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SILK ROAD Creator's Plea for Leniency.


krazeenyc
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20 years minimum is pretty harsh, but I wonder how else he thought this would end? The US has always come down hard on things like this, and he must have known, long before it reached the sort of scale that it did, that it was being used primarily for illegal activities and would invite the wrath of the law at some point.

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Didn't the guy willingly intend to have more than one person killed via 3rd parties?

 

I mean I like Libertarian's and all, but am I missing something?  A hero? 

 

Don't mean to start a war here, I'm genuinely curious if the evidence is all trumped up or you just think the good he did outweighed the bad or something.

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Extremely sad. Tragic. The man is a hero and hopefully will someday be widely recognized as such.

 

He is. He is aa freedom fighter and martyr on par with Mandela. Future generations will curse the USA for their cruwelty.

 

And about the murder for hires: those were CIA agents pretending to blackmail him for huge amounts via one username and offering to take out the blackmailers via another. It's quite obvious why they dropped this from the charges.

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Extremely sad. Tragic. The man is a hero and hopefully will someday be widely recognized as such.

 

He is. He is aa freedom fighter and martyr on par with Mandela. Future generations will curse the USA for their cruwelty.

 

And about the murder for hires: those were CIA agents pretending to blackmail him for huge amounts via one username and offering to take out the blackmailers via another. It's quite obvious why they dropped this from the charges.

 

It was done not to charge him, but for propaganda/character assassination purposes.  It worked.

 

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For one he took drug dealing off the streets and made it safe and reliable.  There was a rating system where people could build trust in their "brand".  For the first time you actually had a safe and easy way to purchase products for which the government doesn't approve and could be reasonably sure about the quality of what you'd receive.  How many lives did this save?  Probably thousands.  The government (or anyone else) does not have any right to push products it doesn't like underground without the protections of the above-ground marketplace (trust/brand/product liability/etc).  He did a heroic thing despite knowing what would happen to him if he were ever caught, which unfortunately he was.  It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong. I'd never have to guts to do what he did.  Nor would most people, which makes him a hero.

 

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Some excellent quotes from him can be found here. 

Collected Quotations Of The Dread Pirate Roberts, Founder Of Underground Drug Site Silk Road And Radical Libertarian

 

Here are the first two:

 

“Silk Road was founded on libertarian principles and continues to be operated on them. It is a great idea and a great practical system…It is not a utopia. It is regulated by market forces, not a central power (even I am subject to market forces by my competition. No one is forced to be here). The same principles that have allowed Silk Road to flourish can and do work anywhere human beings come together. The only difference is that the State is unable to get its thieving murderous mitts on it.” [10/1/2012]

 

“Silk Road has already made an impact on the war on drugs. The effect of the war is to limit people’s access to controlled substances. Silk Road has expanded people’s access. The great thing about agorism is that it is a victory from a thousand battles. Every single transaction that takes place outside the nexus of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction. So there are thousands of victories here each week and each one makes a difference, strengthens the agora, and weakens the state.” [9/23/2012]

 

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Ideology can be dangerous.

 

Something which Snowden, Assange and Manning also only know too well.

 

Btw my compliments for bringing this up rkabang. Takes some guts to voice this opinion on a board where potentially no-one will agree and just think you're crazy.

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Ideology can be dangerous.

 

Something which Snowden, Assange and Manning also only know too well.

 

Btw my compliments for bringing this up rkabang. Takes some guts to voice this opinion on a board where potentially no-one will agree and just think you're crazy.

 

Thanks.  I've held basically the same political opinions as I do now since the mid '90s.  I'm used to people thinking I'm crazy and I'm long past caring.

 

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Especially when the government backs it up with guns.

 

Just out of curiousity, in your libertarian Nirvana, what happens when someone takes something they don't own, poisons a river they don't own, or takes a human life they don't own? 

 

What's the alternative to society agreeing to beat such a person with a big stick?

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

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Especially when the government backs it up with guns.

 

Just out of curiousity, in your libertarian Nirvana, what happens when someone takes something they don't own, poisons a river they don't own, or takes a human life they don't own? 

 

What's the alternative to society agreeing to beat such a person with a big stick?

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

 

Right of the strongest will always be the inderlying. That is true today, but in a less transparent fashion.

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Especially when the government backs it up with guns.

 

Just out of curiousity, in your libertarian Nirvana, what happens when someone takes something they don't own, poisons a river they don't own, or takes a human life they don't own? 

 

What's the alternative to society agreeing to beat such a person with a big stick?

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

 

First tell me what happens in your government controlled Nirvana, when large corporations are allowed to poison a river and given limited or even no liability for their actions?  What happens in your government controlled Nirvana when someone wishes to take a drug your government doesn't approve?  And why are there millions imprisoned for non-violent "crimes" when 40% of murders go unsolved?

 

Who is unrealistic? The person who thinks that some problems aren't easily solved, but the free market (in law) is the best humans can do, or the person who thinks all of mankind's' problems can be solved simply by writing things down on paper and giving people the magic power to turn the mere scribbles  into "LAW"?  Then allowing these people to steal as much as they want from you (through taxes and inflation), using the money to spend 12 years programming your children, and using the stolen funds to buy as many weapons as they wish.  Sorry, but I'm not looking for Nirvana or easily solved problems (which cause more problems then they solve).  Tell me how your government controlled Nirvana will "solve" the problem of crime, it's had 7000 years or so to do it and it hasn't yet.

 

I have some ideas about how these things could be solved with competing private systems, but I'm not going to write a book on a web forum.  I also know what doesn't work, legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs.

 

 

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  I also know what doesn't work, legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs.

 

Cause obviously you have tons of real world examples of your libertarian nirvana working in practice. Not. You don't have a single one since it does not exist.

 

And hundreds of years of progress in a mixed free market and government regulated economies can be written off as " legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs"

 

Nice.

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  I also know what doesn't work, legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs.

 

Cause obviously you have tons of real world examples of your libertarian nirvana working in practice. Not. You don't have a single one since it does not exist.

 

And hundreds of years of progress in a mixed free market and government regulated economies can be written off as " legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs"

 

Nice.

 

I'm sorry, but words mean things.  Taxation is the taking of wealth from one person by another.  That is also called "theft".  I'm not writing it off, I'm calling it what it is.  And it is immoral, regardless of what the thieves do with the money.

 

 

Also so I don't have to write it all over again, read my post at the link which I just posted for a more thorough explanation of my views on the subject.  When a society had never existed without slavery, it didn't make slavery just.

 

Oh hell I'll just cut and paste:

 

----------------------------------------

I don’t think you can go from a massive state which has millions of people depending on it for their livelihood on a daily basis to an anarchistic society overnight.  It would have to be more evolutionary rather than revolutionary.  If the state disappeared tomorrow into thin air in the U.S. or Canada it WOULD be chaos.  Millions would be out of work, social security and other entitlements would just stop coming, many people would not know what to do with themselves.  Hell, even people in the private sector who have jobs would look at the very money they use and say “what is backing this now?”    If the state is to be dismantled it has to be because of a cultural change in the population that wants it to be dismantled.  Not because they are stereotypical "bomb throwing anarchists" who love chaos, but because they realize that the state does more harm than good in a civilized society and that violence begets more violence, so violence shouldn't be an accepted device used to solve societal problems. This is Somalia's problem, they have no state, but they do not have a culture of freedom either.  Yet, do some research on Somalia, they are clearly better off than they were in the 1980’s and they are better off than some of the societies that surround them.  All things being equal in their society as it stands culturally they are arguably better off without a state, than with one.  The culture needs some evolution to create a peaceful and prosperous society, but that would be true whether or not they have a government. If Somalia forms a government tomorrow, who will control it?  Most likly one of the warlord groups that are causing so much chaos in stateless Somalia today.  This will not bring peace and order, it will most likely bring corruption and widespread persecution of other competing groups. All of this is also true in many of the countries in that part of the world.  You could not go back in time to medieval Europe, for instance, kill the kings and all of the other royalty, tell the serfs that they are now free and expect life to immediately improve.  People get used to a certain way of life and do not handle quick structural changes well.  These things take time.  Over the course of human history our culture has been evolving towards more distributed  less concentrated power and towards more civilized, less barbarous and violent societies.  Of course sometimes we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but that has been the general direction.  Someday there will be no state, and historians will look back at our society and think of how primitive our culture was to still cling to our tribal leaders marked off by boundaries on a map even though we had relatively easy global trade, global transportation, and global communication (even if crude by the standards of the future of those things).  The same way we look back at god-kings and think “how primitive”.  There we're no biological differences between the humans under the god-kings and us.  The only things that have evolved since then, the only difference between them and us, is our technology and our culture.  Both will continue to evolve, each of us has the choice of either helping the process along or stand in its way.  How much more speedily and bloodlessly would slavery have been gotten rid of if there were more abolitionists and less people who thought "slavery has always been part of human society and we couldn't function as a society without it"?

 

As far as crime goes I think you give the state way too much credit in that area.  Many murders are never solved and the vast majority of property crimes go unsolved.  If your house gets broken into you will almost certainly never get your stuff back.  The police will make a report, place it in a file, and that will be the extent of it. Then your insurance company will pay your claim.  This is very similar to how it would work in a free market as well.  You will contract with a protection agency or maybe this will be run by your insurance company.  You will call them to file a claim, they will investigate and pay your claim.  If you call 911 because you have an intruder tonight, I hope you have some way to keep yourself alive in the 10-15minutes it may take for the police to get there.  Again, this will be the same in a free society with the exception that if you aren’t happy with your protection services company you can do business with someone else instead.  Walk around your average mid-to-large city and chances are you don’t see a cop anywhere or at least not very often.  The reason the people around you aren’t robbing you is because they are civilized, not because they are afraid of the government.  Will there always be crime?  Of course there will, it is how we deal with it that is under discussion.  Only statists think that there is some magic in words on paper called “law” that “solves” crime.  It just isn’t so. These laws, and the institutions that evolve to enforce them, are much more concerned with politically motivated “crimes” and fighting the "culture war" which the politicians use to get votes rather than really protecting people from violence.  Most people in jail are not murderers and rapists, they are minorities who are there for violating drug laws. Middle class whites are simply not arrested and thrown in jail for these “crimes” even though they do drugs at a rate similar to poorer minorities.  And since nothing will hold down your earnings potential like a criminal record, the “justice” system is used to keep the underclass in its place. It is a sick, disgusting and thoroughly broken system that needs to be done away with if our society is going to move forward and prosper.  There are many books written about how crime could be handled in a free society.  Milton Freidman’s son David Friedman who is a professor of economics and law at the Santa Clara University Law School wrote an excellent book called “The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism” which I highly recommend.

 

Also some good and quick reads (and free) which deal with the subject, are Stefan Molyneux’s “Everyday Anarchy” and “Practical Anarchy”.  These books are excellent.  The free versions are in PDF, HTML, and the audiobook in MP3.  You have to buy and pay for the print versions if you prefer paper.

 

Other excellent books if you’ve read the above and would like to delve deeper into the subject is “The Conscience of an Anarchist: Why It's Time to Say Good-Bye to the State and Build a Free Society” by Gary Chartier

 

“Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty”, by Gary Chartier

 

And the classic: “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto”, Murray N. Rothbard.  This book is a good introduction to a free society and how it might work.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Care to give an exmaple where your ideal world exist and you want to live there?

 

Some of the same things could be said about not having a king or dictator.  Show me an example in all the thousands of years in human history where a society has successfully gotten rid of its monarchs for any length of time?  Even our recent few hundred years of Republican government isn’t much proof, the Roman Republic lasted longer than ours yet still deteriorated to dictatorship in the end.  Looking only at history you could make a good case that human society needs to be organized as a dictatorship.

 

Remember that even a relatively short time ago in human history you could have said.  “Show me one modern agricultural society that has ever functioned without slavery.  None has ever existed. Please explain how we could feed our population in a world without slavery.  How could a labor intensive product like say, cotton, ever be grown, harvested, and brought to market profitably without the institution of slavery?  And what would these slaves all do if you set them free?  They have no education, no idea what it is like to live on their own and be responsible for themselves. They have no idea what it is like to be a productive and civilized member of society?  How to you integrate such people into a modern society without causing all kinds of problems?”    These questions (and many more like them) where asked many times. The answer of course is that it doesn’t matter.  Slavery is wrong and whatever the consequences, we will either find solutions to these problems or we won’t, but it simply isn’t morally acceptable to treat human beings like animals.  And of course in the end once it was clear that slavery would come to an end, labor saving devices were invented and cotton and other crops were successfully farmed (who would bother trying to invent such devices if slavery was not outlawed).  And it was sometimes a little rocky, but the former slaves were integrated into society.

 

I would say the same things about the state.  It simply isn’t acceptable to take by force from people to educate children, help the poor, build the roads, and protect us from crime.  Will people come up with innovative ways of solving these problems when the state is on its way out?  I think they will.  There is a huge market for all of these things, because almost everyone wants all of those things.  I can’t tell you how these problems will be solved any more than someone in the 18th century could have predicted tractors and the cotton gin.  If human beings are good at anything it is problem solving, especially when there is a profit motive behind it.  Some people have come up with ideas on how many of these problems would be solved (read some of the books I linked to in my last post), some of them sound plausible, but those are just that, plausible sounding ideas.  As Yogi Berra said “Prediction is very hard, especially about the future”.  No one will know for sure until it is hammered out on the forge of the marketplace.

 

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It simply isn’t acceptable to take by force from people to educate children, help the poor, build the roads, and protect us from crime.

 

Actually, it is. And I am very happy to live in society where it is.

 

Oh, and I would love to live in society where all the members provided resources for the above things on their own volition, but currently that's impossible. Democracy comes close, but clearly not close enough for you.

 

If people change and become more conscientious in the future, perhaps this can be made more voluntary.

 

As for the current system: Taxes are not theft: they have been voted for democratically by the population in most cases. If you don't believe in democracy, well then nothing more to say.

 

 

You are wrong with your example of agriculture without slavery: it existed way before slavery was abolished. Societies without slavery existed for thousands of years.

 

 

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The problem with libratarian nirvana is biology. Every social mammal on this planet organize themselves into a groups. Leaders of the group are given power by their followers. The more power a leader has the more resources they can control. Sure everyone could live in candy land, but it only takes one bad apple to spoil a Utopian society. Creating a central authority with ultimate power is society's way of maintaining order. The central authority may change over time giving more or less power to its followers, but the central authority will remain.

 

I also know what doesn't work, legitimizing theft and violence by paying protection money to thugs.

 

You will contract with a protection agency or maybe this will be run by your insurance company.  You will call them to file a claim, they will investigate and pay your claim.  If you call 911 because you have an intruder tonight, I hope you have some way to keep yourself alive in the 10-15minutes it may take for the police to get there.  Again, this will be the same in a free society with the exception that if you aren’t happy with your protection services company you can do business with someone else instead.

 

Sounds like protection money to thugs (i mean "protection companies") to me...

 

You could do far more good by changing the system as it exists now for the better than complaining how it needs to change. Luckily you live in a society with a government that affords you the ability to do such. Your taxes (stolen treasure) allow you to do that. 

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You could do far more good by changing the system as it exists now for the better than complaining how it needs to change. Luckily you live in a society with a government that affords you the ability to do such. Your taxes (stolen treasure) allow you to do that. 

 

I never understood the whole "count yourself lucky" line of thinking.  Unless you live in the worse society imaginable, it could always be worse. So anyone, in any place, in almost any time in history could have counted themselves lucky that it wasn't worse. Yes, I am glad that I live in modern America rather than medieval Europe or Soviet Russia, but that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement.  In fact I think there is quite a bit of room.

 

 

The whole join the mob and change it from the inside line of thinking is ridiculous when the whole system is based on violence.  All I'm asking is to be allowed to opt out.

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As for the current system: Taxes are not theft: they have been voted for democratically by the population in most cases. If you don't believe in democracy, well then nothing more to say.

 

I suppose not.  Democracy is the system based on the theory "there are more of us than there are of you, so do what we say or else".  The political manifestation of might makes right.  Yes there are more people who think like you than who think like me, and yes the threat of violence from the majority is what keeps me paying my taxes.  Force is additive while things like intelligence, empathy, and morality are not.  It is the tragedy of the human condition.  You are stronger so for now you win.

 

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