Re: Where we lost America

From: Randy Smith (
Date: Sat Oct 27 2001 - 15:44:19 MDT

>From: "Alex F. Bokov" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Where we lost America
>Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 16:31:24 -0400 (EDT)
>Where it comes to civil liberties, perhaps our Acchiles Heel is this:
>The Constitution was written in a time that more closely approximated
>bricks-n-mortar classical capitalism. There was no such thing as a
>multinational corporation. The only rapacious supra-human entities
>they had to worry about were religons and governments. And they came
>up with some solid, elegant, well thought out ways to protect humans
>from both.
>When businesses started getting big, they managed to get themselves
>treated as quasi-people rather than quasi-governments (the legal
>precedent of corporate personhood). Oops. It wouldn't have been so bad
>if the Constitution has prescribed guidelines on how individuals may
>behave toward each other, which would therefore apply to these
>corporation-people. But it doesn't-- the Constitution only applies to
>what the Federal government can and can't do. Perhaps this was
>deliberately to limit the power of the Constitution itself. Or
>ironically, perhaps a subtle, lingering statist bias made the Framers
>focus their attention on the government and completely ignore
>individual conduct.
>But for whatever reason, there is no actual Constitutional reason an
>individual can't go out and enslave, rob, or maim another individual.
>In a bricks-n-mortar world, this was less of a problem, because there
>was a practical limit to the coercive force one individual could bring
>to bear on another... and the 'home court advantage' that underlies
>our sense of rights and property was usually enough to deter all but
>the most determined assaults. The latter could be resolved by the
>judicial and executive branches of government as they arose. The
>system wasn't foolproof, as slavery and disenfranchisement of women
>demonstrated-- if a type of aggression is sufficiently widespread and
>entrenched, the defender's advantage against the aggressor evaporates.
>Such cases have become the norm rather than the exception, perhaps
>explaining the litigious turn our culture has taken. There are now
>thousands of corporate pseudo-persons running loose that have SO much
>more power than individuals that they can exercise de facto tyrannical
>control over them through the mere threat of firing, lawsuit, and
>outright coercion. Since the rules governing how they can treat you
>are legislative rather than Constitutional, they are easier to
>change. You have one vote. Time-Warner/AOL has many millions. Which
>type of entity will most likely influence the legislation in its
>Perhaps basement nanofactories will solve this. But only if a
>collusion of government and oligopolists doesn't get to pre-emptively
>dictate the terms under which they are manufactured and used.

Well, you have definitely given it a Extropian spin, but what you are saying
is true. And I am thankful that other people are starting to notice what is
happening. But its more than just corporations. Our system is somewhat
broken, It works better than the 3rd world, but it needs to be overhauled.
A new constitution needs to be written, but I daresay that with the present
power money has over our govt, it could wind up worse.
Yes, *technology*, not nanotech is needed. We need a more transparent govt.
Yes, we need less laws, and we could get by on only a few laws passed every
year. So why not just upgrade our voting system with technology, and have
the citizenry vote on all laws?

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