Is indenturing/enslaving people right ?

Hell YEAH
6 (40%)
HELL NO
9 (60%)

Total Members Voted: 14

J Thomas on October 22, 2010, 09:28:26 am
I work in one of those high-paying, high-responsibility professions, as a unix systems administrator. Like many other administrators, I often have access to high-value computer systems which hold the keys to the business. We have both the knowledge and the access to be able to do great and terrible damage to our employers. Nor is it possible to monitor our activities in any meaningful way.

With very rare exceptions, system admins do not abuse their powers. How is this possible, if we are merely "wage slaves", if the only thing keeping us in check is those greedy, unscrupulous capitalist slavers?

Most important, you have the sort of ethics that doesn't encourage such things. Also, you get high pay and might feel the pay is worth good performance.

I have known some programmers etc who built bombs into their work so that if they were fired etc the bad guys would not get benefits from their work. Some of them scheduled irregular problems that they had to come in and fix, guaranteeing that their bosses saw how indispensible they were and also showing that they deserved their retainers. I never did that, which may have reduced my income, but I didn't think I needed the money that bad.

One of them left his work when he got a job in Santa Clara, and he courteously defused all the bombs before he left.

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Part of it is the internalized sense of ethics; we want to be good at what we do, which  includes using our powers responsibly. Part of it is "reputation risk" - if one ever gets a reputation for screwing over one's employer, it becomes hard to find another job. In addition, the terms of our "wage slavery" are not intolerably oppressive. Marxist "wage slavery" theory aside, there is a very real difference between being owned by a slaveowner or government who may dictate the terms and conditions of employment, and being able to move from one employer to another at will.

Yes, that's a real difference. When you do work that is in demand, when there is a labor shortage for your specialty, then you have opportunities that you would not have if there was a labor surplus or if you were a slave.

And of course this trusted work is not usually something to give to people who have no choice, who could be assigned to it and required to do it and who do not get many benefits until their debts are paid off. Unless there is some special reason to trust them.

MacFall on October 22, 2010, 10:47:48 am
Sandy, can you direct me to that study about slaves consuming 90% of their output? I'd be interested to read it.

I wish I could. I probably have that issue of Freedom Today... in a storage locker in San Francisco. Otherwise, I would have no idea where to find the article today. This was a third of a century ago. There was no internet.

STOP THE PRESSES! I just did a web search and found this reference to the article:

  KETCHER, MIKE, The Taxpayer as Slave, 2pp, in PP 1656-1659: 458

It is listed on a site belonging to LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING
http://www.butterbach.net/lmp/lmp_sup2.htm

Also, I just dropped Mike a note asking if he still had a copy.

Thanks! It's a lead, at least.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

MacFall on October 22, 2010, 11:00:39 am
that said, the shark businessman just has to hope that everyone else upholds the ideals(unlikey him)...  else someone WILL just say "F**K YOU! i don't honour our contract"...

but then, what happens to someone that breaks a contract in an AnCap Society. Yeah, you will not get emperor of the universe that way... but hell, you'll get an easy life with just a few dozen.

Contracts are only binding in a free society if an exchange has already taken place. There is no legal obligation not to break your promises (otherwise every time a couple gets engaged they would be legally required to marry, and divorce would also be illegal). If you make a promise to a scumbag, and find out he's a scumbag, you break that damn promise and tell the world he's a scumbag. The combination of reputation ratings systems, a free press, and a strong lack of a desire of anyone in such a society to become anyone else's slave would likely be more than sufficient to ensure things come out your way.

Hell, even if an exchange HAS taken place you can still break the contract if you're willing to deal with the consequences of having a poor contract rating. But since in a free society all exchanges are voluntary (which includes a requirement of full disclosure and mutual understanding), that means that if someone ends up with a choice between indentureship to a scumbag or a poor contract rating, it was their choice, and while we may feel pity for them, we must admit the justice of their condition.

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All i want to say is, that it takes just ONE individual that uses the rules to twist the ideals to make everything go down south if you can force someone to work for you in any job you want.

All it takes is ONE individual with the desire and wherewithal to present a more rights-respecting alternative to put that other person clean out of business.

You are thinking about this situation through the lense of the state. The problem with the state is that there is only one way of doing things in a given territory. The chief benefit of a stateless society is that on each and every square inch of land there are dozens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of possible "systems" that one could voluntarily join, and switch from one to another as it suits their need. The only "law of the land" would be that nobody may justly initiate force against another, and for the life of me I can't think of any case of indentureship to which I would object that could occur under strict adherence to that law.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 11:04:38 am by MacFall »
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

sams on October 22, 2010, 11:26:00 am
With very rare exceptions, system admins do not abuse their powers. How is this possible, if we are merely "wage slaves", if the only thing keeping us in check is those greedy, unscrupulous capitalist slavers?
I'm not sure how this is a reply to my point, since what I was noting was that it's probably not a good idea to let an armed robber work off his debt by working as a system admin.

I'm not trying to argue for the nonexistence of honest people, merely for the existence of a few very dishonest people who can cause damage far out of proportion to their number (for it is easier to destroy than to create) if our systems don't take their existence into account.

You are guys are MISSING THE POINT : In principle nothing prevent an indentured person to work in any position, even in a Diamond polishing facility or System Admin and not necerrally hard and degrading jobs.

The practicality and details depends on the kind of work, technological details and social environment, but in principle no JOB is off the table.

macsnafu on October 22, 2010, 11:32:09 am

You are guys are MISSING THE POINT : In principle nothing prevent an indentured person to work in any position, even in a Diamond polishing facility or System Admin and not necerrally hard and degrading jobs.

The practicality and details depends on the kind of work, technological details and social environment, but in principle no JOB is off the table.

I would think that the point is essentially restitution is just a debt that needs to be paid.  A creditor could pay it off to the victim and the criminal would owe it to the creditor.  Indentured servitude really wouldn't come into it unless there was a large risk that the criminal *would* try to skip or not pay the debt.  Only then would it be necessary to keep closer tabs on him/her.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

mellyrn on October 22, 2010, 12:40:47 pm
Schaeffer Cox has an interesting thing going in Alaska.  The penalty in his alternative system (which sounds very like Ceres) for skipping out is:  losing the right to use the system themselves.  So far, no one has skipped.

And I didn't get Merry's claim that the indenture equalled slavery.  The pirates were being asked if this judgment was acceptable to them.  They had a chance to counteroffer (if they could think of anything TO counteroffer).  If they say, "OK, we'll do that", how is that slavery?

On a slightly different note, I inadvertently got some insight into slavery in an account of "Northern" (US) women who married Southern plantation owners, antebellum, and how they coped with a slave-run household instead of one with hired servants.  Apparently it took 70 slaves to do the work that 7 hired servants could do.  It makes sense:  no amount of beatings or threats can make anyone perform at his best, and the one power a slave has is passive aggression.

As to the shark businessman:  maybe I'm indebted to him in some sense -- but I can and will ask for mediation, and he's going to have to try and look awfully sweet and innocent.  And even if I lose, after a while when enough of us have brought him up for mediation on the same charge over and over, the community is going to wise up.

Roland on October 22, 2010, 01:26:08 pm
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On a slightly different note, I inadvertently got some insight into slavery in an account of "Northern" (US) women who married Southern plantation owners, antebellum, and how they coped with a slave-run household instead of one with hired servants.  Apparently it took 70 slaves to do the work that 7 hired servants could do.  It makes sense:  no amount of beatings or threats can make anyone perform at his best, and the one power a slave has is passive aggression.

Can you use that formula on our case of penal slavery here? For those penitents wouldn`t work for nothing. By being productive they would pay their debt (maybe their weregild too) earlier and so shorten their sentence time. Wereas  "normal" slaves have nothing to gain.
Still, what about those who are a danger to the community? Is it enough to let murderers pay? Or is there the need to lock at least notorious murderers away? Or to execute them? Who decides on that? Is it okay to kill them in an act of self-justice? or will this just produce bloody feuds like in old Iceland?

By the way, those who labelled me Commie a couple of posts before should think twice. Is everyone who dares to criticise capitalism (or to be precise, Capitalists) a supporter of Communism? I never would defend Soviet Union or China. Yet, although I feel Marx was totally wrong in his solution, he made a lot of good points when criticising capitalism. And the actual development follows exactly his prognosis. Now, this is a discussion that doesn`t belong into this topic.  Maybe there is another thread where this is more suited to? Just don`t have the time to study the elder threads by myself.
 

macsnafu on October 22, 2010, 03:00:29 pm

 Yet, although I feel Marx was totally wrong in his solution, he made a lot of good points when criticising capitalism. And the actual development follows exactly his prognosis. Now, this is a discussion that doesn`t belong into this topic.  Maybe there is another thread where this is more suited to? Just don`t have the time to study the elder threads by myself.
 

I'm not calling you a commie, but seriously?  Marx predicted that crony or state capitalism would progress and hang on for as long as it has?  I thought Marx thought capitalism was supposed to kill itself.  Did he even make the distinction we do between state capitalism and free market capitalism? 
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

sams on October 22, 2010, 03:24:58 pm

 Yet, although I feel Marx was totally wrong in his solution, he made a lot of good points when criticising capitalism. And the actual development follows exactly his prognosis. Now, this is a discussion that doesn`t belong into this topic.  Maybe there is another thread where this is more suited to? Just don`t have the time to study the elder threads by myself.
 

I'm not calling you a commie, but seriously?  Marx predicted that crony or state capitalism would progress and hang on for as long as it has?  I thought Marx thought capitalism was supposed to kill itself.  Did he even make the distinction we do between state capitalism and free market capitalism? 

I have a commie friend, just like this dude he can't only spew random though around and make fun of me .... but when I bring him a serious question his brains literally FREEZE.

He went about ranting on AIG and Baillout has excess of capitalism ... then I remembered him that the FEDS gave them fat in the first place ... froze and shut up ASAP has he need to think

SandySandfort on October 22, 2010, 08:42:48 pm
STOP THE PRESSES! I just did a web search and found this reference to the article:

  KETCHER, MIKE, The Taxpayer as Slave, 2pp, in PP 1656-1659: 458

It is listed on a site belonging to LIBERTARIAN MICROFICHE PUBLISHING
http://www.butterbach.net/lmp/lmp_sup2.htm

Also, I just dropped Mike a note asking if he still had a copy.

Thanks! It's a lead, at least.

Mike replied that he will look for that issue and scan the article if he finds it. If he does, I will make it available to you.

terry_freeman on October 24, 2010, 09:10:18 am
The feuds in Iceland, according to David Friedman, were quite rare until an outside agent - the king of Denmark - stepped in to support some at the expense of others. Even then, the rate was low compared to modern day "civilized" societies.

With regard to the "public safety" argument, it can be argued that anyone who is that dangerous should be six feet under. That's an option, as we saw earlier when two mass murderers were shot.

In more "ordinary" cases of one-to-one mayhem, would-be murderers face a very high risk of being shot in the act; I assume that open carry is prevalent, as in "Probability Broach."

jamesd on October 24, 2010, 06:43:52 pm
The feuds in Iceland, according to David Friedman, were quite rare

They were rare in iceland because one could resolve a conflict either by holding a lawsuit, or by just openly and publicly killing someone and paying compensation to kin - which must have acted as powerful incentive not to get too far up someone else's nose.

mellyrn on October 26, 2010, 08:35:32 am
Might be that if we set up a judicial "machine", where the facts ("facts") are plugged in, evaluated by the code (laws), and a determination pops out and the actual humans who have to enforce the verdict can shrug and say, "Sorry, my hands are tied, this is just the way it is", we'd get a lot more violent crime than if actual human beings evaluated/mediated cases face-to-face and we knew we'd be simply listened to (not necessarily agreed with).  In the former, dehumanizing my judge seems not to stop there, but carries over to all that part of my society I don't know 'person'ally, and it's so much easier to inflict harm on nonhumans than on humans.  In the latter, anyone I meet might be part of my someday jury, but that's conscious self-interest speaking; I think what really happens does so preconsciously, and a human evaluation team "colors" my whole perception of my society with humanness.

Which is the long version of, I think the Cererean system would have less to do than an authoritarian one.

Should "murderers" be put to death?  Just asking the question, you're trying to set up a machine.  You're turning individuals into categories, to be dealt with in replicable (and therefore mindless -- "we don't have to think about it, there's nothing to discuss") ways.  I'd say it depends on the murderer and the situation.  Lord Peter Wimsey once has the opportunity of proving that a brilliant, but unknown, painter is the killer of a real skunk of a guy who'd really hurt the painter.  Wimsey's author has him decline to do so; though she does not say so explicitly, the nature of the killing, violent as it is, is one that is quite situation-specific and unlikely in the extreme to occur again.

In another novel (written by humans, which is my justification for citing fiction), a drunk driver kills someone, and afterwards anonymously donates money, weekly, to the victim's family.  The young Dine policeman figures out who the killer was -- the grandfather and sole custodian of a retarded boy -- and declines to apply the white man's law, which impersonally calls for imprisonment as a punishment.  Dine law (or custom) calls for restoring an errant member of society to harmony with society -- and Young Cop sees that this is exactly what is happening.  He covers his own tracks, so other cops can't follow the clues he did.

Should "murderers" be put to death?  One of the things I like most about Cererean society is that they seem willing to ask, How should we, real live human beings, handle this real live human individual, in these unique circumstances?

Should murderers be put to death?  What does it do to your own soul (however defined) to do the execution?  You'll only be able to do it if you do exactly what the murderer did -- dehumanize your subject.  And whenever we do that, we dehumanize a tiny part of ourselves.  I say, for the sake of whatever humanity you have left in you, that if you can see the human in the murderer and still choose to kill him, then and only then may you.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 02:18:13 pm by mellyrn »

sams on October 26, 2010, 11:50:10 am
Might be that if we set up a judicial "machine", where the facts ("facts") are plugged in, evaluated by the code (laws), and a determination pops out and the actual humans who have to enforce the verdict can shrug and say, "Sorry, my hands are tied, this is just the way it is", we'd get a lot more violent crime than if actual human beings evaluated/mediated cases face-to-face and we knew we'd be simply listened to (not necessarily agreed with).  In the former, dehumanizing my judge seems not to stop there, but carries over to all that part of my society I don't know 'person'ally, and it's so much easier to inflict harm on nonhumans than on humans.  In the latter, anyone I meet might be part of my someday jury, but that's conscious self-interest speaking; I think what really happens does so preconsciously, and a human evaluation team "colors" my whole perception of my society with humanness.

Which is the long version of, I think the Cererean system would have less to do than an authoritarian one.

Should "murderers" be put to death?  Just asking the question, you're trying to set up a machine.  You're turning individuals into categories, to be dealt with in replicable (and therefore mindless -- "we don't have to think about it, there's nothing to discuss") ways.  I'd say it depends on the murderer and the situation.  Lord Peter Wimsey once has the opportunity of proving that a brilliant, but unknown, painter is the killer of a real skunk of a guy who'd really hurt the painter.  Wimsey's author has him decline to do so; though she does not say so explicitly, the nature of the killing, violent as it is, is one that is quite situation-specific and unlikely in the extreme to occur again.

In another novel (written by humans, which is my justification for quoting fiction), a drunk driver kills someone, and afterwards anonymously donates money, weekly, to the victim's family.  The young Dine policeman figures out who the killer was -- the grandfather and sole custodian of a retarded boy -- and declines to apply the white man's law, which impersonally calls for imprisonment as a punishment.  Dine law (or custom) calls for restoring an errant member of society to harmony with society -- and Young Cop sees that this is exactly what is happening.  He covers his own tracks, so other cops can't follow the clues he did.

Should "murderers" be put to death?  One of the things I like most about Cererean society is that they seem willing to ask, How should we, real live human beings, handle this real live human individual, in these unique circumstances?

Should murderers be put to death?  What does it do to your own soul (however defined) to do the execution?  You'll only be able to do it if you do exactly what the murderer did -- dehumanize your subject.  And whenever we do that, we dehumanize a tiny part of ourselves.  I say, for the sake of whatever humanity you have left in you, that if you can see the human in the murderer and still choose to kill him, then and only then may you.

Keep it short because we don't have time to read a Gazillion words that say nothing

MacFall on October 26, 2010, 12:06:18 pm
BTW sams, the fr33agents site isn't dead. I just caught that you said that it was.  ???
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

 

anything