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How powerful is the government?

  1. innersmiff profile image72
    innersmiffposted 4 years ago

    Considering the news that people are beginning to use 3D printing to create weapons . . .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-ma … r-24666591

    . . . and the consensus being that any attempt to restrict or even ban Bitcoin would be fruitless . . .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/ … miserably/

    what steps do you believe the government can or would take to enforce their laws?

    As 3D printing becomes cheaper and more accessible, it will become harder for the government to control the production of weapons. In the US it is difficult to enact any kind of gun control anyway, seeing as weapon possession is part of American culture - however, this is not the case in Europe, where governments are thoroughly unprepared for any sudden mass weapon possession. Considering how badly governments' attempts to restrict illegal drug trade have fared, it is hard to see how they can stop a stupendous black market from appearing.

    And Bitcoin's untraceibility makes it difficult for the government to control transactions anyway - the shut down of Silk Road is only a dent in the vast agorist culture in the United States.

    It seems the new revolutionary method is not about attacking government, but simply ignoring it.

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Government is never really powerful in modern democracies. What is powerful is public opinion, government reacts to that but also impacts it.

      For example most people in Europe won't start printing guns (even if they weren't lousy and almost as likely to blow your own hand off as shoot someone with a tiny round which is incredibly unlikely to kill anything) because it's not considered socially acceptable and it's a crime, criminals on the other hand already had ways of getting guns and this will (eventually when the technology progresses) make guns easier to get.

      It's not like making a gun has ever been an impossible task, at the moment you would be much better off getting a welder to do it than a 3D printer.

      Bitcoin has been the most unstable currency in the world since it's creation, even more unstable than the Zimbabwean dollar so I wouldn't expect to see much of a shift that way. It's not like making your own currency or form of exchange has ever been illegal or impossible, commodities have served as such for ages.

      Both these things have been hailed as game changing... they are not, it's the same thing that has existed forever with a new packaging.

      1. innersmiff profile image72
        innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Do you think the cause of such high demand for weapons in the US is down to culture too? I accept that is part of it, but much of it is rational desire for protection that most human beings have. I think sections of European society that held weapons in the past will again seek weapons, regardless of societal judgment.

        I'm more confident about Bitcoin despite its instability, keeping in mind the decreasing confidence in the dollar, and that in Nov 2012 it sat at around $15 and now it's hovering around $150. It's still a new market and is going to have fluctuations, but the trend has been upwards. The advantage of Bitcoin over other attempts at competing with the dollar as a common medium of exchange is that it is fast and untraceable. With Gold, for example, it takes a long time for transactions to authorise.

        I'm not banking my house on it, I just think it's an interesting prospect.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          You think people will risk jail time and social disapproval? It's significantly easier and safer to buy a gun illegally, or make one illegally (not to mention it will be better).

          I am in New Zealand now, largely rural country, guns are legal but one must get a license, the license costs $145 (much less than a 3D printer) and you can get a proper gun too. The government even encourages hunting introduced species. Less than 5% of the population own a gun.

          Gun ownership is cultural, most people in the first world don't want a gun and even fewer will bear the large cost of a 3D printer, the terrible quality of guns which have to be made out of plastic and most importantly the risk of going to jail.

          I would be surprised if it reaches 0.1% outside of people who want them for criminal purposes.

          It's an unfortunate psychological fact that the myth of the gun is unhealthily strong in the US, several studies show it to be strongly tied to our most basic concepts of masculinity and even sexuality. That problem doesn't exist on most places.

        2. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          For the record: Most gun ownership in the US is among suburban and rural people and most guns owned LEGALLY in the US are sporting and hunting arms.

          The gun violence problem in the US is urban and with few (albeit well-publicized incidents) exceptions is committed by persons who ILLEGALLY obtain and own guns.

          In the US about 42% of all Americans own guns; in suburban and rural areas about 52% of Americans own guns.

          And interestingly, the population with the most growth in gun ownership in the last few years: WOMEN.

      2. bBerean profile image61
        bBereanposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Guns are machined, not welded. 

        Commercial 3D printers are now using several metals, including steel.  It is only a matter of time before these industrial printers become more common and affordable for shops, small businesses and creative individuals.  Even with current materials, if engineered properly, an effective gun which is safe to use, can be made.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Professionally made guns are machined sure, not what I was talking about. It was a symbolic statement either way.

          SO you think the average person will buy something that currently costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and which no matter what requires you to get metal to 3000 Celsius, do you have any idea what that would do to your energy bill? tongue

          The guns made now are hardly better than useless they misfire almost 25% of the time, only carry one or two rounds of the tiniest round one can find, are grossly inaccurate and can arm the user.

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            No, we are not frozen in time and technology is advancing quickly.  I took the OP referring to people "beginning to" as representative of a progression.  He then went on to speculate how this progression may influence future dynamics. 

            As for the cost, I am not suggesting a person might purchase a sophisticated printer to make one gun.  More likely someone with access to such a printer utilized in any number of industries, may make copies for himself, for other like minded individuals, or even produce runs of them for resale.  Your references highlighting the short comings of printed guns do not consider utilization of the high tech printers I have mentioned, with our current level of technology, let alone what will be available in the coming months and years. 

            I have not and am not venturing an opinion regarding the OP either way.  I'm simply defending the technology which you seem to be underestimating both in terms of it's current status and potential.

    2. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Stop fear mongering. An armed revolution ushering the age of a libertarian utopia won't be happening any time soon, despite how much you appear to want it.

      1. innersmiff profile image72
        innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I'm actually not interested in weapons at all, let alone an armed revolution. It is not my intention to scare anyone - I am merely proposing that a libertarian revolution may come about through ignoring the state as opposed to attacking it.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image80
          Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          - please tell us a story about ignoring the state…  Here is mine: Once upon a time, the people decided they would just ignore the state in order to usher in a libertarian utopia, so… they… printed their own guns and hid them, until one day the president announced," We will no longer allow the purchase or possession of any type of firearm. All registered guns must be turned in, or incarceration will be strictly enforced. All confiscated weapons will be sent to China/ Russia. You are now under the control of The New World Order/ The United Nations. Borders are no longer under the protection of the United States of America. Further developments will be revealed as they occur."
               But, fortunately, the people had been stockpiling printed firearms in underground warehouses. They ignored the government, formed their own militias and defended the borders. They successfully fought off the evil forces of the NWO.
          And they lived happily ever after…. without any government what so ever, and yet they were somehow able to maintain and defend the borders. The End. That was fun. smile
          Your turn….  Please explain ...how would a libertarian revolution take place without arms or an armed revolution? and without attacking the state or anyone else
          through ignoring…???

      2. innersmiff profile image72
        innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Why would this be construed as fear-mongering? Maybe it's that Halloween atmosphere . . .


        1. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Halloween. That's supernatural. You'll have the New Atheists from the Religion forum after you if you're not careful.

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image80
    Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years ago

    How to Usher in a Libertarian Utopia by Ignoring the State: Fear Mongering and Armed Revolution not Required

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image80
      Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Step one: Do not enroll your children in public school.
      Step two: Do not give them social security cards.
      Step three: No drivers license. Give them A million dollars cash (or more.)
      Step Four: Teach them how to operate with cash only and/or barter system.
      Step Five : Teach them how to be street smart, book smart and cyber smart.
      Step Six:  Teach them to not have children... unless this code is followed.
      Step Seven: Get as many people on board as possible.
      Step eight: Get these people to follow a common-sense set of moral ethics.
      Step nine: Get them to agree that belief in a God is optional, and is strictly a private matter.
      Step Ten: No chiefs. 

      - Something like this?

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I cannot even begin to imagine what a "Libertarian Utopia" would be.

        Is it a free-for-all for the empowered?

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image80
          Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I am asking Innersmiff to please enlighten us!