Okay, so maybe you will be dancing in circles, but think how much fun you will be having! Listen, because this is beautiful. Your ears will smile. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/03/10/what-pi-sounds-like/
Okay, so maybe you will be dancing in circles, but think how much fun you will be having! Listen, because this is beautiful. Your ears will smile. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/03/10/what-pi-sounds-like/
“Government is an anti-virus program that pops up uninvited, claims to have detected viruses that aren’t really there, then installs a virus when it convinces you to run it. Government is the malware of civilization.” — Kyle Bennett
When I was a fairly young fairy, I would daydream a lot about living on a voluntary, cooperative space colony. Actually, even as an ancient fairy, I still dream of living on a space colony.
Since some of my earliest computer-playing memories were tied up with some Pascal I wrote for an environmental control program for the Stanford Torus, I had a pretty good idea of Space Colonies. My program didn’t get used but I got to learn a new language, and therefore it was totally fun. I guess it is natural that I would associate Space Colonies with FUN.
But space colonies are also about the future of humans. In fact, I did a painting once—of planets arrayed off into infinity—titled “Room Enough.” I think there is room for every social experiment of government, of cooperative, voluntary anarchy, of theocracies, and even new of social structures we have not yet imagined. We have certainly seen a lot of social structures already tried here on Earth. The Swiss seem to have a structure that works fairly well, but I think humans can do better. We just need to get coercive government out of the way. That is a mental exercise, not a violent one.
In fact, when I was fluttering around Evanston (fairies flutter, you know), there was a hometown paper that did an nice article about me, and I remember telling the reporter—and later seeing it accurately quoted in the article—that my life goals were to reach entelechy and to die teaching philosophy, sitting under a tree, on a Space Colony. I think I even said “Stanford Torus.”
I still think about that Space Colony sometimes, living out here in Montana.
(And I also still think about humans and how to identify the ones from my tribe. I finally figured out the primary demarcation is between those who initiate—or delegate the initiation of—force against peaceful humans. Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) humans. After that, finding my NAP-tribe close kin gets into aesthetics, energy, interests, and outlook. And adventurers, of course.)
And I think we really need that Space Colony now: we need a demonstration model for humans to test out new ways of structuring society. I think we need a place run as a free-market anarchy, with only voluntary, cooperative institutions, and equal human rights for everyone. That meant equal opportunity, not equal outcomes, because no two humans want exactly the same outcomes.
There’d be no initiation of force against anyone, or you’d wind up dead so fast you forget your last thought. Self-defense is a human right, along with life, liberty, and self-direction. The only true human rights are those rights held equally by every human: if only a special set of humans has that right, then some questions need to be asked: why do some have this right, and not others? Is this a human right, or a violence-based imposition by some against others? Space colonies, and even experimental societies, could try new approaches. I’m in favor of totally voluntary free markets.
Why aren’t we doing this? No government on Earth could afford to allow such a NAP social structure here (although I am not sure that anything or anyone could stop a voluntary, cooperative people with such a magnificent goal), because it wouldn’t take long for all the other humans to discover and want to migrate there (they could also just imitate in their own group, couldn’t they?).
Violence-based governments would try stopping them, of course. When this nation was a totally great free-market, with very limited government, a whole lot of humans wanted to come here and invest their lives in the founding concepts of this nation. We can do that again—going inward rather than outward, and making these voluntary communities around us. Start with the 3×3 rule: find three people (or families) within 3 or 9 or 27 miles, and grow your philosophical family.
But a few thugs, even that far back at the glorious beginnings of this government, had the power to initiate violence, and it just kept getting worse over the course of history. There was that initial flaw that only gave equal rights to some humans and not others, which was a mortal flaw, enforced by the initiation of violence. Because you cannot sustain an institution based on the initiation of violence.
So, it seems to me that the only way we get to give a superb demonstration of why we don’t need government by force, and are ready for government by reason, is to build a Space Colony. Is there any reason not to begin today? I am going to check around and see if anyone is working on this—I mean in the private, non-governmental sector, not living off stolen money.
If no one is building a space colony, or a voluntary, free-market society, seems to me it is time to get to the task. Philosophy is fine, but practical application is everything. I’ll check back when I have more info.
Whales live in anarchy.
Whales do not have power-based institutions.
Well, when I use the term power, I generally mean, specifically, the ability to initiate violence or to delegate its initiation against another without fear of punishment, such as politicians, tax collectors, many police, bureaucrats, and others are able to do under colour of law. I also include those living off the that power, such as government school teachers, government forest service, government social workers, and all those other tax eaters. But the syndrome of power-addiction—and thus power damage to the brain—is most easily discernible as one observes that segment of humans which includes those who declare and/or initiate wars.
The most significant demarcation between humans is not sex or race, but those who are power-damaged, and those who are not.
Observing that MSM has picked up coverage on this entire comical and disgusting TSA farce, I can only suppose that as with most such MSM diversions, this is another one which will make people think “something is being done” and divert most people from the currency crisis, foreclosures, unemployment, growing socialism of just about everything, and the ongoing wars abroad as well as diverted from the horrid, growing use of enemy combatant status being applied to people born in this country where the present government claims jurisdiction (I will not call anyone a “citizen: it sounds too close to “slave” for me.)
Don’t those pandering political types, from the executive to the lowly dog catcher, need to find a good format for re-election discussion?
Don’t they need a good rally-around sort of topic; one that can be discussed by everyone, and will cause no loss of revenue or loss of power to the political types?
Here’s a good one! TSA! They can “save” the people from sexual molestation and radiation! They will find new ways to “screen” people, and conjure up a fine illusion of being for freedom, and for privacy, and even for the Constitution, without giving up any actual power.
Is it possible that politicians—especially those facing elections—will posture aplenty before the cameras, scold the TSA, recall the scanners—albeit after paying for them with our hard-earned money—and placate the dozing ones to adjust their level of discomfort to accommodate pre-scanner harassment?
Will the politicians then share with us the illusion that a “victory for liberty” has been scored, and will the grateful people doze off the the blare of football game commercials, whilst Homeland Gestapo Security pushes on, our prison populations continue to grow, and the new terrorist bill is passed with hardly a blink from MSM or the dozing people?
Is it possible that TSA is the prayed-for distraction that will allow passage of some more truly evil legislation by our tax-fattened politicians?
Is this the new, just in time litmus test for guaranteeing re-election?
Is it possible that whilst the people think that they have won a victory of some sort when the sexual molestations are stopped (thanks, according to MSM and all political types, to those politicians who are posturing as defenders of liberty and who hope save their place at the swill trough), that the rights of the people —their fundamental rights—will be further systematically stripped away, if any such rights are now left around to recognize?
Is it possible that this TSA diversion is merely a lovely diversion from some affront that few people will recognize until they are caught in the growing web of alphabet-agency terrorism, economically-motivated volunteering for the war machine, or some other equally evil fate?
Is it possible that it is not a conspiracy in the slightest, but the continuing manifestations of the power-damaged minds that can admit of no other way than increasing force, violence, abuse of human rights, and spending?
Is it possible that these power-addicted political types, so used to having force as the means to bring in the loot, are concerned about the growing discontent among the victims?
Or is it merely their best play that they can make, given their addiction to power?
Is it—O, wonderful tipping-point time!—that there is no longer anything the politicians and their paid partners in crime can do to stop the flow of information?
Is it—O, wonderful tipping-point time!—that there is no longer anything the politicians and their paid partners can do to mend the ragged veils of illusions against the stripping winds of change?
Inquiring minds ask these questions …
And, no; I don’t think there is a conspiracy. I do think we are watching power-addicted minds acting the only way they know how to act; ever since they gave up using reason and decided to get their way by using initiation of force.
21 November 2010
An interesting and balanced read on intellectual property. http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle587-20100912-04.html
(I seldom copyright stuff, but do copyright some of my algorithms, because they can take weeks—if not months—to perfect, and I sell those mathematical designs. Someone who swipes them and uses them without paying for the use is certainly stealing many hours or days of my life’s work. And while I do not own numbers, just as musicians do not own notes, nor writers words, the arrangements—patterns—we create are unique. If people do not think they are, then let them try hiring a troop of monkeys to create works of the same utility.)
Cathy L.Z. Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise gives a novel account of why intellectual property is, indeed, a scarce resource. The pattern created by an artist or writer represents her time. If you take it without paying what she asks, you are stealing her time, stealing part of her life.
Of course, I can also simply stop creating and live by working at a fast food joint, thus making the entire argument moot. But if I do create, where is the incentive to do so if there is no right to the property I create?
Of course, it is not the concept of words or writing to which the author has ownership, but rather the particular application of those concepts coupled with the effort to produce a created work.
Of course, I don’t publish my mathematical works: I make them available only to my customers. Many other people might come up with mathematical designs or patterns which accomplish the same thing, and they would own those works, but they do not have permission to copy or use the works I create.
To deprive someone of the product of their time and labour is hardly the same as attempting to deprive someone of the exercise of writing, after all. And to copy someone’s work from their privately-owned site on the internet, without attribution, deprives the creator of any business or contact with the consumers who do not know who is the author of a work. If they like the purloined phrases, they might want to check out the actual producer of that pattern of words, and purchase some of her works: the consumer cannot do so if there is no attribution or link to the creator’s site. Besides, isn’t acknowledgement of authorship just plain old good manners?
When one uses clay to create a bowl, one owns the bowl, but not the concept of pottery. No one tries to own the concept of pottery, only their individual product of the use of that concept, coupled with their own time, labour and creativity.
The example Smith demonstrates is clearly a violation of ownership, and if the other people who took credit are all that smart, why did they not come up with their own arrangement words, rather than swiping someone else’s arrangement of words? Why did they not give credit where credit was due? I find the swiping very dishonest, actually. Further, it deprives the author of possible sales of his other arrangements of words.
I had a chap buy one of my ceramic pieces, then proceed to make molds, including my chop, and try to sell them as his own work. Did he own the original work? Yes. Did he own the right to reproduce the original work? No, especially not without giving proper credit. But he was a state-supported artist, and he believed that no one has any ownership of anything, so he was morally justified, according to his own moral compass.
If there is no ownership of productivity or creativity, then why should anyone produce or create? Why invest the time and labour, if one cannot hold ownership of those creations? Isn’t that the argument the state uses, to take ownership of what we create? That it is all commonly-held property, anyway? No government is required to enforce any type of ownership, by the way: that is a delusion supported by statists.
Ownership can be enforced in as many private, free market ways as there are individuals. Membership web sites with a membership fee are one way to begin. Have a contract—which is what I do with my algorithms. Actually, the only challenge to my right to the product of my time and thinking has come from a government agency, using much the same arguments against intellectual ownership as I see expressed by those who do not want to be bothered with providing attribution and links.
Of course, neither my art nor my math are available to the general public. And the people with whom I deal respect my ownership, so I am not terribly concerned about theft.
But the berry-picking example of Jeffrey Tucker is pure hogwash, and entirely off the mark. Concepts are not intellectual property, but the product of the application of concepts most certainly are individual property. Tucker confuses the two in an unexamined attempt to support his argument, and fails miserably.
Again, no one owns the concepts of human liberty or of arranging words. However, if there is a significant reproduction, which Cathy’s article mentioned, a word for word reproduction of the application of those concepts to a pattern or design of words as created by Smith, later altered slightly to mask the theft, then it remains theft of effort.
The chap who made a mold of my art changed the glazes, because he did not have my glazes, but he did not change the shape or carved designs: substantially, the work remained mine.
Again, concepts are not property, but their application to a product of individual effort is property. Many people, mostly those too lazy to think (often the same batch too lazy to create and produce original works) have difficulty with this distinction.
If the state-supported artist had offered mediation, my response to his theft would have been that he should break all the stolen bits of my work that he was selling as his own work. As it was, I merely spoke the truth to everyone I knew, ruined his reputation, and left him bereft of all support but the stolen money from government to which he was already addicted (thus compounding and continuing his life of theft, I might add.)
Compromise with theft is seldom productive, and I commend Cathy on being willing to settle for an apology and an attribution. Why enter into mediation? Why waste the time? That is merely a feint designed to disguise the theft with a cloak of sincerity. Bah.
…and back to the original issue:
While one cannot own a concept, is ownership of the individual application of a concept the property of the individual, or not?
I imagine that others thought through this question and responded from individual rationalizations to a question which raises certain issues from an individual storehouse of references, after all. Someone mentioned copyrights, and how they should expire at the death of the author. Death might be an excellent termination of ownership. Of course, the children might think otherwise, if their mother left them several copyrighted items of music, words, art, or other creations of that individual. The children might see this as their legacy, and the mother might so intend. Property, it seems to me, is subject to the disposal of the owner, or it is not property in the essential sense of that term.
I already said that humans cannot own concepts: in fact, I included that within my question. It is the product that results from the application of the concepts that I say is individual property. Re-read my question: While one cannot own a concept, is ownership of the individual application of a concept the property of the individual, or not?
Nor has L. Neil been paid anything for the use of his property by the other person. The pattern and arrangement of those words are his design. To use it without permission or rent or purchase is theft. All that was asked for was an apology and attribution.
Further, I consider the term “intellectual property” to be a canard and a smokescreen, used to separate the efforts involving creativity and thinking from efforts involving only human physical labour: nothing is manifested into existence without an effort on the part of some human, even if it is only typing on a keyboard: it is still effort.
Property rights arise from human effort, whether keyboarding or log sawing. To try to compartmentalize thought-driven efforts, such as writing, as somehow not intrinsically the same human effort as cotton picking is a diversionary tactic to demean products and creations that originate in the mind, but are still manifested through physical effort to achieve expression in reality. The entire exercise is an anti-intellectual one, designed to elevate muscle work and undermine mind work. There is nothing better or worse about property resulting from labour of any nature. If this concept escapes you, please consider the entire concept of property as something you need to sort out in your own mind.
If I cut down a tree in my forest, saw it up, split the wood, and carry it to near my home, everyone will recognize my ownership of my wood. I have the right to burn the wood for heat. No one else has the right to come to my wood pile and take even a piece of my wood for any reason whatsoever. If I choose to pile the wood on my property right next to the road, still, no one has the right to steal my wood: it is my property on my property.
If I write words on my web site, which I own, what gives anyone the right to come and copy those words? What makes words on a privately-held web site on the internet to be less inherent property of the owner of the site than is my wood? And if I posted those words as a part of my marketing strategy to gain sales, and others copy those words without attribution of a link, they have both stolen my design of words, and deprived me of my marketing efforts.
And, significantly, why would you not seek permission to copy those words, or to copy even part of them? Especially if you know that protocol of the web society as a whole—quite a lovely anarchistic gathering, I might add—has defined the asking as a polite recognition of the owner of the site and of the creator of that pattern of words? And why would you not provide attribution, as well as, by way of a hat tip, a link to the owner’s web site? From my studies of the internet, this is the protocol which we adopt voluntarily to abide within this community.
Each of us must determine what is ethical—or moral, if you prefer—for us. And be willing to live with the consequences of our actions. Bright lines in legal issues are easily manipulated: encroachments on human rights are fairly well defined, and have long included individual property rights as a primary ethical imperative, including ownership of self as one’s principle property.
Use your own mind, and consider yourself the one whose writing or other work is being exploited by others without attribution, permission, or payment, or all three. If there are no links back to your private property site, where you market your designs of words, how are you to reach potential customers? Is it not theft of your time and effort for others to refrain from giving attribution and a link to your site where you sell your word creations?
If none of this bothers you at all, then you may be fine with such practices, but be prepared for the actions of those who are not fine with such practices. This internet is a polite and smiling community, but not without teeth, as one could say. Is it not therefore more ethical—in the most practical sense of the word—to observe ownership in all instances possible when a permission may be granted, as most individuals would do?
Such a protocol also serves as a self-sorting mechanism of those who wish to hold property rights to such human efforts as word patterns, and those who do not wish to hold property rights. The two types can co-exist if they recognize their difference and respectfully observe the right of each individual to form an ethical code which extends to the absolute boundaries of his ownership of self and property. The free market will iron out such idiocies about property rights as corporations create with the protection and collusion of government.
Some people are thinking about this, and have begun to write about it. They are worth reading, and you can, of course, begin with WikiLeaks, where you will find a well-defined protocol of survival and civility.
(I think for some people it is difficult to depart from a focus on personalities and bickering, and to take a few steps back to examine the larger issue of protocols needed to function in what is, in reality, an anarchist community.)
Societies such as the one we have here on the internet function as well as they do largely because most people are a bit more polite, considerate, and cautious not to give offense than they would be in any unarmed, politically-controlled community. While downloading another’s property to one’s own computer would probably not be considered theft, to publish it on your property (site) without attribution can be considered theft by someone who extends their sense of property rights to all that they have created. It becomes both theft and fraud when there is any attempt to imply that it is your own creation.
Ethics are practical: they keep you functioning in community, and alive. They inform other individuals that you are a person who can be trusted. They indicate to others that you have a well-developed ethical compass, and that you will use it whenever there are questions of protocol, propriety, or good manners. They will identify the user of ethics as a person who has taken the time to regulate their own behaviour based on a well-reasoned choice of actions which are consistent with a logical format for life.
If you can ignore the snits, name-calling, and other mouth noises of personalities—which can be difficult to do in a society largely led by the drama of personalities—and focus on the core issues of cultural mores necessary for the functioning of an anarchist society, I think you will recognize that to err on the side of cautious respect for the perceived property rights of other individuals—in all matters, for all property and practices—will advance peace and accord in your life a lot more than picking at nits to attempt to justify any invasion of individual property rights.
A significant measure of any individual’s emotional and mental development is the ability to adjust and coexist in peace with people—whether Muslim, Jew, Hispanic, Chinese, or L. Neil Smith—who demand that their (individual perceptions of their) rights be observed. If their locus of rights does not impinge on your locus of rights, why would you not practice reciprocity of rights with that individual? Why would you bother to quibble about their peaceful demand and enforcement of their rights?
Why would you not therefore correct any errors that the other individual perceived as an infringement, and file that bit of datum for later reference, and go on with your life? Here, I am not speaking of the Smith situation, per se, but the broader issue of recognition of cultural and individual differences in perception of the boundaries of individual rights.
As long as their rights do not do violence to any of your rights, why not merely accept their rights as they present them? Is this not the very essence of individual human rights: that each individual has the right to exercise their property rights as they think best and proper, including and extending to life, body, home, creations, products, and beliefs; so long as those rights do not interfere with your rights?
Why would there be any argument about this? And who stands to gain by deliberately ignoring the other individual’s declaration of and practice of their rights? Who loses if the product of their labours is not attributed to them? If we deny the rights of another individual because their perception of their rights does not match our perception of their rights, where no coercion, violence, or fraud is involved, who stands to gain, and who to lose?
It is on such denials of rights that the Crusades were undertaken, women were denied equal protection, slavery was legitimized, and other human rights were denied to entire groups of people.
When I say that I own all the designs or patterns of words I create, although not the individual words, and someone denies that ownership, who gains? Who is denying my property rights as a means to advance their own ability to rationalize and grant permission to commit theft or worse? When I say I own my firewood, and some person reasons that trees are a creation of God, and therefore I cannot own my firewood, although my labour is invested as much in that firewood as in designing a pattern of words and writing them down, who benefits by the denial of my property rights?
And while the person who steals my firewood and provides heat for others does not extend their crime to the innocents who did not know they were benefitted from stolen firewood, even those innocents could, under the rules of conduct of an anarchist society, be responsible enough to check that they are not receiving benefits from stolen goods.
Again, government, by its very nature, commits theft in myriad ways, and distributes the booty to many innocents, who do not question the source of their benefits. To subscribe to an ethical construct that makes one more responsible for one’s actions and for what one accepts is a step toward functional anarchy, after all. It costs me nothing to be scrupulously responsible in checking the sources of any benefits I wish to receive and use, to make sure I am not receiving stolen property—in any sense of the term, even if only in the sense of how producer of that property defines individual rights—and ensures that I am advancing a culture of respectful observation of the rights of individuals, anticipating reciprocity in such regard.
The issue of individual human property must be defined as generously as possible on behalf of the individul human, or we err on the side of theft;
We must learn to separate concepts from creations. We must separate processes from products, and not confuse these distinct entities when we attempt to discuss individual ownership;
To continue to enjoy the civil society of the anarchy of internet, we must be willing to practice protocols of civility and respect for the rights of the property of others;
We must take advantage of this new community as an opportunity to identify and apply civil constructs which will effectively replace coercive actions.
We live in an age when we must be thoughtful and creative in developing new protocols for society: we must develop protocols that exclude government coercion, and we must replace that coercion with reason. To argue against another individual’s rights is to step on that slippery slope that descends into the dark pit of Koran burning. Let us not step there.
September 15, 2010
ps~If we are unable—even with all our brilliance, enthusiasm, and loathing of coercive governmental intervention—to shape a society here on the internet which is civility in action, and anarchy in spirit, we are losing a grand opportunity.
If we are unable to define cultural habits which will continue to develop and more completely observe cultural traditions of civility, promote individual ownership, and recognize common concerns of individual human rights—even across cultural and language differences, we are not fulfilling the potential of this new community.
We have an opportunity to articulate and to recognize individual rights to property, person, and life. We have nothing to lose by erring on the side of generous recognition of the most miniscule claims of ownership, have we?
If we do not take advantage of this opportunity here, where will it be done?
If we do not undertake this task, who will?
Juries Then and Now
As some of you know, I have been studying cultural ethical systems for a lot of my life. This led me to do a considerable amount of research in the rise of juries, judges, and mechanisms for settling disputes in non-violent ways, especially those mechanisms that were outside of the priesthood and kinghood (both have been forms of government in various societies: our present government is merely an extension of the fallacies of force employed by earlier forms of government).
Early, prehistoric juries were made up of from two to several dozen people. That early prehistoric juries were anything other than a free market response to an apparent societal, tribal, or kinship system need is a ruse I find entirely unsupportable given what we know, anthropologically, of early social systems. These early juries were certainly not a response to government of any sort, but a societal mechanism for dispute resolution; a mechanism that served as an alternative to violence to resolve disputes. One of the problems with using violence to resolve disputes is that the violence often bred more violence.
Generally speaking, each side got to choose an equal number of people. Everything was done before the entire tribe or village. Naturally, each side would choose their kin and friends. Each side wanted a ruling in their favour. The community wanted peace and wholeness of anyone harmed restored, so everyone could get on with hunting and gathering.
But the jurors were answerable to the community as a whole, and the goal of the jurors had to be justice, fairness and peace restored to the community as a whole. The overriding concern was peace and order in the community. From these roots arose what we know as common law. From these roots—and you will find much about the formation of these roots in most religious writings–grew our societal laws and more significantly, our system of cultural ethics. Look at the Bible to find much on the evolution of the common law and systems of justice—which have continued to evolve in our western societies. Look to the Tao, and other books, to examine the evolution of systems of justice in eastern societies. Chase down some of the early written and oral traditions of the Earth’s peoples for more information on justice systems and cultural ethics of early peoples. It is fascinating to track how our ethical constructs developed.
Jurors were not invented to give serfs a veto against masters, nor invented to give peers a veto of the king’s whims, since juries predate both these societal constructs based of force and fear: jurors date back to earlier times than we have recorded history, and show up in early Greek mythology, in ancient Chinese legends, and in very early oral traditions of American (north and south) tribal justice systems.
Independent jurors, drawn from a random selection of voluntary participants, would, in a free, stateless society—usually hunter-gatherer societies early on—fulfill the same function as they did in prehistoric times: justice, fairness, restoration of damaged parties, and peace restored to the community or tribe or village.
L. Neil Smith and Robert Heinlein have both written about the future use of and composition of the independent jury in their works.
I wrote a long piece about the early, tribal, prehistoric role of jurors somewhere. When I find it, I will post it here or link to it.
In a free society, based on voluntary action by all humans, jurors might serve out of an individual sense of good will, curiosity, bias, or any other reason. To postulate that juries would be clumsy and expensive ignores the elegant mechanisms available in a voluntary society to engage individuals in common pursuits even while their individual motivations may be, and would be, myriad.
There is absolutely no evidence at all to support the notion that juries are a response to government any more than the notion that juries are a response to religion—a theory I have also seen offered. Humans, brilliant, creative creatures that we are, are quite capable of devising several alternative means to arrive at the same ends. Look around you. We do not all choose to employ the same means for most all of human functions, whether in societal constructs or in personal choices.
Jurors derive their right to serve as judges in disputes from the voluntary consent of those who choose to submit their case to the jurors. If individuals do not want to use a jury, they can have other choices, but let us not limit their choices to arbitration or judges just because we may not be able to discern the good in using a jury to settle a dispute.
Whether we are a stateless society, a tribal society, or a society oppressed by the force and fraud of kingships, priests, and politicians; jurors serve in varied capacities to protect individuals, restore justice and peace, and to assist in resolving disputes between those who submit to their combined judgment.
If anyone finds any corrections to my thinking, I would appreciate the information.
Limitations Long Forgotten
I had long considered as a possibility that Shay’s Rebellion was—by its patriotic attention against the depredations of any government-sanctioned and government-enforcement of laws through the use of violence by its minions—a spur to the Federalists to hurry along the formation of the Constitutional Convention, most especially while Jefferson was out of the country. They needed to get a more air-tight form of tyranny in place.
Yes, I think the scoundrels wanted to get their slaver schemes in place whilst the most ardent and articulate opponents of government were either out of the country, or without their most eloquent and influential member: Thomas Jefferson.
Patrick Henry, as well as many others, opposed the Constitutional Convention and its intent. (“I smell a rat!” I think Henry said.) Many of the initial Articles of Confederation and Declaration of Independence representatives refused to attend. Many refused to ratify. Many signers of the Declaration of Independence refused to attend or to ratify.
The Bill of Rights was added as a compromise to appease those who saw in the Constitution too much centralization of power. Such centralization amounted to little more than just another slaver ploy, allowing for the slow erosion of limitations on government power, until the limitations were long forgotten. The limitations were replaced with illusions of government charity and protection. The illusions were created by those venal and vicious occupiers of the seats of power, whether serving as bureaucrats or posturing politicians.
But many of the People believed in the sanctity and preservation Bill of Rights, just as many believe in Social Security, protection of the People, and government charity today. The culture slowly shifted—from self-governance and self-sufficiency—to one of dependency and obedience to government. The slaves found a new master, named politics.
Those skeptical of the Constitution, and supporting the addition of the Bill of Rights, hoped the Bill of Rights would greatly enhance the people’s ability to “bind government down with the chains of the Constitution.” Limitations on government interference and usurpations as articulated in the Bill of Rights—more aptly a Bill of Prohibitions against government interference with free people—was considered a necessary reminder of the restraints necessarily placed on the government that was then being formed.
Some delegates, who had fought off one tyrant, were not so eager to carry on their backs another tyrant, of any form. They were fearful that government—that evil institution necessarily populated with knaves and scoundrels—might one day interpret, for its own interests (the interests of those selfsame knaves and scoundrels) that the Bill of Rights was a complete articulation of the rights of free people, and that no other rights existed.
Many of those at the convention were fearful that those articulated prohibitions against government action, so scrupulously set forth in the Bill of Rights, might be eroded by vile manipulations of those who found comfort, succor, and wealth in the power of government office. These few far-seeing people were concerned that the limitations on government would be forgotten, replaced with rationalizations on why such limitations on government were not sound policy. Thus is has happened, as we now can see. Limitations have been compromised in return for license to plunder the rights pockets of others, and to hide behind the agency of government while doing so.
I am not making any of this up. Read. Research.
I am not much into conspiracy theories, but I am a true believer in stupidity, the corruption of power, and the hubris of those who hold public—and even private—office. Titles tend to mess with one’s thinking, making one think the one with the title might be more than they are. Titles mess with the thinking of those with titles, and those who believe that titles automatically inculcate certain characteristics to the title holder. Those with titles tend to think they know better than those without titles, or that titles confer on them special privileges. Some with titles think that the title confers the right and power to initiate violence, or to delegate its initiation, against harmless people. Power damaged, it is called. It is a condition of the brain’s synaptic structure that automatically chooses force and duress, fraud and deceit, as the means to get one’s way. Titles do that to many people. Best to have no titles at all, and to function as just another human. That is what each person reading this is, actually: just another human.
Bullies and thugs are drawn to positions of power just as sadists are drawn to positions where they can inflict pain. But I repeat myself.
I don’t think it requires a conspiracy for things to go terribly, terribly wrong: I do think it requires the vigilance of honest people to protect and maintain their human rights and to keep things from going terribly, terribly wrong.
The word “Felon” no longer means a criminal, and has assumed an entirely different definition. I know a chap who is a felon in prison because he had more than legally allowed amounts of pain medication in his home to cope, from his wheelchair, with the excruciating levels of pain he suffered. He is now a convicted felon. Because he tried to ease his pain so that he could function as a husband and father. He has never hurt another human.
He is not a criminal, yet he is a felon. Many felons simply had a natural plant in their possession. They never hurt or threatened anyone, either. Some felons refused to turn over their earnings to kings or politicians. Should any of these people be denied the right to defend themselves and their families? What happens when the law changes, do they get their rights back? Prohibitions, and government’s assumed ownership of individuals’ bodies, are both flawed, as are all the laws derived from this assumption, including the right to the fruits of a worker’s labor.
I think the founders of this nation’s present government wanted to create a civilization based on individual human rights. SCOTUS has, in the past, upheld slavery, prohibition of alcohol, and a myriad of other stupid decisions–most if not all of those stupid decisions being against the intent of the founders of this nation’s government to create a civilization based on individual human rights. All those stupid SCOTUS decisions were against human rights, by any examination of the concept of human rights.
It is entertaining and instructive to read the papers of the founders, to determine the intent of their words. Even SCOTUS makes mistakes, as we all do, because they are just nine more humans, you know, even if they wear those academic robes. The robes don’t mean their brains are working any better than yours, actually. I think their brains are functioning at about a tenth of their potential, and are messed up with a lot of bad synaptic habits as well. That is pretty much the normal condition of the human brain. But, when an individual human finds that in a culture, the most effective means of obtaining what one wishes is to employ the initiation of force, then that individual human becomes power-addicted, and their synaptic routing in their brain becomes power-damaged.
Inferior laws repugnant to the superior law of the Constitution can be reasonably determined by any sane individual human: remember that law is not the province of the courts, but the codification of protection and advice of the people to protect individuals and a civilization of voluntary cooperation. Law is the codified written rules of social conduct in a civilization. We can no more rely on all the written superior or inferior laws as the final arbiters of our human behavior than we can rely on reading the entrails of chickens. There have been more unreasonable, silly laws passed by humans than good laws passed. And it is often impossible to abide by all the laws without violating conflicting laws. That is why you have a brain—so you can think about this stuff and figure it out for yourself.
That is why we humans have our own brains, so we can reason through concepts and derive those axiomatic concepts by which to guide our lives and actions. The Constitution is a good reference point, but if the Constitution is amended to make all red-haired people slaves, with appropriate statues to back that up, or was amended to lock up all Muslims, will you honor those laws? Would you honor a government law that suspended the right of habeus corpus and trial by jury, both individual human rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of our nation? Hark back to the laws of Germany not that long ago: would you have followed those laws?
Nothing in any codified law relieves us, as thinking individuals, from forming our own code of ethics and behavior and acting with integrity, with honesty, with no initiation of violence, and with respect toward all other human life, insofar as to do so does not leave our own lives in danger, no matter what the law allows or does not allow, no matter what the law instructs or fails to instruct. No matter what oath we may take. And the oath does not mention anything about statutes (which are often in error and the result of over-reaching bureaucrats, anyway.) As a thinking individual, when one takes such an oath, one should have read the documents and know the meaning of those documents one is taking an oath to uphold. Else one should not take such an oath. Of course, some people take oaths very seriously, and thus do not take many.
So, in the final analysis, we cannot look back to our own founding documents as more than a beacon to help light the path of each individual life, and not as a map for the steps and direction of that life. We cannot, and should not, follow inferior laws which violate the contract, between this nation’s people and the government created by that contract, which we call the Constitution. Yet, I do not intend to obey any law which is repugnant to my own integrity and moral compass. I would not have turned Jews over to the Nazis. I will not snitch on any peaceful neighbor with an unlawful firearm. I will not cooperate to deprive any individual of their human rights.
The only conspiracy I enter into as an individual is my own, with me as the only conspirator, to honor human rights and refuse to initiate violence against anyone, anyone at all. If it means anything at all, civilization must mean that no one is allowed to initiate violence, or delegate its initiation, against any other person for any reason whatsoever.
Well, not being one looking for an honorable epithet, nor yet one who has fear of harming any “cause,” yet still understanding, perhaps, the problem some people have with some words, I could have written instead of “Homeland Security,” one friend suggested, “the Gestapo.” I started to argue, then realized I could not.”
Perhaps I could have written, instead:
“While I recognized that many of our present day Homeland Security and other paid government personages operate with a total disregard for personal freedom and the sanctity of the individual and human rights, and see people only as property of the state, I hesitate to say much bad about them.
After all, that they slavishly follow the dictates of their perceived power-driven political figureheads, and that they routinely ignore the rights of others, and that they abuse their positions of authority and privilege to spread fear, throw harmless people into the hell of enslavement of government penal work camps, confiscate personal property, and destroy families, that they routinely deprive private, harmless people of the right to trial by jury, counsel, communication with family or others, that they routinely imprison people for extended periods of time without benefit of trial, they really aren’t bad enough to be equated to any of the Gestapo or its actions or tenets.
They are, after all, only following the orders of their superiors.”
I would not agree with such a statement, because I don’t want anyone to think I am speaking ill of anyone, or standing for the truth as I see it, so I will just say they are not very nice people and leave it at that.
(Heaven forbid that I enunciate any concept that anyone might find disagreeable when speaking of those I perceive as an enemy of humanity, civilization, and human rights, or use any words that evoke a disagreeable sense on behalf of their controlling concepts—although I consider those concepts the anathema of the concept of individual liberty and human rights.
Heaven forbid I offend the sensibilities of anyone at all. Heaven forbid that I should so write or say anything to harm any cause, no matter whose cause it may be.”
Is that better?
Are we all agreed , then, that there are no such things as crimes against humanity?