I think my opinions on ‘surveillance’ has evolved over the last few months.
I no longer think it’s possible to fight the implementation of surveillance, data mining, cctv, etc. I think that these forces are beyond fighting, they are already in place. From cameras at the liquor store to GPS data on your phone to meta data captured by cookies in a search engine or your favorite online store all the way down to the NSA and the evils that they participate in.
Everyone is monitoring you, at various degrees and for various purposes. You’re not going to convince them to stop. Not at this point. It’s ignorant to think we can.
What we can do, however, is concentrate our efforts on building defenses. If you can’t destroy the enemy, learn how to isolate them. We can use encryption, shield ourselves and our information, learn who is collecting what and limit it to only what we want to share.
Our information is a currency. Websites and apps exchange goods and services with us for the right to collect that data, yet we never really have control over how much we pay them and with what information.
I’ve read that our private data is worth about $500 worth of revenue a year to Google. Why not have the ability to opt out and pay Google? Or partially pay with a mixture of money and data (bitcoin and data, for you crypto-anarchists). Wouldn’t that be ideal?
Depending on how you view the world, society has either already won or lost the war for surveillance. Perhaps we can get something in return during the peace negotiations.
If companies and people are going to collect your private data and you’re willing to give your private data, let’s start by putting a price on things and selling what we want to be public and shielding what we don’t want to be public.
Your information would essentially be money in the bank. You can set prices on different levels or amounts of information. You can choose to pay a certain price for an item or turn it down. But you will always know what information you’re giving out to what site.
For example, you log into Gmail with your Info Account and Gmail requests a payment of your last month of shopping history (or an equal value worth of data). You can either agree or turn it down, but you always know what information they want and what information they will have.
If this already exists, point me in the right direction, if not, let’s build it.
How hard can it be to develop the first human-based currency?
Rand Paul as President might be the worst thing that would happen to the liberty movement.
wouldn’t focusing any efforts toward the presidency be a defunct move at this point? Are you truly convinced we haven’t passed the point of no return, so to speak,…
The thing about free riders is, no matter what the govt does, there will always be a significant number of people who can’t take care of themselves. I think we are going to have to decide if these people have a value as humans, or if they don’t. If not, we need to cut our losses and quit pretending. If they do, we need a way to actually take care of them. I think this will be the biggest turning point of the next century.
All humans have value. (yes, all of them).
I think that there is value in preventing poverty or helping those in poverty for those who live above it.
#1, these people need to buy what you’re selling.
#2. these people need to work for you and produce goods.
#3. there is “critical mass” that is required for both upholding a certain life style that the rich have become accustomed to and also for maintaining the existence of humanity.
There are probably other reasons that I missed, but I think these 3 are important enough aspects to motivate the rich from protecting the less fortunate.
For example, if the gap between rich and poor is too great, you have the Bolshevik revolution of Russia. Where the poor were so fed up and so great in number that the upper class was no longer able to control or suppress them. Same thing happened in America in the 1770s and other parts of the world. If you let the perceived gap of the quality of life widen to far, eventually people will revolt.
We’re headed in that direction, as is a large portion of the world.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It could go in many ways. There could be a peaceful revolt and revolution, as we saw in Iceland. Or we can have the Arab Spring, with civil war burning throughout the country.
There’s also no real way to predict the outcome of such changes, peaceful or violent. The government can win and instill worse regulations. A real police state. (ROBOTS AND DRONES!) or the worst ideas of the people can win and we live in socialism (MOTHER FUCKING MARX! SEE YOU IN HELL ŽIŽEK!!!)
It’s not just hard to predict where we’ll end up, or how, it’s ridiculous to do so. But given the current path, we are certainly on the cusp of some kind of push-back by the vast public. It’s actually begun, as I mentioned, in parts of Europe and the Middle East.
I think the next big one to watch out for is in Asia. Pakistan, Russia or North Korea. I’ll hold back on putting China on there because their government so far has been smart enough to keep pushing towards more deregulation, freedom and free market economics. Sure, it doesn’t seem like it, but it’s slowly evolving. Hong Kong is China’s grand experiment and the eventual position in which China hopes to find itself. Hong Kong is also the world leader in many respects (economic and civil), so it’s a good bulls-eye for China.
Just say no to Socialism.
If we can avoid a socialist revolt in any of the major countries, I think we’ll be safe. (I’m looking at you, America!)
Rand Paul as President might be the worst thing that would happen to the liberty movement.
wouldn’t focusing any efforts toward the presidency be a defunct move at this point? Are you truly convinced we haven’t passed the point of no return, so to speak, regarding the level of corruption of the U.S. bureaucratic institutions?
Yes and no.
The system is clearly broken. But no “system” is ever broken beyond repair as they aren’t physical. They are simply processes that can be restructured, reorganized, reworded, discarded, etc.
It will probably be one massive effort (or a series of massive efforts) to fix it, but it is doable. Not sure how far we are from such a “reboot” of democracy, but it’s bound to happen. It’s historically inevitable.
I, for one, look forward to the excitement of the next constitutional convention. I think we’ll see a lot of libertarian/anarchist influence in it, especially given how the youth of this country is leaning.
We’ll probably see a lot more technology integrated into the government (democratic process). We’ll probably see electronic (mobile) voting. Continuous voting (daily, weekly, monthly votes directly from your phone, computer or any electronic device). People will be able to vote directly on any law they want to vote on.
Another change I see happening is how many options we get when we do vote. No more the lesser of two evils. Pick as many names as you want. Rank them in order. Algorithms will calculate the rest. Heck, we might not even have “representatives” anymore, at any level of government. Maybe just a giant IT staff. Maybe no real staff at all but a giant open source code which can be audited at anytime by anyone to ensure that all functions are proper and up to par.
Taxes will probably come into question, as will money/currency. I see taxes becoming a voluntary thing, where one would only pay for things they voted for. None of us will have the same tax percentage to follow but more of a receipt, like one you get at a grocery store for your purchases. And that receipt, probably digital, can validate your usage of those items you chose to fund, essentially taking care of the “free rider” problem to a certain degree. This is as close to free market government as one can get. Taxation on an individual level. No more blanket extortion of the few by the many (or the many by the few!).
So, no, I don’t think the system is irreparable because it’s just a figment of our imagination. It’s just an idea. We can fix ideas, no matter how broken they seem.
Why do we just assume that California is a Democrat state?
I always found it weird that everyone just assumes that California is a Democrat state.
We JUST had a Republican governor. In fact, we’ve had many republican governors run California.
California has put three men in the white house (Hoover, Nixon, Reagan) and all three were Republican and that came over the span of almost 60 years.
We have one of the largest if not the largest population of libertarians.
We also have huge gun culture in California. It’s shockingly big. California is one of the top four in number of background checks for gun purchases per year. Our per capita gun ownership is estimated at about 22% (which I think is way underestimated), but we’re one of the most populated states out there with 38 million people living here. That means the 22% actually translates to 8.3 million gun owners.
That 8.3 million is so large that if it became it’s own state, it would be the 12th largest in terms of population. We have more gun owners in California that 39 other states have in terms of residents. Think about that.
With all of these numbers in mind, I don’t understand how we can’t overturn so of these asinine laws that prevent us from owning certain types of guns and accessories and how we’ve failed to block so many of these baseless new laws from passing.
Do we lack proper organization and leadership? Is the NRA failing or is it to large of a system for them to support? Is the GOofA too small? What’s up, Cali? How do we fix this?
It’s coming, I can feel it.
Now that we know the NSA has records on the entire human population that’s connected to the internet, we can also conclude that they know where all the libertarians/volunteerists/anarchists/anti-government folks are.
Sooner or later, they’re going to come for all these people in one capacity or another. Either by paying a visit, putting them on no fly lists, confiscating property, including guns. Maybe even arresting them or putting them in a “secured” camp. Not sure how or when, but I have a feeling that it’s going to come.
The only positive note I can add to this is that there is a rapidly growing disdain among the people. Not only does less and less of the population trust the government, more and more people are figuring out that they actually hate the government.
And this change of heart isn’t just in the USofA, it’s world-wide. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there has ever been a decade in human history filled with so much revolution and civil war as we’ve seen since the start of the 9/11-War on Terror era.
It seems like every single year, at least one country is going through some form of revolution. Either a complete overthrow of the government or a complete revamping of elected officials. It’s been astonishing to witness. The shame is that most of humanity has no idea how extraordinary of a time they are living through. The only event that could top what we are experiencing would be if aliens from another planet touched down in Central Park. Historians a thousand years from now will recite the events of the 2000’s to the 2010’s to their students with immeasurable zeal.
And yet, my mind pulls me back to the present day as we live it now and a bit of fear crawls back into my nerves. It’s not a fear of anything specific, more like the fear one gets from thinking to much about what swims beneath while taking a dip in the ocean. The government in mysterious and unpredictable. I stay wondering not if but how they will react, because they will react. They must react, given the throbbing discontent that’s flowing through the public.
Why don’t we force everyone to buy a Mercedes S-Class?
The Mercedes Benz S-Class is one of the safest cars on the road. Driving such a safe car would save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives a year. If we got everyone to buy one, it will bring the cost down from 100k a car to 70k. I know most can’t afford it but those of us that want it can get a 30k discount.
How do we get everyone to buy a new Mercedes Benz?
What if Mercedes helped write a legislative bill and contributed to enough campaigns in Congress. Then imagine if the original idea was pitched by a Mercedes Benz super fan who is also the President of the nation. Now top that off with the fact that no one really knows what’s in the 10,000 pages of the Affordable Car Act but the premise sounds good and the super popular President is behind it so why not?
Now imagine that the Affordable Car Act passed as law and all 300 million citizens were forced to give up their cars if they weren’t as safe as a Mercedes and to buy the S-Class. If you didn’t but an S-Class, you’d have to pay 1% of your salary to the IRS every single year until you bought an S-Class.
Let’s take it one step further and imagine that car companies started to reposes your current car if it didn’t meet the safety standards of the Affordable Care Act even though you love your current car, you picked it out yourself from a variety of choices and you’ve have it for a while and it’s right in your budget.
Now imagine that Mercedes now has a monopoly that’s enforced via a government mandate and that they can slowly increase prices, degrade the quality of their product and that you’d still be forced to buy the S-Class because it’s “the law of the land”.
How ridiculous does that sound? And yet, that’s exactly what the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare is.
How the GOP failed to embrace the ideas that they pretend to embrace.
Think about how clueless the GOP is. They keep on trying to cling to this idea of the “free market” and yet they keep on demonstrating that they don’t know a single thing about how the free market operates. They fail to utilize it and incorporate it into their plans of action. In wanting to see the ACA/Obamacare fail, it would have been the perfect opportunity to rely on the power of the market to disband the albatross law, but they failed to realize this possibility or they don’t actually believe in it. In fact, the GOP went the complete opposite direction and tried to unilaterally shutdown the government and force people’s hand. That’s as far from their ‘free market principles’ as you can get.
Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing the government shutdown, but I’m no fan of hypocrisy or the tarnishing of such valid ideas as free market economics.
If you want to stop the ACA/Obamacare, you don’t need to enact a coercive government shutdown, you simply need to let the free market kill the ACA (yes, even with all of the tax fines and such). Obamacare will only work if young healthy people pay for insurance that they don’t want or need. This demographic rarely uses their insurance to begin with and their for all of their contributions will go to mitigate the costs of older or more sickly customers who are typically a large burden on the system. Given the high price of insurance that the targeted youth will have to pay, even accounting for the fines they will face, I doubt that the majority from the target audience is going opt in. We’re already seeing them complain about increased costs and many are making the sound economic choice of not purchasing insurance.
And this is exactly why the government had to force tax fines on to people, to force them to buy a product that they don’t want or need. But still, people are opting to not buy in and that’s why, given current projections, the ACA is well on it’s way to failure.
The Free Market, even with all the government bullshit, is still doing what it does best, driving the market.
On The Idea of Race
The whole idea of “race” of belonging to a specific country is silly. I think I’m more and more coming to the conclusion that race is bullshit and the sooner we get over that ignorant idea, the sooner this Earth will be a better place to live.
It’s silly that people think there’s a real difference between humans outside of cultural and skin-level appearance all based on some geographical lotto. As if being born in a location designated by a certain name or defined by a certain language or religion somehow makes you different in ways which others can not achieve after birth.
It’s silly to think that you have some sort of claim of superiority or a reason to be proud of being a specific race simply because generations ago, your ancestors mated and birthed in a specific location.
So, how exactly do we define and determine what we are? How many generations do we have to go back? A 1? 10? 100? 1,000? At a certain point, the country you choose to associate with didn’t even exist. What to do then? Pick a different one? Pick the one that occupied those same lands? Trace the ancestry even further?
You do that and you find that we are all technically African. What now? Has this information ruined your tilted view of heritage? Will you now claim to be African or, more simply, human? Or do you want to continue the charade of “picking sides”?
If you’re going to define your race or culture based on arbitrarily selecting a point in time when a certain ancestor was born in a certain land then you give birth to an infinite number of new issues. What if that country doesn’t exist anymore? What if the land has changed names and cultures a 1,000 times over? What if there’s been cross breeding with other “races”, which race do you select? Do you go with your father’s ancestry because of how masculine the entire race debate is or do you go with your mothers due to the scientific evidence found in mitochondria. And who determines how many generations you have to trace your heritage back. What, essentially, gives you the right to claim a specific race?
Since we aren’t dating to the beginning of humanity and the establishment of your race category is based on an arbitrary time, why can’t people just pick any race simply because they were born there or because they lived there or simply because they adopt that culture? What difference is there in doing that as opposed to randomly selecting an event of birth from a random moment in time?
In 10,000 years, can my ancestors claim that they are American simply because I was born in America and there is no history beyond my birth. Would that make sense?
It’s silly to say that due to the location of birth of your parents or even yourself that you are now to ascribe or even pay dues to that region or that you have some sort of necessary obligation to that place on a map.
If I adopted every aspect of Swedish life and culture and dropped every aspect of Armenian culture, would I still be an Armenian? Or would I be a Swedish individual? Would I still be American?
What if your original ancestors where born in Turkish region and moved to the Armenian region directly after birth, but nothing else about you or your family history was different. Would that mean your heritage and race is now Turkish? Or would you still consider yourself an Armenian?
Like I said, Nationalism; the downfall of humanity.
Bitcoin, Banking and the future of Currency, Interest and Lending
I also realized that the blockchain, by design, makes every transaction and btc wallet/holding completely transparent.
A Failed Presidency, A Product of the Times
After all that’s gone down this week, I’ve been thinking about how quickly the tide has changed on the perception of Obama and his administration.
He’s gone from a beloved president to a polarizing one over the first 5 years and then in about a months time he’s gone from polarizing to a completely tainted president. He’s not only loathed by the right, he’s seen as a failure by the left.
All in all, he’s probably going to go down as one of the worst presidents of all time. Once I came to this realization today, I had to pause and think about it and I realized that I find that almost unfair, believe it or not.
It’s not that I don’t think Obama has been a dreadful president, it’s that I think every single president has been just as abominable, Obama just got the short end of the stick.
Obama’s like the guy that just so happens to be holding the joint everyone was passing around right as the cops storm the party. Everyone was guilty but only one’s going to spend the night in the back of a police car.
You see, Obama’s policies are terrible, but they are just a continuation of George W Bush’s. And Bush’s policies were terrible but his wars and his financial policies were all based on congressional plans that were drawn up before Bush even considered running for office. And Clinton didn’t do anything that much more different than George H. W., who tried to be a carbon copy of his former boss, Reagan. The path spirals all the way back to the start of this empire, every president picking up where the prior left off and adding their own flavor of policies without going to far off course.
Sure, there are some that really add on the spice, FDR, Lincoln, Wilson, Nixon and Reagan come to mind, while others try their best to stay invisible. But none of them ever attempt to reset the country on the right course.
Obama just happened to be president at the point in time that the evolution of these policies has reached a tipping point and they are now full, grown up machines of evil and tyranny. Couple that with how transparent the world’s become with the internet, computers and hackers and how fast news travels and gets dissected and magnified with the 24/7 news cycle and no matter what Obama did, outside of fixing the country and maybe even that wouldn’t help, we were bound to eventually be disturbed and disgusted with his presidency.
I am 100% convinced of this at this point.
Had Obama and Reagan switched places in time, we’d love Obama and loath Reagan.
The reality is that Obama’s not the first to wiretap citizens illegally. Obama’s not the first to have such high unemployment numbers and a prolonged recession. Obama’s not the first to run guns and use the IRS to target citizens and to indefinitely detain people without due process. He’s not the first to declare war by circumventing congress. He’s not the first to drone other countries and kill civilians and he’s probably not the first to assassinate US citizens. He’s probably not even the first president to do all of these things combined.
He’s just the president who did it in 2013.
And 2013 is the age of information and world-wide awakening. People are informed and they aren’t willing to “live with it” anymore, whatever “it” might be.
i’m glad that, as it stands right now, history will frown upon Obama’s presidency. I’m just not glad that all other presidents don’t recieve the same scorn.
To the people who want to actively destroy government, I ask “Why turn to violence? Don’t even bother.” In the long run, every single government will inevitably destroy itself.
Yeah, you see, this is the same ‘historical inevitability’ argument that predicted capitalism will have ceased to exist thirty years ago.
The ability of the State to adapt to certain circumstances, to use force to protect itself from collapse, should be enough to drive you away from making these kinds of statements.
That’s because capitalism is the natural order of things. All else being equal, in the long run, humans always move towards laissez faire capitalism.
Capitalism being the natural order of things would be news to a lot of contemporary hunter-gatherer bands, as well as pretty much anyone living outside of Europe and North America until the 19th century. Capitalism being less than 300 years old, I think you’ll have a hard time justifying the statement “capitalism is the natural order of things.”
It’s also hard to explain physics to a caveman. Democracy is also a relatively new idea, if you prefer, we can all go back to being the slaves of ‘divine’ monarchs…
Progress does not depend on being understood by simpletons, thankfully.
I know your communist mind is much to simple to realize this but look at the three most predominant communist states; Russia, China, N. Korea. Russia learned long ago that it wasn’t working and it collapsed. China learned from Russia and is gradually migrating to capitalism and N. Korea is one of the worst shit holes on the planet.
Russia, China and North Korea have never once referred to themselves as communist. Ideologically, they may have once claimed to have been working toward bringing communism into existence, but none of them have been brazen enough to have claimed to have established communism at any point in time.
And a murderer doesn’t typically refer to themselves as such. Self recognition is of zero consequence. North Korea calls it’s self a “Democratic Republic”. All three are/were single-party communist states.
China, of course, learned nothing from Russia. The move toward market capitalism in China started in 1978, while markets were only reintroduced legally in Russia after the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
Because by 1978, the USSR was already failing. A complete black market had emerged within the state where the people would steal from factories and trade within communities. Essentially, the people, without the states participation or consent, were already migrating back towards a capitalistic market.
And thanks for acknowledging my previous point that all states, even those that are communist, will eventually evolve into laissez faire capitalism.
Nonetheless, as an anarchist-communist, I don’t find myself supporting the USSR, PRC or DPRK anyway. I don’t see them as communist, and I can’t imagine them as being able to bring communism into existence (the State being an autonomous institution with its own interests, namely, that of its own survival.) Your comment was just fucking ignorant, in multiple ways.
And anarcho-communist is calling me ignorant. Interesting. Send me half the money in your possession and then I’ll be willing to talk to you about the legitimacy of anarcho-communism. Until then, keep on banging your head on a wall.
To the people who want to actively destroy government, I ask “Why turn to violence? Don’t even bother.” In the long run, every single government will inevitably destroy itself.
to the people who want to actively destroy government im like okay but u wont also please go away
‘every single government will inevitably destroy itself’ lmao what a bold and weird claim to make
it’s a good statement, except that why should people have to wait for corruption and greed and repression to collapse on itself when we could cause its immediate collapse and be free from all those years of fascism and instability?
Why? Because using force is not the answer, especially when it’s the use of force that you are fighting.
A stateless society will be unstable and even unattainable unless the people are ready for it. Until the people are ready for it, you can’t force them to live in a stateless society simply because it fits your preferences, just like you don’t think they can force you to live under an oppressive state.
But the beauty of it is that everything since civilization first formed has been a movement from monarchy and absolute control by the few to less control or decentralized control and so long as the trend continues, the end result will be statelessness.
So why let it continue? Because that’s the natural order of things. You can’t force natures hand. Eliminate the state today and tomorrow you have chaos, not anarchy.
The people simply aren’t ready. This is obvious. They still believe they need government, they need to be taken care of. Until the people realize that they are capable themselves and their confidence grows, you can’t convince them to shed the state. Eliminate one state and another grows in its place.
But the goal and the hope is that enough people learn and grow, as individuals, that eventually when a state decays and is on the verge of elimination, the people don’t replace it and instead they move on.
It’s happening. Slowly, but the signs are there.