Abuse of Authority


Human evolution favored communities in which some humans exert authority and other humans subject themselves to that authority for security and protection. The problem with this, as we have seen from countless examples, is that humans have a tendency to abuse whatever authority is given them. This goes for humans in positions as high as the president of country to positions as low as a homeowners' association chairperson. It appears to me that it is widely recognized that humans abuse authority, yet few people are suggesting that institutions of authority are thus fundamentally flawed and need to be replaced with better systems. Below are examples of how authority is abused.

November 7, 2007

Girl, 13, gets detention for hugging two friends

The school policy is an excellent example of a fundemental flaw with authority. When faced with a problem for which the solution may not be simple, authority figures are quick to impose simplistic solutions like banning a certain activity, "displays of affection" in this case, instead of putting forth the effort to control the activities that are truly harmful. Many would agree that overtly sexual groping in public might make other students uncomfortable. I have no reason to suspect that anybody was harmed or made to feel uncomfortable by Megan's hugging of her two friends. The statement of the school policy, in this case, is absurd: "Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved." To say that giving friends a hug brings discredit to the school and persons involved is simply moronic. But this is what arises out of authority. Give people power and they will abuse it and exercise it in ways that cause genuine harm.

September 13, 2007

Going 'Green' Isn't Always Pretty

My focus in this report are the examples of people who would pass laws to benefit themselves at the expense of society. When evidence of the effects of climate change is all around us, it is sociopathic to worry about your own property values or aesthetic tastes. In a rational world, laws would never passed without justification that they were the best for the world.

September 3, 2007

Senate blocks mandatory ID implants in employees

Slashdot Comments

Privacy is an institution that causes a great deal of conflict in the world. It is no surprise that legislators would pass a bill supporting privacy out of, as one put it, "fear" of what might happen, rather than shifting their paradigm and acting out of the promise of social benefits. Modern technology offers the promise of eliminating a great deal of personal privacy. If applied to everybody, including and especially those in power, the elimination of privacy can help to reduce much of the conflict that currently arises out of deception. The ability to lie and deceive is one of man's greatest character flaws. While I do not see, in the foreseable future, any technology that will allow us to disable this trait, tracking technology combined with the Internet and universal access to information can make it very difficult for a person to lie about his actions.

What is sadder, though, than the legislators' folly, is that, after reading through most of the comments scoring 4 or 5, I found that not one of the netizens who commented on this article offered a positive idea on how tracking can help society. It seems to be a sad pattern that people are more willing to sit back and criticize any new idea than to propose beneficial ideas of their own. It amazes me that with all the intelligent people that must be reading Slashdot, their isn't one who realizes the connection between deception and social suffering, and the logical implication that reducing the ability of people to deceive has the potential to solve problems.

We expect our legislators to fail us. But if there is to be hope, intelligent citizens must get off the couch and start coming up with fundamental paradigm shifts instead of rehashing the same old fears and concerns over and over.

August 9, 2007

Texas Prepares to Execute Man for Driving a Car Near Scene of Murder

Opinion on Kenneth Foster's Fate

What is important here is not whether Kenneth Foster lives or dies. In fact, depending upon what kind of man Foster is today, society might be better off without him. According to the report, the men he was with had already committed previous robberies, and Foster was still driving them around. This alone warrants death. But no matter--what is important is that the facts are clear that Foster did not kill anybody, and the idea that Foster should have anticipated that a murder would take place is questionable and controversial. A judge already ruled that the law was misapplied, but he was overruled on appeal. There is no problem with the execution of Foster--it is the irrational abuse of the law that is the problem. And of course, the fundamental problem is the whole concept of law itself.

August 14, 2007

Comic-Book Store Owner on Trial for Nude Images

In this report, the state prosecutor would not comment. If he did, he would have to lie, because he could not honestly make a rational argument that the two children, aged 6 and 9, were harmed by viewing a historically accurate depiction of Picasso in the nude. If he wanted to be even more honest, he would have to look at the evidence and admit that the real harm to the children is being done by the parents who reacted improperly to the images. From a biological perspective, there is nothing instrinsically harmful in viewing a nude image, even for children. The state is pursuing a case that has no social benefit for reasons known only to the prosecutors, but probably having to do with political ambition or personal bias due to a flawed (repressed) upbringing. This case is yet another example of why the whole concept of law, of authority needs to be challenged and revised.

August 2, 2007

Independent Artists Lead Fight Against Proposed New York City Regulations Limiting Filming

See, this is why humans cannot be trusted with the authority to pass laws... because they abuse them! In a world where other countries are routinely criticized for suppressing free speech, for an American city government to even suggest this is an indication that the Mayor and his staff are fundamentally more concerned with power than freedom. Not only should this regulation be rejected, but the people who suggested it should be made to account. This is why government should operate with complete transparency. Nothing in government, except for real issues of national security (real issues, not just ones designated as such for the sake of secrecy), should be hidden. No closed meetings. In fact, every government offical should wear an open microphone that records everything his says and automatically uploads it to the Internet.

August 8, 2007

New York City May Ban Certain Words

You Can't Say That: Banning Offensive Words

If enacted, the ban could not be enforced--that is not the issue. The principal issue is the tendency of lawmakers to want to ban behaviors instead of coming up with genuine solutions to problems. Prohibitions on behavior tend to create conflict because the underlying tendency towards the behavior is still there and constantly grinding up against the prohibition. A more effective approach is to change the underlying human tendencies. In fact, there are no other real solutions to humanities problems.

Another issue of no lesser importance is the flaw in democracy that permits humans to elect ignorant an unenlightened leaders. Listen to the words of this NYC councilwoman, Darlene Mealy and hear the profound ignorance. Her refusal to use the word itself, saying "B" and "N" and "H" instead of "bitch' and "nigger" and "ho" (whore). Her assertion, for example, that, when the singer Meredith Brooks uses the word, she is degrading herself. Let me be clear that I know nothing about Darlene Mealy other than they words I heard in the NPR report. She might otherwise have some sensible ideas, but I maintain that elected officials should be held to a very high standard--that of perfection, actually. They should absolutely not demonstrate ignorance or unenlightened or emotionally tainted viewpoints.

July 25, 2007

Rape Cases on Indian Lands Go Uninvestigated

For the purposes of this example, we ignore the other things that are wrong with this situation--for example, the existence of Native American reservations, and the physical weakness of women that allows them to be so easily raped. The operative absurdity here is that the laws prevent Native authorities from prosecuting non-Natives. This situation seems a clear example of why the concept of law must be abandoned in favor of a goal-oriented society. All activities that detract from the goal are sanctioned, and rape, because it has a variety of negative effects, such as creating conflict, should be sanctioned.

Until such time as the distinction between Native Americans and other humans is eliminated, and until laws are replaced with a more rational system, what should Native Americans do? They should not permit any women to live in reservations. They can accomplish this by a variety of methods. For example, they can abort all female fetuses, or they can send all female infants outside the reservation to be raised. At a minimum, all females in the reservations should be raised to be strong physical specicems with a knowledge of self defense, including martial arts and the use of weapons. Under no circumstances should a female Native American in a reservation be allowed to grow up in a state of vulnerability. This would be cruel.