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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
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[I posted this a few days ago, but it seemed mostly to get stuck in 
cyberspace. My apologies to those who have seen it already.]

COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY
Volume 1, Number 1
1996 January 1
Frank Forman, editor
forman@netcom.com

Welcome to a new e-zine! This first issue is
made up of an essay by myself. Future issues
will report on the county sovereignty movement
in the American West, where sheriffs have been
telling federal officials to stay out unless
they have permission. Counties have also been
asserting ownership of land controlled by the
federal government.

This issue is being posted to a number of UseNet
groups, e-mail lists, and individuals. All of us
are interested in politics and the future, so I
have hit quite a number of lists to get as wide
a variety of responses as possible. These
include not only overtly political groups, but
those made up of philosophers, futurists,
lawyers, and students of culture.

If you are reading this from one of the UseNet
groups, when you reply, please tell us what
group you are posting from. Should you choose to
trim the list of groups, please leave in
alt.philosophy.objectivism, since that is the
one I read most regularly.

There is nothing in philosophy or political
theory that says governments have to be of any
specific size. They only say what governments
*should* do, not how big they ought to be. And I
am going to refrain from telling the world what
I, personally, want it to be like.

I have been receiving several documents and
newspaper articles relating to these
developments and will be reposting several of
them in future issues. I encourage your e-
mailing them to me. But we do have to take care
not to violate copyrights. I will be writing to
various newspapers and ask for permission to
repost. I think I will get a number of such
permissions, since reposting will help give
publicity and gain subscriptions for small
county-wide papers. And I encourage everyone to
send these papers information you have. Of
course, the news covered in any newspaper
article is not itself copyrightable, but I would
prefer to just repost, since it saves me work
and the way the reporter covered his subject is
itself newsworthy. We should do what we can to
make the locals everywhere know what is going on
in other localities.

In the future, I will compile a list of
resources on this topic. In the meantime, I hope
this first issue provokes rethinking.


WHY GOVERNMENTS WILL DEVOLVE
by Frank Forman
1996 January 1

I predict a great devolution of political
authority in the United States during the next
few decades. We tend to overestimate change in
the short run--so I won't say much about the
next decade--but we underpredict in the long
run: Herman Kahn, the leading futurologist of
his day got many things right, but he failed to
predict in 1970 for the year 2000 the rise of
the personal computer, the collapse of
communism, the spread of cynicism about
government, or--he weighed more than 300 pounds-
-the fitness revolution.

I don't make my prediction of devolution on the
basis of what I, personally, would like things
to be like. Rather, I base it on the rapidly
declining cost of information. This major change
in technology will result in the devolution of
political authority, no matter who wants it or
not.

Devolution could go down all the way to the
county level. I will discuss the County
Sovereignty ideal at the end of this article.

A. WHY THERE ARE BUREAUCRACIES

First, a question: Why don't engineers run
General Motors? They have the greatest knowledge
of cars, not the accountants and lawyers, who
with all the other bureaucrats, add nothing but
congestion and delay. Or so it would seem.
Indeed, the first automobile manufacturers were
engineers, mechanics, tinkerers.

If engineers were to decide what kinds of cars
would be made today, we would have absolutely
first-rate cars, wonderfully designed, but they
would be extremely expensive and would not
appeal to ordinary buyers. General Motors would
go broke. In the early days of cars, this
natural bias of engineers did not matter. Only
the well-to-do bought cars, and the early
tinkerers would make only a few specimens and
probably would know most of the buyers
personally. Their engineering problems were to
get the car moving, not to make fancy
refinements. One early designer discovered that
his car worked just fine out in the country but
that it came to a halt in the city. The reason
was that country roads were very rough and shook
up the gasoline so as to mix it with air, making
for a very primitive carburetor. On smoother
roads in cities, there was too much gasoline in
the mix; so the car stopped. Mechanics did
manage to solve this particular problem, but
without knowing why. The principles of
carburetion were yet to come.

In the car business today, no one down the line
can know more than a piece of the total picture.
Besides engineers, there have to be marketing
specialists (to know whether a design change
will sell), buyers (to scout for the cheapest
sources of supply), accountants (to keep track
of costs and profits, which can be quite a
tricky job), lawyers (as much to counteract
other lawyers as anything else), lobbyists (no
need to explain this), and a good many other
types of specialists as well.

None of these divisions of the automobile
company can get the whole picture. What they do
is forward their own insights to management,
which then decides what to do and issues
directions back down.

So far, so good, and a generally satisfying
answer to why a hierarchical structure exists in
large organizations. Bureaucracies exist because
information is limited. The *depth* of the
bureaucracy depends on the industry in question,
how mature it is, and what the cost of
information is. Change any factor in the
equation and you change the result.

What Herman Kahn, and practically everybody
else, did not predict was that information was
going to get much, much cheaper. Today,
engineers do not have to make blueprints
(remember those?), send them up the chain of
command, get their message distorted at every
link in the chain, and wait for management to
make a decision they may well think is ill-
advised. Or at least not nearly so much as in
the past. Today, engineers can get the
accountants' spread sheets on their own computer
screens and get other information from the
marketing department, the legal department, and
what not. And the accountants can look at not
just a handful of awkward blueprints but a
complex array of handsome graphics.

Management is still necessary, but there will be
much less of it, as well as much more crosstalk
among the separate departments. This is all
because of the declining cost of information.
Corporations around the world are "delayering"
by thinning out ranks of middle managers. Not
only are payroll costs saved, but often the
total output, even though from a reduced staff,
increases.

Of course, those in middle-management positions
do not want their jobs eliminated, and they no
doubt convince themselves that the difference
between their in-boxes and their out-boxes
contributes to the overall profitability of
their companies. But they are increasingly
unsuccessful convincing their superiors of this.
Even if they are successful, businesses that
carry an excess burden of middle managers suffer
losses and shrink in size. Leaner organizations
grow, with the result that more and more
organizations are lean. This process, like many
others, works even if no one consciously
appreciates what is going on. It is an example
of what the great economist, Adam Smith, called
the Invisible Hand in _The Wealth of Nations_ in
1776.

This profit-and-loss mechanism does not work
perfectly, and dinosaur companies can linger on
for an awfully long time. But it works faster
than political processes, which are constrained
by elections, not profits, since governments
have the ability to tax. But so long as there is
*some* feedback from the governed to the
governors, there will be some brakes upon the
expansion of middle managers and bureaucrats.
The governed will perceive too many managers and
not enough output and, in a system that allows
for elections, will vote in politicians who will
reduce unnecessary layers of bureaucrats. As
businesses downsize, the perception of too many
bureaucrats will become all the more real.
Voters will demand a reduction of bureaucracy.

B. THE FEDERAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT

The system of governance in the United States is
a federal one, with certain functions assigned
to the top level (called somewhat confusingly
"federal" itself), others to states, counties,
and towns, and still others to school districts
and other bodies that deal with specific issues
such as sewage disposal. All in all, there are
about two thousand counties in the U.S., some
16,000 school districts, and I don't know how
many other local governing bodies. Most of the
world's nations do not have a federal form of
government; rather, they have local
administration of national laws. In other
countries, the ultimate authority resides at the
top level, and local elections are held to
decide who is to administer the law, much more
than to make the law.

The information revolution implies a delayering
of government bureaucracy as well as corporate
bureaucracy (or so I have been arguing), which
is what Vice President Algore has been
attempting, with very little success, with his
program to "Reinvent Government." What can also
be done is to move decisions about what
activities to carry out away from the central
government to the states and localities. This is
what is called devolution. Businesses also can
devolve, which is what franchising is often
about, esp. when a local franchise operation
makes most of the decisions about what to
market, subject only to general standards set by
corporate headquarters. Indeed, franchising has
been a growth industry for some decades, while
the general trend of government in this country
has been to centralize. [I shall prepare tables
showing federal vs. state and local financing of
various forms of government activity, now and in
the past, for later versions of this essay.
Federal spending is 62 percent of total
government spending. I am not sure whether this
figure includes grants from the federal
government to states and localities.]

A crucial difference between government and
business, however, is the ability of governments
to monopolize their products and to tax. These
powers can be viewed as wholly coercive or as
resting on the consent of the governed or as any
mixture in between. Brute force alone is rarely
effective in securing obedience, which is why
governments have always promoted ideologies
(which are, in many respects, updated versions
of religions) that gain them a large measure of
consent. Before the nature of capitalism was
understood, there was no other way known to
organize large-scale public works projects (like
irrigation), and to this day national defense is
almost universally regarded as a necessary
central government activity. We should pause
before condemning our forebears, who may very
well have done the best they could, given their
understanding of how things work. Nevertheless,
governments could and did go beyond providing
protection and public works and became
exploitative. Justificatory ideologies became
all the more important. But there are limits on
the power of ideologies, as well as on that of
brute force, and this means that there is a
feedback from the governed to the governors.
Revolution was one primary means of reform, just
plain disobedience another.

Today we hold elections and we Americans have
one of the highest rates of tax compliance in
the world. I would say that our general level of
consent is fairly high, by historical standards,
despite all the complaining. It would seem that
there are *no* conservatives (those who want to
preserve the status quo), *except* our elected
representatives, who want to change things at
most 5-10 percent! This should perhaps not be
surprising, since democratic government is
*supposed* to result in a compromise between
those who want more and those who want less. If
the man in the middle (the "median voter") is
made happy, then the aggregate unhappiness of
all the voters is minimized. But only very few
voters will be close to the exact center,
meaning that only very few will be
conservatives, in the sense of wanting to
conserve the status quo.

All this said, no institution, not even
democracy, works exactly as it is supposed to.
It is not the man in the middle of the whole
electorate that is satisfied but rather the
middle of all the organized pressure groups.
What can be done to alleviate this problem is to
redesign the institution, by way of amending the
constitution or enforcing certain provisions
that have been allowed to elapse. What can also
be done is for inactive members of the
electorate to become active, sometimes by
voting, other times by forming new pressure
groups.

C. TECHNOLOGY AND PRESSURE GROUPS

Here are my general opinions on how changes in
technology have gotten us into a situation where
the man in the middle is far from the middle of
the pressure groups, and how newer technology is
getting us out. I have, no one has, exact
statistics on these subjects, but hear me out
anyhow.

Our Constitution of 1789 was designed by the
existing state legislatures to both grant the
federal government certain powers and to
prohibit it from having others. (There are a few
things prohibited to the states also.)
Specifically, legislation was made difficult to
enact: majorities of two houses of Congress,
elected by very different principles (by popular
vote in the case of a House with members
apportioned by population, but by the state
legislatures in the case of a Senate with two
members from each state), were required, as well
as the President's signature (the lack of which
could be overridden by two-thirds majorities in
each house). This is *not* simple (direct)
democracy, which would require fifty percent
approval only of one house (the one elected
directly by voters, and no funny business of
having electoral districts of unequal
population). Furthermore, simple democracy would
be unlimited as to the *scope* of government,
unlike the Constitution of 1789, which granted
only eighteen specific powers. And this is just
as well, for simple democracy would allow for
coalition building, with the result that
minorities get what they want out of the
political process by means of logrolling with
one another. Raising the requirement for making
laws *above* fifty percent (or by requiring
simple majorities in two houses of the
legislature) would redress the imbalance and, if
done properly, result in an approximation to a
theoretical democracy *without* the pressure
groups and logrolling. (That there are certain
inalienable rights, meaning ones that cannot be
alienated--handed over--to any government, is
the subject of the *scope* of government.)

Now, looking back, we may very well think that
our Founding Fathers did a remarkably good job
in designing a government that would foster
legislation useful to the populace yet constrain
legislation that rewarded only what they called
"factions" and what we today call pressure
groups or special interest groups. Of course, at
the time, quite a number of men (known as the
Anti-Federalists) thought the proposed
Constitution gave far too many powers to the
central government, and it turns out that only
six signers of the Declaration of Independence
would consent to sign the Constitution. But even
supposing that the Constitution of 1789 was
ideal for its day, the technology of forming
pressure groups has changed, and in the
direction of making it cheaper to form them.
This is because communication of all sorts has
gotten cheaper. The result has been as if only
one-third (just an estimate) of each house in
Congress were required in earlier times to enact
legislation.

Communication also got monopolized to a fairly
large extent. This has promoted the propagation
of ideology, which, like religions did in
earlier civilizations, increases the sense of
consensus for the political powers that be. In
particular, the number of radio and teevee
stations is sharply limited by the Federal
Communications Commission, and that other
conduit of ideology, education, is mostly in the
hands of government and its legitimizers. This
ideology is sometimes referred to as liberalism,
other times as secular humanism, but may best be
characterized as top-down management, whether in
corporate or federal government bureaucracies.
By contrast, the "right wing" in this country,
made up of low-taxers, isolationists, Christian
fundamentalists, libertarians, inegalitarians,
etc., has little in common except a general
dislike of what _The Managerial Revolution_ (to
cite the title of James Burnham's profound 1941
book) has brought about.

However, as the costs of communication have
dropped even further, this dominant ideology of
liberal managerialism no longer has the hegemony
it once did. The breakdown began with teevee
evangelists, mass mailings of "right-wing"
political candidates, and Citizens' Band radio
and continued with talk radio, which has a
right-left ratio of about three to one. The most
recent innovation, the UseNet discussion groups,
is about ten to one. The dangers of free
discussion have gotten to the point where the
new neo-conservative magazine, _The Weekly
Standard_, had its cover story on its fourth
issue, "SMASH THE INTERNET!" (The cover story a
few issues later was a slam at devolution and
picked Alexandria, VA, as a supposedly typical
city government, as though a government located
in the heart of the Washington, D.C., area could
possibly be typical. Neo-conservatives differ
>from  liberals, not in desiring less central
control, but in the purposes to which they want
to put it, namely more in the direction of the
warfare state than the welfare state. They
differ also in the sorts of virtues they would
like to impose from the top.)

D. THE COLLAPSE OF THE MANAGERIAL IDEOLOGY

What talk radio and the Internet have done is
haul up the ideology of central management for
critical questioning and thereby reduce its
legitimacy. They have also publicized the
failures of the managed society. It is a
recurrent theme in history that what begins as
what Carroll Quigley (in _The Evolution of
Civilizations_ (1961)) calls an "instrument" for
expansion that benefits everyone often turns
into an "institution" that leaves the original
purpose behind. Quigley cites football as an
excellent example: what started out as a way to
get undergraduates to exercise has wound up with
those in least need of exercise out on the
field, and those in greatest need sitting in the
bleachers.

At its worst, overextension of an institution
serves only an elite group of exploiters. This
can happen even when the underlying technology
remains the same. Indeed, it is the thesis of
Joseph A. Tainter's _The Collapse of Complex
Societies_ (1988) that further and further
extension of a polity into more and more
marginal areas eventually leads to a collapse of
its authority. What we have today is 1)
overextension of the top-down managerial ethic,
2) publicity about the failures of that
overextension through ever cheaper ways of
communicating that failure, 3) an underlying
change in technology that implies that, even
without overextension, the optimal amount of
centralization of both businesses and
governments is far less than what would have
been optimal in the past, and 4) a general
delegitimizing of some aspects of the ideology
that has gone to justify the central state. This
last factor requires some amplification.

There were actually two, somewhat conflicting,
pre-managerial capitalist ethics in this
country. One was the ethics of frugality as
espoused by Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard. It
advocated steady, patient application of effort
and prudent saving. This ethic was indeed
functional at a time when farming was the
predominant occupation. Later in the heyday of
the "robber barons," a far more risk-taking,
entrepreneurial ethic replaced it. Both ethics,
however, emphasized such virtues as honesty and
hard work.

The ethic that came with managerial capitalism
reversed the trend toward risk-taking. The motto
in a bureaucracy is follow the rules, cover your
ass, don't take risks, don't be too independent.
Indeed, this ethic (if not exaggerated) is
functional for success in large organizations.
(Tomorrow's ethic will revert to emphasizing
risk taking, since creativity in flattened
organizations will be in demand and jobs will
not be nearly so secure.)

What went along with the managed society, esp.
in government, was the general feeling that
everything could ultimately be brought under
management. This gave rise to central planning,
if not in its full-blown form of socialism, at
least in the idea of Keynesian macro-economic
management of the business cycle and the
reduction of unemployment under the general
rubric of "fine tuning" the economy. But what
also came along was the whole environmentalist
ideology that differences in people's fortunes
were due to differences in their upbringing,
which differences could be solved through better
schools and home environments, all of which
would need to be planned.

Those who resisted such planning were branded as
authoritarian and even antisemitic, esp. in the
famous study by Theodore Adorno, et alia, _The
Authoritarian Personality_ (1950). Those
resisting suffered from psychological disorders,
which could be cured by what has come to be
known as the "therapeutic state."

[There is one aspect of the whole managerial
mindset that I have never been able to fit into
any general picture. This is why the current and
doomed elite emphasizes short-term gratification
and hedonism as opposed to the traditional ethic
of hard work. Certainly, businessmen would like
to sell their products and might indeed want to
foster short-run consumerism, but they also need
diligent employees. Politicians also should be
favoring cultivation of the virtues that make
for economic expansion. As far as I can tell,
what happened was that the rising managerial
elite simply wanted to undermine and weaken
*everything* in the old order of entrepreneurial
capitalism and wound up attacking too much.]

Education, another thing that could be managed,
was seen, even before mass psychiatry, as a key
part of the managerial society. That mental
problems have chemical or biological roots was
heretical until miracle drugs forced the issue.
And today the notion that some individual school
children are just dumb for genetic reasons is
still nearly taboo, while the notion that some
groups might have differences in average
potential is completely taboo. As for bad
students being themselves to blame for not
applying themselves to their lessons, this is
only partly recognized in elite discourse, the
partial recognition coming from the prospect of
having credentialed psychiatric social workers
take over from families and manipulate the
poorly performing children according to their
expert lights, with accompanying employment
offers to planners of all sorts. For some
decades now, only half of the staff in the
public schools are actually classroom teachers,
while in colleges and universities, professors
make up only one-third of the staff.

E. PROSPECTS

I seem to have gotten into the complaining mode,
while I started out just arguing the general
case that the rapidly declining cost of
information warrants devolution of government.
This would be the case, even if there were
nothing to complain about in the way of
overextension of the scope of government and
runaway bureaucracy. It is just that, where
there is such overextension, if the information
costs of raising a ruckus are low enough, the
ruckus will be raised. This is exactly what we
are seeing.

Back to the beginning, which was about
predicting the future regards devolution of
government. As I said, we overestimate short-run
change and underestimate long-run change. So we
should not expect a *sudden* devolution of
government. But pressures can build up so that a
major change long in the making does happen
suddenly. The collapse of communism is the
handiest example. A sudden new technology can
work sudden results, also. The prospect of
cyber-cash, where transactions can be made
outside the all-seeing eye of the tax collector,
could well mean the end of the federal
government. I noted earlier that tax collection
is comparatively high in the United States, but
I am not sure how much this is a matter of the
taxpayers feeling that the federal government is
worthy of their support and how much it is due
to the efficiency of the Internal Revenue
Service. Economists have tried a number of ways
to estimate the size of the underground economy,
and their methods converge to about ten percent
of GDP (lower than in many other countries).
Payments for personal services can be paid in
cash, and so can payments for goods at small
businesses (including those for drugs), though
there are certain risks of IRS spying. But
larger transactions generally either go through
banks or else you *want* the transaction to go
through a bank (or otherwise be recorded), so
you can write them off your taxes.

If banks go underground, as has been the case
with the Tong gangs in Chinatown in New York
City, then the IRS is in big trouble. But *you*
are in trouble if the bank absconds with your
money! (The Tong gangs have their ways of
dealing with such things.) How things will work
out in the balance, and whether the Feds will
set up draconian regulations and even a police
state to get their money, cannot be predicted.
This did not stop the cyber guru John Perry
Barlow from saying that paying taxes would be
involuntary within six months. (He made this
statement about five months ago.) But there is a
distinct possibility of a quite sudden collapse,
not the collapses that took place over one to
five *hundred* years in the civilizations whose
collapse Joseph Tainter described.

There *was* the possibility of the new
Republican majorities in both houses of Congress
starting a revolution during the First Hundred
Days that would steamroller on and on. This did
not happen, and we shall have to wait for the
Congressional elections in the Fall to see
whether the newest batch of freshmen is more
radical than the current one. Then the
steamroller might resume.

All this depends on the assumption that elite
opinion is wildly out of synch with popular
opinion. This was certainly the case in the ex-
communist countries, and this allowed for a
sudden catching up to take place. No such
presumption of a gap of this magnitude can be
made for this country, however much it may
appear to be the case among the most vocal
complainers. The reason is that almost everybody
has bought into the egalitarian ideology that
legitimizes the managerial society. True enough,
top-down management is no longer seen by a
majority as a solution to problems, but most of
the current programs at the federal, and even
the state, level will continue as long as they
ostensibly support egalitarian and
redistributivist ideals that almost everyone
accepts in some degree or another. In fact, as
Gordon Tullock argued in _The Economics of
Income Redistribution_ (1983), only about five
percent of government spending in fact goes to
take money from the rich and give it to the
poor, the *same* percentage as a hundred years
ago. There is more total redistribution, but
only because government is larger. Most of the
redistribution, such as Social Security, goes to
groups whose merit is an ability to get
organized, not to groups whose merit is being
poor.

More importantly, no one is eager to go first
when it comes to reforming government, and many
of those on the receiving end fear that the
states would not give them as much as they are
getting from the federal government. The reason
for this fear is that taxpayers would move from
high to low taxing states, while taxeaters would
move from low-paying to high-paying states. This
process used to be somewhat dampened, for states
could impose a residency requirement on welfare
recipients until the Supreme Court made it
illegal about twenty years ago. Actually, net
transfer from the federal governments to the
states is extremely slight. That elite opinion
can talk about a "race to the bottom" as states
would scramble to lower transfers to the poor
shows how entrenched managerial/egalitarian
ideology is. The implication is that the amount
of transferring done by the state that does the
most transferring is doing the *correct* amount,
not the state that does the least.

Back to predictions: I predict that, well within
the next fifty years, egalitarian and managerial
ideologies will have largely crumbled. But,
given that taxeaters have the vote, I do not
predict that the transfer functions of the
federal government will have disappeared, but
simply greatly reduced in scope. What I can say-
-no one I have discussed this with disagrees
with me--is that if Washington, D.C., were nuked
and did not get up and going within six months,
people would have gotten so used to doing things
without central permission that the federal
government would not get reconstituted. But
barring this, or a cyber-cash revolution, a good
deal of federal activity will continue. Not all
of this is bad by any means, and my test is
whether the activity would have arisen again
>from  the bottom under a system of county
sovereignty. I do not predict that county
sovereignty will become a fact, but I would not
be surprised to see it espoused as an ideal, now
shared by only a small minority that employs a
construction of the Articles of Confederation,
which they regard as the true binding and
operative document in our country. I close with
a statement of the county sovereignty ideal.

F. COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY

Counties, often described as no larger than a
horse-and-buggy's day drive from the county
seat, will be the basic unit of sovereign
government. Counties can pass pretty much any
laws they choose, with respect to the
establishment of religion or public education,
the level of taxes, the activities regarded as
crimes, the regulations governing occupations,
pollution, and marriages, the sorts of public
libraries and parks to be provided by the
taxpayers, immigration policies, etc. The
counties can, and often should, pass their
authority down to still lower levels of
jurisdiction (towns, school districts, etc.),
but these lower units will not be sovereign.

Counties can certainly cooperate with one
another, and of course they will, from such
elementary things as making sure roads connect
at county boundaries and on up to coordinating
contract and tort law. The counties may, and
will, empower governments at the state level to
do these various jobs of coordination, but the
states will not be granted the power to tax. At
the next higher level, states can cooperate with
each other and empower a federal government, but
it, too will have no power to tax. And nations
can cooperate with one another, too, as they do
through several dozen international bodies, the
United Nations among them. The U.N., contrary to
what many right-wingers assume, does useful
things, such as coordinating air traffic
throughout the world. (Did you know that air
traffic controllers all speak English?) But the
U.N. has no power to tax (neither did the
central government under the Articles of
Confederation) and can only do what the member
nations allow it to do.

I predict that levels of government above that
of the county will continue to do useful things,
even if we were to start all over again:

*Patents and copyrights (here at the national
and even the international level).

*Settling boundary disputes and disputes among
inhabitants of different jurisdictions.

*General collection of statistics and scientific
information (weather maps, even if they might as
well be privatized). I have never seen a study
showing government incompetence in such matters
to be anywhere nearly so great as in other
areas.

*Promulgation of standards of such things as
weights and measures.

*Subsidy of research that benefits people across
jurisdictions and even nations.

*Agreements on how to deal with problems that
extend over large geographic areas, such as
*some* forms of pollution and the depletion of
ocean reserves. But, as Gordon Tullock has
argued in _The New Federalist_ (1994), very few
of what are called "externalities" extend beyond
a county or a neighboring county. No economist,
as far as I know, has ever made a thorough study
of the matter.

*But probably NOT regulating money, which may be
made obsolete even on a John Perry Barlow time
scale by brokerage houses that offer to store
money in a fluctuating mix of national
currencies. (Just because something is obsolete,
I hasten to add, does not mean it will go away.)
I would not be surprised if the banking world
converged on a single, global currency and
suspect the reason why national currencies exist
is so that governments can raise revenues
through that disguised form of taxation known as
inflation.

*But probably NOT much in the way of the
military. It is world trade that brings world
peace, esp. when capitalists of all countries
own property in all other countries. They do not
want their properties seized and will use their
clout to prevent wars. Besides, if the county
were the sovereign entity and some other nation
decided to invade this country (for the first
time since 1812), WHO would he go after? And in
a country where the citizens are already armed
to the teeth, how could it possibly defeat the
militias? Indeed, we could do worse that to give
Russian capitalists pieces of our national parks
instead of feeding the defense contractors.

What *will* happen is that governments at the
county level will furiously compete with one
another and become far more efficient at
providing services. They will also give the
locals far closer to what *they* want than can
be done at higher levels. As to the question of
whether cyber-cash will do in government at even
the county level, the answer is no: property is
still there to be taxed and cannot be whisked
off to cyberspace.

However far devolution goes, county sovereignty
should become an ideal or benchmark against
which to compare reality.




From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan  7 19:13:43 PST 1996
Article: 10344 of alt.politics.nationalism.white
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.revolution.counter,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!news.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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Berman James Watts (bjw@america.net) wrote:
:  Actually experiments in "Devolution" were carried out. Recall that the 
: initial US government was a confedearcy that was so bad that a  consitutionally 
: based federal system had to be adopted within years.
:  As for attempts to modiy government by secession,  the examples of the 
: Dnorr Rebellion (RI) and the Civil War speak volumes. Practically 
: speaking , only political interests that can field an effective military 
: have any generally enforceable claim of viability.

I thank you for your response, and for that from Kirby Urner, who spoke 
(basicly) of the irrelevancy of national governments in a world of global 
corporations and other forms of association. I would like to use your 
posting in the second issue of _County Sovereignty_, as I have sent this 
list out to e-mail groups as well, which means they won't be seeing your 
answer here.

You are right, of course, that the federal government has the bulk of the 
military power and I rather doubt that, at present, the militias could 
defeat the feds. There was quite a discussion of this on 
misc.activism.militia a few months ago, inconclusive as these debates 
usually are. I base my opinion on the sense that the level of discontent 
in this country is not all that high, esp. since most of us are 
federal taxeaters in one way or another and often imagine that we are 
ripping off those below us more than we are being ripped off from above. 

Things could change, of course, if there were some national "emergency" 
resulting in a crackdown and if that crackdown proved to be so unpoopular 
that there was an armed revolt. We'd still need to find a spirit of 
liberty to defeat the feds.

What I see as far more likely is normal politics at work, perhaps moving as 
fast as the Republican freshmen would like, resulting in a *devolution* of 
authority from the federal level to the states and from the states to the 
counties. "County sovereignty" here would mean more a slogan for an ideal 
than a genuine description of what will happen.

As for Kirby Urner's post, I agree that national boundaries are 
irrelevant for many purposes, but there is a large feeling of patriotism 
in this country, most especially in the county sovereignty *movement* in 
the western states. They want, more than anyting else, to restore the 
country they are so proud of. And they see global corporations are part 
of the New World Order. This charge is true, in so far as the central 
planning mindset is in the heads of those in global corporations, as well 
as it might be expected to be: corporations big enough to be global do 
have lots of folks in them who plan.

My vision has it that successful businesses will be those that 
foster the "intrepreneurial" (entrepreneurs *inside* the firm) mentality 
rather than the top-dowm managerial mentality. David Kearnes, who turned 
around the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s and has written a book about 
his experience, deliberately restructured Xerox so that decisions would 
be moved as far down the chain of command as possible. My prediction is 
that David and those like him will come to dominate businesses in the 
future and will not be pumping out the gloabaloney rhetoric they do now. 
They will look far less kindly toward big, centralized government, since 
they will think less and less think like bureaucrats. We won't see 
phenomena like Robert McNamara, who moved from Ford Motor Company to the 
U.S. Department of "Defense" to the World Bank. I add that this will not 
happen fast enough to satisfy those who use terms like New World Order, 
but I see the trend nevertheless.

I also predict that businesses will take on more and more of the 
functions of government. Xerox (again) sponsors *basic* research in cold 
temperature physics, something usually the function of universities with 
federal grant money. I know this from a friend of mine who had offers 
for both Xerox and some universities. My friend, who didn't accept the 
offer from Xerox, told me that he could not conceive how Xerox could 
possibly benefit financially from the things he was working on. In a real 
way, Xerox was proving a genuine public good.

Another case: in the early years of aviation, Pan American *built* 
airports in many Latin American countries, and they wound up being 
unofficial second U.S. embassies down there. If you got busted for 
patronizing a prostitute, or whatever, you'd call up Pan Am rather than 
the official U.S. embassy. In exchange for this service to U.S. citizens, 
the Civil Aeronautics Board would hold off granting a license to T.W.A. 
or any other carrier to compete on trips to and from the U.S. This kept 
fares quite high--foreign carriers are much less efficient than ours--and 
the conditions of demand were such that this arrangement kept up Pan Am's 
profits. None of this was official policy and was probably not fully 
articulate in the minds of those involved. Still the upshot was a 
business, Pan Am, taking on traditional government responsibilities, 
something I see increasing.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan  7 19:58:28 PST 1996
Article: 25478 of alt.conspiracy
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.revolution.counter,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!news.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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Berman James Watts (bjw@america.net) wrote:
:  Actually experiments in "Devolution" were carried out. Recall that the 
: initial US government was a confedearcy that was so bad that a  consitutionally 
: based federal system had to be adopted within years.
:  As for attempts to modiy government by secession,  the examples of the 
: Dnorr Rebellion (RI) and the Civil War speak volumes. Practically 
: speaking , only political interests that can field an effective military 
: have any generally enforceable claim of viability.

I thank you for your response, and for that from Kirby Urner, who spoke 
(basicly) of the irrelevancy of national governments in a world of global 
corporations and other forms of association. I would like to use your 
posting in the second issue of _County Sovereignty_, as I have sent this 
list out to e-mail groups as well, which means they won't be seeing your 
answer here.

You are right, of course, that the federal government has the bulk of the 
military power and I rather doubt that, at present, the militias could 
defeat the feds. There was quite a discussion of this on 
misc.activism.militia a few months ago, inconclusive as these debates 
usually are. I base my opinion on the sense that the level of discontent 
in this country is not all that high, esp. since most of us are 
federal taxeaters in one way or another and often imagine that we are 
ripping off those below us more than we are being ripped off from above. 

Things could change, of course, if there were some national "emergency" 
resulting in a crackdown and if that crackdown proved to be so unpoopular 
that there was an armed revolt. We'd still need to find a spirit of 
liberty to defeat the feds.

What I see as far more likely is normal politics at work, perhaps moving as 
fast as the Republican freshmen would like, resulting in a *devolution* of 
authority from the federal level to the states and from the states to the 
counties. "County sovereignty" here would mean more a slogan for an ideal 
than a genuine description of what will happen.

As for Kirby Urner's post, I agree that national boundaries are 
irrelevant for many purposes, but there is a large feeling of patriotism 
in this country, most especially in the county sovereignty *movement* in 
the western states. They want, more than anyting else, to restore the 
country they are so proud of. And they see global corporations are part 
of the New World Order. This charge is true, in so far as the central 
planning mindset is in the heads of those in global corporations, as well 
as it might be expected to be: corporations big enough to be global do 
have lots of folks in them who plan.

My vision has it that successful businesses will be those that 
foster the "intrepreneurial" (entrepreneurs *inside* the firm) mentality 
rather than the top-dowm managerial mentality. David Kearnes, who turned 
around the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s and has written a book about 
his experience, deliberately restructured Xerox so that decisions would 
be moved as far down the chain of command as possible. My prediction is 
that David and those like him will come to dominate businesses in the 
future and will not be pumping out the gloabaloney rhetoric they do now. 
They will look far less kindly toward big, centralized government, since 
they will think less and less think like bureaucrats. We won't see 
phenomena like Robert McNamara, who moved from Ford Motor Company to the 
U.S. Department of "Defense" to the World Bank. I add that this will not 
happen fast enough to satisfy those who use terms like New World Order, 
but I see the trend nevertheless.

I also predict that businesses will take on more and more of the 
functions of government. Xerox (again) sponsors *basic* research in cold 
temperature physics, something usually the function of universities with 
federal grant money. I know this from a friend of mine who had offers 
for both Xerox and some universities. My friend, who didn't accept the 
offer from Xerox, told me that he could not conceive how Xerox could 
possibly benefit financially from the things he was working on. In a real 
way, Xerox was proving a genuine public good.

Another case: in the early years of aviation, Pan American *built* 
airports in many Latin American countries, and they wound up being 
unofficial second U.S. embassies down there. If you got busted for 
patronizing a prostitute, or whatever, you'd call up Pan Am rather than 
the official U.S. embassy. In exchange for this service to U.S. citizens, 
the Civil Aeronautics Board would hold off granting a license to T.W.A. 
or any other carrier to compete on trips to and from the U.S. This kept 
fares quite high--foreign carriers are much less efficient than ours--and 
the conditions of demand were such that this arrangement kept up Pan Am's 
profits. None of this was official policy and was probably not fully 
articulate in the minds of those involved. Still the upshot was a 
business, Pan Am, taking on traditional government responsibilities, 
something I see increasing.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan  7 23:30:57 PST 1996
Article: 19437 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.revolution.counter,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!news.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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Berman James Watts (bjw@america.net) wrote:
:  Actually experiments in "Devolution" were carried out. Recall that the 
: initial US government was a confedearcy that was so bad that a  consitutionally 
: based federal system had to be adopted within years.
:  As for attempts to modiy government by secession,  the examples of the 
: Dnorr Rebellion (RI) and the Civil War speak volumes. Practically 
: speaking , only political interests that can field an effective military 
: have any generally enforceable claim of viability.

I thank you for your response, and for that from Kirby Urner, who spoke 
(basicly) of the irrelevancy of national governments in a world of global 
corporations and other forms of association. I would like to use your 
posting in the second issue of _County Sovereignty_, as I have sent this 
list out to e-mail groups as well, which means they won't be seeing your 
answer here.

You are right, of course, that the federal government has the bulk of the 
military power and I rather doubt that, at present, the militias could 
defeat the feds. There was quite a discussion of this on 
misc.activism.militia a few months ago, inconclusive as these debates 
usually are. I base my opinion on the sense that the level of discontent 
in this country is not all that high, esp. since most of us are 
federal taxeaters in one way or another and often imagine that we are 
ripping off those below us more than we are being ripped off from above. 

Things could change, of course, if there were some national "emergency" 
resulting in a crackdown and if that crackdown proved to be so unpoopular 
that there was an armed revolt. We'd still need to find a spirit of 
liberty to defeat the feds.

What I see as far more likely is normal politics at work, perhaps moving as 
fast as the Republican freshmen would like, resulting in a *devolution* of 
authority from the federal level to the states and from the states to the 
counties. "County sovereignty" here would mean more a slogan for an ideal 
than a genuine description of what will happen.

As for Kirby Urner's post, I agree that national boundaries are 
irrelevant for many purposes, but there is a large feeling of patriotism 
in this country, most especially in the county sovereignty *movement* in 
the western states. They want, more than anyting else, to restore the 
country they are so proud of. And they see global corporations are part 
of the New World Order. This charge is true, in so far as the central 
planning mindset is in the heads of those in global corporations, as well 
as it might be expected to be: corporations big enough to be global do 
have lots of folks in them who plan.

My vision has it that successful businesses will be those that 
foster the "intrepreneurial" (entrepreneurs *inside* the firm) mentality 
rather than the top-dowm managerial mentality. David Kearnes, who turned 
around the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s and has written a book about 
his experience, deliberately restructured Xerox so that decisions would 
be moved as far down the chain of command as possible. My prediction is 
that David and those like him will come to dominate businesses in the 
future and will not be pumping out the gloabaloney rhetoric they do now. 
They will look far less kindly toward big, centralized government, since 
they will think less and less think like bureaucrats. We won't see 
phenomena like Robert McNamara, who moved from Ford Motor Company to the 
U.S. Department of "Defense" to the World Bank. I add that this will not 
happen fast enough to satisfy those who use terms like New World Order, 
but I see the trend nevertheless.

I also predict that businesses will take on more and more of the 
functions of government. Xerox (again) sponsors *basic* research in cold 
temperature physics, something usually the function of universities with 
federal grant money. I know this from a friend of mine who had offers 
for both Xerox and some universities. My friend, who didn't accept the 
offer from Xerox, told me that he could not conceive how Xerox could 
possibly benefit financially from the things he was working on. In a real 
way, Xerox was proving a genuine public good.

Another case: in the early years of aviation, Pan American *built* 
airports in many Latin American countries, and they wound up being 
unofficial second U.S. embassies down there. If you got busted for 
patronizing a prostitute, or whatever, you'd call up Pan Am rather than 
the official U.S. embassy. In exchange for this service to U.S. citizens, 
the Civil Aeronautics Board would hold off granting a license to T.W.A. 
or any other carrier to compete on trips to and from the U.S. This kept 
fares quite high--foreign carriers are much less efficient than ours--and 
the conditions of demand were such that this arrangement kept up Pan Am's 
profits. None of this was official policy and was probably not fully 
articulate in the minds of those involved. Still the upshot was a 
business, Pan Am, taking on traditional government responsibilities, 
something I see increasing.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan  7 23:37:36 PST 1996
Article: 71054 of alt.politics.correct
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.revolution.counter,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!news.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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Berman James Watts (bjw@america.net) wrote:
:  Actually experiments in "Devolution" were carried out. Recall that the 
: initial US government was a confedearcy that was so bad that a  consitutionally 
: based federal system had to be adopted within years.
:  As for attempts to modiy government by secession,  the examples of the 
: Dnorr Rebellion (RI) and the Civil War speak volumes. Practically 
: speaking , only political interests that can field an effective military 
: have any generally enforceable claim of viability.

I thank you for your response, and for that from Kirby Urner, who spoke 
(basicly) of the irrelevancy of national governments in a world of global 
corporations and other forms of association. I would like to use your 
posting in the second issue of _County Sovereignty_, as I have sent this 
list out to e-mail groups as well, which means they won't be seeing your 
answer here.

You are right, of course, that the federal government has the bulk of the 
military power and I rather doubt that, at present, the militias could 
defeat the feds. There was quite a discussion of this on 
misc.activism.militia a few months ago, inconclusive as these debates 
usually are. I base my opinion on the sense that the level of discontent 
in this country is not all that high, esp. since most of us are 
federal taxeaters in one way or another and often imagine that we are 
ripping off those below us more than we are being ripped off from above. 

Things could change, of course, if there were some national "emergency" 
resulting in a crackdown and if that crackdown proved to be so unpoopular 
that there was an armed revolt. We'd still need to find a spirit of 
liberty to defeat the feds.

What I see as far more likely is normal politics at work, perhaps moving as 
fast as the Republican freshmen would like, resulting in a *devolution* of 
authority from the federal level to the states and from the states to the 
counties. "County sovereignty" here would mean more a slogan for an ideal 
than a genuine description of what will happen.

As for Kirby Urner's post, I agree that national boundaries are 
irrelevant for many purposes, but there is a large feeling of patriotism 
in this country, most especially in the county sovereignty *movement* in 
the western states. They want, more than anyting else, to restore the 
country they are so proud of. And they see global corporations are part 
of the New World Order. This charge is true, in so far as the central 
planning mindset is in the heads of those in global corporations, as well 
as it might be expected to be: corporations big enough to be global do 
have lots of folks in them who plan.

My vision has it that successful businesses will be those that 
foster the "intrepreneurial" (entrepreneurs *inside* the firm) mentality 
rather than the top-dowm managerial mentality. David Kearnes, who turned 
around the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s and has written a book about 
his experience, deliberately restructured Xerox so that decisions would 
be moved as far down the chain of command as possible. My prediction is 
that David and those like him will come to dominate businesses in the 
future and will not be pumping out the gloabaloney rhetoric they do now. 
They will look far less kindly toward big, centralized government, since 
they will think less and less think like bureaucrats. We won't see 
phenomena like Robert McNamara, who moved from Ford Motor Company to the 
U.S. Department of "Defense" to the World Bank. I add that this will not 
happen fast enough to satisfy those who use terms like New World Order, 
but I see the trend nevertheless.

I also predict that businesses will take on more and more of the 
functions of government. Xerox (again) sponsors *basic* research in cold 
temperature physics, something usually the function of universities with 
federal grant money. I know this from a friend of mine who had offers 
for both Xerox and some universities. My friend, who didn't accept the 
offer from Xerox, told me that he could not conceive how Xerox could 
possibly benefit financially from the things he was working on. In a real 
way, Xerox was proving a genuine public good.

Another case: in the early years of aviation, Pan American *built* 
airports in many Latin American countries, and they wound up being 
unofficial second U.S. embassies down there. If you got busted for 
patronizing a prostitute, or whatever, you'd call up Pan Am rather than 
the official U.S. embassy. In exchange for this service to U.S. citizens, 
the Civil Aeronautics Board would hold off granting a license to T.W.A. 
or any other carrier to compete on trips to and from the U.S. This kept 
fares quite high--foreign carriers are much less efficient than ours--and 
the conditions of demand were such that this arrangement kept up Pan Am's 
profits. None of this was official policy and was probably not fully 
articulate in the minds of those involved. Still the upshot was a 
business, Pan Am, taking on traditional government responsibilities, 
something I see increasing.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Mon Jan  8 08:10:58 PST 1996
Article: 226770 of talk.politics.guns
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.revolution.counter,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why Governments Will Devolve (repost)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,misc.legal,alt.memetics,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.politics.theory,alt.postmodern,alt.extropians,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.pissed.federal.employees,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.conspiracy,talk.politics.guns,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism,alt.fan.newt-gingrich,alt.politics.nationalism.white,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left
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Berman James Watts (bjw@america.net) wrote:
:  Actually experiments in "Devolution" were carried out. Recall that the 
: initial US government was a confedearcy that was so bad that a  consitutionally 
: based federal system had to be adopted within years.
:  As for attempts to modiy government by secession,  the examples of the 
: Dnorr Rebellion (RI) and the Civil War speak volumes. Practically 
: speaking , only political interests that can field an effective military 
: have any generally enforceable claim of viability.

I thank you for your response, and for that from Kirby Urner, who spoke 
(basicly) of the irrelevancy of national governments in a world of global 
corporations and other forms of association. I would like to use your 
posting in the second issue of _County Sovereignty_, as I have sent this 
list out to e-mail groups as well, which means they won't be seeing your 
answer here.

You are right, of course, that the federal government has the bulk of the 
military power and I rather doubt that, at present, the militias could 
defeat the feds. There was quite a discussion of this on 
misc.activism.militia a few months ago, inconclusive as these debates 
usually are. I base my opinion on the sense that the level of discontent 
in this country is not all that high, esp. since most of us are 
federal taxeaters in one way or another and often imagine that we are 
ripping off those below us more than we are being ripped off from above. 

Things could change, of course, if there were some national "emergency" 
resulting in a crackdown and if that crackdown proved to be so unpoopular 
that there was an armed revolt. We'd still need to find a spirit of 
liberty to defeat the feds.

What I see as far more likely is normal politics at work, perhaps moving as 
fast as the Republican freshmen would like, resulting in a *devolution* of 
authority from the federal level to the states and from the states to the 
counties. "County sovereignty" here would mean more a slogan for an ideal 
than a genuine description of what will happen.

As for Kirby Urner's post, I agree that national boundaries are 
irrelevant for many purposes, but there is a large feeling of patriotism 
in this country, most especially in the county sovereignty *movement* in 
the western states. They want, more than anyting else, to restore the 
country they are so proud of. And they see global corporations are part 
of the New World Order. This charge is true, in so far as the central 
planning mindset is in the heads of those in global corporations, as well 
as it might be expected to be: corporations big enough to be global do 
have lots of folks in them who plan.

My vision has it that successful businesses will be those that 
foster the "intrepreneurial" (entrepreneurs *inside* the firm) mentality 
rather than the top-dowm managerial mentality. David Kearnes, who turned 
around the Xerox Corporation in the 1980s and has written a book about 
his experience, deliberately restructured Xerox so that decisions would 
be moved as far down the chain of command as possible. My prediction is 
that David and those like him will come to dominate businesses in the 
future and will not be pumping out the gloabaloney rhetoric they do now. 
They will look far less kindly toward big, centralized government, since 
they will think less and less think like bureaucrats. We won't see 
phenomena like Robert McNamara, who moved from Ford Motor Company to the 
U.S. Department of "Defense" to the World Bank. I add that this will not 
happen fast enough to satisfy those who use terms like New World Order, 
but I see the trend nevertheless.

I also predict that businesses will take on more and more of the 
functions of government. Xerox (again) sponsors *basic* research in cold 
temperature physics, something usually the function of universities with 
federal grant money. I know this from a friend of mine who had offers 
for both Xerox and some universities. My friend, who didn't accept the 
offer from Xerox, told me that he could not conceive how Xerox could 
possibly benefit financially from the things he was working on. In a real 
way, Xerox was proving a genuine public good.

Another case: in the early years of aviation, Pan American *built* 
airports in many Latin American countries, and they wound up being 
unofficial second U.S. embassies down there. If you got busted for 
patronizing a prostitute, or whatever, you'd call up Pan Am rather than 
the official U.S. embassy. In exchange for this service to U.S. citizens, 
the Civil Aeronautics Board would hold off granting a license to T.W.A. 
or any other carrier to compete on trips to and from the U.S. This kept 
fares quite high--foreign carriers are much less efficient than ours--and 
the conditions of demand were such that this arrangement kept up Pan Am's 
profits. None of this was official policy and was probably not fully 
articulate in the minds of those involved. Still the upshot was a 
business, Pan Am, taking on traditional government responsibilities, 
something I see increasing.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Tue Jan  9 23:52:22 PST 1996
Article: 20024 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!imci2!newsfeed.internetmci.com!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Olsen's Sound Bite was: (Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
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References: <4cspjq$78p@jobes.sierra.net> <4cuocv$j99@pipe11.nyc.pipeline.com>
Distribution: inet
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 01:50:28 GMT
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James White (white@nyc.pipeline.com) wrote:
: On Jan 09, 1996 04:02:14 in article ,
: 'orion@sierra.net (Larry Olson)' spammed to:
: >This is analytical goobltygook. The mind is the brain, and attempts to 
: >separate variations here from those of any other organ or system of the 
: >body, harkens back to the old thunk, duality theologies, man as a 
: >different kind of being than the other animals, etc. *If* other organs 
: >or systems can vary according to race, or any other grouping you care to 
: >make, so can the brain. There ain't no difference shmo.  

: This does not follow.  There is no objective analytical evidence to suggest
: that because external features differ that internal organs differ.   As a
: matter of fact BTW there is evidence to prove the opposite which is why if
: you needed an organ transplant you could utilize an identical organ from
: any human.  External features evolved to enable humans to cope better with
: external environmental conditions.  Lighter skin in northern latitudes
: evolved to enable people to produce Vitamin D under reduced sunlight
: conditions.  

James,
You moved this from the thread, "Evidence FOR Racial Equality??" Is this 
*all* the evidence you have on the matter?

: Humans evolved through increased generalization rather than increased
: environmental specialization.  Most human mental development occurs ex
: utero, consequently culture and training play the largest part in mental
: development.  This is a fact regardless to what your right wing ideology
: says. 

How is this relevant to the matter of racial equality?

: >Mother Nature wasn't tiptoeing alongside every wanderer in the 
: >Neolithic, knocking new cognitive challenges out of the hunter's 
: >line-of-sight, so that millenia later, they could all get together again 
: and play egalitarian shams without undue friction. 
:  
: Good sound bite for a right wing political ad but the statement is
: completely devoid of fact. 
:  
: >Another lame example of trying to shape outcomes. 
:  
: Which is what you are doing.  You are trying to shape objective reality to
: fit your preconceived political notions.  BTW is there any NG which did not
: get your spam. 

An irrelavant correction on terminology. "Spamming" means placing the 
same message separetly onto many UseNet groups. What's going on here is 
an example of "cross-posting." In any case, there are around 18,000 
UseNet groups now.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Wed Jan 10 09:58:30 PST 1996
Article: 71808 of alt.politics.correct
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!imci2!newsfeed.internetmci.com!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Olsen's Sound Bite was: (Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??)
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.society.conservatism
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
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References: <4cspjq$78p@jobes.sierra.net> <4cuocv$j99@pipe11.nyc.pipeline.com>
Distribution: inet
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 01:50:28 GMT
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Sender: forman@netcom15.netcom.com
Xref: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca alt.philosophy.objectivism:57592 sci.philosophy.meta:15351 sci.anthropology:302 talk.politics.theory:53846 alt.politics.reform:45026 alt.politics.democrats.d:45467 alt.activism:20024 alt.discrimination:41000 alt.politics.correct:71808 alt.politics.usa.constitution:46384 alt.society.conservatism:25892

James White (white@nyc.pipeline.com) wrote:
: On Jan 09, 1996 04:02:14 in article ,
: 'orion@sierra.net (Larry Olson)' spammed to:
: >This is analytical goobltygook. The mind is the brain, and attempts to 
: >separate variations here from those of any other organ or system of the 
: >body, harkens back to the old thunk, duality theologies, man as a 
: >different kind of being than the other animals, etc. *If* other organs 
: >or systems can vary according to race, or any other grouping you care to 
: >make, so can the brain. There ain't no difference shmo.  

: This does not follow.  There is no objective analytical evidence to suggest
: that because external features differ that internal organs differ.   As a
: matter of fact BTW there is evidence to prove the opposite which is why if
: you needed an organ transplant you could utilize an identical organ from
: any human.  External features evolved to enable humans to cope better with
: external environmental conditions.  Lighter skin in northern latitudes
: evolved to enable people to produce Vitamin D under reduced sunlight
: conditions.  

James,
You moved this from the thread, "Evidence FOR Racial Equality??" Is this 
*all* the evidence you have on the matter?

: Humans evolved through increased generalization rather than increased
: environmental specialization.  Most human mental development occurs ex
: utero, consequently culture and training play the largest part in mental
: development.  This is a fact regardless to what your right wing ideology
: says. 

How is this relevant to the matter of racial equality?

: >Mother Nature wasn't tiptoeing alongside every wanderer in the 
: >Neolithic, knocking new cognitive challenges out of the hunter's 
: >line-of-sight, so that millenia later, they could all get together again 
: and play egalitarian shams without undue friction. 
:  
: Good sound bite for a right wing political ad but the statement is
: completely devoid of fact. 
:  
: >Another lame example of trying to shape outcomes. 
:  
: Which is what you are doing.  You are trying to shape objective reality to
: fit your preconceived political notions.  BTW is there any NG which did not
: get your spam. 

An irrelavant correction on terminology. "Spamming" means placing the 
same message separetly onto many UseNet groups. What's going on here is 
an example of "cross-posting." In any case, there are around 18,000 
UseNet groups now.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Wed Jan 10 10:50:34 PST 1996
Article: 11207 of misc.activism.militia
Approved: militia-request@atype.com (6f854a0ac34267c7123eafc391eb2540)
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL1]
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
Return-Path: 
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Newsgroups: misc.activism.militia
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 96 1:08:29 GMT
Message-ID: <821149709$1547@atype.com>
Subject: County Sovereignty, Vol. 1, No. 1
Lines: 846


COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY
Volume 1, Number 1
1996 January 1
Frank Forman, editor
forman@netcom.com

Welcome to a new e-zine! This first issue is
made up of an essay by myself. Future issues
will report on the county sovereignty movement
in the American West, where sheriffs have been
telling federal officials to stay out unless
they have permission. Counties have also been
asserting ownership of land controlled by the
federal government.

This issue is being posted to a number of UseNet
groups, e-mail lists, and individuals. All of us
are interested in politics and the future, so I
have hit quite a number of lists to get as wide
a variety of responses as possible. These
include not only overtly political groups, but
those made up of philosophers, futurists,
lawyers, and students of culture.

If you are reading this from one of the UseNet
groups, when you reply, please tell us what
group you are posting from. Should you choose to
trim the list of groups, please leave in
alt.philosophy.objectivism, since that is the
one I read most regularly.

There is nothing in philosophy or political
theory that says governments have to be of any
specific size. They only say what governments
*should* do, not how big they ought to be. And I
am going to refrain from telling the world what
I, personally, want it to be like.

I have been receiving several documents and
newspaper articles relating to these
developments and will be reposting several of
them in future issues. I encourage your e-
mailing them to me. But we do have to take care
not to violate copyrights. I will be writing to
various newspapers and ask for permission to
repost. I think I will get a number of such
permissions, since reposting will help give
publicity and gain subscriptions for small
county-wide papers. And I encourage everyone to
send these papers information you have. Of
course, the news covered in any newspaper
article is not itself copyrightable, but I would
prefer to just repost, since it saves me work
and the way the reporter covered his subject is
itself newsworthy. We should do what we can to
make the locals everywhere know what is going on
in other localities.

In the future, I will compile a list of
resources on this topic. In the meantime, I hope
this first issue provokes rethinking.


WHY GOVERNMENTS WILL DEVOLVE
by Frank Forman
1996 January 1

I predict a great devolution of political
authority in the United States during the next
few decades. We tend to overestimate change in
the short run--so I won't say much about the
next decade--but we underpredict in the long
run: Herman Kahn, the leading futurologist of
his day got many things right, but he failed to
predict in 1970 for the year 2000 the rise of
the personal computer, the collapse of
communism, the spread of cynicism about
government, or--he weighed more than 300 pounds-
-the fitness revolution.

I don't make my prediction of devolution on the
basis of what I, personally, would like things
to be like. Rather, I base it on the rapidly
declining cost of information. This major change
in technology will result in the devolution of
political authority, no matter who wants it or
not.

Devolution could go down all the way to the
county level. I will discuss the County
Sovereignty ideal at the end of this article.

A. WHY THERE ARE BUREAUCRACIES

First, a question: Why don't engineers run
General Motors? They have the greatest knowledge
of cars, not the accountants and lawyers, who
with all the other bureaucrats, add nothing but
congestion and delay. Or so it would seem.
Indeed, the first automobile manufacturers were
engineers, mechanics, tinkerers.

If engineers were to decide what kinds of cars
would be made today, we would have absolutely
first-rate cars, wonderfully designed, but they
would be extremely expensive and would not
appeal to ordinary buyers. General Motors would
go broke. In the early days of cars, this
natural bias of engineers did not matter. Only
the well-to-do bought cars, and the early
tinkerers would make only a few specimens and
probably would know most of the buyers
personally. Their engineering problems were to
get the car moving, not to make fancy
refinements. One early designer discovered that
his car worked just fine out in the country but
that it came to a halt in the city. The reason
was that country roads were very rough and shook
up the gasoline so as to mix it with air, making
for a very primitive carburetor. On smoother
roads in cities, there was too much gasoline in
the mix; so the car stopped. Mechanics did
manage to solve this particular problem, but
without knowing why. The principles of
carburetion were yet to come.

In the car business today, no one down the line
can know more than a piece of the total picture.
Besides engineers, there have to be marketing
specialists (to know whether a design change
will sell), buyers (to scout for the cheapest
sources of supply), accountants (to keep track
of costs and profits, which can be quite a
tricky job), lawyers (as much to counteract
other lawyers as anything else), lobbyists (no
need to explain this), and a good many other
types of specialists as well.

None of these divisions of the automobile
company can get the whole picture. What they do
is forward their own insights to management,
which then decides what to do and issues
directions back down.

So far, so good, and a generally satisfying
answer to why a hierarchical structure exists in
large organizations. Bureaucracies exist because
information is limited. The *depth* of the
bureaucracy depends on the industry in question,
how mature it is, and what the cost of
information is. Change any factor in the
equation and you change the result.

What Herman Kahn, and practically everybody
else, did not predict was that information was
going to get much, much cheaper. Today,
engineers do not have to make blueprints
(remember those?), send them up the chain of
command, get their message distorted at every
link in the chain, and wait for management to
make a decision they may well think is ill-
advised. Or at least not nearly so much as in
the past. Today, engineers can get the
accountants' spread sheets on their own computer
screens and get other information from the
marketing department, the legal department, and
what not. And the accountants can look at not
just a handful of awkward blueprints but a
complex array of handsome graphics.

Management is still necessary, but there will be
much less of it, as well as much more crosstalk
among the separate departments. This is all
because of the declining cost of information.
Corporations around the world are "delayering"
by thinning out ranks of middle managers. Not
only are payroll costs saved, but often the
total output, even though from a reduced staff,
increases.

Of course, those in middle-management positions
do not want their jobs eliminated, and they no
doubt convince themselves that the difference
between their in-boxes and their out-boxes
contributes to the overall profitability of
their companies. But they are increasingly
unsuccessful convincing their superiors of this.
Even if they are successful, businesses that
carry an excess burden of middle managers suffer
losses and shrink in size. Leaner organizations
grow, with the result that more and more
organizations are lean. This process, like many
others, works even if no one consciously
appreciates what is going on. It is an example
of what the great economist, Adam Smith, called
the Invisible Hand in _The Wealth of Nations_ in
1776.

This profit-and-loss mechanism does not work
perfectly, and dinosaur companies can linger on
for an awfully long time. But it works faster
than political processes, which are constrained
by elections, not profits, since governments
have the ability to tax. But so long as there is
*some* feedback from the governed to the
governors, there will be some brakes upon the
expansion of middle managers and bureaucrats.
The governed will perceive too many managers and
not enough output and, in a system that allows
for elections, will vote in politicians who will
reduce unnecessary layers of bureaucrats. As
businesses downsize, the perception of too many
bureaucrats will become all the more real.
Voters will demand a reduction of bureaucracy.

B. THE FEDERAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT

The system of governance in the United States is
a federal one, with certain functions assigned
to the top level (called somewhat confusingly
"federal" itself), others to states, counties,
and towns, and still others to school districts
and other bodies that deal with specific issues
such as sewage disposal. All in all, there are
about two thousand counties in the U.S., some
16,000 school districts, and I don't know how
many other local governing bodies. Most of the
world's nations do not have a federal form of
government; rather, they have local
administration of national laws. In other
countries, the ultimate authority resides at the
top level, and local elections are held to
decide who is to administer the law, much more
than to make the law.

The information revolution implies a delayering
of government bureaucracy as well as corporate
bureaucracy (or so I have been arguing), which
is what Vice President Algore has been
attempting, with very little success, with his
program to "Reinvent Government." What can also
be done is to move decisions about what
activities to carry out away from the central
government to the states and localities. This is
what is called devolution. Businesses also can
devolve, which is what franchising is often
about, esp. when a local franchise operation
makes most of the decisions about what to
market, subject only to general standards set by
corporate headquarters. Indeed, franchising has
been a growth industry for some decades, while
the general trend of government in this country
has been to centralize. [I shall prepare tables
showing federal vs. state and local financing of
various forms of government activity, now and in
the past, for later versions of this essay.
Federal spending is 62 percent of total
government spending. I am not sure whether this
figure includes grants from the federal
government to states and localities.]

A crucial difference between government and
business, however, is the ability of governments
to monopolize their products and to tax. These
powers can be viewed as wholly coercive or as
resting on the consent of the governed or as any
mixture in between. Brute force alone is rarely
effective in securing obedience, which is why
governments have always promoted ideologies
(which are, in many respects, updated versions
of religions) that gain them a large measure of
consent. Before the nature of capitalism was
understood, there was no other way known to
organize large-scale public works projects (like
irrigation), and to this day national defense is
almost universally regarded as a necessary
central government activity. We should pause
before condemning our forebears, who may very
well have done the best they could, given their
understanding of how things work. Nevertheless,
governments could and did go beyond providing
protection and public works and became
exploitative. Justificatory ideologies became
all the more important. But there are limits on
the power of ideologies, as well as on that of
brute force, and this means that there is a
feedback from the governed to the governors.
Revolution was one primary means of reform, just
plain disobedience another.

Today we hold elections and we Americans have
one of the highest rates of tax compliance in
the world. I would say that our general level of
consent is fairly high, by historical standards,
despite all the complaining. It would seem that
there are *no* conservatives (those who want to
preserve the status quo), *except* our elected
representatives, who want to change things at
most 5-10 percent! This should perhaps not be
surprising, since democratic government is
*supposed* to result in a compromise between
those who want more and those who want less. If
the man in the middle (the "median voter") is
made happy, then the aggregate unhappiness of
all the voters is minimized. But only very few
voters will be close to the exact center,
meaning that only very few will be
conservatives, in the sense of wanting to
conserve the status quo.

All this said, no institution, not even
democracy, works exactly as it is supposed to.
It is not the man in the middle of the whole
electorate that is satisfied but rather the
middle of all the organized pressure groups.
What can be done to alleviate this problem is to
redesign the institution, by way of amending the
constitution or enforcing certain provisions
that have been allowed to elapse. What can also
be done is for inactive members of the
electorate to become active, sometimes by
voting, other times by forming new pressure
groups.

C. TECHNOLOGY AND PRESSURE GROUPS

Here are my general opinions on how changes in
technology have gotten us into a situation where
the man in the middle is far from the middle of
the pressure groups, and how newer technology is
getting us out. I have, no one has, exact
statistics on these subjects, but hear me out
anyhow.

Our Constitution of 1789 was designed by the
existing state legislatures to both grant the
federal government certain powers and to
prohibit it from having others. (There are a few
things prohibited to the states also.)
Specifically, legislation was made difficult to
enact: majorities of two houses of Congress,
elected by very different principles (by popular
vote in the case of a House with members
apportioned by population, but by the state
legislatures in the case of a Senate with two
members from each state), were required, as well
as the President's signature (the lack of which
could be overridden by two-thirds majorities in
each house). This is *not* simple (direct)
democracy, which would require fifty percent
approval only of one house (the one elected
directly by voters, and no funny business of
having electoral districts of unequal
population). Furthermore, simple democracy would
be unlimited as to the *scope* of government,
unlike the Constitution of 1789, which granted
only eighteen specific powers. And this is just
as well, for simple democracy would allow for
coalition building, with the result that
minorities get what they want out of the
political process by means of logrolling with
one another. Raising the requirement for making
laws *above* fifty percent (or by requiring
simple majorities in two houses of the
legislature) would redress the imbalance and, if
done properly, result in an approximation to a
theoretical democracy *without* the pressure
groups and logrolling. (That there are certain
inalienable rights, meaning ones that cannot be
alienated--handed over--to any government, is
the subject of the *scope* of government.)

Now, looking back, we may very well think that
our Founding Fathers did a remarkably good job
in designing a government that would foster
legislation useful to the populace yet constrain
legislation that rewarded only what they called
"factions" and what we today call pressure
groups or special interest groups. Of course, at
the time, quite a number of men (known as the
Anti-Federalists) thought the proposed
Constitution gave far too many powers to the
central government, and it turns out that only
six signers of the Declaration of Independence
would consent to sign the Constitution. But even
supposing that the Constitution of 1789 was
ideal for its day, the technology of forming
pressure groups has changed, and in the
direction of making it cheaper to form them.
This is because communication of all sorts has
gotten cheaper. The result has been as if only
one-third (just an estimate) of each house in
Congress were required in earlier times to enact
legislation.

Communication also got monopolized to a fairly
large extent. This has promoted the propagation
of ideology, which, like religions did in
earlier civilizations, increases the sense of
consensus for the political powers that be. In
particular, the number of radio and teevee
stations is sharply limited by the Federal
Communications Commission, and that other
conduit of ideology, education, is mostly in the
hands of government and its legitimizers. This
ideology is sometimes referred to as liberalism,
other times as secular humanism, but may best be
characterized as top-down management, whether in
corporate or federal government bureaucracies.
By contrast, the "right wing" in this country,
made up of low-taxers, isolationists, Christian
fundamentalists, libertarians, inegalitarians,
etc., has little in common except a general
dislike of what _The Managerial Revolution_ (to
cite the title of James Burnham's profound 1941
book) has brought about.

However, as the costs of communication have
dropped even further, this dominant ideology of
liberal managerialism no longer has the hegemony
it once did. The breakdown began with teevee
evangelists, mass mailings of "right-wing"
political candidates, and Citizens' Band radio
and continued with talk radio, which has a
right-left ratio of about three to one. The most
recent innovation, the UseNet discussion groups,
is about ten to one. The dangers of free
discussion have gotten to the point where the
new neo-conservative magazine, _The Weekly
Standard_, had its cover story on its fourth
issue, "SMASH THE INTERNET!" (The cover story a
few issues later was a slam at devolution and
picked Alexandria, VA, as a supposedly typical
city government, as though a government located
in the heart of the Washington, D.C., area could
possibly be typical. Neo-conservatives differ
>from  liberals, not in desiring less central
control, but in the purposes to which they want
to put it, namely more in the direction of the
warfare state than the welfare state. They
differ also in the sorts of virtues they would
like to impose from the top.)

D. THE COLLAPSE OF THE MANAGERIAL IDEOLOGY

What talk radio and the Internet have done is
haul up the ideology of central management for
critical questioning and thereby reduce its
legitimacy. They have also publicized the
failures of the managed society. It is a
recurrent theme in history that what begins as
what Carroll Quigley (in _The Evolution of
Civilizations_ (1961)) calls an "instrument" for
expansion that benefits everyone often turns
into an "institution" that leaves the original
purpose behind. Quigley cites football as an
excellent example: what started out as a way to
get undergraduates to exercise has wound up with
those in least need of exercise out on the
field, and those in greatest need sitting in the
bleachers.

At its worst, overextension of an institution
serves only an elite group of exploiters. This
can happen even when the underlying technology
remains the same. Indeed, it is the thesis of
Joseph A. Tainter's _The Collapse of Complex
Societies_ (1988) that further and further
extension of a polity into more and more
marginal areas eventually leads to a collapse of
its authority. What we have today is 1)
overextension of the top-down managerial ethic,
2) publicity about the failures of that
overextension through ever cheaper ways of
communicating that failure, 3) an underlying
change in technology that implies that, even
without overextension, the optimal amount of
centralization of both businesses and
governments is far less than what would have
been optimal in the past, and 4) a general
delegitimizing of some aspects of the ideology
that has gone to justify the central state. This
last factor requires some amplification.

There were actually two, somewhat conflicting,
pre-managerial capitalist ethics in this
country. One was the ethics of frugality as
espoused by Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard. It
advocated steady, patient application of effort
and prudent saving. This ethic was indeed
functional at a time when farming was the
predominant occupation. Later in the heyday of
the "robber barons," a far more risk-taking,
entrepreneurial ethic replaced it. Both ethics,
however, emphasized such virtues as honesty and
hard work.

The ethic that came with managerial capitalism
reversed the trend toward risk-taking. The motto
in a bureaucracy is follow the rules, cover your
ass, don't take risks, don't be too independent.
Indeed, this ethic (if not exaggerated) is
functional for success in large organizations.
(Tomorrow's ethic will revert to emphasizing
risk taking, since creativity in flattened
organizations will be in demand and jobs will
not be nearly so secure.)

What went along with the managed society, esp.
in government, was the general feeling that
everything could ultimately be brought under
management. This gave rise to central planning,
if not in its full-blown form of socialism, at
least in the idea of Keynesian macro-economic
management of the business cycle and the
reduction of unemployment under the general
rubric of "fine tuning" the economy. But what
also came along was the whole environmentalist
ideology that differences in people's fortunes
were due to differences in their upbringing,
which differences could be solved through better
schools and home environments, all of which
would need to be planned.

Those who resisted such planning were branded as
authoritarian and even antisemitic, esp. in the
famous study by Theodore Adorno, et alia, _The
Authoritarian Personality_ (1950). Those
resisting suffered from psychological disorders,
which could be cured by what has come to be
known as the "therapeutic state."

[There is one aspect of the whole managerial
mindset that I have never been able to fit into
any general picture. This is why the current and
doomed elite emphasizes short-term gratification
and hedonism as opposed to the traditional ethic
of hard work. Certainly, businessmen would like
to sell their products and might indeed want to
foster short-run consumerism, but they also need
diligent employees. Politicians also should be
favoring cultivation of the virtues that make
for economic expansion. As far as I can tell,
what happened was that the rising managerial
elite simply wanted to undermine and weaken
*everything* in the old order of entrepreneurial
capitalism and wound up attacking too much.]

Education, another thing that could be managed,
was seen, even before mass psychiatry, as a key
part of the managerial society. That mental
problems have chemical or biological roots was
heretical until miracle drugs forced the issue.
And today the notion that some individual school
children are just dumb for genetic reasons is
still nearly taboo, while the notion that some
groups might have differences in average
potential is completely taboo. As for bad
students being themselves to blame for not
applying themselves to their lessons, this is
only partly recognized in elite discourse, the
partial recognition coming from the prospect of
having credentialed psychiatric social workers
take over from families and manipulate the
poorly performing children according to their
expert lights, with accompanying employment
offers to planners of all sorts. For some
decades now, only half of the staff in the
public schools are actually classroom teachers,
while in colleges and universities, professors
make up only one-third of the staff.

E. PROSPECTS

I seem to have gotten into the complaining mode,
while I started out just arguing the general
case that the rapidly declining cost of
information warrants devolution of government.
This would be the case, even if there were
nothing to complain about in the way of
overextension of the scope of government and
runaway bureaucracy. It is just that, where
there is such overextension, if the information
costs of raising a ruckus are low enough, the
ruckus will be raised. This is exactly what we
are seeing.

Back to the beginning, which was about
predicting the future regards devolution of
government. As I said, we overestimate short-run
change and underestimate long-run change. So we
should not expect a *sudden* devolution of
government. But pressures can build up so that a
major change long in the making does happen
suddenly. The collapse of communism is the
handiest example. A sudden new technology can
work sudden results, also. The prospect of
cyber-cash, where transactions can be made
outside the all-seeing eye of the tax collector,
could well mean the end of the federal
government. I noted earlier that tax collection
is comparatively high in the United States, but
I am not sure how much this is a matter of the
taxpayers feeling that the federal government is
worthy of their support and how much it is due
to the efficiency of the Internal Revenue
Service. Economists have tried a number of ways
to estimate the size of the underground economy,
and their methods converge to about ten percent
of GDP (lower than in many other countries).
Payments for personal services can be paid in
cash, and so can payments for goods at small
businesses (including those for drugs), though
there are certain risks of IRS spying. But
larger transactions generally either go through
banks or else you *want* the transaction to go
through a bank (or otherwise be recorded), so
you can write them off your taxes.

If banks go underground, as has been the case
with the Tong gangs in Chinatown in New York
City, then the IRS is in big trouble. But *you*
are in trouble if the bank absconds with your
money! (The Tong gangs have their ways of
dealing with such things.) How things will work
out in the balance, and whether the Feds will
set up draconian regulations and even a police
state to get their money, cannot be predicted.
This did not stop the cyber guru John Perry
Barlow from saying that paying taxes would be
involuntary within six months. (He made this
statement about five months ago.) But there is a
distinct possibility of a quite sudden collapse,
not the collapses that took place over one to
five *hundred* years in the civilizations whose
collapse Joseph Tainter described.

There *was* the possibility of the new
Republican majorities in both houses of Congress
starting a revolution during the First Hundred
Days that would steamroller on and on. This did
not happen, and we shall have to wait for the
Congressional elections in the Fall to see
whether the newest batch of freshmen is more
radical than the current one. Then the
steamroller might resume.

All this depends on the assumption that elite
opinion is wildly out of synch with popular
opinion. This was certainly the case in the ex-
communist countries, and this allowed for a
sudden catching up to take place. No such
presumption of a gap of this magnitude can be
made for this country, however much it may
appear to be the case among the most vocal
complainers. The reason is that almost everybody
has bought into the egalitarian ideology that
legitimizes the managerial society. True enough,
top-down management is no longer seen by a
majority as a solution to problems, but most of
the current programs at the federal, and even
the state, level will continue as long as they
ostensibly support egalitarian and
redistributivist ideals that almost everyone
accepts in some degree or another. In fact, as
Gordon Tullock argued in _The Economics of
Income Redistribution_ (1983), only about five
percent of government spending in fact goes to
take money from the rich and give it to the
poor, the *same* percentage as a hundred years
ago. There is more total redistribution, but
only because government is larger. Most of the
redistribution, such as Social Security, goes to
groups whose merit is an ability to get
organized, not to groups whose merit is being
poor.

More importantly, no one is eager to go first
when it comes to reforming government, and many
of those on the receiving end fear that the
states would not give them as much as they are
getting from the federal government. The reason
for this fear is that taxpayers would move from
high to low taxing states, while taxeaters would
move from low-paying to high-paying states. This
process used to be somewhat dampened, for states
could impose a residency requirement on welfare
recipients until the Supreme Court made it
illegal about twenty years ago. Actually, net
transfer from the federal governments to the
states is extremely slight. That elite opinion
can talk about a "race to the bottom" as states
would scramble to lower transfers to the poor
shows how entrenched managerial/egalitarian
ideology is. The implication is that the amount
of transferring done by the state that does the
most transferring is doing the *correct* amount,
not the state that does the least.

Back to predictions: I predict that, well within
the next fifty years, egalitarian and managerial
ideologies will have largely crumbled. But,
given that taxeaters have the vote, I do not
predict that the transfer functions of the
federal government will have disappeared, but
simply greatly reduced in scope. What I can say-
-no one I have discussed this with disagrees
with me--is that if Washington, D.C., were nuked
and did not get up and going within six months,
people would have gotten so used to doing things
without central permission that the federal
government would not get reconstituted. But
barring this, or a cyber-cash revolution, a good
deal of federal activity will continue. Not all
of this is bad by any means, and my test is
whether the activity would have arisen again
>from  the bottom under a system of county
sovereignty. I do not predict that county
sovereignty will become a fact, but I would not
be surprised to see it espoused as an ideal, now
shared by only a small minority that employs a
construction of the Articles of Confederation,
which they regard as the true binding and
operative document in our country. I close with
a statement of the county sovereignty ideal.

F. COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY

Counties, often described as no larger than a
horse-and-buggy's day drive from the county
seat, will be the basic unit of sovereign
government. Counties can pass pretty much any
laws they choose, with respect to the
establishment of religion or public education,
the level of taxes, the activities regarded as
crimes, the regulations governing occupations,
pollution, and marriages, the sorts of public
libraries and parks to be provided by the
taxpayers, immigration policies, etc. The
counties can, and often should, pass their
authority down to still lower levels of
jurisdiction (towns, school districts, etc.),
but these lower units will not be sovereign.

Counties can certainly cooperate with one
another, and of course they will, from such
elementary things as making sure roads connect
at county boundaries and on up to coordinating
contract and tort law. The counties may, and
will, empower governments at the state level to
do these various jobs of coordination, but the
states will not be granted the power to tax. At
the next higher level, states can cooperate with
each other and empower a federal government, but
it, too will have no power to tax. And nations
can cooperate with one another, too, as they do
through several dozen international bodies, the
United Nations among them. The U.N., contrary to
what many right-wingers assume, does useful
things, such as coordinating air traffic
throughout the world. (Did you know that air
traffic controllers all speak English?) But the
U.N. has no power to tax (neither did the
central government under the Articles of
Confederation) and can only do what the member
nations allow it to do.

I predict that levels of government above that
of the county will continue to do useful things,
even if we were to start all over again:

*Patents and copyrights (here at the national
and even the international level).

*Settling boundary disputes and disputes among
inhabitants of different jurisdictions.

*General collection of statistics and scientific
information (weather maps, even if they might as
well be privatized). I have never seen a study
showing government incompetence in such matters
to be anywhere nearly so great as in other
areas.

*Promulgation of standards of such things as
weights and measures.

*Subsidy of research that benefits people across
jurisdictions and even nations.

*Agreements on how to deal with problems that
extend over large geographic areas, such as
*some* forms of pollution and the depletion of
ocean reserves. But, as Gordon Tullock has
argued in _The New Federalist_ (1994), very few
of what are called "externalities" extend beyond
a county or a neighboring county. No economist,
as far as I know, has ever made a thorough study
of the matter.

*But probably NOT regulating money, which may be
made obsolete even on a John Perry Barlow time
scale by brokerage houses that offer to store
money in a fluctuating mix of national
currencies. (Just because something is obsolete,
I hasten to add, does not mean it will go away.)
I would not be surprised if the banking world
converged on a single, global currency and
suspect the reason why national currencies exist
is so that governments can raise revenues
through that disguised form of taxation known as
inflation.

*But probably NOT much in the way of the
military. It is world trade that brings world
peace, esp. when capitalists of all countries
own property in all other countries. They do not
want their properties seized and will use their
clout to prevent wars. Besides, if the county
were the sovereign entity and some other nation
decided to invade this country (for the first
time since 1812), WHO would he go after? And in
a country where the citizens are already armed
to the teeth, how could it possibly defeat the
militias? Indeed, we could do worse that to give
Russian capitalists pieces of our national parks
instead of feeding the defense contractors.

What *will* happen is that governments at the
county level will furiously compete with one
another and become far more efficient at
providing services. They will also give the
locals far closer to what *they* want than can
be done at higher levels. As to the question of
whether cyber-cash will do in government at even
the county level, the answer is no: property is
still there to be taxed and cannot be whisked
off to cyberspace.

However far devolution goes, county sovereignty
should become an ideal or benchmark against
which to compare reality.





From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 15:43:32 PST 1996
Article: 72429 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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James White (white@nyc.pipeline.com) wrote:
: On Jan 10, 1996 05:11:25 in article ,
: 'kegger@ix.netcom.com (Matt Nuenke)' wrote: 
  
: >Again I agree. Classification of subspecies however is still 
: >valid, and is apparently important to the American Kennel Club 
: >and to the NAACP. 
    
: This comment is loaded.  It contains the implication that there are in fact
: subspecies of Humans and there are not.  There is one species "homo sapient
: sapiens".  That the NAACP and the American Kennel Club are on a par with
: each other, which is a propaganda technique called damning with faint
: praise.  Finally that racial classifications are all done by the NAACP and
: no other American Institution which is also not true. 

Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
latter group.

Even if yo do this, there are still races in the layman's and the 
government's sense. Are all of these groups equal in capacity for 
academic and economic achievement? If so, I'd like to see the evidence. 

Try to keep on thread, the first word of which is "evidence."

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 15:43:33 PST 1996
Article: 72565 of alt.politics.correct
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,soc.couples.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.correct,alt.politics.usa.constitution
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@larry.cc.emory.edu) wrote:
: tics.usa.constitution:
: References: <30f33d5a.12325217@nntp.ix.netcom.com> <4d3mva$mq1@pipe9.nyc.pipeline.com> 
: Organization: Emory University
: Distribution: inet

: frank forman (forman@netcom.com) wrote:

: : Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
: : can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
: : division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
: : latter group.

: Every kind of subspecies classification is arbitrary to some extent.  
: Humans fall into the latter group because there is no consistent criteria 
: to which one can appeal as a basis for racial categorization.  The lower 
: the number of criteria (skin color only) the more obviously false the 
: classification; the higher the number of criteria, the lower the 
: correlation to racial groupings.  

As far as what I can tell from what you said, your remarks can be 
applied to the problems of classification of subspecies no matter which 
species are under discussion. That's why I asked for "examples of species 
which can clearly be divided into subspecies...." above.

: : Even if yo do this, there are still races in the layman's and the 
: : government's sense. 

: Indeed.  Much the same as there was a common idea of a flat-Earth for 
: Medieval Europeans.  Do we want to say that their Earth *really* was flat 
: just because their observations led them to think so?

Certainly not. But I am not demanding that laymen use exactly the same 
concepts that biologists use. Each has their uses.

: Are all of these groups equal in capacity for 
: : academic and economic achievement?

: There are no racial groups in the first place.  Population mixture has 
: been going on for at least 3,000 years, and it's been rampant in the past 
: 500 or so.  

My request for positive evidence FOR equality remains.  By "these" 
groups, I means races in the layman's or government's sense. If you don't 
have any evidence here, maybe someone else does.


From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 15:43:34 PST 1996
Article: 72567 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Bertil Jonell (d9bertil@dtek.chalmers.se) wrote:
: In article ,
: frank forman  wrote:
: >I gather that you've read this book that you call excellent. What positive
: >evidence did he give FOR racial equality?

:   Ever heard of Occam and his razor?

Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 17:01:20 PST 1996
Article: 20487 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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James White (white@nyc.pipeline.com) wrote:
: On Jan 10, 1996 05:11:25 in article ,
: 'kegger@ix.netcom.com (Matt Nuenke)' wrote: 
  
: >Again I agree. Classification of subspecies however is still 
: >valid, and is apparently important to the American Kennel Club 
: >and to the NAACP. 
    
: This comment is loaded.  It contains the implication that there are in fact
: subspecies of Humans and there are not.  There is one species "homo sapient
: sapiens".  That the NAACP and the American Kennel Club are on a par with
: each other, which is a propaganda technique called damning with faint
: praise.  Finally that racial classifications are all done by the NAACP and
: no other American Institution which is also not true. 

Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
latter group.

Even if yo do this, there are still races in the layman's and the 
government's sense. Are all of these groups equal in capacity for 
academic and economic achievement? If so, I'd like to see the evidence. 

Try to keep on thread, the first word of which is "evidence."

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 17:01:21 PST 1996
Article: 20587 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@larry.cc.emory.edu) wrote:
: tics.usa.constitution:
: References: <30f33d5a.12325217@nntp.ix.netcom.com> <4d3mva$mq1@pipe9.nyc.pipeline.com> 
: Organization: Emory University
: Distribution: inet

: frank forman (forman@netcom.com) wrote:

: : Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
: : can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
: : division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
: : latter group.

: Every kind of subspecies classification is arbitrary to some extent.  
: Humans fall into the latter group because there is no consistent criteria 
: to which one can appeal as a basis for racial categorization.  The lower 
: the number of criteria (skin color only) the more obviously false the 
: classification; the higher the number of criteria, the lower the 
: correlation to racial groupings.  

As far as what I can tell from what you said, your remarks can be 
applied to the problems of classification of subspecies no matter which 
species are under discussion. That's why I asked for "examples of species 
which can clearly be divided into subspecies...." above.

: : Even if yo do this, there are still races in the layman's and the 
: : government's sense. 

: Indeed.  Much the same as there was a common idea of a flat-Earth for 
: Medieval Europeans.  Do we want to say that their Earth *really* was flat 
: just because their observations led them to think so?

Certainly not. But I am not demanding that laymen use exactly the same 
concepts that biologists use. Each has their uses.

: Are all of these groups equal in capacity for 
: : academic and economic achievement?

: There are no racial groups in the first place.  Population mixture has 
: been going on for at least 3,000 years, and it's been rampant in the past 
: 500 or so.  

My request for positive evidence FOR equality remains.  By "these" 
groups, I means races in the layman's or government's sense. If you don't 
have any evidence here, maybe someone else does.


From forman@netcom.com Fri Jan 12 17:01:22 PST 1996
Article: 20590 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Bertil Jonell (d9bertil@dtek.chalmers.se) wrote:
: In article ,
: frank forman  wrote:
: >I gather that you've read this book that you call excellent. What positive
: >evidence did he give FOR racial equality?

:   Ever heard of Occam and his razor?

Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:38:53 PST 1996
Article: 20706 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@curly.cc.emory.edu) wrote:
: :tics.usa.constitution
: References: <4d4c3h$p07@larry.cc.emory.edu> 
: Organization: Emory University
: Distribution: inet

: frank forman (forman@netcom.com) wrote:


: : My request for positive evidence FOR equality remains.  By "these" 
: : groups, I means races in the layman's or government's sense. If you don't 
: : have any evidence here, maybe someone else does.

: The "layman's or government's sense" is a biological joke.  The "layman's 
: or government's sense" stems ultimately from a mistaken belief in the 
: biological reality of race, so claiming that you are talking about the 
: "layman's or government's sense" does *not* relieve you of the 
: responsibility to provide evidence for the existence of biological 
: race--especially if you want to argue for intellectual differences in 
: these alleged groups.

But I am not arguing that there are biological races in homo sapiens, 
even though no one is responding to another request of mine for some 
help on what race means by giving examples of species in which there are 
clearly marked races and/or subspecies and different species in which 
there are no such clearly marked races and/or subspecies. I'm still 
waiting on that.

Still, men are grouped into what the layman and the government calls 
races. And I still really do want to know about the positive evidence FOR 
innate equality with respect to psychological matters of these groups. 

Also, contrary to what you say, I am not arguing FOR intellectual 
differences. I'm just trying to get the evidence FOR equality. Lots of 
people believe in this equality, esp. among advocates of affirmative 
action programs, and I'd like to get the evidence and look at it.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:38:55 PST 1996
Article: 20848 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@larry.cc.emory.edu) wrote:

[all snipped down to here:]

: In the absence of biological race, the assumption must be one of 
: equality.  There is no reason to place the burden of proof on the 
: argument for equality, as you are doing.  This is another area of your 
: endeavor that I think is flawed logically.  Finally, the type of equality 
: the advocates of affirmative action are after are for the most part 
: matters of equality of treatment--not arguments for equality of 
: intellect--because, as I've stated, such intellectual equality is assumed.

But I'm not placing any burden of proof anywhere and am not arguing about 
an assumptions. I'm just asking for positive evidence for equality among 
certain subsets of mankind, whether they are "biological races" or not. 
If the differences in achievement among these subsets turn out to be 
entirely environmental, we might be able to *rank* these various 
environmental influences and then attack them in a sensible and 
cost-effective manner. Deficiencies in protein are much cheaper to remedy 
than differences in parental environment, for example. But I have no idea 
which is more important. And, remember, even if part of the differences 
is hereditary in origin, environment will still matter.

I'd like to get the facts. Then we can go into moral and political 
philosophy, in the hopes of getting some facts about those subjects, even 
though the record of achievment here is rather slight.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:38:56 PST 1996
Article: 20855 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Aaron Boyden (6500adb@ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu) wrote:
: On Thu, 11 Jan 1996, frank forman wrote:

: > Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
: > can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
: > division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
: > latter group.

: Biologists seem to feel that the subspecies of humanity include homo 
: sapiens neanderthalis (now extinct), and homo sapiens sapiens (still 
: around, and including all of us).  I don't know of any other recognized 
: subspecies of homo sapiens.  This is, I admit, an appeal to authority, 
: but I think it's sufficient to put some kind of burden of evidence in 
: your court.

This is quite interesting, and I'd like to know what *concept* of species 
biologists are using here. The preferred division into species is 
interbreedabilty, though there are plenty of borderline cases (e.g., 
lions and tigers can interbreed and even have fertile offspring, as I 
recall). Indeed, this has become a hot issue with regard to the 
Endangered Species Act, since subspecies are not protected under the Act. 
(There was a piece about this in _Chronicles of Higher Education_ some 
months ago, with charges of specieism and subspecieism flying around.)

But when interbreedability is unknown, biologists will go ahead and 
classify on the basis of outward appearances. As far as I know, 
biologists do not know whether homo erectus could interbreed with homo 
sapiens, but they look different, so they are classified as separate 
species. Regarding h.s.neanderthal and h.s.sapiens, I'm not sure that it 
is in fact established that the two are could in fact interbreed. That 
there seem to be no pure neanderthals around may mean that they were not. 
But certain anthropologists think that h.s.s. did not entirely 
exterminate the neanderthals but picked up some neanderthal genes by 
interbreeding. This explains why we seem to find subspecies (racial) 
characteristics among living humans that parallel those of earlier forms 
of man. Check out the last part of Francisco J. Ayala, "The Myth of Eve: 
Molecular Biology and Human Origins," _Science_ 1995 December 22.

It's a complex and fascinating subject, and the controversies will 
continue. So I might have asked whether h.s.sapiens can be meaningfully 
divided into sub-sub-species. And in cases like man (if the "certain 
anthropologists" I spoke of in the last paragraph are correct), we might 
need some new terminology to descirbe divisions of a species that 
inherited those features describing the divisions from intermixture.

The problem with anything biological is that the world is more 
complicated than we would like and that our concepts and definitions are 
never quite adequate. We get to work on refining our concepts, but 
looking at the world some more, we find there are still things we have 
missed.

If you think biology is in a bad way, just think about the human 
sciences. Just ask yourself how may *cultures* there are in the world.

Pause for sixty seconds, please.

See the problem? You can argue that the world is now so interconnected 
that there's really only *one*, global culture, or you can say there are 
so many that each of us belongs to several (nation, language, work, 
hobbies, religious and political beliefs, etc.). 

Nevertheless, culutre is real. Food for thought.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:38:57 PST 1996
Article: 20857 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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A note about ad hominems:

James White and some others have been attacking my person and maligning 
my motives. I think it is best not to respond to these attacks, since 
they lead to useless flame wars and stray away from the main subject, 
which is not Frank Forman's character. If anyone wants to start 
newsgroups about me, such as alt.fan.frank_forman or 
alt.flame.frank_forman, that's fine, though I suspect they will not 
become very active. Indeed, a UseNet group devoted to my greatest her, 
alt.fan.beethoven, has been around for a few weeks now and has gotten 
only a couple of postings, one by me on his unrecorded works.

Still, I'm flattered by these attacks, since they attribute to me 
god-like powers:

Frank is a racist, therefore the races are equal.
Frank is engaging in propaganda, therefore the races are equal.
Frank has a thinly disguised agenda, therefore the races are equal.
Frank has a closed mind and will not accept any evidence we offer him, 
therefore the races are equal.

It's as though if I opened my mind, the races would respond by becoming 
unequal.

Come to think of it, not even the god of the Bible had that much power: 
his opinions and wishes did not stop man from sinning.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:55:16 PST 1996
Article: 72732 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@curly.cc.emory.edu) wrote:
: :tics.usa.constitution
: References: <4d4c3h$p07@larry.cc.emory.edu> 
: Organization: Emory University
: Distribution: inet

: frank forman (forman@netcom.com) wrote:


: : My request for positive evidence FOR equality remains.  By "these" 
: : groups, I means races in the layman's or government's sense. If you don't 
: : have any evidence here, maybe someone else does.

: The "layman's or government's sense" is a biological joke.  The "layman's 
: or government's sense" stems ultimately from a mistaken belief in the 
: biological reality of race, so claiming that you are talking about the 
: "layman's or government's sense" does *not* relieve you of the 
: responsibility to provide evidence for the existence of biological 
: race--especially if you want to argue for intellectual differences in 
: these alleged groups.

But I am not arguing that there are biological races in homo sapiens, 
even though no one is responding to another request of mine for some 
help on what race means by giving examples of species in which there are 
clearly marked races and/or subspecies and different species in which 
there are no such clearly marked races and/or subspecies. I'm still 
waiting on that.

Still, men are grouped into what the layman and the government calls 
races. And I still really do want to know about the positive evidence FOR 
innate equality with respect to psychological matters of these groups. 

Also, contrary to what you say, I am not arguing FOR intellectual 
differences. I'm just trying to get the evidence FOR equality. Lots of 
people believe in this equality, esp. among advocates of affirmative 
action programs, and I'd like to get the evidence and look at it.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:55:18 PST 1996
Article: 72903 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Rainier H. Spencer (rspence@larry.cc.emory.edu) wrote:

[all snipped down to here:]

: In the absence of biological race, the assumption must be one of 
: equality.  There is no reason to place the burden of proof on the 
: argument for equality, as you are doing.  This is another area of your 
: endeavor that I think is flawed logically.  Finally, the type of equality 
: the advocates of affirmative action are after are for the most part 
: matters of equality of treatment--not arguments for equality of 
: intellect--because, as I've stated, such intellectual equality is assumed.

But I'm not placing any burden of proof anywhere and am not arguing about 
an assumptions. I'm just asking for positive evidence for equality among 
certain subsets of mankind, whether they are "biological races" or not. 
If the differences in achievement among these subsets turn out to be 
entirely environmental, we might be able to *rank* these various 
environmental influences and then attack them in a sensible and 
cost-effective manner. Deficiencies in protein are much cheaper to remedy 
than differences in parental environment, for example. But I have no idea 
which is more important. And, remember, even if part of the differences 
is hereditary in origin, environment will still matter.

I'd like to get the facts. Then we can go into moral and political 
philosophy, in the hopes of getting some facts about those subjects, even 
though the record of achievment here is rather slight.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:55:19 PST 1996
Article: 72911 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Aaron Boyden (6500adb@ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu) wrote:
: On Thu, 11 Jan 1996, frank forman wrote:

: > Well, Jim, I sure wish you'd tell give us some examples of species which 
: > can clearly be divided into subspecies and other species in which such 
: > division cannot be done. Then I'd like you to show why man falls in the 
: > latter group.

: Biologists seem to feel that the subspecies of humanity include homo 
: sapiens neanderthalis (now extinct), and homo sapiens sapiens (still 
: around, and including all of us).  I don't know of any other recognized 
: subspecies of homo sapiens.  This is, I admit, an appeal to authority, 
: but I think it's sufficient to put some kind of burden of evidence in 
: your court.

This is quite interesting, and I'd like to know what *concept* of species 
biologists are using here. The preferred division into species is 
interbreedabilty, though there are plenty of borderline cases (e.g., 
lions and tigers can interbreed and even have fertile offspring, as I 
recall). Indeed, this has become a hot issue with regard to the 
Endangered Species Act, since subspecies are not protected under the Act. 
(There was a piece about this in _Chronicles of Higher Education_ some 
months ago, with charges of specieism and subspecieism flying around.)

But when interbreedability is unknown, biologists will go ahead and 
classify on the basis of outward appearances. As far as I know, 
biologists do not know whether homo erectus could interbreed with homo 
sapiens, but they look different, so they are classified as separate 
species. Regarding h.s.neanderthal and h.s.sapiens, I'm not sure that it 
is in fact established that the two are could in fact interbreed. That 
there seem to be no pure neanderthals around may mean that they were not. 
But certain anthropologists think that h.s.s. did not entirely 
exterminate the neanderthals but picked up some neanderthal genes by 
interbreeding. This explains why we seem to find subspecies (racial) 
characteristics among living humans that parallel those of earlier forms 
of man. Check out the last part of Francisco J. Ayala, "The Myth of Eve: 
Molecular Biology and Human Origins," _Science_ 1995 December 22.

It's a complex and fascinating subject, and the controversies will 
continue. So I might have asked whether h.s.sapiens can be meaningfully 
divided into sub-sub-species. And in cases like man (if the "certain 
anthropologists" I spoke of in the last paragraph are correct), we might 
need some new terminology to descirbe divisions of a species that 
inherited those features describing the divisions from intermixture.

The problem with anything biological is that the world is more 
complicated than we would like and that our concepts and definitions are 
never quite adequate. We get to work on refining our concepts, but 
looking at the world some more, we find there are still things we have 
missed.

If you think biology is in a bad way, just think about the human 
sciences. Just ask yourself how may *cultures* there are in the world.

Pause for sixty seconds, please.

See the problem? You can argue that the world is now so interconnected 
that there's really only *one*, global culture, or you can say there are 
so many that each of us belongs to several (nation, language, work, 
hobbies, religious and political beliefs, etc.). 

Nevertheless, culutre is real. Food for thought.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 13 11:55:20 PST 1996
Article: 72914 of alt.politics.correct
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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A note about ad hominems:

James White and some others have been attacking my person and maligning 
my motives. I think it is best not to respond to these attacks, since 
they lead to useless flame wars and stray away from the main subject, 
which is not Frank Forman's character. If anyone wants to start 
newsgroups about me, such as alt.fan.frank_forman or 
alt.flame.frank_forman, that's fine, though I suspect they will not 
become very active. Indeed, a UseNet group devoted to my greatest her, 
alt.fan.beethoven, has been around for a few weeks now and has gotten 
only a couple of postings, one by me on his unrecorded works.

Still, I'm flattered by these attacks, since they attribute to me 
god-like powers:

Frank is a racist, therefore the races are equal.
Frank is engaging in propaganda, therefore the races are equal.
Frank has a thinly disguised agenda, therefore the races are equal.
Frank has a closed mind and will not accept any evidence we offer him, 
therefore the races are equal.

It's as though if I opened my mind, the races would respond by becoming 
unequal.

Come to think of it, not even the god of the Bible had that much power: 
his opinions and wishes did not stop man from sinning.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Tue Jan 16 01:14:56 PST 1996
Article: 24921 of can.politics
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Why altruists and liberals (and conservatives) are evil
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Brad Aisa (baisa@hookup.net) wrote:

[much snipped from an actually very nicely written article]
: But Objectivism does not accept responsibility for the cognitive and moral 
: state of persons mangled by antithetical doctrines. All it makes claims for 
: is its being a correct identification of the facts of reality, qua 
: philosophy. I have yet to see anyone provide even a remotely convincing 
: refutation of Objectivism's ethics

That's because you put them all into your killfiles, Brad. No, in my 
"Patch Needed for 'The Objectivist Ethics,'" I did not refute it in the 
sense of showing something else to be true, but htere are serious holes 
in her arguments. Maybe someone else on a.p.o. can call his attention to it.

Or, if you have the patch, call *my* attention to the patch.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 20 12:01:10 PST 1996
Article: 22384 of alt.activism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
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Look, friends, *all* I am after is whatever positive arguments anyone has 
on this business of equality among various breeding groups of man. Of 
course I have an "agenda," and that it to bring into question a large 
number of social policies that are designed to eliminate various observed 
inequalities of outcome regarding academic and economic achievement. If 
there are substantial genetic differences between what laymen call 
"races" (e.g., white and black) or "ethnic groups"(e.g., Hispanic and 
non-Hispanic), then these social policies will not achive their goals.

Let's see the evidence! Now I rather strongly suspect that genetic 
variation between groups is great and can potentially account for a large 
measure of the differences in results that we see. And this is so, not 
just for things like average income but whole national styles. Thus, I 
might hypothesize that the very early _Origins of English Individualism_ 
(to cite the title of a controversial book by Alan Macfarlane) is due to 
selection for certain qualities of temperament that can lead to 
indiviudalistic attitutes. Thus, England was subject to wave after wave 
of invaders (Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Normans). Invaders are 
entrepreneurs of a sort: they seek opportunites, find them, and exploit 
them. They are not the sort of people who uncritically accept the old 
ways of doing things. And when these raiders settle down, they become 
traders, putting their entrepreneurial talents to work, not on taking 
things by force, but on seeking, finding, and exploiting opportunities 
for mutual trade for mutual benefit. It was the repeated invasions that 
changed the mix in the gene pool on that island and led to a population 
that had more of the entrepreneurial temperament than those populations 
on the continent of Europe.

This is all speculation on my part, but it is not absurd on the face of 
it. Surely, other factors were involved in making England the first 
country to embrace industrial capitalism. And these other factors will 
surely interact each other and with the genetic effects of population 
changes. No less an authority than Max Weber, in the introduction to _The 
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism_, said he suspected that 
genetic factors played a role in these historical events but that he was 
unable--in 1904, now--to establish what that role might be.

Weber's work, of course, has generated an incredible amount of 
commentary, and some historians like Fernand Braudel are contemptuously 
dismissive of Weber's whole thesis. But then, historical theses are 
always controversial. Was it slavery, economics, or states-rights that 
was the main cause of the Civil War a/k/a the War of Northern Agression? 
The debates fly back and forth, and ultimately perhaps each historian can 
only give his own personal relative weights to each of the candidate 
causes. There probably is never any one, sole cause of anything in 
history that drives everything else. I think adding group genetic 
differences to the list of causative factors would make history far more 
interesting. (The thesis that the North was made up of Anglo-Saxons, 
while the South was made up more largely of Celts, resurfaces repeatedly 
in discussions of the Civil War. I do not subscribe to that thesis 
myself, but I would like to see it better aruged.)

Of course, I could be quite wrong, that there are no genetic group 
differences as far a qualities of temperament do (whether stemming from 
prehistoric times or the result of selective migrations and other 
population changes). Demonstrating this would mean that I would have to 
abandon some unproductive hypotheses and chase after new ones. Fine with 
me, since hypotheses are only tools to get at the truth about things.

The exciting thing is that the very process by which demonstrating that 
group genetic differences are not important would yield extraordinary 
information about man and society. We would have, for the first time, 
some substantial *quantitative* estimates on the *comparative* roles that 
various environmental factors have on shaping human temperaments and 
capacities. Nutrition, is it a big thing or a little thing? I once read 
an article on prenancy leading to the depletion of iron stores and the 
resulting iron deficiency in women in the Middle Ages. This may be more 
important than various laws that got passed and are the subject of so 
many tomes by historians. Historians would look much harder at the role 
of dietary iron if studies that demonstrated that group genetic 
differences are unimportant showed that nutrition is an extremely 
important factor, even now, in accounting for current group differences 
in achievement. 

Historians nowadays use science all over the place, in addition to the 
traditional analyses of war, politics, and the production by 
intellectuals. They would be able to use the results of any investigation 
into the genetic factors in group differences in achievement, regardless 
of what the investigations come up with.

So I have an additional "agenda" in mind for this thread, namely to use 
scientific results to make better sense of human history.


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan 21 09:19:36 PST 1996
Article: 27790 of alt.conspiracy
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Peikoff on militias
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Billy Beck (wjb3@mindspring.com) wrote:
: timstarr@netcom.com (Tim Starr) wrote:

: 	Again, in re: the Whiskey Rebels:

: >They never tried to overthrow the Federal government, nor did they harass
: >any Federal officials not connected with the excise tax.

: 	That's correct, but it did not matter to Washington.  The reason is
: that the government can never tolerate resistence.  Resist but one
: small facet of state, and the challenge is *general* to the very
: *existence* of the state.

: 	This is why cops of every stripe always back each other, no matter
: what.

Just a friendly note: according to James Slaughter's great book, _The 
Whiskey Rebellion_, farmers in the west regularly tarred and feathered 
the federal revenooers, so much so that the feds stopped trying to 
collect the whiskey tax. It was only in western Pennsylvania that the 
farmers made a *principled* stand against the tax (the ground was that 
internal taxes were unconstitutional, an idea going back to the Glorious 
Revolution more than a century before in England) that Washington and 
Hamilton had to ditch all the freedom rhetoric they espoused just a few 
years before and crack down on the rebels.

I recommend Slaughter's book, whose subtitle is someth8ing lke Frontier 
Epilogue to the American Revolution, to all.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan 21 09:39:29 PST 1996
Article: 22790 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.activism,alt.politics.usa.misc,alt.society.civil-disob,talk.politics.misc,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.usa.congress,alt.conspiracy,misc.taxes,misc.legal,alt.philosophy.objectivism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Peikoff on militias
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.activism,alt.politics.usa.misc,alt.society.civil-disob,talk.politics.misc,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.usa.congress,alt.conspiracy,misc.taxes,misc.legal,alt.philosophy.objectivism
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Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 22:50:25 GMT
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Billy Beck (wjb3@mindspring.com) wrote:
: timstarr@netcom.com (Tim Starr) wrote:

: 	Again, in re: the Whiskey Rebels:

: >They never tried to overthrow the Federal government, nor did they harass
: >any Federal officials not connected with the excise tax.

: 	That's correct, but it did not matter to Washington.  The reason is
: that the government can never tolerate resistence.  Resist but one
: small facet of state, and the challenge is *general* to the very
: *existence* of the state.

: 	This is why cops of every stripe always back each other, no matter
: what.

Just a friendly note: according to James Slaughter's great book, _The 
Whiskey Rebellion_, farmers in the west regularly tarred and feathered 
the federal revenooers, so much so that the feds stopped trying to 
collect the whiskey tax. It was only in western Pennsylvania that the 
farmers made a *principled* stand against the tax (the ground was that 
internal taxes were unconstitutional, an idea going back to the Glorious 
Revolution more than a century before in England) that Washington and 
Hamilton had to ditch all the freedom rhetoric they espoused just a few 
years before and crack down on the rebels.

I recommend Slaughter's book, whose subtitle is someth8ing lke Frontier 
Epilogue to the American Revolution, to all.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan 21 10:01:18 PST 1996
Article: 316438 of talk.politics.misc
Newsgroups: alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.activism,alt.politics.usa.misc,alt.society.civil-disob,talk.politics.misc,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.usa.congress,alt.conspiracy,misc.taxes,misc.legal,alt.philosophy.objectivism
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Peikoff on militias
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.activism,alt.politics.usa.misc,alt.society.civil-disob,talk.politics.misc,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.usa.congress,alt.conspiracy,misc.taxes,misc.legal,alt.philosophy.objectivism
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Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 22:50:25 GMT
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Billy Beck (wjb3@mindspring.com) wrote:
: timstarr@netcom.com (Tim Starr) wrote:

: 	Again, in re: the Whiskey Rebels:

: >They never tried to overthrow the Federal government, nor did they harass
: >any Federal officials not connected with the excise tax.

: 	That's correct, but it did not matter to Washington.  The reason is
: that the government can never tolerate resistence.  Resist but one
: small facet of state, and the challenge is *general* to the very
: *existence* of the state.

: 	This is why cops of every stripe always back each other, no matter
: what.

Just a friendly note: according to James Slaughter's great book, _The 
Whiskey Rebellion_, farmers in the west regularly tarred and feathered 
the federal revenooers, so much so that the feds stopped trying to 
collect the whiskey tax. It was only in western Pennsylvania that the 
farmers made a *principled* stand against the tax (the ground was that 
internal taxes were unconstitutional, an idea going back to the Glorious 
Revolution more than a century before in England) that Washington and 
Hamilton had to ditch all the freedom rhetoric they espoused just a few 
years before and crack down on the rebels.

I recommend Slaughter's book, whose subtitle is someth8ing lke Frontier 
Epilogue to the American Revolution, to all.

Frank


From forman@netcom.com Sat Jan 27 21:35:32 PST 1996
Article: 12392 of alt.politics.nationalism.white
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: (fwd) Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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Please help me with this whoole thread by telling me what it is that 
those who support various government programs like affirmative action 
believe in with respect to hereidty vs. environoment (and let us not 
forget) vs. free will.

Frank

[your post unchanged below, for reference]

R. Spencer (rspence@emory.edu) wrote: : 		***  EMBEDDED CROSS-POSTING  ***

: Mr. Foreman:  I read your posting closely enough.  The reason I continue 
: to object to your project is that, in my opinion, it is fundamentally 
: flawed at its base.  You ask for evidence of racial equality, but then 
: say that you aren't interested in talking about the existence of race.  
: You can't do this legitimately.  The acceptance of race is a given in 
: your project, but it is hardly a given in the field.  In fact, as I've 
: pointed out, the burden of proof is your responsibility.  Yes, I've read 
: your posts--but I can see that it is philosophically unsound for you to 
: make assertions about the intellectual capacities of racial groups when 
: the existence of those groups is challenged in a very strong way by 
: people in this group...people whose arguments you refuse to respond to.  
: The argument for race is a prerequisite in your endeavor, and you can't 
: get by it by saying you aren't talking about biological race--because you 
: are.  

: As I said before, you are demanding evidence that ghosts wear clothes, 
: while saying that you are not interesting in discussing the existence of 
: ghosts.


: 					Rainier Spencer



From forman@netcom.com Sun Jan 28 09:34:41 PST 1996
Article: 24215 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: (fwd) Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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Please help me with this whoole thread by telling me what it is that 
those who support various government programs like affirmative action 
believe in with respect to hereidty vs. environoment (and let us not 
forget) vs. free will.

Frank

[your post unchanged below, for reference]

R. Spencer (rspence@emory.edu) wrote: : 		***  EMBEDDED CROSS-POSTING  ***

: Mr. Foreman:  I read your posting closely enough.  The reason I continue 
: to object to your project is that, in my opinion, it is fundamentally 
: flawed at its base.  You ask for evidence of racial equality, but then 
: say that you aren't interested in talking about the existence of race.  
: You can't do this legitimately.  The acceptance of race is a given in 
: your project, but it is hardly a given in the field.  In fact, as I've 
: pointed out, the burden of proof is your responsibility.  Yes, I've read 
: your posts--but I can see that it is philosophically unsound for you to 
: make assertions about the intellectual capacities of racial groups when 
: the existence of those groups is challenged in a very strong way by 
: people in this group...people whose arguments you refuse to respond to.  
: The argument for race is a prerequisite in your endeavor, and you can't 
: get by it by saying you aren't talking about biological race--because you 
: are.  

: As I said before, you are demanding evidence that ghosts wear clothes, 
: while saying that you are not interesting in discussing the existence of 
: ghosts.


: 					Rainier Spencer



From forman@netcom.com Mon Jan 29 09:16:09 PST 1996
Article: 12666 of alt.politics.nationalism.white
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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Finally, we may make a reference to the
*anthropological* side of the problem. When we
find again and again that, even in departments
of life apparently mutually independent, certain
types of rationalizations have developed in the
Occident, and only there, it would be natural to
suspect that the most important reason lay in
heredity. The author admits that he is inclined
to think the importance of heredity is very
great. But in spite of the notable achievements
of anthropological research, I see up to the
present no way of exactly or even approximately
measuring either the extent or, above all, the
form of its influence on the development
investigated here. It must be one of the tasks
of sociological and historical investigation
first to analyze all the influences and causal
relationships which can satisfactorily be
explained in terms of reactions to environmental
conditions. Only then, and when comparative
racial neurology and psychology shall have
progressed beyond their present and in many ways
very promising beginnings, can we hope for even
the probability of a satisfactory answer to that
problem.^ In the meantime that condition seems
to me not to exist, and an appeal to heredity
would therefore involve a premature renunciation
of the possibility of knowledge attainable now,
and would shift the problem to factors (at
present) still unknown.
     ^[Some years ago an eminent psychiatrist
expressed the same opinion to me.]

Max Weber, _The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit
of Capitalism_ (1904/5, translated by Talcott
Parsons), last paragraph of Weber's
Introduction.

Alas, I finally found my copy of the book, on
Shelf 5 of Bookcase 3 (out of 13 in the
apartment). Weber might say the same thing
today, except that the mechanisms of heredity
are more complex that he had imagined them
ninety years ago. On the other hand, statistical
tools are much more powerful now. Also, our
understanding of the *interaction* between
heredity and environment is much better.

Is everybody calmer now and their sense of humor
about the human comedy restored? Kaa's certainly
is, since she brings up the grim topic of the
Black Death.

Thanks for challenging me to do a Web search for
biology and topology. Yahoo gave me 505 answers,
though some of these are not appropriate, e.g.,
a college catalog that lists both biology and
topology courses. The search engine just looks
through the text and if the two words appear
somewhere in it, it gets counted.

But in most cases, the items were about
biologists using topological methods. I don't
think I explained what topology is really all
about, as I just gave the definition. Topology
is the study of the things that stay the same
under topological transformations, called
homeomorphisms (one-to-one functions that are
continuous in both directions). In practical
terms, this means "rubber sheet geometry," to
use the chapter title of an old but still useful
lay book by James R. Newman, _Mathematics and
the Imagination_. You can stretch the thing,
bend it, pull it, and do anything but tear it or
cement it. This is why "a topologist cannot
distinguish a doughnut from a coffee cup," since
one can be continuously transformed into the
other and back.

In contrast, (ordinary) geometry studies only
*distance-preserving* transformations, these
being translation, rotation, and reflection.
Apply these in any order to a triangle, and the
transformed triangle is congruent (the term we
used in high school) to the original one.

It's interesting to know that Euclid's axioms
failed to mention so simple an idea as the
inside and outside of a figure. He just took it
for granted. In geometry class, we were
*supposed* to use only the axioms and previously
proven theorems and *never* the diagrams, but in
practice we did so unawares. It's possible to
prove some extremely counterintuitive results
with badly drawn diagrams, and it took until the
nineteenth century for mathematicians to see
where the real problem lay. So new axioms,
seemingly trivial ones like "If B lies between A
and C, then B lies between C and A" (as well as
the undefined term "betweenness" itself) had to
be added. I am not sure whether David Hilbert
(as great in mathematics as Max Weber is in
sociology) was the first to formulate them, but
his book, translated as _Foundations of
Geometry_ is still in print (or at least was in
print not too long ago) and is one of my many
books called _Foundations of..._. One very
simple theorem that is extremely difficult is
the Jordan [French, pronounced something like
Zhor-DAH] curve theorem, which says that any
simple closed curve (a circle stretched out of
shape topologically) divides the plane into an
inside and an outside.

Now biology is very much concerned with forms
that stay the same under topological
transformations, like growth. Just who was the
first topologist to get involved in biology, I
do not know, and D'Arcy Thompson's classic book,
_On Growth and Form_ (1917), could not have used
topology, since there wasn't very much of it
back then. But by 1971, topology was widely used
in biology, as witnessed by _Mathematical
Taxonomy_, which I referred to earlier.

I think it was Rene Thom's _Structural Stability
and Morphogenesis_ (English translation, 1975)
that is the first widely-read classic in the
field. And, there are most of the 505 items the
Yahoo search listed.

"Plato's Academy allegedly bore a sign over the
entrance forbidding those ignorant of geometry
to enter; [Mario] Bunge's academy would replace
geometry with topology.... Instead, I shall [in
what follows in this chapter on Bunge] sneak
past the sign about topology and try to sketch
is central arguments in nontechnical language
and offer justifications for them." That's me on
p.56f in _The Metaphysics of Liberty_.

I also won't insist that Kaa, or anyone else,
take courses in topology before continuing to
participate in this thread, but I would urge a
certain calmness before making pronouncements on
it and on its use by biologists.

Kaa also asked me whether I knew what randomness
means. The answer is that no one does, really.
There are only certain *tests* of randomness
that will reject a given sequence of numbers as
not being random. It may have too many zeros
than chance would predict, for example.
Practical mathematicians and scientists have
devised a whole bunch of these tests, and
sequences that pass all the tests are called
"pseudo-random." There is no agreed-upon set of
these tests, applicable to all situations,
however, and indeed the problem is that an
extremely large number of tests can be devised,
some powers of powers of powers of the number of
digits in any given sequence.

Now, if the sequence is generated by an
algorithm (as opposed to some physical device,
like decaying atomic particles), the sequence
flunks one very basic test, namely that of the
algorithm itself. Now some philosophers of
mathematics have proposed that a sequence is
random if the algorithm takes more letters to
describe than the sequence itself. This has
sparked off a long debate that shows no sign of
stopping [[LIKE THE DEBATE EQUALITY HERE??-The
Internet Monster]].

Tying these two things (biology and randomness)
together, probability theory became a branch of
topology with the publication of "Foundations of
Probability Theory" (in German in 1933) by the
great Andrei Nikolayevich Kolmogorov (1903-87)
(not as great as Hilbert or Weber, though, but a
man who published in several areas of
mathematics).

Enough! I will go find the Nisbet review of _The
Bell Curve_ that Warren Sarle quoted from and
ask whether there is more than just a
*suggestion* that there may be no hereditary
differences between whites and blacks in the
United States.

And I thank Marco Simons for his explanation of
what the null hypothesis is all about. Were that
it were applicable in this case! The hidden
assumption is that it is clear whether the null
hypothesis is refuted or not. So, I could claim
that the null hypothesis of population
differences in innate intelligence has been
handsomely refuted by Jensen, Shockley, Rushton,
and several others and that any *reasonable* man
would accept the reasoning of Jensen & Co. as
being, for now (as always), decisive.

Obviously, Marco does not accept this, and
neither do many others on these various
Newsgroups. I could demand that Marco tell me
what he *would* accept as persuasive evidence
and he might just bounce back, "convincing
studies." Convincing to him, that is. But there
already *are* convincing studies out there.
(Convincing to me, say.) No, I'm not attacking
Marco here at all, and it has bothered me for
many years that, as I devout atheist, I might
not accept any evidence for the existence of
god. I ran a thread on
alt.philosophy.objectivism called, "Me Give Up
My Atheism?" It got several not very satisfying
answers, but I let the thread die before giving
my own. I promise to let everyone know sometime
in the future. Hint: go read "Multiscaling
Properties of Large-Scale Structure in the
Universe," _Science_, 1995 September 1. My null
hypothesis was *not* refuted. SO THERE, NO-GOD!!

As far as James White goes, it just doesn't look
like he is ever going to calm down, and I'm
really not sure what I should do. The issue is
not my own motives but what the beliefs of
certain egalitarians are and what evidence they
have for their beliefs. As I said before, he
makes a six-figure income and must be a very
busy man; hopefully (for us) if this situation
changes, he may give us some calmer and more
extended discussions.

And finally I thank David Saab, not just for the
book recommendations (hopefully now on their way
>from  Interlibrary Loan),^ but for his pointing
out that other cultures are not nearly so
egalitarian as ours. It was in an article in
_Critical Review_ some years ago that I read
that the United States supports *egalitarian*
individualism, while Germany (or was it just
Nietzsche) supports *heroic* individualism. The
former is quite consonant with Objectivism and
another other belief set that supports laissez-
faire capitalism and what used to be described
as *rugged* individualism. At most only the
civil rights laws of the Reconstructionist
Period (giving freedmen the right to engage in
civil contracts) would be applicable and not any
laws abridging freedom of contract, such as
those governing "public" accommodations in the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, nor a fortiori any
further anti-discrimination or affirmative
action laws or anything at all regarding
"equality of results." There are not many who
want everyone to have the same incomes, it is
true, but there are those egalitarians who think
that a *just* society will only have been
achieved after blacks and whites have the same
average money incomes. Now, for this last belief
to go through, an assumption has to be made that
these two biological groups (I say nothing about
any taxonomic issues here, merely to point out
that blacks tend to marry blacks and whites
whites. Question: are races the *products* of
human history, some actual physical thing, as
opposed to a scheme of classification, which is
mental?) have different incomes due not at all
to differences in heredity but to differences in
environment (and differences in free will; start
a thread on this, if you wish, but please not
here).
   ^[Kaa was once involved in a discussion on
the War of Northern Aggression [[YOU REALLY DO
HAVE BIASES!!]] when someone told her that she
read only Yankee books, whereupon Kaa replied
that she wanted the titles of books from the
Southern viewpoint and would get them from
Interlibrary Loan. Kaa, you just don't get it:
being Southern is a matter of spirit, not a
matter of books. See what I mean about different
discourses now?]

I'm just asking about this assumption about
equal innate capacities, and if anyone here
makes it to a) try to clarify it and b) try to
present evidence in its support. I note only
that the assumption could still be true (I think
it is widespread among libertarians) but not
justify infringements on property rights. That's
another matter, as is the question of how Mr.
Jefferson's statement about it being self-
evident that all men endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable rights became
transmogrified into some other concept of
equality. And Douglas Rae, et alia, _Equalities_
speaks of 120 major kinds, with 720 minor kinds,
not to say of gradations in between. Maybe I'd
better stick to trying to define randomness.

Frank



From forman@netcom.com Mon Jan 29 13:22:34 PST 1996
Article: 24736 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!news.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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Finally, we may make a reference to the
*anthropological* side of the problem. When we
find again and again that, even in departments
of life apparently mutually independent, certain
types of rationalizations have developed in the
Occident, and only there, it would be natural to
suspect that the most important reason lay in
heredity. The author admits that he is inclined
to think the importance of heredity is very
great. But in spite of the notable achievements
of anthropological research, I see up to the
present no way of exactly or even approximately
measuring either the extent or, above all, the
form of its influence on the development
investigated here. It must be one of the tasks
of sociological and historical investigation
first to analyze all the influences and causal
relationships which can satisfactorily be
explained in terms of reactions to environmental
conditions. Only then, and when comparative
racial neurology and psychology shall have
progressed beyond their present and in many ways
very promising beginnings, can we hope for even
the probability of a satisfactory answer to that
problem.^ In the meantime that condition seems
to me not to exist, and an appeal to heredity
would therefore involve a premature renunciation
of the possibility of knowledge attainable now,
and would shift the problem to factors (at
present) still unknown.
     ^[Some years ago an eminent psychiatrist
expressed the same opinion to me.]

Max Weber, _The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit
of Capitalism_ (1904/5, translated by Talcott
Parsons), last paragraph of Weber's
Introduction.

Alas, I finally found my copy of the book, on
Shelf 5 of Bookcase 3 (out of 13 in the
apartment). Weber might say the same thing
today, except that the mechanisms of heredity
are more complex that he had imagined them
ninety years ago. On the other hand, statistical
tools are much more powerful now. Also, our
understanding of the *interaction* between
heredity and environment is much better.

Is everybody calmer now and their sense of humor
about the human comedy restored? Kaa's certainly
is, since she brings up the grim topic of the
Black Death.

Thanks for challenging me to do a Web search for
biology and topology. Yahoo gave me 505 answers,
though some of these are not appropriate, e.g.,
a college catalog that lists both biology and
topology courses. The search engine just looks
through the text and if the two words appear
somewhere in it, it gets counted.

But in most cases, the items were about
biologists using topological methods. I don't
think I explained what topology is really all
about, as I just gave the definition. Topology
is the study of the things that stay the same
under topological transformations, called
homeomorphisms (one-to-one functions that are
continuous in both directions). In practical
terms, this means "rubber sheet geometry," to
use the chapter title of an old but still useful
lay book by James R. Newman, _Mathematics and
the Imagination_. You can stretch the thing,
bend it, pull it, and do anything but tear it or
cement it. This is why "a topologist cannot
distinguish a doughnut from a coffee cup," since
one can be continuously transformed into the
other and back.

In contrast, (ordinary) geometry studies only
*distance-preserving* transformations, these
being translation, rotation, and reflection.
Apply these in any order to a triangle, and the
transformed triangle is congruent (the term we
used in high school) to the original one.

It's interesting to know that Euclid's axioms
failed to mention so simple an idea as the
inside and outside of a figure. He just took it
for granted. In geometry class, we were
*supposed* to use only the axioms and previously
proven theorems and *never* the diagrams, but in
practice we did so unawares. It's possible to
prove some extremely counterintuitive results
with badly drawn diagrams, and it took until the
nineteenth century for mathematicians to see
where the real problem lay. So new axioms,
seemingly trivial ones like "If B lies between A
and C, then B lies between C and A" (as well as
the undefined term "betweenness" itself) had to
be added. I am not sure whether David Hilbert
(as great in mathematics as Max Weber is in
sociology) was the first to formulate them, but
his book, translated as _Foundations of
Geometry_ is still in print (or at least was in
print not too long ago) and is one of my many
books called _Foundations of..._. One very
simple theorem that is extremely difficult is
the Jordan [French, pronounced something like
Zhor-DAH] curve theorem, which says that any
simple closed curve (a circle stretched out of
shape topologically) divides the plane into an
inside and an outside.

Now biology is very much concerned with forms
that stay the same under topological
transformations, like growth. Just who was the
first topologist to get involved in biology, I
do not know, and D'Arcy Thompson's classic book,
_On Growth and Form_ (1917), could not have used
topology, since there wasn't very much of it
back then. But by 1971, topology was widely used
in biology, as witnessed by _Mathematical
Taxonomy_, which I referred to earlier.

I think it was Rene Thom's _Structural Stability
and Morphogenesis_ (English translation, 1975)
that is the first widely-read classic in the
field. And, there are most of the 505 items the
Yahoo search listed.

"Plato's Academy allegedly bore a sign over the
entrance forbidding those ignorant of geometry
to enter; [Mario] Bunge's academy would replace
geometry with topology.... Instead, I shall [in
what follows in this chapter on Bunge] sneak
past the sign about topology and try to sketch
is central arguments in nontechnical language
and offer justifications for them." That's me on
p.56f in _The Metaphysics of Liberty_.

I also won't insist that Kaa, or anyone else,
take courses in topology before continuing to
participate in this thread, but I would urge a
certain calmness before making pronouncements on
it and on its use by biologists.

Kaa also asked me whether I knew what randomness
means. The answer is that no one does, really.
There are only certain *tests* of randomness
that will reject a given sequence of numbers as
not being random. It may have too many zeros
than chance would predict, for example.
Practical mathematicians and scientists have
devised a whole bunch of these tests, and
sequences that pass all the tests are called
"pseudo-random." There is no agreed-upon set of
these tests, applicable to all situations,
however, and indeed the problem is that an
extremely large number of tests can be devised,
some powers of powers of powers of the number of
digits in any given sequence.

Now, if the sequence is generated by an
algorithm (as opposed to some physical device,
like decaying atomic particles), the sequence
flunks one very basic test, namely that of the
algorithm itself. Now some philosophers of
mathematics have proposed that a sequence is
random if the algorithm takes more letters to
describe than the sequence itself. This has
sparked off a long debate that shows no sign of
stopping [[LIKE THE DEBATE EQUALITY HERE??-The
Internet Monster]].

Tying these two things (biology and randomness)
together, probability theory became a branch of
topology with the publication of "Foundations of
Probability Theory" (in German in 1933) by the
great Andrei Nikolayevich Kolmogorov (1903-87)
(not as great as Hilbert or Weber, though, but a
man who published in several areas of
mathematics).

Enough! I will go find the Nisbet review of _The
Bell Curve_ that Warren Sarle quoted from and
ask whether there is more than just a
*suggestion* that there may be no hereditary
differences between whites and blacks in the
United States.

And I thank Marco Simons for his explanation of
what the null hypothesis is all about. Were that
it were applicable in this case! The hidden
assumption is that it is clear whether the null
hypothesis is refuted or not. So, I could claim
that the null hypothesis of population
differences in innate intelligence has been
handsomely refuted by Jensen, Shockley, Rushton,
and several others and that any *reasonable* man
would accept the reasoning of Jensen & Co. as
being, for now (as always), decisive.

Obviously, Marco does not accept this, and
neither do many others on these various
Newsgroups. I could demand that Marco tell me
what he *would* accept as persuasive evidence
and he might just bounce back, "convincing
studies." Convincing to him, that is. But there
already *are* convincing studies out there.
(Convincing to me, say.) No, I'm not attacking
Marco here at all, and it has bothered me for
many years that, as I devout atheist, I might
not accept any evidence for the existence of
god. I ran a thread on
alt.philosophy.objectivism called, "Me Give Up
My Atheism?" It got several not very satisfying
answers, but I let the thread die before giving
my own. I promise to let everyone know sometime
in the future. Hint: go read "Multiscaling
Properties of Large-Scale Structure in the
Universe," _Science_, 1995 September 1. My null
hypothesis was *not* refuted. SO THERE, NO-GOD!!

As far as James White goes, it just doesn't look
like he is ever going to calm down, and I'm
really not sure what I should do. The issue is
not my own motives but what the beliefs of
certain egalitarians are and what evidence they
have for their beliefs. As I said before, he
makes a six-figure income and must be a very
busy man; hopefully (for us) if this situation
changes, he may give us some calmer and more
extended discussions.

And finally I thank David Saab, not just for the
book recommendations (hopefully now on their way
>from  Interlibrary Loan),^ but for his pointing
out that other cultures are not nearly so
egalitarian as ours. It was in an article in
_Critical Review_ some years ago that I read
that the United States supports *egalitarian*
individualism, while Germany (or was it just
Nietzsche) supports *heroic* individualism. The
former is quite consonant with Objectivism and
another other belief set that supports laissez-
faire capitalism and what used to be described
as *rugged* individualism. At most only the
civil rights laws of the Reconstructionist
Period (giving freedmen the right to engage in
civil contracts) would be applicable and not any
laws abridging freedom of contract, such as
those governing "public" accommodations in the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, nor a fortiori any
further anti-discrimination or affirmative
action laws or anything at all regarding
"equality of results." There are not many who
want everyone to have the same incomes, it is
true, but there are those egalitarians who think
that a *just* society will only have been
achieved after blacks and whites have the same
average money incomes. Now, for this last belief
to go through, an assumption has to be made that
these two biological groups (I say nothing about
any taxonomic issues here, merely to point out
that blacks tend to marry blacks and whites
whites. Question: are races the *products* of
human history, some actual physical thing, as
opposed to a scheme of classification, which is
mental?) have different incomes due not at all
to differences in heredity but to differences in
environment (and differences in free will; start
a thread on this, if you wish, but please not
here).
   ^[Kaa was once involved in a discussion on
the War of Northern Aggression [[YOU REALLY DO
HAVE BIASES!!]] when someone told her that she
read only Yankee books, whereupon Kaa replied
that she wanted the titles of books from the
Southern viewpoint and would get them from
Interlibrary Loan. Kaa, you just don't get it:
being Southern is a matter of spirit, not a
matter of books. See what I mean about different
discourses now?]

I'm just asking about this assumption about
equal innate capacities, and if anyone here
makes it to a) try to clarify it and b) try to
present evidence in its support. I note only
that the assumption could still be true (I think
it is widespread among libertarians) but not
justify infringements on property rights. That's
another matter, as is the question of how Mr.
Jefferson's statement about it being self-
evident that all men endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable rights became
transmogrified into some other concept of
equality. And Douglas Rae, et alia, _Equalities_
speaks of 120 major kinds, with 720 minor kinds,
not to say of gradations in between. Maybe I'd
better stick to trying to define randomness.

Frank



From forman@netcom.com Mon Jan 29 20:08:38 PST 1996
Article: 12761 of alt.politics.nationalism.white
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!imci2!newsfeed.internetmci.com!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!forman
From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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Distribution: inet
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 20:54:32 GMT
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Xref: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca alt.philosophy.objectivism:59543 sci.philosophy.meta:15625 sci.anthropology:442 talk.politics.theory:55530 alt.politics.reform:48708 alt.politics.democrats.d:49774 alt.activism:24884 alt.discrimination:42161 alt.politics.nationalism.white:12761

You ask for my own understanding of what equality means. I'm afraid my 
thinking is quite unsettled and freely admit so. It's quite an elusive 
concept, and many, many minds have toiled over it. Sames goes for lots 
and lots of other concepts, like race and intelligence on this thread. 
What I am after here is get those egalitarians who want to have laws 
beyond those that simply state that citizens will all be subjected to the 
same laws (such as those limiting freedom of contract if 
discrimination--another poorly defined term--and affirmative action) 
believe in with respect to the nature-nurture controversy *and* what is 
the evidence for their beliefs.

In other words, I'd like an open-ended discussion. Let's get the evidence 
first and later figure out what it means with respect to the notion of 
equality. Of course, I can't confine what Netters will do anyhow, even if 
I hope that we will keep personalities out of this.

Frank

[your post uncchanged below for reference]

 Darren Bostock (dbostock@enterprise.powerup.com.au) wrote:
: [Much edited....]

: >I invite you, or anyone else, to flesh it out. It seems, esp. now from 
: >what Kaa says about the Human Genome Project, that this fleshing out, if 
: >it ever comes, will not be forthcoming anytime soon. So if there are 
: >other positive arguments *for* equality, I'd very much like to hear them. 

: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.....

: I did not see your original post so I will make the assumption that you were
: inviting speculation about what people believed to be their justification/
: belief/adherence of equality between racial groups of humans. I apologise if
: I have made an incorrect assumption.

: I believe that equality is a concept that humans use to establish their position
: in society. I also believe that each person's concept of equality is determined
: by factors that they percieve as being important or relevant to decision. As such,
: I also believe that differences will not always mean inequality. I am therefore
: drawn towards the conclusion that one's concept of equality is subjective to
: the situation and interpretation of the information available.

: With this in mind, what do you mean by equality or inequality? What context?
: What area of life or race or humans in general are you wishing to discuss?
: What factors are you drawing from to develop your thoughts about equality or
: the validity of equality?

: >And if you think I am bad, wicked, evil, or all three, I'm sure the rest 
: >of us would like to hear what you, or anyone else, can come up with.

: Not at all. If more people were prepared to discuss their thoughts, be they
: right or wrong, then the world would probaly become a lot smarter.


: -- 
: Regards,

: Darren Bostock (Email :- dbostock@powerup.com.au)
: '...... I'd swear to God, If God would let me swear......'




From forman@netcom.com Tue Jan 30 15:31:29 PST 1996
Article: 24884 of alt.activism
Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
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From: forman@netcom.com (frank forman)
Subject: Re: Evidence FOR Racial Equality??
Message-ID: 
Followup-To: alt.philosophy.objectivism,sci.philosophy.meta,sci.anthropology,talk.politics.theory,soc.culture.intercultural,alt.politics.reform,alt.politics.democrats.d,alt.activism,alt.discrimination,alt.politics.nationalism.white
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
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Xref: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca alt.philosophy.objectivism:59543 sci.philosophy.meta:15625 sci.anthropology:442 talk.politics.theory:55530 alt.politics.reform:48708 alt.politics.democrats.d:49774 alt.activism:24884 alt.discrimination:42161 alt.politics.nationalism.white:12761

You ask for my own understanding of what equality means. I'm afraid my 
thinking is quite unsettled and freely admit so. It's quite an elusive 
concept, and many, many minds have toiled over it. Sames goes for lots 
and lots of other concepts, like race and intelligence on this thread. 
What I am after here is get those egalitarians who want to have laws 
beyond those that simply state that citizens will all be subjected to the 
same laws (such as those limiting freedom of contract if 
discrimination--another poorly defined term--and affirmative action) 
believe in with respect to the nature-nurture controversy *and* what is 
the evidence for their beliefs.

In other words, I'd like an open-ended discussion. Let's get the evidence 
first and later figure out what it means with respect to the notion of 
equality. Of course, I can't confine what Netters will do anyhow, even if 
I hope that we will keep personalities out of this.

Frank

[your post uncchanged below for reference]

 Darren Bostock (dbostock@enterprise.powerup.com.au) wrote:
: [Much edited....]

: >I invite you, or anyone else, to flesh it out. It seems, esp. now from 
: >what Kaa says about the Human Genome Project, that this fleshing out, if 
: >it ever comes, will not be forthcoming anytime soon. So if there are 
: >other positive arguments *for* equality, I'd very much like to hear them. 

: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.....

: I did not see your original post so I will make the assumption that you were
: inviting speculation about what people believed to be their justification/
: belief/adherence of equality between racial groups of humans. I apologise if
: I have made an incorrect assumption.

: I believe that equality is a concept that humans use to establish their position
: in society. I also believe that each person's concept of equality is determined
: by factors that they percieve as being important or relevant to decision. As such,
: I also believe that differences will not always mean inequality. I am therefore
: drawn towards the conclusion that one's concept of equality is subjective to
: the situation and interpretation of the information available.

: With this in mind, what do you mean by equality or inequality? What context?
: What area of life or race or humans in general are you wishing to discuss?
: What factors are you drawing from to develop your thoughts about equality or
: the validity of equality?

: >And if you think I am bad, wicked, evil, or all three, I'm sure the rest 
: >of us would like to hear what you, or anyone else, can come up with.

: Not at all. If more people were prepared to discuss their thoughts, be they
: right or wrong, then the world would probaly become a lot smarter.


: -- 
: Regards,

: Darren Bostock (Email :- dbostock@powerup.com.au)
: '...... I'd swear to God, If God would let me swear......'




From mielpur@msn.com Wed Jan 31 22:01:50 PST 1996
Article: 27585 of can.politics
From: mielpur@msn.com (DAVID FORMAN)
Subject: RE: Quebec is Divisible - Bouchard
Date: 31 Jan 96 21:38:51 -0800
References: <310D179C.1262@sfu.ca>
Message-ID: <0000343a+00009b68@msn.com>
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Newsgroups: can.politics
Organization: The Microsoft Network (msn.com)
Lines: 14

So Bouchard says Canada is not a real country.  How about it has real 
money.  I'm for a strong and totally independent, Republic of Quebec. 
 The sooner the better.  But Montreal, which by the way was not built 
up solely by Francophones, stays in Canada.   Montreal is 
multi-cultural and multi-ethnic and that makes it special.  Nobody 
should allow Montreal to turn into another Quebec City, one is 
enough.  Divide up Quebec now and stop letting the tail wag the dog.  
When is enough, enough?  We are all distinct peoples, we are 
Canadians. 

Canada is bilingual.  But don't position one language against the 
other.  Bill 101 is a crime against civil rights.  Remember WWII, if 
not for the English speaking allied troops (and many Canadians), 
France would be speaking German by now.  



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