Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Utility of Beyond

In Every Child Fed, we discussed an idea since pseudo co-opted by the elites that be. Really, they're tricky bastards--don't post anything on the internet unless you want them to steal it, change the lyrics a little bit, and give it to some hacks from Zionwood or Liverpool or somewhere to regurgitate for profit. I mean, you'd think that such a hyper-sappy idea would've been a given in the age of the Gates Foundation, where literal, not conservative cuckooery is practiced for reasons more nefarious than Aztlan. "More gibs" could hardly be more honestly expressed than "cradle to grave free nutrition, housing, and medical care," and yet, they had to rip it off. The great policy triumphs of liberalism could never have happened without plagiarizing the hypothetical snowball-effect examples of conservatives; e.g., the inexorable trend to shoot oneself in the foot by saying, "Gay marriage? Are you kidding? How about sibling marriage or equine marriage, while we're at it?" Where do you think they get their ideas? They're not self-generated. The entertainment world is kept alive not only by cannibalizing Shakespeare or the Greek Myths, and remixing remixes for variant rap, but by fresh infusions of "rejected" script submissions, composer's webpages, writer's workshops, and the like. Absent reading fanfic forums to acquire a new Extraterrestrial Romance genre title that "gets kids reading" (Random House: contact me and I'll write all six books ahead of time, not get emotional when they have to be edited due to popular demand, create and train the actress who will portray me at conventions, way more cheaply and plausibly than the last guy) or whatever, the best they can do is smudges of color. More than location-tracking and employment-punishing via phones and social networks, the internet ensures a steady supply of monkeys on typewriters, always producing something that can be repackaged profitably after a trip through the boiler rooms of little white hip hop sound engineers and deputy assistant screenwriters.

As a fictional blog, far be it for this one to comment on politics, but for purposes of more Arken analogies, let us discuss more of the workings of the Every Child Fed program from my extragalactic reincarnation. How did it work? Firstly, High Arka was an actual old-fashioned nation, which we didn't think about at the time, and which I still don't often think about. Everyone had, e.g., yellow hair (not blond/blonde, but sorta sun-colored), and was essentially post-Bazin Barian, which is way more scifi race realism than you want. There were Bajirins too, though in really small numbers. So there's that--minimal demographic variation, compared to Terra--if you think it affects the social cohesiveness attendant to the feasibility of any mandatory social support network.

More importantly for maintaining Arka, though, was Beyond. This was the functional, non-ironic name given to the majority of the planet's surface which was not guarded by any nation state (and at that point, there were only two left, High Arka and Jhing-fut). Consisting of more than half, maybe even 60-70% of the territory, Beyond was always available to us, and it worked great. Think "anarchy zone," except its physical majority made it the neutral, and the formal civilizations, rather, the "zones."

What was Beyond? The un-governed space. The perfect answer to so many social problems and political disagreements. No more morality over death penalties, repeat violent offenses, et cetera: the punishment is only freedom, freedom in Beyond. Not interested in taxes or public art or decorum or whatever? No coercion involved; just go to Beyond. Confident that society sucks and you want to make your own way? Beyond. Murder? Beyond. Too many disruptions in the cafeteria? Beyond. Passionately believe government is evil? Beyond. Pyramid scheme? Beyond.

Again, I took it for granted, but being here has been so useful in appreciating Beyond. All the anarchists, the libertarians, etc., had no ammo in Arka. Here, on Terra, there's nowhere you're actually allowed to escape to. International waters are controlled, settlement in the last few (highly environmentally hostile) unclaimed areas is prohibited by military force, ergo the entire globe is effectively under bank dominion. "Go to Liberia" or "Go to Afghanistan" doesn't work, since there are governments there, and the areas are so comparatively small. Beyond was mostly "under" populated, for obvious reasons of organizational cohesiveness failing to provide long-term stability. Plenty of people could find a homestead or fortify a freehold and live long and happy and alone, occasionally visiting the fam back home. And there were cool wild-west-type towns, and shit like that, with all the attendant danger spiced by excitement. (Like, teenage or senior sex was cooler there, and you could break IP laws without actually breaking them.)

Society was no longer a dungeonmaster, a torturer, or a murderer. The nations' comparatively modest claims had settled the issue. Sure, there were mini-nations formed in Beyond, and it had its own petty warlords, but they were free, and they tore themselves down before very long, over and over the centuries, and they weren't able to do stuff like develop the equivalent to "nukes" or whatever else is supposed to be scary now. You could go and come freely, subject to actual-border-type security, if you weren't an exile.

The axiomatic principle of leaving Beyond as Beyond was easy to teach and maintain; it underlay the moral claims of any national action, and of the freedom to go and live. The legitimacy of the whole world system depended on it. So easy to take for granted until you do a life here, where no one has a good answer to any of the most basic governmental questions. "Intervention" in Beyond was unthinkable. Its dangerous individual freeness contrasted with the safe communal responsibility of the nation state. There was no Rousseauian v. Bastiatan trend corroding society--Rousseau's Clintonian preference to hellishly rob, abuse, and micromanage human lives, v. Bastiat's Randish hypocritical subsidized marketplace--because the ending of those many arguments had already been settled. (When Arka did fall, it was begun and imposed internally. They didn't get us in the way being used here.)

A beyond would do great here, given the centuries of work to install. We fantasize about space exploration so much here, perhaps not only because of an intrinsic interest in looking around at cool stuff, but because the potential of a place for non-fit-ins to go is of priceless value. Like with Every Child Fed, it's hard to imagine how well it worked. And looking back, this one can certainly acknowledge that full national care wouldn't have worked without Beyond as an alternative option. Would-be non-payers and random thugs alike shared a common interest and a common destination...and as with the "total social welfare" aspect of things, the availability of Beyond put a pre-emptive end to so much worthless cohesion was, compared to here, off the charts, and the actual use (and potential use) of exile kept repeat violence minuscule and instantly solvable, while the corresponding possibility of subsidizing overbreeding trash through total social welfare went down, because all the behaviors that broken, benefits-abusing populations can engage in rampantly here, resulted in fast diminishment and near-elimination due to the availability of Beyond--which reduced, with similar vastness, the numbers of people upset about paying.


  1. You are wrong, or at least you will get your wish soon on Earth:
    the future of this planet is a sparce network of maybe 200 or so cicty/states or region/states dotting the world, and housing no more than 5-10% of the population. Everything in between them will be an 'ungovernment' desperace space where the majority of humanity will be left to live and die (mostly die).

  2. Oh, you don't like the government of Smart City # 123? Very well, go hang out with Boko Haram.

    1. The distinction between Terra's megacorp future and the Arka/Beyond period in question is non-intervention. What makes Beyond itself is that there is no trade, no aid, no intervention of any kind. Not even land- or sea-travel through Beyond.

      Ergo no Boko Harams--it wasn't possible for even successful, long-running warlords to build or maintain factory-level production. The 'waste nightmares we see on Earth are fostered through the direct intervention of treacherous bastards. In Beyond, you might well get a thousand guys with guns, but they'd run out of food pretty quick. It wasn't unheard of to have several decades pass without even one token failed assault on a national Gate.

  3. Arka, you got Tzipi Livni to comment here under the clever handle of "Anonymous." Well done.

  4. (Ms. Livni, I am available for consulting work at the usual rate.)