Episode 150: Permanent Record



What a great episode of ‘Ask Noah’ this week!

Noah’s argument for privacy and anonymous online presence was fantastic!

I support the actions of Edward Snowden - but had no intention of buying his book. After Noah’s glowing review I will have to put it on my reading list.

Noah says that politically he is for “minimising coercion”. To this I absolutely concur. ps Liberty = the absence of coercion.

In minimising coercion however we should not make exceptions. That is, if you are to be consistent with the principle of non-coercion then it has to be applied universally. Life is not black and white but when it comes to principles that they need to be applied consistently. eg If you argued that you were against domestic violence, like wife beating, but argued it was ok to spank your children - this is inconsistent.

To this point, I would disagree with Noah when he argues for minimising coercion ‘but not to the point of anarchy’. Not to be confused with chaos, anarchy means no rulers (which is also different to no rules).

One can have leaders that one chooses to follow. There can be experts, people who have earned authority in certain fields of expertise. To have rulers however is to have power coercively forced upon you without consent.

“But”, one might argue, “it is a necessary evil, we need government”. To argue it is a necessary evil is to argue evil is necessary. It is one thing to want to minimise evil - it is another thing to support evil in the hope that it gets rid of evil. The road to hell is paved with good intentions - when the means used are coercive.

Unfortunately, as we are dealing with humans, so there will always be some degree of coercion - some bad actors. One should not support the institutionalisation of coercion though!

“Oh, come on! Governement is not perfect - but it is not evil. It does much good!” comes the retort.

How much good does it do? The century of big gov is also the history of war that killed millions and massacred many civilians within the state.

There is also the seen and unseen in every action. When you study the moral aspects, the social and the economical - government is a net negative in all areas.

Sticking to the concept of coercion however, civilised society rightly rejects forced association an act of cercion. ie forced labour as slavery, forced payment as extortion, forced sex as rape.

Why then not extend this principal to all services?

Government at a very basic should protect people right?

Does geography over-ride the concept of non-coercion? A mafia has a monopoly on the use of violence in a geographical region. Does this make its protection racket legitimate? This is the very same modus operendi of a government.

There are many points to make, but I will finish with a response to Noah’s statement, “I think there is a point to government and community”

There appears to be a applied association here between government and community. (?) I would argue the two are very different and actually counter concepts.

Real community is more a spontaneous phenomenon. It develops naturally with people having common interests coming together voluntarily. It is unforced and allows people to disassociate if they no longer wish to be involved.

Government however arose differently. Once upon a time roaming bandits found it preferable to settle down & tax farm a geographical region. Over time is transitioned more to soft power -indoctrination/propaganda/ - rather than outright hard power - violence. It allowed some conditional participation via mob rule (democracy).

It began as coercion and maintains itself via coercion.

Government is forced association. It actually destroys community. It talks about community but is more divide and conquer. People choose political parties that vie for power. This is more about tribalism than unity. Just look at animosity of progressives vs ‘deplorables’, Brexiters vs Remoaners etc.

That is just internally. There is always the external enemy also - be it the ‘ape-like Jap’ or the Arab terrorist.

Government is not about community. It is about division!

nb. Ross Albricht. Rather than ‘fair game’, the gov gang sounds like they stole Ross’s laptop. His crime?- provide a market place so that people can peacefully exchange value in a way that quality is more assured.

Thanks Noah!

A most enjoyable podcast!