1997-01-28 - RE: Fighting the cybercensor

Header Data

From: “Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM” <dlv@bwalk.dm.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: d932947df2f218a09e036b0ebb113f574a0ddb6876f463070d511a75d4960cc0
Message ID: <199701280332.TAA15446@toad.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-28 03:32:04 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 19:32:04 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: "Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM" <dlv@bwalk.dm.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 19:32:04 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: RE: Fighting the cybercensor
Message-ID: <199701280332.TAA15446@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

blanc <blancw@cnw.com> writes:

> From:	jim bell (in response to Dimitri Vulis')
> Look, I've proposed what I consider to be a remarkably consistent method to
> prevent the kind of political tyranny that you criticize, and I don't see
> any recognition of this fact.
> ........................................................
> 1) Jim, why do you insist on discussing this on an forum for encryption?

Assassination politics is certainlyhighly crypto-relevant (being an
important application of anonymity and untraceable payments). It's of
interest to a number of participants in the forum. So, why not?

> 2) Why do you suppose the Iraqis haven't already thought of doing this
> themselves?

Perhaps because they love Saddam, who really is a great guy. Stop listening
to what U.S.gubmint and media tell you and use your brain.  What did
Saddam do to _you?

> 3) The Mafia uses this method all the time - why then haven't they achieved
> a more rational society among themselves?

The Mafia in the U.S. doesn't work. The sicilian Mafia is very successful at
assassinating any public officials that fucks with it.

> 4) Weren't governments (like the U.S.) instituted to prevent this sort of
> thing (even if they don't work out as expected)? i.e., there were systems
> of courts and lawyers and such instituted to openly deal with "criminal"
> activity so that a) people could receive assistance against low-life
> degenerate killers, and b) it could be proven that the accused were indeed
> deserving of punishment.

When I was taking political science at Columbia, one of my most memorable
insights came from reading Aeschil's tragedies. Consider this recurrent
thread: why are people rude on highways, and is shooting them justified?
I claim that if a driver felt that the likelihood of him getting a ticket
for cutting people off was high enough, they wouldn't do it. But of course
the cops are busy chasing the drug dealers :-), so the only remaining
deterrent is the likelihood that someone will shoot you for cutting them
off (which happens occasionally).

> Humans being what they are, this hasn't worked like it's supposed to, but
> the point is that there is a reason why such ideas for systems of justice
> were introduced in the first place.   That reason, as I eloquently read in
> a book, was "So That Reason May Live".  That is, so that people who choose
> to live in a "society" may do so by the method of solving problems through
> the application of intelligence, rather than merely knocking each other off
> because a voting majority decides they don't like someone.

Re-read your Hobbes - but don't believe him. The state did not come about
because the people thought they'd be better off under it. The state came
about as one tribe conquered and enslaved another tribe; and gradually
most members of the winning tribe became slaves too.

> Destructive people often ascend to positions of power not simply because
> they are ruthless, but because they have 1) many sycophantic followers and
> 2) many ignorant, vulnerable people unable to prevent it.  You might be
> able to kill off  one Saddam, but potentially many others would be waiting
> in the wings to take his place.   The situation surrounding the existence
> of someone like Saddam is part of the contributing factors which keeps him
> there, not simply that one man himself.  It was the same with Hitler and
> with so many others  -  they don't just have an excess of  "power"
> concentrated within themselves which puts them in positions of control over
> others  - there will have been many people who will have helped put them
> there, expecting to derive benefits from it.

I don't like your Saddam example, having much admiration for the man, but
again this goes back to the perceived likelihood of future assassination.
If Saddam is killed in an unlikely event, he will be succeeded by someone
who does not fear assassination. If all potential successors are convinced
that the rubout can be repeated, they won't go for the job. Remember, the
purpose of "terrorism" is not just to kill someone, but to "terrorize".

> And what will be done about all those people who made this "power"
> possible?  You don't just kill the one man and be done with it - you have
> to also "kill" the conditions which maintained him.

You rub out enough key people and terrorize their potential successors
into not wanting to take over their jobs, and the system collapses.


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps