Computers Will Doom Us ALl. Also Anarchy.

When I was in high school, I took a Business Writing class where one of the assignments was to make a "Persuasive Presentation;" take a position and try to convince people of it by sheer power of good slides, quotes, and other non-logical theatrics.

Being the Penguinophile, GNU zealot that I was, I decided to make my presentation on the evils of Microsoft; trying to convince people to use something – anything – other than MSFT software.

I had my mountain of quotes, I had my ocean of technical data, and all the charts and pretty pictures that would please President Man and it was probably the hardest I worked on any assignment in that class.

After finishing my word-vomit, a class-mate praised me saying "Right on, man! You're so right. Computers will doom us all!"

I don't think that he knew that I spent more time at my computer than he spent doing any two tasks in his life combined – including sleeping. He had no idea how phenomenally, catastrophically, mind-bendingly wrong he was in his assessment of my argument.

A similar situation occurs when people hear my criticism of states. Because nobody alive today has seen a government without a state – or even bothered to learn about the cases when they did occur – it is hard for a person to imagine governments as separate from states in the same way it may have been hard for people to imagine computers as separate from Microsoft.

Thankfully, competition arose and people who really have no interest in systems development are still aware that you can have a Windows-clad "PC" or a Macintosh system. So the confusion is a little less likely to happen in the realm of computers.

But there is no competition in the world of government the way there has been in computing. States have a strangle-hold on the market for government and that monopoly makes this a very difficult discussion to have.

The truth is that all people represent a kind of government within the jurisdiction of their property. When a homeowner asks guests to not smoke in his home, he is governing that area; laying down rules which he will ultimately enforce in whatever way he can afford to according to his values – possibly even by using threats of force, or violence against the particularly disruptive people.

In this regard, states are no different from any other land owner and simply controlling the land that one owns is not something that I care to argue about.

This is what separates me from many self-described "Anarchists:" Where they may deride the state's use of violence, the truth is that violence is only a symptom of government contacting incivility and is not unique to states. Government is nothing but threatening and exercising force against others who do not adhere to your demands. Anarchists, being rather peace-loving individuals, tend to criticize this particular behavior where I simply accept it as a fact of life.

Where politicos will fixate over the sort of things an owner should or should not be allowed to do with their property (whether that property is a factory claimed by a business or a region claimed by a state), my question is not interested in topics like gay marriage or protection against terrorists or worker's unions. It is not a political question at all but a legal one.

The question is whether the state's claim to land ownership is itself a lawful one. It seems that the state, as all land owners, should be free to impose whatever rules a land-owner is entitled to impose upon their property. If it is not the case that a state's claim to land ownership is a lawful one, then none of the controls, however moral or practically sound they may be, are legitimate.

Date: 2012-12-18 20:43

Author: Anthony "Ishpeck" Tedjamulia

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