Wednesday, October 21, 2009 116 Comments

South Africa: the solution

I shouldn't ask a question as inflammatory as that last post, without giving my own answer.

The answer is that what South Africa needs is not white government, black government, English government, Dutch government, or even Jewish government. (Although I'm sure it would do quite nicely under Moshe Feiglin.) What South Africa needs is responsible government - regardless of the race, color or creed of whoever is calling the shots.

Both sides of the argument would agree with this statement instantly, I suspect. So would just about everyone in South Africa. Yet they cannot get it together to do anything about the matter. Why? Because both sides are firmly committed to democracy, racists no less than liberals.

Now, it so happened that reasonably competent government - at least compared to the ANC - was provided until 1994 by a race-restricted democracy. In a country where the upper class is white, you will get a better government by restricting voting to whites! Golly, imagine that.

Yet, even within the ballpark of restricted democracy, racial qualification is an incredibly crude measure. A much better result would be achieved, for instance, by psychometric qualification. If your IQ is less than 120, you have to go through life with the dunce-cap of a nonvoter. On the other hand, you get to go through life with a government elected by those whose IQ is over 120. Even better, the result of the test could be undisclosed - so you have no idea whether or not your vote matters. You feel no humiliation if it doesn't; you receive no advantage if it does.

Obviously, this test has nothing to do with race, so it cannot be regarded as racist. Ha! Of course, the design is pointless, because this little eugenics experiment would be regarded with the same obloquy as apartheid, by the same people who defeated apartheid. Whoever those people may be, they obviously still have it goin' on. If apartheid was defeated by the Jews - you are right back in the ring with the Jews. And this time, you don't have nuclear weapons.

South Africans who demand change are probably better off abandoning democracy altogether, in favor of some more modern system of government. Or go all retro, and demand a monarchy - an absolute monarchy. If you must be out of line, as you must, be so far out of line that it just confuses the powers that be.

But for whites to be safe in South Africa, South Africa does not need white rule. All it needs is a responsible government, which will govern the country according the true laws of reality, eradicating wrong and upholding right. Law enforcement in 2009 is not a genuinely difficult problem, not even in a country with substantial disparities in wealth. More rigorous and flexible policing will always solve the problem, and is always better than allowing it to continue.

Thus, there is an excellent reason for whites in South Africa not to advocate for white rule. Because white rule is so strongly opposed by so many powerful people - many of whom, of course, are Jews - it is by far the most difficult and unlikely road to your real goal, which is responsible government of European standards. Therefore, by supporting white rule, you are [expletive] walking into an [expletive] [slur] trap. D'oh!

South Africa's problem is simply democracy. Because of its wide range of cultural sophistication, South Africa is probably the worst country in the world in which to introduce democracy. By comparison, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan might as well be Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

IMHO, the only way South Africa can recover from its tailspin is if its collective electorate, black and white, realizes that democracy in South Africa does not work and a replacement is essential.

This would be an extremely implausible event, but it is not as implausible as either (a) a return to responsible government under the ANC, or (b) a return to white rule. Both of which strike me as quite impossible. Therefore, rational actors should ally around the implausible and try to make it plausible, rather than banging their heads against obvious but impossible walls.

116 Comments:

Blogger Robin said...

As a supposedly liberal white South African I decided long ago that the only suitable form of government for a country as complex as South Africa (and indeed the rest of the world) would be a 'benign dictatorship for life' with myself as dictator, of course :)

And my first act would be to replace all politicians with engineers. Then we'd have some fun.

October 21, 2009 at 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer is that what South Africa needs is not white government, black government... What South Africa needs is responsible government - regardless of the race, color or creed of whoever is calling the shots.

Blacks are incapable of providing responsible government, so to say they need responsible government is to say they need white government.

Ain't gonna happen.

South Africans who demand change are probably better off abandoning democracy altogether

Since that's not going to happen, they're better off abandoning South Africa altogether.

Your "IQ test to vote" scheme wouldn't leave many white voters, either, since as far as I'm concerned anyone with the slightest intelligence has already left.

But for whites to be safe in South Africa, South Africa does not need white rule. All it needs is a responsible government

By definition if it needs responsible government it needs white government, since blacks are incapable of providing this.

If you suddenly created responsible government through some race-blind method, the instant result would be de facto white rule. Since this would be unacceptable, responsible government would be instantly dismantled.

IMHO, the only way South Africa can recover from its tailspin is if its collective electorate, black and white, realizes that democracy in South Africa does not work and a replacement is essential.

Since no other corrupt, venal, and incompetent government has come to this realization anywhere else in subsaharan Africa, I would class South Africa coming to this conclusion as just as implausible as a return to responsible government under the ANC or a return to white rule.

Most black-run governments have neither democracy nor responsible government. If South Africa got rid of democracy, it would not put in place a responsible government, but Mugabe or Idi Amin or Teodoro Mbasogo. Democracy would not solve their problem, but neither would not-democracy. The problem, frankly, is the nature of the rulers and the ruled, not the nature of how rule is exercised.

October 21, 2009 at 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solution there is the same as it is everywhere: a jew-free, White ethnostate.

October 21, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Jesus, people.

JOO JOO JOO.

I think MM's idea of disguising limited suffrage is interesting (though inherently corruptible). It would certainly lead to greater, more efficient governance. Less bullshit, etc.

Racist Anonymous 1: something cannot be implausible if it is impossible. Return to white rule (de jure) and responsible rule by the ANC are impossible. Creating a new and responsible system of governance is simply implausible.

The whole thrust of UR is that if you don't start figuring out now what a replacement system of governance will be (and making it as perfect and worthy as possible, setting your system of governance up to have tianming bestowed upon it) then you'll end up with whatever strongman pulls order from chaos. Which so far looks either like Nazis or the Taliban's Afghanistan (both of which were better, safer places to be than SA -- even with all their own problems).

Racist Anonymous 2:

Jews are awesome. Their women have milky skin and dark, seductive hair and their men are easily beaten at fisticuffs and wrestling. Oh, and they're really smart as a whole. And JOO JOO JOO.

October 21, 2009 at 5:04 AM  
Anonymous c23 said...

I don't see how you're going to get responsible government in black-dominated South Africa. You're going to get what you've got - another [expletive] African big man. I think the idea that the [expletive] [slur]s are going to make [expletive] Steve Jobs their BDFL is no less unrealistic than a return to white rule, or a separate white state.

I do see a path to a white state. Not a likely path, but a path:

America goes down the [expletive] [commode]. Nobody's buying our worthless [expletive]ing bonds anymore, so there's a financial crisis. The point is that the US is not less interested than usual in [expletive]ing do-gooderism in far-off lands.

Same thing happens to the South African government, only worse. The [slur]s run things into the ground as their [expletive] role models in Zim have before them. Whites are therefore free to form a small state in a relatively white area (small white separatist communities are already tolerated [1] [2]). Maybe they could buy their freedom Gadsen Purchase style to make it less provocative.

Like I said, I don't see this as likely, but it's more likely than the [expletive] [slur]s choosing a UR-style BDFL.

October 21, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous asdf said...

oh c'mon GM Palmer, cut it out. You know as well as I do that Jewish interests are misrepresented in proportion to how many there are. They've built up a culture of political meddling that no one dares call out less someone, as you did, misrepresents them as racist or conspiracy theorists. Whether it be right wing Jews or left wing Jews, they need to stay the hell out of politics and stop trying to get the rest of the world to build their respective wacko religious or secular utopias that continuouly fail. You would think that for a group of people that are supposedly smart they would reflect on their own failed wide-scale social engineering experiments, and come to a conclusion that they might be better off sticking to banking, or the law.

I'm not singling out the Jews mind you. They are just an example of what is wrong with politics in general. This goes for any group really, from right wing christian dominionists, to socialist utopians. People that have a religious or secular religious bent need to stay the fuck out of politics.

October 21, 2009 at 6:43 AM  
Anonymous asdf said...

oh, and you know what, fuck mencius.

the douchebag rarely comes into the comments section of his own blog when people (like TGGP, jewishatheist, or others) call him out on his bullshit.

now all of a sudden he changes his mind, because the angry mob from SAS might come here and cause a ruckus.

if he were as concerned as to the epistemological notion of truth (funny that, Hitler had truth, as well as Stalin, and the church, Mencius is just another long line in the guys that apparently know 'truth'), he would let SAS asshats come here spout their crap, and let argumentative truth arise from the interactions.

mencius is less concerned with truth, than he is with power, control, and maintaining a PR image that his blog isn't racist.

October 21, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Racist Anonymous 1:

The word you're looking for is "realist".

something cannot be implausible if it is impossible. Return to white rule (de jure) and responsible rule by the ANC are impossible. Creating a new and responsible system of governance is simply implausible.

All three alternatives have an equally low order of probability - effectively zero. Responsible government is possible when blacks are ruled, but not when they rule. That is a simple historical fact. If you think the blacks in South Africa (or anywhere else in Africa) will give up their power in exchange for "responsible government" you are totally deluded.

The whole thrust of UR is that if you don't start figuring out now what a replacement system of governance will be (and making it as perfect and worthy as possible, setting your system of governance up to have tianming bestowed upon it) then you'll end up with whatever strongman pulls order from chaos.

With blacks, you'll have the strongman as well as the chaos, because the strongman is interested in enriching himself and his cronies or fellow tribesmen, not reducing the chaos.

October 21, 2009 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

RA1,

No, a realist would understand that speaking as you are is less than productive and the chances of USG allowing a de jure race-exclusionary government to exist is precisely zero.

The chance of them allowing a de facto poor-governance-exclusionary (you can read that however you need to, I for one, prefer MM's IQ requirements) government to exist is 100%.

Now, building the beast is a bear, but not impossible.

October 21, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous notuswind said...

MM,

Is South Africa's government really a democracy?

Also, this post of yours just kicks the can down the road a little bit. Namely, it invites the question of contemporary South Africa could ever achieve something like responsible governance. Would you suggest that a rebel alliance of Afrikaners and Bantu get together and build an Antiversity as a first step in overthrowing their current government?

October 21, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

asdf, this is a "racist" blog, and MM never comes into his comments any more. Yes, his sudden act of progressive solutionism is odd, but then he did grow up in the Cathedral, so maybe you can cut him some slack on that.

MM is surely not afraid of any SAS people -- he's got all sorts of unsavory characters already here (i.e. you). Except, perhaps insofar as they lower the quality of the people here -- I do believe MM is still striving towards intellectual impact. But he won't get that from knuckledragging racists.

October 21, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, a realist would understand that speaking as you are is less than productive

If the TRUTH is "less than productive" then the Antiversity is less than productive.

the chances of USG allowing a de jure race-exclusionary government to exist is precisely zero

For one thing it would be de facto, not de jure, but in any case, your argument means that "truth" does not have the power to defeat the USG that MM claims for it here:

"The power of a truth service is its reliability. It may remain prudently silent on any point; it must err on none. The thesis of the Procedure is that if we can construct a truth service much more powerful than USG's noble and revered ministry of information, we will be able to use it to safely and effectively defeat USG."

The chance of them allowing a de facto poor-governance-exclusionary (you can read that however you need to, I for one, prefer MM's IQ requirements) government to exist is 100%.

Bullshit. We have already seen that the USG prohibits by law poor-governance exclusion. That is what laws and regulations requiring "diversity" in government, the schools, and the workplace actually do in practice, you bloody fool.

The USG would no more accept a "good government" in South Africa that was de facto exclusionary - which it would have to be or it wouldn't be good government - than it would accept city, county, state, or Federal government in the USA that in practice excluded certain groups on grounds of incompetence. The chances of this happening are zero. Figure it out, already, nitwit.

October 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Editorial
Clever sillies: Why high IQ people tend to be deficient in common sense
Medical Hypotheses - in the press - doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.08.016

Bruce G. Charltona, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Editor-in-Chief – Medical Hypotheses
Professor of Theoretical Medicine, University of Buckingham, UK
Available online 4 September 2009.

Summary

In previous editorials I have written about the absent-minded and socially-inept ‘nutty professor’ stereotype in science, and the phenomenon of ‘psychological neoteny’ whereby intelligent modern people (including scientists) decline to grow-up and instead remain in a state of perpetual novelty-seeking adolescence. These can be seen as specific examples of the general phenomenon of ‘clever sillies’ whereby intelligent people with high levels of technical ability are seen (by the majority of the rest of the population) as having foolish ideas and behaviours outside the realm of their professional expertise. In short, it has often been observed that high IQ types are lacking in ‘common sense’ – and especially when it comes to dealing with other human beings. General intelligence is not just a cognitive ability; it is also a cognitive disposition. So, the greater cognitive abilities of higher IQ tend also to be accompanied by a distinctive high IQ personality type including the trait of ‘Openness to experience’, ‘enlightened’ or progressive left-wing political values, and atheism. Drawing on the ideas of Kanazawa, my suggested explanation for this association between intelligence and personality is that an increasing relative level of IQ brings with it a tendency differentially to over-use general intelligence in problem-solving, and to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense. Preferential use of abstract analysis is often useful when dealing with the many evolutionary novelties to be found in modernizing societies; but is not usually useful for dealing with social and psychological problems for which humans have evolved ‘domain-specific’ adaptive behaviours. And since evolved common sense usually produces the right answers in the social domain; this implies that, when it comes to solving social problems, the most intelligent people are more likely than those of average intelligence to have novel but silly ideas, and therefore to believe and behave maladaptively. I further suggest that this random silliness of the most intelligent people may be amplified to generate systematic wrongness when intellectuals are in addition ‘advertising’ their own high intelligence in the evolutionarily novel context of a modern IQ meritocracy. The cognitively-stratified context of communicating almost-exclusively with others of similar intelligence, generates opinions and behaviours among the highest IQ people which are not just lacking in common sense but perversely wrong. Hence the phenomenon of ‘political correctness’ (PC); whereby false and foolish ideas have come to dominate, and moralistically be enforced upon, the ruling elites of whole nations.


(there's more, of course, but I have spared you)

October 21, 2009 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger nazgulnarsil said...

c23: what do you think seasteading is? the ultimate white flight, blacks hate the water!

who wants to bet that even when spaceflight becomes cheap we'll try to maintain an IQ requirement as a de facto race barrier?

October 21, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous23 said...

People that have a religious or secular religious bent need to stay the fuck out of politics.

Let those without ideology cast the first vote.

By the way, MM, let the smart ppl run the gov't? Original.

Ultimately this sounds a lot like Mahometans sitting around saying, if only we could perfectly implement Sharia our nation/world would be awesome!

Ask a Jew. They were given God's perfect law, the implementation of which proved to be a real biatch.

Seasteder, utilitarian, theist, sociobiolowhatever, it will never work, ever.

The answer is, don't put your faith in government, put it in God.

If you don't believe in God, despite the evidence smacking you in the face every day for centuries in the form of failed governments, the answer is eat, drink, and be merry.

October 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Anon23,

w00t.

Anon-who-resorts-to-ad-hom,

Bullshit to your bullshit. When I say "USG allowing" it is clear I am not referring to USG but USG allowing another, non-American-continent government to operate.

It is clear that they will not let a de jure (and really, you were wrong on that correction there) racist government exist -- even Israel has to let Palestinians vote -- but I think a nation would be able to effectively restrict suffrage along other means, even if they were de facto "racist," simply because it would take the media arm of USG a while to catch on.

This could give you enough time to restructure & stabilize the area.

At any rate, it has a 100% chance of being allowed to happen, whereas a de jure racist system has a 0% chance. Perhaps I should use "boolean" to sound more like MM?

This does not mean it has a 100% chance of occurrence. It has a greater-than-zero chance -- which is, again, better than the de jure racist system which has a zero-percent chance.

My real recommendations to all those folks who've left SA and fear for their honkey friends is to buy them plane tickets and arrange visas.

Because I don't see stability happening any time soon.

October 21, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous c23 said...

the chances of USG allowing a de jure race-exclusionary government to exist is precisely zero.

Assuming that you're talking about white race-exclusionary government (since USG does tolerate or encourage such governments when the oppressors are non-white), USG dislikes them, but that's not the same as not allowing them to exist. USG may put sanctions on them, and may fund their enemies, but it may well never go farther than. SA could have kept apartheid if it wanted to - they gave up their country primarily because of their own liberalism, not because the big bad USG made them.

And the left would see through something like an IQ test to vote just as it saw through Jim Crow literacy tests.

October 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

The trouble with using IQ or any similar measurement of individual qualification in an attempt to establish responsible government is that responsible government - however organized (monarchy, aristocracy, polity) - depends upon the existence of suitable cultural and economic institutions to support it. If those are absent, or they have previously been destroyed, they will not be created or reconstructed quickly or easily, and it will not matter how smart the people allowed to participate in government may be - they will still be incapable of responsible government.

Let's remember that when the great decolonialization of the 1950s and '60s took place, Britain and France took pains to leave in place what they thought were sufficient institutions to support responsible government - parliaments, courts, universities, etc. - all staffed with what seemed to them the best and brightest of the native populations, suitably educated at the London School of Economics or the Ecole Polytechnique. It made no difference, because those institutions had no real foundation in those societies, and the small numbers of bright people on their staffs were either so deracinated from their own societies as to be ineffectual, or as soon as the former colonial masters departed, they quickly turned to the pursuit of their own advantage by whatever means expedient, having no reason for continuing loyalty to institutions foreign to their nature and (such as it was) to their culture.

Western civilisation took millennia to develop in the West, and it is as futile to expect orchids to flourish at the North Pole as it is to believe that peoples whose parents or grandparents lived at a Neolithic level of social development can somehow learn in an few years to conduct themselves as if they had the benefit of the centuries of cultural experience that Englishmen or Frenchmen do.

October 21, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Alat said...

G. M. Palmer: I think a nation would be able to effectively restrict suffrage along other means, even if they were de facto "racist," simply because it would take the media arm of USG a while to catch on.

This could give you enough time to restructure & stabilize the area.


True. But then USG will catch up, you'll be isolated, and in the end your Rhodesia will turn into a Zimbabwe.

(Rhodesia didn't have a white electorate, just requirements of wealth and property. . . which less than 1,000 blacks in the whole country could pass. The same thing applied in Portuguese Angola and Mozambique, with additional educational requirements).

October 21, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

What Afrikanners really need is a genetic advantage in disease resistance over the natives. It worked in North America and Australia!

Your proposal to restrict franchise by IQ seems sensible to me. Bryan Caplan advocated something similar, though rather unoriginally as he was borrowing from John Stuart Mill and actual practice in Britain. By the way, among the things you promised a while back was a "rhino sized reaming" of The Myth of the Rational Voter. There's not that many books in the anti-democracy genre, and his is the most notable today. What are you waiting for?

I was taught by the government in a public school that Jim Crow voting rules were horrible because they had grandfather clauses. I don't think they could have gotten away with directly attacking literacy tests. To us kids it would have been obvious that everyone should be literate and anyone who isn't is certainly not someone we should allow to vote.

October 21, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I say "USG allowing" it is clear I am not referring to USG but USG allowing another, non-American-continent government to operate.

So what? The USG does not tolerate truly race-neutral competent government within its own borders, and will not tolerate it elsewhere.

jure (and really, you were wrong on that correction there)

No. When you said, "a realist would understand that speaking as you are is less than productive and the chances of USG allowing a de jure race-exclusionary government to exist is precisely zero", this was a straw man, because I never argued that a de jure racist regime would / could / should be created. I simply corrected your error.

Again: The chance of the USG allowing a de facto poor-governance-exclusionary government to exist is ZERO, because such a government in South Africa would be de facto negro-exclusionary.

It is clear that they will not let a de jure racist government exist

They will not let a de facto racist government exist, either. And yes, that means the clock is ticking on Israel.

I think a nation would be able to effectively restrict suffrage along other means, even if they were de facto "racist," simply because it would take the media arm of USG a while to catch on.

Are you really that pathetically deluded? "Restricted suffrage" only means one thing, and it really, really only means one thing in South Africa. The media would see this and catch on instantly.

Needless to say, the point is moot, because the ninjas who rule South Africa are not going to give up a single iota of power, even if the result is "good government" for their hapless subjects. Get real. If the ninjas who rule any of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa cared about their people, these countries would already have "good government" and it would not be necessary to speculate on how to replace the corruption, incompetence, and brutality that characterizes ninja rule wherever it is found with some new form of government.

USG dislikes them, but that's not the same as not allowing them to exist. USG may put sanctions on them, and may fund their enemies, but it may well never go farther than. SA could have kept apartheid if it wanted to - they gave up their country primarily because of their own liberalism, not because the big bad USG made them.

Nope. The USG destroyed South Africa. The USG would also destroy any effort to recreate Apartheid in some other guise.

October 21, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous23 said...

G.M. Palmer
Here in Korea the government is "de jure racist." It would never occur to them not to elect a Korean nor to populate their national sports teams with non-Koreans. The USG doesn't seem to care. MM's scenario, and yours as well, presupposes a pluralist nation which IMHO is an oxymoron.

Michael S.
Particularly troubling is your concept that Western civ "developed over a millenium" I guess because we are good smart people and they are "neolithic." Those poor benighted basterds just can't handle the Western system which requires a good culture.

That is certainly one way of looking at it, but it's no more than de Tocqueville saying a good government requires a good culture. True in a democracy. But less true in, say, a benevolent monarchy.

Like atom bomb technology, political ideology can be tracked from mentors to the mentored. The "neoliths" had access to Western civ and rejected it. Good for them. Unfortunately, that rejection was not taken lightly. They have since been heavily proselytized to disastrous effect.

October 21, 2009 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

c23,

I (and MM) would call that USG not allowing SA to continue to exist as it had.

Or do you think Bono and Archbishop Tutu were solely responsible for the abolition of apartheid?

a23,

The problems of democracy only occur in pluralist nations.

October 21, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous c23 said...

The responsibility for the abolition of apartheid belongs with the white electorate that voted for it. USG was putting pressure on SA, but not unbearable pressure. Certainly less unbearable than SA's current situation. If enough South Africans had supported Apartheid, there's no reason to think it wouldn't still be in place. In the worst case, there would be a complete embargo on SA, which would still be better than what they have now.

You and MM have a funny definition of "force."

October 21, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Mouse said...

Here in Korea the government is "de jure racist." It would never occur to them not to elect a Korean nor to populate their national sports teams with non-Koreans.

Don't you mean "de facto" here?

October 21, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@TGGP: historically it seems to have been the other way around. However, given that AIDS resistance is primarily a white (and Jewish!) trait, that may be changing.

October 22, 2009 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

If enough South Africans had supported Apartheid, there's no reason to think it wouldn't still be in place.

I think you may have missed out on the 1980s.

October 22, 2009 at 4:13 AM  
Anonymous Chi said...

"can somehow learn in an few years to conduct themselves as if they had the benefit of the centuries of cultural experience that Englishmen or Frenchmen do."

Yes, but the cultural changes also drive potential selection changes. See 'The 10,000 Year Explosion' or this paper by Greg Clark responding to critics of his book, 'A Farewell to Alms'.

"The book thus conceives of a gradual evolutionary process. Hunter-gatherer societies, with
little trade, little capital and much violence, give way to settled agrarian societies which are trade and capital intensive and more pacific. The evolution of the institutions of settled agrarian society – markets, secure property rights, inheritance, limits on violence - is seen as stemming from the technology they employed. This through the operations of the Malthusian processes leads to a
change in human nature and eventually much faster economic growth...

On the contrary, I think that there is a lot of modern evidence that is supportive of this possibility.

What is emphasized in A Farewell to Alms is that the processes identified for England occurred in all settled pre-industrial agrarian societies, though perhaps with different force.

That suggests that if we want to find the maximum possible cultural and genetic difference between groups in the modern world we should contrast the people from long settled agrarian societies with
those from hunter-gatherer societies that never experienced settled institutionally stable agricultural systems."

http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gclark/Farewell%20to%20Alms/EREH%20response%20-%20revised.pdf

October 22, 2009 at 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

The solution in South Africa is not white government, black government or responsible government. The solution is no government.

Without the ANC kleptocracy, 99% of the country's problems disappear. No more government theft, and no more government sanctioning and coddling of theft and crime.

People will choose to live in areas that are secured by private security contractors. These will not have crime because they will have zero tolerance of crime.

October 22, 2009 at 4:36 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

"I was taught by the government in a public school that Jim Crow voting rules were horrible because they had grandfather clauses. I don't think they could have gotten away with directly attacking literacy tests. To us kids it would have been obvious that everyone should be literate and anyone who isn't is certainly not someone we should allow to vote."

When I teach government at my public school, I always do a little Socratic dialogue that leads to kids suggesting and supporting literacy test-type restrictions on voting. Of course, I bring this up when we get to the obligatory anti-Jim Crow stuff.

I also do some basic public choice stuff, and a simplified presentation of Arrow's theorum; all generally anti-voting/anti-democracy. I have to say, I'm a bit of a stinker.

October 22, 2009 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

People will choose to live in areas that are secured by private security contractors. These will not have crime because they will have zero tolerance of crime.

That's the blind-spot in anarcho-capitalism.

The "private security contractors" -- or whoever is bankrolling them -- will be the government.

October 22, 2009 at 5:24 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Josh -- the only people I know who are anti-literacy test are h4rdc0r3 librulz who know that such a test would eliminate their undermensch voting base.

October 22, 2009 at 5:25 AM  
Anonymous c23 said...

I think you may have missed out on the 1980s.

A for snark, F for making a coherent argument.

What exactly did USG do to "force" South Africa to do anything?

the only people I know who are anti-literacy test are h4rdc0r3 librulz who know that such a test would eliminate their undermensch voting base.

Then it's safe to say that you don't know the drafters of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

October 22, 2009 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

c23,

The drafters of said act are all either dead or in dotage.

I mean actual, living, breathing folks who might, you know, vote.

October 22, 2009 at 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

G.M. Palmer: "The "private security contractors" -- or whoever is bankrolling them -- will be the government."

No. The only way that private security contractors become the government is when they can brainwash their subjects into believing that a government is needed. It is only with intellectuals and court jesters talking about the importance of a white/black/responsible/democratic/authoritarian/fascist/communist/communal government to achieve some lofty bullshit ideal or the other that people are brainwashed into accepting the legitimacy of the private contractors going sovereign.

This is precisely the problem in South Africa, and everywher else for that matter. People are convinced that what they need is a government that appeals to some greater higher bullshit ideal (democracy, justice, equality, development, Islam, modernization, Jewish self-determination, White supremacism, black emancipation, etc...) and so they confer legitimacy on a bunch of thieving scumbags to achieve this goal.

These thieving scumbags ruin everything, and then are replaced with a new breed of thieving scumbags who appeal to some other ideals. Repeat ad nauseum.

Throughout all of this, any intelligent person will notice that any time the government is in charge of something (anything) that thing is utterly fucked. Everytime the government leaves anything alone, that thing works beautifully.

The same is true for rule of law, crime and property protection.

Otherwise, these contractors

October 22, 2009 at 6:11 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Palmer,

Perhaps I should mention that my school is less than 5% white.

October 22, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Josh,

There are very few non-white hardcore liberals. Just ask your kids about gay rights or gay marriage :)

Pals,

The only way to prevent this is to be strong enough to prevent government. If you are strong enough to prevent government intervention -- guess what? You have now become the sovereign government.

Government may not be "necessary" but it's certainly going to happen.

October 22, 2009 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Pals, AC is a nice concept, but do you honestly believe that if the SA government just went home tomorrow, no new government would arise? I do not think so for a moment.

AC may or may not be stable (I tend to think it can be, given very mild ideological change in the masses). But that is the not the big problem. The big problem is how to get from here to there. Not only must those small ideological changes happen, and it is very hard to understand how that would happen, given state schools. But the stability problem would have to be solved. A set of competing protection agencies is a stable setup, I hope, but it is clear to me that this is true only after it gets going and has significant time to stabilize. You need it to run, at minimum, for long enough to enough cases through its judicial system to systematize precedents, and for most, if not all, protection agencies to see the wisdom of inking agreements with each other to clarify extradition. I would guess it needs to run for maybe 5 years before stabilizing. And I would not feel safe until it had been running more like 20 years. You want a cadre of men running the PAs who are normal businessmen, and who have experienced AC for most of their lives, like it, and believe in it.

The problem here is clear: no people (and especially not people steeped to their eyeballs in democratic "will of the people" worship), are going to wait for 5-20 years of injustice of various sorts while corporations sort things out at the expense of the people.

AC is like an arch. Stable if you can get it up (assuming strong enough materials, which humanity on the whole may not be). But highly unstable until it is completely established. It requires scaffolding.

Neocameralism may be that scaffold.

October 22, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

They are not hardcore anything (with the exception of a few MS-13 members). I have 17 year old kids from DC who don't know the capital of the US. However, they all know they are supposed to hate the hell out of southern whites and Jim Crow. Hence, I am a stinker (I will not argue this point ;) )

October 22, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Josh,

Yeah, but they don't know why; so when you point out to them "good" things about that era, you're doing a bang-up job as a teacher, stinker or not. :)

October 22, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

GM Palmer,

I know what you’re saying, but please trust me that you’re missing the point I’m trying to make. The point is that the only reason anyone ever has the strength to be a government in the first place is because of the consent of the governed, and their belief in the necessity and inevitability of government. That is a necessary and sufficient condition for the emergence of a government (except, of course, a completely criminal occupying force like the IDF in Palestine.)

The only “strength” that any government has is the strength it derives from the fact that people treat its thugs, thieves, and criminals as different from petty thugs, thieves and criminals. People want to be the government, they want to change the government, they want to improve government, they want to install a new ideology in government, and they believe that if only the right ideology/people/mechanism was put in place, everything is solved. They truly believe that, and that is itself the only force that the government has. All of its guns, nukes and power need to be operated by humans. Those humans are not (usually) evil fuckers who just want to rule and abuse people, they’re brainwashed into thinking that what they’re doing is for the good of everyone—especially for them.

So, your average ANC kleptocrat is utterly convinced that their theft is important to make up for decades of apartheid. But the real problem is that the people he robs are brainwashed into thinking that it’s for their good too.

If those people can get rid of this stupid idea, they will not cooperate with this government. Once a government loses the consent of those it governs, and loses its legitimacy completely, it is only a matter of time before it collapses and can do nothing.

October 22, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Leonard,

Excellent points all round.

On your first question: Governments collapse all the time, and are usually replaced by other government—because the governed are always brainwashed into thinking that they need a new government; that the problem was that particular government, not the idea of government itself. So, Sovietism didn’t work? Try our brand new American Neoliberalism! Apartheid didn’t work? Let’s try this wonderful brand of scientifically-administered rainbow democracy for all! If the ANC collapses tomorrow, I’m pretty sure we’ll get some other monster with a new set of clichés.

You’re right in that this will likely happen. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t have to happen. If people would simply get rid of the retarded idea that they need the ANC or any other kleptocracy to rule over them, then they won’t get such a kleptocracy and will live in peace and prosperity.

Analogize this to central banking. Yes, it’s highly likely in all of our modern societies that Scientific Economists will brain-wash the masses into believing that a central bank is vital to stabilize the economy—that a free market in banks doesn’t work. So they’ll get their way, and their central bank will cause all the disasters it does. And economists will then spend eternity jerking each other off to stupid models about which way to run the central bank will best reduce inflation, and develop dozens of retarded ideologies, all built on the premise that a central bank is necessary and will inevitably emerge.

And yet, as any sane human being can find out after a 15-minute reading of Austrian Economics, if you only get rid of the central bank you would never have any economic problems. I have the same position on government: all these debates about white/black/democratic/dictatorial/monarchial/theocratic/responsible/formalist government are akin to mainstream economists’ debate about whether inflation-targeting, money-supply-targeting, the Taylor Rule, Greenspan’s Put, or Keynesian nonsense are the best way to run a central bank and secure the stability of the economy.

All of these are bad ideas, because they are all coercive. Coercion leads to negative incomes, whether in government or in central banking. The only way to get rid of the problems caused by bad government and central banking is to get rid of the government and the central bank, not to find a new religion that will make them run properly.

October 22, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

As for the transition; a more optimistic interpretation than yours would view it as a virtuous cyccle. As the government gets its hands off something—anything, that thing improves immeasurably, and the masses catch on to the idea that that’s a good idea. As more things are taken away from the government, everything improves. This goes on until everything is dismantled.

Think of the Soviet Union collapse without WashCorp, Harvard, and Larry Summers installing a branch of USG in Moscow. As every Soviet authority tumbles, people are better off. Eventually, the KGB goes home because nobody likes them and the officers themselves believe their jobs are worthless and they’d rather be home with their kids growing food, working on that novel they’d always dreamt of writing or doing any of the millions of jobs the Soviet regime had denied them. Everyone would be better off.

Sometimes, when I’m drunk, I can even get a bit optimistic about the coming collapse of WashCorp. As Mencius astutely observed, the Soviets surrendered to WashCorp, but WashCorp has no one to surrender to. Perhaps when the whole thing falls apart, it’ll just wither away and die and everyone goes home and lives happily ever after.

In this regard, something like the Antiversity could be extremely useful. If you look at all the topics Mencius has mentioned as being useful for the Antiversity, I think we could all agree that the answer to each one is to get the government away from this topic completely: foreign policy, academia, economics, urban planning, etc…

I’d disagree; however, in Neocameralism being a transition to AC, because it’s simply another awful form of government, and it doesn’t even have the one good thing about democracy: the bumbling incompetence that gets in the way of government action. All government is inherently crap; effective government is the crappest kind of government.

October 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Pals and Leo,

Is it time to rehash NC vs. AnCap again?

Then let us start from the points in here: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7958140996781104565&postID=4041412608396043765

instead of going over covered ground.

So... how do you prevent protection agencies from restricting freedom of entry?

As to your current points:

@Pals

Your analysis is naive, surfacial, and generally useless. You really should read a little Michels. His Political Parties is quite enjoyable.

As for the transition; a more optimistic interpretation than yours would view it as a virtuous cyccle. As the government gets its hands off something—anything, that thing improves immeasurably, and the masses catch on to the idea ... is dismantled.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that government always makes things worse (often? sure, always? not so much). You still have the problem that most people simply do not care. The ones that do about day-to-day governance are in a minority, better organized, and more dedicated. The first thing they will do is propagandize the population into focusing on the few cases where government intervention has made some specific ethnic group worse off (boo hoo, poor blacks etc...) Thus your virtuous cycle breaks down right there. Note also that this sequence is supported by history whereas your virtuous cycle is not.

... Soviet Union ...

Note that the USSR collapsed not because the people stopped believing in it (indeed, many Russians still want it back) but because Gorbachev decided that the US was cooler. Note also that the moment Gorbachev let go of the reins, he was replaced on the top by Yeltsin and now Putin. Either you plan on convincing all the people who could take power in countries (and why would they agree when it is not in their best interests?) or you find another transition path.

I’d disagree; however, in Neocameralism ... effective government is the crappest kind of government.

I don't get it. You want to replace government because it is incompetent. However, faced with a competent and you like it even less! Are you even reading what you are writing?

Also concerning your last barely useful argument against GM Palmer: So, your average ANC kleptocrat is utterly convinced that their theft is important to make up for decades of apartheid. But the real problem is that the people he robs are brainwashed into thinking that it’s for their good too.

Doubtful. The average ANC kleptocrat is probably convinced by the prospect of more bribes than anything like truth. Also, it is pretty easy to tell when you need armed response teams that your govt. isn't that good. The bigger problem is one of organization. You may have 50 people who don't like the government and 5 people who do but those 5 people are organized and they can hunt down the 50 people 4 at a time. Why do you think that the USSR lasted as long as it did even when millions died of hunger? How do you think that Zedong stayed in power? Brainwashing gets you some of the way and undoubtedly, there was much of that going on but its not enough.

If those people can get rid of this stupid idea, they will not cooperate with this government. Once a government loses the consent of those it governs, and loses its legitimacy completely, it is only a matter of time before it collapses and can do nothing.

First part doubtful, second part wrong. Notice that the coordination problem applies to the first part. Also, if you can coordinate the large population against the government, guess what, you have a new government!

Also, it is very common to find governments which do not govern with the consent of the governed (in history if not in contemporary politics).

@Leo

You want NC as a transition mechanism but why should the sovereign share-holders cooperate? Why give up their nice comfy regional monopolies?

October 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

I think a better idea than testing everyone's IQ before voting would be to ask one randomly generated question from a pool of questions any voter should know the answer to. If you get it right your vote counts, if not, it doesn't.

October 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

newt: the shareholders would cooperate only if they want to. But people being people, I think in the fullness of time, they might.

Consider policing. Can the police overthrow a sovcorp? Not according to MM. Very well then: policing is a normal service, like building roads. As with any other such service, a sovcorp might insource policing or it might outsource. If it does outsource, then there's no reason it cannot have competition. (And in fact I think there is some reason it would want competition.) Thus, the framework for protection agencies run for profit is immediately possible within neocameralism.

Next, consider the creation and adjudication of law itself. Can an arbitration agency overthrow a sovcorp? No. Very well then...

So there's no strong reason why a sovcorp needs to perform any particular function itself, other than run the army with which it retains its sovereignty. And, of course, to collect taxes, although most of the actual scutwork of tax collection can be left to the PAs and AAs.

So what we have here is like AC, except we have grafted a state on top. It is a state that taxes as much as it can, and will do whatever is prudent to retain its position and privilege, but is otherwise uninterested in what its serfs do.

Now let's watch it over time. If a rich man wants to leave a share of the sovcorp to charity, is that allowed? Seems like a good idea; this is how public goods are funded.

Presumably one thing an ultrarich man could do when he dies is to set up a "rebate" charity. It takes its normal dividend, subtracts whatever minor overhead is necessary for administration, then gives the money back to the taxpayers. This might be done progressively, or flatly, or even regressively -- who knows? (Probably multiple such charities would compete, each running its own algorithm for who the favored class should be.)

Now we must make some sort of prediction or assumption about how long charities might exist, given rock-solid funding. The sovcorp might, of course, forbid it. But absent control from the top, it would seem that immortal foundations would gradually accumulate much of the primary stock. Eventually you would end up with a society which, unlike ours, has these characteristics of AC:
(a) competitive PAs
(b) competitive AAs
(c) personal and economic liberty
(d) no politics to speak of (i.e., law is made via exit, not voice.)
(e) charity is run via endowments they are entitled to, and not politically-controlled funding.

That strikes me as a much more sound place to look for AC happening than our society.

Where it is not AC is this:
(a) sovereignty still exists
(b) taxation still exists

Note, however, that most of the owners by some point are charities. As such, they may be willing to lower taxes if that accords with their mission. If, at some point, maybe in 1000 years at the end of the Fnarg, the ownership of the sovcorp gets to be 51% in charities dedicated to tax minimization, you might see the state wither away instantly.

October 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Leo

Your example fails.

You are correct up till the point where you have sovcorps controlling only the military. Where your design fails is the charities.

There are two possibilities with charities. Either they are sovereign or not. If they are not sovereign, then giving the chares to charity is useless: you ahve just given them to the sovereign of the charity as they can appropriate the shares at any time.

Thus we hit the problem of sovereign charities. Now why should a sovereign charity continue to operate as a charity? Contracts? Without a higher sovereign power to enforce contracts, they aren't worth the paper they are written on. Barring rare (and insignificant) exceptions, a sovereign charity will only continue to operate as a sovereign charity as long it is sufficiently well compensated with respect to its options. Note that the option is to tax a sovcorp at laffer maximum. The only way they get paid more than this is the future prospect of sovereign business. Lots is sovereign business. Thus sovereign charities are only viable as long as real sovereigns are alive and well.

Your transition plan can never go beyond a certain critical point. A point where the world is still, for the most part, controlled by real active tax maximizing NC sovereigns.

Also, note that unless NC sovereigns are careful not to give any single PA any contiguous protection zones, the moment NC sovereigns wither away, the PAs will form their own government by restricting entry.

You seem to be confusing something about sovereignty. Sovereignty exists as a fact. It exists at all times in all locations. The difference is whether it is stable or not and whether its holders can be easily characterized or not. You will never get a world where nobody is sovereign and the world where everybody is sovereign is exceedingly unstable.

October 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Daniel A. Nagy said...

Feel like nitpicking? You can write between the lines of this article over at Thiblo.com

It helps keeping discussions focused and on-topic.

October 22, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

Anon.23, it is not necessarily because Europeans were 'good smart people' that Western civilisation developed in Europe, There were and are plenty of dumb and vicious people in Europe. Any speculation about why cultural institutions developed there that permitted more-or-less responsibile government is unnecessary to the point that they did.

What may be due to nature and what to culture in the history of a nation or a people is very difficult to sort out, but it is worthy of note that those former British colonies that succeded in having responsible government- until the recent manifestation of culturally suicidal tendencies in them as well as in their former colonial ruler - were the ones populated by immigants from Britain or other western European countries, e.g., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Those former colonies in which native non-European peoples formed the majority did not form responsible governments. South Africa and Rhodesia represent instances in which the immigrant European populations weren't large enough to dominate in plebiscites, and so responsible government was sacrificed in those places in the name of democracy.

While it is certainly possible to explain these phenomena in terms of race, that does not seem to me to be the sole explanation. We can observe marked differences in cultural development between peoples of similar racial origins. Contrast, for example, the Pueblo, the Navaho, and the Apache Indians of the American southwest.

October 22, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

Its Thursday. Where is your post Mencius?!

October 22, 2009 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Pal, if you're in the states you better be in NH! Let me know if you are a free stater.

October 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Newt,

I don’t like to be rude; but I’m going to have to make an exception here and hope you excuse me. The problem with arguing with you is that you are a libtard statist who continues to view the world as it is taught in your econ textbook. You believe that markets need rational agents to work. You have an over-educated retarded view of how the world works (or, more accurately, “is made to work”) that only someone thoroughly educated in an American university can have, and that’s why it’s so hard to get through to you. You need to at least start with reading some Austrian Econ, and not convince yourself that because you’ve read some Friedmanist Monetarist garbage you “get” the Austrians.

In fact, I’m willing to bet money you’re a university professor—most probably Econ.

To get to your objections,

The only reason a protection agency ever goes from being a private agency providing a service on a freely competitive market into a coercive sovereign is when the people who hire it are brainwashed—either through the clergy or the professors. Guarding my work and my apartment buildings are private security contractors; they’ll never go sovereign on me because they’re just my employees and it never crosses my mind or theirs that they could ever have a right to start coercing me into anything.

So long as protection agencies exist with this in the frame of mind of their members and their clients, things proceed swimmingly. Asking why the protection agency won’t go sovereign is like asking why your grocery store doesn’t poison your milk. They could physically do it. And they could easily get away with it. And yet they don’t. They’re generally good people, but even if they weren’t, it simply makes far more sense for them to make an honest lucrative living selling good milk than it ever would poisoning strangers for the heck of it.

The wart of the state only emerges when people are brainwashed to believe that what they need is not a protection agency, but some leviathan that can achieve all these lofty bullshit ideals the professors/clergy have told them are important. (Every feel-good abstract noun in history fits here). That leads to people accepting, hiring and participating in this awful creature called The Government. They vote, contest politics, pay taxes, and are always calling for government reform when the thing inevitably starts to go crazy.

The key point you need to realize is that the problem of government only exists because people think that it can work, it needs to exist and if only we get the right scumbag with the right ideology into power, he could make it all work.

If only people could realize that the government is the cause of, not the solution to, all of their problems, they would stop voting, paying taxes, working for the government and giving it their consent. It would then wither away and die. Every time a part of it disappears, the world becomes a better place.

You said: “The first thing they will do is propagandize the population into focusing on the few cases…”

You yourself seem to understand this, though you seem too educated to realize that you understand it.

You said: “Note that the USSR collapsed not because the people stopped believing in it … but because Gorbachev decided that the US was cooler.”

This is just silly; a lot of people thought the US was cooler, but why did one of those people end up as General Secretary of MosCorp (did I just invent this term?) instead of being just another number in the Gulag? The whole stinking mess of Sovietism did not work and could not work and every one knew it. If it could work, someone who “thought the US was cooler” could never get to the top of it, could they? That’s why the thing collapsed; Gorbatchev thinking the US was cool was just another manifestation of how it didn’t work.

October 23, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

You said: “I don't get it. You want to replace government because it is incompetent. However, faced with a competent and you like it even less! Are you even reading what you are writing?”

Yes, I am and it makes perfect sense. You, however, are not. I don’t hate government incompetence; I think it is the best feature of government and wish all governments were utterly incompetent and simply wasted all their money doing nothing. Just imagine how much better the world would be if USG took all of its tax loot and spent it all on a bureaucratic black-hole that affected the real world in no way whatsoever. That would be government worth every penny. In fact, the best thing about democracy (and trust me, I’m no fan) is that it maximizes government incompetence.

To repeat, I am not against government incompetence, I am against government itself. Neocameralism minimizes incompetence, maximizing government. That’s bad.

You said: “The bigger problem is one of organization. … Brainwashing gets you some of the way and undoubtedly, there was much of that going on but its not enough.”

You’re spot-on. I’m not saying Anarcho-capitalism is likely, popular, inevitable, imminent or a great vote-grabber for aspiring politicians. I’m arguing that it is a spontaneous form of human organization that would be better for everyone. And I’m arguing that the reason it doesn’t emerge is because the worst elements of a society always succeed in convincing the masses that they need someone to enslave them for their own good. That’s what the clergy and professors are paid for.

“Also, if you can coordinate the large population against the government, guess what, you have a new government!”

No sir. You get no government! Unless, of course, some professor/priest starts talking about the importance of justice/democracy/scientific-policy/human-rights/self-determination/nationhood/etc…

October 23, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Leonard,

“So what we have here is like AC, except we have grafted a state on top.”

I’m afraid you’re missing the point of AC. AC is simply about getting rid of the state grafting, because that state is itself the problem—not the solution. This sounds like some Chicago free-market-type saying “we have a free market, but with a state on top to regulate it and make sure it runs well.”

Sam,

Fortunately, I’m not in the States anymore. Still, though, we’re all USG serfs wherever we are. I wish you free-staters all the best. I’m not familiar enough with the project, and would be interested in learning more. Please do recommend some good readings.

My two cents: it strikes me as potentially, possibly a good idea. As NH gets less government, it blooms and prospers while more government turns everything around it into a Detroit-like hell-hole. The NYTimes will continue to ignore this, but some of its brain-dead readers may actually come to realize it.

On the other hand, USG still rules over NH very directly and is perfectly capable of administering enough government to ruin the place—out of spite, or just out of force of habit.

October 23, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Guarding my work and my apartment buildings are private security contractors; they’ll never go sovereign on me because they’re just my employees and it never crosses my mind or theirs that they could ever have a right to start coercing me into anything.

Pals, that's just insane.

Are you better armed than them?

If the answer is no, they can "go sovereign on you" whenever they want to.

October 23, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

And unlike a grocery store -- who has direct competition -- they can easily "run the show."

Unless you've got competing security companies...

Even if, you're still paying a large chunk of your income to someone for services. What's to stop AC companies for charging customers at the laffer maximum?

October 23, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger drank said...

A much better result would be achieved, for instance, by psychometric qualification. If your IQ is less than 120, you have to go through life with the dunce-cap of a nonvoter. On the other hand, you get to go through life with a government elected by those whose IQ is over 120.

It seems unlikely that this would produce substantially different government in the US than the one we actually have. If you use education level as a proxy for IQ - it's an imperfect proxy, but not a horrible one - those with postgraduate educations tend to vote more liberal/left than the population as a whole. See, for example, the national exit poll for 2008.

Ironically, MM's own "OV vs. BDH" analysis predicts exactly this result.

October 23, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

drank,

However, its possible that formal recognition as the ruling class would restore some kind of noblesse oblige.

October 23, 2009 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Pals

GM Palmer has already responded well to your comments but let me add a few things here.

In fact, I’m willing to bet money you’re a university professor—most probably Econ.

No but if that makes me easier to deride, well...

The only reason a protection agency ever goes from being ... right to start coercing me into anything.

Just like ships had no mutineers on the high sees because the sailors were "just employees"? They just didn't have the "right"? When will you realize that without an enforcement mechanism, rights are a mirage and that said enforcement mechanism is not very effective at enforcing itself?

So long as protection agencies exist with this in the frame of mind of their members and their clients, things proceed swimmingly.

Ah. Your paradigm requires that all the people in this system (and especially the members of the protection agency) be brainwashed. Considering the facts that a) this brainwashing goes against the interests of the primary power group -- the PAs, and b) there is no other enforcement mechanism, your system is screwed.

Asking why the protection agency won’t go sovereign is like asking why your grocery store doesn’t poison your milk. ... poisoning strangers for the heck of it.

Great except Walmart isn't a PA. A grocery could not poison my milk repeatedly (definition of a state: sovereign monopoly on force remember?). Note also that it does not gain anything by poisoning me -- I just go to another grocery store. In contrast, if a PA shoots a few of their customers, the rest fall in line and pay a Laffer max tax. Note that going to another PA is not an option because then you join the ranks of the shot. What will the grocery store do? Send me free poisoned milk?

The wart of the state ... The Government. They vote, contest politics, pay taxes, and are always calling for government reform when the thing inevitably starts to go crazy.

Note that crap like politics and voting in a mass scale only got started with democracy. If you want to just trash democracy, I am all for it. NC does not have these warts. As to taxation, even PAs will have them (and at laffer max too once they cartelize).

The key point you need to realize is that the problem of government only exists because people think that it can work, ... you understand it.

Any specific government only exists when its people are brainwashed, to a lesser or greater degree, with some principle. However, note that you yourself admitted that the same applies to PAs. However, the general problem of why any government exists is quite apart from brainwashing. The existence of a government is simply a sociological fact made inevitable by human psychology.

USSR: This is just silly; a lot of people thought the US was cooler, but why did one of those people end up as General Secretary of MosCorp...

Um... randomness. If you look at Gorbachev, he became progressively more and more disenchanted with the USSR as time went on. If not him, then eventually it would have happened. Were the economic inefficiencies inherent in the USSR a contributing factor to its demise? Of course they were. However, they were not sufficient and this is supported by historical evidence of almost every major civilization in existence. Civilizations fell iff the ruling class decided that it wasn't worth the effort.

To repeat, I am not against government incompetence, I am against government itself....

But why? If you just hate government as a first principle, please admit that now so that your theories can be thrown in the trash pile of arbitrary Humen Oughts and this fruitless discussion ended. If not, then please explain why and how PAs help.

You said: ... No sir. You get no government!...

And how do you think that the population got coordinated in the first place? Just spontaneously? n-person prisoner's type dilemma would make that completely impossible.

October 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Drank

MM's argument was for South Africa, not the US. I am sure that SA would be better of with a government as (in)competent as Washington.

October 23, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Pals, it is perfectly reasonable to two different state systems and say which one is more like AC, and which one less. Recall the arch analogy. To build the arch, you must build the scaffold, then the arch itself. Then you can tear down the scaffold. There is a point, there, where both scaffold and arch exist. This is, in my way of thinking, what neocameralism may come to be like after its been running for a few generations.

I am perfectly happy to accept your "free market" comparison. If protection is analogized to a market good, what we have now could be analogized to the Soviet Union's markets. To transition from that, to a system with Chicago-style regulated "free" markets, is in fact a huge step towards free markets.

I can see, in neocameralism, a huge step in the direction of AC. You appear to be saying that because it does not go all the way to AC, it is not AC, and therefore should be of zero interest to the anarchist. That is poppycock.

October 23, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Newt: in the design of neocameralism, the stockholders collectively (or 51% of them, voting unanimously) are sovereign. No individual is, nor is any corporation. (Unless he/it controls 51%.)

So when you ask whether or not a charity in neocameralism is sovereign, the answer must be the same. No. Not unless it owns 51%.

In all cases, though, the stockholder is of a cut above the average person, who has zero political power. The stockholder has some slice of political power. Just not enough to be sovereign.

So when you say: [i]f they are not sovereign, then giving the chares to charity is useless: you ahve just given them to the sovereign of the charity as they can appropriate the shares at any time, you are not critiquing my ideas nor anything about charity within neocameralism. You are criticizing neocameralism itself, namely, the assumption that the joint-stock design cannot be gamed. What if one owner or group gets 51%? Should he not instantly dispossess the other 49%?

MM has addressed this; take it up with him via email if you are not satisfied. I see it as a serious potential problem, but I agree with MM that it is one that can be dealt with well enough via various means, albeit means that fall short of rigid engineering. Such is politics.

So I disagree with you: giving a share to a charity (or willing to a child, or indeed giving to anyone else who controls less than 51%) is not useless. Thus, the rest of your posting is moot.

October 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Leo

MM's solution to the share disposition problem seems to be reputational. I don't buy this argument. That is why I still prefer monarchies to NC.

However, my argument is not based on this. Even if the other shares are not appropriated, the fact remains that a sovereign is necessary to maintain the charity. If this set of sovereigns is sufficiently small (as your transition to AC would require), then they just take over the world.

You have also completely skipped the problem of the PAs taking over as the new government.

October 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

Wait for the Chinese to get assaulted or murdered in a high profile case, or have their investments attacked, then propose a more rational government with their support. That's the quickest way around USG.

October 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Newt, you are assuming that anyone who can take over the world (or more likely, a patch), will. This is not true: it is possible to voluntarily refrain from taking power.

But more than that, there is really no danger here. If the charities that own the stock in a patch decide they do want to "take over the patch", they do nothing, because they already own the patch. It is only if they want to free the patch that they have to do something, namely, abolish the sovcorp. (Or just place it into abeyance, another interesting form of anarchy or near-anarchy.)

As for PAs taking over once in anarchy, well, that is a danger. Most non-anarchists cannot get their mind around the idea of multiple, competing governments. But ACs think that it is not only possible, it is necessary to prevent the state from arising. ACs think that the anarchic structure is sound: no protection agency can take over on its own, because the others exist. The very attempt to do so (or even begin to), would result in that PA losing all its customers, along with most of the employees. Any remaining employees would be arrested (by other PAs), and prosecuted for Attempted Enslavement. Or perhaps just strung up as rebels and traitors -- a man who has liberty can never be too harsh with those that would enslave him.

If you have trouble understanding that, imagine what would happen if, tomorrow, the Supreme Court announced that according to its new understanding, the 13th Amendment was stricken from the Constitution, and that slavery was accordingly legal. And perhaps even that starting soon, a lottery was to be held for the first batch of new slaves.

I would imagine in a patchwork world that when the first patch goes anarchic, there would be considerable interest in the rest of the world as to how it goes. If it is stable, and remains stable for a while, then you might see other places follow. If it collapses, then the experiment is run as well as we can hope for, and anarchists would have to admit that AC is unstable.

October 23, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Leo

Newt, you are assuming that anyone who can take over the world (or more likely, a patch), will. This is not true: it is possible to voluntarily refrain from taking power.

Sure for one or two angels but regularly?
yeah right.

But more than that, there is really no danger here. ... form of anarchy or near-anarchy.)

Wrong Leo. If the charities want to take over a patch, they throw out your plan of minimum taxation and go back to the tried and tested model of laffer-maximum taxes with dividends (for themselves...). Then we are back to sovereigns.

As for PAs taking over once in anarchy, well, that is a danger....harsh with those that would enslave him.

I have never claimed that a single PA would take over. What I have said is that the PAs will cartelize. The top n PAs will discover that they own X% of the market where X > 50 and that they have the largest military force and then they will join up to take over the rest, with guns instead of ads. Note that it is obviously in their benefit to do so. It is not just a "danger." It is inevitable. I doubt that this process will take more than a few decades. Industries certainly cartelize in lesser time without antitrust laws to prevent them from doing so.

If you have trouble understanding that, imagine what would happen if, tomorrow, ... was to be held for the first batch of new slaves.

The only institution that would be capable of stopping them would be the military (which the implicit support of congress). Note that the military is the state. Note also that if this hypothetical announcement was followed by ~1 yr or more of propaganda from the universities and MSM, the military would in all probability, do nothing.

I would imagine in a patchwork world that when ... admit that AC is unstable.

Something we can agree on!! even if with a few changes. Replace when with if. Also, the second part of your comment is incorrect. The moment the first patch goes nuclear, ACs will think up a dozen trivial reasons as to why it failed none of which will have any impact on the canonical AC theories. As Pals here demonstrates amply, AC is, like socialism and democracy, a religion. Otherwise, Somalia would make you guys think twice.

October 23, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

The top n PAs will discover that they own X% of the market where X > 50 and that they have the largest military force and then they will join up to take over the rest, with guns

Ah, a giant conspiracy! Well, it will out. And then it plays out as I said. Very quickly these agencies would discover their 51% of the market was now 0.1%, and they are headed for bankruptcy. And they would further discover that most of their best employees had given notice, quit, or were refusing to follow orders pending shareholder consultation. And finally that their shareholders were having an emergency meeting to fire the CEO and upper management, to replace them with people not tainted with slaving.

Does the US military have the largest military force? So why is it that they do not take over the US? Or it "inevitable", as you say, and just for some odd reason has not happened yet? If you believe something is stopping them, then what is it, and why can it not stop PAs' armies from attempting the same sort of thing?

it is obviously in their benefit to do so.

And it is obviously in the benefit of the US Army to take over. Yet, they do not.

As for who would stop the hypothetical "Slaver Court", it would not even need to get to the military. There would first be mass outrage, followed in short order by politicians' condemnations. Impeachment would follow. But the lower courts themselves would simply refuse to follow the Slaver Court, and it would find itself (even before any sort of arrest or impeachment) utterly alone. Without power. Eventually the impeachment would happen, and then US Marshals would evict the Slaver Court, and that would be that.

Anyway, I guess the example of the Slaver Court was not stark enough for you. So imagine this instead: the Supreme Court, tomorrow, goes on national television to announce that gay marriage is now the law of the land, that pederasty down to the age of 6 is OK, and that they, themselves, are about to marry 8-year-old boys. This is how I imagine the announcement of a coup by protection agencies would strike a population of free men.

October 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Leo

The US military does not take over because it is indoctrinated 24/7. Note also that there is an even smaller and organized (though not more powerful in the absolute sense) force keeping the military from starting down this path: the US civil government which takes every opportunity to publicly demonstrate its dominance over the military. The military does not realize its own power. Note also that the military does not include any sort of a Pareto elite. If it did, it would have already taken over. I would not be surprised that when the incompetence of Washington is exposed, the military does just take over.

In contrast, there is no organized opposition against the PAs with the sovereign imperative, by your own accounts.

As pals mentioned, members of the security force have to be brainwashed to not take over.

That is simply not stable. Not without an opposing force and no, consumer sentiment is not it.

Also, this will not be an instantaneous process, much like market catrtelization is not an instantaneous process. It will be gradual and covered up with all sorts of platitudes, much like no one thinks of governments as slave-owners even if they effectively are.

As for the SCOTUS declaring gay marriage, they could probably get away with it. Pederasty would be harder but a little education can work around that.

October 23, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger drank said...

@josh: However, its possible that formal recognition as the ruling class would restore some kind of noblesse oblige.

That's certainly possible - with a limited franchise, the Bs no longer need the DHs to capture the state, so their politics could change.

I guess it depends on how much of the current politics of the Bs you think is strategic, and how much comes from sincere conviction.

October 23, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Alrenous said...

Neglecting something. Military superiority is not the same as military omnipotence, let alone military profitability.

You don't necessarily need a larger army, you just need to be able and willing to make coercion sufficiently painful.

The other thing is it's great that everyone knows that pure 'rationality' is not the decider on these issues, and very human drives enter the picture. However, it necessarily follows that it is possible to array human factors against, not just in favour of, military dominance. Presumably this can even be done without lying, and all it takes is some testing to figure out how.

October 23, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Malchus X said...

Now that some of the higher-quality posters have had their say, I'm going to weigh in with a bit of (brief) proletarian crudeness - just imagine "Sweet Home Alabama" playing in the background as the Stars & Bars flutter from the back of my pick'em up truck while I type the following:

The reason SA is a craphole has nothing to do with sovereignty, flawed patches, deep philosophy, statistics, colonialism, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Jews, generic whites of any kind, tetsi flies, the sickle cell, none of it, nada.

The reason that SA is a craphole is because it is (1) Majority Black and (2) Run by same. Ditto Detroit, Birmingham, Oakland*, Newark...I try to stretch the imagination and work the memory...is there one - just one - city, state, region, country on the face of the Earth where points #1 & #2 both obtain that isn't a festering craphole?

Now, as Richard Nixon stated in his famous transcipts MM mentioned in his post, I must say I have the greatest affection for them, but they aren't going to make it for five hundred years, if that, in the civilized government business. When left to fend for themselves and conditions #1 & #2 obtain, a craphole is what you're going to end up with.

It really is that crudely simple.

*It's a racial plurality in Oakland, for the inevitable "gotcha!" nitpick gussied up as a meaningful refutation of anything I actually typed.

October 23, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A much better result would be achieved, for instance, by psychometric qualification. If your IQ is less than 120, you have to go through life with the dunce-cap of a nonvoter. On the other hand, you get to go through life with a government elected by those whose IQ is over 120.

It seems unlikely that this would produce substantially different government in the US than the one we actually have. If you use education level as a proxy for IQ - it's an imperfect proxy, but not a horrible one - those with postgraduate educations tend to vote more liberal/left than the population as a whole. See, for example, the national exit poll for 2008.


This is exactly right. If only the high IQs were allowed to vote, the government would be MORE liberal, not less. The only reason the Brahmins haven't gone this route to shut out the proles is they can achieve the same effect by allowing the Dalits to vote (who needless to say all have an IQ well under 100, let alone 120).

Malchus X, I said the same thing up at the top of this comment thread, but buffoons like G.M. Palmer simply couldn't accept it. Oh well!

October 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

I.Q. of over 120. Like Berkeley, but with a lower defense budget? When that doesn't work out maybe you could go back to Seasteading.
If this were Russian Roulette, you would have no empty chambers left.

October 23, 2009 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Ranon1:

You really can't read, can you?

I wasn't disputing the first part of your argument.

I was disputing the idea that SA could return to de jure white rule and be left alone by USG.

October 23, 2009 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was disputing the idea that SA could return to de jure white rule and be left alone by USG.

You are really a halfwit, aren't you? You still don't get that you were disputing an argument I didn't make.

October 23, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Nitpicker said...

@Malchus X: Mali seems to do reasonably well for itself, at least compared to its neighbors.

October 24, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

RA1:

Forgot I was feeding a troll. Rereading it seems we were cross arguing. Your point seems to have been that "black people are bad." My point was mostly one of semantics.

Whatevs. Got a halloween costume to buy and a UF game to watch. Sod off, codfish.

October 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

There are more comments here than I've got time to read. Thought some of you might be interested though in what LeninOfLiberty has been posting at Distributed Republic. He's trying to defend democracy (at least some forms of it) against Mencius' arguments. Whether he does so successfully is another story, but since not many are willing to grapple with MM's ideas head-on it's still a worthwhile find.

October 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

"I guess it depends on how much of the current politics of the Bs you think is strategic, and how much comes from sincere conviction."

It's both, isn't it? Memes that confer a strategic advantage are more likely to be sincerely adopted by the individual. Throw in some Schelling points, other game theory and heard behavior and you understand where elite opinion comes from. OF course, its far too complicated IMO to offer an opinion of what would be the actual outcome of IQ based voting restrictions.

October 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point seems to have been that "black people are bad."

The point, dumbass, was not that blacks are bad, simply that they are incapable of providing responsible government. There is overwhelming evidence to support this observation.

Got a halloween costume to buy

You going as Bozo the Clown, or as an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand?

October 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

successful troll is successful. i suppose you've got a nice bow tie?

October 24, 2009 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

TGGP:

LOL's arguments seem to mirror yours -- that USG is "the best thing going" -- which is not MM's argument anyway -- his argument is that USG does a crap job compared to what it could/should be doing.

Good apologetics for democracy, though. It's fine to see USG finally needs apologists.

October 24, 2009 at 8:13 PM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Michael S. wrote "Let's remember that when the great decolonialization of the 1950s and '60s took place, Britain and France took pains to leave in place what they thought were sufficient institutions to support responsible government...".

No, actually, they did not. Britain had indeed once had long term plans for that, which had come to pass for the "White Dominions", but once events forced the pace Britain switched to variants of a dodge sometimes used by second hand car dealers (often involving artificial partition or federation - Pakistan got both). When a car has a defect, say problems with reverse, it is carefully positioned in the lot so it can get out easily. That way problems only show up later, once it is off the premises. France had no plans for decolonising, and when faced with it insisted on a take it or leave it approach to new governments: either lock in French governance and capital with binding neocolonial agreements, or the French would take everything that wasn't locked down when they left. Only Guinea refused to fold - and got precisely that. The neocolonial approach also eroded over time, though it often served until quite recently and did hang in better than the British approach.

"It made no difference, because those institutions had no real foundation in those societies, and the small numbers of bright people on their staffs were either so deracinated from their own societies as to be ineffectual, or as soon as the former colonial masters departed, they quickly turned to the pursuit of their own advantage by whatever means expedient, having no reason for continuing loyalty to institutions foreign to their nature and (such as it was) to their culture".

In Malawi, Hastings Banda kept it going for a surprisingly long time. Arguably Botswana has done some of the same, by synthesising that endowment with existing customary structures.

October 25, 2009 at 1:48 AM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

Alat wrote "Rhodesia didn't have a white electorate, just requirements of wealth and property. . . which less [sic - should be 'fewer'] than 1,000 blacks in the whole country could pass. The same thing applied in Portuguese Angola and Mozambique, with additional educational requirements".

That actually wasn't the problem, rather the problem was the (enforced?) lack of upward mobility. By rigging the system to keep themselves on top, it didn't work as it had in 19th century Britain. There, some moved up and others clubbed together to boost a few of them at a time into the franchise (Building Societies and other mutual organisations could and did do this). Also, politicians had an incentive to "dilute the equity" by broadening the franchise, and did. The safety valve worked. Had Rhodesia et al had systems to encourage individuals to become qualified (genuinely, i.e. internalising values as they went), it would have worked there too - by eroding the vast repressed mass, exterminating them by (genuinely) promoting them. Ironically, the beginnings of South African apartheid go back to switching the franchise from a property to a race basis over a century ago, precisely because some coloureds and Indians were beginning to qualify; they decided to rig the system rather than let the safety valve work. It looks as though property qualifications with true promotion are the way to go, perhaps with everybody qualifying at a certain higher age for a final safety valve (TGGP - US Jim Crow laws did some of this, with people including blacks over a certain age often being exempt from Poll Taxes, but the age was too high to be practical, and I think past tax defaulters might still have feared being caught if they voted).

c23 wrote "The responsibility for the abolition of apartheid belongs with the white electorate that voted for it. USG was putting pressure on SA, but not unbearable pressure."

See above about politicians having an incentive to dilute the equity. Some of those put it through once it was a near enough thing, and did indeed see out their time on the back of it.

October 25, 2009 at 1:50 AM  
Anonymous P.M.Lawrence said...

G. M. Palmer wrote 'That's the blind-spot in anarcho-capitalism. The "private security contractors" -- or whoever is bankrolling them -- will be the government.'

Actually, it's only the blind spot of those who are still caught in the wider mental trap of thinking everything has to be done by someone else. It's not a trap or blind spot for those who think through the implications that they themselves have to be part of securing themselves, no matter how they club together to make that more efficient and effective.

Pals wrote "The only way that private security contractors become the government is when they can brainwash their subjects into believing that a government is needed".

Wrong, all they need is the ability to subject (verb, like "subjugate") the subjects (noun) - acquiescence just makes it cheaper and easier, and often emerges anyway as a psychological defence like denial ("Once a government loses the consent of those it governs, and loses its legitimacy completely, it is only a matter of time before it collapses and can do nothing" simply isn't true - it only needs the consent of those it uses to rule, a willingness to be in 100% control of a small surplus rather than a larger less than 100% share of a larger amount, and no need for more support on side that it might need for outside enemies). Once in place to protect, they are in place for the rest. So, always keep enough protection to yourself.

Michael S. wrote "Those former colonies in which native non-European peoples formed the majority did not form responsible governments. South Africa and Rhodesia represent instances in which the immigrant European populations weren't large enough to dominate in plebiscites, and so responsible government was sacrificed in those places in the name of democracy".

Actually, that wasn't the issue, but rather the underlying thing for which large scale votes like plebiscites are a proxy: strength on the ground. Merely restricting the franchise wouldn't have helped, but actually bringing people up would have. See my earlier remarks.

Leonard wrote 'As for who would stop the hypothetical "Slaver Court", it would not even need to get to the military. There would first be mass outrage, followed in short order by politicians' condemnations. Impeachment would follow. But the lower courts themselves would simply refuse to follow the Slaver Court, and it would find itself (even before any sort of arrest or impeachment) utterly alone. Without power. Eventually the impeachment would happen, and then US Marshals would evict the Slaver Court, and that would be that.'

No, because only some outsider group would be targetted (at least at first) - third time felons, say. "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out...".

October 25, 2009 at 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Alat said...

Actually, it's only the blind spot of those who are still caught in the wider mental trap of thinking everything has to be done by someone else. It's not a trap or blind spot for those who think through the implications that they themselves have to be part of securing themselves, no matter how they club together to make that more efficient and effective.

You're right. Anarcho-libertarianism does reduce to "a tank and a jet fighter for every family" - that's why it's insane.

And not that the "club together" part has already happened - and it has created this entity, you know, the state. We could start all over again, no doubt, but we'd reach the exact same place again after some time.

Your "club", "protection provider" or what have you, WOULD BE the state.

October 25, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Alat said...

And NOTE that the "club together" part . . .

sorry.

October 25, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they decided to rig the system rather than let the safety valve work.

Is there an example of the "safety valve" approach working anywhere? or, like Communism, are you going to insist that this approach has "never really been tried"?

Blacks in America are richer and freer than blacks anywhere, and far richer and freer than American blacks 45 years ago. Yet American blacks are not notably satisfied or functionally integrated. This suggests the safety valve approach is unworkable.

October 25, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Anon and PM Lawrence

Its exactly the opposite of the safety value. Give a group some concession and they get the impression (often correctly) that you will cave even further. This has happened in every successful revolution. For he who has the security forces, the best solution is to clamp down and give not an inch.

The works of Roger Trinquirer could be helpful there.

October 25, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

P.M. Lawrence - it can be argued that Britain and France left their African and Asian colonies under pressure from economic force majeure - they could no longer afford their colonies after World War II. I wouldn't dispute that this is true, nor that it did not allow enough time for the colonial powers' departure to take place under ideal circumstances for the successor governments to flourish. Yet this is to make the perfect the enemy of the good. The departing British colonial governments did leave in place at least nominally functioning parliaments, courts staffed with judges and lawyers educated at the Inns of Court, armies with Sandhurst-trained officers, etc., and made their former colonies members of the British Commonwealth. I'm not as familiar with the French decolonisations, but know that the French in general took a similarly paternalistic interest in their former colonies.

The point I am trying to make is that these institutions were not sufficient to sustain responsible government. Can anyone seriously claim they were? The legal and constitutional framework that perhaps could have sustained responsible government in the presence of a mature civil society, with a robust private-sector economy, failed to do so in their absence. Thus (for example) in Tanganyika, the deracinated LSE-educated socialist, Julius Nyerere, destroyed his country because it hadn't the capacity to produce enough wealth for his government to redistribute. In Kenya, the old Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta has been succeeded by less astute kleptocrats who have thriven on the exploitation of tribal antipathies. And so on...

Maybe Malawi and Botswana are examples of relatively less bad results, but they are 'exceptions that prove the rule.' Most of the former African and Asian colonies are anywhere from moderately to severely dysfunctional. Probably India has a better chance than most, first, because it was already relatively better developed than the others at the time it became a British colony, and second, because the British left it with a large number of schools and colleges, and its better-educated populace has been a sounder foundation for the development of the civil society and its economy than has been possible in most of the other ex-colonies.

October 25, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous c23 said...

PML, I don't really see what tendency of politicians to expand the franchise has to do with what I said. It's true that they do, but apartheid was ultimately repealed by white voters in a plebiscite, not politicians.

October 25, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger PV van der Byl said...

P.M. Lawrence is correct about the obstacles to upward mobility faced by non-whites in South Africa, Rhodesia, and the Portuguese colonies.

The core constituencies of the National Party of SA, the Rhodesian Front, and the Salazar government were weighted towards the left-half of the white Bell Curves in their respective countries.

Obviously, there were exceptions--there were a decent number of Afrikaner intellectuals prominent in the National Party leadership in the middle of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, the socioeconomic status (and, no doubt, IQ) of the average National Party (pro-apartheid whites) in South Africa during the period 1920-1980 or so was significantly lower than for their white political opponents.

Unskilled whites felt labor market competition from non-whites most keenly and had the most to gain from colour bars rather than property or education-based requirements. For most of the 20th century, the English-speakers who voted for the National Party were from the lower end of the working class.

English-speaking professionals and businessmen were far more likely to favor franchise rights based on something apart from race.

This pattern could be found over and over again in Africa within and between white classes.
Helen Suzman, the sole member of the Progressive Party for many years represented Houghton, the highest income parliamentary constituency in South Africa. No doubt, some will argue this reflected the high proportion of Jews in Houghton, but WASP voters in Houghton and other northern (i.e. well-to-do) suburbs voted for the Progs and the other National Party opponents in very large numbers.

The top half of the Afrikaner population (whether in terms of income, education, or IQ) was far more likely to favor political accommodation to blacks than the white mine workers in the Transvaal.

In Rhodesia, the one parliamentary constituency that voted routinely for Ian Smith's opponents was Borrowdale, the richest and best educated white suburb of what was then Salisbury. No doubt, there were a few Jews in the neighborhood but hardly enough to swing elections in the way they went.

White emigration from Portugal to Angola and Mozambique was strongly encouraged by the Salazar government. As a practical matter, these were generally the poorest, least educated Portuguese that Salazar was trying remove from the metropole.

The Portuguese colonies did not place many obstacles to non-white economic advancement until well into the 20th century and then as a way to placate poor whites who had moved to Africa relatively recently and faced string competition in the labor market.

One of the unfortunate consequences of this was the alienation of the mixed race population (the Portuguese called them mesticos, South Africans would have said coloureds) from Portuguese identity. Mesticos had previously been fairly loyal to the Portuguese Empire because they occupied economic strata above native and non-Portuguese speaking blacks.

Racially oriented rules imposed by Portugal to benefit uneducated and unskilled whites at the expense of the mesticos caused them to support radically anti-government political movements like the Marxist MPLA in Angola who wound up on top after the Portuguese forces departed. The mestico-based MPLA is still in charge in Angola today.

To a significant extent, the challenge to white primacy in Africa reflected deep fissures between different white social strata.

Observers in Europe and North America placed too much emphasis on the English-Afrikaner linguistic division because it was something foreign observers could easily understand. Language certainly mattered but I believe that Bell Curve differences amongst whites ultimately mattered more.

October 26, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Razib has a post on the disgruntled Mesticos of Angola here.

October 26, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Lawrence, Newt, Palmer, et al...

I've been completely swamped and have not had time to respond to you. But I will do so soon.

October 27, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

to Drank and others -- the 120 IQ cutoff, though of course unrealistic, is by no means as silly as you are making out. Indeed, it is intuitively obvious that enfrancising only smart people would improve government.

Drank writes: If you use education level as a proxy for IQ... those with postgraduate educations tend to vote more liberal/left than the population as a whole.

That is true. However, I would argue that proxying IQ by education, in spite of its good correlation (~0.6, although hard to get numbers), is a bad proxy for voting, because the institutions of higher education are the primary transmitters of progressivism.

I would suggest using the income proxy instead: high IQ people tend to have high incomes as well (~.4 correlation), and income is not solely allocated to people via their attendance in any particular church.

Obama and McCain split the actual vote 53/46/1. A 120+ IQ is roughly the top 10% of the population. Using the top 17% of the educated (graduate school), you can see that the Obama/McCain split widens to 58/40/2; presumably, the top 10% is even more skewed, although there is no way to know that from the polling data Drank linked. Using the top 12% of incomes, however, we see a split of 50/48/2. That is, high earners voted less for Obama than the whole population.

October 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

I'm interested to read Mr. van der Byl's comments about pro-apartheid whites in South Africa. This same division of white attitudes towards blacks occurred in the southern U.S. during the Jim Crow era. Thus, for example, the core constituency for a figure like Theodore Bilbo (D., Miss.) was found amongst poor whites, who had most to fear from black competition for unskilled jobs. Bilbo has been called a "redneck liberal" by his most recent biographer, who makes the point that Bilbo was the first U.S. senator to endorse FDR for a third term. He was essentially a New Dealer who happened to be a segregationist. The New Deal would not have passed without the support of such southern Democrats.

Upper-class southerners like Sen. LeRoy Percy (D., Miss.) were not racial egalitarians, but they never were virulent race-baiters like Bilbo; see, for example, Percy's 1922 speech denouncing the Ku Klux Klan. It is worth noting that Percy, the last senator to be elected to the Senate by his state's legislature before the ratification of the 17th amendment, was defeated in the first popular election following it by the populist and segregationist James K. Vardaman, whose campaign was managed by none other than Theodore Bilbo.

October 27, 2009 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Leo

Sort of but not quite. I would argue that the voting behavior of 120+ IQ group cannot be compared when just it is voting and when the entire population is voting.

Note that the primary strategy of the progressives is the BDH alliance. Thus voting in the upper echelon is largely an expression of this alliance. Part of it is the insane coddling of criminals, welfare, etc... Note that the reason that this works is because the lower classes (DH) are foolish enough to consider these concessions a gift to their entire classes and therefore to each one of themselves. We a black criminal is let go, blacks see it as "helping a brother," even if the victim of the crime was another black.

The upper classes (BO) are not so stupid. If only 120+ IQ people voted, this alliance would fall apart and people would have far lesser incentive to be progressive -- those policies no longer bring much electoral success save by momentum (which does not last forever).

Right now, a person with 120+ IQ has a choice between wasting his vote or using it to "choose" the progressive team, which because of the support of the DHs, reigns supreme. Psychological satisfaction often wins out.

If only 120+ IQ people could vote, this system is finished. Progressives may rule the roost through momentum but the default support for actively destructive policies will be gone (from this source, note that it is not the only one).

Of course, when I say vote, what I really mean is social influence. Whether blacks can or cannot vote is completely irrelevant if they can riot and achieve the same ends. In this case, the pro-progressive dynamic is maintained as well.

The subterfuge of not telling them (DH) their IQ is not going to keep them fooled forever. At some point, force will have to be used to extract obedience and at that point, if people willing to use force are not available in the governing class, the entire exercise has been for naught.

October 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is intuitively obvious that enfrancising only smart people would improve government.

Yeah, just look at how well run the average university is. Those poindexters really know how to make things happen!

the institutions of higher education are the primary transmitters of progressivism.

Which destroys your theory that limiting the franchise to high IQs would improve government.

October 27, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

Anon, get serious and get a handle. Yes, smart people are responsible for the Cathedral. But this is no surprise: smart people run everything substantial.

If you want to state a theory that smart people are stupid, go ahead. But you'll have to explain not just the Cathedral, where there's a reasonable case to be made, but all of business, the military, etc. That is, anything that is "government" in any sense.

MM's thesis on progressivism is much more believable: smart people can adopt many religious beliefs; the beliefs they do adopt will tend to be those that help them to get into and wield power. Being progressive is not dumb in a democracy, it is smart. That's the problem.

October 27, 2009 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@Anon

I already responded to that. The reason that smart people support progressivism is because as Leo said, in the US democracy, progressivism is the smart choice.

October 27, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Yeah, just look at how well run the average university is. Those poindexters really know how to make things happen!
Arnold Kling made a similar point, and Bryan Caplan responded here. Since IQ is even more correlated with "thinking like an economist" than education and less correlated with leftism, that strengthens Caplan's point.

Mencius argues that universal suffrage democracy creates perverse incentives. In his earliest posts he proposed handing over the entire government the civil service (as shareholders) or merely Sulzberger.

October 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Studd Beefpile said...

Leonard>

I'll argue that smart people are stupid, or at least that everyone is stupid, but smart people are stupid too. People can become experts in a narrowly defined field (e.g. chemistry) but only by ignoring other things. There is vastly more information out there than anyone can hold in their head, or even get in one place. Capitalism works not because business people are smart, but because the market is constantly punishing failure. Governments are stupid because they almost never fail despite their stupidity, and this will remain a problem under neocameralism. MM has never explained how he expects to handle declining/bankrupt sov corps. Does anyone really think that if GM had nukes and could directly tax Detroit, they wouldn't still be riding high on the hog?

October 27, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

MM has never explained how he expects to handle declining/bankrupt sov corps.

Of course he has. For decline anyway -- the prospect of an actually bankrupt sovcorp is almost impossible, for the reason you state. Nuclear-armed sovereigns don't go bankrupt. They merely stop paying their debts.

Decline is handled by firing the CEO and getting a better one. A smarter one, presumably.

As for whether everyone is dumb (you really need to swallow that red pill), do you know any CEOs or, otherwise, men who've founded a corporation or fought their way to the top of an existing one? They are not dumb men (or occasionally, women). If you really think they are, I must then question your degree of contact with normal people.

Finally, it's worth reemphasizing that neocameralism, as a engineered solution for bad government, is not a free market solution. So you cannot expect it will produce results as efficient as, say, the market for groceries or whatever. That's too bad, I guess. (Anarchy does harness the full power of the market, at least according to some proponents, if you want to think about that.) But you don't need that level of efficiency to be far better than the current monopoly service providers.

The problem with the current providers of government is not just that they have no externally-imposed discipline, although that is of course true. It is that, as an inevitable consequence of the design, they are irresponsible and incoherent. That is, they have no internally-imposed discipline either. No system of government except anarchocapitalism even purports to impose external discipline on government.

October 28, 2009 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Studd Beefpile said...

Leonard>

You're missing the point. I have met these people, and they are as smart as people get. The problem is that "as smart as people get" is still incredibly stupid in the big picture sense.

And I would say that attempting to impose external discipline is the essential problem of politics. Democracy attempts to do this by voting. Neocameralism attempts to do this by a joint stock model. Both are premised on the (correct) assumption that internal discipline is not enough. Governments with only internal discipline might implement the will of the leader effectively, but have no incentive to implement policies that are good for the populace. Such governments tend to run themselves into the ground or degenerate.

October 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Stirner said...

MM has been mixing it up again in the comments of another blog.

Fire up the popcorn for this one.

http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama/2009/10/drones.html

October 28, 2009 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Stirner said...

Fixed link:
http://tinyurl.com/yfzq2vr

October 28, 2009 at 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Beefpile, the very meaning of "sovereign" is that there is no higher level. There is not, and cannot be, external discipline imposed on a sovereign. That's what it means.

The kind of discipline you are talking about is internal discipline. And it does not work in democracy for many reasons. One is the aforementioned stupidity of normal people. According to your high-school civics, when the USA makes a mistake, it is corrected by the alert people. Good luck with that. But there is a much more deadly and fundamental problem: democratic control is incoherent. What is the goal of the electorate? You cannot say, because it is an ill-formed question. There are many goals, many of which conflict with each other. The thing has all the structure and firmness of a bag of jello. Maybe throw in a few twigs.

By contrast the goals of the stockholders of a sovcorp will be focused like a laser: make money fa$t. It is true they may also have disparate other goals, and even attempt activism to get them implemented, but these will pale besides the main goal.

October 29, 2009 at 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Folks,

My general response to your points on AC can be summarized thus:

There are two types of crime and coercion that go on:

1- Premeditated direct coercive acts for specific purposes. These are things like blatant theft, murder or rape where the aggressor knows they're doing something wrong but will do it anyway because they want the benefit they get from it. No one allowed them to do it. They just did it.

2- Indirect evil acts carried out by authorities who are given consent to carry out these acts and who may or may not know that they're doing something evil. This includes every single government policy ever enacted. These are only carried out because the victims tend to view the perpetrator as somehow having a divine/hereditary/democratic/revolutionary prerogative to carry these acts out.

I think 95% of the worlds problems come from 2.

Further, no good can ever come from granting someone the prerogative to carry out coercive acts.

AC says that if you simply convince people not to grant their consent to anyone to carry out coercion, you're rid of most problems in the world.

Leonard,

You said: “Beefpile, the very meaning of "sovereign" is that there is no higher level. There is not, and cannot be, external discipline imposed on a sovereign. That's what it means.””

Think of AC as a state of the world where everyone believes that no one has the right to be sovereign over anything but their own person and their own private property. Any claims of sovereignty beyond this, such as owning humans or “governing” territory owned by other humans are considered void. Acting upon these claims of sovereignty will necessary involve coercive acts. Under AC, these will be considered no different whatsoever from coercive acts carried out by anyone else. There is no acceptable sovereignty prerogative for anything—ever. Or better, think of AC as the null state where no forms of belief can ever justify sovereignty or coercion.

So, as soon as someone decides that they are sovereign and want taxes, or want to move you around or kill you, that is treated by everyone in society as no different than anyone else carrying out these aggressive acts. They will have to bear the consequences of their aggression as if they were any petty thief. Since there is no state or police, justice would be popular justice. People would lynch anyone who kills. Mob justice is a very effective deterrent. And that is the enforcement mechanism. It’s a very scary thought, and no one would fuck with the mob. And you can’t bribe the mob.

The point is that if everyone believes this to be the case, you will get very little coercion and sovereignty happening by anyone anywhere.

October 30, 2009 at 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Palmer,

“Even if, you're still paying a large chunk of your income to someone for services. What's to stop AC companies for charging customers at the laffer maximum?”

--Competition and profitability. It is a better and more profitable arrangement for all for a highly efficient and very cheap protection agency to charge a small amount, ensure law and order and allow people complete freedom to do everything (peaceful) they want to do, than it is to have an aggressive overlord charging a lot of money.

And without the intellectual consent of the clients, no sovereign can manage to continue to subjugate and enslave their clients for long. Eventually, they will be “freed” by a competitor who sensed a giant profit opportunity from setting these people free and charging them a smaller fraction of a larger pie. But it won’t even get there, because once you remove the ideological poison from the brains of the subjects, the government crumbles.


Newt:

“Your paradigm requires that all the people in this system (and especially the members of the protection agency) be brainwashed.”

No. It requires that they NOT be brainwashed. It requires them to think of their protection agency as no different than their grocer, doctor or prostitute. Once they start think of their protection agency as “we”, then all is fscked.

“In contrast, if a PA shoots a few of their customers, the rest fall in line and pay a Laffer max tax.”

--You need to start acknowledging the importance of subjects’ consent in all this. The problem is never that governments have their subjects as physical prisoners—the problem is that they have them as intellectual prisoners. Somehow, Americans STILL labor under the delusion that USG is there for their benefit. It isn’t USG’s guns that prevent their exit from under her loving embrace, it is their brains brainwashed by the professors/media who insist that we have now reached a golden age where government can solve everything. If you disabuse Americans of this notion, USG has no chance.

“As to taxation, even PAs will have them (and at laffer max too once they cartelize).”

--Nope, it’ll be a market fee you can chose to pay or not pay.

“But why? If you just hate government as a first principle, please admit that now so that your theories can be thrown in the trash pile of arbitrary Humen Oughts and this fruitless discussion ended. If not, then please explain why and how PAs help.”

--I am against all forms of government because government is necessarily a form of coercion. Coercion is always wrong, counter-productive and bad for business. I view government as the CAUSE not solution to life’s problems. Good government is an oxymoron. Ineffective government is a reprieve.

Think of the economic analogy, and try to think Austrian and ignore the mainstream garbage for a minute. My opposition of government is similar to my opposition to central banks. I don’t want a good or effective central bank, because a central bank by definition is always harmful and disastrous. The economy would work seamlessly without a sovereign managing the issuing of a currency. The economy is always fucked whenever a sovereign is issuing currency. Identically, human society is better whenever there is no coercion. As soon as coercion is introduced, bad things happen. Government is the mother of all coercion.

October 30, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Leonard,

You said: “I can see, in neocameralism, a huge step in the direction of AC. You appear to be saying that because it does not go all the way to AC, it is not AC, and therefore should be of zero interest to the anarchist. That is poppycock.”

--My problem is not that NC does not go enough, but that it goes in the opposite direction. Giving unaccountable and uncontested power to one agency is going to make it more effective, powerful and devastating. It’ll brainwash people more into its importance, and we’d end up in North Korea.

Newt,

“As Pals here demonstrates amply, AC is, like socialism and democracy, a religion. Otherwise, Somalia would make you guys think twice.”

--Umm… actually, the whole point of AC is to not believe in a statist religion at all. Neither democracy, monarchy, religion, revolutionary zeal, Messianic calling or white supremacism can ever be used as an excuse for coercion. All beliefs in government are to a sense religious, because they assume that some of these dumb ideas justify coercion. AC simply says that whatever bullshit believes you have, they shouldn’t justify coercion.

Finally, I just want to say this has so far been a very interesting and thought-provoking discussion. Thanks.

October 30, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Pals,

How often do you come in contact with the 85% of America (or the world, depending on who you are) whose IQ is at or below 115?

How much time do you spend with the half that is at or below 100?

I think you (or AC) underestimate just how convinceable the average and stupid are.

Mind you, I love the idea of no government. I don't particularly like the idea of security corps nor do I think they would gladly restrict themselves to non-sovereignty.

AC might work were everyone well-armed and willing to shoot even the most common criminal.

But that gets awfully stabby.

More importantly,

How do we get there from here? At least MM's trying to do that -- though Bearded Clam in the other thread has his panties in a wad about the time delay.

What's your vision for achieving AC?

October 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

How do we get there from here? At least MM's trying to do that

No he's not -- he's just trying to get to his patchwork (neocameralism moderated by lots of competition). Which is not a bad target, at least according to its proponents... but neither is it AC.

October 30, 2009 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

que?

MM is trying to get from here to (his) there.

Pals don't seem to be.

October 30, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
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October 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Pals said...

Palmer,

I do have a day job, and so haven't been fully engulfed in designing a strategy for victory of AC. But... your post is making me begin to think of designing one.

A few thoughts of the top of my head. Mencius' Antiversity (not his NC, Leonard) might be a perfect way to bring about AC. Even Mencius would have to admit that. The thing is, whenever you observe any of the major questions that the University has lied about recently, the only implication from an Antiversity would be that the government should end its involvement in the topic completely.

So, all of the University's bullshit about foreign policy is simply bullshit. An Antiversity would make it clear to you that the best way forward is for America to have no foreign policy whatsoever.

All of the University's economics is also fine-grade bullshit, and the Antiversity's Austrian alternative would recommend a complete separation of economy and state.

The same goes for racial relations, climatology, urban design, drug policies, copyright and much more. On every one of those issues, a clear adult assessment of the situation shows you that the only problem is USG. and that the University exists to propagate USG's involvement.

Get rid of the University, or debunk it comprehensively, and there is no more rationale for USG to get involved in this. One by one, USG would be divested from these issues.

I would finally argue that as USG's many gangs and agencies are divested from everything in the world, we would finally take the aforementioned analysis one step further and apply it to the question of law and order. Getting government out of law and order will end the problems of law and order.

No. I'm not crazy. Think about it.

November 3, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Pals,

I don't think you're crazy. I do think, however, that an unequally armed populace will always end up with a government.

It would be nice if it didn't, and I for one would welcome our new anarchist overlords, but I ain't holdin my breath.

Good start on formulating a plan. Keep it up.

November 3, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

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