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A Pox On All Their Houses

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More on the GWOT

I don't think I was communicating well the last time I spoke about this so I'll restate my position a bit better I hope.
I don't like terrorism one bit. Punishing civilians for the actions of their evil masters is a foul and despicable thing to do.
If there really was a Global War On Terrorism, I'd be all for it. But the government of the United States engages in terrorism all the time. They'd really be on the other side of that war. In reality what people mean though is a Global War on Radical Islamic Terrorism.

OK, I don't like Radical Islam either. I'd rather live in a fucked up Keynesian/Fabian "socialism" (as I do) than under an Islamic Sharia State. And to the extent that they promote and support killing civilians to achieve their goals, fuck them. But the GOT-US isn't really doing anything to protect us from RIT either. All that TSA garbage is just fucking with us, and does little or nothing to prevent terrorism. The incentives are all wrong here. The GOT-US gets stronger, the more RIT there is, and vice versa. If they're not directly working together, they've at least figured out the tacit rules of their game, and that game works against us both ways.
If the GOT-US really fought a War on RIT, it would tend to diminish the strength of the state itself. Because what would work is clearly things like:
Allowing pilots to carry guns. Allowing airlines to decide if their passengers can carry weapons. Making airlines tort-responsible for what happens to their passengers and planes. (if this had been the case during 9-11, American and United would probably be out of business by now...)
The airlines themselves as (quasi)private firms would be much better situated to decide how to handle their own security, especially if they knew they were fiscally responsible for it.
This of course, doesn't just apply to airlines, but to everything else. Under a fairly libertarian society, terrorism is hard to pull off. How many attacks have been successfully pulled off in the US? How many in Europe? (hint the second number is much higher)
Of course, a totalitarian country like China can stave off terrorism too. But if your answer to terrorism is to go that far, well, I think we'd be better off taking our chances with a less safe society. Hell, you like that idea so much, move to China. No terrorism there.

One thing that I find curious about "pro-war libertarians" is that they tend to support Bush even on stupid shit that has nothing to do with terrorism. This suggests to me either:
1. They are no longer libertarians. Although this is the popular answer, and technically true, it's not that meaningful.
2. They are disingenuously supporting this stuff because they think that anything that helps the Bush regime will be good for the GWOT. They even pick up Republican "talking points" on a lot of issues. This is really stupid, because if anything, Bush is bringing us closer and closer to a destabilized chaotic terroristic situation. He's been the best friend Radical Islam has had the past few years. (not that Kerry wouldn't have been worse, but it's this "all or nothing" go team go crap that is stupid and not helpful at all)

By being better libertarians, they would be fighting the GWOT the right way and would be objectively helping to reduce terrorism worldwide. But instead they're inadvertently making it worse. You want to talk about fundamentals: It is not in the interest of terrorists to make America more free. Quite the opposite, until we reach a sort of threshold of totalitarianism on the other side. It is not in the interest of the state for terrorism to dwindle away to nothing. Again, not until they reach a threshold point where they feel their rule is secure without it.

So I am the real pro-War libertarian, if the War is a real Global War On Terrorism.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Freedom is the default.

A quote from The Scotsman:
"So pervasive is poor diet that reliance on individual choice as the prime ideology in shaping food supply is no longer an adequate policy or ideology." (adequate for whom?)

Freedom is not an ideology, though an ideology can be built around an abstraction called "freedom".

How close "freedom" and freedom come to each other will depend inversely on how densely extended the ideology is.

To say that the idea that people own themselves is necessarily "ideological" or part of an "ideology" is repulsive and idiotic. At best, it blurs the line between ideology and ... well, everything else. Which makes "ideology" itself an orwellian non-word, with no particular meaning.

Now if you want to make some sort of utilitarian argument why coercion is desirable in a certain situation, well, you won't be the first and some people have come up with some pretty involved ones. But the burden of proof is still on you. Freedom is the default. It's not an ideology, its a basic part of life itself.

We're not here to fulfill some sort of greater purpose or function for anyone. There is no one to provide this function.
Unless there is:
The secret implication, that the powers that be behind statements like this don't want you to understand completely, is that they believe that we (those of us subject to "society's" laws) all belong to them ("society" or to be a bit less tricky, those who are above the law, those who make the law). That they OWN us. We are farm animals, livestock to be handled. We happen to be uppity slaves, but their mission is to get us in line.
For our own good? What does that mean? "Good" can only be revealed by our desires. What they mean is for their own good.
If they set the standards of what is (hahah) "adequate" or "proper" or "desirable", it can only come from their own desires. Not ours.
Or there would be no need to change our behavior, perhaps at most, to educate us that what we're doing won't get us what we want.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

totally geeky, I know, but...

I came up with this a few days ago, and figured what the hell, might as well post it.

You code 16 functions, what do you get?
another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Linus don't you call me, cause I can't go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

When you see me pinging better step aside,
a lot of men didn't, their networks died.
One hack of iron, the other of steel,
if the syn flood don't get you, then the DDOS will.