Kleptocracy’s Purpose: Reverse-Engineering Civilization

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@ K. by 2003

The Schools’ Purpose section of my FIX / FLEX will show what I mean by “reverse-engineering.” I am not an engineer. I have no time budget to find out how close I am to any standard meaning: so I try to declare my own meanings, depend on feedback for confirmation, correction … I got the term from Florence Howe and Paul Lauter in their 1969 NYR article reverse-engineering the school system: ignore an institution’s claims regarding its purpose; see what the institution actually accomplishes: THAT is its real purpose.
As with any human symbolic system (and what else do we have but symbol systems?), there are dangers: such as reifying abstractions: is there really such a “thing” as a school system, a civilization, a government, a people, a church, a god … a collective, an individual …? (And if there’s no such thing as a kleptocracy, what harm can it do? Ditto school, church, people, god …)

(Actually, there are few real things that can do as much harm as any from our plethora of imagined entities.)

I remind the gentle visitor that the word kleptocracy is the coinage of Jared Diamond. The founder of the Free Learning Exchange, the inventor of FIX, of Macroinformation … this deschooler (opponent of coercion) … tries to fit his wake to Diamond’s wake: he’s the one who got published after all.)

Knatz.com, like pk’s adult life, has been filled with attempts to expose the harms of over-populated, coercive, institutionally-self-deluding human societies from its beginning. New points will accumulate in this file. I hope to live and work long enough to link to link with all of the rest from here. Meantime, the random quotes should give hints [Sorry, no longer functioning]. search features are salted here and there: the main teaching menu, for example.

2003 12 28 Kleptocracy — government by theft — would be difficult to maintain in a free society: that is, a society without coercion. Have there ever been such societies? Are any left? Thermopelae preserved the lesser of two evils; but that was rare, and long ago. Since then, “Big Horns,” “Vietnams” … have been the rule: use napalm to teach peasants how much they need some government they’d never heard of: law and order, you know.

Note: I really must copy Jared Diamond’s own statements about kleptocracy into my kleptocracy-quotes file!
Personally I fear that overstocked societies cannot endure without coercion, deception, eminent domain … (That might be a good reason right there to trim our numbers back to the census of 80,000 years ago: the modern species just emerging from Africa (I refer of course to the census taken by archaeologists today! A few bands, some perhaps as large as 250 individuals.)

One requirement for a legitimate free society was seen by the founding fathers of the American Revolution: no censorship. (But don’t most kleptocracies dream that they qualify: exceptions always being allowed for national emergencies, to preserve morality, to protect children …?) A more important qualification was dreamed by me: in 1970, founding The Free Learning Exchange: cheap universal access to publishing: no exceptions (but simultaneously strict restrictions on what ads can include: this is my name, this is my address, this is what I offer … propositions presented as facts: the feedback feature paired to facilitate the exposure of false “facts.”) Civilization’s first (! If I’m wrong, show me an earlier) offer of universal freedom was ignored: and now we all live and will die in the consequences. [note]

I set the file up, takes time … and already I’m deflected from my morning’s inspirational aim: to point out how societies protect their positions by scattering proxies between independents and the ears of the government. You can’t just tell the judge: first you have to tell a cop, then a lawyer. (And if you have anything penetrating to say, you’ll find the lawyer to be just another illiterate moron: one with degrees, licenses, and status.) You can’t tell the store owner, not with corporations: first you have to tell the clerk. Like the cop, the clerk is selected (by a complex of interconnecting forces) to be incapable of hearing let alone understanding all but the simplest and most familiar possible utterances. (I ask for couscous, the clerk goes and asks his supervisor if they have Couch Kiss. Finally the supervisor comes to me and says that they don’t have Kiss Kiss.) I can’t just discuss theology with the Pope; first I have to discuss it with some illiterate priest. Thus, the head of the kleptocratic society is insulated from the experience of the society.

Every time the citizen goes to the Bureaucracy, there’s a different bureaucrat.
Bureaucrat2 has no knowledge of what you said to Bureaucrat1
(and if he does, the Bureaucracy can substitute Bureaucrat3, Bureaucrat4 …)
So only the Bureaucracy’s records count.
Thus false memory erases the citizen’s experience, over and over.

2006 06 07 It’s astonishing! I have only one dinky Bureaucracy module! not a whole section. Actually, I have hundreds of Bureaucracy modules: and  is the section.

Bureaucracy has another trick, besides the one just noted of having an endless supply to switch on you. Crazy Horse defeats Custer and another white kleptocrat pops up onto Custer’s horse. Kill the horse and another horse will appear. The other trick is bring in an expert! Once the bureaucrat has brought in an expert, why all problems are solved and the Bureaucrat can go off to dinner.

I should have added, clarified: First Custer comes to kill Cracy Horse. Then some bureaucrat promises Promise1,2,3…. Then some other Bureaucrat jails Crazy Horse, more promises are made … But BureaucratX,Y,Z knows nothing of what BureaucratM,N,O promised … The bureau can change the deal at will; once confined Crazy Horse must accept whatever is dealt him.

Thus the displaced should always fight to the death. And eventually terrorism will be the only alternative to bureaucracy. The Bureau will control every single dollar. Either work for the lies; or die nowhere. (Thus, any day is a good day to die: living adds shame on shame.)

In the Jesus story the experts don’t have to be summoned, the experts are already there. If Jesus is the son of God, who better should judge than Caiaphas, the head of the Sandhedrin? Caiaphas was the expert. The Jews relied on Caiaphas to know what God said. So: if God had a son, the one person who absolutely should know about it is Caiphas, right? Notice: the Son doesn’t count; not when you have an expert to substitute.
Notice in this regard that the Church is the perfect bureaucracy: unless you’re a Gnostic, that is, a heretic, banished to the dungeon, God is NEVER heard from. Every word comes second hand: from experts.
Note: Initially this file will be a scrapbook; eventually I hope to compose it. This minute I’m going to interrupt these proceedings to compose a module on growth: planned and un-plannable. But I further hope to be right back to continue: including considerations on whether social homeostasis can be said to be “deliberate.”

Intention: [missing data?]

Notes

Freedom Was Ignored:
Why fault of course: you didn’t hear me; you didn’t understand me; I didn’t speak loudly enough … How could I while begging for scraps and for shelter? Didn’t the society have a little something to do with diverting resources away from me every time it was apparent that I was a critic? someone with something positive to offer?

Every time I kept my mouth shut, saluted the flag, murmured pieties … beaucoup bucks flowed my way. You don’t think Ivan Illich could have had a safe career in the Church if he had kept his mouth shut? Or Jesus with the Sanhedrin? the rabbis liked him when he was twelve!
I’m still begging for scraps, still not getting them. Don’t you believe that the universe keeps truthful records? exact accountings? Will “God” have to get his “facts” from the FBI at Judgment? don’t rely on it.

Kleptocracy

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Solution to Kleptocracy

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@ K. 2000 12 02

Solution(s) to Kleptocracy What a Sane People Would Do

This module makes an important point: way down below, buried in important, but less important narrative: so I repeat it up top:
All people, all peoples, should recognize that no polity is legitimate. Our species has a “right” to exist, but excess populations have no right to perpetuate themselves through kleptocracy. All deeds, all charters, all treaties should be burned. We should agree that no one owns the world. Yet we have a right to occupy it, to function in it. Militaries and police should receive amnesty provided that they sin no more. There should be no new police to enforce this: we should put coercion behind us. If we can’t do this voluntarily, through our own “enlightened self-interest,” then the hell with us …

Read on.

The people we call the “Ancient Greeks” were “Indo-Europeans” who swept out of Asia and displaced whichever peoples had occupied the Peloponnesis. The peoples we (now) call “Native Americans” (after having called them “Indians”) settled the Americas within a thousand years of walking across the once dry Bering Straight. (Other prehistoric peoples may well have sailed all over the coasts of the Americas, but if indeed there were such peoples, they don’t seem to have settled: but rather sailed on and on.) [note]

pk is three-quarters “German” and one-quarter “British”: part English, part Scot. The Scots were pushed out of “England” by peoples more numerous, better weaponed, less scrupled … “Germans” don’t come from “Germany”; the English don’t come from England. The Australian aborigines sailed to Australia some forty or so thousand years ago. That’s a long time by our standards. But still: do they really “belong” there? Should “Australia” really “belong” to them? Should it belong to the “English” who killed them in such numbers?

I don’t recall asking to be born. I know of no records of any creatures ever requesting such a thing. I am sure I didn’t ask to be born in Brooklyn Hospital to a red-headed mother and a lawyer father. But I was. I have enough imagination to believe that had I been born a Jew in the time of David I too would have hated the Philistines, wanted them dead, believed that God loved us Jews and hated the Philistines, gloried when David killed Philistines and took their foreskins as trophies. There are a couple of tribes in Africa whose men carry specialized castration knives: they earn no prestige unless they wear the severed balls of some poor bastard they waylaid from the other tribe. Do those tribes have a “right” to be what they are? (I for one am not going anywhere near them to discuss it with them.) If you or I were born among them, I believe we should believe that we’d be carrying such knives ourselves. (And I’ll speculate on one thing about their “rights”: I’d don’t believe either of those tribes are overpopulated: yet they endure.) Who’s to criticize?

Well I criticize. I criticize a great deal. My training is in criticism. I was taught it. Critics from Jesus to Dr. Johnson to Henry David Thoreau were held up to me as models. I attended a liberal arts college. Liberal Arts there were presented as a “free” discussion of what would constitute “the good life.” (Not that the college necessarily practiced what it preached: criticize Columbia (as I have) and see what it gets you (as it got me).)

Having been born at Brooklyn Hospital, I was born into the kleptocracy that calls itself the United States. “Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in my life time. The law required me to sit through more than a dozen years of talk about law, about rights, about legitimacy. My parents pressured me to elect even more of such sitting. One day they tell us about law; another day they admit that we kept slaves, practiced constant guerrilla war with the natives, designed one-sided treaties: You have to keep it; we can break it whenever we want.

I attended a church that taught that the world was “made” by an entity called “God,” that God somehow owned us; but was also our Father. God manifested himself as a mortal. The king of God’s own people and the priests of God’s own Temple didn’t recognize their God in mortal form, sandbagged him, broke their own laws and suborned the Roman force occupying Palestine to break their own laws and falsely condemn, torture, and execute God. God did this because he loves us and wants to forgive us. My church taught that the Church that claimed to be the new church, to have things right for a change, was in fact another false church, that they too reigned by terror, practiced false magic, repressed reasoned inquiry. Problem is: I don’t see my own church to be one whit different in any respect. OK, there is one respect: they don’t torture reasoned inquirers; they just don’t hear them, don’t acknowledge them. note Still, the Catholics faulting the Jews and the Protestants faulting the Catholics are all black pots calling black kettles black.

What the hell. You and I didn’t invent it. Enjoy life. Try to cut the other guy’s balls off without him cutting off yours. Ah, but I do enjoy life. I love life immensely. I love to criticize. I love to offer sensible solutions. The solution I offer today follows logically from a suggestion by R. Buckminster Fuller already reported here (link below). Fuller made a speech in India in which he congratulated the peoples of the sub-continent on being the first people to emerge from the receding tide of imperialism. He suggested that all people who loved freedom and hated imperialism should apply for citizenship of India, form one united post-imperialist world.

India has had its own wars, and aggressions, and repressions since then, but rhetorically at least, the suggestion is a great one. I modify it however.

All people, all peoples, should recognize that no polity is legitimate. Our species has a “right” to exist, but excess populations have no right to perpetuate themselves through kleptocracy. All deeds, all charters, all treaties should be burned. We should agree that no one owns the world. Yet we have a right to occupy it, to function in it. Militaries and police should receive amnesty provided that they sin no more. There should be no new police to enforce this: we should put coercion behind us. If we can’t do this voluntarily, through our own “enlightened self-interest,” then the hell with us: we may as well grab what we can: lie, cheat, steal, dominate our spouses, our children: cut the other guys balls off and wear them with honor.

Fuller’s Suggestion

Our chief hope lies in finding ways of permanently
tying self-interest to the common good.
Brin, Glory Season

Note
2005 12 21 First we lived, then we raided, then we coordinated our raids into kleptocracies, some temporarily “winning,” most losing. Now our predations threaten to trigger quantumly more synergistic collapses. As extinction is on a different logical level from a bunch of individual deaths, so are any of a number of previously unguessable ecological potentials. If we kill the forests and the plankton far enough, the whole earth may cease to breathe. Then it won’t matter who holds the marbles. I don’t say that Life will end; only that part of it that we care about: starring US.

I’m just enjoying Dan Simmons’ LoveDeath. There his Sleeping with Teeth Women visits the Lakota people on the eve of their engulfment by the Wasi’Chu. In that context the narrator acknowledges his own Lakota’s depredations against other tribes in their own Westward expansion (Never forget: West symbolizes death: that’s were the sun sets (no matter where on earth you are: the earth’s spin has been constantly one way).

I particularly love the narrator’s aside at that point, warning a specific listener that he cannot image how alive the “empty” plains had been: not just with bison, and other tribes, but with spirits, with gods.

Previous estimates had North America’s population at about one million humans in 1492. More archeological finds reassess that figure to ten million! However, shortly after 1492, the population did fall to around one million.

If the Europeans had deliberately killed not one single Indian (whether or not the Indians killed one or many Europeans), nine million natives rapidly succumbed to the Europeans’ imported diseases. The men themselves stole westward into the continent only very slowly, but the diseases raced. The bulk of the population lived in the Mississippi valley. Nine million dead before the Colonists had penetrated fifty miles into the forest way east along the Atlantic coast!
And if Simmons is right, and it sure is a nice metaphor, then the EurAsian God with his kleptocratic monotheism, killed off the native gods nearly as swiftly, surely as stealthily, as the germs killed off the people.

Typhoid Mary hadn’t a clue who she was killing, or even that she was killing. Did God?

Simmons’ medicine man has it that even the rocks had been alive. Once the spirit of the Lord passed over them, not only were they dead, they were so dead you’d swear that they could never have lived.

Social Solutions

Notes
Humans in the Americas:
Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Research suggests our ancestors traveled the oceans 70,000 years ago.
See Discover Magazine’s report of 2008 05 20

Torture Reasoned Inquirers:
I can’t have meant that quite literally when I wrote it in 2000 December. Already I’d been made a pariah, illegally fired, not hired, had my son kidnapped while the law approved … been assaulted while the law nodded … Now that I’ve also been arrested, jailed, railroaded, watched the court and its prosecution lie like a rug and then censor my web sites! I have to take it back.

2008 05 27 I replace a note here reporting an out of date shuffling of files and folders at Knatz.com. Deschooling files and “solutions” files have moved and moved some more. The problem has deep meaning, it’s not just a question of which drawer the socks are in: no one’s business but the wearer of the socks (and perhaps his wife, family, maid …) Deschooling modules were in a FLEX folder which went into a Social Solutions folder. Eventually they expanded to their own domain: InfoAll.org, since knocked off line by my arrest as a “federal felon.” (The magicians who control our illusions lie with every move they make.) Now I rebuild Knatz.com, and take the occasion to make a point structurally I’d previously made only in words, too few words: deschooling was born as a subset of Ivan Illich’s deconstruction of institutions in which he pointed out how dehumanizing the proliferation of professions was. To have separated doctors and lawyers from the population was bad enough. For teachers, and firemen … to follow, to have “professional” salesmen … (some oxymorons are too much!) … yech, we deserve whatever happens to us. Anyway, all deschooling materials at Knatz.com are now in a DePro(fessionalize) section of my Teaching area. The Social Solutions area remains stunted, but not empty. It’s now stuck in the NoHier(archy) section, formerly Society / Order.

2016 02 19 My thinking has changed a lot since 2000. “Solutions” then formed a large part of K./Society/ But then I slacked off from trying to carry the whole world plus the whole planet/system/etc. Much will be added, if I live. But since 2001 I’ve gravitated evermore toward the view that the only solution involves the near-extinction of humans.

Kleptocracy

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School & Schooling

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /

pk on On School
Baby oysters are ready to start filter-feeding the moment they’re born. A lion kitten won’t be ready for independence for quite a bit longer. To the degree that lions are social creatures, the independence will never be total: a lone lion is a sorry critter, the more so if it’s female: the females are “twice” as social as the males. Even social vegetarians : elephants, for example : have years of development to undergo, to endure, before they become a mature member of elephant society.

Cooperating in groups is an old business. Bees and ants were at it long before there was such a human critter as an “Abel” or a “Cain.” Bees have a kind of a “nursery”: as do wolves, as do human-beans. “School” relates to ways in which man, the social creature, has corralled the young for periods of orientation, instruction, drill … throughout the age of the species. I don’t doubt that Cro-Magnon man sorted those who had undergone puberty from those who hadn’t for certain occasions. Neither do I doubt that “boys” were separated from “girls” for even more occasions. I concede all of that: and yet insist:
What school has come to mean by current times is unprecedented both in biology and in human history. Not only is school artificial, school is harmful: a pathology: a ruinously expensive pathology. Such schools are incompatible with quality knowledge. Such schools are incompatible with quality society. Such schools are intolerable for a spectrum of reasons.

Not only is school ruinously costly to nearly all societies; school is harmful to learning. Anyone succeeding in the world at large must unlearn staggering proportions of his “education.”

2008 05 04 The phrase “harmful to learning” I just changed from “harmful to education.” Shame on me. Many a person won’t follow the distinction even when it’s Ivan Illich or pk doing the explaining; but I’m one of the first to see Illich’s point, and I remain THE one to insist on repeating it no matter the cost to me! (Poverty, jail, censorship, banishment …) Learning is a natural process, inseparable from survival; education is a factitious artifact of industrial kleptocracy. Education has half-bankrupted the world, lowered intelligence, narrowed skill, and will kill us all before it’s done.

What’s taught in schools is more akin on the one hand to propaganda, to brainwashing, than it is to knowledge. On the other hand, it’s more akin to sheep herding, preparation for the abattoir, than practice for democracy.

Were we interested in liberty alone, coercive schooling would be an abomination.
Were we interested in education alone, mass-produced schooling would be an abomination.

I could, and still may, expand on the above points, but in this initial draft choose to proceed to this point: compulsory and universal schooling was not successfully resisted by those citizens of the nineteenth-century United States who allowed a half-assed Jeffersonian democracy to be transformed into an industrial fodder-feeder. The industrial captains and their lieutenants yanked the cloth from under the silver right while we were all sitting at table. Not bad as a magic trick (and just great for profits), but very bad for the health of the society. That’s done: Indelible. What I see as worse:
The public failed to take the opportunity given it in 1970 to slough off kleptocratic prescriptions: possibly to reverse the damage.

By 1970 Ivan Illich had combined the socially sane intentions of certain cyberneticists to, in van Foerster’s words, “map the community,” with the school criticisms of thinkers from Paul Goodman and John Holt to Everett Reimer and Illich himself.

A library which maintained data on learning resources (including consumer feedback about those resources) and was cybernetically available to the public through myriad public terminals would be all the education institution a free (and convivial) people would want.

Realize: that was well before the PC!

By 1971 I had multiply corresponded with Illich and was advertising that I would be the librarian.
I founded the Free Learning Exchange, Inc.

And here’s the kicker:
The public, didn’t support it: failed to fund its own liberation: its own entryway to the networking of free information.

I thought I could make a good start for maybe $100,000. IBM’S Directory of University Relations told me that $20,000,000 a year would be more like it for New York City alone. Even were he a hundred times more right than I (and I don’t doubt that he would be, I not knowing anything about budgets at that time), that’s still a pittance compared to New York City’s public school budget: to say nothing of New York City’s total education budget: day care through post-docs. (Include non-coerced education to get the proper figure that should be compared: FLEX would have served all learning needs: with pure, unadulterated information!)
FLEX literature was handed out on the streets of New York. Local, city wide, and national newspapers gave some publicity. News and interviews soon spread to radio and cable TV. Human resources began registering their availability. Would-be learners were writing and calling: to be put in touch with other learners or with “teachers” : their choice.

As the one actually trying to do it (as other learning networks in other cities, world-wide also opened for business (the Learning Exchange in Evanston having had Illich ties far longer than I), I envisaged a universal network: one whose scope would include Tierra del Fuego and the Aleutian Islands; but whose administration would remain decentralized: grass roots. I’ll do NYC. Denis is doing Evanston. Once we hear from pks or Denises in Lima, in Seville, in Peking … I’ll hope to lead us in how we can interconnect. I saw my job, first, as being to actually start it, and second, to make sure, the best humanly possible (by this individual) to make sure that the institution, ideally publicly run as well as publicly financed, remained pure. That is: no compulsion, no coercion may intrude: at the institutional level. That is, a teacher may compel students to, for example, read a particular book: just as a parent may; but there must be no social compulsion that any student must be a student of that coercive teacher. If you’re coerced: it’s voluntary. Either you entered the contract or your parents put you there and engaged in a contract on your behalf. Compulsion cannot be banished from human behavior so long as some humans are not yet adults. But compulsion should be tolerated only within the family; never by a state or a church. [note]

I’ll be back. I still haven’t addressed the things that are the real target of this piece: schools, including universities, as a kleptocracy’s way of assuring that certain ideas don’t get discussed, that, like a church, schools have their own taboos, their own heresies: all unacknowledged by the (largely unconscious) participating censors.

I mention Abelard below. Abelard couldn’t get a fair hearing in his own 11th   century: he hasn’t gotten one since. I can personally testify that his subject matter is still censored because Abelard’s nominalism is a key part of my doctoral thesis that my university used a series of tricks to subvert: to prevent the clear presentation of. The Inquisition lives: but has gone secular!

There are now so many files on schools and schooling here at Knatz.com that a casual visitor may not be able to see how many trees there are or how many forests. Hitherto those files were concentrated in either of two directories: my FIX / FLEX directory (now Deschooling or the school experience section of my biographical narratives. Subsequently a third folder has further complicated things: additional school stories, stories that hadn’t come in my original gush. Now I initiate this file and put it in my NoHier / Kleptocracy section as an overview from my current perspective. The FLEX directory is only just being moved to my new server. Next up there, perhaps even before the menu is renovated, will come my History of Universities.

Notes
Compulsion by Family vs. Compulsion by State:
The right to coerce may be sub-contracted by a family member to someone outside the family. Eloise’s father gave Abelard full-parental authority to be strict with her. Papa may not have liked the result once he learned that the priest was screwing Papa’s teenager twelve ways from Sunday, but he had asked for it. And Eloise certainly seemed to like it.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Hindu parents sent their son to a Roman Catholic school: not so that he would be Catholic; but so that he would experience strictness. And look at the result: he makes interesting films and makes them well: films in which some off-beat themes gain original treatment.

Kleptocracy

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Kleptocracy: Passive vs. Ratified

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@ K. 2008 06 17

Kleptocracy

Passive versus Ratified

We are born into kleptocracy. We didn’t invent it. The baby born in the Sacramento Valley didn’t steal Sutter’s land or his gold. We are born passive kleptocrats. But gradually we come to ratify the thefts by accepting handouts from the alpha thieves. We start passive, but we become active. Imperceptibly our actions ratify the kleptocracy.

Any of us can glibly say that we didn’t murder the Indians. But we pay taxes to a government that has continued to steal from the natives right up to the recent history covered by Was’i-Chu: and I’ll bet we’re kept right on stealing, and not just from natives.

I’m a kleptocrat too, but I’m powerless not to be. I oppose it with everything I have, and have for decades: all my life in one sense or another. I actively oppose what we are. So: I too am guilty; but I’m the Least guilty.

Kleptocracy

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Kobe Rape Case

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@ K. 2004 July

The Lakers decided that Kobe Bryant is the focus of their 2004-2005 team. The Lakers let Shaq go.

But Kobe has a trial hanging over his head. Theoretically, Kobe could go to jail for the rest of his life. Kobe is accused of rape. Yet the Lakers just signed him for seven more years at one hundred thirty-six million dollars. Would the Lakers have signed him as a janitor if a fix weren’t securely in place?

And within a week, it comes out: the judge will allow the accuser’s sexual history to be brought before the jury.

Understand: we’re talking law, not science. In science all evidence must be admitted. All hypotheses must be allowed. By those standards science clearly is not humanly possible. But some scientists do the best they can. Some try to approach the ideal: even if it’s impossibly out of our reach.
No, the law decides what evidence may be looked at and what evidence may not. The senator may watch the porn: and decide whether or not the banker, or the paper boy, may also watch the porn.

In law, as in stage illusion, the evidence is managed.

Think. Kobe had … what? fifty? seventy? one hundred million in endorsements? The woman accuses him of rape. Kobe has zero in endorsements: just like that. Whether fifty or one hundred million, the government will tax 50% of it. In kleptocracy one automatically has one big parasite attached to one’s money tract. The sponsors will still spend that same fifty or one hundred million, the government will still get to siphon some. But will the government get to siphon 50% if the millions are distributed around? The government might only get 20%! This Kobe Bryant accuser has already cost the government its 50% of millions. How well disposed toward her can we expect the government to be?

Not at all well disposed. No. The court will now allow the oldest of all defenses against the accusation of rape: the woman was a whore.

I just read a cute rational for whores’ above-average incomes. I read so much fiction (as well as science) that I can’t say exactly where I just read it: John Grisham, Caleb Carr, Randy White, James Swain … But somebody tells the story of a young whore exclaiming to the madame of the whore house that she can’t believe men spend so much money for such a little couple of moments: and the madame explains that she and the house are not just paid to allow the penis into the pussy; they are paid to allow that, and they are paid for the whore then to go away: to disappear. Don’t call him. Don’t follow him. Don’t show up with your cats, your dogs, your kids … and expect to move in.

And a whore shouldn’t accuse the john of rape. So: either the woman is not a whore; or, she’s not a very good whore: can’t be trusted. Hundreds of millions of dollars, wiped out, just like that. And so far she hasn’t siphoned any of it personally. That’s not a whore; that’s not a parasite: that’s the devil herself!
So. What really happened? I don’t know. You don’t know. The media doesn’t know. The court doesn’t know. The police don’t know … Are the police, the media, the government … you or I, competent to know what happened in somebody’s hotel room? a year ago? Is God?

Are Kobe or the woman competent to know what happened?

Uh oh. Now pk really is into all sorts of blasphemies. How dare I suggest that human beans are not competent to know anything they want to know?

I’m surprised I didn’t make it clear from the first syllables: I love Kobe Bryant. I’ve loved him since his rookie season. I remember Michael Jordon talking to him after a game. The Bulls had just beat the Lakers. The mature superstar was taking the future superstar aside and, what? bestowing on him some superstar wisdom. Thrill, thrill. Indeed, Kobe has thrilled me, thrilled us all, again and again: and at the level that Michael did. A guy can shoot forty points a game and still not come anywhere near that level. Magic had it. Pearl, Clyde … came close. I don’t remember Chamberlin having it: or Russell, but I wasn’t that keen an appreciator in those days. Sorry I didn’t pay attention to the Big O: or others. But Kobe has it.

I sure hope Kobe didn’t rape that girl. Rape is a terrible crime. Rape should be punished almost as severely as JP Morgan and Flagler should have been punnished for running the Miccosukee off of their Palm Beach oceanside homes.

I’m busy but I’ll try to make a moment soon to discuss further my assertion that however lawyers may define it, and redefine it, what an individual conscience means by rape is not clear, not consistent. Sure the guy putting a knife to the girl’s throat is terrible, but how many “rapes” aren’t quite so clear? I doubt very much that Kobe and his accuser would have the same thing in mind at the same moment.

Maybe someone will pass a law saying that juries which convict divine athletes will have to do five decades of community service: or replace Kobe on the LA floor: and do as well: remind people of MJ, of Dr. J, of what basketball can be.
I can’t see any jury getting the Nike contract.

Can any male understand “rape” the same way a female understands it? Can any “black” understand it the same way as any “white”?

My wife had been date raped once upon a time. I doubt that the guy thought of it as rape: she was white, she was female, she’d agreed to go out with him … This hotel girl agreed to go into the room of a guy who could press her overhead one-handed. Unless he pulled out a gun, how could anything he did be regarded by a majority as rape?

(Can a Christian understand anything the same way a cannibal does? Can a physicist understand anything the same way as a Christian?)
(Can any statist understand anything the same way that a philosophical anarchist does?)

Can any ruminant understand anything the way any predator does? Can any pathogen understand anything the way an ordinary parasite does?

2004 07 29 By God, now even Colorado has gotten in on it! I quote Reuters: “Colorado officials on Wednesday mistakenly placed on the state court’s Internet page a confidential filing that contained the name of the woman who has accused basketball star Kobe Bryant of rape.”

Why do people tolerate the law? Why do people blame the defendant doubly when the cops, the courts fuck up the case? Only in this particular case I don’t think the public is blaming Kobe. He’s simply too good an athlete.

2004 09 02: It’s official! The gal has retreated.
But what about the truth?
What? In a human society? !

2004 12 27 Reuters today says that the Christmas day game between the Heat and the Lakers garnered more TV viewers than any regular NBA game in the past seven years. Is there a lesson there? One that the NBA, David Stern, advertisers could benefit from? How would we monitor future news to detect a lesson learned? Will more stars molest hotel employees than do already?

I watched part of it. I am very disappointed to report that I’m greatly less in love with Kobe than formerly. But Shaq bores me too.

Where’s Michael?
Can even the Laker die-hards get excited for this years team? How come Steinbrenner doesn’t disassemble the Yankees every time they win a few in a row? Can anyone explain the Bulls or the Lakers to me? Lose Phil Jackson? A second team to do so? Is there any connection in the big-business world between success and intelligence?

Kleptocracy

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Monopoly, Kleptocracy: Redundant

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /

Mission: to characterize monopoly and statist government as almost synonyms

In the last years BC Crassus had been the longtime backer of Julius Caesar. Crassus financed Caius Julius liberally, a tally kept, but no pressure to repay. By the time Julius promoted himself to dictator, Caesar becoming Caesar,   Julius owed Crassus some $500 million, c. 1960 value. How much would that be today: $100 billion? More? Julius repaid him in full the first year.

Uh, what was Julius’s salary as dictator?

It’s the same question as the one throughout Catch-22: how could Milo Minderbinder buy cotton in Egypt for $1, sell it in Sicily for ten cents, and earn everyone a profit?
As my friend John Szoke said to (everyone’s enemy) Misha, “Look, I’m a CPA. You let me keep the books and you can have 100% of the net.”

Chinese emperors granted a salt monopoly to some favored individual. The salt business was so obscenely profitable that the monopoly had to change hands annuallly. No emperor could allow one businessman to become richer than the state overnight. [note]

When I can I’ll add comments here on Ivan Illich’s important, all too invisible, conception of radical monopoly (where you can buy a Ford or a Chevy, but not walk; drink Coke or Pepsi, but hate water.

Notes
More Monopolies:
In college Dave Kirk and I earned our inheritance of the (also one-year) refreshment agency: yes, another monopoly. We sold the hotdogs at Baker Field; no one else. No neighborhood kids could come in the gates with their own vending kit.
Columbia took five percept off the top of the gross. Dave and I split 50% of what net was left after the vendors and salesmen were paid. The other 50% was divided equally among the five junior managers. In four home football games I paid for my entire senior year’s tuition.
Remember though: Columbia kept all of the previous three years’ tuition. (NYU gave me a graduate fellowship. Oh, goody, I only had to pay 90% of the bill, not 100%.) So, even a monopoly can leave the monopolist bankrupt: unless he has continuing income. [note])

Broke Monopolist:
The same problem of course is ubiquitous for non-monopolists. You don’t have to be a monopolist to be broke. Poor artist paints for twenty years, doesn’t make a sale. Suddenly his gallery sells one for $100,000! Maybe the gallery actually pays him his $50,000, $40,000, $60,000 … He spends it overnight: and never sells another painting! Suddenly people want to buy his paintings: for the $1,000 they wouldn’t pay previously. But now the artists insists on the fluke $100,000. In fact, he wants it to go for $125,000!
Though actually, here’s what’s more common: The gallery gets the museum to accept a donation valued at $100,000 from a patron in league with the gallery. The patron actually writes a check for the full $100,000: how else is he going to prove to the IRS that that’s what he actually donated? The patron saves at least $100,000 in taxes: and gets his name writ in the secular heaven of the museum. Now, unless the artist is a total imbecile (not at all unlikely), the gallery can move all those dead $1,000 paintings in a fire sale atmosphere: 60% off, 80% off …
The perfect patron of such art will also own a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.
By the way, having revealed so much of agency finances, I’ll add one other run down: the freshmen salesmen got $5 a day. The sophomore runners, the ten promotions from the previous year’s crop, got $10: but had to work a lot more than one day for it: if they wanted to be promoted. My year, the juniors’ 10% came to near $100 a game in my year. Dave and my earnings each came to more than $300 just for the homecoming game. You know drug dealers who make more than that in an hour? Come on, this was 1959! I earned several times more than either of my parents at twenty-one years of age: but only for four days, only for one year.

Kleptocracy

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Rain All Around

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
@K. 2008 05 19

The rain is raining all around
It rains on you and me.
It falls on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The rain rains where it rains. Santa Claus reserves his presents for good little boys and girls.
The rain, the best I can tell, doesn’t check to see which flower has behaved itself as a flower should before wetting that flower: it just falls, and hits the flower, or doesn’t.
In the Santa Claus story, Santa works at the North Pole, making presents and storing them up for Christmas Eve. He is assisted in making the presents by elves. The enterprise is thought to be benignly swept up after by Mrs. Claus.
God tells the good little boys and girls from the bad from Heaven, where he is assisted by angels, and by Jesus, and according to some large sects, by the Virgin Mary. But let’s not worry about how God does things, telling good little men and women from bad little men and women so he can judge who gets to live with him in his many mansions; it’s hard enough to figure out how Santa Claus does his judging. Do the elves and Mrs. Claus assist Santa in learning who’s bad and good? Wouldn’t Santa need a bureaucracy that would obliterate the North Pole and cast a shadow over the South Pole?
What sorts of devices does Santa carry in his sleigh so he’ll know which rooftops to stop at and which to pass by?
I don’t know, but I do know one thing: it would be cheaper just to dump the presents from the sky, the way the rain precipitates from clouds, and let the presents fall where they may. Never mind who’s bad or good, just dump the presents.
Now, more than one reasonable man has doubted the existence of Santa Claus. More than one funny article has tried to figure out what delivery system can possibly deliver presents down chimneys to billions of homes, all in the few hours of sleep and darkness, especially when there are night clubs that don’t even close till 4 AM, and WalMart has shifts where some people are just coming into work when others are just putting out milk and cookies for Santa. That’s true: just as more than one reasonable woman has doubted not only God’s Justice in Heaven but even whether or not he is attended by both Jesus and the Virgin: and I know that there are those, including me on occasion, who have wished that God would just put everybody in Heaven and forget about who’s been bad or good (though recently I’ve been more on the side of God putting everybody in Hell, and the Hell with it). But there’s one thing I do know, never mind about God or Santa: there are governments that think that they can tell good little boys and girls from bad, and good little men and women from bad, and that they can decide, justly, who gets rained on, and who should be dirty and parched, and who gets presents … and who gets the shaft, and who gets arrested, who gets five hundred billing lawyers and who gets the Public Pretender … and whose bureaucracy hasn’t quite yet obliterated the North and South Poles, but will: soon, very soon.
I know something else: it would be cheaper, a lot cheaper, if the government just got the fuck out of the way and let it rain.
But then who would the lawyers bill?

Hmm. I started to draft the above with that exact opening in mind, but two targets to arrive at. I see that I’ve done one, and I’m pleased with how I did it, for a first draft anyway, but where’s the other?
Those who’ve read more than a couple of pk modules know how I use Van Gogh, “the” artist unpaid and unappreciated in his life time, as a symbol for all unpaid, unappreciated geniuses. In nature, I have every “right” to get rained on when it’s raining. Or, I can seek shelter. If I stand under the old oak, most of the rain will be caught and deflected, or absorbed, by the leaves and branches above me. I could crawl into a cave, hoping there’s no bear at home. I, or you and I, could build a shelter. We could put a piece of tin, or a tesselation of shingles, or a palm frond over our heads that would shade us from sun and rain, and even help regulate temperature. The government might even build a shelter for us and compel us to be in it, sheltered.
The government can put us in jail if it uses some of those billing lawyers to ahem “prove” that we owed some royalty that we didn’t pay.
(Er, aren’t there any royalties that the government didn’t pay?) (We stole our bicameral democracy from Hiawatha. When did Hiawatha get a royalty from us? Who is it up to whether the royalty suffices? Us? or Hiawatha?)
The world stole its internet at least in part from me and from Ivan illich, knocking us down and shoving us aside, while it eventually build its own internet, one suited for the billing lawyers. Where’s my royalty?
No, no. The rule of civilization is: the paid get paid more; the unpaid must Never be paid.
If the day ever arrives when pk is honored like Van Gogh, if trillions in royalties get paid to billing lawyers once it’s too late to pay pk, if statues of me are erected on every city block, there will still be some other Hiawatha, some Tucker, som Abelard, some pk … getting his balls cut off, his son kidnapped, while the state smiles and holds him down.
You know, I bet the flower being pelted by rain doesn’t worry whether or not the rain paid all tarrifs on its route from the clouds. I’ll bet the flower is wholly ignorant of whether any royalties have been paid for the invention of rain. We are born into a universe in which gravity applies. How do we know the inventor got paid?
How do we know there is an inventor? Is his name Yahweh? or Shiva? Or something in Eskimo? How do we know there isn’t an inventor? How do we know if any royalties are due?
Ah, the Church tells us.
But who tells us how the Church knows?
Especially when any view we have of any church, or university, or senate, is of that church, or university, or senate taking ideas from Indians and giving them to Greeks, ideas from Moses and pretending they’re from God, messages from God and crucyfyin the messenger …
If my universities ever get indicted (by someone other than just poor me) for building baffles to keep messages from Jesus, from Illich, from pk … away from the public, it won’t do any good unless no new universities are allowed to form.
A university is an aquaduct system. Some people get enough water to rot. Neighborhoods that were once dry are now muck. Meanwhile, the water is drained away from the soil that once stored it and into an artificial system where the politically approved get water previously distributed by nature.
I’d rather it just rain. Some get nurture, some get missed.
Failing that, if rain has to be approved by Santa, or by God, or by US, then I wish Santa and God and US had a better judgment system.
But maybe it doesn’t matter. God drains justice from the random universe until Heaven is rotting with it. Let it rot. Santa chokes the earth from Pole to Pole with his elves, and his OnStar navigator, fine. Soon US will have organized everything that used to work with the rain into something manmade and so efficient, that nothing works. And the universe will finally be rid of Shiva and Santa too.
Well, that last part needs another draft, but it can’t have it this minute.

Kleptocracy

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