Archive for October, 2008

Ludd Anti-smoking Technique: Death by Beating

October 3, 2008

Ever notice that Ludd innovations always achieve their goals by mutual destruction and sometimes, death?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432105,00.html

The Ludd mentality is that wiser 3rd parties should prevent people from buying and/or using technologies that the wise believe are bad for them.  Often these wise Ludds use coercive power to prevent others from buying/using unwise technologies.  Sometimes the use of coercive power becomes an end goal in itself, as the wise Ludds find they actually gain coercive power by proving they can use arbitrary coercive power without accountability.

So goes the struggle for 3rd party power and influence since time immemorial.  3rd party power is by definition arbitrative, but not necessarily arbitrary.  Often arbiters broker win-win deals between the first and second parties.   But Ludd 3rd party power is arbitrary.  It rules regardless of whether both parties, one party or neither parties benefit, because the Ludd believes that others besides the two parties in question WILL beneift from his prevention of the transaction.  In the case of nuclear weaponry, Ludd 3rd party policy is largely agreed with by citizens who don’t want terrorists having nuclear bombs.  So it is also for automatic rifles and stinger missles. 

But most Ludd efforts nowdays are focused on banning non-lethal technology.  Global warming -aggravating technologies (not proven), trans-fats, trace amounts of lead in toys, DDT, plastic bags, marijuana, and a host of other non-lethal technologies are either already banned or the effort is under way.

It is a special kind of ambition that seeks to make or prevent changes by creating irrational fear and parasiting power off of that fear.  This kind of advocacy slows or reverses technological progress and economic growth.  It is a parasitic advocacy.  Ludds are economic parasites, and they feed off of gullible donations and by scaring people to get attention.  If we stop giving them money and attention, their causes will die economically, and perhaps they will be forced to become productive people.  You can save the species a little bit today by ignoring the Ludd alarmism, or ridiculing it, as I try to, and not giving them money.

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