Force and Violence: personal freedom vs. social order

I guess I can understand why my crowdfunding campaign has not attracted enough support to do more than just take a bit of weight & pressure off me … because it is a huge vision, and complex … I dare say that despite working on it for so long, people probably still struggle to believe it’s possible for someone to figure out what I’m claiming to have figured out … but I guess that’s life, everyone views everything from their own beliefs, perspective & capabilities.

At least I got a good laugh when I received a comment on the campaign site today:

… unfortunately the campaign website doesn’t allow me to reply to this comment (a surprising lack of functionality).

But whoever you are, I’d like to than you for the comment and question, not only because it gave me a laugh (which I’m in desperate need of these days), but also because it does actually raise a quite serious question about social justice. So I’m going to use this comment & question to answer another.

Bigots & Fascists:

First of all, though my comment he’s referring to was about bigots, it also applies to fascists … So let’s just take a minute to frame these words in a social context.

A definition which restricts the domain of the discussion, to the set of problems that motivate my perspective, is as follows:

  • A bigot is a generic category for someone who holds prejudice against another, based on a set of criteria;
  • Subcategories of bigot are things like racists, sexists & elitists;
  • However there are of course perfectly understandable applications of bigotry which I’m always excluding when I use the word, such as prejudice against psychopaths, sociopaths & pedophiles for example … they may well be psychologically sick, and perhaps we should take that into account, but it doesn’t mean we should cease to be in some way prejudiced against them, since their actions have such dire consequences for innocent people;
  • These 3 categories (psycho/socio-paths & pedophiles) are effectively bigoted against the rights of others;
  • Which is effectively the definition of a fascist, ie – someone who is bigoted against your right to resist their bigotry;
  • Therefore prejudice against bigots themselves comes under what I refer to as the exception paradox for bigotry (into which I place myself), ie: it’s ok to be a bigot against bigots … this is the one expression of bigotry which is justified.

So everything I’m about to say next is put into the above context.

  1. YES it should be OK to punch bigots in the face (with the exception paradox applying, as above);
  2. This also applies to fascists;
  3. No I am not advocating violence, I’m advocating the legality of it.

Here’s the thing … typically speaking: do bigots and fascists listen to reason? No … Are there serious consequences to the fact they won’t listen? Yes … So if they won’t listen, what the point in continuing the argument? To help them hurt innocence people (rhetorical)? Well … you’d hope not, but that’s the end effect; we’re enabling them by not fighting them.

You can argue all year with a religious person, and the odds are they’ll never acknowledge the points you make, nor understand them with any depth … I’m not saying they can’t and don’t, I’m saying that where you’re contradicting their beliefs and desires, they’ll resist and fight against such information before they ever actually take the time to contemplate or question it … they’re just reacting, pushing back, not engaging. The same is true of bigots & fascists.

So to summarise where I’m going with this:

  1. We’re dealing with people who have a prejudicial ideology against innocent persons;
  2. We’re dealing with people who will often harm those innocent persons;
  3. We’re dealing with people who won’t listen to reason & won’t stop;
  4. If those of us who have strength will not defend the innocent, they suffer;
  5. Sometimes the best defence is a good offence.

Social Justice:

I think the world has proven countless times over the last few centuries, that restricting the legitimate use of violence to the government does not bring about social justice … that’s quite obvious … and you might be surprised to hear that in many regards I still consider myself to be a pacifist (no I’m not kidding you).

The real problem here is that innocents suffer … and given the opportunity, yes I’ll probably use violence to prevent that suffering and protect the innocent, and I feel no shame, hesitation or reservation in saying so … in fact I’d be ashamed of myself if this were not true.

BUT … what I’m NOT SAYING is that such action is a solution to the problem, I don’t believe that for one minute … it is merely a last resort to protect & prevent harm to innocents, where prevention of the bigotry itself has failed, ie – we still have to figure out what causes the bigotry in the first place, and what empowers it within society. Though I might add, it’s also true that on top of protecting the innocent, it may create some discomfort & dissuasion for bigots to do such harm, and possibly even dissuade their attitude, because it’s no longer quite so easy for them.

Justified use of force:

So to take this further, we have to look at the justified use of force and violence, which presently remains the almost exclusive right of governments.

Now I understand the opposition to allowing people to use violence themselves is argued by saying people are not wise enough to do so without dire consequences. While in general terms this may be true, the same is true of governments, so why give it to them? … and by the same logic, some people are crap drivers, so why let anyone drive a car? You see, that logic doesn’t work, it’s an invalid argument.

Banning things is typically the response of simplistic & lazy minds that either can’t be bothered or don’t have the capacity to analyse issues in greater depth … and bans don’t work … if they did there’d be no crime. What we have to do is look at the fundamental nature & mechanics of the situation along with all other variables applying to each case or scenario.

So let’s just get a few philosophical things straight here:

  1. The aim above all else is to protect innocents from harm;
  2. We don’t resort to violence necessarily in the first instance;
  3. We also do not necessarily avoid initiating violence at all costs;
  4. What we do is weigh up a whole range of factors to determine right action.

So, is it ok to be so averse to violence that you allow another innocent person to be manipulated, suffer and possibly die where you could have helped them? Is it ok to allow the perpetrator of this crime to continue to amass power and wealth which they use to further manipulate, abuse & kill to entrench their power? Is it wise to allow them to gain so much social control, they become almost impossible to fight? … of course not, it is profoundly cowardly and foolish.

So how would Open Empire deal with all this?

First of all, Open Empire is non-hierarchical or anarchic, there’s no ruling class or organisation to tell you what to do or not do (per se) … what there is amounts to a motivational framework which provides you the information required to quantify what constitutes social justice, and to take action on that information.

Perhaps this is best explained with an example:

  • Imagine a scenario where a psychopathic murderer came to your town;
  • At first you can’t be sure who it is, but the odds are it is one of 2 recent visitors;
  • Since the thermodynamic cost of damage done by such people is so huge, including the lost opportunity of what may have happened had they not committed their evil acts, we can say that it is thermodynamically valuable to prevent such future actions, and therefore people interested in doing so are motivated to find & stop these killers;
  • Many people may thus choose to specialise in hunting them down, and wherever you live, you’ll likely have at least one such local person, and even if not, anyone can choose to do it at any stage;
  • There would likely be such people who also travel with such services, tracking down the killers & preventing the continuing harm they otherwise do;
  • Since such work is valuable, others will specialise in teaching how to do it, and providing resources to assist in the work, all of which is either non-scarce resources that are completely free & easily obtained, OR scarce but determined to be most meritoriously awarded to such pursuits;
  • So what we’re doing here is decentralising justice in a non-property/trade/currency-based economic paradigm;
  • Meanwhile, a psychologist somewhere has proven a method of determining whether a person is able to be cured of their psychological illness, and how to provide such treatment … while elsewhere: another psychologist working with a mathematician, has shown how to quantify whether such treatment is worth the effort, or whether the diversion of resources to make the attempt, would probably deprive them of use on behalf of another innocent person, thus causing that person harm, or constituting some other lost opportunity;
  • So in addition to people tracking down the killer to prevent the cost and damages of the killing, there are others working on other aspects of what to do with the person once caught … and the hunters also know they’re responsible for the consequences of over-reacting, so it doesn’t devolve into a lynch mob mentality … because yes you want to stop it, yes it might make sense to kill the killer, but some contemplation will go into that, with all sorts of risk factors being assessed;
  • What about the victim’s family I hear you ask? Well let’s say one of them in the heat of passion wants to kill the person who killed their loved one … it’s no longer an issue of this being a crime, it’s simply an issue of that relation being willing to take responsibility for the consequences of killing the killer … which (if they’re a repeat offender) probably wouldn’t be too hard to justify, and since the consequences are played out via personal statistics, if that relative is a huge contributor to ecological & social outcomes (and unlikely to become a serial killer themselves), then in all probability they’ll get away with it completely, because any minor hit to their statistics IF someone could prove the serial killer was redeemable, is unlikely to drag down the cumulative good they’ve done through the course of their life.

So I don’t know about you … but I think this beats the crap out of the system we have at present.

Final question:

How would this be applied to punching a bigot or fascist in the face?

Well I can’t be sure, that’s yet to be discovered in the data … but here’s how I think it might play out:

  • People are allowed to punch bigots in the face;
  • People start punching bigots in the face;
  • Psychologists show that places where bigotry prevails, the ecological & social outcomes achieved everywhere else are stifled … other scientists & mathematicians help prove this connection;
  • Reformed criminals, bigots etc. are interviewed, and some admit it was the fight back of others which helped them wake up to their own bullshit;
  • No significant harm outside the costs of physical injury is shown to occur, so the risk of consequences of punching them in the face is shown to be minimal thanks to the trail blazers like myself who were willing to bet on the outcome before it was proven conclusively … we’re thus vindicated and this boosts our statistics enormously;
  • Others feel secure to punch bigots in the face;
  • Over time, bigotry and fascism go extinct, except for our exception paradox of bigotry against bigots, which is codified and documented so that future generations never forget;
  • We no longer have to punch bigots in the face … and everyone lives happily ever after.

Final Comment:

No I’m not lobbying for punching people in the face under the present system, I don’t think they’ll go for it … but I’m reasonably sure something like this would play out under the framework I’m proposing.

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