comprehending the heart's nationalism

Steve Kinney admin at
Mon Jul 11 21:21:44 PDT 2016

Hash: SHA1

On 07/10/2016 08:50 PM, jim bell wrote:
> *From:* Steve Kinney <admin at>
>>> Also, anarchy seems to work best when everyone is more-or-less 
>>> equally powerful. Everyone has the same weapons, for example.
>>> In science fiction, anarchist societies typically depend on
>>> some new technology that eliminates states' power monopoly.
>>> Maybe it'll be the Singularity.
>> The pathway to the solution was described in 1995-95, by me: 
>> "Assassination Politics".
>> "A couple of years ago, Forbes reported that 400 billionaires
>> owned 1/2 the capital assets in the U.S."

> First, I should point out that to the extent that this may seem to
> be a problem, part of the problem is that behind the scenes,
> governments actually may be _promoting_ income inequality, rather
> than reducing it.

My own view is that the sole function of the State it to convert money
into power, then back into money.  Partial reinvestment of State
partons' capital gains produces an accelerating feedback cycle,
concentrating more money (=power) into fewer hands over time.  I don't
anticipate this changing as corporations become more sovereign and
States less so.

> I've seen an article that indicates that considered over the entire
> world economy, income inequality may have peaked in the 1980's, and
> has been lowering since then.  To a great degree, that is because
> of world trade, and the fact that  we (America) are getting
> manufactured goods from foreign countries, to an extent far
> different than in the, say, 1960's.   This strongly contrasts with
> the kind of people (leftists) who selectively point to income
> inequality within a single nation, saying it is increasing.

I think that's a matter of perspective.  Some of "poorest of the poor"
have seen rising incomes, while the "middle class" in many
industrialized jurisdictions has been taking a beating.  But the
billionaires, "statistically insignificant" in terms of head count,
continue to dominate political activity due to the massive extent of
income and assets inequality that appears at the very top of the scale.

A couple of graphs based on U.S. statistics:  (a real classic)

- - or -  (less extreme-looking aggregate numbers)

>> "In the face of this, I think AP may have a problem with scale:
>> How many small investors does it take to redirect AP profiteers
>> away from targets chosen by factions among the ruling class,
>> beginning with anyone suspected of operating the AP
>> infrastructure and/or promoting it effectively to a wide audience
>> of participants?"

> It's hard to target people when you don't know who they are.  In
> today's political world, people try to make changes by being loud
> and complaining. Potentially, this makes them targets while AP is
> turning on.  But I believe that in a smoothly-functioning
> 'post-AP-transition' world, people simply don't need to complain.

This raises the issue of implementation.  In the case at hand,
counter-anonymity is a question of money:  How much money do you have,
how badly do you want to prevent anonymous transactions?  Remailers,
onion and garlic routing, etc. are at present only somewhat resistant
to an adversary who can observe much of the network, most of the time.
 I envision a briefing where a select group of U.S. billionaires and
telco CEOs learn about AP and are told, "We must spend x trillion
dollars over the next decade to keep this from happening."  Rinse and
repeat in other national and corporate jurisdictions.  Ouch.

> Or, they will be able to do so anonymously.  Would a very rich
> person have sort of special advantage in an AP world?  Well, he'd
> have a lot of money, but that would be just about the only
> advantage he has.

I believe that this advantage should be sufficient, given prevailing
conditions as illustrated by the L-Curve graph mentioned above, and
the imperfect nature of anonymity technologies available or envisioned
today.  The absurd spike at the top of the income scale gives a
handful of individuals enormously disproportionate power, and they aim
to keep it.

> AP would effectively shut down governments, not merely shutting
> down the need for government, but also making it virtually
> impossible to run a large, or oppressive (or both) government.
> This means that governments won't be able to funnel money to those
> people who (in today's world) eventually become billionaires.

I think that should be preceded with, "If successful."  Funding a
global, directly democratic freelance mercenary force targeting
"abusers of" power would not produce a post-AP world overnight.

Exhausting the defensive and counter-offensive resources of today's
ruling class would take time.  Assuring that assets pass intact from
deceased owners to their heirs and assignees is already a core
function of the State, so killing individual billionaires might
introduce turbulence but would not remove the problem of "minority
rule by violent means."  I think it would be likely to lead to wide
scale ultra-violent responses.

>> If an AP lottery is not "fair and honest" by allowing anyone to
>> be targeted regardless of occupation or etc., how long until ones
>> that do allow any human to be bet on appear, with inflated
>> bounties on perceived enemies of the ruling class?"

> Long ago, I realized that a fully-functioning, 'complete' AP system
> would eventually have to somehow replace both the existing national
> defense system, as well as the existing 'criminal justice' system.
> "Did somebody actually aggress on somebody else?" But initially, to
> get there, I think it would be sufficient to have an
> AP-organization with a much- simpler standard:  "Does the person
> named as the aggressor work for government at some level?".    He's
> already aggressed.  No more proof is necessary.

> Over time, I believe that the "ethical" organizations would have
> advantages, so they could do the equivalent of offering lower
> prices: The amount of their awards could be lower.  The "unethical"
> organizations would  "do" anybody, but it would cost much more.

I have my doubts.  The cost of overcoming the defences of a President
would be astronomically higher than the costs and risks of overcoming
the defences of, for instance, an independent journalist.  This would
mandate a much higher bounty on the former.  Conversely, public demand
for removing an unpopular President would also be proportionally
higher - a mitigating factor.  Conversely x2, that President's backers
might consider certain journalists worth paying over-market prices to
remove, as her efforts might eventually aim the AP process at them

> They would take higher profits, meaning that people who had a  If,
> hypothetically, I was running such an AP system, I knew that I
> couldn't stop anyone else from also running a different AP system,
> different rules.  I imagined that this wouldn't (couldn't) be a
> monopoly, it would amount to a competition.  Some organizations
> (I'll label them "unethical")  would accept bets on anyone.
> Others, such as my own, would initially just have the initial "does
> he work for government" standard.  genuine beef with someone else
> would tend to employ "ethical" systems.  "Business" would tend to
> shift.  Over time, the market will shift from "unethical" to
> "ethical".

It seems to me that replacing an unjust and inequitable system of
governance enforced by the threat of murder, with a more just and fair
system of governance enforced by murder would not produce results that
most would consider ethical.  Not to say that, if successfully
implemented as envisioned, it would necessarily be worse than what we
have today.

> Eventually, what amounted to "court systems" would be included, to
> decide whether a complaint was valid.  These "court systems" would,
> of course, be "voluntary", in the sense nobody would be required to
> appear, but the consequence of failure to appear would be that
> 'bare AP' would operate:  If enough donations appeared to motivate
> somebody, that would happen.

A "Court" is a forum governed by a sovereign authority, where
petitions and arguments are heard and decisions on the application of
sovereign authority are made.  A Court whose sole function is to
authorize murder could dispense revenge, but never justice:  Every
sovereign in every war throughout history has presented its casus
belli as the defense of human life, and the fact that war is tolerated
by enough people to make it possible demonstrates that application of
a "non-aggression principle" in conjunction with decisions to hire and
direct murderers can not be entrusted to either sovereigns or a
peasant rabble.

>> Mind you, AP is a frightfully clever idea.

> At the time I started writing the first part of AP in
> January-February 1995, I was  entirely unaware  of the existence of
> the CP list, or documents such as Cyphernomicon: I had no direct
> access to the Internet, and the WWW.  In section 16.4.2 of
> Cyphernomicon  is the paragraph:
> The State will of course try to slow or halt the spread of this
> technology, citing national security concerns, use of the
> technology by drug dealers and tax evaders, and fears of societal
> disintegration. Many of these concerns will be valid; crypto
> anarchy will allow national secrets to be trade freely and will
> allow illicit and stolen materials to be traded. An anonymous
> computerized market will even make possible abhorrent markets for
> assassinations and extortion."
> Despite my forming the idea essentially independently, even then I
> was not under any impression that I  was somehow inventing the
> concept of an  "assassination market",  which I assumed at the time
> to be obvious.

Ever since the appearance of hierarchical societies with capital
assets to defend, assassination markets of a sort, e.g. military and
police activities, have been the bedrock of political and economic
systems.  The anonymity element has traditionally been partial and
figurative - decisions to commit State sanctioned murder are "nothing
personal" in the sense that they are supported by consensus across
committees and syndicates, automated to the fullest extent possible
(law, policy, due process), and paid for by small payments from large
numbers of peasants who have been persuaded to tolerate murder for
hire "for the greater good."  Those who do the actual killing are
absolved of liability because they are "faceless cogs in the machne"
only following orders.  The AP model radically streamlines and
democratizes, but does not remove, today's process of controlling
people via murder "for the greater good of the greater number."

If the practical barriers to its implementation could be overcome, AP
might be an improvement over present methods.  Revenge is not justice,
but unlike justice it can at least be played as a formal game.  AP
markets would eventually provide great entertainment, in the form of
assassin vs. assassin contests triggered by contentious "hits."
Crowdfunding contract killers to identify and kill other contract
killers could evolve into a full replacement for today's professional
athletic amusements.

> Rather, I believed that what would usually be thought of such a
> market would be a system where "Anonymous Person A could hire
> Anonymous Person B to kill Person C."  Certainly  that was a
> sufficiently fascinating idea in the early 1990's to be worth
> discussing, but it occurred to me that if that was the only use
> made of it, few people want specific other people dead enough to
> completely finance it themselves.  Far more interesting, the thing
> I really brought to the table, would be the idea where tens,
> hundreds, thousands, or even millions of anonymous persons pool
> their donations, and offer to any number of potential assassins,
> such that the winning assassin gets his reward also anonymously.
> THAT, I thought and still think, was a new  concept.  That is not
> merely quantitatively different than 'your father's assassination
> market', but  in fact qualitatively different:  Combine enough
> donations, no matter how tiny the individual ones are, and that
> will be plenty to buy death.  Further, offer those donations to an
> unlimited number of people, and the target will have no idea from
> where the killing blow will strike.  Each potential assassin knows
> he competing with all the rest.

> And once I thought of that idea, I've always believed that it was
> absolutely inevitable.  SOMEBODY was going to think of this,
> eventually.  It just happened to be me.

The seeds were everywhere.  Lots of twistid visionaries saw
assassination markets coming, though none worked out the details to
make it (nearly) practicable - that was waiting on applicable

- From Subvert Comix #3, by Spain Rodriguez, 1976:

But again, the devil is in the details:  Thus far it looks to me like
the twin problems of anonymity that is not reliably anonymous, and the
vast scale of financial resources presently controlled by the segments
of the population who are AP's likeliest targets, are outstanding
problems complicating AP's implementation.

Back in 1984 I was interviewed by a non-human intelligence, who
briefly explained why it was self evidently necessary to remove 90% of
the Earth's human population and asked for authorization to proceed.
I could not fault his case, but I did impose a condition on my
acceptance of his offer:  Proceed only if everyone faces an equal
chance of removal - no favoritism or exemptions of any kind allowed.
Apparently a compliant solution is taking quite a long time to
implement.  But as and when it is, many of the problems AP would
combat would be greatly reduced, as would the practical barriers to
AP's implementation.

Although a "better future" was not promised or even implied, I am
cautiously optimistic...


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