From: Steve Kinney <email@example.com>
>> Also, anarchy seems to work best when everyone is more-or-less
>> equally powerful. Everyone has the same weapons, for example. In
>> science fiction, anarchist societies typically depend on some new
>> technology that eliminates states' power monopoly. Maybe it'll be
>> the Singularity.
> The pathway to the solution was described in 1995-95, by me:
> "Assassination Politics".
"A couple of years ago, Forbes reported that 400 billionaires owned 1/2
the capital assets in the U.S."
First, I should point out that to the extent that this may seem to be a problem,
part of the problem is that behind the scenes, governments actually
may be _promoting_ income inequality, rather than reducing it. I've
seen an article that indicates that considered over the entire world economy,
income inequality may have peaked in the 1980's, and has been lowering
since then. To a great degree, that is because of world trade, and the fact that
we (America) are getting manufactured goods from foreign countries, to an
extent far different than in the, say, 1960's. This strongly contrasts with the
kind of people (leftists) who selectively point to income inequality within a single
nation, saying it is increasing.
"In the face of this, I think AP may have a problem with scale: How
many small investors does it take to redirect AP profiteers away from
targets chosen by factions among the ruling class, beginning with
anyone suspected of operating the AP infrastructure and/or promoting
it effectively to a wide audience of participants?"
It's hard to target people when you don't know who they are. In today's
political world, people try to make changes by being loud and complaining.
Potentially, this makes them targets while AP is turning on. But I believe that
in a smoothly-functioning 'post-AP-transition' world, people simply don't need
Or, they will be able to do so anonymously. Would a very rich person have
sort of special advantage in an AP world? Well, he'd have a lot of money,
but that would be just about the only advantage he has.
AP would effectively shut down governments, not merely shutting down the
need for government, but also making it virtually impossible to run a large,
or oppressive (or both) government. This means that governments won't be
able to funnel money to those people who (in today's world) eventually become
>If an AP lottery is not "fair and honest" by allowing anyone to be
targeted regardless of occupation or etc., how long until ones that do
allow any human to be bet on appear, with inflated bounties on
perceived enemies of the ruling class?"
Long ago, I realized that a fully-functioning, 'complete' AP system would eventually have
to somehow replace both the existing national defense system, as well as the
existing 'criminal justice' system. "Did somebody actually aggress on somebody else?"
But initially, to get there, I think it would be sufficient to have an AP-organization with a much-
simpler standard: "Does the person named as the aggressor work for government at
some level?". He's already aggressed. No more proof is necessary.
If, hypothetically, I was running such an AP system, I knew that I couldn't stop anyone else from
also running a different AP system, different rules. I imagined that this wouldn't (couldn't) be a
monopoly, it would amount to a competition. Some organizations (I'll label them "unethical")
would accept bets on anyone. Others, such as my own, would initially just have the initial
"does he work for government" standard. Over time, I believe that the "ethical" organizations
would have advantages, so they could do the equivalent of offering lower prices:
The amount of their awards could be lower. The "unethical" organizations would
"do" anybody, but it would cost much more. They would take higher profits, meaning that people
who had a genuine beef with someone else would tend to employ "ethical" systems. "Business"
would tend to shift. Over time, the market will shift from "unethical" to "ethical".
Eventually, what amounted to "court systems" would be included, to decide whether
a complaint was valid. These "court systems" would, of course, be "voluntary",
in the sense nobody would be required to appear, but the consequence of failure to appear
would be that 'bare AP' would operate: If enough donations appeared to motivate somebody,
that would happen.
>Mind you, AP is a frightfully clever idea.
At the time I started writing the first part of AP in January-February 1995, I was
entirely unaware of the existence of the CP list, or documents such as Cyphernomicon:
I had no direct access to the Internet, and the WWW.
In section 16.4.2 of Cyphernomicon is the paragraph:
"The State will of course try to slow or halt the spread of this technology, citing
national security concerns, use of the technology by drug dealers and tax evaders, and
fears of societal disintegration. Many of these concerns will be valid; crypto anarchy
will allow national secrets to be trade freely and will allow illicit and stolen materials
to be traded. An anonymous computerized market will even make possible abhorrent
markets for assassinations and extortion."
Despite my forming the idea essentially independently, even then I was not under any
impression that I was somehow inventing the concept of an "assassination market",
which I assumed at the time to be obvious.
Rather, I believed that what would usually be thought of such a market would be a system
where "Anonymous Person A could hire Anonymous Person B to kill Person C." Certainly
that was a sufficiently fascinating idea in the early 1990's to be worth discussing, but it
occurred to me that if that was the only use made of it, few people want specific other people
dead enough to completely finance it themselves. Far more interesting, the thing I really brought
to the table, would be the idea where tens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of anonymous
persons pool their donations, and offer to any number of potential assassins, such that the
winning assassin gets his reward also anonymously. THAT, I thought and still think, was a new
concept. That is not merely quantitatively different than 'your father's assassination market', but
in fact qualitatively different: Combine enough donations, no matter how tiny the individual ones
are, and that will be plenty to buy death. Further, offer those donations to an unlimited number
of people, and the target will have no idea from where the killing blow will strike. Each potential
assassin knows he competing with all the rest.
And once I thought of that idea, I've always believed that it was absolutely inevitable. SOMEBODY
was going to think of this, eventually. It just happened to be me.