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Re: politics aren't all or nothing
On Fri, 19 Sep 1997, Mark Hedges wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Sep 1997, Tim May wrote:
> >like White Aryan Resistance and Hamas and so on can thrive and link up
> I see, well, whatever. Kinda makes me think maybe I'm wrong and should
> vote for cryptofascists. However, I won't, because I don't want the
> government looking over my shoulder. I think there are plenty of ways for
> people whose agenda is a good, peaceful world to organize against groups
> like WAR and CIA and Hamas and the rest, without having to legislate. I
> don't understand how you can judge which violent, fascist, oppressive
> group is the correct one to support. Did you know there are other groups
> who are not violent, fascist, or oppressive? Did you know that
> occasionally, violent, oppressive fascists have changed their minds?
> I don't think the national security folk have "a good, peaceful world" in
> mind for anyone. They have in mind a world in which a small, exclusive
> group of people can use, take from and manipulate the masses. All of these
> groups do.
> The history of violent revolution, even in the name of the people, is
> filled with the leaders of the revolution assuming the same damn
> imbalanced positions of power which were there before. They might call it
> a President instead of a King, or maybe Prime Minister or Premier. The
> They all seem to fit into the same category --- Hamas, Infada, the secular
> Algerian "Ninjas", the Federal urban assault task forces, DEA thugs who
> raid the homes of innocent people, etc. They're all fighting, and it
> seems like people pick up any side of an issue just so they can fight.
Let me agree and go further.
I believe in liberty (which encompasses the issues around cryptography)
because I believe in human dignity. But that also forces me to believe in
the right to life - Jefferson listed it before liberty in the declaration,
and if you don't have any other reason to agree, just note that dead
people don't have any use for liberty. People are deprived of property
before liberty, and liberty before life in any system that I would
consider just. But then I think about what is liberty and justice and
good and evil instead of demonizing whoever is doing something I don't
happen to like at the moment.
I don't defend any of those evils that would be made easier by the
presence of crypto, nor those who would destroy liberty to save it, on
either side of the debate. You don't destroy something you consider
precious. I condemn anyone who takes innocent life - be it the FBI at
Waco or McVeigh at OKC. It is the act that is evil, and the intent or
negligence of the actor that makes it so, not which political side the
actor is on.
If crypto is banned in the US, there will still be some country where it
is legal - you might not like the economy or the climate, but you would
still have crypto and various other liberties. The generations preceeding
our founders moved here because they didn't have liberty in their
homeland. The life was harder, but they considered some specific freedoms
more important than the attraction of business in cities.
Even our Declaration of Independence doesn't call for the assasination of
anyone in Parliment or King George (and there were terrorist plots in
english history to do exactly this), but merely separation - in one sense
merely restoring the separation which was the reason their ancestors came
to the new world.
There was another revolution shortly after ours, in France. But was
France better after the revolution during the reign of terror or during
the reign of Louis?
A Savoyard who lived through the French Revolution, Joseph de Maistre,
"And you, mad philosophes . . . apostles of tolerance and humanity; you
. . . who extol the progress of intelligence and reason: Leave your tombs.
Walk among the many corpses . . . Your writings are in the pockets of the
tyrants . . . In the name of virtue the most horrible thievery is
committed; in the name of humanity two million men perish; in the name of
liberty a thousand Bastilles are built . . . They left you only a moment,
Diderot, to sign the order for mass drownings."
I have been disturbed about the increasing tone of violence of the various
posts. Didn't like what happened at Waco? Then lets be the very
terrorists of the four cypher horsemen and kill even more children. Don't
like voluntary ratings? Then suggest posting kiddie porn and labeling it
as G rated.
Maybe China will nuke most of California - it may be an accident at their
new port. Or one of the cults will release a biological agent. Or even a
severe earthquake. Should I shed a tear then?
Even the French philosophers taught tolerance and humanity and would have
abhored the results. Since even the intent is now bloodlust, first for
Reno and Freeh, then for everyone in the vacinity of Washington DC, then
for anyone who ever worked for the Feds... then for the liberals who
supported civil but not economic rights, and then the conservatives who
supported economic but not civil rights. Don't work on better ciphers,
see if you can design a faster guillotine.
And where does it stop? When all the cities are burning? When the people
who don't understand technology or how you have their liberty in mind get
guns and kill anyone they see? When everything breaks down and you are
starving or dying of a disease you need technology to treat? When all the
plants making the chips and fiber used for the internet are destroyed?
How many incinerated corpses will you need at your hands and those of your
diciples before you are satisfied that liberty is finally restored? And
then will you worry about restoring other fundamental rights such as life?
And if you care nothing for life, why should you expect anyone to respect
Starting a revolution might not be easy, but controlling it is harder and
ending it can be impossible. And our economy and technology depends on
integration and cooperation to a much higher degree than at any other
time. I may be able to be an individual on the internet, but I cannot
build a computer starting with sand, copper and steel.
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