Posts Tagged ‘role of government’

Pixelization of Law

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, just as the detail of a picture is increased the closer to the subject, the applicability of laws becomes ever more prescient, the closer they are made to the people they effect. As Mandelbrot explained, the number of feet of shoreline around Britain is infinite, the shorter the length of measure, the longer it becomes and the more accurately it is measured. The logic also applies to laws and regulations but not to standards. Just as a single pixel must be a composite of, and analogous to, whatever it represents, a law must apply to everyone in it’s scope of enforcement, even those to which it has no applicability, utility and is even counter productive. If the scope of enforcement is smaller, the “pixel” of law is more accurate, just as it would be of a more fine pixel in a photograph. Laws therefore should be made close to the subject and not far away.

Mandelbrot’s description of the shoreline of Britain was an explanation of the concept, the smaller the measurement a thing is measured by, the longer that measurement of it becomes, and the more accurately it is measured, the opposite also being true, that the larger the measurement the less accurately the measure, and the shorter it will appear to be. How this applies to law and regulation is this, laws are supposed to place a negative incentive on a negative action, since this is the case, we could place a blanket law making every action imaginable, a criminal offense, and no negative thing would ever be done… without being punished at least. Of course, if everyone followed such a law, the economy would grind to a halt, people would starve in their own homes surrounded by food, since it would be illegal to cook it, and the human race would cease to exist. This would be like a single pixel covering the whole picture.

On the other side of the spectrum, laws could theoretically be so minutely applicable they would only target individuals who are at risk of certain actions, only in certain places… down to the foot, which could, if sufficiently accurate, stop all crime as well. This however would be utterly unworkable. The laws would have to be so arcane only super computers could apply them. So the one end of the spectrum, one law applying to everyone outlawing everything, is absurd, as is a myriad of laws so complex and local that one could legally light a cigarette and draw a puff, then take a step, and by taking that step, commit a felony, is also unworkable. This would be analogous to a picture rendered of the tiniest pixels, far more accurate than is necessary. Obviously then, we need to find a balance, one that is just and one that doesn’t destroy our prosperity, liberty or society.

We can all agree however, that the sharper the image the closer to true justice it becomes, and will have the least unforeseen consequences. So, to meet the balance where both justice is served and law doesn’t destroy that which it is supposed to protect, it should be passed and enforced as locally as possible. With the smallest pixelization possible. Basically, the pixels, (locality) should be fine, but certainly not to the inch or foot, but the city, county or State, depending on the local people’s desire. If City A wants to legalize gambling and city B does not, then why should the one be forced to go against their wishes, because gambling is made legal or illegal, statewide or nationwide? Showing the locality of law should be the self interested choice of the local inhabitants… self determination.

This logic explains why federal regulation is so pernicious, in that it is destructive of our society, liberty and prosperity. The federal government is too far away to make effective laws. The pixel is too large to get any detail. The big ones, universals, like initiating violence against another and violating a person’s property rights can, but still should not, be addressed at the federal level. Every State has laws against murder, armed robbery, etc… The only legitimate role for the federal government, visa vie the pixelization of law, is to protect the whole, standardize and defend the Constitution. All other activities of any federal government should be carried out by State and local governments.

We have compared the locality of law to the pixels in a digital picture, with the analogy that the smaller the pixel the smaller the locality that law applies in. Laws made locally and enforced locally will be better policed, more pertinent and effective, than laws made at a national level. The national level should be reserved for the big picture… the Constitution, enforcing the Constitution on themselves and the states, national standards, protection from other nations, coining money and such projects the nation agrees needs to be done by the federal government. Little else should be decided at the national level. If that were the case however, and we went back to following our Constitution’s letter as well as spirit, vast swaths of bureaucrats would be laid off, whole departments would cease to exist, taxes would necessarily drop on a federal level, corporate welfare would be cut off and the economy would shoot to the Moon. People could address laws they thought oppressive at the local level where we have some input. It would be quite a change, to use ideas from the Mandelbrot set, to create more accurate law and by doing so, a more fair society.


John Pepin

The True Role of Government

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the role of government creates the social, economic and cultural framework, within which each of us struggles. Why not the other way around? Why not the framework being a cause rather than an effect? Because the role of government precedes the framework. For almost all of human history the role of government has been to protect a small cabal of families at the top of the social, economic and cultural order, plain and simply that was, and in fact still is, the role of government today. That the fundamental role of government has always been to protect a small cabal, the Elite, shouldn’t surprise anyone with their eyes open. The group nurtured by government has changed through the millennia but that has always been the basic role of government. Who comprises that group is what determines the social, economic and cultural framework. The only way to actually change the framework is to change the actual, not the perceived, role of government.

Most people think the role of government is to pave the roads, police the criminals, provide welfare, protect from fire, produce regulations, promote the “common” cause and for plentiful prosperity, all the “goods” you have been taught. That is what you are supposed to think. If you dwell on it however, especially if you take a long historical look at actual reasons governments, wage wars, the “hand out” all the “goods” government provides, and who are the ultimate beneficiaries, you will eventually come to the conclusion, government only really exists to serve the Elite, whoever the Elite are. Once a new Elite are in power they too use government to pass laws to change the framework to suit the Elite’s selfish needs.

Who the elite are changes, depending on dozens of factors, the old elite became too corrupt society suffered and so… a new cabal rose up and seized control perhaps violently, the elite became dependent on some other group who then usurped the usurper’s position, being conquered, technological change, etc… there are far too many ways a group of elite change to name them all. The group that makes up the Elite might be a landed aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, the Shogunate, the theocracy, the majority, the party, a race, the workers, even on extremely rare cases, the whole of the citizenry. Each faction once in power will inevitably change the laws to protect themselves and their children. Often a faction will claim to represent another faction to gain their suffrage but only serve themselves, a party that “represents” the workers, for example. A government that serves the theocracy will pass laws making it illegal to ridicule that religion or to convert out. The framework will change conforming to that group’s desires.

The social, economic and cultural framework of any nation, city state or civilization changes over time, to conform to the will of the faction in power, the Elite. People are people, we are all the same, put any of us, other than a saint in power and over time, as we amend laws and change customs we will inevitably, even if only subconsciously, change those laws, customs and social norms to favor us and our children, it is in our nature. It doesn’t make us, or them, bad people, it makes us all people. That is why we must first look to change the role of government. To do that we must first recognize it’s real role and drop the rose colored glasses.

The founders of the United States understood these facts and tried to craft a form of limited government that would stand the test of time. But indeed, over time, those who could changed the rules to suit their needs against the needs of the rest, did. Today, the US is as much a Constitutionally limited republic, as Rome under Octavius Augustus was a consular republic. Today’s Elite, the new class, have done no different than every other group that has become the Elite. Like all factions that become the Elite, they are/will go through the same life cycle… Rise to power, change government to suit them and their needs, become corrupt, their corruption and increasing mismanagement leading to economic, social and cultural disorder, and finally another faction wresting power and starting the cycle over.

Today the new class has become corrupt, with CEOs making tens of millions of dollars a year in wages, stock deals and bonuses, to run multibillion dollar companies into the ground, banks getting caught red handed ripping off their customers, and so the shareholders get punished while the criminals get bonuses, government officials openly breaking laws anyone else would go to jail for and many do, etc… The economic framework they have created is becoming ever more difficult for the average person to navigate, zero interest on savings, less full time employment, shrinking wages, collapse of small business start ups, etc… and so is slowing economic growth. Cultural Marxism is leading to the cultural decay of drugs, out of wedlock children, single parent families, large swaths of the population that feel they don’t have a stake in society, and all the other cultural ills we face. The new class has sown the seeds of their own destruction, but who is going to seize control from them, and change the framework to suit their needs? Maybe… it is time to debate a new role for government. that diverges from the recognized old.


John Pepin