Leviathan on October 04, 2008, 06:17:40 pm
I have a question about the way TPB "government" mechanics would work...  If there's no ID cards, citizenship papers, and apparently no census data, how would they even know whether a proxy was valid?  Or when quorum is achieved for the purposes of calling one of the congresses together, those few times it came together?  There'd be nothing resembling solid numbers on how many are in the country to be able to figure 90% are present directly or by proxy.  Or any real solid way to ensure that somebody didn't just submit ninety million random identities and thus grab a massive bloc without any real support for their positions.  And then use this fake support base to reverse the non-tax position.

So how were these supposed to have been resolved?

Not that I'd be outside the Anarchist delegation.  I'd be continually retabling the resolution that Congress adjourn permanently  ;D  It's just for awhile at least I was basing a transitional form on the mechanics presented.  I think I've made the observation that it seems distantly tied to the Icelandic Althing, which straddled the border between minarchy and anarchy for at least two and a half centuries.

Rocketman on October 04, 2008, 11:27:38 pm
I would guess a combination of at least three ways.  In today's modern tech world everyone has passwords and codes that are known only to yourself that enable you to access your bank account, permit encrypted communication and so on.  I'm sure that in TPB it would be a lot more sophisticated and cover pretty much everything.  Secondly, people are a lot more honest that they are in this world because living in that world they have to be.  The average person living in TPB would no more commit theivery than the average person here would commit cannibalism.  Third, if you commit voter fraud and rig an election here you can be sure that you will receive a slap on the wrist and a stern warning not to do it again.  (Think Bush's unexpected Ohio win in 2004)  There you would probably be shot (and rightly so I may add).  I have long believed that ANYONE caught rigging an election here in America should receive the death penalty.  Good luck putting that through the congress.  ;D

Leviathan on October 06, 2008, 11:18:16 am
That's the thing, in the TPB world, there isn't really ID.  So I could open five accounts at a bank (or five) with an ounce or two of copper in each one, and they wouldn't even have a name on file necessarily.  Until relatively recently, bank accounts in Switzerland didn't have a name attached to them.  They had numeric signatures, afaik.  And like the VP said in the story, that was his only real qualification for proving "citizenship".  Really, Greenland could've just sat its delegation without even a vote, heh.  "Wait, when did Greenland become part of the Confederacy?" "What?  We're part of it." "Since when?" "We decided we'd like to be part of it." "You could've asked first, but whatever."  "We figured you wouldn't mind."  Trying to keep track of a society without ID, without any significant monitoring presence, and without taxes enabling them to so much as keep tabs on people, the entire process becomes a guestimate of total residency figures when trying to decide whether quorum is achieved. 

If someone tried voter fraud, they'd certainly be keeping their seconds busy if they got caught.  But how would you even show that fraud had happened?  "We have no identification records for their registered proxies." "We don't have those." "The banks they're registered with don't have confederate charter!" "We don't have those either." "They don't have Com accounts." "Not required that they do." "We don't have address records for the proxies!" "Well, people wouldn't stand for being tracked by their politicians."  About the only way would be to put out an ad and try to correct for unique contacts saying that they did, in fact, give proxy over.  And you'd have to rely on any hobbyists or privately financed census data to figure on when quorum happens.

Not that it really matters much most of the time.  The rump sessions that select the president have absolutely no power beyond that.  The president has no power beyond trying to push, prod, browbeat, wheedle, and possibly bribe congresscritters to come to session should he or she desire a full congress, and ride herd over them and the rumps the rest of the time.  The session in TPB, they only really passed what amounted to admitting the greenland delegation to government.  And without granted taxation powers people are relatively free to ignore government if it honestly or fraudulently passes bad measures over them.  One benefit to a history where the gov called the troops out on you, and you won, is that you don't fear government trying to call the troops out again.  If they do, and they're not conscripts you can convert or mercenaries you can buy, you can always make the question of whether mature wisdom is really just being too tired academic.  In their world, possibly using Admiral Heinlein himself.

One problem in our world is we had precisely one victory against an overbearing government, and it just resulted in SSDD.  Same shit, different day.  Shays, Whiskey rebellions, Southern secession, all ended up with government winning.  So most of the world believes you can't fight city hall, and if you can fight city hall it's just with your own city hall.  If the Whiskey Rebellion had succeeded, it would've been a popular movement against government and that would've been burned on the psyche instead.  Damn that wimp Gallatin!  In our world, he believed you had to work within the system, and they locked him the hell out of it.  He couldn't prove he was a land-owner for sufficient span, you see, at the time of the passage of the constitution.  If he had known that would happen, that they would play games to manipulate who could participate?  He might have at least shut up and let the Whiskey Revolt happen.

Monkt on October 06, 2008, 06:34:36 pm
Well its all pretty pointless now because NOTA is president for life.  :P

wdg3rd on October 06, 2008, 07:53:27 pm
And NOTA is immortal.
[/glow]
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Leviathan on October 06, 2008, 09:19:15 pm
The only vote I would ever cast in the future would be for NotA.  Everyone else can sit and spin.

Wasn't the point, though.  I'm curious how LNS figured that the confederacy kept itself honest.

Monkt on October 07, 2008, 05:48:45 pm
The only vote I would ever cast in the future would be for NotA.  Everyone else can sit and spin.

Wasn't the point, though.  I'm curious how LNS figured that the confederacy kept itself honest.
I don't think they really need to be honest. I mean really what would you gain from control over the Confederacy government?

Leviathan on October 08, 2008, 12:01:10 am
I don't think they really need to be honest. I mean really what would you gain from control over the Confederacy government?

I imagine the Icelanders pretty well asked the same question.  Up until the chieftans managed to pass the church tithe.  Which went pretty much directly into their own coffers.  To cite events from within the TPB universe, at least in the GN (I haven't managed to get a dead tree version yet, or even an OCRed version of it), even without taxes there were types who kept trying to get lucrative contracts involving the congress.  Setting it up so congress met regularly, the members able to conduct it with convenience from their own homes, with money from sponsorship cutting every way from there.  Imagine if somebody was playing the game to get taxes and sponsorship of their particular brand of pork, and didn't have to have honest proxies backing them? 

Hell, if we're talking Hamiltonians, imagine them being sneaky and pushing "safe" banking by having governmental standards with a central bank coordinating and buffering them with something like FDIC and lender-of-last-resort, denying establishments the right to conduct business if their practices are deemed "unsound" by the central bank?  If their vote seems sanctioned by the incredible 90% supermajority, composed among multiple Hamiltonians largely of fictional proxies but impossible to prove it is so, and it doesn't seem to make a major difference in peoples' lives, only "secessionary" banks and those who'd understand just how horrible the measure really is would fight it.  At least until the central bank ends up directly or indirectly owning half the country.

Every minarchy has failed to remain a minarchy not because of how small it was, but because of what was kept.  So if the difference between TPB-style minarchy and anarchy is that there's a centralized congress and literally nothing much else, it becomes important to the concept thereof what is being used to keep it remotely honest.  Both in figuring out when an overall population count quorum has been achieved, and whether those making up quorum are honest representations.  Of course, my theorem is that using anything that can be called government to get rid of government is self-defeating.  So maybe it's not as important.  But I still use TPB with minarchists because it shows an essentially anarchistic system that's far from dystopia.

Monkt on October 08, 2008, 12:20:18 am
I don't think they really need to be honest. I mean really what would you gain from control over the Confederacy government?

I imagine the Icelanders pretty well asked the same question.  Up until the chieftans managed to pass the church tithe.  Which went pretty much directly into their own coffers.  To cite events from within the TPB universe, at least in the GN (I haven't managed to get a dead tree version yet, or even an OCRed version of it), even without taxes there were types who kept trying to get lucrative contracts involving the congress.  Setting it up so congress met regularly, the members able to conduct it with convenience from their own homes, with money from sponsorship cutting every way from there.  Imagine if somebody was playing the game to get taxes and sponsorship of their particular brand of pork, and didn't have to have honest proxies backing them? 

Hell, if we're talking Hamiltonians, imagine them being sneaky and pushing "safe" banking by having governmental standards with a central bank coordinating and buffering them with something like FDIC and lender-of-last-resort, denying establishments the right to conduct business if their practices are deemed "unsound" by the central bank?  If their vote seems sanctioned by the incredible 90% supermajority, composed among multiple Hamiltonians largely of fictional proxies but impossible to prove it is so, and it doesn't seem to make a major difference in peoples' lives, only "secessionary" banks and those who'd understand just how horrible the measure really is would fight it.  At least until the central bank ends up directly or indirectly owning half the country.

Every minarchy has failed to remain a minarchy not because of how small it was, but because of what was kept.  So if the difference between TPB-style minarchy and anarchy is that there's a centralized congress and literally nothing much else, it becomes important to the concept thereof what is being used to keep it remotely honest.  Both in figuring out when an overall population count quorum has been achieved, and whether those making up quorum are honest representations.  Of course, my theorem is that using anything that can be called government to get rid of government is self-defeating.  So maybe it's not as important.  But I still use TPB with minarchists because it shows an essentially anarchistic system that's far from dystopia.
Well I assume if anything like that started going on people would raise hell.

Scott on October 09, 2008, 01:18:24 pm
I'll try to remember to ask Neil about this, since he doesn't come around this forum as often as he used, to.

But if I were to hazard a guess, I would think that people who wished to be represented in the Continental Congress would register their proxies with some agency. So the "90 percent" is really only 90 percent of those who have registered their proxies. I really don't know how they'd avoid people registering multiple times.

Monkt on October 09, 2008, 01:24:29 pm
Just throwing it out there. What if everyone has a com serial number/user name that is used to register?

Leviathan on October 09, 2008, 06:34:31 pm
You mean like a *dramatic pause* social security number?  :'(

Still doesn't prevent multiple registrations.  "Hi, I'd like to register my account."  Exit, turn around, come back in wearing a fake moustache, speaks deeply, "Oh, uhh, hi, I'd like to register my account."

Scott, it'd be interesting to know how he'd figure it.  Since, I can't really figure a way without having some variation on universal ID that would be able to handle it otherwise.  And, yanno, I still use it as a transitional example or even a compromise position.  As I think I've said before, the big eureka moment that started me on my "slide" to anarchism is the realization that it's not democracy that correlates with how well a place maintains its freedom, but how difficult it is to push legislation through whatever system a place has.  So long as said government doesn't control anything really but itself.  The moment the bureaucracy decides to take anything non-governmental under its wing, it freezes society in the mess that originally restrained government.  Though as Frank Herbert observed, bureaucracy is the side-effect of any strong governance.  It's the check on the power of the lower levels, so the top banana still has control of it all, in the despotic regime.

Monkt on October 09, 2008, 09:41:50 pm
You mean like a *dramatic pause* social security number?  :'(

Still doesn't prevent multiple registrations.  "Hi, I'd like to register my account."  Exit, turn around, come back in wearing a fake moustache, speaks deeply, "Oh, uhh, hi, I'd like to register my account."

Scott, it'd be interesting to know how he'd figure it.  Since, I can't really figure a way without having some variation on universal ID that would be able to handle it otherwise.  And, yanno, I still use it as a transitional example or even a compromise position.  As I think I've said before, the big eureka moment that started me on my "slide" to anarchism is the realization that it's not democracy that correlates with how well a place maintains its freedom, but how difficult it is to push legislation through whatever system a place has.  So long as said government doesn't control anything really but itself.  The moment the bureaucracy decides to take anything non-governmental under its wing, it freezes society in the mess that originally restrained government.  Though as Frank Herbert observed, bureaucracy is the side-effect of any strong governance.  It's the check on the power of the lower levels, so the top banana still has control of it all, in the despotic regime.
You have a username to identify yourself on this forum don't you?

wdg3rd on October 10, 2008, 12:30:49 am
You mean like a *dramatic pause* social security number?  :'(

Still doesn't prevent multiple registrations.  "Hi, I'd like to register my account."  Exit, turn around, come back in wearing a fake moustache, speaks deeply, "Oh, uhh, hi, I'd like to register my account."

Scott, it'd be interesting to know how he'd figure it.  Since, I can't really figure a way without having some variation on universal ID that would be able to handle it otherwise.  And, yanno, I still use it as a transitional example or even a compromise position.  As I think I've said before, the big eureka moment that started me on my "slide" to anarchism is the realization that it's not democracy that correlates with how well a place maintains its freedom, but how difficult it is to push legislation through whatever system a place has.  So long as said government doesn't control anything really but itself.  The moment the bureaucracy decides to take anything non-governmental under its wing, it freezes society in the mess that originally restrained government.  Though as Frank Herbert observed, bureaucracy is the side-effect of any strong governance.  It's the check on the power of the lower levels, so the top banana still has control of it all, in the despotic regime.
You have a username to identify yourself on this forum don't you?

Sure.  So do I, and so do you.  But on some forums it's possible to operate with multiple usernames.  I don't do that (yet) on this one.  But like it goes on the old "Bert and I" joke, sometimes I talk to myself, as I like to speak to an intelligent man and I also like to hear an intelligent man speak.   http://www.bertandi.net/  (It's timeless humor, I first bought the records (vinyl) trying to acquire a New England accent, having moved to New Hampshire from Los Angeles at age 15).  (At the time I couldn't even recognise the subtle differences between Maine and New Hampshire accents, let alone the subtler regional differences within those states).  (And of course, a lot of that has smoothed out in the last 40 years, due to that television thing that always uses the accent I grew up with in Los Angeles).  There are a couple of forums where I have to keep track of which asshole I am.  They're full of liberals and other socialists, so I have a persona that adheres to the Marxist (or Democrat or Republican or NAZI  -- it's all the same) Party line.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Leviathan on October 10, 2008, 12:32:22 am
*presses 'log out', then 'register', and uses a different gmail address for the email*

 

anything