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Re: SAY WHAT? [Assassination NOISE]

At 12:30 AM 9/25/96 -0700, Bill Stewart wrote:
>Bell, like X, is proposing mechanism without built-in policy, 
>as well as suggesting some potential policy implementations.  If you use 
>the mechanism to sponsor assassination of people who have initiated force
>against you, you're only using retaliatory force, not initiating it.

Funny that Simon didn't see that...

>On the other hand, the mechanism also can be used against people who
>haven't initiated force against the sponsor - even against politicians
>who have refused to get the country into misguided but popular wars
>or judges who have refused to convict innocent but wrong-colored defendants.

That's a too-superficial interpretation.  If AP were operating, it would be 
unnecessary to "get the country into misguided but popular wars" because 
anybody who wanted to war with some external enemy need merely kill him via 
AP, by individual donation.  There would be no legislature to make the war 
decision, and no need for any such decision.  War as we have known it (a 
collective decision that is binding on all citizens, whether or not they 
approve) would simply not exist.   There would be no mechanism to force 
other people into a war on your side, other than rhetorical arguments.   
Attempting to do so by force would merely make more enemies.  

As for "judges who have refused to convict innocent but wrong-colored 
defendants"?  I think that's an unfair and misleading "problem."  Much of 
the problem of bias and discrimination in this country is caused by the fact 
that these factors have been institutionalized BY GOVERNMENT.  Trace it back 
just a little, and you'll discover that the "innocent but wrong-colored 
defendants" were arrested and charged BY GOVERNMENT in a display of bias.  
At best, that courageous judge is merely ceasing, in one particular incident 
and too late, an episode of bias which shouldn't even have been started in 
the first place.  Is this "good"?  Not really. It's just "not quite as bad." 
  There's still the underlying problem which will repeat ad infinitum.  Why 
depend on a judge to do this?  Why not fix the bias before the defendant 
gets to court?

I look at it this way:  Why shouldn't the black community (and any outraged 
whites, as well...) have been able to purchase the deaths of all of the LAPD 
officers who beat Rodney King, INCLUDING the ones who stood around and 
watched it happen?  I claim that in a society where they could do this, such 
a beating simply would never have happened, because no cop would have dared 
to take the risk that a camera would be nearby.  In other words, the problem 
would have been solved before it started. 

The quickest response to this is that "pretty soon, you won't have any more 
cops."  But no, that's not true.  It _is_ true that the thugs will no longer 
want to become/stay as cops, so that'll be a loss for the good.  More 
likely, cops will simply stop doing those things that will end up offending 
a substantial fraction of the population, like beating a carload illegal 
immigrants that they have stopped after a car chase.   

>Like democracy, it's a really terrible system, and like democracy,
>there are some alternatives that aren't worse :-)  Maybe even democracy.
>It's at least as appalling an idea as government.
>If it does catch on, and I suspect that the technology will certainly
>make it possible, I hope that most of the public will have enough sense 
>and decency not to pay for murdering people who don't deserve it,
>so assassins will find more of a market for killing people who do,
>and that the lower-paid assassins who kill undeserving people will
>be less competent and get caught like most stupid bank robbers do.
>But there are enough Drug-War-Loving Americans that I doubt it.

The de-facto drug war won't end instantly after the adoption of AP, but it 
will be pretty quick.  Instead of today, when every citizen is forced 
through taxation to support the Drug War, this will probably drop to 25% 
voluntary contributions or less post AP.  It's pretty hard to get enthused 
about a victimless crime, and likewise it's hard to enforce such rules, so 
people's donations won't match the pre-AP funding.  

Classic drug-warriors won't dare spread any of their propaganda; people's 
memories will still be fresh on the pre-AP abuses, so the Bennetts and the 
Rangels will either be silent or dead, or effusive with apology for their 
prior behavior.

Further, the dramatic drop in the prices of currently-illegal drugs will 
translate into a similarly large drop in crimes to pay for those drugs, an 
improvement that everybody will notice.  

>And attila replied
>>        all very true.  but I will defend Jim Bell's rights to propose
>>    them, even if Bell is more than a few cards short of a full deck.
>Sure, he's got the right to, and if I run a remailer again he's welcome
>to use it to discuss AP (though not to propose assassinations....)
>Doesn't mean I want to encourage this sort of thing, though.
>Remailers can damn well afford to be choosy, and I'll bet
>5 zorkmids that the first person to use my remailer for assassination
>doesn't last a month. (Oh, wait...)

"Your bet has been duly recorded, sir."  <beep!>

Jim Bell
[email protected]