He’s certainly getting the shittiest end of the stick, yes, but he signs up for it, so I’m not feeling too sorry for him. What’s your interpretation?
Read tango42’s article. It gives you a pretty good sense of the subtleties involved here. Bad things are happening, but the word is not ‘exploitation’ as such. I’m not even sure what the right word is. However, injecting lots of cash into communities that haven’t figured out why they’re poor (or why other people are ‘rich’) is generally a very bad idea.
Correct. At least we agree on something.
Of course there’s no such thing as a perfect society - they’re all a work-in-progress. Nevertheless I think you can arrange them on a roughly ordinal scale.
Governments, as I remarked about the Law, are a reflection of the society that creates them. When a society doesn’t understand important social tools like ‘win-win co-operation’, or ‘my word is my bond’, their governments generally don’t either. And the whole sorry mess just carries on chasing its tail. It’s not so much that the private sector knows best, but if a society is capable of implementing a private sector, it’s because it understands the moral precepts that underpin commerce. Those memes filter through into government, and you get a feedback loop that reinforces good things instead of bad things.
Yes. Its shape and its intent. Is it a monster constructed with the express intent of harming people, or is it a judiciously-calibrated and reliable restraint on bad behaviour?
I didn’t say that. I said that a statute forbidding something will not necessarily have the effect of stopping it from happening. A whole bunch of other cogwheels have to be in place for that to happen. First, people have to believe it’s a good law; laws that nobody agrees with get worked around, one way or another. Second, the law has to be enforced fairly; if it’s not enforced at all, it will be ignored, and if it’s only enforced with a view to benefiting certain people, it will provoke sullen rebellion. Third, it has to be objectively useful. Any law that turns out to have negative consequences will be very quickly rejected.
These criteria must apply not just to individual statutes but to the Law as a whole; if, as I said, the Law is so fucked that people seriously consider selling their kidneys, then people will assume that the statute forbidding kidney sales is just another manifestation of government idiocy. A bad body of laws creates conditions that subvert the entire concept of Rule of Law.
In other words, if you want to rule by diktat rather than social consent, you’d better have a lot of useful thugs at your disposal who are just barely smart enough to follow orders and know which is the dangerous end of the gun.
There is no ‘ergo’. I’m merely pointing out that, if you forbid theft and murder, it’ll make little difference unless you’ve met the basic requirements for a legitimate system of Law and Order. It’s an observation on reality, not a prescription.
Example: my favourite hellhole has a murder rate roughly 40 times the rate of Western Europe. That’s about the same as medieval England. Same with theft. On paper, they have perfectly good laws about murder and theft. There are multiple levels of failure that prevent those laws having any effect:
The Law as a whole is a ludicrous shambles of contradictory nonsense that even lawyers can’t understand. So the very concept of Rule of Law gets no respect: it’s dismissed as a pointless waste of time. Which it is. If you think of it in terms of technology, the Law in Germany is a brand-new iPhone X, whereas the Law in the Twilight Zone is a Fisher-Price toy plastic telephone with one of its googly eyes missing.
There is no social consensus that murder and theft are universally bad; indeed they believe there are certain situations where it’s legitimate to kill other people and/or take their stuff.
There is no enforcement of laws (except those that involve extracting money). On paper there are nearly as many policemen per capita as in proper countries, but you’ll never see one, and if by some misfortune you do, you’d best pretend you forgot your wallet.
If you have a serious dispute with someone, or you are wronged, the Law will offer you no redress. Killing someone is therefore a fairly logical way of solving an intractable problem.