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NYT Fears Cypherpunks
The article suggested that unless people turn to the State for protection
from "anarchy" the State will fade.
Here is my argument (recycled from a few years ago) as to why State power is
I expect that State authority will continue to weaken over the next few
years for the following reasons:
1) The ruled outnumber the rulers.
2) The ruled outmass the rulers.
3) Traditionally, the rulers used a number of techniques to maintain
a) Ideology of acquiescence and consent - The will of God,
tradition, the will of the people, 'you can't fight City
Hall,' Death and Taxes, The Government is All of Us, etc.
b) The application of superior mobility and organization -
we are everywhere, omniscience, omnipresence, etc.
c) Point force. A mass of armed men in the field. 'Reduce
the city. Leave no stone standing upon stone and sow
the ground with salt.'
4) The effectiveness of the above require an ignorant, docile,
immobile, and uncritical population:
a) Respect for authority is on a rapid downward trend.
Disobedience is widespread. One-third to one-half of
the housing units in Nassau and Suffolk counties are
illegal "in-law" apartments. Seventy-five percent of
those hiring domestic workers in the US do not comply
with tax and employment laws. Hundreds of thousands of
assault rifle owners in New Jersey and California have
not turned in their guns. I see no examples of any
increase in respect for state authority.
b) The mobility and organization of bureaucratic
organizations is now less than the average private
organization. Nation states are still geographically
bound, we are not. The individual or small group has
always had better organization than the State - he/it
has just had less power.
c) Point force only works against concentrated opponents.
It is useless against mass movements of goods nd people
like the market unless a totalitarian clampdown is
used. If movement continues, State power is lost.
5. Freedom is not only an ideology, it is also what you get when
people make relatively unconstrained choices. Even the most
broken slave makes choices. When a modern, technologically
advanced, mobile people makes choices, they can overwhelm control
mechanisms. All they have to do is *choose*. They need not be
ideologically committed libertarians.
6. Is there immigration control if millions of immigrants are on
the march (here *and* in Europe)? Is there gun control if the
number of guns possessed by the population (here *and* in Europe)
continues to increase. If the amount of the world's wealth that
is legally or illegally outside of the tax system increases, is
7. Predictions. Per capita gun ownership will continue to increase
in all of the OECD countries as it has for years. Legal and
illegal immigrants as a percentage of total population will
continue to grow. The percentage of the Gross World Product
that does not flow through the coffers of the world's States
will continue to grow as it has for the last ten years.
8. Unless the above trend lines reverse and the "coercive sector"
regains some moral authority freedom of choice will continue to
grow. For example, if gun ownership per capita continues to
grow, at some point everyone who wants a gun will have one. No
9. Controlling people is difficult. It has all of the normal
problems of hydrology with the added complication that in this
case the "water" is intelligent. Controlling smart, rich, well-
equipped people is a doomed occupation. Unless they can figure
some way to chain us back in the fields, they're doomed.
"Though he may be poor
He will never be a slave"