What are the costs of dismantling an empire?

Human action can be considered from three related modes: capacity, i.e., what the individual can do; motivation, i.e., what the individual wants to do; and, performance, i.e., what the individual does do.

The individual cannot act is disregard of the finite nature of existence. I refer to this as a metaphysical constraint on the capacity for human action.

No individual is omniscient. Why not? The organization of finite information about the state of the finite universe requires more energy than is available in that finite universe. I refer to this as the epistemological constraint on the capacity for human action.

Wishing the above constraints were invalid requires no more energy than accepting them. Therefore, the motivation to ignore these axioms is bears no direct and immediate costs compared to accepting them. Hence, they will be ignore by some people all of the time, all people some of the time, and even by all people, but not all of the time. The epistemological constraint assures us that it is hugely improbable that any one will not ignore the axioms all of the time. Hence, a god-philosopher-king to rule us all is hugely improbable. Wishing it were otherwise, however, entails no direct immediate costs on anyone.

Human action can be considered from the mode of motivation (intention). Like his knowledge, man's imagination is limited. One may not be motivated to act because of an assumption that he does not have a capacity to act; or, he believes he has the capacity, but lacks confidence in the scope of his knowledge to act. ("If only I had realized I could do that at the time.")

Another constraint may be characterized as "Do no harm." This constraint can induce paralysis. ("Gee, there might be harmful externalities if I do this, so I better not do it.") Or, refusing to choose is still a choice. All choice entails consequences if acted upon. All consequences can be characterized as good, bad, indifferent, or indiscernible.

Performance is what an individual does. Most moral controversies concern judging the consequences of what an individual did and what they knew or the demand that they should have known something and reversed their choice, i.e., reckless disregard.

Socio-political controversies may be seen as pre-trial publicity intended to shape the outcome of a trial. Law and government are about punishing people or "Hey, Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" You may substitute the initials of any official at anytime.

What's the point? Disrespect all authority all of the time, if when it is not prudence to challenge it directly. Why? The greater the capacity for violence, the greater the probability it will be used with reckless disregard for others. Or the other hand, petty criminality is a small price to pay for dismantling an empire.

Comments

Zero!

Zero! You simply let the Barbarians sack, plunder, rape and run the government. Works like a charm every time in ancient and modern history.

Has it ever occured to you that the present neo-con Republican party has had inmense success in this evil deed?

Neo-con republicans success

I feel your passion, but could you be more specifically factual?

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holy Shit! The Barbarians are runningour Empire with paper money

Speaking of Empires! What is the longest lasting empire in ancient and modern history? No cheating by looking at your libertarian navel nor visiting a Duke ancient history political class for the answer?

You can use the Star Wars as a answer if you chose the easy way out of this empire business. Good luck and remember empires are doom to fall the minute they are form with a Federal Reserve system.

My best wild guess

The Chinese empire. No kidding I didn't peek.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The long and short of Empires?

My best wild guess

The Chinese empire. No kidding I didn't peek.*savvysooner

Nope! There were many Chinese Empires with many families and warlords along with nation-state tribes for 3 thousand years. However, during this time, Many Imperial Rulers came forth and merge one warlord with another and would hang on for their ass, until another one came along to screw up the whole Empire business by starting it over and over.

The longest lasting empire was the former ancient Roman Republic Imperial Eastern Byzantine empire for over 1000 years. 329 AD to 1458 AD. In short! The western roman empire was so broke, that it was better to start all over by the eastern roman rulers that a fire sale was held for the western empire and stuff into Barbarian real estate investment firm which never produce one tax dollar for the Dumb ass Barbarians.

The shortest Empire in history was the former Soviet Union which lasted 70 years.

Byzantium

Thanks, for the refresher in World History. Too bad they didn't survive long enough to invent WMD. Greek fire was rather limited.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Get a Greek hotfoot cheap!

Thanks, for the refresher in World History. Too bad they didn't survive long enough to invent WMD. Greek fire was rather limited*savvysooner

You have a fuzzy memory. The suckers invented Greek Fire [flame thrower]. Why do you think they lasted over a 1000 years? The Turks got them in the end with Giant Monster French Cannons [WMD's]

Damn French! Anything for a buck!

Correctamundo!

That's not my favorite historical period and I didn't cheat by doing a quick study. If the Byzantines had just applied Hero's steam engine they could have had a really bloody empire. Seems there's always a blind spot or two in an Imperial eye.

Thanks for sparring.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah, the children!

Because some children are abused emotionally, the best solution is global American empire? That seems a stretch without some intermediate arguments. Perhaps, a few volumes.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You're either dumb

which does not appear to be the case ... or you're intentionally ignoring the point of my comment.

Either way, well done. You have already trained me to ignore you! Usually it takes longer. Perhaps I'm becoming a faster learner ... or it may be that you're just a really good teacher.

_____________________________________

Jesus Swept, this December

Just rephrase your objection(s)

Empire good or bad and for whom? And your answer is?

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I object to your question?

Empire good or bad and for whom? And your answer is?* savvysooner

Who cares! It is just a matter of time when the empire falls on it's ass due to high taxes, piss off industrial military complex empires who want a piece of the pie of the other empire. And finally, some asshole ruler who thinks he or she is a god king or queen who can't be touch like M.C Hammer.

As a citizen of a empire, certain things happen when you rephrase you objections to the Ruler. Like lose your head or get your ass waterboard like the present American empire.

After the fall

And will there be plenty of time to figure what do next? I am dubious. So why not consider some possible alternatives which the survivors might want to try?

I surmise you think the present regime cannot be salvaged or reformed or rehabilitated. Well, I can't argue if that's what you think. But let us try to comprehend what went wrong..again...since all social orders collapse but rise again in some form.

What would you like the next new order of the ages to look like? Try a sip of utopian beer, you don't have to get drunk on it. Give yourself a buzz. Tune in, turn on, and leap off. (Sorry, Tim Leary.)

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just as an aside, have you ever noticed

that the folks who want the smallest government have the longest explanations as to why they want it that way? Why is that? /andyrooney

Short answer

Convince me coercion is better than cooperation. Or, is cooperative coercion the middle way?

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The vacuum will be filled

There is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that citizens grow fond of authoritarian regimes, and will seek to rebuild one if it falls (or is dismantled).

The series of successions in the Roman Empire is a good example of this, but we have some fine examples in the world of today, as well. Even though a lot of them don't know what they're talking about, a growing number of Russians are nostalgic for the good old days of Stalin, and they're gleefully allowing Putin to strip away Democracy and replace it with authoritarianism.

And I'm afraid that Iraqis are going to end up with another Saddam, no matter what we do to keep Democracy alive.

Or the other hand, petty criminality is a small price to pay for dismantling an empire.

This is rarely the case. More often than not, a neo-feudal system will emerge, with a warlord controlling whatever he can control, while he "rewrites" what constitutes criminality.