The problem of the state.

Thursday, 18 June, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

First, let's get some conceptual hurdles out of the way.

Violence is an absolute practical imperative of life on Earth (and, once we find life somewhere else - there too). It is more fundamental to life than breathing, conceptuallyi as well as practicallyii.

The State, in all its splendid, superb glory is merely a named group. That's all, the long and the short of it is that we call some random collection of objects "a state" exactly like we call any random collection of any other objects anything else we might be calling it : arbitrarily.iii

For reasons having to do more with Kink High than any rational process, it is currently agreed upon by the unthinking mass of some people some places that it is upon this particular empty name to provide things to them. Previously the same people more or less in the same places (mostly less) had a different name and the same expectations. It is possible this predictable, repeating structure of damaged thought is indicative of a failing in their genetics, but let us not jump to conclusionsiv.

That out of the way, let us proceed.

  1. It is an incontrovertible fact that violence is extremely expensive a behaviour. The principal avenue through which it is expensive is that you don't want to piss off the wrong people, and there is no cheap way to distinguish them from the general population. The secondary, and comparatively unimportant, avenue is the "emotional cost" involved, which is to say that millions of years of evolution have baked into the hominid brain a good approximation of the cost of violence and so therefore it is loath to indulge.
  2. It is an incontrovertible fact that any expensive requirement will divide every population in two categories : the haves, and the have-nots.
  3. Without exception either known or possible, the practical implementation of the unhaving by the have-nots will be two fold : on one hand, a denial of reality (that the requirement is not really required ; that they do not come short to satisfying it ; that if either the foregoing were true no one could tell the difference and so on, ever further down the meta drain) and on the other hand a furious scramble to either resolve or obfuscate the matter (the two aren't in any sense distinct).
  4. The particularities of the meta drain could be well described, but I have not the patience here. Suffice it to say that at some point, taboo behaviours enters into the picture. This is an elaborate humanoid behavioural structure that has been reasonably discussed in extant anthropological literature and so we shan't revisit - suffice it to say they exist to render the distinction between they who can pass the tests of life and they who can not moot by preventing it ever being socially observedv.

  5. Even further down that drain, insurance behaviours enter into the picture. This is really the source of all religious behaviour - the homeostasis needs of the brain are provided for by the brain through the creation of a supernatural structure that "insures" the body against the test. This is precisely where the state comes in.
  6. It is a mistaken proposition that the state is evil. The state is not evil, the state is merely caught in the very unenviable position where it is on one hand drastically inept, and on the other hand "it has been decided" that it is upon it to provide the impossible, cheaply and
  7. The taboo ("you shall not kill, at all, for it is too expensive to kill the right people and we deem it unfair that they who know how to make this distinction be the masters of the rest of us - also if you want to eat the delicious cookies your mother made in school you best bring one for each other kid because they drool.") intermingles with the delusional insurance to create "the monopoly on violence". As far as the broken "logic" goes, "all is well" >because> "violence no longer exists" >because> "the state alone may employ violence".
  8. This arrangement has very unfortunate consequences. On one branch, the state is even worse equipped than individuals to ascertain whom to kill. Consequently, it is an absolute given that the collapse of any state is merely a question of time - statistically speaking it certainly will fuck with the wrong guy and get wiped sooner or later. On the other branch, as explained other places, the "monopoly on violence" immediately reduces to an actual monopoly on property.
  9. The monopoly on property branch further splits into three separate horrors : firstly, that once it's in charge of all property, the state now has to handle the allocation problem, and it is even less equipped to do this than it was to handle violence. Secondly, that once it is in charge of property it immediately ends up in charge of money issuance, which is an even worse conundrum for very complex reasons we won't discuss here.vii Finally, and not even related to all of this, the state being a group has the fundamental communication problem of all groups (perhaps more familiar in its IT-related forms, "adding manpower to a late project makes it later" etc).

So then, that is the problem of the state : it met you. Recall that line where Dominique Swain tells Jeremy Irons "I was a daisy fresh girl and look what you've done to me" ? Myeah. That's what happened here, quite exactly.

There was once a daisy fresh state, brimming with possibility, heavy with the mysterious promise of future whispering in its hair. And then...

Then it met you.

Slothful, inadequate, broken, wrong, ugly... you.

And then... then you forced her.

You forced her to do things. Miserable, sordid things, the sort of things it would have never done on her own, but did nevertheless. Because of you, and because it didn't know any better. You "just want email to fucking work" but while pointedly "not giving a flying fuck about the political bone you have to pick". Food without violence, you wanted, and... she provided.

An alternative virtual reality cast upon actual reality, wherein somehow magically your inadequacies have no effect, and as broken as you may be you still count as much as the whole thing. A magical, enchanted place where you don't have to fix anything because you're perfect the way you are, an imaginary, delusional hell in which form and function be separate, and agency from activity and so on and so forth.

Now it's come to where I'm going to kill her for it. She knows this. And she is going to die, if I'm to wager a guess, like all animals ever die : dignifiedly, quietly, by herself.

And you will be left behind.

Slothful, inadequate, broken, wrong, ugly you. With less to hide behind. With even less an intention to fix yourself than you ever had before.

And nobody is ever going to be bothered to try and kill you.

  1. Breathing is merely a behaviour. Respiration can be implemented otherwise in living things - many bugs don't breathe per se but merely ventilate or diffuse naturally through tubule systems.

    It can be argued that violence and respiration (ie, gas exchange) are about on the same level, but I suspect even this is wrong, as it is conceivable some way to satisfy thermodynamics IInd and IIIrd laws may be found that however inconveniently nevertheless eschews gas exchange, whereas life without violence is plainly inconceivable. []

  2. This point is very difficult to ascertain, for reasons that should become apparent from the following conversation on #eulora :

    jurov trained tinkering and building by 10 and 20%, nothing changed
    diana_coman well, it doesn't, lol
    diana_coman it's too little to see a difference (at least from what I noticed)
    jurov what are these effects you wrote above?
    diana_coman lately I got about 1 point in quality of items for 1 level up in tinkering
    diana_coman I suspect this is also not linear
    mircea_popescu i will say that the rng assays for the game are usually conducted in 1 trn trials sets.

    diana_coman and based on how well you are in comparison with the others
    mircea_popescu which means that the model contains events as likely.
    jurov lol so 1 in 1e12 small claims will make it? :DDDD
    diana_coman ahahaha
    mircea_popescu lol
    mircea_popescu nah, just "for a set of all behaviours possible being manifested one needs very many tries"
    mircea_popescu makes it a bitch to test.

    The owner of reality is not bound by the same computational constraints that bind the mere owner of a reconstructed, virtual reality. Consequently, it's even worse of a bitch to test.

    Human brains on the other hand are not tools evolved, designed or intended to be used at the task of rational thinking. They are tools evolved and perhaps "intended" inasmuch as that's meaningful in context for the task of maintaining homeostasis. Strictly, strictly that. Part of homeostasis is what's known as "emotional well being" by the plebs, which is to say, the general feeling that everything's okay. Consequently, human brains will readily discount the very fine structure of reality to make way instead for a palatable narrative - which is why things like Taleb's books are so sorely needed and so drastically ignored. It makes for an amusing sort of perpetuum mobile, they keep popping up cyclically ever since forever, and they always are the most important thing happening culturally at that juncture, and they always fail to make a splash and go away. Rinse an' repeat!

    Consequently, sums that actually sum to zero will be interpreted to sum to infinity by "the consensus" of "the community", and all sorts of things will be "obviously bad" and so on and so forth. It matters, in some contexts. It's nevertheless rank nonsense overall. []

  3. A nation is perhaps different, but you likely do not wish to go there on account of the practical consideration that well, it didn't end well last people tried this angle. Or perhaps on account of the more theoretical consideration that you really have no fucking idea what words even mean and so are sorely unequipped to explore alternatives in your mind. []
  4. You ever check out the bevy of "black supremacy" porn offerings out there btw ? Whole lotta

    Europe is being conquered as we speak, the white women allow their bellies to swell by the dominant black seed. The white men are ignored and powerless to stop it. Some of them try, all of them fail. White women are betraying their heritage and surrendering to their superiors.


  5. Which usually reduces to "being publicly discussed". []
  6. This, incidentally, is the described criminal personality in multiple personality disorder : that guy is always "the killer" who is in charge of "protecting" the group of blathering idiots, while sorely unequipped to do so (absolutely never the most intelligent of the bunch). []
  7. But I will point out that even the state itself dimly understands this much, hence why all the pretense to try and make the FED be a private institution etc. It's a sane if doomed attempt to retain function in the face of overwhelming demands. []
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2 Responses

  1. > ...and there is no cheap way to distinguish them from the general population.

    This in fact is the principal objective of the whole statal electro-panopticon thing. (And after the 'distinguish' part presumably comes the 'fit GPS/electroshock/bomb collars' part.)

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 18 June 2015

    Perhaps it is the objective, sort-of in the diffuse way fenotypical adaptation carries "intent".

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