Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 693, October 21, 2012

"We are compelled to choose between voting for the lesser
of two or three or four evils and not voting at all"

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We'll Have to See What Happens Next
by Ian B. Titter

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I can't claim to be a libertarian or an anarcho-capitalist.

I live in a nation state under the current rules, as serfs once lived under the rule of liege lords.

Many of the people around me see this state of affairs as an improvement over previous times and have no idea as to how things could be much improved.

For my part, I am unwilling to exert myself to change the status quo. Simple laziness may be the explanation, but I prefer to think of it as realism. Archimedes may have offered to move the Earth, but he wanted a fulcrum and a lever to do it. I am of the same mind. It is the availability of the right tools that make the difference.

Much of the writing on this site informs us of the evils perpetrated by bureaucrats, politicians and their ilk. Other articles propose cures for the current situation involving secession, making the Constitution of the USA stronger and requiring the repeal of legislation not covered by it, along with a vein of conspiracy theory.

On the subject of conspiracy, I have doubts as to its reality. That's why it is referred to as theory. Napoleon, is reported to have said "Never ascribe to malice events which can be explained by incompetence." I think this is half the story, while the other half is generated by "memes". Given the number of conspiracies people point to with a noticeable lack of actual named conspirators, I take the view that actual planned and plotted events put into motion by secret cabals are in the minority, if not completely imaginary.

There are people who take hold of current events to push their own agendas. This can give rise to a degree of paranoia, but it doesn't follow that this effect was coupled to the cause.

Now that I've got this far telling you what I am not being or doing or believing, I'll get to the subject of what I am doing.

I'm waiting.

I don't think we are capable of building or living in a truly voluntary society ...yet. We don't have the tools. However, there are promising developments on the horizon. Somewhere in my reading I came upon the phrase "Steam Engine Time". This is the idea that when the right technical base is in place, people build steam engines. It may require a society receptive to the change as well. Nevertheless some real progress is being made in this direction.

People are seeing value in living "off the grid" (and no longer subject to power companies). There are developments in building personal fabricators, which may lead to decreased reliance on corporations and further independence. If we can get past the current form of Internet to something more decentralized, personal and pervasive, then things will improve further.

Some parts of society will be alarmed and affronted by some of the new developments and will seek to circumvent them. This only works in the short term if at all.

I don't know what technology will tip the scales and enable the new society, but I'm sure it is coming. A recent article in New Scientist theorized that civilization became possible as a result of humans developing lethal weapons. I think Gutenberg's printing press began the technological shift that resulted in mass media, mass production, "democracy" and the Nation State. It will take something of a similar significance to give us the next step.

Private access to space travel, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, cyborging, are all possibilities but it may be something else again. I'm sure it's coming but I don't know how or when. I hope it's a quiet and cumulative development with time for us to see it as evolution. That's personal preference. A lot of you will be all gung ho and wanting it straightway.

We'll have to see.

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