[Dgcchat] Totalitarian Force Monopoly and Geodesic Capital (was Re: [Clips] The Economics of the Rise of Ahmadinejad)

R.A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Sun Feb 25 10:29:30 PST 2007


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  Delivered-To: rah at shipwright.com
  Delivered-To: clips at philodox.com
  Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 13:28:27 -0500
  To: "Philodox Clips List" <clips at philodox.com>
  From: "R.A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
  Subject: [Dgcchat] Totalitarian Force Monopoly and Geodesic Capital (was
  	Re:  [Clips] The Economics of the Rise of Ahmadinejad)
  Reply-To: clips-chat at philodox.com
  Sender: clips-bounces at philodox.com


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  Delivered-To: rah at shipwright.com
  Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 12:38:31 -0500
  To: Dgcchat at dgcchat.com
  From: "R.A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
  Subject: [Dgcchat] Totalitarian Force Monopoly and Geodesic Capital (was Re:
  [Clips] The Economics of the Rise of Ahmadinejad)
  Sender: dgcchat-bounces at dgcchat.com

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  At 9:50 AM +0000 2/25/07, Darren Rhodes wrote:
  >The note below assumes that Republicans and Democrats are not
  >different wings of the same party; similarly for Conservatives and Neu
  >Arbeit in the UK.  In other words the West is ruled by one party
  >states.
  >
  >As has been pointed out many times before on this list fiat currency
  >is the enemy.

  Apparently, the source of the article didn't completely confound your
  abilities to reason clearly about its content.

  ;-)

  The point of the article, to me, was that more access to capital increases
  freedom. That single party states (for some definitions of "party" :-)),
  decrease the availability of capital, and that that the availability of
  capital decreases exponentially with the totality of control, eventually
  resulting in famine, suffering, and war.

  By the way, I think we're in reasonable agreement, to the extent that I
  think this applies to western countries, as well, since we're, currently,
  in the process of increasing government control on more and more things in
  general -- but, in particular, for this list, and in light of very recent
  events, the very flow of capital itself.


  In the interests of lively discussion, however, :-), I'll chum the water
  for the flame-sharks out there by noting Jeanne Kirkpatrick's distinction
  between authoritarians, like Augusto Pinochet, and Lee Kwan Yew, who didn't
  brook much political dissent but allowed freedom in most other spheres,
  particularly economic ones, and totalitarians, like Hitler, Mao, Stalin,
  and Pol Pot, (or Fidel Castro, the Kim dynasty, and, now, apparently, Hugo
  Chavez) who insist on literally controlling the totality of their citizen's
  behavior, with varying degrees of "success" in doing so.

  Note that currently, government of all stripes, using information
  technology, both financial and otherwise, is trending toward totality of
  control, because, like the lewd joke about dogs, they can.


  Authoritarians, paradoxically, make money and can be pretty safe for
  capital. Totalitarians, are, of course, unsafe for just about everyone,
  sooner or later. In the same way that psychiatric disease is increasingly
  diagnosed by which psychopharmacological substance changes which undesired
  behavior, the article seems, to me, to point to capital and access to same
  as the definition of the distinction between the two.


  Which leads me to some interesting thoughts about force monopoly in
  general. To the extent that armies are designed to kill people and break
  things, states, too, are *exactly* about force monopoly and nothing else,
  and literal mayhem results when they are used for any other purpose.

  To look at both extremes of the continuum, authoritarians are about
  maintaining their force monopoly, political power, pretty much to the
  exclusion of anything else. Totalitarians, on the other hand, are about
  using their force monopoly and political power to control everything around
  them. In so doing, they not only fail in their objectives, they *destroy*
  everything around them.

  That leaves vote-market controlled force, because I think that voting,
  democratic (small-d) and republican (small-r), systems work better than
  totalitarians or authoritarians in allocating the use of monopolistic
  force, and have been ultimately desirable as places, in the modern world,
  to build, and conduct markets for, capital. The United States, pretty much
  since the original Anglo-American colonization until the advent of
  automated central records processing with Hollerith cards in the early 20th
  century, was a splendid example of democratic and quasi-democratic, even
  anarcho-capitalist, force control. Capital flowed in, prospered, and
  eventually the US became the largest capital market on the planet.

  Even the Civil War was, mechanistically, at least, proof that industrialism
  and capital and obviated the need for slavery itself, a peculiar
  totalitarian "institution" with a history at least as old as the wild-grain
  sedentiarianism that preceded agriculture in the Levant some 17-12,000
  years ago.

  Automated records processing, coupled with the first light-speed
  telecommunications, eventually enabled an increase of the span of control,
  and it's no surprise that it was first used in the "enhanced" censuses of
  the time, and, ultimately, on the constitutionally-amended re-introduction
  of the income tax itself, both of which are impossible without that
  technology.

  Modern book-entry transactions are, of course, another result of this,
  producing an increasing totality of control, and institutional gigantism,
  until well into the 20th century, before, eventually, Moore's Law and
  microprocessors started to disassemble that process and create actual
  dis-economies of scale. I cite the collapse of the Soviet Union, and, the
  apparent conversion of China from totalitarian to authoritarian control as
  reasonable examples of this process.


  And thus, I think, as always :-), that reality, literal, physical, reality,
  is not optional. Technology, not politics, software, not legislation, is
  the only solution to this problem of the universally increasing government
  trend towards totality of control. A phenomenon that, to me, at least, is
  more a symptom of the end of such behavior, than it is of the beginning.
  The sale of totalitarian indulgences as a precursor to a possible geodesic
  reformation, if you will. To me, the thin edge of the wedge is enhancing
  the free flow of capital exclusive of the still-increasingly totalitarian,
  but nonetheless inertial, trends of the modern nation-state.

  Financial cryptography as the printing press of geodesic capitalism.
  Cranking out heretical "tracts" of capital as quickly as modern financiers
  can dream them up and "publish" them in free markets.


  I don't say that the solution is easy to execute, but we do have to tools
  to reverse this trend, to eventually free finance from government control,
  to convert "economics" -- which, in the same way that "theology" is
  actually philosophy (natural and otherwise :-)) as applied to religion, is
  essentially finance as applied to nation-states -- to the same level of
  intellectual exercise that religion now holds in the modern mind. Something
  one does, in civilized countries anyway :-), in the quiet solitude of one's
  own mind, exclusive of the wielding of violent force.

  Force which, ultimately enabled by this new, geodesic capital, will become
  less monopolistic over time until auction markets will prevail over
  monopolistic ones, everywhere, and for *all* markets.

  Perhaps then, like it did for slavery, technology will finally liberate us
  from the "peculiar institution" of force monopoly.

  Cheers,
  RAH

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  R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
  The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
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  "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
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  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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-- 
-----------------
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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