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Re: [tor-talk] Neal Krawetz's abcission proposal, and Tor's reputation

On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 4:08 PM, Joshua Case <jwcase@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> > On Aug 30, 2017, at 10:36 AM, Ben Tasker <ben@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Yup, or, it's entirely successful in it's aim and none but the most
> > determined can use the markets. Which results in the alienated users now
> > buying back off the street, getting a lower quality product and putting
> > themselves in greater physical danger. Essentially reclaiming the hold
> that
> > cartels and the like have historically held over the street (not that
> it's
> > weakend much, but any reduction is still a good thing).
> >
> While you do address it int hat last sentence, I think it bears thinking
> through. I’m not sure that the ‘cartels’ - these are not fear quotes, truly
> just ambiguity - have ever  been damaged, deterred, or even marginally
> diminished by the existence of anonymous markets.

Yup, sorry I used the term cartel there very, very loosely. The actual
cartels have just expanded their distribution methods to include the
markets (and why wouldn't they), as have any, err... local traders where
the opportunity allows. Not moved, just expanded (just as you might go to
the shops when you need something sooner than Amazon can get it to you,
you'd still see the guy on the corner from time to time).

What it has done though, is given people the opportunity to more easily
obtain drugs without having to wander to the dodgy guy on the corner (in
turn lowering the risk to themselves).

> In fact, the aspects of the hustle where the opportunity for violence
> presents itself most frequently with greatest amplitude is still between
> tribes of manufacturers and those that protect their interests in areas of
> the world where life seems to have a lower cash or bitcoin value than it
> does on the relatively rich street the average consumer lives on. In fact,
> they are now able to drive a market in relative comfort, while the industry
> itself still relies on bulk violence it has not been democratically granted
> to produced and traffic the product in bulk, step on it in transit and then
> sell it to the perisitent and dedicated retail folks with he technical
> sophistication and temerity to use these fleeting markets and access the
> users.
> Without total global decriminalization, this is just another layer of
> wool, protecting the rich consumer from the ugliness of the industrially
> produced of the red meat he consumes.
> >>
> >> This is "war on drugs"-type thinking.  Speaking as someone who to-date
> has
> >> never even smoked pot, this seems like an intensely dumb idea.
> >>
> >
> > Intensely dumb is about right. There are a good number of examples around
> > the world now of a better way to approach it, but it's going to be a very
> > long time before sense kicks in sadly.
> >
> I think I agree with this, but wouldn’t want any of us to kid ourselves
> about the outsourcing of violence, and the premium, classist nature of Silk
> Road type drug markets.

Oh, definitely. But you can't address violence in all areas at once, and
reducing it in one area (final distribution) inevitably means that some
will move upstream (due to increased demand, stemming from increased
convenience etc), and the violence that already existed upstream will

> Nice if you can afford it, right?
> They kind of ‘decriminalization’ without ‘legalizing’ leaves the armies of
> violent producers, the cartels, in tact, increasing the security wth which
> the end user can demand the product.
> My sense is that of the drugs of abuse in the north-east US (MASS, NY, NH
> ME) the ones I’m aware of anyway, in the most common, desperate and
> potentially violent circumstances an end user faces sell in increments that
> don’t move enough money to warrant taking the transaction online and still
> profiting. 5 or 10 dollar hits of dope are sold to the nearly sick. TOR
> drug markets are more for the experimental college kid, recreational users,
> rich suburban housewives that have pill habits and can afford to keep
> themselves up out of the muck. Even knowing roughly how much money passed
> and passes through there, it’s not even the tip of an iceberg were talking
> about, with respect to the behavior of the cartels or whit drives street
> level dealers, or is it? Am I missing the point?

No, I think you've got the point mostly. I think you're slightly
overestimating the size of the smallest measures being sold on some of the
markets, though prices tend to be a little higher (generally because of
increased quality, but also because the market will bear it), but there's
still a huge market in the real world too - both people who are unable to
access the online markets, but also the opportunists (i.e. I fancy
something tonight). Those who've got and have had a life-controlling habit
for quite some time are fairly likely to fall into the former group, and
are probably also amongst the most vulnerable in terms of being ripped off
or subjected to violence (even if no-one could shop online).

I think you hit the nail on the head though, simply decriminalising it
isn't enough, as that leaves the manufacture and distribution in the hands
of criminals.

It needs to be legalised and regulated in order to start addressing the
issues that exist in the supply chain itself. Even then, as you say, it'd
need to be more or less world-wide to finally "win", but again you can't
address all the harm at once, so a few large countries would still be a
step in the right direction. Even then, there'll still be a black market
(see Cigarettes, Alcohol and Firearms for examples), but the leverage that
market is able to do will be greatly reduced. The criminal gangs will
probably move onto other "produce", and the next war will start. But in the
process we'll have stopped criminalising people who were simply
recreational users as well as making sure those who continue to use are at
least getting the substance they expect.

> JC
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Ben Tasker
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