Evidence Of Control

… in Star Wars, of course.  I think there’s a lot of room to investigate the economics of Star Wars, and this is an interesting starting point.

For a critic of “lawfare”, Kenneth Anderson has constructed the perfect lawfare position: The use of drones to create a situation in which only one side of a war is ever allowed to engage in war.

A side of a war that relies on drones could have zero — zero! — legitimate targets.  One could have a war in which one side cannot use violence at all without it being a war crime.  The fellows operating the drones from Nevada are not combatants, after all — they are quite unarmed.  The folks launching the drones might be, but as more and more drone functions become autonomous and as drones become cheap enough to be semi-disposable that group will shrink.  The people building the drones are presumably off-limits as well.

This is quite appealing when one is affiliated with that side, but I have to wonder if Anderson would be so fond of the conclusion if it were the other side that consisted only of non-combatants and civilians.

What they said.

Unfortunately the linked article is behind a $30 paywall, so we will merely content ourselves with speculation beyond the excerpt that Caplan provides.

One is tempted to pass the time with a nice game of killswitch.

UPDATE: ungated version here (.doc format)! No need to immerse ones self in a bleak communist expressionist wholly apocryphal game!

The view that the human religious instinct can be harnessed and redirected toward rational thought through the promotion of contemplative or legalistic faiths is manifestly false. That instinct does not revile an irrational and unconsidered view of the world, and it never will.

In line with Knapp’s post I linked earlier.  When the media say “government shutdown” do not imagine that the government is shutting down.  The parts of the government responsible for killing, maiming, imprisoning, and stealing remain open; it is only the bits meant to help people that stop working.

I am reminded of the "Operation: Hairshirt" of Yes, Minister fame.  The government responds to a budget cut by cutting only those services that serve the people; they will never cut the services that keep them in control.

You won’t find a simpler description of why anarchism is morally mandatory than this.  It’s a somewhat schematic argument, but it neatly frames the question that freedom asks and authority must (and in my view cannot) answer.

"it’s a moral illusion we’re suffering from.”

I continue to think that anarchism has difficult questions of social technology to answer (David Friedman notwithstanding, we are a long way from finishing R&D on the “machinery of freedom”).  But this should be viewed as part of the long quest embarked on by the Enlightenment to bring our social means into alignment with our moral ends — the single most morally urgent task that has ever existed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (Jackass-SC), seeing his national enemies discomforted, would like to do something about that. If only we had a word for comforting enemies…

And Lysander Spooner’s rejection of the notion of “treason” rather specifically excluded people who really did take oaths to the state…

Similar to what his colleague Tom Knapp said here (i noted it here).

Government is still government when it makes cuts to programs that it currently monopolizes. The system is still directed by politicians and administered by bureaucrats with vested interests in strengthening their positions. A government budget cut often means that they are going to keep forcing people to do things and keep up legislative and bureaucratic obstacles, but give people less in return.

Libertarians are right to focus on reducing the total spending of government, but remember that spending is one of the least evil things that government does: at least someone gets paid when the government spends. The less costly means of enforcing compliance — the laws, the regulations, the arbitrary police actions — can do far more damage without even the fig-leaf of compensation. Cutting government by starting from the checkbook may make good coalition-building sense, but of the places to cut government it is the least liberty-enhancing, the most likely to disproportionally affect the poor and powerless, and the most likely to pull the rug from under the largest number of people knowingly or unknowingly relying on it.

It’s also bad coalition-building. In a corporatist economy, a given government cut will resound throughout the economy, causing displacement and anguish in people previously unaware that they were government clients at all. Until you start cutting laws instead of just spending, you’re building up a large store of fear and resentment for only a small dividend of growth and liberty, spending political capital with no hope of attracting a new constituency.

A note to the US Passport Service:  When Proudhon said,

"To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded… noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished… drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed… repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed… mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored."

he did not mean it as advice. He was against it.