L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 911, February 26, 2017
Paths to Freedom
by Jim Davidson
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
“Interference between universes at the quantum level means that information transfer takes place between them.”
“Governments everywhere are lying to people to make them hate others that they wouldn’t have any quarrel with otherwise. You’d think they’d have learned something after two world wars, but where else can it lead than right where it’s all going? Theo’s right—the lunatics end up in charge of everything. Sane, normal people don’t need power trips.”
“Sometimes Hugh Brenner thought he’d been born on the wrong planet. It seemed as obvious as anything could be that people achieved more when they learned to get along than they did when they fought over things. If they put as much time and energy into fixing problems instead of blaming each other for being the problem, there wouldn’t be any problems left. So far they’d had two full-dress rehearsals for wiping out what passed as civilization. This time it looked as if things might be leading up to the real performance.”
—James P. Hogan, Paths to Otherwhere, 1996
One of the great delights for an author or futurist or fan of some particular genre is to be among people who “get it.” One of the reasons that I’ve always enjoyed science fiction conventions, including very small and very large ones, is that it isn’t hard to find myself amongst people who understand quite a few of the things I like to hear about or talk about. There is a sense in which the reality we seek is “painted on the walls” so that everyone already assumes a common understanding.
When I write for L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, I get very much the same feeling. Not that I am preaching to the choir, nor that I’m in an echo chamber, but, rather, that I don’t need to berate you with a tedious explanation. So, when I propose that you consider the universe as including multiple narrative threads or use a term like multi-verse, or refer directly to Neil’s actual book The Probability Broach, it is generally the case that people reading this online magazine have a passing familiarity with the concepts.
Some of you may even have reasonably coherent experiences of parallel narrative threads or alternate universes. You may have had a dream which was so real that when you awoke, you were not sure you were not still dreaming. You may have had a dream in which you awoke, and then realised you were still dreaming, and awoke, and this may have happened a few times in one sleep period. You may have had the experience, as I had about 20 years ago, of reading the obituary of a famous author and feeling remorse about his death. (In my particular case the initials of the fellow I thought was dead are BB.) You may have then encountered a subsequent news story about that person, and felt surprise that someone you “knew” was dead in the sense that it had been reported to you in some way, was actually alive.
In his excellent novel Paths to Otherwhere, author James P. Hogan takes a look at parallel universes, and considers that dreaming, including guided dreaming or directed dreaming, involves communication of information with a parallel universe or narrative thread. (I prefer the concept of a narrative thread, because the word “universe” means the whole thing, whatever all of everything actually proves to be.) I mention this novel in particular because it acknowledges David Deutsch and Sarah Fitz-Claridge as influences on Jim Hogan’s thinking before he wrote the book. These are two very spectacular people who have done quite a lot of thinking about quantum energy and quantum computing and the multi-verse, in very useful and practical ways. There’s an entire wikipedia page on David, and several mentions of Sarah relating to her work in peaceful parenting and the rights of children to a serious amount of self-determination.
You have a very real sense that freedom is a good thing, that you were meant to be free. You also have a very realistic sense that in the world you live in, on the narrative thread you are following, there are people who don’t want you to be free. You need not dwell on this matter for long, but if you don’t have any awareness that many people want to enslave you, or believe you are already properly a slave, and don’t want you to be able to choose how to educate your children, how to tend your front yard, how to allocate all of the money you earn, or how to express yourself in public, you shouldn’t have much trouble in finding news stories in various media to bring you up to speed.
It turns out that there is recent information about a place near a location that in Turkish comes out Çatalhöyük and which Greek people probably had a much more readily pronounced name back when Alexander of Macedon was running about. Recent archaeological research, quoted by Paul Rosenberg in a number of his essays for The Freeman’s Perspective, indicate that about 9,000 years ago this city flourished. It did so without any form of central control or government. During its height, about 10,000 people lived there at any one time.
We have other evidence from anthropology and from traditional writings, as well as from research by David Friedman and others, that long periods of human history have been ungoverned. About a thousand years in Ireland, a couple of centuries in Iceland, nearly all of the time that the Romans were not mucking things up in various parts of Europe and Africa, by their own accounts as long as 40,000 years in Australia before the British began their genocidal programmes, and in all kinds of locations, people have existed, have thrived, have engaged in trade and commerce, have crafted wonderful things, have invented new things, all without government.
In short, it is natural for human beings to be free, and your feeling that you are, and of right ought to be free, that feeling is completely consistent with the vast majority of time (possibly 420,000 years) that your particular species of hominid, homo sapiens has been on Earth. You are not mistaken. You are not deluded. You are not failing to understand reality as it really is. Government is an imposition, a recent development, and one that we can do without.
There are a lot of people who talk about freedom who aren’t actually talking about freedom. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was a mass murderer and inherited power from Herbert Hoover, who was a mass murderer, frequently talked about “freedom from” things like fear, poverty, hunger, ignorance. What he meant was, the government should take more of everything from everyone and make sure that the people the government cared about most got lots of everything, and the people generally got some stuff maybe, and some people got really screwed but they were supposed to be screwed over—George Takei and his family, for example. People who talk about freedom from hunger want to have the government steal food and give it to them; people who talk about freedom from poverty want the government to steal money and give it to them. They may have a nice story about a social contract that nobody has ever seen and which was apparently signed during the one civics class in high school that I failed to attend, even though my attendance record was spotless. They may have a nice red garment, or some literature written by Marx, Lenin, or Mao. Don’t be deceived, they are not talking about freedom.
Rather, they are engaged in what George Orwell delighted in calling “new speak” and are equating freedom with slavery, war with peace, and reality with lunacy. You don’t get a free ride from freedom, you get to make your own way. But, you get to make your way, and you don’t have to carry two free-loaders with you on your journey. You get to keep what you earn, you get to choose for yourself, and you get to defend what you want to keep.
Abolition is another idea from what the communists are spouting. (Feel free to call them fascists or Nazis or commies or whatever you like, the ideology of control and central planning is abysmal by any name. Calling it a rose does not enhance its stench.) Abolition is the idea that human beings are and of right ought to be free, self- sovereign, and independent. So much so that we as human beings ought to first free ourselves individually, and then work together to free everyone else.
In other words, the concept of you being enslaved is disagreeable to me. It is so disagreeable to me that I want to help you break free, break your chains, and also, I want to prevent people from enslaving others, everywhere. All the time. It is not acceptable, in my view, that people on Earth are routinely captured and sold into slavery.
Now, it may surprise you to find news results about human trafficking or sex slaves or kidnapping or white slavery or other terms in common parlance. It probably does not surprise you that there are wealthy people in government who live entirely on the tax collections they get from people who are not given any choice about paying taxes. Nor that vast amounts of regulatory excresence is emitted annually by local, regional, state, national, and international “government agencies” that is meant to limit and coerce individual action. I’m against all that stuff. I am for the abolition of all forms of tyranny over the individual. Or, put more positively, I am for a voluntary society.
We Are Still Here
There are a lot of interesting ideas about how all this parallel universe information relates to the reality we are each experiencing. For example, you may have the idea that the people you encounter every day for a period of weeks, months, years, or decades, are the same people every time. You might be right about that, but, you might not.
Given how information seems to work on the quantum level, there are lots of good reasons to suppose that what you call “consciousness” is entirely an artefact, a consequence, a related outcome, of the quantum nature of reality. Cross-thread information flow is probably deeply rooted in how your brain works, how insights come to you, how you have a “bad feeling” about something, and how you choose.
John Wheeler, a great many decades ago, even before L. Neil wrote on the topic, proposed that every time a quantum event occurs, the universe follows both paths, both the decay path and the non-decay path. Schroedinger’s cat is alive in one narrative thread, dead in the other, every time. If you consider how often quantum events occur, and how widespread they are across the universe, you get a sense of how much inflation is involved in Wheeler’s inflationary universe.
In his novel Anathem Neal Stephenson talks about light cones, and about the ability of people in one part of the universe to have any meaningful interaction with those in another. Vast super clusters of galaxies exist in space, and form what appear to be bubbles or shells in three-dimensional space. There are large gaps between even nearby galaxies, and also large gaps between star systems. Very likely, the universe is spread out the way it is because of how quantum effects happen. Certainly, what happens near Alpha Centauri this year is less likely to affect your mood than, say, what happens in a major city near you.
Now, when I say something like, “we are still here” you may have some sense of what I mean. You are a person, a human being, you occupy space, you have mass, you are alive, you have choices, you take some. You probably know that a person ceases to be nearly as interesting when the part of them that animates their body goes away. You have a sense that they are still “there” when they are sleeping, and you have, or are going to learn, that they are not really “there” when they have died.
You may not be aware, but it is a kind of cool fact, that a scientist a great many decades ago was interested in whether there was an identifiable weight change when the animating spirit leaves a person’s body. He arranged to put terminally ill patients for a particular hospital on a device which kept a measure of their weight. His results show that, for most of his patients, about 7 ounces of mass goes somewhere at the time of death. Where does it go? How does it get there?
You are welcome to have whatever theory you please. I believe that we occupy a continuum of considerably more than 4 dimensions. We already know from a number of physics experiments that antimatter is indistinguishable, by measurement, from normal matter moving backward through time. Talk to a physicist if this point seems difficult. Frank Tipler and others have suggested mechanisms for time travel, and a number of quantum teleportation events have already been accomplished. So, don’t be surprised that things like quantum entanglement, string theory, and other topics suggest we may be living in a reality of 12 or more dimensions.
It is my view that we are not this coarse matter, but also some animating spirit. I simply refer you to a mortuary if you want to understand how someone is different when their animating spirit has gone away. You are, of course, welcome to believe that spirit goes away forever, that there is no after life, no spirit world, no place from which souls come at some point in gestation, no place to which souls go after death. I very strongly believe that freedom of religion must always include freedom from religion, and that no one should ever coerce anyone into emitting dogmatic statements of faith, or belief, or whatever.
So, when I say that I want you to consider the fact that “we are still here,” I want you to understand that I believe that we human beings have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, that we have for most of that time, including most of every day for each of us, lived without a master, without a ruler, without being coerced, and that condition is natural, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual in its manifold satisfactions. We are and of right ought to be free and independent, each and every one of us.
We are at war with forces and factions that believe we ought to be enslaved. They have various stories about why that is. If you ask the Saudi royal family, they will say that their numerous slaves are enslaved because Allah wills it, because they have the money and power to make it so. If you ask the street communists why everyone must be a slave to the state, they will give various explanations about how everyone owes everyone else a living. If you ask the government at any level, it will tell you that you must obey because obedience is obligatory, because taxation is a price you agreed to pay on some social contract of mystery, because civilisation would fail without corrupt excesses of lard-ass politicians and bureau-rats. If you run across any sauropods or reptilians or Ananaki or what have you, they may believe that mankind is enslaved to their species because they could. All of their stories are lies. All of the stories of why it is okay for one person to compel another person are lies.
In order to be successful in fighting against slavery, in order to free the slaves, stop the wars, and end the state, I believe it is essential to end your fear of it. Stop being afraid of the state. The state is a myth. It is a lie told by liars.
There is no “the state.” Everything that is ever done on Earth is done by a person doing it, or by a mechanism set in motion to do it. (You are welcome to ask me about artificial intelligence or machine learning, and I will be happy to give you my opinion. I don’t think computer scientists understand the nature of consciousness, so you can guess how many more 40-year periods I’m prepared to await the break through artificial intelligence. Same with hot fusion, by the way.)
No magical transformation occurs when someone puts on a costume. Having a badge does not mean you have real authority, it only means that someone pretended to give you authority that you are pretending to wield.
I can honestly tell you that I am not afraid of the slavers. Is that because I know something that you do not? I don’t think so. Is it because I believe something you do not? No. You can shed your fear of the slavers and their society of servitude without knowing anything special, without believing just as I believe. All you need to see is that you are here, not because of the paths that lay before you, but because of the path that you have followed to this day and hour. You are here, on whatever narrative path you are following, because of things that happened before you were born, and things that happened while you were alive, and things you chose to do.
For 420,000 years people have been here. In all that time, some people have wanted more than they could create on their own. For all of those centuries and millennia of time, some people have been violently aggressive—about 1.8% of people today ever commit a violent crime, and about 4.5% ever commit a property crime. For all those years, in order to survive, people have had to overcome the misanthropic psychopaths and the people addicted to power over other people. And after all those years: we are still here.
You have many choices every day. One of the really interesting results of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries is the discussion by Ludwig von Mises, FA Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and others, of the calculation problem. On a given day, 8 billion or so people, have in mind each one of them a myriad (yes, ten thousand) or more of things they want, might want, want more than other things, want to think about wanting, and so forth. Moreover, their choice preferences are subject to external conditions (weather makes you think about being dry, or warm, etc.) and internal whimsy. It is impossible to calculate all their needs so that most of them can be as happy as possible.
It is, however, very easy to arrive at price clearing mechanisms that help producers to allocate resources. All you need is a free market. Distortions to that market, such as prescribed interest rates, turn out to be unhelpful. People, left alone, have an incredible capacity for spontaneous order. Market clearing prices are easily found by free markets. They are essentially undiscoverable by any other means.
When you consider the ramifications of the ideas I’ve presented in this essay, you ought to understand that you are free to choose. You are free to choose your path into the future. You are free to choose more than one path. You, and you alone, are in control of your destiny, if you choose to be.
Some Paths Not Taken
A few months after I was born, a man was shot in Dallas. It made quite an uproar, this assassination, because he was president Kennedy. I believe that Allen Dulles and other people involved in the CIA orchestrated these events. You are welcome to believe anything about that event that you wish to believe.
As a result of that event, Lyndon Baines Johnson became president. I believe he was an extremely corrupt, venal, horrid man, and I’d be happy to give you abundant evidence of this fact. At the time, LBJ was interested in some helicopter makers that were suppliers to the USA military. I believe he escalated American involvement in Vietnam and pushed the Pentagon toward the “air cavalry” tactics used there because a lot of helicopters would be shot down and replaced by the companies LBJ had shares in. You are, of course, welcome to believe anything you wish.
There is no doubt that LBJ told the negotiators to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to give away all rights to territorial sovereignty in space, on celestial bodies, and so forth. He wanted to take away as much as possible the reasons for continuing mankind’s expansion into space. He was not alone. There is abundant evidence that other parties, such as David Rockefeller I believe, have had this same preference.
Happily, although the opportunity to explore and settle the space frontier has been available to us since at least the 1930s when the British Interplanetary Society was busy designing a stage-rocket lunar mission, and although that opportunity was not pursued by the enterprises of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s beyond the six successful trips to the Moon that did happen, it is the case that open source technology has made it possible for much smaller groups to build their own launch systems and send people into space.
Since I believe we live in a four-dimensional projection of n- dimensional space, and since I believe that the vast majority of the resources of our Solar System are not down here on Earth, but out there in space, it is my view that we who see the vision, who understand the opportunity, who know what can be done, should get going. We should get busy taking the path that others have not taken.
My goal is to have you get involved in getting out there. I believe it is mankind’s destiny to settle the Solar System. And time’s a-wastin’.
Let’s go, space scouts.
Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, space enthusiast, extropian, raconteur, and bon vivant. He took Heinlein’s admonition to be capable of many things to heart a long time ago, and can kill a beast, prepare a carcass for cooking, tan the hide, use the small bones for sewing, gather herbs, make fine sauces, clean a house, programme a computer, build a database, populate a spreadsheet, engage in forensic accounting, and read at blinding speed. He currently is a principal at EldarCapital.com and is planning a spectacular conference in June 2017 and an affordable one in October 2017. You can read his essays on Being Sovereign in his book by that name from Amazon.com, where it was briefly among the million best sellers. You can read his essays on Being Libertarian from Lulu.com. He recently produced a 62-page draft of a field manual parody which may be obtained for free at http://badquaker.com/what-is-a-field-manual-and-why-not-just-a-book/space-scouts-field-manual and wherever else anarchist code geeks are posting it.
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