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David's note said:
"Political discussion. Roger points out all the ways that the world
fails to acheive any basic notion of fairness or equity.
As I understand it, the argument goes like this
1. The world is in the death grip of large corporations and
states. This has led to horrible consequences.
2. Therefore, the current world order is not worth preserving.
More than that, it is worth shaking up and pulling down.
3. Free Haven will be a tool which may help in pulling down the
current order. It won't do it by itself. It may not even be
that great a tool, but gosh darn it, it's a hell of a lot better
than doing *nothing*.
4. Therefore Free Haven is a good thing, over and above any
effect it may have on "nice kinds of speech."
We then had a brief argument about capitalism and peoples' motivations,
manufactured consent, connotations of the word "greed", and how to
link this general principle "shaking up the world is good" to specific
I personally find the above tract naive and objectionable. It smacks
of extremism and emphasizes destruction (``pulling down'') without any
rational constructive proposal for alternative structure or values.
Effective and appropriate political change in a democratic society
should derive from public debate and deliberation of the issues. (We
don't often get this, but it's the goal.) Merely ``shaking things
up'' with Freehaven won't be politically productive per se. We get
altogether enough, if not too much, ``shaking up'' from other
You are best advised, in my opinion, to think harder about why
something like Freehaven might (or might not) make the world a better
place, than to argue that it is a random impulse to the world and that
a random impulse is likely to make things better. People generally
don't like being kicked around with random impulses; they tend to
resent the kicker and just do something to make him stop kicking. A
non-specific stimulus does little to focus thinking or motivate
change. (This is the fallacy of terrorists.) Any change that results
is unpredictable, and likely to favor stronger governments rather than
individual rights. The power of great ideas (democracy, free speech,
privacy, etc.) is much greater, and more effective, than that of
random impulses. I would suggest reviewing what synergies, or lack or
synergies, there is between freehaven and various political notions,
rather than asserting that freehaven is just a random kick in the
pants to a broken system. That is, you might argue that freehaven
could increase (or decrease) the power of the nation-state relative to
the power of individuals. Or that it would enhance (or decrease)
privacy. Etc. Such arguments would be much more interesting than the
rant given above...