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Re: [WAS xs4all.nl] Terrorists

At 02:29 PM 9/9/96 -0400, Duncan Frissell wrote:
>At 01:49 AM 9/9/96 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:
>>And the net effect of crypto anarchy is to destabilize and marginalize
>>central governments, which is a net positive effect. If some eggs get
>>broken in the process, the biological imperative will generate more eggs.
>>No big deal.
>Particularly since governments murdered 160 million in the last 100 years
>while we civilians have only managed to murder a paltry 20 million or fewer.
>A savings of 160 million deaths leaves a lot of room for a non-harmful
>increase in private murder.  We could increase the private murder rate by 8
>to 10 times and still break even. 

I think the analysis is even more attractive than these numbers would imply. 
  Probably the victims of government were, on average, no more "worthy of 
death" than that of the average citizen.  They were the soldiers killed in 
wars (many or most of whom were drafted), civilians bombed, the victims of 
oppression and holocaust, etc.  More or less ordinary people, a 
cross-section of society.

While it's harder to generalize about victims of private killing, probably a 
far higher probability were either the bad guys killed off by other bad 
guys, or the bad guys killed legitimately by the good guys.  Even when they 
were "good guys killed by bad guys," in many cases it's due to fallout from 
drug laws, or people prevented from carrying guns for their own protection.  

>Note too that most terrorism is aimed at governments (even if practiced on
>civilians).  In the absence of government, terrorist incentives may be 

Normally efforts to reduce terrorism would be welcomed by the government.  
Wouldn't it be interesting to see their reaction to an organization which 
announces that there are too many innocent citizens who are becoming victims 
of terrorism, and publicly calls on these terrorists to direct their attacks 
to non-private individuals, possibly researching the matter and giving 

I think the public would understand, after a little education, that the 
average terrorist doesn't really have any reason to want to kill a private 
citizen if a better alternative were presented.  I don't suppose you'd ever 
see a conventional polling organization ask the public questions like, 
"would you prefer to see 200+ randomly-selected citizens die in an airplane 
bombing, or the deaths of 50 government employees most responsible for the 
Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents."


Jim Bell
[email protected]