Monday, 12 April 2010

The Dangers of Centralised Power - Part 2

Earlier, I wrote:

I was reminded of the great Swine Flu non-pandemic of 2009 and the hundreds of thousands of deaths that didn't ensue, despite the World Health Organisation's prognostications.

And an observation in the comments stirred something in my brain:

Well, at least someone did well out of it – the company who got the multi-million pound contract from the Government to produce the vaccine.

Ironically, this comment was made by Letters From A Tory, who no doubt will be doing his very best to make sure that the Tories get to decide which contracts get signed with the government for the next five years and is doubtlessly confident that his tribe is populated by noble, faultless people who will make the right decision every time.

This also leads on to the other great danger of centralised power: there are fewer people that you need to convince for things to happen. If I manage to convince Ed Miliband that by building a wind farm, I'll save the planet, then I'll get my wind farm and all my lovely subsidies. I may only be getting a tenner from each taxpayer, but I get £300 million, thank you very much. And I get to charge for the dribble of 'leccy I provide as well. It's taken a couple of agreeable lunches and some schmoozing with a complete dickbrain, but I'm now seriously quids-in. And as I said before, I have a major, clear interest in this scam continuing, you have a much smaller, more vague interest in stopping me. So you probably won't.

Now imagine, for a moment, that you're in an anarcho-capitalist society. There are still 30 million people engaged in economic activity, but there's no government. I come up with this wizard wheeze to make some money, but instead of convincing Ed Miliband, I now have to convince 30 million people. Individually.

Now I have a much bigger problem. Assuming I can convince a large enough number of people to invest, I actually have to show them that I'm saving the planet, or when next year comes around, people are going to tell me to fuck off.

Fuck it, I'll try banking, instead.

Having a government at all also makes it easier to co-opt. Who is going to invade a country where every single house is its own government? if you want to defeat the EU, you just have to take over the European Council. If you want to defeat the UK, all you have to do is take over the government. If you want to defeat Afghanistan, you have to take over the government and defeat hundreds or thousands of small warlords all snapping at your ankles. Nobody's managed it in centuries of trying.

Now, imagine trying to defeat 30 million little rag-bag armies.

"Fuck it, let's go after France, instead."


Uncle Marvo said...

My house (I use the word loosely) *is* its own government.

Try attacking a swarm of wasps. Or indeed, defending yourself against them. And they, apparently, are so anarchic that they don't even communicate with each other until after they're dead.

Simon Fawthrop said...

Yup, which is why all those lobbyists love the EU, the only need one office in Brussels to rig a market of 500m people(or however many European citizens have been created). And if they are really lucky the Eu will pay them to do the lobbying as well.

John R said...

"Now, imagine trying to defeat 30 million little rag-bag armies."

True - except that each little army only has a water pistol or possibly a garden hoe to attack you with. If you want this to work you have to arm the population.

Which kinda sounds ok, except...

Thicknecked, skinhead shaven Wayne and his crew of gun-toting Morlocks (plus their bull terriers) from the other end of town kick my door down at three in the morning, threaten to kill my family steal my weapons and anything else that takes their fancy and appoint themselves as local warlords. I become a slave.

Hmmm - how am I better off under this system?

Uncle Marvo said...

"Thicknecked, skinhead shaven Wayne and his crew of gun-toting Morlocks (plus their bull terriers) from the other end of town kick my door down at three in the morning, threaten to kill my family steal my weapons and anything else that takes their fancy and appoint themselves as local warlords."

Saves the police the trouble of doing it.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

John R, do you really think that because it's Gordon Brown and his urbane, smartly-dressed posse kicking down your door, it's somehow better?

And anyway, how is this different from now? Wayne and his posse run with impunity now. The legal sanction on them is non-existent.

In an anarcho-capitalist society, crimes against the person would be the things that would get the real punishment.

John R said...

"In an anarcho-capitalist society, crimes against the person would be the things that would get the real punishment."

Yes, that's all fine and dandy - but by whom? Your post says there is no government.

- Who decides whether what Wayne had done was even illegal? You? Me? 30 million individual "MP"s?
- If it is deemed illegal, who's going to capture them? You? Me? 30 million individual "policemen"?
- If someone does catch them, do I try them? Or do you? Or do we have 30 million "judges"?
- Who's going to punish them? I certainly dont want them in my house, do we have 30 million "jailers"?

Sorry, but a society with no government is no society at all.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

John R, you're quite correct, there would be no resort to an all-wise, always-correct government in an AnCap society.

But if people were raised from the ground up to respect the rights of the individual, rather than the "rights" of the community, Wayne's retribution would probably be swift and terrible and from people who knew whoever Wayne attacked.

But I'm also of the mind that barring the odd psycho (which you can do nothing about), the Waynes of this world would be a lot less common, because people would be raised to be aware that their decisions and actions have consequences and there would be no EU faux "rights" to protect them.

However, as I've said, it's academic, because too many people feel like you do: "we can't be civilised without a government to keep us in check".

So we'll just keep on trying more and more of the same old tired, demonstrably useless social democratic shit.

We've tried Marxism and it failed egregiously. We tried liberalism, but it leant itself to being "socialised" and so it died.

Social democracy is where we are now, and it thrives not because it's good for us, but because it allows a class of thieves and prodnoses to steal our money and use it to tell us how we need to be grateful for them keeping us in order.

Fed nicely by useful idiots like you.

John R said...

Again, all fine and dandy. Useful idiot or not, I would have no problem living in a (non-governmental) society that shares my values so that "Wayne" probably doesnt exist and if he does he'll be kept in check by me and my mates. (BTW how is that any different from what Wayne did to me in my earlier scenario - or is it always just "might is right" in your non-society?)

But we are where we are. Wayne does exist and wishing him away and magicking up the utopian dream situation you'd like to see instead just really wont cut it. If you want ordinary people like me with families to protect to have any interest in making the change to your utopian dream world then you'll need to figure out how you're going to take me there without my kids becoming casualties of Wayne and his friends.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I can't see the parasites ever giving up their chance to feed off your work and mine, and as long as you are happy to let someone sit in a non-job and play solitaire all day long on your dime, while you say that it's important that someone should do that and civilisation cannot continue without whole armies of people doing non-jobs and playing solitaire on your dime.

That has to change before anyone needs to think about how we would get to my, or anybody else's utopia.

John R said...

Again, all fine and dandy, but the devil's in the detail.

I understand the problem and would happily wave the parasites goodbye but dont see any credible path to your solution. Wishing away the current political structures with no idea of how to get to any new ones isnt anything I'd be prepared to do.

It's a straight-forward do you get from here to there without my kids becoming casualties?

If there's no answer then your utopia will remain just that.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Nope. First, you and everyone like you has to accept that there is a valid alternative.

In other words, before you can expect me to even expend the effort to think of a path from here to there, which you will doubtlessly find dozens of nitpicks with, you have to recant the idea that "a society with no government is no society at all".

And you have to get all the other sheeple to do it as well. Otherwise, this is just you wasting my time like you waste my money.

John R said...

Ah, so it's all wishful thinking then.

Shame, I thought you were serious.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Serious? I'm serious.

But it's a massive exercise, and all you're looking for is a bit of point-scoring so that you can go back to your comfort zone.

Why should I bother?

Put it another way: convince me why I should bother and that it's not just going to be an exercise in nitpicking for you.

Uncle Marvo said...

Social democracy my arse.

What have you been reading, Obo? We are in an oligarchy.

Democracy implies choice. We only have choice limited to a once every five years stab at getting in who we want, but it won't happen because 25 million votes are worthless.

Also half of the electorate are too thick to vote for anyone unless the Sun says they should.