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A Pox On All Their Houses

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A couple of things my friends told me

My friend George once told me "The cops aren't the real cops. They're just the clean up crew. The real cops are all around you, watching you all the time." And he swung his hand around and pointed out all the people around us as we were walking through a shopping mall.
My friend Aggie recently told me "There is no government, just a bunch of guys in blue uniforms with guns who will get angry if you don't pretend there is."

There are two interlocking lies that the government relies on to remain in power. The first is the lie of "legitimacy", the lie that there are some people who have the authority to do things that everyone else can't do. This lie is referenced in the second quote. This lie runs fairly deep in the heads of the populace and it's the main one that libertarians often go after.
The second lie is that of "necessity". This lie is why we keep coming back to economic arguments, even though it's kind of a trap. Because in the minds of most people, necessity is really the only reason they maintain the lie of legitimacy in their heads, why they enforce the fake laws made by this imaginary body. Their fear of what will happen if there's no government leads them to lie to themselves and everyone else and keep pretending that the government exists as such. (People do this about other things all the time, so this isn't an unknown phenomenon here.)
If these two lies are taken away, the people who want to pretend that they are the government are merely seen as a super-mafia. And at that point the market order will displace them. As it would with all other organized crime, if it weren't for the existence of the "government" and its fake laws.

Would you rather listen to your customers or some idiots in a marble building hundreds or thousands of miles away?

I think I realized how to explain what's wrong with most so-called "pro-capitalist" thinkers. They think they've figured out how the market works, and then they, performing the same act of hubris that "anti-capitalist" thinkers do, wish to engineer this mechanism themselves.
They want to second-guess the collective consciousness. But humanity as a whole, in its market order, even if most of the individuals in it were as stupid as you think they are, is way, way smarter than you (or any committee) could ever be. Because it has calculated (in the meta-mathematical sense) the revealed preferences of everyone.

You can't "fake" a cellular automaton convincingly. The closest way to do so is with a radial mirroring of a fractal outgrowth.

But that way, you only get something that looks like a cartoon of a market. (i.e. 18th Century England, the Gilded Age, etc...)
It's a very well analyzed mercantilism at best, but that quickly becomes easily critiqued by the socialist left. Because many among them will clearly see that you did not deliver what you claim to.

If you want to overcome the objections of the socialists, the only alternative that means anything is a real spontaneous order. Anarchy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How intelligent people fall for political tricks

the pattern usually goes like this:
1. observation of a problem
2. one faction offers a context-free solution, usually involving totalitarian measures applied directly against the problem.
3. another faction (often those who have something to lose directly from the context-free solution) argues that the problem doesn't exist, contrary to all observation, and argues against the solution on the grounds of freedom
(thus confusing freedom with ignorance)
4. the original faction now appears to clearly be "in the right" on the issue
(thus making liberty look "in the wrong")
5. the second faction says "even if ___ exists, it's not a problem"
(thus making liberty look immoral or inconsiderate)
6. now the first faction takes the moral high ground
7. context-free, most likely totalitarian solution is imposed, creating all new problems, as engineered by those behind both factions.

This is called "the bishop's con" when performed by "private" con-men.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mr. Shaffer does it again.

Only when our ego-identities become wrapped up with some institutional abstraction – such as the state – can we be persuaded to invest our lives and the lives of our children in the collective madness of state action. We do not have such attitudes toward organizations with which we have more transitory relationships. If we find an accounting error in our bank statement, we would not find satisfaction in the proposition “the First National Bank, right or wrong.” Neither would we be inclined to wear a T-shirt that read “Disneyland: love it or leave it.”

Read the whole thing. He nails it pretty well, IMO.