1994-08-03 - Re: Egalitarianism vs. Strong Cryptography

Header Data

From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6f672d417dedb42be0d6fba2afaf196f5a260c7fa8011e88deb265bf57166e16
Message ID: <199408031545.IAA17162@netcom11.netcom.com>
Reply To: <9408031040.AA25684@ininx>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-03 15:46:16 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 3 Aug 94 08:46:16 PDT

Raw message

From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 94 08:46:16 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Egalitarianism vs. Strong Cryptography
In-Reply-To: <9408031040.AA25684@ininx>
Message-ID: <199408031545.IAA17162@netcom11.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

jkreznar@ininx.com (John E. Kreznar) asks:

 > Mike Duvos, how I wish I had the time to try to understand
 > how you reconcile these seemingly incompatible sentiments!

 > How can you achieve ``egalitarian societies with strong
 > social safety nets'' without using ``powerful centralized
 > authority''? As a proponent of ``high taxes'', how can you
 > also favor strong cryptography?  Do you doubt that
 > expropriating ``high taxes'' from your neighbor will be made
 > more difficult in a world with strong cryptography?  In
 > view of the natural diversity among people, how can you
 > achieve an ``egalitarian society'' without someone who says
 >``Do What We Say Or We'll Kill You!''?

Excellent questions!

I view society as a collection of services provided to
individuals. Things like education, housing, medical care, food,
legal services, locating appropriate employment, and others.  To
the extent that these services are provided in an efficient
manner at a reasonable price, citizens live well.

I also think these services should be provided by the private
sector and not by any centralized government.  In fact, I think
the centralized government should be as small as possible and
reduced primarily to ceremonial functions.

An egalitarian society can then be achieved by simply not making
certain groups of people, like the young, exceptions to the laws
which protect everyone else, and giving them equal access to the
courts and other social institutions.  Egalitarianism should
always be approached by providing "equality of opportunity" and
never by legislating "equality of result."

Taxation should be small, uniform, and applied to transactions
and never to the earnings of individuals.  Income tax is not
necessary to generate revenue and exists primarily to justify
government snooping into the private business of citizens and
secret police organizations like the IRS.  A VAT would do the
trick nicely and could be easily built into the DigiCash system
of the future.

I also favor a small guaranteed annual income which would allow
citizens to live just slightly better than they do in prison.
Incarceration can never be a deterent if it is a step upward in
ones standard of living, something the US seems to have lost
sight of.

As for strong cryptography, it should be unrestricted and used
whenever approprate.  If individuals wish to go to the trouble of
avoiding taxes setting up secret businesses that encrypt all
transactions, more power to them.  The small number of people who
will bother to do this will not have any real impact on taxation.
If taxes are reasonable and the money is used for things that
people support, people will be suitably incentivised not to avoid

Thus strong crypto, egalitarianism, less government, and
tolerable taxes can all live happily together in our future.

     Mike Duvos         $    PGP 2.6 Public Key available     $
     mpd@netcom.com     $    via Finger.                      $