What is a cypherpunk?

R.A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Tue Feb 15 15:42:31 PST 2005

At 9:40 PM +0000 2/15/05, Justin wrote:
>I think it's fair to say that governments initially formed to protect
>property rights (although we have no historical record of such a
>government because it must have been before recorded history began).

BZZZT. Wrong answer. Governments first steal property, then control it.
Property is created when someone applies thought to matter and gets
something new. It is theirs until they exchange it for something that
someone else has, or discard it. But property is created by *individuals*,
not some collective fraud and extortion racket called a "government".

Governments are "founded" when someone creates a monopoly on force.
Actually, people use force against each other, and, in agrarian societies
at least, the natural tend in force 'markets' is towards monopoly.

We tend to get bigger governments (like political economist Mancur Olsen
says, "bandits who don't move") when people become sedentary and there's
more property to steal, and that hunter-gatherers are more anarchistic,
egalitarian, than "civilized" people. But that's more a function of the
resources a given group controls. The San bushmen, for instance, are much
more egalitarian than the Mongols, for instance, because the San have fewer
material goods to control than the Mongols did, especially after the
Mongols perfected warfare enough to control cities -- which, I suppose,
proves my point.

Property is like rights. We create it inherently, because we're human, it
is not bestowed upon us by someone else. Particularly if that property is
stolen from someone else at tax-time.


R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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