January 2, 2011

[MUST SEE: FOR EXCELLENT COMPILED QUOTES, INCLUDING FROM VAN DOREN ON EGYPT, ETC.]

[DIRECT TIE-IN WITH The problem with spontaneous order and emergent systems FROM cm:SpontaneousOrder section above

SEE <C:\USR\WP_DOCS\-THESTAT.TO THE STATE vs. CHANGE: SOME OF THE BIOLOGY BEHIND GOVERNMENT>

SEE the beginning of Chapter 19 (Information R us) for compillation of clips demonstrating conservative fear of change and information.

The "establishment" males of a Japanese macaque troop remain calm and detached when shown a novel object, and thus do not risk the loss of their status. It is the females and young animals who explore new areas and experiment with new objects. The obvious parallels to human behavior have been noted by several writers, but most explicitly and persuasively by Tiger (1969) and Tiger and Fox (1971). -Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology, THE ABRIDGED EDITION, (Cambridge & London: THE BELKNAP PRESS 1980), p. 140 & 141.

[MAY HAVE BEEN USED IN "Why Not Trade?" "The State vs. Change" or "Markets vs. The Establishment"] "...everything is too important ever to be entrusted to professional experts, because every organization of such professionals and every established social organization becomes a vested-interest institution more concerned with its efforts to maintain itself or advance its own interests than to achieve the purpose that society expects it to achieve." - Carroll Quigley, ex-president William Jefferson Clinton's mentor

Throughout history everytime a new medium of communications has made it easier, faster, and cheaper to convey ideas and information, it opens up wonderful new possibilities from a civil libertarian's perspective for strengthening individual freedom, for enhancing individual participation in democratic self government. At the same time though, for those who have a more authoritarian or more paternalistic point of view, what we see as a wonderful brave new world, they see as a frightening terrifying new world. It's dangerous, all those people getting to communicate with each other -- and worse yet, with the government. So it's not surprising that every time there is a new medium of communications developed, very shortly there after there is an immediate call for censorship. And cyber space is no exception. Just think about what was happening last summer. Exactly a year ago, as there was a lot of publicity about the availability of cyber online communications particularly to young people, suddenly we had in congress, a very strong call in congress for censoring it. And unfortunately that law the Commuincations Decency Act or CDA was signed by President Clinton in February. [emphasis added] -Nadine Strossen, national Chairperson of the ACLU, speaking at the 1996 Libertarian National Convention, broadcast on CSPAN I, July 5, 1996 ~12:30 PM EST
"It frightens me. ... there is a generation growing up with this new tool, a powerful, powerful tool of communication. Perhaps one of the most powerful we have ever known and we haven't really looked at it yet to see what its implications are." -Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Paris, France, July 30th, 1996.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. -Declaration of Independence
consumers ...do not bother about the vested interests of entrepreneurs, capitalists, land-owners, and workers, who may be hurt by changes in the structure of prices. ... (It is precisely the fact that the market does not respect vested interests that makes the people concerned ask for government interference.) -Ludwig von Mises, Human Action A Treatise on Economics, Third Revised Edition (Chicago, Illinois: Contemporary Books, Inc. 1966), pg. 337 [available also from http://www.mises.org/humanaction.asp ]
"The objective of war is not to kill people; the objective is to obtain a political end," says John Alexander, a retired army colonel and former head of a non-lethal weapons program at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "In the current political situation, that end is to maintain stability." -A Fate Worse than Death?, Laura Spinney, "New Scientist" (science weekly), London, Oct. 18, 1997
Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change...[T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face of its constant and bitter opposition. -H.L. Mencken
"Any factors that could jeapordize our stability must be annihilated at early stages." -Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Chinese police officers, MSNBC Watch It, 28 Dec 1998, ~11:08:12 AM EST
~"Change has the effect of enlarging the state, not diminishing it." -John Kenneth Galbraith, NWI Century, 09-22-97, 3:26pm EST
. . . What led the greatly advanced civilisation of China to fall behind Europe was its governments' clamping down so tightly as to leave no room for new developments, while, as remarked in the last chapter, Europe probably owes its extraordinary expansion in the Middle Ages to its political anarchy (Baechler, 1975:77) -F. A. Hayek, THE FATAL CONCEIT The Errors of Socialism, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1988), p. 44 & 45

The State vs. Change




Biology vs. change

Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change...[T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face if its constant and bitter opposition. -H.L. Mencken
. . . What led the greatly advanced civilisation of China to fall behind Europe was its governments' clamping down so tightly as to leave no room for new developments, while, as remarked in the last chapter, Europe probably owes its extraordinary expansion in the Middle Ages to its political anarchy (Baechler, 1975:77) -F. A. Hayek, THE FATAL CONCEIT The Errors of Socialism, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1988), p. 44&45.
"The objective of war is not to kill people; the objective is to obtain a political end," says John Alexander, a retired army colonel and former head of a non-lethal weapons program at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "In the current political situation, that end is to maintain stability." -A Fate Worse than Death?, Laura Spinney, "New Scientist" (science weekly), London, Oct. 18, 1997
"Any factors that could jeapordize our stability must be annihilated at early stages." -Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Chinese police officers, MSNBC Watch It, 28 Dec 1998, ~11:08:12 AM EST
~"Change has the effect of enlarging the state, not diminishing it." -John Kenneth Galbraith, NWI Century, 09-22-97, 3:26pm EST

They don't call them "state" for nothing. One understanding of the word is "stable unchanging condition." And there are obvious biological connections. Even in one-celled organisms, biologists speak of "homeostasis." And that desire for stability apparently up-sizes:

The "establishment" males of a Japanese macaque troop remain calm and detached when shown a novel object, and thus do not risk the loss of their status. It is the females and young animals who explore new areas and experiment with new objects. The obvious parallels to human behavior have been noted by several writers, but most explicitly and persuasively by Tiger (1969) and Tiger and Fox (1971). -Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology, THE ABRIDGED EDITION, (Cambridge & London: THE BELKNAP PRESS 1980), p. 140 & 141.

And the anti-change drive for stability and homeostasis shows up again and again embodied in relataively ancient hierarchical human "states:"

... The Egyptians had a great secret, which they did not forget for thirty centuries. They feared and hated change, and they avoided it whenever possible. ... the rulers of Egypt, together with those they ruled, became fiercely determined to avoid progressing in any way. And they managed to progress remarkably little in three thousand years.
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Like all ancient empires, Egypt was organized on hierarchical principles.
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Why were the Egyptians so tradition-bound and conservative? Why was social order so important that change and progress of every kind had to be sacrificed to it? ...Probably it suffices to say that even today many individuals adopt the Egyptian attitude toward life, preferring the status quo to almost any change, even if change is shown to be improvement. In other words, the Egyptians were acting in a fundamentally human way.
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...If life is acceptable as it stands, why change it? From the point of view of tyrants, that rule is all the more important to follow. Any change, for a tyrant, is for the worse. Thus the Egyptians had discovered a secret of great value for tyrants down the centuries. The tyrants of our own time have not forgotten it. -Charles Van Doren, History of Knowledge, Past Present and Future, (New York: Ballantine Books 1991), pg.4-6 [italics emphasis added -j.]

Van Doren goes on to document this anti-change theme in many other cultures -- India's "Caste System" for example -- as a more modern manifestation.

We can even find recognition of this anti-change drive for homeostasis in certain formerly famous founding documents:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. -United states Declaration of Independence

And also here in America, we had the now closed "Congressional Office of Technology Asessment" inspired by Alvin Toffler's influential book "Future Shock," with the idea that introduction of new technologies should be slowed because they would impact or shock "society" by causing change to happen too quickly.

Now I'm NOT claiming that slowing change is the only function and result of having a "state," only that it is an integral and central function for a state. Some are more successful at it than others.

And note that males, those with hierarchical tendencies, and tyrants seem to be especially likely to be proponents of homeostasis and against change.

[MORE GOOD QUOTES -- ON STIFFLING INFORMATION -- HERE: INCLUDES STROSSEN, ETC.]

Socialists are fascists too


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And in comparing the operational economic conditions of fascism (state capitalism) with communism (state socialism) we discover some striking similarities:

A friend of mine in communist Poland lived a fascist dream; the Polish government granted him a monopoly on the production of lactose from the whey produced by cheese production. The whey was delivered free to his factory by government order and the government provided him "free" electricity. When Polish communism fell, so did the lactose business. Never challenged by real competition, it was too inefficient to compete in relatively free markets without the previous government aid. My friend the communist businessman --- and all his employees --- were "dislocated."
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My friend's situation was not a fluke -- nearly ALL "enterprise" in communist countries evolved to operate in a similarly aided and protected classically fascist environment. The de-facto fascist "members of the board" were called "commisars" (community tsars?) and combined business and political power in the same office. This combined power made the commisars much more effective at blocking change than any explicit fascist could have been. This is why communist countries fall so far behind. L. Reichard White, TWO PATHS TO TOTALITARIANISM or THE STATE vs. CHANGE: SOME OF THE BIOLOGY BEHIND GOVERNMENT, an excerpt from "The HI-JACKING of Civilization."

You can see the state-related anti-change theme breasting the waves in the above.

[CLIP OF POPE COMMENT THAT IN POLAND, THERE WAS BUSINESS FAVORITISM Communism=cronyism_in_Poland_(Pope)+_DN!050404_240x272.mpg] [ALREADY USED IN CHAPTER 27, CLIQUE SELFISHNESS]

[Pope John Paul II] In talking to young students at the University of Warsaw five years ago who had lived through this, they described communism in Poland as immoral, as a system of complete cronyism, everything dependant upon whom you knew, a system of lies and deceit. They spoke about it in the harshest terms, as absolutely immoral. Now, that obviously influenced the Pope. --The Legacy of Pope John Paul II (1920--2005), April 04, 2005

Mercantalism

Remember all the "vested interests of entrepreneurs, capitalists, land-owners, and workers, who may be hurt by changes in the structure of prices" and so are opposed to free trade? We glared at them in Chapter wn, Why Not Trade? In fact, we observed in that chapter that, "nearly everyone in the community has reason to dislike some of the effects of free trade, and those affected regularly resist."

That's because as we know, trade was central to the formation of early pseudo-groups such as medieval towns -- and the medeival town was "enforcing with the utmost rigor that policy of [trade] exclusion and protection which was the rationale of its existence" (Polanyi 1967:64). We know that government cliques got involved early-on in enforcing the "policy of [trade] exclusion and protection" because it's logical and we have evidence: "The severity of these [trade restriction] measures increased with the growth of 'democratic government'" (Polanyi 1967:277). And we know the very specific reason: "It is precisely the fact that the market does not respect vested interests that makes the people concerned ask for government interference." (Mises 1966:337)

What all those with vested interests -- and their fellow citizens -- don't like about free markets, remember, is the unpredictable "spontaneous order" and thus change that regularly results -- and we know that some of us, particularly hierarchical males and older folks, apparently have genetically based drives to resist change.

So, what do you think happens when lots of vested interests dislike some of the spontaneous changes casued by free trade and enlist government cliques to help them stop it?

When it's done on a national scale, it's called "mercantilism," and it's not significantly different than what the towns attempted to do (regulate markets locally and control and supress long distance trade), it's just done on a much larger "national" scale - - -

That mercantilism, however emphatically it insisted on commercialization as a national policy, thought of markets in a way exactly contrary to market economy, is best shown by its vast extension of state intervention in industry. On this point there was no difference between mercantilists and feudalists, between crowned planners and vested interests, between centralizing bureaucrats and conservative particularists. They disagreed only on the methods of regulation: gilds, towns, and provinces appealed to the force of custom and tradition, while the new state authority favored statute and ordinance. -Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation. (Boston: Beacon Press 1957), p. 70

We might be tempted to call the results, in addition to mercantilism, "state capitalism" or it's better-known name, "fascism." The initial motivating factor here is the desire to resist market induced spontaneous order change and stabilize "society," in other words, to protect the status quo. So what's wrong with that? Well, remember all those advantages from trading in competitive markets that increase productivity and give us all a better standard of living? A clear part of the mercantalist package is interfere with these competitive forces. But it evolves to be even worse than that as we'll see in Chapter tc, The Case Against Government.

[THIS PROBABLY GOES BETTER IN "THE CASE AGAINST GOVERNMENT"] Initially, business people recognized the advantages they got from collaboration with the political cliques. At that stage, protection fees were accepted as "legitimate" remuneration and "fees for [protection] services rendered." As the emphasis changed from protecting business to financing government, however, businesses had less and less to gain as the government cliques spent protection fees more and more on their own priorities. Sometimes businesses balked. But there was also a change in the methods and tenor of those collecting the fees. Most enforcers now worked for the government cliques. And these enforcers, who originally protected innie business by snatching outie looms or smashing outie vats, could easily re-focus their skills on recalcitrant innies as well. There's a very fine line between taking outie looms and taking looms of innies who refuse to pay what you have decided is their fair share of the protection money you've gotten in the habit of collecting. Similar tactics work on villagers who won't pay their per-capita type fees as well. There's also a very fine line -- if any line at all -- between this and what the Mafia does.

As an innie, are you paying for protection from raids and outie merchants -- or protection from the enforcers of your own domestic government clique? At this point, what had been remuneration and "fees for services rendered" often became blackmail or "exactions." * The famous "Whiskey Rebellion" [See "Whiskey Rebellion" Sidebar] in the early united states * was a semi-organized resistance to the beginning of such a system.

Once people accept this mode of collection, it is called "taxes," and any connection to reasonable fees for desired services becomes attenuated at best. IT IS THIS DISCONNECTION OF SERVICES FROM SPECIFIC AND WITHHOLDABLE PAYMENT FOR THOSE SERVICES THAT ALMOST GUARANTEES GOVERNMENT CLIQUES CAN'T BE CONTROLLED BY THOSE PAYING THEIR BILLS. Render unto Caesar ---- and don't ask questions. Or the bureaucratic version: "Render unto Caesar ---- if you have any questions, that's not my department."

[MUCH OF ABOVE FROM: FOR EXCELLENT PRESENTATION]

Panamanian Agricultural Secretary resigns in protest over U.S. pressuring Panama to lower it's agricultural standards so U.S. can sell its products there. -DN!, January 11, 2006, 11:05:02 MUST SEE AS CAPPER < Where do you fit?> ABOVE!!!

Directly opposed to such things is "the State," which not by chance I think, also means "unchanging condition." "The state" is, a modern (post Great Transition) invention understandably dominated as we'll see, by hierarchist -- thus male and paternalistic -- thinking.

What you observe when you observe a government is largely hierarchist "games." And the local hierarchists will sell-out "their" people when their personal stake in the sell-out is high enough. Musharraf of Pakistan during Bush's "War on Terrorism" is my example. Braveheart shows how the first thing the British did in their drives to conquest was to attempt to buy-off the local Scottish "leaders."

Toffler, Future Shock, Polanyi (quote on slowing progress is natural), OTA (Office of Technology Assessment)

vs. women & children as trying new things while the hierarchists are afraid of loss of status (from Sociobiology)

SEE {} The Case Against Government

So do you want to take the chance of creating a machine (government) with the proven potential to kill 200 million men, women and children in only a century (on average, 2 million per year), knowing it may be commandeered by a Hitler or a Stalin or a GW Bush? {connect with Rummel's & Amnesty Intl. research} "A Nation is surely in a wretched condition, when the principal object of its government is the increase of its revenue. Such a state of things is in reality a perpetual warfare between the few individuals who govern, and the great body of the people who labour. Or, to call things by their proper names, and use the only language that the nature of the case will justify, the real occupation of the governors is either to plunder or to steal, as will best answer their purpose; while the business of the people is to secret their property by fraud, or to give it peaceably up, in proportion as the other party demands it; and then, as a consequence of being driven to this necessity, they slacken their industry, and become miserable through idleness, in order to avoid the mortification of labouring for those they hate."

"The art of constructing governments has usually been to organize the State in such a manner, as that this operation could be carried on to the best advantage for the administrators; and the art of administering those governments has been so to vary the means of seizing upon private property, as to bring the greatest possible quantity into the public coffers, without exciting insurrections. Those governments which are called despotic, deal more in open plunder; those that call themselves free, and act under the cloak of what they teach the people to reverence as a constitution, are driven to the arts of stealing. These have succeeded better by theft than the others have by plunder; and this is the principal difference by which they can be distinguished. Under those constitutional governments the people are more industrious, and create property faster; because they are not sensible in what manner, and in what quantities, it is taken from them. The administrators, in this case, act by a compound operatimn; one is to induce the people to work, and the other to take from them their earnings."
"In this view of government, it is no wonder that it should be considered as a curious and complicated machine, too mysterious for vulgar contemplation, capable of being moved by none but experienced hands, and subject to fall in pieces by the slightest attempt of innovation or improvement. It is no wonder that a church and and army should be deemed necessary for its support; and that the double guilt of impiety and rebellion should follow the man who offers to enter its dark sanctuary with the profane light of reason. It is not surprising, that kings and priests should be supposed to have derived their authority from God, since it is evidently not given them by men; and that they should trace to a supernatural source claims which nature never has recognized, and which are at war with every principle of society." -Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders in the Several States of Europe - Resulting from the Necessity and Propriety of a General Revolution in the Principle of Government," written between 1792 and 1795 {}
There are in fact, folks who [PRESENT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DISCOMFORT HERE OR IN "Why Not Trade?"? MIGHT INCLUDE STROSSEN'S OBSERVATION ON INTERNET & CHANGE, etc, here.]

Alvin Toffler's old classic "Future Shock" takes a close look at the disruptive dimension of things and was the inspiration for The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) which is a government agency with the goal of slowing technological change. It also spawned a whole new field, "futurism," composed of people trying to professionally anticipate generally what is to come. Business guru Peter Drucker labeled modern business (economic, "extended order") organizations as "destabilizers" [1] in society, essentially because in competitive markets, they must be in the fore-front of innovation and change in order to stay in business. SEE below.       Resistance to modern market-caused destabilizing is generally futile because in a constantly changing memetic reality there is only "dynamic stability" where changes cancel or moderate each other. In phraseology reminiscent of Hindu mythology remember, economist Joseph Schumpeter labeled this process "creative destruction."

But if you do somehow stop adaptive changes, the changes they would cancel or moderate have free reign. Besides, free- market trade is good -- competition forces producers to become more efficient and pass some of their gains on to those they trade with. And, as we pointed out in the previous chapter, "all parties to a trade nearly always gain time and/or money" -- and as Drucker pointed out, for this reason, trade is good for society. So, destabilizing and all, trade and free markets are still better for society than the alternatives. Summary


NOTES:

[1] "Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability and to prevent, or at least to slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destablizer. -Peter F. Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society, (New York: HarperCollins 1993), p. 57 return


Total Contents
In Clips
Summaries
Appendices
L's Articles