I Don’t Need Society!

The Daily Burkeman1 had a post observing how many cops are around and BMan1 wonders how many is enough. Since I happened to be reading an excellent book on the topic, I posted the following comment.

Here are some quotes from “The Supply Side of the Political Market” in Bruce Benson’s “The Enterprise of Law”:

After an extensive study of police performance, Lawrence Sherman, director of the Police Foundation, concluded: “Instead of watching to prevent crime, motorized police patrol [is] a process of merely waiting to respond to crime.” Sherman noted that the budget process rewards those who successfully dispose of cases after crimes are committed more than with the questions of how many police are needed and how big the police budget should be. Of course, the answers to these questions depend on what police must do, so police lobby for more budget and personnel in order to reduce response time and catch more criminals. Efficiency considerations would dictate that the additional cost of such resources be justified by improved performance of at least equal value. Is this a valid assumption?
A 1976 study by the Police Foundation and the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice found that cutting response time by seconds or even minutes makes little difference in whether or not a criminal is apprehended. […] Studies of police on duty have found that about half of an officer’s time is spent simply waiting for something to happen. Police officials claim that this time is spent in preventative patrolling, but systematic observation has discovered that such time is largely occupied with conversations with other officers, personal errands, and sitting in parked cares on side streets. […]
[P]olice offcials contend that patrol cars should have two officers because they can more efficiently deal with criminal incidents and are less likely to be resisted or harmed. A year-long Police Foundation study of one- versus two-man patrol cars in San Diego, however, contradicts these claims. The report found “clearly and unequivocally it is more efficient, safer, and at least as effective for the plice to staff patrol cars with one officer.” […] The primary differences were that two-man cars wrote several more traffic tickets, one-man cars received far fewer citizen complains, and one-man cars were far more cost effective. […] Furthermore, there were fewer cases of resisting arrest and assaults on officers in one-man units than in two-man units.
Is increasing the size of the police buereaucracy likely to solve these problems? Consider the impact of increasing the size of the police department in New York City between 1940 and 1965. Over that twenty-five-year period, the number of police was increased from 16,000 to 24,000, but the total number of hours worked by the entire force actually declined. The 50 percent increase in personnel was more than offset by shorter hours, longer vacations, more holidays, more paid sick leave, and longer lunch periods.

On a vaguely related note, I’m also cackling at what happened to Spitzer. If it weren’t for all the measures taken against white-collar crime (his specialty) he might not have been caught. He’s a victim of idiotic laws against victimless-crimes that he didn’t have a problem enforcing against others. Prison is unnecessary as he’s no danger to anyone out on the street…provided he no longer has his position of power. UPDATE: Skip Oliva and Rich Nikoley dismiss libertarian objections to punishing Spitzer. I view punishment from a purely consequentialist angle and I don’t see how it would disincentivise his abuse of power rather than solicitation of prostitution. EDIT: Skip clarifies in the comments that he doesn’t want Spitzer prosecuted, just removed from his job, so it seems we have no disagreement. UPDATE: It seems Spitzer helped put in place some of the harshest anti-sex trade laws in the country. Sort-of-update: Looks like another enforcer of law has gotten caught with his dick in the cookie jar. Will Spengler claim vindication? UPDATE2: Mona, Carson and Greenwald on Spitzer at TAOTP. Reihan Salam in a diavlog on it here, citing some figures from Bradford Plumer. I rant a bit at Who is IOZ?

For those brought here by the title, here is the original, here is the imitation and here they are combined. Via Ilkka, a possible technological substitution.


Lawrence Auster has been having a discussion of gay marriage and “civil unions” here. Some earlier comments from me are posted there, but the latest was too long, so now it is here: (more…)

See Gene Expression.

Something for very, very, very foresighted libertarians to keep in mind.

The clerico-libertarian anarchists at No Treason try to see how far I’ll go and I oblige.

As long as we’re talking rape, 2Blowhards is discussing the dispute between Heather Mac Donald and Cheryl Miller on the “campus rape industry” (I thought neocons weren’t supposed to paraphrase Finkelstein) here and here.

Lawrence Auster and Mencius Moldbug got into an argument about the civil war. I e-mailed the following to Larry:

You say it would be horrible if the South were to secede and divide the continent. But is the continent not already divided with Canada to the north and Mexico (technically still part of North and not Central America) to the south? In the Articles of Confederation (unfortunately overlooked as it was superior to the Constitution) there was a provision for including Canada if they wished to join that was never taken up. Do you believe it is an imperative to join at least the anglophone portions of Canada with our country?

Personally I wish the south had seceded succesfully because I do not like it and do not want to be in the same country as it (William Lloyd Garrison felt similarly and tried to get the north to secede). Also it would increase the number of independent jurisdictions leading to “policy competition”.

You also blame some sympathy with the Confederate cause on loss of “love of country”. Were the “patriots” during the American War of Independence (more a secession than revolution) insufficiently animated by “love of country” compared to the “loyalists” or “tories”?

He responded that I was indulging in vain and irresponsible thoughts. I’m not sure where the vanity comes in other than my low opinion of the south. We both hold a low opinion of what’s to the south of the American south (Mexico), but I doubt he considers that vanity. Not being in any sort of position of responsibility where my thoughts could make a difference, I don’t see what’s irresponsible about them.

At another post he made much of the lenient treatment of Mike Nifong given his pursuit of innocent people. I said “If you think that case is unique, you haven’t been reading enough Radley Balko.”

Via Reason Hit & Run, a website called WikiLeak has sprung up to provide “an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis […] exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East […] of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations”. As might be expected, not everyone likes that and a judge ordered it to be shut down. Fortunately, the judge doesn’t understand how the internet works and so you just have to use its numeric IP address rather than domain name. Doh! Hit & Run has a somewhat related story about censorship in Finland here.

I discussed journalism’s privilege to leak with IOZ here, Mencius Moldbug has railed against it here, here, here and here.

I sent an e-mail to Sandefur after reading this post:

You hypothesize that Iraq has been a winning issue for the GOP but moralism has not (I’m guessing you think less of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” than Stephen Rose then). I don’t think I’ve heard anybody put forth that idea before. Polls show Iraq to be quite unpopular.

I suspect that the Democrats could actually increase their votes by jumping on the moralism bandwagon, but desist in doing so because the elites in their party are educated cosmopolitan types that find it very distasteful, while Republicans would do better if they advocated more populist economic policies. Jim Pinkerton made that point a while back at bloggingheads.tv but it’s almost impossible to find diavlogs made before the site redesign now. I don’t favor such policies, but I recognize the public does, which is why I am not a big fan of democracy.

I used the correct e-mail address this time (I didn’t know he had a gmail account before and sent one to his work address before), but there was still no response. Guess it’s back to clogging his work inbox! Larison discusses the issue here. A parody of the Obama-song targetting McCain’s message of war is here.

I didn’t bother listening to the whole diavlog since I had other stuff to do I should have started a few days ago, but when I saw that Mark Kleiman had a plan for halving the prison population while reducing crime I had to check it out. He seems to support the Bryan Caplan view of drug addiction as not any sort of uncontrollable disease but something highly responsive to incentives. The economist Glenn Loury interjects that there’s no way criminals are rational actors, and Kleiman agrees. So does Bryan Caplan. There are still ways to incentivise their behavior, however. I’m still wary of Kleiman because despite recognizing how awful the “war on drugs” has been, he opposes legalization in the hopes of his favored technocratic solution being implemented, with no reason to believe such a thing will ever occur other than the sheer inspiring nature of Barack Obama.

I just posted a comment at the anti-natalism blog. There is moderation there so it won’t appear until James Crawford (aka metamorphhh) approves it, but until then I figured I’d turn my paragraph on abortion into a post of its own here. UPDATE: It is up. (more…)

I’ve got a number of posts I’ve been thinking about writing, but they’ll be delayed for now. It will likely be a few days as there are some things I really need to get around to doing.

At first I thought I wouldn’t add the Odessa Syndicate to my blogroll even though they put me on theirs. I figured linking to Mencius Moldbug and Robert Lindsay was enough, as combining them results in something a lot like it. Rethinking things, I decided they really are unusual enough to merit it. Most racialists on the internet really do seem to have nothing but contempt for the left and wouldn’t bother considering any ideas of merit that it has to offer while their own vision often seems to simply consist of the America we already know but consisting only of white people. Prozium picks out some of the very worst ideas the left has to offer (though to his credit he doesn’t seem to think much of old-style nationalism), but I’ll give him points for novelty. Ian Jobling at the Inverted World tries to position their eternally impotent movement as “true liberals”, but that’s tired and second-hand. I’m all for progressives giving back up the name “liberal”, but I’ve grown sick of all the positioning as “the good guys” or the “side of the angels“. Back from that digression, I suppose Bill White might be somewhat similar to what Odessa imagines, but he really just seems like an attention-whoring bullshitting asshole than the representative of any ideology to me. He’s called himself a “utopian anarchist” and “libertarian socialist”, which I don’t think gels with the Odessa synthesis. Since I talk about Vox Day a lot, I’ll add him to the roll as well. I look forward to when TIA becomes a downloadable pdf, as I don’t really feel like paying for it. I’ve got some other blogs I’m thinking of adding to the roll, but that’s for another day and another post.

I notice that in his most recent post Prozium echoes UR in stating that conservatism/the right always loses (on the bright side we can look forward to less of the right-triumphalism wrought by fall of the Soviets, with Fukuyama’s hegelianism and talk of having “won the battle of ideas”, while occasionally imbibing in nostalgia which I admit is still enjoyable). I wouldn’t put it so absolutely, and I can imagine another plausible historical narrative in which liberalism/the left always loses (I have to read Gabriel Kolko’s Triumph of Conservatism some day, and maybe some anarchist and deviationist communist literature as well) which sites like A Tiny Revolution, the Defeatists, Stop Me Before I Vote Again and others of an IOZian bent seem to be pushing. At any rate, if libertarianism is to be judged by the growth of the state (which I think it is), it has certainly lost. I agree with Tyler Cowen that that’s largely going to be a function of technology so it’s not surprising that they will pretty much constantly lose, but I disagree with him (and Keynes) about their ideas being important and I’m also less optimistic about the future. My capitulation is a bitter one. I don’t believe in any and don’t see myself in any way related to a side of the angels, and I’ve dropped the last vestiges of a “Whig theory of history” for a verdict of absurd (I’ll highlight a blog pushing a starker version of that than mine in a later post). Modern conservatism, libertarianism, liberalism/progressivism will all lose. The winner might be termed “idiocracy”, but Mike Judge’s is the entertaining version while the more realistic one is Phillip Longman’s Return of Patriarchy, though of course the second law of thermodynamics indicates that the ultimate result will be the heat death of the universe. My lack of optimism seems to indicate one of Bryan Caplan’s four biases, but I would still like to enlist Caplan on my side against Cowen by pointing to his The Totalitarian Threat. The North Korean model is rather stable and it is what all states may be said to aspire to even if they think otherwise. The boot may indeed stamp on the human face forever.

Getting back to the original topic, at No Treason Josh Sabotta points out to me some amusing links about the inter-fascist split, both during The Big One and today. Some interesting things to point out include Tristan Torriani’s reference to “the genocide perpetrated against Slavs in the name of Marxism and Bolshevism” while ignoring the one perpetrated against them by Nazis and his attempt at claiming minority-victim status that thankfully failed for Italians in the past. Judging by his last name I am likely more related to Richard McCulloch, but despite that and the Anglophile mild bigotry I share with John Derbyshire (even against my own Catholic Irish ancestors, though it is fading with my old Whigness), I’ll have to side with Torrianni and Rienzi. McCulloch’s main problem with Southern Europeans (Torrianni uses the term IIB, or Italian-Iberian-Balkan) is that they will breed with Northern Europeans and bring about the extinction of the more distinctive types. As someone who agrees with Assman that the world-center of hotness is nearer to the Mediterranean than Sweden (though I’m open to women of all races and willing to prove it on camera given a suitably pun-filled title), I find his restrictions unacceptable. Though I’m a big proponent of secession and panarchy/intentional communities (which seasteading should help if it works out) racial separatists often seem to ignore how marginal their viewpoint is and don’t consider the fact that there will be a lot of white people like me who want to live in mixed areas. I want them to leave, and I’d like the option to leave, but I don’t want to be forced to leave with them. A fortunate exception is Michael H. Hart (maybe it’s the result of his malevolent Southern European/Ashkenazi Jewish genes!) who proposes dividing the U.S into white, black and mixed thirds. Aside from where our large number of Hispanics fit in, I think his proportions are off and I’m interested in a much higher degree of division on numerous factors, but it’s a start.

The other link from Sabotta was on the Italian military in the Far East. The alliance between European fascists and Japanese rather than Chinese Nationalists strikes me as rather arbitrary (kind of like the Italian alliance with pre-Anschluss Austria and then it’s Nazi German rival), and the fact that they were the only side with a major non-white element really makes the claim that they carried the banner of the White Race seem ridiculous (as does all the harm they did to other white people). Like I said before, it is only through willful stupidity that Hitler’s cheerleaders today can continue considering him a hero. As Robert Lindsay put it, nationalism/racism rots the brain. So why do I even bother with this stuff rather than reacting like someone threw a diseased rat my way? Like Ross Douthat said, when you’re on the fringe you tend to cease caring worrying about other fringe-types. It’s the respectable center that actually has power and causes the problems and the possibility of these people gaining any power is slim enough that I can dismiss the consequences.

I’ve defended them against my fellow paleos here, here and other places but I don’t feel inclined to do so anymore. I didn’t hate Reason, but I recognized they were more into “libertinism”/cosmopolitanism whether or not it had anything to do with the State, which Cato seemed rightly indifferent about. Reason also seemed more evenly split on the Iraq war and allowed proponents a lot of room to loudly voice their case, whereas Cato officially opposed it and didn’t air the views of their pro-war minority. Cato always seemed sensible and their flaws minor. That was before I came across this, which is hard to imagine from a libertarian. He actually analogizes the Congress restraining the Executive within the limits of the law (even conservatives are supposed to like “The Rule of Law”) to the government trying to regulate the market. That’s not just worthy of excommunication from libertarian circles, that puts a high bounty on your head, dead or alive. I first read about it in this item at the Mises blog from Stephan Kinsella. Following up there, Karen de Coster noted that Cato has also advised the government to spend $11 billion initially and $2.1 billion in annual costs to “outfit all 6,800 U.S. commercial [emphasis mine] aircraft with advanced laser-jamming infrared countermeasures against MANPADS [man-portable air defense systems]”. You’d think Cato would realize the threat was overblown and let the airlines (and the passengers that pay for it) decide whether the costs met the benefits. Tom DiLorenzo compared Cato’s Pilon to judge and Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano on this issue. Reason was apparently unaware of Pilon’s piece when they wrote this ironically recommending that paleos and cosmos forget the irrelevant past and join together on FISA. They went after Pilon later here, as did Cato’s Tim Lee here. Thoreau of Unqualified Offerings discusses it here, but refuses to turn his back on the Beltway Crowd (which I find understandable except in light of his attitude toward Ron Paul and the paleolibertarians). IOZ mocks Pilon (and Cato more generally) here, as would be expected. The Man has not yet mentioned it, but he did highlight this on the false dichotomy between our liberties and security, pointing out how useless most of what the feds do is. UPDATE: Julian Sanchez tears Pilon up here and points some other sins from Cato. Balko tries to defend Cato, but finds this unforgivable. I agree with him on what kind of dissent is proper for Cato to tolerate within its walls. (more…)

As an adherent of a fringe ideology (libertarians are a minority, paleolibertarians a sect among them and none others I know if is a Stirnerite to boot) I can be out of place in mainstream company. I often hang out on the fringes, both because we can share our disgust for the “Establishment” for our own pet reasons and I find them more interesting. Among those places recently was the Inverted World where I was sympatico with regard to Darwinism but not racialism or the Iraq war. There were some commenters who agreed with me on the last issue and Lawrence Auster dissented on the first, but I think I was the only one in the threads I commented in (except this one, I assume) who disagreed on the second. Being one of the Paultards or MoRons as we may be called, I took interest in the posts on Ron Paul (and why the site-owner cannot support him). Among the things objected to is granting Muslims (and non-Westerners more generally) the same moral status as Westerners so that civilian casualties on their part are not to be dismissed. A lot of other commenters attacked Islam and Muslims more generally. The last commenter (posting as “AK”) stood out more than I ever have at any blogs I recall in that he was a South Asian Muslim. Enthusiastic Paul supporters and people born abroad are not known for their elegant use of the English language on the internet and this person was not an exception although there wasn’t anything difficult to understand. He took racism and religious bigotry against him others like him in stride as a natural tendency of humanity whose expression should not be repressed and even accepted “blood guilt” for violence perpetrated by his ancestors in India (which is more than an individualist like myself would ever do). He expressed hope that all the different citizens of America can recognize common interests they have in better policies than politicians are giving us now (if only there was a political ideology based on that). I often interact with people who are difficult to converse with and while I do try (and had a number of links demonstrating as such in the comments to a GNXP post) to be polite enough to alleviate hostility and continue the conversation I am not always succesful, as was unknowingly the case recently (though whether I share that story with you remains to be seen). My hat is off to Mr. Abdul Kalam for his exemplary conduct in a hostile environment. (more…)

Razib pointed out this bloggingheads diavlog with Reza Aslan and Rod Dreher. As it went on, the former got more and more annoying (though I found him somewhat likable in previous diavlogs). (more…)

I still haven’t gotten around to actually reading Franz Oppenheimer’s “The State” in full, but I got annoyed with the online version here being broken up into multiple pages, so I turned it into one massive file. I’ve also discovered that the online version of Max Stirner’s “The Ego and Its Own”, which was once one page, has also been broken up. Fortunately, I had already saved it to my computer earlier. I am now hosting the former here, and the latter here.

I’ve updated the previous post several times, so if you only read it when I first posted it, you might want to check it again.

Happy New Years to everybody. Around this time many people like creating lists of significant things that happened in the year we wave goodbye too, but the only one of them I find interesting enough to link to is Radley Balko’s Worst Prosecutor of the Year. Though not quite a list, a yearly tradition I enjoy very much is the Edge World Question. The question is “What have you changed your mind about? Why?“. I haven’t gotten very far into it, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t well worth my time and yours (UPDATE: Couldn’t resist linking to Thomas Metzinger’s: There are no moral facts).

Eliezer Yudkowsky, after irritating people in his previous posts with his fondness for Singularity/cryonics and antipathy for religion, decides to take on politics in the Two-Party Swindle, which is great for anybody but especially libertarians and anti-war types. One area I disagree with it is mentioned the topics; basically Caplan’s theory that the voters are getting what they asked for good and hard. Through my nefarious influence I got Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings to discuss it, and he quibbles with Eliezer over whether the analogy should be to professional athletes or college ones. I have written earlier about my views on the subject in the post Against Politics, which is why I decided to create a mirror of the site by that name (which I might put off fixing up for a while). In a somewhat relevant old post, Hopefully Anonymous (who still hasn’t updated his blog like he said) rails “against the concept of “both sides” as opposed to n-th possible sides“. mtraven is dismissive of that kind of talk, but wanders near that direction in Which side are you on?

In an unexpected event, IOZ sent me an e-mail saying he would add me to his blogroll. Aside from the unusualness of sending a message rather than just gettin’ ‘er done, I was surprised by the move as I am in some respects, and especially from his perspective, a Bad Person and might taint the blog, as I have on occasion his comments section.

I started reading the thing I was being somewhat vague about in the last post but got distracted, though I intend to finish it tonight and then begin writing. Will you readers get to see the results? I don’t know, you’ll just have to stay tuned!

« Previous PageNext Page »