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Author Topic: Did the cryptography revolution begin too late?  (Read 10162 times)
grondilu
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January 20, 2011, 02:56:24 AM
 #101

I hope I don't have to because I can't. I don't believe law enforcement and courts and roads and welfare are problems that have ever been solved. I'm suggesting that we start trying to solve them instead of forcing people to accept non-solutions at the point of a gun.

It is no more my responsibility to solve these problems than for me to tell you what to eat. If I was a nutritionist or a cookbook author I would offer you some solutions, but I don't claim to be or want to be. Some people will do this and if others like their ideas enough they will try what they suggest.

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QuantumMechanic
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January 20, 2011, 09:44:59 AM
 #102


Anyway, you need to distinguish between legitimate force and illegitimate force. 

No, I don't....
That was a response to your suggestion that my advocacy of the use of force is immoral.  I was assuming that you didn't mean to imply that this applied to all uses of force.

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The problem is how law is made today, not that it is made in the first place.  We need systems that actually respond to market demand, and have a at least a modicum of efficiency and accessibility.

Yes we do.  The most effective way of doing what you say above is to remove the regulations currently in play altogether.

And how do you do this in an unambiguous way?  The best we can do, I think, is allow the law to develop in a way that is responsive to market demand.


That would, indeed, be a wonderful trick.  The fly in the ointment is that is exactly what everyone else believes that whatever they advocate would accomplish.  Be they socialist or anarchists, authoritarians or libertarians, republicans or monarchists.

AFAIK, the only people advocating emergent law here are certain types of anarchists and libertarians.  Republicans think they do out of ignorance to public choice theory, and (statist) socialists think they do out of ignorance to the fact that people are quite different from insects.  I'm only saying here that there is no correct way to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of force.

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On the other hand, ceasing the production of law altogether is not the solution to the problem.

Why isn't it?  When the US was founded, Congress was in session for only three weeks a year, and were not paid.  If we went back to that age, when serving was an obligation instead of a career, I would wager than things might improve significantly.
American common law was working away the whole time.


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January 20, 2011, 10:21:31 AM
 #103


I hope I don't have to because I can't. I don't believe law enforcement and courts and roads and welfare are problems that have ever been solved. I'm suggesting that we start trying to solve them instead of forcing people to accept non-solutions at the point of a gun.

It is no more my responsibility to solve these problems than for me to tell you what to eat. If I was a nutritionist or a cookbook author I would offer you some solutions, but I don't claim to be or want to be. Some people will do this and if others like their ideas enough they will try what they suggest.

Like I said, "if you want to convince people that a well-functioning stateless society is possible, ..."  Of course you don't have to, otherwise.

Law enforcement and courts have been provided in many past stateless societies: see medieval Iceland, medieval Ireland, the stateless American west (had a lower homicide rate than the incorporated states!), stateless Pennsylvania (short period of time), Common Law, Law Merchant (there are others that I can't remember).

Welfare and healthcare used to be provided by fraternal societies and churches.

Private roads exist today.  Highways are easy for private providers.  Intracity roads are harder, and probably require some sort of collective arrangement, but there are proposals out there:
https://www.youtube.com/user/fringeelements#p/u/0/A1gp9_oCafM
http://mises.org/books/roads_web.pdf

Current statist solutions to societal problems certainly suck, but they are in some cases better than no solution at all.  So it is indeed up to the advocate of a stateless society to argue that it could not just provide solutions, but provide them better than today's states if he wants people to accept his ideas.
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January 20, 2011, 11:15:00 AM
 #104

I don't mean "convincing people isn't my job" I mean "if I could answer all these questions then we shouldn't have anarchy we should have a dictatorship, run by me".

No one knows the best solutions to all problems. Likely no one knows the best solution to any one complex problem. In fact any problem as complicated as "How should people keep their houses lit at night?" has hundreds of solutions none of which are best for everyone.

I'm talking about a new (not new really, we do solve lots of things peacefully) way to find solutions, not about the solutions themselves. The solutions are work for everyone and anyone to do, I have no particular expertise.

Showing solutions from the past is good for illustrating that there are other solutions, but I don't think it is likely that many of the old ways will end up being chosen by people when they are free to try anything.

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FatherMcGruder
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January 20, 2011, 03:41:07 PM
 #105

I don't mean "convincing people isn't my job" I mean "if I could answer all these questions then we shouldn't have anarchy we should have a dictatorship, run by me".

No one knows the best solutions to all problems. Likely no one knows the best solution to any one complex problem. In fact any problem as complicated as "How should people keep their houses lit at night?" has hundreds of solutions none of which are best for everyone.

I'm talking about a new (not new really, we do solve lots of things peacefully) way to find solutions, not about the solutions themselves. The solutions are work for everyone and anyone to do, I have no particular expertise.

Showing solutions from the past is good for illustrating that there are other solutions, but I don't think it is likely that many of the old ways will end up being chosen by people when they are free to try anything.
Then, speaking more broadly, how do we resolve conflicts, those which we typically resolve peacefully with the help of the state, not according to the size of one's mob?

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caveden
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January 20, 2011, 04:14:16 PM
 #106

The state doesn't solve anything "peacefully", since it's a violent institution by definition.
But I know what you mean.
I once wrote something about it, but it's in Portuguese, you may check if an auto translation is understandable: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mises.org.br%2FArticle.aspx%3Fid%3D605

If you are really curious on how conflicts can be solved without a monopoly of violence search about medieval Ireland or Iceland, Merchant Law and so on... at the end of the text I liked above there are some references, in English. This short book is good too: http://mises.org/books/chaostheory.pdf

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genjix
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January 20, 2011, 07:37:18 PM
 #107

Shouting until red in the face goes nowhere. Demonstrate by example- live outside the state. Work towards creating a better future. It's bound to happen eventually, what with the advent of the internet and the free software movement.
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January 20, 2011, 08:03:51 PM
 #108

I don't mean "convincing people isn't my job" I mean "if I could answer all these questions then we shouldn't have anarchy we should have a dictatorship, run by me".

No one knows the best solutions to all problems. Likely no one knows the best solution to any one complex problem. In fact any problem as complicated as "How should people keep their houses lit at night?" has hundreds of solutions none of which are best for everyone.

I'm talking about a new (not new really, we do solve lots of things peacefully) way to find solutions, not about the solutions themselves. The solutions are work for everyone and anyone to do, I have no particular expertise.

Showing solutions from the past is good for illustrating that there are other solutions, but I don't think it is likely that many of the old ways will end up being chosen by people when they are free to try anything.
Then, speaking more broadly, how do we resolve conflicts, those which we typically resolve peacefully with the help of the state, not according to the size of one's mob?

Most people resolve conflicts peacefully without the aid of the state.  In the relatively rare cases that the state police & court apparatus is required to resolve a conflict, it's never peaceful.  The fact that both sides may, in public, comply to the decisions of a judge are more often due to the implict threat of force that a judge's decision is supported by.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 20, 2011, 08:10:50 PM
 #109

Quote
Quote
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Quote
The problem is how law is made today, not that it is made in the first place.  We need systems that actually respond to market demand, and have a at least a modicum of efficiency and accessibility.

Yes we do.  The most effective way of doing what you say above is to remove the regulations currently in play altogether.

And how do you do this in an unambiguous way?  The best we can do, I think, is allow the law to develop in a way that is responsive to market demand.


That would, indeed, be a wonderful trick.  The fly in the ointment is that is exactly what everyone else believes that whatever they advocate would accomplish.  Be they socialist or anarchists, authoritarians or libertarians, republicans or monarchists.

AFAIK, the only people advocating emergent law here are certain types of anarchists and libertarians.  Republicans think they do out of ignorance to public choice theory, and (statist) socialists think they do out of ignorance to the fact that people are quite different from insects.  I'm only saying here that there is no correct way to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of force.

And my point was that regardless of how any particular advocate of any particular ideology may think about public choice theory, they all basicly believe that what they advocate will result in a better society.  The key difference is that authoritarians of every flavor fundamentally believe that some form of proper government is the key to that better society, while libertarians (the 'big tent' version of that word) of every flavor fundamentally believe that that a proper government is impossible.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 20, 2011, 09:44:54 PM
 #110


Then, speaking more broadly, how do we resolve conflicts, those which we typically resolve peacefully with the help of the state, not according to the size of one's mob?

Would you call a mugging with a compliant victim peaceful? I don't, but maybe I need a different word to get across what I mean.

Mob size is the virtue of a democracy, I suggest we try something else.
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January 20, 2011, 10:56:49 PM
 #111

Then, speaking more broadly, how do we resolve conflicts, those which we typically resolve peacefully with the help of the state, not according to the size of one's mob?

You need to look carefully at what sort of conflicts are actually resolved by the State.  Social pressure and negotiations between individuals tends to resolve a lot of our conflicts without involving the State.  However, when you have a disagreement with a neighbor about property lines or when someone cheats you in a business transaction you do indeed take it to the State's courts.  But it's very costly, time-consuming and there's no guarantee that your case will be decided justly.  This is because the State decides the law and even how to interpret the law and so you have an arbitrary decision.  Why couldn't we have a free-market system of courts, judges and arbiters?  Economics tells us that with competing courts, the judges would have to settle cases fairly and do so in a way that the "customers" see as just.  If the judge doesn't he will lose customers and go out of business.

The case of how courts would work in an anarchist system is a very good question, and much brighter minds then mine have taken a hard look at it. I would refer you to "The Market for Liberty" by the Tannehills for some specific examples of how courts, national defense, insurance, etc. might work in a laissez faire society.  We can't know for sure exactly how things would turn up, because left to a free-market individuals would try different ideas and the ones that worked well would stay around, and the ones that did not would not be able to make a profit and stay in business.
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January 20, 2011, 11:57:36 PM
 #112

FreeMoney, I agree, solutions that actually emerge in statelessness probably won't look anything like past stateless solutions, or the new proposals thrown around today.  But the point of designing new solutions today is not to figure out exactly how it'll play out, but to undermine the perceived necessity of statist solutions to societal problems.

creighto, we can argue objectively about the merits of a non-monopolistic approach to law and law enforcement over a centrally planned approach.  If opponents are impervious to reason, then the only hope is to at least get them to respect the idea of secession to some degree.  That or wait for them to die out while focusing on raising the new generations right.

Then, speaking more broadly, how do we resolve conflicts, those which we typically resolve peacefully with the help of the state, not according to the size of one's mob?
Yeah, what creighto said.  Which is why a rosy picture of a stateless society not needing any law and law enforcement is silly.

The only way I can think of to lessen the whole "might makes right" thing is to advance a reasoned respect for the law so that folks are more accepting when it doesn't rule in their favor.  Presumably this would be much easier if it weren't so corrupt.

But really there's no way to avoid it completely.  "Might makes right" is certainly true today.  The only alternatives to anarchy in the pejorative are a single dominant power, or lots of them in some state of peaceful coexistence, where if one becomes abusive, enough of the rest will jump on its ass and set it in line.

It's tough to sell the latter, since people tend to underestimate the corruptibility of a single dominant power, while being scared that having lots of powers in coexistence will just devolve into anarchy in the pejorative.
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January 21, 2011, 02:58:12 AM
 #113

Ok, I'll buy that a stable, healthy society can have a state or not. However, I remain unconvinced that statelessness offers the best framework, or lack thereof, for a society. It seems that a stateless society requires an especially disciplined populace.

For example, a pollutive factory might produce a desirable product. Perhaps only the people living downstream suffer from the pollution. They complain to a court that rules in their favor, but the factory does not comply. The downstream people, as their only non-violent recourse, boycott the factory and ostracize its workers. However, these actions affect no change because the upstream people would rather have the factory's desirable products than support their downstream brethren. The downstream people can now either put up with the pollution, flee, or attempt to shut down the factory with violence, potential instigating a war with the upstream people. Unless the upstream people choose to aid their neighbors over materialism, the issue escalates to violence.

If this society had a state however, the court could coerce the factory into compliance from the outset, preluding a violent confrontation from the start.

Just trying to understand anarchy better.

The state doesn't solve anything "peacefully", since it's a violent institution by definition.
But I know what you mean.
I once wrote something about it, but it's in Portuguese, you may check if an auto translation is understandable: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mises.org.br%2FArticle.aspx%3Fid%3D605
Google Translate did a surprisingly good job.

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grondilu
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January 21, 2011, 03:46:23 AM
 #114

If this society had a state however, the court could coerce the factory into compliance from the outset, preluding a violent confrontation from the start.

Just trying to understand anarchy better.

Yeah, when people don't agree about something, at some point ther can be blood.

But at least no one pretends to be more legitimate than the other.  Nor will they use ressources from unconcerned people to fight.  Nor will they force people to fight for them.  And so on...

Anarchy doesn't prevent war.  But democracy doesn't either.   Democracy actually instutitionnalize war : you have to pay taxes to send soldiers to some wars you are absolutely not concerned about, or wars that you even disapprove.   How is that better ?

At least those guys from downstream and upstream decided to fight from their own free will.
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January 21, 2011, 03:53:50 AM
 #115

Courts, like factories, are corruptible institutions.

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January 21, 2011, 04:07:51 AM
 #116

FatherMcGruder, I don't think statelessness requires an especially disciplined populace, just one with enough common values.  Presuming the legal agencies would accurately reflect the values of their members, then it is these common values that allow for common legal standards to form, and so reduce the possibility of violent clashes between different legal agencies.

Also, wars are ugly and expensive, and patrons of legal agencies that attempt to engage in them would probably just stop patronizing them in order to save money sleep better.  That's not to say that wars are impossible; they're just strongly disincentivized if those funding them actually have a choice.

The alternative, people of dissimilar values all tolerating one monopoly legal agency, has the unfortunate side effects of law being produced and enforced that has no market demand, and can be easily purchased, and the characteristic that it is authoritarian at least to the degree that the values of its citizens differ.

Think here about the necessity of somebody like Saddam to keep the Sunnis and Shiites from killing the shit out of each other.  Presumably such an unstable situation wouldn't have emerged in the first place in a stateless society.
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January 21, 2011, 04:11:46 AM
 #117

Courts, like factories, are corruptible institutions.
Yeah, but the idea is that competition, voluntary patronage, and open management will provide adequate accountability.
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January 21, 2011, 04:29:43 AM
 #118

FatherMcGruder, It should also be noted that the hypothetical scenario you described is perfectly applicable to the situation today with multiple nation states living side by side, yet they still manage to resolve disputes without violence.

I'd call today's situation the worst case scenario for a functioning stateless society, since states can more easily keep their members separated - integration builds economic dependencies, and thus increases the cost of wars borne by those that end up paying for them - and can more easily go to war than voluntarily patronized legal agencies.
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January 21, 2011, 05:36:36 AM
 #119

Ok, I'll buy that a stable, healthy society can have a state or not. However, I remain unconvinced that statelessness offers the best framework, or lack thereof, for a society.

I'm unconvinced as well, but I'm willing to keep an open mind.  What I am concerned about are those who are not willing.
Quote
It seems that a stateless society requires an especially disciplined populace.

The 'old West' territories before statehood were functionally stateless and seemed to do fine.  Either discipline isn't a requirement, or self-governance leads to self-discipline, or both.  I'm leaning towards both.

Quote
For example, a pollutive factory might produce a desirable product. Perhaps only the people living downstream suffer from the pollution. They complain to a court that rules in their favor, but the factory does not comply. The downstream people, as their only non-violent recourse, boycott the factory and ostracize its workers. However, these actions affect no change because the upstream people would rather have the factory's desirable products than support their downstream brethren. The downstream people can now either put up with the pollution, flee, or attempt to shut down the factory with violence, potential instigating a war with the upstream people. Unless the upstream people choose to aid their neighbors over materialism, the issue escalates to violence.

If this society had a state however, the court could coerce the factory into compliance from the outset, preluding a violent confrontation from the start.

The largest polluters in the United States, by any metric, are government agencies.  And they are largely insulated from civil actions.  How do you deal with that?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 21, 2011, 05:41:32 AM
 #120


What do you guys think about a P2P voting system? We could have "open source law" that anybody can edit, with a "blockchain" determining the majority vote in real time. If real time is too cumbersome to keep track of (for the user I mean), we could have periodic "update elections", where changes are bundled together and you vote by downloading and using the version you prefer.

This could be implemented in a context of "Panarchy" (proposed by Paul Emile de Puydt in 1860) where everybody is free to join any organization (or none) that each keeps track of their own "law" using such a system. In other words, only the law of that organization applies to you that you have joined voluntarily. If you don't like their law you could propose changes or join a different one that is closer to your ideal. This could accommodate pretty much anybody: Anarcho-capitalists would not join any organization (or one that only affirms property rights and the non-initiation of violence) and base the rest on contracts, while "communists" (or collectivists) could set up their communities and handle the distribution of property through voting.

I don't believe that democracy (i.e. voting) is a "tyranny by the majority" if you set up standards (like human rights) that apply always and are not decided on a case by case basis (which is what people mean when they talk about a republic). I don't think you would need a "constitution" in a P2P open source system though; you could simply keep organizing laws by priority. It seems unlikely that the majority will suddenly decide that traffic laws are more important that human rights. (And even if, which minority should have the right to force their ideas of human rights on the majority?)

Another advantage of such a system is that it could provide a very smooth transition from where we are now to a state of affairs where the state no longer has the monopoly. Its monopoly would be undermined gradually and peacefully through the emergence of a variety of better alternatives. In fact, we wouldn't even need to found new organizations; existing ones could simply start using appropriate technology once it emerges.
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