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Corporate Fascism, Rand, Greens, Oh My!

I just saw this older message as I waded through the 700 messsages
which accumulated during my absence (and since my return, too). IO
know there will be some who see no crypto relevance in this, but
that's just too bad. I've seen endless OS flame war posts, endless
flames about "can't we get back to crypto?" (often from the OS
flamers, ironically), so my foray into anarcho-capitalism is at least
as related to Cypherpunks issues. 

Besides, I want to respond to my old friend Rich.

Richard F. Dutcher wrote:

> Do you assume privacy and protection from arbitrary power are solely 
> libertarian concerns?  If so, educate yourself and check out the ACLU 
> and Amnesty International ...
> I even know lots of cyrpto-anarcho-libbers [or whatever Tim May is 
> calling them nowadays ;-] who are willing to concede, under pressure, 
> that unfettered corporations can be as dangerous to freedom as any 
> government.

It doesn't even take any pressure for me to concede this, although
there are some subtleties about what "unfettered" means, and what
options corporations have to stifle competitors by using State power.

The Randian ideal (well, "ideal" for many of us who cut our teeth on
"Atlas Shrugged" while future commie wimp-simps were studying
"Johnathan Livingston Seagull" :-}) is seldom met. Even in Rand and
Heinlein we find plenty of allegedly free-market corporations who cozy
up to the State, buy elections, impose bureaucratic laws they
know will stifle new competitors, etc. We saw them in Rand, with the
"Anti Dog-eat-Dog Law," and the various slacker companies, and we
certainly see it in the real world. Corporations that hire the police
to break strikes by breaking heads (and I mean strikers who are merely
not working, or who are walking a line); there's strike violence on
both sides, of course. Or corporations who pay bribes to bypass laws
(even "reasonable" laws that any libertarian would support, such as
law involving the dumping of toxic waste into streams). Or
corporations that use the legal and patent system to suppress
upstarts. (I could name a company I happen to know quite well, which
basically stole its starting seed products from the company it sprung
from, then later used the legal system and government laws to cleverly
stop some others from doing the same thing.)

As Mussollini so cogently put it, "corporatism is fascism." A State
that blesses Fiat and suppresses competitors, or that blesses Lockheed
through bailouts and exemptions from laws, is basically fascist.
(Fascist is a term with a socioeconomic meaning, not merely an epithet
or adjective.)

(As many of you may imagine, much of the hype about the Information
Superduperhighway--more suitably called the Infobahn--is explicity
totatalitarian, with large corporations slavering to get a piece of
the action! I have no problems with Cyberdyne Systems, for example,
installing new T2 links to where customers want more bandwidth. But
the I-way is a large boondoggle, with sociocrats and "cybercrats"
(apparently a new term from Mark Stahlman, which I like) trying to
plan the optimal society and with corporation pleding to "make the
packets run on time." Ughh!)

Make no mistake about it, strong crypto, what I call crypto anarchy,
will have as great an effect on corporate sizes, structures, and
behaviors as it will have on governments. Maybe more of an effect.

I'm glad to see Rich Dutcher on our list, as we need more folks of
that persuasion. (I can happily coexist with thoughtful leftists who
have some appreciation of the issues--Dave Mandl also comes to mind.
The ones I can't abide are the ignoramuses who blithely speak of
redistributing income and have grade school understandings of markets
and economics. They have no idea of the corporate fascism that comes
from state-run economies. But then the same applies to libertarians
with a lack of understanding.)

> So encrypt away, guys, and I'll keep telling *my* compatriots that no, 
> "the modem in Washington" didn't rig all the vote-counting computers 
> in the last election.  I'm relying on you-all to keep it that way, 
> while others try to make/keep voting meaningful.  It's called 
> division of labor ...

> Rich Dutcher, San Francisco Greens

> "That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves."
>                           Kim Stanley Robinson, "Green Mars"

That's a good one! I loved "The Gold Coast" by him, so maybe I'll have
to read this one (though I've skipped the recent crop of "Mars" books).

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
                       | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
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