to eat rats to
> survive." -- The Last Poets
> Most people 'round here are not in a rat-eating mood; that's about the
> size of it. May it ever be thus, for _good_ reason. Readers of this
> Echelon transcript, please note this paragraph. I am not in rat-eating
> mode, either.
> > > Another consideration is that nanotech and AI may eliminate
> > > the relevance of firearms. That may be true one of these days
> > > but we are not there now. We may someday live in utopia but
> > > I think there is a good chance that even after nanotech and
> > > AI we will still have a need for self-defense (perhaps even
> > > more so). Firearms may someday cease to be relevant but the
> > > combat mentality and concepts that you learn will still
> > > apply.
> >
> > No, actually the whole idea is that nanotech/AI/superintelligence scenario is
> > hopefully alien enough to eliminate even the need for self-defensive
> > thinking. My own philosophy is that the future is so distant - not just in
> > terms of the environment, but in terms of who we will be - that the best
> > course is to try and be the most intense human you can be, here and now,
> > without moping too much over how much better you would be if you didn't have
> > to be human. Arguably, firearms - and to an even greater extent, martial arts
> > - are a part of that. The question, as always, is time.
> Cheerio. The one rhetorical card I see you palming in the above is "the
> whole idea" s/b "my [Eliezer's] whole idea". :) You're still doing 'way
> better than most politicians.
> > > Finally, I have a hunch. It's just an idea and it may not
> > > apply to everyone. It's only something I feel and I'm not
> > > even sure it applies to me yet. I think really knowing that
> > > you can defend yourself is good for your energy level and
> > > peace of mind. It may be a biological effect of vigorous
> > > and complex physical training. [...] It may also be
> > > that our brains also still respond to a pecking order system
> > > which recognizes self-defense ability as a key dominance
> > > trait.
> >
> > Yep, that's the one.
> It can also be read as "I have a handle on a piece of what the Universe
> can dish out, insofar as I am able."
> > -- -- -- -- --
> > Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> > Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:

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