Attention Billy Beck: It’s Not The Democrats That Are The Problem

Billy Beck writes at his blog :

“The Cold War” is not “over”, socialism is not “dead”, and the Democrats will be an unprecedented disaster.

Beck implies that the Democrats will bring some sort of special evil to the table if they get elected. The problem with that idea is that this election, like all before it, will be an “unprecedented disaster” simply because whoever wins will have more power and a more-cowed populance than any of their predecessors, and they will in turn use those things to create more of the same. A majoritarian democratic government is controlled by positive feedback:

In every feedback loop, as the name suggests, information about the result of a transformation or an action is sent back to the input of the system in the form of input data. If these new data facilitate and accelerate the transformation in the same direction as the preceding results, they are positive feedback – their effects are cumulative. If the new data produce a result in the opposite direction to previous results, they are negative feedback – their effects stabilize the system. In the first case there is exponential growth or decline; in the second there is maintenance of the equilibrium.

Positive feedback leads to divergent behavior: indefinite expansion or explosion (a running away toward infinity) or total blocking of activities (a running away toward zero). Each plus involves another plus; there is a snowball effect. The examples are numerous: chain reaction, population explosion, industrial expansion, capital invested at compound interest, inflation, proliferation of cancer cells. However, when minus leads to another minus, events come to a standstill. Typical examples are bankruptcy and economic depression.

In either case a positive feedback loop left to itself can lead only to the destruction of the system, through explosion or through the blocking of all its functions. The wild behavior of positive loops – a veritable death wish – must be controlled by negative loops. This control is essential for a system to maintain itself in the course of time.

More government interference in individuals’ lives leads to more clamoring for interference which leads to more elections won by those who promise government interference which leads to more interference. Repeat enough times, and soon enough, everyone is either a jailer, or in jail.

And we are heading just there. Beck’s implicit claim that the Democrats will be worse is like arguing over which brand of gasoline will make the fire worse – you might be right, but it doesn’t matter in the context. The fire’s going to be plenty bad enough no matter which one gets poured on it.

The problem with pouring gasoline on a fire isn’t making sure that you choose the one with an anti-knock additive, and the problem with this election isn’t the Democrats. The problem with this election is democracy.

20 thoughts on “Attention Billy Beck: It’s Not The Democrats That Are The Problem”

  1. My response to advocates of democracy is: In the vote of whether or not theft is legitimate, I vote 1-0 that all your stuff belongs to me, so hand it over! :)

  2. If the Cold War isn’t over then who’s fighting against collectivism?

    Collectivism is nearly universally embraced by Americans.

    And we are heading just there. Beck’s implicit claim that the Democrats will be worse is like arguing over which brand of gasoline will make the fire worse – you might be right, but it doesn’t matter in the context. The fire’s going to be plenty bad enough no matter which one gets poured on it.

    Beck is implicitly saying that the welfare of the individual is inextricably bound to collective politics – that which party prevails in the coming elections should be a matter of grave concern.

    It’s obvious to me that individuals will advance their own lives best by eschewing and ignoring collective politics.

  3. “searing atomic fire”

    Dude, it’s lung you’ve P.O.’ed, not me or Beck. Better address explanations, defiance, apologies or grovelling pleas for mercy to the Small Terrifying One, not us.

  4. I hereby beseech the Small Terrifying One for its (her?) forgiveness for the unspeakable crimes I have perpetrated against it. May it have mercy upon my sinful soul.

    Am I saved? Do I go to lung heaven now?

  5. I hereby beseech the Small Terrifying One for its (her?) forgiveness for the unspeakable crimes I have perpetrated against it. May it have mercy upon my sinful soul.

    okay

    Am I saved? Do I go to lung heaven now?

    donuts. donuts.

    DONUTS DONUTS DONUTS DONUTS

  6. I mentioned the traitorous Objectivists to my good friend S. in lovely Deseret and she expressed the opinion that Diana Hsieh and that crowd were really only against Bush’s “theocracy” because they were obsessed with getting their hands on stem cells so they won’t have to die or anything tacky like that. “Give us your embryos, you religious bigots.”

    S. also said “A conservative can be an atheist; but a conservative who sets himself up to be God’s Enemy will inevitably drift towards the left.”

    Which explains the new Popular Front Against The Republicans.

    ( Incidentally, S. saw someone posting from Carnegie-Mellon over at Diana Hsieh’s and commented scornfully that of course a dump like Carnegie-Mellon would have an Objectivist in their philosophy department. I merely pass this along.)

  7. Kennedy: If the Cold War isn’t over then who’s fighting against collectivism? Collectivism is nearly universally embraced by Americans.

    Well, sure, but of course that was true during the height of the Cold War, too. The anti-Communist mainstream weren’t fighting collectivism, they were just fighting for their own brand of managerial collectivism over the Soviet style.

    If anything, blind deference to State prerogatives and identification with the established order of power are arguably much weaker forces now than they were around, say, 1962.

  8. Not ’round ‘ere, Squire.

    Anyway, Beck writes as if republicans/conservatives are adversaries of socialism in some continuation of the Cold War. They’re not eve a speed bump, they’re collaborators. There is no political force here to oppose collectivism/socialism/democracy.

    If there is still a Cold War on somebody ought to be able to tell me who the good guys are. Any ideas? Because I’m drawing a blank.

  9. If there is still a Cold War on somebody ought to be able to tell me who the good guys are. Any ideas? Because I’m drawing a blank.

    You’re not among them, K. Neither, apparently, is Lynette or Swann or the “punks” of Catallarchy. Ann Coulter, Bruce McQuain, Florack, and occasional NRO Corner bloggers seem to have made the cut though.

    Now granted this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, Coulter would toss Beck in the clink about )( that quick over any one of a dozen trivialities, while Warren’s crime seems to have been that she’s a woman who’s showed him how foolish his plans are. Beck has explicitly denounced some of the people who would gladly leave him alone on his little patch of the East coast yet continues to suck up to packs of right-wing statists who wouldn’t think twice about putting him through the wringer if they thought he might impair their collectivist agenda.

    It’s fortunate that Beck’s “Cold War” is largely a figment of his imagination, else he’d find himself staring down a firing squad one cold morning, locking eyes with the likes of Bithead and DuToit for the last time.

  10. Concerning the vile betrayal of Peikoff and the ARI Objectivists:

    I heard a voice. It called, consoling,
    It said to me: “Come hither, now.
    Abandon your forsaken, sinful land,
    Abandon Russia, leave forever.
    And from your hands I’ll wash the blood,
    I’ll draw the black shame from your heart,
    And with a new name I will cloak
    The wounds of misery and loss.”

    But I, dispassionate and calm,
    Concealed my ears beneath my hands,
    To hinder this unworthy speech
    From soiling my mournful soul.

    Anna Akhmatova, Autumn 1917

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