Breaking Things

A great comment over at Foseti's place from one "GP":
The bug-eyed reaction [Derb] describes to his ’round em up and deport them’ solution is familiar. I get the same thing when I point out that Apartheid worked fine for about three decades.  
A notorious progressive said ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs’.  But the current progressive fallacy is more along the lines of: ‘There is not, and never has been, any such thing as an omelette. Look, there are only chickens.’
It is hard for us to imagine what we have not personally witnessed.  This is why it is so important for a reactionary to read history: to have a grasp of what is possible for human institutions.  History is full of examples like Operation Wetback, where they did in fact "round 'em up and deport them".  Or WWII, where the USG did in fact conquer both Japan and Germany (and England, France, etc. as well) in just ~five years, almost starting from nothing.

Jim on Monarchy

Jim posts a long and interesting Moldbuggian disquisition on monarchy and theocracy:
The job of a king is [to] reign, which means that by simply existing and being King, he prevents the negative sum struggle for power from destroying the wealth of the Kingdom and possibly getting lots of people killed. His job is to deny political power to anyone and everyone that wants it.

The job of a king as head of the official Church is to prevent a negative sum theocratic struggle for power, to prevent people from advancing their political ambitions by being holier than thou. By preventing a theocratic struggle for religious authority, he prevents religion from being perverted into an instrument of power, and thus prevents morals from being corrupted by those who most loudly proclaim their greater holiness.
I mostly posted this because that first para in particular is very good, almost aphoristic. But the whole piece is a good read.

As Jim points out, God is dead, so the potential for theocracy as such (that is, involving belief in God) is pretty much null. (In the West, anyway.) On the other hand, the potential for atheocracy is as high as ever. So a secure state must either be able to ignore belief entirely, which assumes very strong state security, or it must occupy the job and prevent atheocratic capture. This strikes me as something that will happen without effort for a neocameral regime, but I'll have to think on that.

Technology reduces the homocide rate

There's no question that modern technology saves lives. Getting a victim to a hospital as fast as possible is vital. People are helicoptered to trauma centers. It seems like these sorts of technological advances must be affecting the murder rate; but how much? The homicide rate has been pretty flat for a long time, even as other sorts of crime have exploded since the 60s. Here's a paper, Murder and Medicine: The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999, which characterizes the effect:
In three analyses of lethality trends, over time, by type of weapon and across counties, we have garnered considerable support for the hypothesis that advances in emergency medical care have greatly and increasingly reduced the lethality of violent assaults, with observed annual drops in such lethality ranging from 2.5% to 4.5%.
Over the 40 years they studied, the total reduction in homicide from better technology was roughly a factor of 4; see figure 1. Thus, there is strong evidence that the homicide rate is not a sign of a more peaceful society, but rather a richer one.

Drug Laws are a Solution to the Problem of Policing a Liberal Society

In a comment to Sonic Charmer's post, It’s Important To Understand Why ‘We’ ‘Need’ The Drug War, If We’re Ever Going To Be Able To End It, Steve Johnson writes:
The progressive Supreme Court has made crime legal (well, more accurately, they made it impossible to actually enforce the law) as a result, criminals have full protection when committing actual crimes against people. Mug people? No problem – just have your confederates waiting outside the court when the witnesses against you are leaving. Beat a few of them into comas and voila, no more witnesses will testify! All crimes against people have the same flaw.

The reaction to this, of course, hasn’t been to challenge progressive “reforms” but to simply try to route around the damage. People pay loads of money to live in segregated neighborhoods to avoid being around high risk people (i.e., black people). Security cameras are everywhere. Why? Because you can’t intimidate a tape into not testifying. People don’t carry cash. When the thought of carrying cash is brought up people think “it’s too dangerous to carry cash” without ever directly thinking that criminals make it too dangerous to carry cash.

Most importantly, law enforcement has completely shifted to an area where you don’t need witnesses. Did that guy have crack on him? Well then it doesn’t matter if he can scare the hell out a witness – the only witness to that crime is the arresting officer. To get out of that crime he’ll have to kill or threaten a cop Pablo Escobar style. The state still has enough health that someone who does that will die pretty quickly (Pablo Escobar getting killed by a Delta force sniper, frex). In fact, the state can never decay so badly that the cops will be unwilling to protect their own – when you reach that state of progressive decay the cops won’t fear the state enough to not simply turn into another gang – one that simply executes criminals.

Libertarians are damned fools for even thinking about drug legalization until we solve the more important problem of crime legalization.
This is astute.  Sonic Charmer replies:
on reflection, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the drug-war really gained steam at around the same time that Miranda Rights, patients’ rights etc. hamstrung (wrongly or rightly) law enforcement.
We have a drug war as a backdoor way of imprisoning criminals. I think there's a strong element of truth here.  Still as I wrote over there, that's still pretty repulsive. Also, USG has criminalized far more stuff than it needs to for this cryptic mission of locking up criminals. We could easily decriminalize marijuana and opiates, for example, and there would still be plenty of ability to get at criminals via cocaine and meth. And personally, I’d much prefer the underclass to spend its leisure time (ab)using demotivating drugs than alcohol or motivating ones. An effective state would not need drug laws at all.

National Debt Considered Stupid

Devin Finbarr makes an astute point about national debt:
there is almost never a need for a country to go into debt. Debt is useful for entities that have a life cycle. People go into debt when young to buy a home, and then pay it back as they age. Companies go into debt to buy capital, and then pay it back as they mature. But a country (should) never die. There is no reason to pay for tomorrow what can be paid for today. The only reason ever to go into debt is if you have a tremendous, one time expense, that is large in relation to current income. Buying a home or a factory qualifies. But countries almost never have single one time expenses that are large in proportion to GDP. Thus they should never go into debt. Even a highway should be an operating expense for a country. The only time a country should go into debt is during war.
This observation can also be applied in reverse. If you know a state has debt, then either (a) it is in a war, or has just come out of a major war (5-10 years), or (b) it is irresponsible and poorly run.