Law School Discussion

Legal Reasoning

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #160 on: October 10, 2006, 02:08:25 AM »

Digital cash presents an additional problem. Although payment with forged electronic currency could be construed as an act of theft or fraud, the very act of forging the electronic cash -- for example cracking the computer protections and copying the bits in the wallet on the hard disk -- is prima facie not prohibited by criminal law. A revision of the law is therefore necessary in order to make it clear that forging digital currency is just the same as forging bank notes.

Extortion, kidnapping, and even murder contracts become easier to set up. Extortion, for example, becomes almost unstoppable at the usual place: the collection of a payoff and/or the spending of the payoff money. The extortionist makes his threat from the safety of his home PC, using networks of remailers and message pools, and demands payment in untraceable digital cash. What if U.S. banks are forbidden to issue digital cash? Even if most nations and most banks decline to participate in a digital cash scheme, all it really takes is one such bank or mint. The extortionist can demand that blinded digital cash be bought from the one of the few banks that do offer digital cash: the victim is incentivized to cooperate (he can refuse, but...) and will make other arrangements, possibly including travelling to the country in which the bank is located. (Forbidding communication outside national borders, and/or forbidding travel, would of course be problematic to enforce. Not even totalitarian regimes of late have been able to stop such communications, and the U.S. and Western nations have vastly more channels of communication. Messages can easily be made indistinguishable from noise, as in packing 160 MB of data (!) in just the least sign)ficant bits of a 2-hour digital audio tape recording. If bales of mari.juana cannot be stopped, how can bits be stopped? Bits are ever so much smaller...

Similar to extortion are markets for kidnappings (riskier, due to the physical act), and even untraceable markets for murders. For murder contracts, the usual risk is in setting up the hit--asking around is almost a guaranteed way of getting the FBI involved, and advertising in traceable ways is a similar invitation. This risk is largely removed when anonymous contact and payment methods are used. To ensure the job is completed, third party escrow services -- anonymous, of course, but with an established cyberspatial reputation -- hold the digital cash until completion. Much more has been written on this in various places.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #161 on: October 11, 2006, 02:41:29 AM »
marcello, what are you talking about? Your giving me the creeps!

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #162 on: October 15, 2006, 11:39:17 PM »

I would be delighted to make a connection at this point :) The end of the 18th century was a time of great change -- specifically the United States was born and the French aristocracy was overthrown and destroyed. Both of these events occured as a result of revolution. Both the American and French revolution were quite similiar in their ideology and mission. Just how similiar and intertwined is for you to find out! They shared many of the same ideologies. Each was a revolt based upon more personal freedom and representation within the Government...

On the other hand, we sure have heard of Zionism. You know, those conspirational theories that supposedly the Zionists have basically hijacked the US government and are working in the interest of Zionist-extremism with an Israel-first policy and not the USA. These hypothesis aside, I would throw at large the idea that the Zionists didn't have to hijack at all the U.S. goverment, since it may have been "hijacked" from the very beginning... :)

What was the role of the Jews in all this? Nazism posed as a rebellion against the "old ways" - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the European order. The Nazis borrowed the Leninist vocabulary and assimilated it effectively. Hitler and the Nazis were an adolescent movement, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state. Hitler himself was a malignant narcissist, as Fromm correctly noted. The Jews constituted a perfect, easily identifiable, reification of all that was "wrong" with Europe. They were an old nation, they were eerily disembodied (without a territory), they were cosmopolitan, they were part of the establishment, they were "decadent", they were hated on religious and socio-economic grounds (see Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners"), they were different, they were narcissistic (felt and acted as morally superior), they were everywhere, they were defenseless, they were credulous, they were adaptable (and thus could be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They were the perfect hated father figure and parricide was in fashion.

Not really! Nazis reacted against the Judeo-Christian tradition (see Nietzsche) that had reacted against the Graeco-Roman pagan ways. In short, they tried to revive the the latter, without having the courage to actually "call a spade a spade" in many areas because of the deely-rooted Christian customs.

Pagan societies regarded violence as sacred. Pagan peoples were all barbarian and lived in a permanent atmosphere of war. To kill and spill blood was seen as a sacred duty. Savagery and violence of almost all kinds could find a justification in the pagan world. There was no ethical source to forbid violence or say that it was wrong. Even Rome, thought of as the most 'civilized' state in the pagan world, was a place where people were made to fight to the death or were torn to pieces by wild animals. The Emperor Nero came to power by having countless numbers of people killed, including his own mother, wife, and stepbrother. He had Christians torn apart by wild animals in the arena, and tortured thousands of people just because of their beliefs. While this culture of violence ruled in Rome, the barbarian pagan peoples of the north, such as the Vandals, Goths, and Visigoths were even more savage. These peoples tried to wreak devastation on each other, and also to plunder Rome. The pagan world was one where only violence ruled, where the use of violence of all kinds was counted as quite ethical, and even where there was no serious concept of ethics at all. The most concrete example in the pagan world of a 'fascist' system in the modern sense was the Greek city-state of Sparta.

Sparta was a military state, dedicated to war and violence, and alleged to have been founded by Lycurgos in the 8th century BC. An absolute education system was set up. Under this the state was very much more important than the individual. Peoples' lives were evaluated by whether they would be of use to the state or not. The lives of strong, healthy male children were dedicated to the state, unhealthy babies were left on mountains to die. (This Spartan practice was taken as an example by Nazi Germany, and it was claimed, under the influence of Darwinism, that the sickly had to be eliminated for a 'healthy and superior race.') Parents in Sparta were responsible for taking care of their sons until the age of 7. From then until the age of 12, children were placed in teams of 15, and those who succeeded in conforming to the rules were selected as leaders. Children strengthened their bodies and prepared for war by spending their time doing sports. Literacy was unimportant, and there was little interest in music or literature. The only songs the children were allowed to sing and learn were about war and violence. (The fascist education given to children from the age of four by Mussolini and Hitler was very much the same). It was a Spartan custom to raise people with a warrior spirit by disregarding art, literature, and education.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #163 on: October 15, 2006, 11:40:13 PM »
The most important of the thinkers who made detailed statements about Sparta was the famous Greek philosopher Plato. Although he lived in Athens, which was governed democratically, he was in awe of the fascist system in Sparta, and portrayed Sparta as a model state in his books. Because of Plato's fascist tendencies, Karl Popper describes him as the first source of inspiration for oppressive regimes and an enemy of open society in his famous book "The Open Society and Its Enemies." Popper explains how Plato calmly defended the killing of babies in Sparta, and describes him as the first theoretical proponent of 'eugenics:'

To this end, it is important that the master class should feel as one superior master race. "The race of the guardians must be kept pure," says Plato (in defence of infanticide), when developing the racial argument that we breed animals with great care while neglecting our own race, an argument which has been repeated ever since. (Infanticide was not an Athenian institution; Plato, seeing that is was practised at Sparta for eugenic reasons, concluded that it must be ancient and therefore good.)

These views of Plato, who regarded human beings as a species of animal, and proposed that they would evolve by forced mating, came to the fore once again with Darwinism in the 19th century and were implemented by the Nazis in the 20th. While defending the Spartan model, Plato also defended another aspect of fascism, the state use of pressure to administer society. In Plato's view, this pressure should be so comprehensive in daily life that people should be unable to think of anything apart from the orders of the state and behave in a totally brainwashed manner, leaving their own intelligence and free will aside. The following words by Plato, which Popper quoted in his book as a complete statement of the fascist mentality, describe the dimensions of pagan fascism:

"The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him do anything at all of his own initiative; neither out of zeal, nor even playfully. But in war and in the midst of peace -- to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals .. only if he has been told to do so, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it."

According to Nazi logic, the Germans had first been a warrior, pagan society, then they had abandoned that culture with the spread of Christianity, and Christianity was a continuation of Judaism. Therefore, the Nazis' hatred of Christianity stemmed from the fact they saw it as a "Jewish conspiracy." That Jesus, himself of Jewish origins, should be loved and respected by the Germans, whom they considered the 'master race,' was an idea the Nazis found unacceptable. In the Nazis' opinion, it was not prophets of Jewish origin who should light the way for the German people, but the cruel and barbaric warriors of pagan German culture. Nazi ideology saw world history as a conflict between the 'Aryan race' and the 'Semites.' According to the Nazis, the Aryan race was the leader of Indo-European culture, and the Semites (the Jews) the leaders of Middle Eastern culture. The fundamental feature of Indo-European culture was its pagan beliefs. It was for this reason that the Nazis saw themselves as the inheritors of a pagan culture. They looked on the Jews as a hostile race who had abandoned paganism and spread monotheistic belief over the world.

Nazism particularly reacted against the French revolution principles and teachings. Nietzsche specifically stated that,

"In what is an even more decisive and deeper sense, Judea once again was victorious over the classical ideal at the time of the French Revolution. The last political nobility which we had in Europe, in 17th and 18th century France, broke apart under the instinct of popular resentment — never on earth has there ever been heard a greater rejoicing, a noisier enthusiasm! It's true that in the midst of all this the most dreadful and most unexpected events took place: the old ideal itself stepped physically and with unheard of splendour before the eyes and the conscience of humanity -- and once again stronger, simpler, and more urgently than ever rang out, in opposition to the old lie, to the slogan of resentment about the privileged rights of the majority, in opposition to that will for a low condition, abasement, equality, for the decline and extinguishing of mankind -- in opposition to all that there rang out a fearsome and delightful counter-slogan about the privileged rights of the few! As a last signpost to a different road Napoleon appeared, the most singular and late-born man there ever was, and in him the problem of the inherently noble ideal was made flesh. We might well think about what sort of a problem that is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman ...

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #164 on: October 15, 2006, 11:58:20 PM »
So, buffomet, is America, as it were when conceived and/or is today, the incarnation of the French Revolution principles or those ones of Nazi Germany?


Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #165 on: October 16, 2006, 04:55:27 AM »
If Nazism would truly stick to the reversal of the values that the French Revolution was based upon, that would bring to power aristocratic people knowing better than Judeo-Christian values. Unfortunately Nazism was nothing else but than a way to power, without taking too much care to stick to ideologies and political principles.

In America, it appears some stupid white people believe they have a right from God to rule America and the world the way God tells them to ... to achieve that they'll do whatever it takes ... kill and kill and kill ... soon after Jews, blacks, homosexuals are exterminated it'll come time for women, overweight people, and after a while white men will begin to eat each-other ...

First They Came
« Reply #166 on: October 30, 2006, 01:18:29 AM »

In America, it appears some stupid white people believe they have a right from God to rule America and the world the way God tells them to ... to achieve that they'll do whatever it takes ... kill and kill and kill ... soon after Jews, blacks, homosexuals are exterminated it'll come time for women, overweight people, and after a while white men will begin to eat each-other ...

I can agree with this, ˝,

First they came for the Communists,
  and I didn't speak up,
    because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
  and I didn't speak up,
    because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
  and I didn't speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
  and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.

This is a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niem÷ller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

An early supporter of Hitler, by 1934 Niem÷ller had come to oppose the Nazis, and it was largely his high connections to influential and wealthy businessmen that saved him until 1937, after which he was imprisoned, eventually at Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps. He survived to be a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II. His poem is well-known, frequently quoted, and is a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy, as it often begins with specific and targeted fear and hatred which soon escalates out of control.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #167 on: November 03, 2006, 08:41:45 PM »
America has learned a lot, though, don't you think frisky ?

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #168 on: November 06, 2006, 04:23:40 AM »
Of course, it has, pixel. She's not learned enough, though.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #169 on: November 14, 2006, 02:18:52 AM »