Big Head Press Forum

Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: sams on September 09, 2011, 02:56:22 am

Title: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sams on September 09, 2011, 02:56:22 am
Nice pop culture reference on today comic page, but would be even more fun to have immigrants come from Vermont  ;D

So here is the question : When does a Market organization become a government ?

In the strip we see that the comity was formed from a seemingly legitimate reason, but soon extended beyond its scoop.

I Shouldn't probably not inject Quantum Vibe universe or Phoebus Krumm, but what is the difference between the Vesta situation and a Corpartion owned world ?
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: mellyrn on September 09, 2011, 06:46:35 am
Quote
the difference between the Vesta situation and a Corpartion owned world ?

Motive?  Specifically, the profit motive?


I am particularly interested in this development, as in just the past two days I've been thinking:  what do you get when you start with genuine anarchy (meaning plain ruler-lessness, not spring-break chaos) and let it run for millennia?  Just look around.

Someone gets hurt and scared.  He wants to control things so that doesn't happen again.  If he is no orator, has no persuasive skills, he's sunk; but if he's eloquent, he can persuade his leaderless group to accept some tiny, oh-so-reasonable restriction. . . . 

No community goes from a state of adult-grade freedom to jackboots-on-the-face tyranny in one move.  It's gradual, and it always starts with a scare. 

The land of the free MUST be the land of the brave, because only the brave can face the fact that there is no security, not anywhere, ever.

You who want government fear your neighbor (with good reason, too -- as you know intimately well).  So you deal with that fear by . . . electing or appointing him to office and giving him authority over you.  Wow.

As a method of protection, creating government is on a par with tossing a fluffy blanket over your head and singing the Smurf song as loudly as you can.  You still get mugged but you can neither see nor hear your mugger.  Since you believe the blanket does protect you, you can only think, Cheez! If it's this bad with the blanket, it must be ever so much worse without it!  So, too, government:  when your elected/appointed/anointed neighbors rob you, cheat you, renege on their promises to you, send you off to commit crimes you would never have committed otherwise, you can neither see nor hear this as being crimes against you. 

You are not in fact any safer.  John Smith is just as likely to be a liar/cheater/thief/killer as "Senator" Smith or "Officer" Smith as he is as just plain "Citizen" Smith -- but you hallucinate that his having a title makes you safer, as if being in office magically changes his nature from "normal cussed human goat" to "semidivine border collie". 

Pointing out the arbitrary ruthlessness of the whims of warlords in, say, Somalia only means you don't see the arbitrary ruthlessness of your government agents acting on their whims in defiance of all the laws they've passed.  You're getting mugged just the same but it doesn't "count" 'cos it's being done by The Elect(ed).


I'm very much looking forward to how Ceres deals with this threat.  They need to remain "the brave".  When they start to fear, they will follow Vesta.

Maybe that's why frontier cultures tend to be anarchical -- the brave go to the frontier, the fearful stay home.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Azure Priest on September 09, 2011, 07:14:58 am
I smell con-man.  :) In-equitable distribution? Oh a communist collective! Should break down in a few months of rioting, or perhaps several decades of cyclical revolutions?
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: quadibloc on September 09, 2011, 07:16:03 am
It seems like an interesting arc too, as indeed we can look forward to seeing some more questions of how AnCap is supposed to work answered.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Gillsing on September 09, 2011, 07:37:04 am
I am particularly interested in this development, as in just the past two days I've been thinking:  what do you get when you start with genuine anarchy (meaning plain ruler-lessness, not spring-break chaos) and let it run for millennia?  Just look around.

Maybe that's why frontier cultures tend to be anarchical -- the brave go to the frontier, the fearful stay home.
I came to the same conclusion when I thought about this. So there doesn't seem to be any real point in striving for anarchy unless there's a frontier that already offers it. Of course, I always tend to go for the "do nothing" alternative. ;)
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 09, 2011, 08:57:28 am
Nice pop culture reference on today comic page, but would be even more fun to have immigrants come from Vermont  ;D

So here is the question : When does a Market organization become a government ?

There is one and only one difference. I'd like to hear what you and the the other Forum members think that is.

I Shouldn't probably not inject Quantum Vibe universe or Phoebus Krumm, but what is the difference between the Vesta situation and a Corpartion owned world ?

Clearly, Scott, Neil and I think a lot alike on the subject of freedom and its many enemies. We see common dangers, but evil has many masks. We are exploring some of them. Remember though, Mars is a corporation, of sorts, and it is very free. So the vital element must be something other than incorporation. Hmm.

By the way, in an upcoming arc we will discover how Mars, Inc. came to be.

Nice to see you back, Sams.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 09, 2011, 09:06:02 am
It seems like an interesting arc too, as indeed we can look forward to seeing some more questions of how AnCap is supposed to work answered.

There several arcs ahead of Vesta, both in the pipeline and under development, but I wanted to introduce the concept now. I have blocked out Vesta and know where it is going, but I still have to write it. I hope it will address your interest. However, I think it will be more about what doesn't work as opposed to how a market anarchy does work.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Oldhobo on September 09, 2011, 10:19:27 am
I am really hoping that the Vestans come to their senses, perhaps with a push from their neighbors.  I am already feeling sorry for them, dumb boobs.  As I write this, I am betting that there is a lot more to the story.  I bet that 'vote of confidence' was not a general election and I am also willing to bet that next to no one knew there was a problem with the water until someone from Massachusetts declared a 'crisis.'  I hope that when the new admin gets to Vesta, it is like spit hitting a grease fire.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Killydd on September 09, 2011, 11:56:48 am
On the other hand, I can see this problem developing on its own.  A few miners start cutting costs and selling low-grade ice.  To compete, maybe a few more do.  Then suddenly people start associating this low-quality material with where it's from, not specifically who is selling it.  Now there's a bunch of interested citizens selling high-quality ice but associated in the minds of customers with low-grade ice.  In an ancap world, how would they try to prove to people that they are still selling a quality product that's worth the extra price?
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: mellyrn on September 09, 2011, 01:03:29 pm
Quote
In an ancap world, how would they try to prove to people that they are still selling a quality product that's worth the extra price?

??  What's AnCap got to do with it, one way or another?  The existence of Aquafina hasn't hurt Deer Park, afaik.  The existence of dollar-a-loaf fluffy-styrofoam "bread" hasn't put local bakeries out of business.

Produce your high-quality ice.  Advertise your superior quality.  Price accordingly.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Tucci78 on September 09, 2011, 02:29:41 pm
As a method of protection, creating government is on a par with tossing a fluffy blanket over your head and singing the Smurf song as loudly as you can.  You still get mugged but you can neither see nor hear your mugger.  Since you believe the blanket does protect you, you can only think, Cheez! If it's this bad with the blanket, it must be ever so much worse without it!  So, too, government:  when your elected/appointed/anointed neighbors rob you, cheat you, renege on their promises to you, send you off to commit crimes you would never have committed otherwise, you can neither see nor hear this as being crimes against you. 

You are not in fact any safer.  John Smith is just as likely to be a liar/cheater/thief/killer as "Senator" Smith or "Officer" Smith as he is as just plain "Citizen" Smith -- but you hallucinate that his having a title makes you safer, as if being in office magically changes his nature from "normal cussed human goat" to "semidivine border collie". 

Pointing out the arbitrary ruthlessness of the whims of warlords in, say, Somalia only means you don't see the arbitrary ruthlessness of your government agents acting on their whims in defiance of all the laws they've passed.  You're getting mugged just the same but it doesn't "count" 'cos it's being done by The Elect(ed).

God damn. That is definitely quotable.

mellyrn, do you perchance have your own Web log?
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Pavitra on September 09, 2011, 02:35:14 pm
Does this mean we're going to have a serious examination of the drawbacks of market anarchism and some possible solutions to those problems?

Probably too much to hope for. This is a morality play, not a political discourse.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 09, 2011, 03:13:28 pm
Does this mean we're going to have a serious examination of the drawbacks of market anarchism and some possible solutions to those problems?

Nobody is stopping you. If you see drawbacks of market anarchism, have at it. It has been going on since the beginning of this Forum.

Here's a bit of friendly advise, though. Know what you are criticizing. Most of the anti-freedom posters here criticize what they assume market anarchy to be or what one of their buddies told them it is. If you read original sources and then find problems, please let us know whilst quoting chapter and verse. That, I'm sure, will put us pro-freedom dunces in our place.  ::)

Probably too much to hope for. This is a morality play, not a political discourse.

I'm not sure what "this" is (this Forum, EFT, life?), but I see nothing wrong with entertainment that also educates. YMMV
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: dough560 on September 09, 2011, 04:49:34 pm
The Smurf analogy is pretty good.  People at work will get a kick out of it.

As explained, the situation is too simplistic.  Sounds like a group of immigrants initiated a government (constitution?) upon the existing population.  If said population was multi-generational  sovereign individuals, I don't see how.  On the other hand, if the population was made up of relatively recent immigrants, a slick public relations campaign could have started the dance.  Kind of makes me think the UW is at it again.  Having learned from their mistakes, they are feeding the public a slice of baloney at a time, instead of cramming a whole loaf down their throats.

Guy's evident surprise at the situation is interesting.  Using truck drivers as an example:  People who spend a lot of time alone or with a small social group tend to be very chatty when they get with others.  Stupidity, especially Governmental Stupidity is always a favorite subject.  I'd be very surprised the rise of government, in what has been sovereign territory would not make the news feeds.  The rumor mills would have been even faster.

Arrogant and ignorant.  Let them run their mouths.  You'll get more information than you can use.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 09, 2011, 04:53:52 pm
Nice pop culture reference on today comic page, but would be even more fun to have immigrants come from Vermont  ;D

So here is the question : When does a Market organization become a government ?

There is one and only one difference. I'd like to hear what you and the the other Forum members think that is.

When the power to coerce a third party is granted to any individual or group, then government has formed.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 09, 2011, 04:58:28 pm
There several arcs ahead of Vesta, both in the pipeline and under development, but I wanted to introduce the concept now. I

Should that read "They are"?  It seems more likely than "They're" where "They" are Scott and/or Neil.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 09, 2011, 05:05:44 pm
Nice pop culture reference on today comic page, but would be even more fun to have immigrants come from Vermont  ;D

So here is the question : When does a Market organization become a government ?

There is one and only one difference. I'd like to hear what you and the the other Forum members think that is.

When the power to coerce a third party is granted to any individual or group, then government has formed.

We have a winner...!
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 09, 2011, 05:08:59 pm
There several arcs ahead of Vesta, both in the pipeline and under development, but I wanted to introduce the concept now. I

Should that read "They are"?  It seems more likely than "They're" where "They" are Scott and/or Neil.

Sorry, my bad. "There are." Just talking about EFT. We have a number of arcs in the pipeline and I have others in development.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 09, 2011, 08:37:55 pm
As explained, the situation is too simplistic.  Sounds like a group of immigrants initiated a government (constitution?) upon the existing population.  If said population was multi-generational  sovereign individuals, I don't see how.  On the other hand, if the population was made up of relatively recent immigrants, a slick public relations campaign could have started the dance.

The prophet Samuel predicted that if the children of Israel created a government, they would wind up paying ten percent income tax, and suffering conscription and eminent domain.  No one paid attention.

Samuel was judge in Israel, and there was no one widely accepted as suitable to follow him:

Quote from: 1 Samuel 8
[4] Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
[5] And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.



[10] And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
[11] And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
[12] And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
[13] And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
[14] And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
[15] And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
[16] And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
[17] He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
[18] And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
[19] Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
[20] That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

At first the king rules by merely requesting people to volunteer for war and public service, but in due course

Quote from: 1 Samuel 8 11
[7] And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
[8] And when he numbered them in Bezek

Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 09, 2011, 08:42:21 pm
There several arcs ahead of Vesta, both in the pipeline and under development, but I wanted to introduce the concept now. I

Should that read "They are"?  It seems more likely than "They're" where "They" are Scott and/or Neil.

Sorry, my bad. "There are." Just talking about EFT. We have a number of arcs in the pipeline and I have others in development.

No problem; I wouldn't have said anything if I were sure which was meant.  I guess one is a bit sloppier in one's writing when not getting paid for it  :).

BTW, thanks for acknowledging my answer to the question.  Frankly, I thought it was a pretty easy one for most of the folks here.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 09, 2011, 08:44:43 pm
Does this mean we're going to have a serious examination of the drawbacks of market anarchism and some possible solutions to those problems?

The Vestan regime is moving with astonishing swiftness from regulating some real or imaginary minor market failure, to regulating everything that moves.  

Slow boiling the frog tends to be safer.

Fast boiling the frog, as in 1949, usually results in crisis followed by the government temporarily retreating.  Over the years the crisis gets quietly erased from history.

In the US the government has abruptly moved towards European levels of statism and crony capitalism, with the unsurprising result that we now have European levels of unemployment and under employment.

This will probably be partially reversed - and instead of an abrupt move left, it will be back to slow creep left.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 09, 2011, 08:49:18 pm
As a method of protection, creating government is on a par with tossing a fluffy blanket over your head and singing the Smurf song as loudly as you can.  You still get mugged but you can neither see nor hear your mugger.  Since you believe the blanket does protect you, you can only think, Cheez! If it's this bad with the blanket, it must be ever so much worse without it!  So, too, government:  when your elected/appointed/anointed neighbors rob you, cheat you, renege on their promises to you, send you off to commit crimes you would never have committed otherwise, you can neither see nor hear this as being crimes against you. 

You are not in fact any safer.  John Smith is just as likely to be a liar/cheater/thief/killer as "Senator" Smith or "Officer" Smith as he is as just plain "Citizen" Smith -- but you hallucinate that his having a title makes you safer, as if being in office magically changes his nature from "normal cussed human goat" to "semidivine border collie". 

Pointing out the arbitrary ruthlessness of the whims of warlords in, say, Somalia only means you don't see the arbitrary ruthlessness of your government agents acting on their whims in defiance of all the laws they've passed.  You're getting mugged just the same but it doesn't "count" 'cos it's being done by The Elect(ed).

God damn. That is definitely quotable.

I second Tucci's comment.  I would love to quote this.  To give proper credit, would you prefer to be cited as mellyrn, or something else.  Feel free to respond to me privately if you prefer.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on September 10, 2011, 08:47:07 pm
I would have assumed the physical facts of Vesta would remain a bit fuzzy until we get more details from Dawn. I was somewhat surprised you would start to flesh out another world when you always seem to make a good effort to do the background science in the strip. 

BTW, any ideas for retro-conning if Dawn shows us some surprises in 2015?

There several arcs ahead of Vesta, both in the pipeline and under development, but I wanted to introduce the concept now. I have blocked out Vesta and know where it is going, but I still have to write it. I hope it will address your interest. However, I think it will be more about what doesn't work as opposed to how a market anarchy does work.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 10, 2011, 09:39:11 pm
I would have assumed the physical facts of Vesta would remain a bit fuzzy until we get more details from Dawn. I was somewhat surprised you would start to flesh out another world when you always seem to make a good effort to do the background science in the strip.

True, I do. However, I am willing to bet that there will be no big surprises that would affect my story. My setting will be in a settlement around Vesta's south pole and I will probably have something to say about smaller impact craters. However, we already know a lot about Vesta. 

BTW, any ideas for retro-conning if Dawn shows us some surprises in 2015?

I have no plan one way or the other. I guess I will just have to punt if Dawn makes me a liar.  :-[
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Tucci78 on September 11, 2011, 01:17:39 am
The Vestan regime is moving with astonishing swiftness from regulating some real or imaginary minor market failure, to regulating everything that moves.  

Slow boiling the frog tends to be safer.

Fast boiling the frog, as in 1949, usually results in crisis followed by the government temporarily retreating.  Over the years the crisis gets quietly erased from history.

In the US the government has abruptly moved towards European levels of statism and crony capitalism, with the unsurprising result that we now have European levels of unemployment and under employment.

This will probably be partially reversed - and instead of an abrupt move left, it will be back to slow creep left.

There's another factor that might realistically show up in the Vesta arc which makes "boiling the frog" by statists more difficult.

Perhaps impossible, even if they move like lightning.

In the asteroid belt, there's only microgravity to "nail things down." A government can do horrible-bad-awful-nasty things to people at the bottom of a gravity well because the model thereof ("A French bastard landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives...," per Thomas Paine) can establish a territorial jurisdiction, and fixed real property can't readily be gotten out from under.

In the asteroid belt, however, pretty much everything is portable.  Apply enough delta-Vee and the rock and/or the habitat where you've established your enterprise and domicile can be out of the Vesta "domain" quicker'n you can say "tax exile."

Would these emigrants from Massachusetts be capable of exercising coercive violent force to prevent the Belters of the Vesta cluster from picking up their figurative marbles and leaving for pastures less pestiferous?

Hm. Can a vacuum get any emptier?  In space, can anybody hear a statist scream?
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 11, 2011, 01:44:17 am
The Vestan regime is moving with astonishing swiftness from regulating some real or imaginary minor market failure, to regulating everything that moves.  

Slow boiling the frog tends to be safer.


There's another factor that might realistically show up in the Vesta arc which makes "boiling the frog" by statists more difficult.

[...]
Would these emigrants from Massachusetts be capable of exercising coercive violent force to prevent the Belters of the Vesta cluster from picking up their figurative marbles and leaving for pastures less pestiferous?

Hm. Can a vacuum get any emptier?  In space, can anybody hear a statist scream?

It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.  If this is the case, "Nappy" is almost certainly likely to assume that such power has been granted (having been shown to be a natural bully), and thus get the natives to and attempt to correct his errant perception.   At that point things get interesting, depending on the level of support he gets from the Massachusetts folks, and whether or not those in the UW government get involved (my guess would be that they would, albeit somewhat tentatively, given their having been burned by Ceres folks rather badly).
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 11, 2011, 07:01:51 am
It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.

Recall that when Saul was made King in Israel, Samuel predicted that he and his successors would coerce people in all sorts of horrid ways, (taxation, conscription, and eminent domain) but he seems to have been King of Israel for quite a while without coercing anyone.  Then, in response to some military emergency or other, implemented conscription, very briefly, for the duration of the emergency.   Taxes came later.

Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: quadibloc on September 11, 2011, 09:58:43 am
It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.
They've been granted control of the food, the water, and the air. I'd say they've got coercive power.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 11, 2011, 02:40:55 pm
It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.
They've been granted control of the food, the water, and the air. I'd say they've got coercive power.

They claim, and quite likely believe, they have been granted control of the food, the water, and the air.

With existing governments, it usually happens that they issue commands, and the actual results of those commands surprise them.  Lenin complained about this at considerable length.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Tucci78 on September 11, 2011, 07:39:04 pm
They claim, and quite likely believe, they have been granted control of the food, the water, and the air.

With existing governments, it usually happens that they issue commands, and the actual results of those commands surprise them.  Lenin complained about this at considerable length.

The good old law of unintended consequences.

Like the laws of physics and economics, it works whether you want it to or not.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Tucci78 on September 11, 2011, 10:42:46 pm
It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.  If this is the case, "Nappy" is almost certainly likely to assume that such power has been granted (having been shown to be a natural bully), and thus get the natives to and attempt to correct his errant perception.   At that point things get interesting, depending on the level of support he gets from the Massachusetts folks, and whether or not those in the UW government get involved (my guess would be that they would, albeit somewhat tentatively, given their having been burned by Ceres folks rather badly).

You evade my point. What's the extent to which the Taxachusetts emigrants can exert coercive violent compulsion against those dissenting Belters living in and around Vesta if we understand the microgravity of the asteroid belt?

This is a markedly different environment, where it is possible for people exercising their right of removal to take not only their persons and their luggage but also their "real estate" - habitats, developed planetesimals, shops, machinery, and similar capital assets - out from under the majoritarian tyranny which the Bay State bastids are trying to impose.

In the Belt, all the necessities of life and commerce which modern Americans tend to associate with government control in one way or another - water of various quality levels, foodstuffs, electrical power, even radiation shielding - must be brought into useful form by way of purposeful human action, and in an anarchocapitalist society (as Vesta is presumed to have been prior to the establishment of this "council"), that means private persons acting according to their own best perceptions of individual benefit.  

All the malevolent jobholders of government can do (in that fictional plenum as well as in our present-day society) is to capture these resources by way of violent aggression and "redistribute" them.

With a little skim off the top to pay for "administrative expenses," of course.

If the people who had originally settled Vesta and its surrounding volume had been of temperament and disposition similar to those who had made of Ceres the bustling gram-grubbing mercantile hub of capitalist greed into which our viewpoint characters were introduced in the first offerings of Escape From Terra, then all odds are that they're not going to just float there while this infestation of Kennedy-worshipers expropriates their worldly goods.

Not when the equivalent of a few hundred JATO bottles can send them scudding off, homes and factories, inventories and investment properties, raw materials and finished goods, to another volume of space out of reach of the tax collectors and similar "public servants."
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 11, 2011, 11:17:44 pm
It's also quite possible that the "Council" on Vesta has yet to do anything coercive, or at least no one has noted and granted the power to coerce to those on it.  [...]

You evade my point. What's the extent to which the Taxachusetts emigrants can exert coercive violent compulsion against those dissenting Belters living in and around Vesta if we understand the microgravity of the asteroid belt?

I did not evade it; I merely presented an alternative. 

Quote
This is a markedly different environment, where it is possible for people exercising their right of removal to take not only their persons and their luggage but also their "real estate" - habitats, developed planetesimals, shops, machinery, and similar capital assets - out from under the majoritarian tyranny which the Bay State bastids are trying to impose.

[...]

This is possible, of course, but it has costs.

First, movement would be restricted to points near the sphere defined by Vesta's current distance from the Sun.  Otherwise, substantial changes would be needed to their living spaces to handle the change in solar energy striking it -- the greater the change, the higher the cost.

Second, the area would be restricted to points that would not substantially increase the cost of travel to other inhabited regions.  Otherwise, they would cut themselves off to some degree from the rest of humanity; trade would suffer higher costs, they would isolate their gene pool (which may not be large enough to be readily sustainable), and personal relationships with others (family, friends) would become more tenuous.

These are long term costs, and may not necessarily be the most efficient way to resolve the problem.  The mere existence of the council does not infringe on the rights of anyone -- unless and until actual coercion occurs, there is no reason to react by those in the population.  The council may act as an advisory body, funded by voluntary contributions for some period  without problem.  If and when the coercion occurs, I expect a response -- and I doubt that the initial response for most of the residents will be to move .  A few might; perhaps more at a later date.  However,  other approaches, such as partitioning the society between those who wish to follow the council's proclamations and those who do not is more efficient if it will work.  If there are problems with this, I would see there being some initial fighting and (a)  the council will be disbanded, (b) the council-ites will agree to let the others alone, or (c) the council-ites will force, at least for a time, others to submit.  If (c) occurs, then moving will become a popular choice.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Tucci78 on September 13, 2011, 04:47:23 am
Squirming mightily still to evade my point about the ability of Belters in microgravity to "walk away" with their real estate when a majoritarian preemption of their right to self-determination is imposed, we have:

I did not evade it; I merely presented an alternative.

Nah. You're waffling so vigorously that the aroma of maple syrup has become cloying. When confronted with the ability of the original Vesta settlers "to take not only their persons and their luggage but also their 'real estate' - habitats, developed planetesimals, shops, machinery, and similar capital assets - out from under the majoritarian tyranny which the Bay State bastids are trying to impose," your only real response is:

This is possible, of course, but it has costs....

...and then going on by way of discussion of the hypothetical need for the Vestan originals to remain within a volume of space equal in distance from the sun to that of their home on that asteroid (as if the body of knowledge on human habitation from the orbit of Mercury out beyond those of Jupiter and Saturn were not exposed in Escape From Terra as so great that tourist industries flourish in environments far more hostile than those prevailing in the broad volumes of the asteroid belt).

Hey, it's not as if the Belters of Vesta know anything at all about modifying their habitats and other operations in microgravity to increase or decrease insulation, solar energy gathering, and radiation shielding, right?

Oh, wait a minute there. They would have such an understanding, wouldn't they? Such adaptive capability would be necessary for them to have established themselves in the colonization of Vesta which is now being taken over by the "Council" of Massachusetts carpetbaggers.

But, then there's:

...the [volume into which the Vestan expatriates might transpose their goods and persons] would be restricted to points that would not substantially increase the cost of travel to other inhabited regions.  Otherwise, they would cut themselves off to some degree from the rest of humanity; trade would suffer higher costs, they would isolate their gene pool (which may not be large enough to be readily sustainable), and personal relationships with others (family, friends) would become more tenuous.

That'd be a nice argument were it not for the fact that in Escape From Terra there is already established the supposition that space travel is so thoroughly developed that Mars and Venus and now Mercury have become tourist destinations, not barren and remote outposts prohibitively distant from population centers in terms of travel time or other expense.

If vacationers have no real difficulty in getting from the bottom of one gravity well to another simply to ride a roller coaster, cruise on a rented pleasure boat, or stay in a deluxe hotel, then there's plenty enough delta-Vee for people to jet themselves (and the material products of their asteroidal industry) easily and swiftly from any point in the Belt to any other. 

You can speak of how a departure from Vesta would impose "isolation" upon the self-expatriating folks expressing their disgust with the Council by picking up their poker chips and leaving what has obviously become a rigged game?

Nope. Not if you want to keep consistency with the story line thus far.

These are long term costs, and may not necessarily be the most efficient way to resolve the problem.  The mere existence of the council does not infringe on the rights of anyone -- unless and until actual coercion occurs, there is no reason to react by those in the population.  The council may act as an advisory body, funded by voluntary contributions for some period  without problem.  If and when the coercion occurs, I expect a response -- and I doubt that the initial response for most of the residents will be to move .  A few might; perhaps more at a later date.  However,  other approaches, such as partitioning the society between those who wish to follow the council's proclamations and those who do not is more efficient if it will work.  If there are problems with this, I would see there being some initial fighting and (a)  the council will be disbanded, (b) the council-ites will agree to let the others alone, or (c) the council-ites will force, at least for a time, others to submit.  If (c) occurs, then moving will become a popular choice.

Tsk. Things on Vesta have obviously moved not only farther but much faster than you're trying to suppose. Let's consider the fact that Guy Caillard had come to Ceres as a veteran United Worlds Revenue Service bureaucrat, and by way of the Tanglenet he's still very much "plugged into" the UW culture.  He has reason to be, given not only the persistence of United Worlds machinations against the AnCap society in which he now lives, but also his personal knowledge of how the UW operates.

It is only when his cousin, Pierre Leboeuf, arrives unannounced on Ceres en route to Vesta that Guy learns about what the Vesta Council has been doing ("Vesta has a council? I thought they were a market-anarchy like Ceres.")

Were this not a very recent and rapid development, Guy - who is serving as Reggie's "man of business" during the Waldo & Wanda grand tour - would sure as hell have learned about it by now, if only by way of rumor and gossip.

That it has gone faster than you'd like to suppose is indicated by the presence of cousin Pierre in Guy's apartment.  An experienced UW apparatchik, Pierre boasts of having been recruited by the Vesta Council ("In order to centrally control everything, they need administrators. I applied for a job and got it!").

Okay, so the Massachusetts mamzerein have not only established their oligarchy on Vesta, but they've got it locked down so thoroughly that they're importing UW-experienced Terran thugs - like Pierre - to run the Konzentrationslager into which they're turning that part of the Belt.

What the hell else does Pierre bring to his new job? He's a blithering idiot when it comes to life in the Belt ("I don't understand any of that astronomy stuff"), meaning that there's nothing productive he can do to make a living there.

There is, therefore, so much "demosclerosis" developing on Vesta that the Bay State goniffs comprising the Council can turn a significant amount of their plunder - preempted from the original settlers - to engaging the services of experienced professional bullies like Pierre.

And of this fact Guy Caillard had hitherto been unaware.

It's not only far, far worse on Vesta than you're trying to contend, but it's getting even more viciously horrible far more quickly than you'd apparently like readers in this forum to think.

The original settlers of Vesta, being Belters who had established "a market-anarchy like Ceres," would have to be both technologically sophisticated and culturally anti-authoritarian, with the entire solar system open to their ingenuity and application.

Given what we know about the characteristics of the Escape From Terra plenum thus far established, just what the hell gives you to push the notion that the Belters on Vesta would (or will) just sit there and suffer the exactions of the Council's majoritarian tyranny when it's well within their powers to get the hell out of Dodge?
 
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: SandySandfort on September 13, 2011, 07:52:35 am
Squirming mightily still to evade my point about the ability of Belters in microgravity to "walk away" with their real estate when a majoritarian preemption of their right to self-determination is imposed...

Vesta is a very dense, metallic planetoid. The primary industry is mining. "Walking away" with mining real estate is not possible. So miners are pretty much tied to the land no matter what the gravity.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Ike on September 13, 2011, 09:35:51 am

...I am particularly interested in this development, as in just the past two days I've been thinking:  what do you get when you start with genuine anarchy (meaning plain ruler-lessness, not spring-break chaos) and let it run for millennia?  Just look around.

Someone gets hurt and scared.  He wants to control things so that doesn't happen again.  If he is no orator, has no persuasive skills, he's sunk; but if he's eloquent, he can persuade his leaderless group to accept some tiny, oh-so-reasonable restriction. . . . 

No community goes from a state of adult-grade freedom to jackboots-on-the-face tyranny in one move.  It's gradual, and it always starts with a scare. ...

Historically, it didn't start so much with being scared as being (1) physically stronger than one's neighbor; (2) having a neighbor .. several actually .. who are farmers and herdsmen; (3) being either too lazy or too ignorant or just unlucky with the quality of one's own land, thus lacking in the food etc of the neighbors.  Step two:  approach a neighbor who is as lazy/ignorant/unlucky as you but has a smaller build and recruit him and several more to the scheme of taking what your more fortunate/diligent/knowledgeable neighbors have rather than doing all that work; (4) implement the scheme.  Over time, perhaps one generation or two, your children and grandchildren will make up rationalizations for their thievery that will be accepted by the victims, who will willingly bow the knee to you.  The rest is history as the saying goes, with all the irrational and seemingly illogical consequences.

The questions surrounding, "How the hell did we get here?" are of much less interest to me than the answers to the question, "How do we get from here to more freedom?"  Being old, cynical, tired and lazy, I find myself doubting that it is possible to get from here to there, so I leave that to you younger folks to argue about.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: mellyrn on September 13, 2011, 10:09:17 am
Quote
Historically, it didn't start so much with being scared [...]

Only if you hold me to the specific term "scared".  I'd agree that the thug in your example wasn't shaking in his boots.  Otoh, if he felt no uneasiness at all for being able to feed himself & his w/o taking his neighbor's stuff, then he wouldn't have bothered taking his neighbor's stuff.

Thus I think that considering how the hell we got here is essential for figuring out how to get from here to more freedom.


Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, "I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon."
 (http://deoxy.org/koan/9)
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Killydd on September 13, 2011, 12:29:28 pm
Could the entire thing be a UW scam?  Bankroll a bunch of sympathetic colonists, making sure that some leaders are deep in Earth pockets, then pay for some administrative help, maybe a few mercenaries to act as a force when people do resist what others are calling a legitimate state, and suddenly you've got a ready-made state to pay taxes back to Earth and repay the investment. 

Another thought on the speed of the development:  Pierre may have been lied to about the timing.  He might have been contacted a bit more secretly than he's letting on to his cousin, and since transit times would be well known, the coup might be scheduled for only a couple of days before his arrival. 
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: quadibloc on September 13, 2011, 02:30:51 pm
The mere existence of the council does not infringe on the rights of anyone -- unless and until actual coercion occurs, there is no reason to react by those in the population.
There are two possibilities.

The council may be composed of harmless nuts, and if you ignore them they will go away.

Or, when the council does engage in actual coercion, they will do so swiftly, silently, in such a way they will "have the drop on you" and it will be too late to resist.

If the latter is the case, there is every reason to react sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 14, 2011, 02:38:16 am
Or, when the council does engage in actual coercion, they will do so swiftly, silently, in such a way they will "have the drop on you" and it will be too late to resist.

You attribute to governments improbable competence.

I would expect them to be acting out of a mixture of self delusion and avarice.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Oldhobo on September 14, 2011, 01:13:23 pm
There are two possibilities.

The council may be composed of harmless nuts, and if you ignore them they will go away.

Or, when the council does engage in actual coercion, they will do so swiftly, silently, in such a way they will "have the drop on you" and it will be too late to resist.

If the latter is the case, there is every reason to react sooner rather than later.

Another assumption is that people in charge are patient, rejuvenation tech or no, since when have people become that foresighted?  I do not doubt that this power play on Vesta is part of a move to acquire more revenue.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Ike on September 14, 2011, 02:13:20 pm
Quote
Historically, it didn't start so much with being scared [...]

Only if you hold me to the specific term "scared".  I'd agree that the thug in your example wasn't shaking in his boots.  Otoh, if he felt no uneasiness at all for being able to feed himself & his w/o taking his neighbor's stuff, then he wouldn't have bothered taking his neighbor's stuff.

I agreed that it is less likely for a well-off thug to steal, but there are some folks who steal mainly because they want more and don't want to work or trade for it.  Actual need has little to do with humankind's inclination to steal; see the present day.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: dough560 on September 14, 2011, 03:04:33 pm
Thugs like resource control.  With Ceres, the UW tried to seize economic and physical control through Ground and Navel Invasions.

Given Vesta's metallic composition.  It is a "fixed" easy access resource.  This will "fix" a population in place.  Establish control over population and consequently resources.  Expand influence eliminating competition.

With recent events on Ceres....  Sending in a large group of "immigrants" would send up a number of red flags.  Instead, Infiltrate.  Encourage and assist sufficient numbers of true believers to "immigrate" to Vesta (accompanied by government organizers, ie. "smart" intelligence operatives.)  The imbedded operatives, take steps to establish conditions where the new immigrants would act as a "disorganized" organized "popular" movement.  Once the  movement establishes a government, the UW signs a mutual defense treaty.  Complete with military bases, cultural exchange programs, etc....

With political and military control of an easily accessed, essential resource.  The UW begins looting the belt while expanding territorial control.  Definitely not "Nice" Neighbors.

Such people forget: God made Man and Woman, Sam Colt made them equal.  In their arrogance, they don't believe it could happen to them.

"Perry the Wolf's" arrogant appearance.....
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: quadibloc on September 14, 2011, 06:13:44 pm
Or, when the council does engage in actual coercion, they will do so swiftly, silently, in such a way they will "have the drop on you" and it will be too late to resist.

You attribute to governments improbable competence.
Maybe improbable for this particular story arc.

Anything but improbable for many situations in the real world. Coercion is their business, so it's the one thing they can be expected to be competent at in many cases.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: dough560 on September 15, 2011, 09:04:46 am
Within our universe, thugs and governments do not expect to have to deal with;  In your face, I said No! and I mean it! responses.  They believe their "position" protects them from the consequences of their actions.  In the Escape from Terra universe, they delude themselves they can carry on business as usual, in-spite of contrary evidence.

Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: sam on September 21, 2011, 04:58:58 pm
Or, when the council does engage in actual coercion, they will do so swiftly, silently, in such a way they will "have the drop on you" and it will be too late to resist.
You attribute to governments improbable competence.
Maybe improbable for this particular story arc.

Anything but improbable for many situations in the real world. Coercion is their business, so it's the one thing they can be expected to be competent at in many cases.
Diseconomies of scale.  Large organizations are seldom competent or effective.
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Outsider on September 22, 2011, 03:43:38 am
Diseconomies of scale.  Large organizations are seldom competent or effective.


On the other hand, as a well known statist once said : "Quantity has a quality all its own."  :)
Title: Re: Damn Massachusetts and the Vesta arc.
Post by: Big.Swede on September 22, 2011, 08:53:36 am
Diseconomies of scale.  Large organizations are seldom competent or effective.


On the other hand, as a well known statist once said : "Quantity has a quality all its own."  :)

And in certain ways he was right, at least partialy. Take media for example, in this particular case, newspapers. Printed on some of the cheapest paper available in massive numbers and sold at a pittance, it was the first real way for people to know what happened out of sight, without going by word of mouth that is. And then came the TV, with even faster availability to more news at even lower a cost in the long run. And now we have the net, where the quantity of news (relevant or not) is truly staggering. Due to the immense quantity, you can be almost sure to find what news you are after.

True, some of them might be slanted one way or another. But that they have always been.