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Author Topic: Did the cryptography revolution begin too late?  (Read 10156 times)
kiba
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January 21, 2011, 06:13:05 AM
 #121


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).

Nonsense, the republic is just slower at killing itself than a pure democracy. Standard by itself does nothing without proper incentives to enforce the rule of law.

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daniel g
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January 21, 2011, 06:56:11 AM
 #122


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).

Nonsense, the republic is just slower at killing itself than a pure democracy. Standard by itself does nothing without proper incentives to enforce the rule of law.


So, voting = tyranny with no alternative? Then, what isn't tyranny in your book? Contracts? What if you set up contractual systems that include voting, is that tyranny?
QuantumMechanic
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January 21, 2011, 07:24:36 AM
 #123

What do you guys think about a P2P voting system? We could have "open source law" that anybody can edit...
I like the idea of people forming open organizations that create and recommend laws, but if it has to resort to voting all the time about everything, and dragging around those that lose the votes, then I think it's doing it wrong.  The focus should be on consensus building.  Here's some inspiration from the IETF on this: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/25-years-of-ietf-setting-standards-without-kings-or-votes.ars.

I think kiba's objection is when the "recommendations" are mandatory.
kiba
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January 21, 2011, 07:49:23 AM
 #124

So, voting = tyranny with no alternative? Then, what isn't tyranny in your book? Contracts? What if you set up contractual systems that include voting, is that tyranny?

No, I said a democracy like you recommend have very poor incentive structures. Voting is fine when it is aligned with proper incentives.

Of course, for a libertarian, it have to be voluntary as well.

daniel g
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January 21, 2011, 08:18:27 AM
 #125

The question of enforceability is crucial. You can have recommendations (backed by consensus), contracts (backed by reputation) or laws (backed by force).

Of course, consensus building should be a top priority. But the question is: What do you do precisely when people cannot (or don't want to) agree?

I think we should move away from laws backed by force towards contracts backed by reputation. So, I am really advocating anarcho-capitalism. However, most people (including myself) have difficulties imagining it in practice, so I suggested a system of creating "laws". How and if these are actually enforced (beyond loss/gain in reputation) would be up to each organization. The market would decide which system works best overall, including which uses the best system of enforcement.
ribuck
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January 21, 2011, 12:13:06 PM
 #126

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

But who sets up those "standards" in a democracy? The majority. So, in a democracy of 51 men and 49 women, if the 51 men vote that it's OK for men to rape women, then there's no "tyranny by the majority"? I don't think so.

"Panarchy" ... only the law of that organization applies to you that you have joined voluntarily

Precisely. Democracy is only "tyranny by the majority" when it's backed by the initiation of violence by a democratic state. But anarchism accommodates voluntary democratic processes whenever they meet the needs of those who are voluntarily participating.
daniel g
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January 21, 2011, 01:44:45 PM
 #127


Don't get so caught up with that one sentence I wrote. I wasn't defending democracy or a republic as we see them today, I was defending voting in general and was trying to point out that it's good to set standards (or at least a certain "time-delay") so that the law doesn't keep flip-flopping with the majority on every issue. (That's what I meant by arranging laws by priority.)

But who sets up those "standards" in a democracy? The majority.

That's not how it has played out, historically. The authors of the constitution come up with the standards, saying "you can't ever change this". So if a group of white anglo-saxon males declares that all white anglo-saxon males are born equal, that's not a tyranny of the majority.


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January 21, 2011, 02:38:49 PM
 #128

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?
Good question. Although, for the sake of argument, I take pollution to mean oil spills, chemical runoff, and dangerous fumes. I wasn't considering carbon dioxide, not because I don't consider it a pollutant, but because I don't believe we have any good solutions for curbing its production.

Regarding the discipline of a population, what would stop a stateless society from developing one? Suppose the largest, most powerful militia teams up with the largest, most powerful court, and the largest, most powerful food producers. Such a conglomerate could easily coerce the population into cooperation, because they wouldn't have the discipline to choose liberty over security and food. Does this example explain why states rarely go away?

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ribuck
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January 21, 2011, 03:05:51 PM
 #129

The largest polluters in the United States, by any metric, are government agencies.
Also it's interesting to note that, historically, the more repressive regimes have ruled over more polluted countries. After the Soviet Union fell, it became clear that its industries were more polluting than those in the West. During the partition of Germany, East German pollution was much higher than West German pollution. State power certainly doesn't solve pollution.

Does this example explain why states rarely go away?
Yes it does, but the interesting question is whether the Internet (peer-to-peer communication and transactions) will make a different outcome possible "the next time around".

The state can probably not be defeated, but it can perhaps be made irrelevant.
QuantumMechanic
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January 21, 2011, 03:38:47 PM
 #130

Regarding the discipline of a population, what would stop a stateless society from developing one? Suppose the largest, most powerful militia teams up with the largest, most powerful court, and the largest, most powerful food producers. Such a conglomerate could easily coerce the population into cooperation, because they wouldn't have the discipline to choose liberty over security and food. Does this example explain why states rarely go away?
I doubt such an arrangement could persist based on coercion alone.  States seem to be unstable without pretty broad ideological support.  I suppose a disciplined population is useful for preventing the balance of power from moving too far in any direction, though.

Of course, consensus building should be a top priority. But the question is: What do you do precisely when people cannot (or don't want to) agree?
I don't do anything.  But maybe they'll agree to respect the outcome of a vote, or maybe they'll just go their separate ways.  Perhaps it'll be pistols at dawn.  Smiley

What kind of disagreement are you talking about?  One within the hypothetical law-recommending organization?

Quote
I think we should move away from laws backed by force towards contracts backed by reputation. So, I am really advocating anarcho-capitalism. However, most people (including myself) have difficulties imagining it in practice, so I suggested a system of creating "laws". How and if these are actually enforced (beyond loss/gain in reputation) would be up to each organization. The market would decide which system works best overall, including which uses the best system of enforcement.
Violence is ugly, especially to pampered westerners, so I think the bar would be set pretty high in western societies for the violent enforcement of laws by voluntarily patronized legal agencies.  Much higher than it is today for states.  This would put pressure on them to develop alternative nonviolent means of gaining compliance.
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January 21, 2011, 03:55:33 PM
 #131

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?
Good question. Although, for the sake of argument, I take pollution to mean oil spills, chemical runoff, and dangerous fumes. I wasn't considering carbon dioxide, not because I don't consider it a pollutant, but because I don't believe we have any good solutions for curbing its production.

I was referring to studies done before co2 was considered a pollutant, so I'm pretty sure that refers to spills, dumping, runoff, fumes etc.  I might have to review those studies.

"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'
MoonShadow
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January 21, 2011, 04:02:23 PM
 #132


But who sets up those "standards" in a democracy? The majority.

That's not how it has played out, historically. The authors of the constitution come up with the standards, saying "you can't ever change this". So if a group of white anglo-saxon males declares that all white anglo-saxon males are born equal, that's not a tyranny of the majority.


That would be because the US Constitution didn't create a democracy.  Not even a democratic republic.  The US was intended to be  federated republic.  The parlimentary republics of Europe are far more democratic in nature.  Senators were not elected by the people until 1913, and our head of state (president) is neither directly elected by the people, nor indirectly through parlimentary procedure.  It's done through an entirely independent body called the 'electoral college'.  I'm pretty sure that no other nation functions in like manner.  As a side note, Abe Lincoln was fourth in the popular vote, and wasn't even considered a contender before the electoral college met.

"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'
ribuck
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January 21, 2011, 04:11:44 PM
 #133

...Senators were not elected by the people until 1913...
In the United Kingdom, members of the Upper House (the "Lords") are still not elected by the people.
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