Category: the state

  • No Peace

    If you are angry at “the government” but live in a representative democracy, where you are able to participate in free and fair elections, then you are the government that you are angry at. Either you’ve made bad choices and are now being forced to live with them, or you’ve neglected your responsibilities and are…

  • Autocracy isn’t socialism

    FWIW, all the people who say they are against socialism because they’ve lived under communism and their lives were hard or ruined, suffered because they lived under totalitarian autocracies. If they want to make a nuanced argument about how socialism _leads_ to totalitarian autocracies I’m receptive to unpacking that argument, just not while they are…

  • Just one thing: Suffrage

    If you want a single thing to use to understand the current status of the great experiment that is the United States of America, one needs only to look at who is allowed to vote. In the beginning, voting was neither and inalienable right nor a privilege bestowed from power, being instead the consequence of…

  • American immigration policy: a 75 year plan

    Over the next 75 years or so, barring catastrophe, the global human population is expected to rise to around 10 billion before plateauing for a while and then, perhaps, declining through the first half of the next century. Simultaneously, the developed world will face a demographic challenge as more people age out of the workforce…

  • The same boogieman

    Privacy advocates and gun advocates fear the same boogieman but only privacy tech can stop it short of war and war is rarely an invited guest. The fear of authority gone awry and reaching towards authoritarianism is not irrational. The desire to have tools that protect you from authoritarianism is not irrational. The desire to…

  • Late-stage Westphalianism

    In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia brought an end to decades of widespread warfare between Catholics and Protestants in continental Europe. In a pair of treaties involving 109 parties, a system of International relations was born based on the idea that rulers were allowed to determine the religion of their own state, but that their…

  • 1600 hours

    It might be the case that the greatest change in American society we could make is to fix Federal Officer pay schedule as a multiple of 1600 hours of the Federal Minimum wage and to tax corporations based on how much greater that multiple is between their lowest paid worker and their highest. Currently the…

  • Democracy and capitalism

    Democracy is about removing the friction of living well amongst people. Capitalism has realized there is money to be made by monetizing in perpetuity that friction that democracy is trying to remove.

  • Consequences

    There is a natural spectrum of consequences in human society. Shame Confinement/Confiscation Exile Death. We have created two problems. The First is that Corporations are not, in practice, permitted to be killed. The Second is that Exile is almost entirely gone from our social structures. This reduced set was halved again when we effectively saw…

  • Context Matters

    Context matters. Barack Obama, regardless of your politics, was and is not an uncouth narcissistic bully who insists that all social interactions be conducted on his terms. Nor does he align himself with fascists, white supremacists, or foreign states hostile to democracy. Nor does he lie about trivial, easily obtainable facts and instruct his staff…