1997-05-21 - Re: Wine Politics Again!

Header Data

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
To: cypherpunks <cypherpunks@cyberpass.net>
Message Hash: 558741b16e6d109fa30deffc0e62849020d38f234f73378fcfbca8e269fc691b
Message ID: <19970521092223.04748@bywater.songbird.com>
Reply To: <ZwoH7D8w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-21 16:38:34 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 00:38:34 +0800

Raw message

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 00:38:34 +0800
To: cypherpunks <cypherpunks@cyberpass.net>
Subject: Re: Wine Politics Again!
In-Reply-To: <ZwoH7D8w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
Message-ID: <19970521092223.04748@bywater.songbird.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Wed, May 21, 1997 at 12:50:02AM -0700, Bill Stewart wrote:
> At 11:13 PM 5/20/97 -0700, Kent Crispin wrote:
> >On Tue, May 20, 1997 at 04:23:10PM +0000, Attila T. Hun wrote:
> > "Power corrupts..." isn't a property of governments, 
> > it is a property of individual human beings.
> Mostly.  But you're presumably advocating government by humans.

Strictly speaking, I don't advocate government.  Rather, I think that
government is innate to the human species.  Chimpanzees and Baboons
have a political/social power hierarchy -- it's ubiquitious among
higher primates.  In fact, it's common among a great many different
kinds of animals.  Humanity has a much more complex and evolved power
hierarchy, to be sure, but the same fundamental psychological
motivation -- a "will to power", if you will -- is present.

> And while government is an abstraction of the activities of a 
> lot of individual humans, governments do tend to accumulate
> and abuse power, and tend to reach a point where they're more
> interested in maintaining and increasing that power than in

Yes, that tendency does seem to exist.  There's an analogy to
gravity organizing matter in clumps -- each individual bit of matter
contributes to the overall effect; each individual human being 
contributes their bit of power hunger to the mix.

> any legitimate activities like protecting life, liberty, and property.

Who decides what are legitimate activities for government? Either the
"elite" or the "sheeple", or some combination thereof? Strictly
speaking, I think the "legitimate activities for government" is
meaningless -- ultimately governments *always* define their own
legitimacy.  To precisely the extent that you are able to effectively
discuss the "legitimate activities of government" you are in fact
participating in the power struggle, which means you are part of the
real government (just a small faction perhaps...)

Note that the cryptoanarchy electronic money agenda is just another
power play that uses privacy rhetoric as a smokescreen for it's real 
purpose, namely, empowering an elite.  Money, after all, is a 
powerful weapon.

> Consider the drug war, the military-industrial complex,
> the fraction of your income that's paying for government,
> and compare that with 200 years ago...

The drug war is an expression of collective idiocy, IMO -- one of
many.  The military-industrial complex is a good, concrete example
that government and society are inseperable.  The point about the
fraction of my tax dollars -- the fact of the matter is that we are
all *much* better off than we would have been 200 years ago, that
society as a whole is more productive, and as indivuals we get far
more back from the society/government we live in than we could ever
possibly contribute.  "The System" as a whole could be more efficient,
certainly, but it's hard to make meaningful comparisons with things
200 years ago. 

> Also power _attracts_ the corrupt, and the corruptible.
> As Henry the K said, it's the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Which is obvious, if you look at the primate origins.

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent@songbird.com			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55