The TV show Black Sails got me thinking about a recent article I wrote about governments. An extension and prequel of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, it’s the story of Caribbean pirates in the 1700s based out of freewheeling Nassau, running their operations of trade and pillage.
Of course in the modern day we can only expect it to be infused with a certain amount of the feminist agenda; an unrealistic hard-assed blonde hottie running the trading post and the inevitable (and predictable) lesbian scene to juice up the viewers in the first episode. That aside it provides quite an interesting study in the age old competition between capitalism and socialism driven by cultural Marxism.
On the one hand, the pirates are free. They live and die by their wits and dwell outside the rule of the crown. They establish their own rules, many based on violence, survival of the fittest, and capital punishment. However mob rule is an ever present threat, with captains and their financiers painfully aware of the need to maintain politics and morale.
In episode seven there is an interesting conversation between Captain Flint and his quartermaster. The storyline of the first season revolves around the plot to capture a Spanish treasure galleon, which is returning to Spain without a full escort. Being a democratic and anarchistic operation, the share of the treasure will be divided between the captain, crew and their financiers.
Captain Flint plans to secretly sequester a portion of the treasure, (effectively cutting out the crew from some of their winnings) to finance the development of Nassau, acquire armaments, build forts, and develop the island as an independent territory that the British cannot re-take by force.
His impassioned speech to his quartermaster displays a man, who thinks himself above the rest. The quartermaster most accurately shines a light on Captain Flint’s designs, which amount to a tax on his crew. He’s doing the exact same thing as any king or president. “They’ll just piss it all away,” he declares.
Quartermaster: You’re lying to them
Flint: And if I don’t who will? Everyone is lied to for their own good. Every mother who tells their child it will be alright, every solider who’s told by his commander that courage will see them through, every subject whose told by his…
Quartermaster: His King! – Is that what you are to us now, a sovereign, levying a tax.
Flint: If no one knows, everyone wins.
Quartermaster: Don’t play games with me.
Flint: I’m quite serious – who loses? Absent their worst instincts, their pride, their greed, their suspicion, in the light of pure reason, who says no to this. They will be rich men in a safe place, rather than dead thieves on a long road. I am going to deliver them into something better.
Having the situation portrayed in the confines of a pirate ship allows us to see the folly of what amounts to socialism, and yet Flint may well be correct in stating that the wealth divided up will be squandered. Flint’s plans to build up Nassau and keep the colonial forces out, is similar to what Washington did putting an end to the taxes levied by the British Crown.
However, a couple of centuries later we find an enormous, wasteful, and arrogant socialist state that levies taxes on its subjects often in excess of 50% and is arguably more oppressive than any King. At least in the 1700s you did not carry a smart phone that takes your fingerprints and reports your location.
It seems social necessities of man are inclined to lead automatically into socialism, but at the same time, as “safety” and services are installed “for the benefit of the greater good,” a degeneration occurs and freedoms are lost. People are forced to pay for things (via taxes) they don’t need or want, while the governmental operation becomes increasingly oppressive, money hungry, and wasteful.
You have to wonder whether the human being will ever be able to overcome this hypocrisy. It’s certainly true that the internet has whittled down the power of the few and politicians are desperately clinging onto 19th and 20th century political models that seem set to collapse.
On the other hand if they do give way, the alternatives are outright Mad Max-style warlords (monarchy) or oppressive communist states that have already been tried and failed miserably. The pirate captains are ever aware of the need to avoid mob rule, whilst also preserving the democratic and anarchistic status quo, by lies and dissembling truth if necessary.
Democracy is a messy business because the man in the street lacks the intelligence, knowledge, perspective and will to fully understand complex situations. Politicians break down social goals into meaningless anecdotes and outright lies:
“You’ll be fine”
“For the greater good”
“Change you can believe in”
They do this to get a resolution and a group mandate enabling their agenda, at the same time as keeping them in power (massaging their pride and wallet). Perhaps the hypocrisy lies in having a single human in this role at all. As our computers become increasingly advanced could we not build a future free from leaders and pontiffs?
Government is just a business
The services on offer: roads, schools, utilities, healthcare, law courts, judges, police, prisons, military – essentially amount to little more than business opportunities that could be run by private enterprise. The reason government controls these things is a bi-product from the medieval monarchy who were the only ones wealthy and powerful enough to maintain them.
Rather than role back the reach of the ruler (as originally promised), the politician is a managerial gangster intent on monopolizing these services. To make matters worse, most of them are talentless lawyers with zero real life practical or economic experience who are content to rule by decree while implementing mindless academic theory.
Government has zero performance incentive or profit motive
Take a product like Jack Daniels or Kellogg’s, famous iconic brand names that exist precisely because the producer put his name to them and used to literally sign each packet to ensure its authenticity to the consumer. The United Kingdom or The United States are (were) held in high esteem in large part because their “brand name” represented equitable and well-enforced property rights and a balanced rule of law.
A proactive and prudent private police force would be well-renowned, a good law court that provided balanced justice held in high esteem – poor ones, soon out of business. Prisons would provide real correction and education whilst profiting from the spoils of the offenders. Local areas could very easily govern themselves and chose their own service providers, just as we do today with telecoms, utilities, etc.
Where our old fashioned governments build ever larger institutions to consolidate their mafia style stranglehold on power, what is actually needed is smaller and smaller units that rely on service providers and their reputation.
The only leader we need today is one who tells us his job is obsolete
If you take the red pill in regards to government, what you will see is that the internet has given us the ability to govern ourselves, maintaining well organized, regulated, and cost-efficient services. Those Facebook likes will soon tell us which law court is fair and which is corrupt. Twitter gives an immediate feedback on any event or problem; add in some complex algorithms that analyze the data, computers can be absolutely politically impartial.
Forums such as those on ROK give everyone a voice and allow dissemination and discussion. At the high level, democracy is a joke, but on a lower level every aspect can be cross examined and voted upon in real time, every user ranked by algos. Thus, what you suddenly have is instant democracy and a free and fair neural network where the intelligence and input of everyone is combined openly and justly. Political direction can literally be assigned in realtime like a computer game.
People get terribly scared when you talk about anarchy, but networked anarchy where every little bit of information counts is something only attainable in the last decade. Communism is dead, socialism is desperate and dying, we cannot go backward to monarchy. The most intelligent future is one where everything and everyone counts.
If you disagree, then tell me why I must report my income to government via forms so heinously complex I must pay some “expert” to complete them. Why must I prepare and store records going back a decade at my own expense, that can be audited and declared incorrect with fines and new charges levied at gunpoint if necessary?
I have no objection to paying for services I use, send me an invoice, let me understand the exact cost structures (cough …. 100 x $100M jet planes). If the services are communal I want to see a breakdown to two decimal places and understand the contributions of other users.
This is so easily achieved with modern computing, and yet we still find ourselves muted and subjected to the 18th century protection racket of the crown. It’s time this came to an end. It will come to an end, but the only question is how belligerent the current leaders will be in stepping aside and how much damage will be done to society in removing the cancer of government.
Governments claim that without their stewardship, corporations and rich will create monopolies, but just as the British encouraged pirates (privateers) to raid Spanish ships, it’s the government that encourages corporations to monopolize the marketplace, so it is more easily controlled and any competition is undermined.
There is a better way offered by free and open communication combined with computing power that can literally account for every fine detail and every individual. The threat is not ISIS or some random terrorist—as ever, the “threat” is government monopolies verses the free thinking man. I raise my banner, and I hope others will too.
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