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."
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 10:45:05 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

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.

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?
 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 07:17:21 am by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

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.

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.

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."

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.....

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.

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.


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.

 

anything