Rothbardix - Technology for liberty and justice.

Technology for liberty and justice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Directions to Freedom, Part Two

The second installment in a series of podcasts, dealing with principles of justice and the practical reality of the United States government:
Directions to Freedom, part two
  (direct download)

  (Internet Archive listing).
 

Text as prepared for delivery follows:

Hello, and thank you for listening.

Justice is a universal desire of conscious individuals. In modern society, critically important organizations work to ensure that justice is established and preserved. Those individuals who work to uphold justice deserve our thanks, our gratitude, and our support. My purpose in this message is to support those who work for justice by addressing matters that any individual within our existing institutions of justice would find difficult or impossible to address.

The most basic principle of economic justice is the protection of private property and the protection of the right to freely exchange that property. Modern governments, however, consistently and routinely violate the rights of property owners, with the assumption - the incorrect assumption - that government can utilize property more efficiently than its lawful owners can. As institutionalized theft by property violation becomes increasingly routine and accepted, it has far-reaching consequences for the character and morality of society as a whole. The injustice of theft permeates society and creates disrespect for the law. On the part of ruling elites, the perception is created that society is to be exploited for the benefit of the rulers. Incentives are created to generate and promote ignorance throughout society to conceal the injustice of theft. As the institutionalized violence of government is used to violate the rights of individuals to keep and trade their own property, the violation of economic justice inevitably results in the undermining of justice in every other part of society.

Although the establishment of justice and order is a key responsibility of the United States government, the sheer size of the United States economy, and the enormous wealth that is devoted to government, makes the United States government a tempting prize for any organization or collection of bandits ruthless and clever enough to seize it. A criminal organization able to conduct its activities from within the center of power of the United States government would have powerful advantages over other criminal groups. Such an organization, having seized control of the United States government, would derive enormous power from the taxes extracted from the wealthiest society in the history of the world. Such an organization would be able to manage present objections to its corruption with lavish promises of future benefits, in a form of generalized bribery. Such an organization, which would necessarily have great financial sophistication, would be able to use the credit of the United States government to issue trillions of dollars of debt, to fund its corrupt activities and neutralize objections to its illegitimacy, and in so doing, burden the responsible citizens among its victims with crushing financial obligations. Very importantly, this criminal group could use its control of the United States monetary system to print money to advance its own purposes of theft, control, and enslavement.

Such an organization would be able to protect its shipments of illicit drugs into the United States, while using the power of law enforcement organizations to imprison their would-be competitors, and would subsequently be able to distribute those illicit drugs and launder the enormous profits in the huge and minutely regulated financial markets of the United States. This criminal organization would use its powers to convert military, intelligence, and law enforcement bureacracies into instruments for political control and the domination and subjection of society, while discrediting, destroying, and murdering honest individuals within those services that work to root out corruption and faithfully serve their fellow citizens.

This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control. This collection of gangsters would find it in their interest to foment conflict and initiate wars throughout the world, in order to divert attention from their misconduct and criminality. The true nature of such a regime would find its clearest expression in the satanic violence currently ongoing in Iraq.

Perhaps worst of all, such an organization would usurp and destroy the historical leadership of the United States toward human freedom, and would, while constantly and loudly preaching the glory of liberty, work to lead the world into a new dark age of slavery and terror.

This seizure of the United States government by an international criminal conspiracy is a long-established reality. The murder of the United States President in 1963, the associated murders and institutional subversion, and the manipulation of official inquiries and public opinion, was effected by individuals within organizational structures that play a central role in the United States government up to the present day. The coup regime founded with the murder of President John Kennedy utilizes a number of mechanisms to perpetuate its criminal rule.

The most important of these mechanisms is government control of the economy. The government's enormous tax revenues, and the even larger government spending, give to the coup regime the means and motivation to sustain its rule. The constantly expanding regulation of business makes it possible for the coup regime to further impose its will on private economic activity and conditions the people under its rule to accept whatever totalitarian measures the regime deems necessary. The policies and actions of the coup regime are constantly masked by official deception, as well as the subversion of the free press through infiltration and secret manipulations.

On a deeper level, however, the deceit that the coup regime utilizes to justify its policies is intimately linked with the deceit that is inherent in policies that seize the property of individuals for the benefit of the politically powerful. The most subtle and dangerous of these policies, and therefore most similar to the rule of the coup regime itself, is the imposition of a paper money system throughout the United States. This far-reaching violation of property rights undermines the security of property in a way that works to the benefit of the politically powerful individuals that control the monetary system. The political and military disasters, such as the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, that an illegitimate coup regime uses against the people who pay its bills, are closely tied to the effects of inflationary paper monetary systems, which are themselves intimately linked with financial and political disasters throughout history.

The blatant violations of the Constitution's limitations on the economic role of the government, accomplished through many subtle usurpations over many decades, are perhaps even more pernicious than, and are certainly a key motivation for, the violent seizure of the United States government. In order to establish a firm basis for justice and sound government, the economic role of the government must be reexamined in every detail. It must be recognized that arguments for government control of the economy, and government redistribution of economic resources, are generally misguided or even shameless lies to advance enslavement and conceal theft and murder. Furthermore, it must, once again, be recognized that the most successful means to ensure justice, secure domestic tranquility, and promote prosperity is to ensure the security of private property.

Thank you for listening.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Directions to Freedom, Part One

Here is the first installment in what is expected to be a series of podcasts:
Directions to Freedom, part one
  (direct download)

  (Internet Archive listing).
 

Text as prepared for delivery follows:

Hello. Thank you for listening. I have an intense personal desire for freedom, and I need your help so that we can, together, continue to enjoy the benefits of freedom and work toward the more-perfect realization of liberty and justice in our society. My effort to realize greater freedom in our world is a long-term effort, and this message is a first step to begin a dialogue with you that, I expect, will enable us to take action in the future to have more secure, more prosperous, and happier lives.

My desire for freedom is inevitably centered on the role of government in society. From a practical perspective, my desire is to see the cost of governmental services reduced and the quality of those services increased. On a philosophical level, I, personally, perceive a responsibility to do what I can to continue the admirable legacy of justice, prosperity, and tranquility that has been established in the United States, and directly confront the forces that undermine that legacy.

There are many sound reasons for optimism in our modern world. Our ever-accelerating scientific and technical progress is daily creating new wonders. Our scientific understanding of the basis of life makes it possible to reduce disease and lengthen life. Our communications technology enables individuals to create, collect, store, and share information in ways that were unavailable to the most powerful governments within the recent past, with far-reaching benefits and consequences that have only yet begun to be perceived.

These and many other developments are part of the economic growth that is an essential aspect of modern society. Economic growth is necessary for individuals to continue to have ever-improving lives. The belief that life can be better for future generations is one of the greatest contributions of the American spirit to the world, and we cannot allow that tradition to be undermined or destroyed.

The most basic factor in economic growth is secure private property and the freedom to use and exchange that property as the owner sees fit. Security of property was a basic principle at the founding of the United States, and has been essential to the ability of individuals to provide for their loved ones, their associates, and those in need. Private property is the most successful basis for structuring society that humanity has ever known. Where property rights have been protected, societies have prospered and thrived, and where private property has been undermined or abolished, some of the worst terrors known to man have taken place. The United States government was founded with great respect for private property, and the society of the United States has consequently flourished, but communist and socialist governments that abolished or disregarded private property created poverty, repression, and murder on a truly enormous scale.

Even in the United States, however, there has been a continual erosion of protection for private property, justified by the belief that government is an efficient instrument for the positive direction of society. The belief that government, freed of the limits imposed by private property, can utilize resources more efficiently than their current owners is strongly contradicted by experience and history. Governments lack the profit and loss incentives that individuals and private organizations must use to determine whether their efforts are successful and should be continued. Instead, governments judge the success of their actions through public opinion, which can be manipulated in very effective ways, creating irresistible incentives for governments to use deception as a standard operating procedure. When governments are able to confiscate the resources of their citizens to fund schemes that need only be justified by lies and deception, enormous disasters can result. As government policies create disasters - whether economic, social, or military - there is an ever-greater motivation to use deception to justify those policies, leading to a systematic subversion of truth, honesty, and morality in society.

The problems confronting the world today are made more intractable by the sophisticated processes used to obscure and conceal the truth of the difficulties facing us. We are right to recognize the blessings of freedom, but there are those, even in positions of great power and responsibility, who usurp the banner of freedom in order to justify their wicked schemes of theft, murder, and enslavement. One of the greatest problems facing humanity today is the deliberate creation of conflict in order to extend the control of a tiny elite, who seek to rule the world from the shadows. Their primary tools are subtle - deceit, deception, and subversion - but they are by no means harmless. Indeed, their drive to control and dominate the world has motivated some of the greatest tragedies and crimes of our time.

However, this drive for control is an inevitable development when the government recognizes few practical limits on its power. When the government can control how private property is used, and especially when the government controls the monetary system that is used to exchange private property, the government has the mechanisms and the motivation to control individuals to the smallest detail. To prevent themselves from being enslaved, the powerful masters of our existing governments use every means at their disposal, including bribery, theft, and murder, to control those governments, which are imperfect institutions operated by imperfect individuals.

In order to properly address these very serious matters, it is necessary to recognize the importance of enduring principles for setting a positive direction that we can pursue, mindful of the real threats that we must overcome.

As a practical matter, security of property is a critical aspect of a functioning modern society. Without the ability to hold, control, and exchange private property, individuals will inevitably use violence and deceit to obtain the resources they need and desire. As well, it is not adequately recognized that our existing monetary system undermines the security of private property in a powerful, subtle, and far-reaching way. As the power of the government increases through encroachments on private property, the moral values of individuals and communities are increasingly attacked by a political system where deceit is routine and accepted, and the only standard is power. This inexorable attack on morality and conscience must be opposed and overcome.

Another basic principle that must guide our course is respect for the freedom of thought. This means that individuals must consistently repudiate the efforts of governments to control the beliefs of their citizens. In the United States, the establishment of an official church is recognized as illegitimate and is constitutionally prohibited. However, government control of the schools that shape minds is pervasive in today's world. The imperative to defend the freedom of conscience must lead us to eliminate the role of the government in education, and leave parents and communities free to raise their children as they see fit. We must come to recognize that a government-run school for universal education is no more legitimate than a government-run church for universal religious training.

In future messages, I will describe how these principles can be applied in practical ways to build a better future for ourselves, by building upon opportunities and confronting problems that we perceive in the world around us. I would welcome your feedback and support. Thank you for listening.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

policy objectives to secure lasting peace and prosperity, part one

We pray that [...] all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings. Those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities [...] - Farewell Address, Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is a basic conflict in the world today between the power of organizations and the liberty of individuals. The greatest achievements of human societies have historically been linked to the freedom of individuals to pursue their unique course. Human liberty has a spiritual benefit for individuals that can easily be overlooked, but it also has a profoundly beneficial economic effect for societies. Ample historical evidence, supported by economic insights, demonstrates that the economic and cultural progress of free societies with secure property rights is unparalleled by that produced by other forms of government.

The progress of free individuals cooperating in a liberal society is inevitably uncertain, as it is determined by the autonomous choices of individuals coordinating primarily on the basis of market exchanges. Individuals have a very real desire for certainty in their lives and in their actions. By becoming part of organizations, such as those responsible for upholding the law or providing military security, individuals can perceive that their efforts are directly advancing ideals of justice under the law or security of person and property against powerful international threats, and thereby gain personal satisfaction and a sense of noble purpose that may not be enjoyed by the laborer or trader.

However, organizations are no less imperfect than the individuals that they are comprised of. In fact, governmental organizations (such as security and law enforcement bureaucracies) that utilize coercion to achieve their objectives create conditions that select individuals for leadership who are able to carry out their responsibilities despite the fact that the operation of the organization at times results in perceptible injustice and unfairness. In the best case, this selects for strong individuals with the capacity to faithfully and honestly serve others without being enfeebled by emotional responses to their duties. However, these selection mechanisms over time tend toward promoting the qualities of cruel indifference to suffering and injustice, and, worse, a willingness to create and exploit injustice for the benefit of the individuals that are in temporary positions of power, based on their leadership role in organizations.

As the governmental "race to the bottom" proceeds over time, the State gradually attempts to extend its control over society to a greater and greater degree. This process is the descent to tyranny and despotism that has been demonstrated in numerous societies throughout history.

Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. - Declaration of Independence

History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. - Charles de Gaulle

However, the descent toward tyranny is not inevitable. In the face of institutional efforts toward control and domination, conscious individuals can direct their efforts to advancing liberty and creating a lasting framework for the preservation of freedom and provision of security. In the United States, basic principles of human rights have been constitutionally recognized, with restrictions placed on the powers of the federal government and the state governments to abridge these rights.

Despite long-standing protections for the basic rights of (among others) justice before the law, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience, there are significant factors undermining these liberties. The inexorable growth of government capabilities is a key aspect of the erosion of liberty. As the government obtains powers in new circumstances and settings, those powers will, inevitably, be used to constrain and perhaps destroy the liberties of the people.

The most important source of power for modern governments is the political control of paper monetary systems. Governments are able to pursue destructive policies by taxing the users of government-controlled monetary systems. The tax of inflation is nearly imperceptible on a day-to-day basis, but provides enormous resources for those governments that utilize it.

Another central means used by modern governments to control societies is the control of telecommunications, using state-regulated or state-owned enterprises, or both. The control of the minds of subject individuals is subtly effected through the control of the sources of information available to those individuals.

Of paramount importance for the control of subject populations, however, is state ownership and control of education. The consequences of the current near-universal acceptance of state control of education are pernicious and far-reaching.

Several policy objectives that can identified and pursued in order to address these threats to liberty are as follows:

  • the transition to a asset-based monetary system not controlled by governments. The means of transition to such a monetary system from the current paper-ticket monetary system (which has been accomplished before) is a matter of considerable study and several proposals, and will be addressed here in forthcoming writings.
  • the denationalization of the means of communication, and in particular the elimination of government ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum. The premises supposedly justifying government control of telecommunication are technologically nonsensical and entirely specious, yet provide convenient rationales useful for masking the reality of brute-force control of the right of free expression.
  • the separation of school and state. Just as the beliefs of individuals in many societies is respected through the absence of state religion, so should the freedom of thought be respected by leaving the education of individuals to private organizations.
More will be written about each of these three areas in subsequent postings.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

pursuing justice by experiencing its opposite

This blog is about the pursuit of truth and justice, and the development of technology to assist in the realization of these ideals. The existing systems to establish justice in society are of the utmost value and importance. Human societies have derived immense benefit from impartial and equitable systems of justice, and great harm can be wreaked by unfair and biased legal systems.

However distant at this point, the development of information currency is part of an effort to create systems for collective decision-making that will have the integrity and reliability necessary for judicial processes. This positive effort is inevitably a lengthy and uncertain process, but its enormous value makes it a worthy goal. Another means to improve the systems of justice in human society is to confront the present imperfections that exist. What basic concepts can be used to recognize imperfections in the justice system as it exists today?

Only someone who is blind or who finds it convenient to be blind can overlook the fact that the threat of totalitarianism is a question of our age. - Conscience in Its Age, Pope Benedict XVI

A basic principle that must guide any standard of justice is equality of all individuals before the law. There is significant information indicating that the national security apparatus of the United States is systematically used to make powerful individuals effectively exempt from prohibitions on the transport and sale of certain chemicals, such as heroin and cocaine. The fact that powerful, highly placed, individuals are able to violate certain laws with impunity calls into question the validity of such laws, and promotes the progressive erosion of justice and respect for law throughout society. The enormous monopoly profits from illicit, large-scale, state-protected pharmaceutical commerce enable a self-perpetuating criminal enterprise to dominate the security apparatus of the state and thereby subjugate society as a whole, creating far-reaching negative effects that may not be obviously linked to legal prohibitions.

Additionally, the laws enacted by legislatures must also be recognized as potentially imperfect attempts by imperfect people to realize ideals of justice. Where political law attempts to overrule the realities of nature, and forbid the existence of nature's gifts, such law must be perceived as suspect at best. The cannabis plant is known, despite decades of official propaganda and deception, to be one of the most useful plants known to humanity.

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. - Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Given my belief that cannabis prohibition is the least defensible and most unjust aspect of the prohibitionist regime existing throughout the world today, I decided in March 2006 to cultivate cannabis in full view of the world. From March 2006 to 6 June 2006, I grew 16 cannabis plants outside on my third-floor balcony in beautiful Irvine, California. Given my conviction that no permission should be necessary for anyone to grow cannabis in any quantity, I deliberately did not seek permission of any kind, and did not obtain a doctor's recommendation for the use of cannabis, which would have made my garden relatively acceptable under California state law.

Until the plants were torn out after a raid by pistol-wielding Irvine police officers, they had each grown to be several feet tall, and began to show the sexual differentiation characteristic of cannabis (a dioecious plant species). The plants were fragrant and beautiful, and for the months that I was able to cultivate them, I was greatly impressed by their rapid growth and responsiveness to environmental conditions.

At what exact point, then, should one resist? When one's belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one's home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about any one of them individually - especially at a time when the thoughts of the person arrested are wrapped tightly about the big question: "What for?" - and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest. - The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In the course of the arrest for violation of California Health and Safety Code 11358, I chose to not cooperate, given my objection to the injustice of prohibition. I was entirely limp and had to be carried to the police car, resulting in a charge of obstructing an officer in the course of his official duties.

Eventually, I decided to accept deferred adjudication of the charge of cultivating cannabis under California Penal Code 1000, resulting in 16 weeks of weekly meetings, which are currently underway. In addition, rather than continue to contest my rights under law to refuse to cooperate in the legal system, I decided to plead guilty to obstruction, resulting in a sentence of 26 8-hour days worth of labor, conducted at the beautiful Mason Regional Park in Irvine.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

economic calculation applied to the pursuit of truth, part one

A central design issue for collaborative systems is how those systems bias the collective effort of their participants. To the extent that the systems support collaboration, they introduce the contribution of other participants into the consciousness of a single user. A very desirable goal for a collaborative information system is to bias the collective efforts of its users toward the pursuit and elaboration of truth.

Assuming that there is universality in truth, the pursuit of truth provides a common direction in which individuals may strive without otherwise coordinating their efforts. Regardless of the universality of truth, the personal perception of truth can be highly subjective. One of the ways that the truth of various ideas (such as scientific theories) are assessed is by the number and distinction of their proponents. In this case, the public statements of truth as perceived by individuals can be aggregated to arrive at an estimate of reality usable by a single individual.

At times, however, mass delusions or systemic biases can lead to the advancement of (sometimes dangerous) falsehoods as truth, held by broad majorities of esteemed opinion-makers. In a scientific context, the persecution of Galileo for advancing a heliocentric view of the solar system is an example of (what we now consider as) truth confronting officially sanctioned falsity. The racial theories of certain regimes, and similar manifestations of insanity, particularly apparent in socialist societies, can be seen in hindsight to not only be profoundly wrong, but also to have brought about severe consequences for many individuals and entire societies.

The question of what ideas, perceived as actionable truth today, will be recognized as disastrous falsehoods in the future is not the subject of this posting. Rather, the objective here is to recognize the possibility of using economic calculation, applied to information management, for the recognition of truth and the repudiation of falsity. Market transactions denominated in terms of money prices enable individuals to calculate the results of their efforts in coordination with others through economic exchange. The process of economic calculation, where individual actors in an economy are able to calculate the results of their actions through profit and loss, enables exquisite coordination of productive activities, and it is worthwile to seek to apply market mechanisms in new areas. The distributed coordination enabled by economic calculation, where individual direction can be derived from the complex interactions of a large number of independent participants, suggests that the pursuit of truth can be advanced by the application of economic mechanisms to information.

To be continued...

financial mechanisms for political coordination, part one

The unprecedented economic growth experienced by humanity has created an extended order that is exquisitely sensitive to disruptions. The essential need for stability for productive economic activity grows from the practical need to ensure the welfare and survival of many hundreds of millions of human beings. Highly complex economic arrangements have been developed in human society, and must be safeguarded in order to ensure individuals a high standard of living.

This essential need for stability to enable economic activity reinforces the natural resistance to political change among those concerned with human welfare. However, the specialization of labor in modern society has extended to a specialization in political control by ever-increasing numbers of individuals. The moral and ethical imperfections of political control are such that, all too frequently, those who are most efficient at exercising political control are those who are most indifferent to human suffering and unconcerned with human welfare in general.

The extension and expansion of political control in virtually every aspect of human society is abetted by present social and economic norms such as paper money and income taxation, and is resisted by uncoordinated and relatively weak forces in society. Even where present policies can be recognized as having significant negative consequences in the future, political actors are able to obfuscate facts and create confusion in order to realize their personal short-term objectives.

There are few clearer examples of this fact than in the marketing of international aggression. Political actors know that they are able to provoke mass populations to support enslavement and mass murder in the name of war, thereby securing and enhancing the position of political classes. Herman Goering described the phenomenon clearly in the following conversation with Gustav Gilbert during an intermission in his trial at Nuremberg (recounted in Nuremberg Diary, with thanks to snopes.com):

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

The political actors that initiate and promote aggression and conflict often recognize that their statements need not closely reflect reality, given their short-term desire to maintain political control and the inability of subject populations to hold political actors to account for their actions. Given the clear motivations among political actors to initiate, perpetuate, and promote aggression and conflict, those who are concerned with human welfare must seek new means to counter the incentives that political actors have directing their actions toward large-scale destruction.

The effectiveness of markets in aggregating information suggests that economic mechanisms may be useful in addressing this problem. In particular, financial markets are able simultaneously to aggregate large amounts of information about present conditions as well as best estimates among market participants of future conditions.

Additionally, new information technology may be examined for its applicability to this problem. A key issue is the extremely large number of individuals whose opinions must be incorporated into collective decision regarding political matters, given the need for broad-based agreement to secure the legitimacy of political decisions.

Democratic elections are widely used to legitimize governments in the modern world. Elections have a demonstrated ability to establish a political order that is widely supported, and the mechanism of democratic electoral choice can control excesses that are present in other systems of government. However, the democratic system of government suffers from several faults, which are increasingly apparent in modern society:

  • a failure to incorporate the future costs of present actions into decisions, and
  • an inability to quantitatively correlate commitments and actions with basic principles and standards.

The first flaw is, in industrialized Western societies, leading to a demographic crisis based on an inability to incorporate future financial projections into political decisions. The second flaw is leading to an unmooring of political systems, notably in the United States, from the basic principles of liberty, justice, and common decency on which societies are based.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

immigration and traditional values

America has throughout its existence been a refuge and a sanctuary for individuals throughout the world. The stability and security of our society has enabled hard-working individuals and their families to make better lives for themselves, and in doing so, contribute to the wealth of our society. As we are increasingly concerned about the stability and security of our society, we must recognize how beneficial immigration has been for our society, and how important it is that we draw upon our historical legacy of unrestricted immigration.

For well over a century, immigration to the United States was virtually unrestricted, and the society and economy of the US flourished. Over time, as individuals have come to take for granted the blessings of life in our free society, appeals to exclude other people from the United States have been more and more successful. From the anti-Catholic quotas of the early 20th century to the present-day restrictions that are often more like campaign literature than legislation, restrictions on immigration have often been driven more by political passions than principle and reason.

The ideal of equality before the law and its practical realization has been among the greatest contributions of America to human civilization. The tendency of individuals to appeal to group citizenship erodes this magnficient accomplishment, as individuals seek political advantage for their group by creating laws that disadvantage others. The authority of the law is degraded by its use to exclude and hinder others, and laws restricting immigration are an example of this degradation.

Without considering principle, however, there is the fact that immigration contributes to the wealth of our society. Allowing individuals to come to participate in our society, in our free market economy, leads to contributions to us all, in the form of lower prices and higher wages.

Therefore, two clear recommendations are:

  • laws restricting immigration should be eliminated and immigrants currently in the United States should be free to pursue residence and employment in the United States, and
  • immigrants should be barred from receiving public benefits, with such benefits available only to citizens. This would ensure that people do not abuse the benefits of freedom and instead become wards of the state when coming to the United States.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Economic Calculation for Physical Security and Criminal Justice

The topic addressed in this space is technology for liberty and justice. Any effort toward the realization of these highest of philosophical ideals must also directly address more obvious factors, for example the enhancement of liberty and justice while increasing security at the same time.

Security of one's person and possessions is a basic need of individuals, and the provision of physical security is of paramount practical importance. A balancing of liberty and security allows individuals to pursue actions that they choose in any way that does not violate another individual's person or property.

Threats to security are not always effectively addressed in existing systems of justice. In particular, serious threats that are obvious to those with the closest knowledge of the circumstances (such as a violent individual threatening an estranged romantic partner), may not be effectively addressed, while the full weight of the law is applied to address relatively trivial offenses.

The apparently senseless misallocation of resources in the criminal justice system is an example of the socialist calculation problem. This problem arises where activities in an extended society are centrally directed, without the use of market exchange to coordinate the actions of individuals within the whole.

A primary focus of the Rothbardix operating system will be information systems to enable economic calculation in criminal justice. By issuing economic instruments indicating customer satisfaction with the processes of criminal justice, it will be possible to introduce economic calculation into the distributed enterprise of physical security provision. The software in the Rothbardix OS for managing sensor systems will use economic instruments that are linked by market exchanges to other economic instruments representing desired security and criminal justice objectives.

In order to realize this objective, it is necessary to develop systems for economic calculation with information currency, and systems for information currency utilization in large-scale sensor networks, to name just two outstanding examples.