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Story: IP Justice White Paper on the Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)Total Replies: 11
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Bob_Robertson

May 26, 2008
7:04 AM EST
> However, their excuses are quite good: Stopping dangerous fake-medicines, car parts etc

The excuses of the tyrant are always good.

"Otherwise, there would be chaos!" while the tyrant changes the laws randomly, and writes so many that no one can even know if they are breaking a law or not.

"Otherwise, people will rob you!" while the tyrant extracts taxes and "fees".

etc, etc etc. It's the old cry, "Sacrifice a little freedom today to be safe for tomorrow."
Sander_Marechal

May 26, 2008
9:22 AM EST
The old cry is a tad different IIRC:

Quoting:Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


By Benjamin Franklin. Source: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin
Bob_Robertson

May 26, 2008
11:12 AM EST
I meant what Franklin was responding to.

Also, as the Royal Postmaster, he profited from government contracts himself.
GDStewart

May 26, 2008
1:46 PM EST
There is middle ground between the two extremes Bob. Finding it among the fringers screaming at each other that their's is the only way is the hard part.
jdixon

May 26, 2008
3:30 PM EST
> There is middle ground between the two extremes Bob.

Yes, there is. The only problem with that idea is that the middle ground you're describing inexorably shifts toward total state control as the generations pass. Governments never willingly give up power once they've gained it, and are always seeking to expand the power they have.
Bob_Robertson

May 26, 2008
4:18 PM EST
> never willingly give up power once they've gained it, and are always seeking to expand the power they have.

Did someone say Microsoft?

I refer interested folks to _Crisis and Leviathan_: http://www.mises.org/store/Crisis-and-Leviathan-P138.aspx

Lastly, I must ask, how is simple liberty a "fringe"? How is it a "fringe" attitude to not want to be a slave? Am I being unreasonable somehow, by wanting to live without institutional coercion?
gus3

May 26, 2008
6:15 PM EST
Quoting:How is it a "fringe" attitude to not want to be a slave?
The attitude isn't on the fringe. It's the definition of "slave" that's on the fringe.

I'm reminded of an account I read years ago, about a physicist from the (then) USSR, who managed to get asylum in Israel, where he took the only job available to him at the time: janitor. And he celebrated this! His reasoning? He'd rather mop floors in a basically Socialist state, where he could practice his religion, than support an electrical grid (with all its benefits) under Communism.

One man's slavery can be another man's breath of fresh air.
GDStewart

May 26, 2008
7:48 PM EST
>Yes, there is. The only problem with that idea is that the middle ground you're describing inexorably shifts toward total state control as the generations pass. Governments never willingly give up power once they've gained it, and are always seeking to expand the power they have.

What you describe has nothing to do with the idea. Total state control is not only inevitable in one of the extremes, it is the extreme. History has lots of examples of people taking back back what governments are unwilling to part with. That does not of course keep (new) governments from starting the whole thing over again and so the great circle of life, death and taxes continues.

>Lastly, I must ask, how is simple liberty a "fringe"? How is it a "fringe" attitude to not want to be a slave? Am I being unreasonable somehow, by wanting to live without institutional coercion?

Because you insist that something called "simple liberty" exists in a society of human beings. Be a slave ? Oh jeeze, there he goes goes off the deep (fringe) end, again ! Would you prefer the end of a rope after no trial coercion instead ? See, sometimes institutions are good (unless you ran into Dallas DA Henry Wade of course). To you they're always very bad a clear sign of being on the fringe.
jdixon

May 27, 2008
1:07 AM EST
> Total state control is not only inevitable in one of the extremes, it is the extreme.

History disagrees with you.

> History has lots of examples of people taking back back what governments are unwilling to part with.

Almost always with lots of bloodshed. Peaceful removal of government power happens, but it's a rarity, not the norm.

> Because you insist that something called "simple liberty" exists in a society of human beings.

It has. Whether it still does is debatable. But this is rapidly moving outside the TOS, so I'll drop the subject.
Bob_Robertson

May 27, 2008
4:52 AM EST
I highly recommend this comic book, online, and free as in no cost: http://www.bigheadpress.com/tpbtgn?page=1

"Pogo stick rentals" what a hoot!

> Because you insist that something called "simple liberty" exists in a society of human beings.

Hmmm... It does. You and I live that way every day. You and I are doing so right now. Voluntary interaction is the norm.

There will always be pirates, thieves, killers, but in an environment of voluntary interaction these individuals are abberations. They are shunned by the vast majority because they act coercively.

One of the primary reasons I use F/OSS is the "F" part. There is no huge and complicated End User License Agreement. Microsoft can tell me I cannot publish benchmarks of their software's performance, and many other things as well, and their control of the situation is explicit because I have voluntarily agreed to the EULA in order to use their software.

But even Microsoft cannot unilaterally change that agreement. They must put each change to me for approval, I can still say "No", and all that happens is that I cannot legitimately use their software. At the same time, Microsoft cannot force me to buy their products if I do not want them. I can, and it is not particularly inconvenient to do so as anyone who frequents this site knows, get hardware without Windows, avoid using Microsoft file formats, and such.

There is only one institution which can act unilaterally, change the rules then expect me to obey them, even punish me if I break rules I didn't even know existed.

> See, sometimes institutions are good...

No where have I ever said institutions are not good. Institutions are how people cooperate to get things done. Debian is an institution. The Linux Kernel Mailing List is an institution. LXer.com is an institution, all completely voluntary.

http://www.tocqueville.org/chap5.htm "Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations...In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others."

> ...(unless you ran into Dallas DA Henry Wade of course).

Exactly. Without the coercive power of that peculiar institution we call the "state", an abusive individual could not do so many destructive things that even you decry his abuses of _power_.

But as Jdixon has so clearly pointed out, this is way out there.
hkwint

May 27, 2008
7:59 AM EST
Well, from my viewpoint the state is not the problem.

It's more like: Some people are very greedy, therefore they invented the term 'stakeholder'. Institutions of stakeholders are the owners of other institutions called companies; and therefore stakeholders can coerce companies to do certain things. In their turn, those companies coerce the government to do certain things; but that coercion is without force; it's called "lobbying'. In their turn, the government coerces people to do certain things and forbid others. This scenario is exactly what happened in this case of 'ACTA'.

To blame the government is total discretion, because the government doesn't exist without people. Some greedy people are stakeholders, some are in companies, some in the government. Abolish the government and almost nothing changed, greedy people willing to coerce will exist without government too. The government is just a silly obfuscating abstraction layer to blame some 'non-human' entity for the greediness of other people. Also, in extreme cases, some government is just an alias of some company to enable the company to coerce without directly being visible doing so to the public.

However, sometimes a democratic process - a mean of non-stakeholders to acquire some powers too - can stop a government - which makes our Western society still work adequate enough by the opinion of most people. That's where the ACTA process fails: There are no means for non-stakeholders to acquire powers to change ACTA at this moment.
Bob_Robertson

May 27, 2008
10:08 AM EST
> Abolish the government and almost nothing changed, greedy people willing to coerce will exist without government too.

But without _legitimacy_. Such people can be defended against.

What happens when you defend yourself against, say, a corrupt cop? You go to jail for murder.

The worst thing that ever happened to the United States was that tarring and feathering tax collectors went out of style. Now, they tar and feather you, with impunity.

http://www.thegangmovie.com/

And please, don't get me started on "democracy". It's a sham.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_newsom_011303_democracy...

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