We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed --US Declaration of Independence
Above: Ants form a tower to escape the water. From the movie Antz (1998).
Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe! -Boromir at the Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The beatings will continue until morale improves. -Famous Saying, (Unknown Origin)
At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up...the small hall echoed with stormy applause... For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the [applause] continued. ...the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the /first/ to stop? ... NKVD men [secret police] were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see /who/ quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader [Stalin was not in the room!], the applause went on--six, seven, eight minutes! ... Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! ... To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! That, however, was how they [NKVD secret police] discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years [in a labor camp] on him ...
The ballot box was placed at the center of the room in front of the 4-5 member committee who checked off people's names and gave each a ballot with preprinted names ... To adjust the ballots in private, the voter would have to remember to bring a pen or pencil and walk, observed by the committee, to the far corner of the room where the Communists placed a small screen with a table and a pen or pencil, sometimes broken according to informal internal instructions so that the voter would need to go back to the committee and ask for a new one. Before the election day, people were enjoined to "vote manifestly," that is to pick up the ballot from the committee, turn around, and drop it off in the ballot box right away.
The essence of democratic decision-making is not the choice made by the system at elections, but the ideas created between elections. -David Deutsch, Beginning of Infinity p 345 "Communication occurs only between equals." -Celiene's Second Law, phrased by Wilson
For the Constitution, rather than suggesting that all behave in a godlike manner, recognizes that, to the contrary, people are swine and will take any opportunity to subvert any agreement in order to pursue what they consider to be their proper interests.
Stossel: Why does it take you three years to build a bathroom? ... NYC Parks Commissioner: Ours, because it's a public project, we believe very strongly in engaging the public. ... Stossel: And this is a good thing...all these meetings? NYC PC: Oh yes it's a good thing. ... Random Citizen: It's a ridiculous amount of money.
The representations don’t need to exclusively be inside your mind. They could be in books that you know how to find, in an internet database that you know how to search. But I would not want this section to get too bogged down by epistemology. ↩
Biologically, when we are out of sync with the local genes, we experience illness – indigestion or infection. Similarly, when we are out of sync with the local memes, we experience mental illness – awkwardness, anxiety, and depression. ↩
Things would probably be worse if the tax were collected on some other basis. According to a well-known theorem, when land-utilization is static(), the total value of all “public goods” (of all kinds) is captured by nearby landlords. Walls, public partsk, welfare payments, UBI, etc – all of this value-add, translates to higher rents. 100% of these proceeds ultimately go to landlords. Thus, the most efficient way to collect taxes is via land-value tax. — — () A plot of land is a kind of “natural factory” that produces goods over time – it may produce housing, or crops, fish, lumber, etc. A high-rise will produce more housing per month than a single family home; and an irrigated farm will produce more food per month than fallow wilderness. H. George chooses to examine the case where land-use is static and cannot improve (for whatever reason – zoning, negotiation costs, insufficient technology, etc). The best improvements (from the public point of view) are transportation improvements that bring improved [high-rent] land within travel distance of unimproved [cheap-rent] land. ↩
In fact, the mere suggestion that the government might soon transition into a rule-by-person, might be enough to coerce many people into immediately submitting to that person. Such suggestions are themselves tyrannical. See Roko’s Basilisk argument; and see also the behavior and rhetorical style of cult leaders throughout history. It is also not necessarily for anyone to act maliciously or even willfully – consider that Christians and Muslims live in total obedience to a tyrant that, as far as anyone can tell, doesn’t exist at all. ↩
It is not necessary to justify this assumption, since I do not believe it and my argument actually does better if it is false. But one justification could be that all people suddenly decide that they enjoy the activity of consent-measurement, as much (or more) than they enjoy any other activity (including eating and drinking). So they are always willing to buy more CM, at any price. Perhaps this could be due to a kind of ethical awakening – an absolute commitment to the doctrine of voluntaryism. ↩
In particular, the first is a clue as to why “voluntary slavery” would need to be banned from any free society, or at the least be highly regulated. The transactional nature of the interaction is not the issue here, instead it is the measurement of consent – if you see an enslaved person, how are you to know that they volunteered for slavery (or were ever compensated)? You cannot just walk up and ask them (see GoT s04e08). And, this epistemic shield gives cover to actual slavers and kidnappers, and would tend to increase the overall level of coercion in a society. ↩
Bitcoin full nodes do Shaming, as well (in the same way that BitTorrent does). When trying to download new blocks, Full Nodes need to know who is sending them valid-needed-data, and who is spamming them with junk. When spam is detected, the offending node is banned from the P2P network – they are kicked off the team (Shaming). ↩