Interlocked systems?

What would fail if the federal government collapsed, but the state governments stayed?

I’m thinking it’s probably a pretty short list. I don’t believe anyone would invade the US – at least not successfully – even if the U.S. military was disbanded, because the civilians would still be able to repel invaders – and many of them are armed better than actual army members. (Nukes nonwithstanding – a nuke is a really lousy weapon for fighting off a invading force for what I hope are obvious reasons). I don’t believe that the lack of a DEA would result in anything more horrible happening than what is already. The DOE already seems obsessed on spending money on the dumbest things possible. The DOT could be replaced – I’m not at all convinced that the states couldn’t figure out how to maintain the interstate system without federal help – they’d simply raise state gasoline taxes to make up for the lack of federal funds, and places like Montana would start charging semis to use the roads in order to generate enough revenue to pay for them.  The FBI and CIA do far more harm than good as far as I can tell.

Originally, the federal government existed.. I think, and I’m no student of history.. to do things that the aggregate nation needed as a whole (like printing money) and to ensure that the basic freedoms in the bill of rights were enforced. However, now the federal government does the opposite – it does bizarre things that no one needs, threatens the citizens (my mother just sent me a wonderful email about all the evil things the IRS does to those who can’t pay. I think she wants to get me to hate the government so much that I make a serious and prolonged attempt to destroy it), comes up with new and creative ways to abridge our freedoms, and in general is a source of much that is awful.

I think we need, as a collective of states, to overthrow the federal government. Talking about a election is beside the point – what we need is a constitutional convention, in which we write a constitution that avoids future incidents like:

1) Politicians who lie

2) A two party system

3) Preemptive war

4) A “representitive” government that fails to represent the interests of, for example, the gay community (who are 10% of us, you all will remember, but still can’t even get married)

5) A “free” country in which one lives in constant fear of the police and the government, in which free speech is steadily more abridged, in which it is known that people are being treated in ways that are sharply against the country’s constitution by the country in the names of ‘preventing terrorism’

6) The idea of a war on a behavior, or a idea. Wars on communism, wars on terrorism, wars on drugs

7) Laws that exist for “moral” reasons – not to protect us against each other, but just because some group of people thinks that something is “wrong”. Not wrong because it hurts me when you do it, but wrong because I think you shouldn’t do it because my god said so. (or because I decided it was so, or other similar varients)

8) I could go on for a while, but I won’t.

6 Responses to “Interlocked systems?”

  1. Cygnostik Says:

    Funny though how there are some laws (like against gambling) that are often considered laws based on moral/religous reasoning but it’s easy to miss the fact that sillyness like that really is to protect people.

    For example if we dropped laws against gambling outside of designated environments plenty of people would destroy their lives and even put families in jeapordy. There are so many people with built in urges they may not be able to control… I recall in recent history there was some issue with Japan lapsing on gambling control in some way and… next thing they knew there were kids starving and families homeless. Last statistic I recall was an estimated 1 million japs addicted to gambling…

    I suspect there are a lot of religio-moral sins categorized as such because without strong disuasion many people have the potential to get out of hand and usually in cases where they’re not just harming themselves but families and/or communities and such as well.

    When you tie it in with the fact that people don’t know what makes them happy, they can’t figure out what will make them happy and the things they want in the interest of happyness NEVER make them truely happy – and you have a problem.

    The problem being the average human view of reality is skewed in such a way as to be most inclined to be shitty without even knowing it. We’re bouncing around in a pinball machine with the illusion of awareness and control but these aren’t things which can be applied to or excerted in the ways we perceive.

    In a way, it would seem like we need a lot of control imposed on us (as a whole). We need some opression. Given an open and fair world the average people would just get more shitty and the more open eyed people wouldn’t have anything to push back on for what’s right. In that kind of a world I imagine someone would find an opportunity to take some control, gain some power and be left unchecked until it’s too late…

    Who knows. Maybe you think you’d get some kind of happyness in this hypothetical but in reality… Little really would change. 🙂

    I know what would make me happy.

    An island full of beautiful nakid womenz. 😛

  2. sheer_panic Says:

    I don’t actually agree with your early thesis. Laws like this (against gambling) are the very epitome of the type of laws I approve of i.e. laws to protect us from each other. I would prefer a radical shift that involved no money and unlimited resources for everyone to needing laws like this, but I do think a argument can be made that the laws against having all of the world be just like Vegas are probably for the protection of some of the people (gambling addicts) from other of the people (Las Vegas). Without this kind of law, banks, credit card companies, and a host of other money-related evils would prey on us all like vultures. (Actually, they already do, but they’d be much more conspicuous about it).

    We in fact already have a lot of oppression, and I do genuinely think we’d all be much happier with a lot less of it. I want a world where it’s virtually impossible for anyone to have any power over anyone else. I do think that a better universe model is possible, I just don’t know exactly how one goes about changing the fundamental constructs that the universe is based on (i.e. All life lives at the expense of other life) and/or catching a ride to Somewhere Better.

    As far as the last sentence.. I’m just waiting for virtual reality to get good enough that I can write the ultimate Virtual Love Slave. It would free a whole class of oppressed people. Actually, come to think of it, it’d free TWO whole classes of oppressed people. At least.

    Of course, then we need nanotech to get good enough that everyone is wealthy beyond anyone’s dreams of avarice, no one ever has to work unless they want to, and artists have the ultimate canvas to draw on.

    (I have a feeling I’m going to catch some flack for this comment.)

  3. ClintJCL Says:

    I can’t believe there are still people left who think banning gambling makes sense.

    Fortunately, the World Trade Organization disagrees, and America is getting in trouble for not allowing us to gamble online, as it is a violation of WTO treaties.

  4. sheer_panic Says:

    This is actually a fascinating question that I’ve been working over. Should there be laws against addictive substances and activities?

    I don’t think that it should be illegal for people to buy the particular substance that I’m addicted to. I do think that it might be a nice thing for all concerned if it was possible to voluntarily place oneself on a ‘don’t-buy-to-me’ list – with good infosystems, it seems it’d be pretty easy to have gambling addicts, alchoholics, cokeheads, whatever, put themselves on a list and then require all vendors selling addictive substances to check the list before selling.

    I don’t think that just because a substance or activity has a potential to be addictive it should be banned. Why ruin everyone’s fun? Instead I think we need a much better science of counteracting addictive tendancies than we currently have. Watch for more on this subject in my blog someday when I get bored.

    However, I do think that the government, and the sellers of addictive substances, have a responsability to help the addicted through things like a voluntary ‘don’t sell to me’ list. I also think the don’t sell to me list should become involuntary in cases where the person’s addiction leads to them stealing, injuring other people as a result of driving under the influence, or doing other things that clearly harm other people.

    I am not sure that I know whether I am for or against banning gambling. I do think you’d have to be a total idiot to gamble online given how easy it would be to rig the dice in such a situation, and how hard it would be to ever catch that being done.

    On the other hand, I gamble online every day. My casino is called e*trade, and the game proceeds VERY slowly.

  5. ClintJCL Says:

    The problem with “do not buy” lists is that people will sue you if you end up selling to someone on a do not buy list. Some states have already implemented such lists for gambling, and of course technical solutions are never perfect. People on the list gambled, and then sued the casinos for letting them. At what point does your responsibility end?

    Rigging dice in a professional casino is nor practical. The state monitors such things closely, and they are generally required by law to run odds such that people get 98% of their money back, on aggregate. And they are closely monitored with respect to that.

  6. sheer_panic Says:

    And who, exactly, oversees the internet casinos? And how do they do it? I’m just saying that it’s a lot easier to see that things are on the up and up in a real-world casino than it is when the casino runs on a web farm in Tunesia.

    As far as selling to people on a ‘do not buy’ list, I think it’s the responsability of the state to come up with good technology for implimenting said list. I’m thinking as long as we have to be saddled with ID cards that have RFIDs, bar codes, magstripes, and other unique identifiers packed in them anyway, we might as well at least get some advantage out of them. And, if a user makes a serious and prolonged attempt to defeat a ‘do not buy’ list, I think that’s the responsability of said user, not of the list.

    ‘Do not buy’ lists are not a solution for people who really do still want to be gambling or drinking or whatever. They’re just a safety net solution for people who have moments of weakness. Obviously, you’d want a way for people to pull themselves off the list, with a 5-day waiting period.

Leave a Reply