[extropy-chat] re: embedded in open hearts (Meta/EP)

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Fri Apr 15 05:33:50 UTC 2005

Spike wrote:

>  Those who have nothing are judgment-proof.
> When we expect a long life on this earth, we have a lot to
> lose.  When one has assets, one is judgment-vulnerable, and
> is thus reluctant to escalate conflicts.

This makes sense but isn't there a flip side to it? 

Consider how democracies work as systems in a global economy. 

Politicians can't credibly give a majority of voters the stuff they
want, when they are constained by economic realities, so the carrot
option is limited for them. But the stick less so. 

Those with more assets and more to lose are also more subject
to bribes, threats and the politics of fear. 

This can produce a feed back effect in which politicians, or political
parties, to get elected play the fear card carefully aiming it not 
randomly, but using the latest technology like computers and 
detailed databases of voting patterns etc, very precisely and 
mathematically. Almost like a modern farmer might keep track of
his herd. 

If person X is known to have too much to lose person X's
behavior is predictable in the face of a threat from *any* credible

National democracies in global economies increasingly takes on
the aspects of a protection racket.

This doesn't even serve the longer term interests of those who are
well off because much of the resources that might have gone into
improving the quality of life even further get redirected into policing.
And the well off are increasingly taxed for the privilege of being 
made to feel safe or rather less threatened but not from risks like
diseases or earthquakes or tsunamis or asteroid strikes but from
risks like other people.

Too much defecting (a Prisoners Dilemma term) from those who
feel they have too much to loss would actually increase the number
of cheaters as you end up positively reinforcing their behavior. 

Brett Paatsch

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