Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I promised a surprising economy post, but I have to postpone it to Monday, to answer a very common criticism to any of my ideas about a less M&S friendly world: we must pay tribute to the leeches or they revolt. Since they have nothing to lose, they will be a serious danger to us. We are talking about millions of people.

For some reason the obvious answers don't work: we don't pay tribute to foreign countries, we pay our army instead to stop them from attacking. We don't pay tribute to rapists and thieves, we pay the law enforcement systems to keep them in prison. However the people believe that such systems don't work against the M&S revolution. It's surprising to me: we could defeat Hitler and his huge army but we can't handle a bunch of punks?

A stupid flash game gave an answer: zombies! The zombie is common in all cultures, a fearsome being, a neighbor turning on us, attacking without point or reason. He just wants brains! It is pictured as slow moving, dumb, but numerous adversary. Considering that zombies don't exist, the fear from them is a bit strange.

If something is common in many cultures, it has an evolutionary subroutine behind it. The zombie is the archetype of the leaderless, desperate person who lost his humanity and now driven only by the most basic instincts, above all: the need to feed. Think! Why do zombies always want brains and not hearts or blood or flesh?

This subroutine helped our primitive ancestors to survive when disasters turned his fellow people into hungry, desperate and mindless animals. It's like fear from snakes or spiders. The one who recognized the "zombie" and ran, lived.

However it was long ago when a mindlessly charging zombie was a real threat. Today the zombie is rather a form of entertainment than a reason for fear, the zombie-shooter games and films all give the same "fun": overcoming this ancient fear by seeing someone massacring zombies, or doing it ourselves with a mouse. The mindless, desperate M&S is no longer a threat: they don't have weapons, their fists and teeth can't break our doors, they can't catch cars.

But most importantly, they don't have organizations. Revolution needs cooperation. The M&S can't cooperate, mostly because they look down on fellow M&S. No M&S recognize himself as one. They consider themselves "unlucky" or "victim", never-ever responsible for their problems. On the other hand they consider the fellow M&S what it is.

Perfect example: among the immigrants there are lot of M&S, it's obvious from the fact that they escaped from somewhere (where they were "unlucky"), and also, the pure fact of not speaking the language and having different cultural norms make it very hard for them to work even if they want to. The question is: who hates this M&S the most? Who call them leeches, thieves and danger to our societies the loudest? Right wing extremists who are mostly young, unemployed, uneducated males. Oh the irony. And who curse the unemployed and uneducated youth the loudest? Pensioners!

The M&S can be fought like mobs in a dungeon: one pack at a time. The other pack - unless you walk into their aggro range - just stand idle. They can't care less about their buddies, because they are not their buddies. They are just a disgusting, hateful bunch of leeches in their eyes and can't imagine that he'll be the next, since he is completely different: he is intelligent and hard-working, just the circumstances and luck were against him.

Paying tribute to drunken idiots just to avoid a zombie invasion is just as stupid as tribals paying tribute to spirits to not crush them.

Today's moron is spectacular:
I'm sure some people would think that Muraden (dwarf by the way) just more casual than me, that's why he talks this way.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't he automatically be disqualified anyway, since his name violates your naming conventions? (It's a respelling of a WoW Lore character).

Squishalot said...

I didn't think that many people actually believed that it would cause a revolt, based on a glance through the thread.

However, all it takes is a couple of people to work together (which is possible), and they rally the mindless hordes to their flag. It doesn't require any level of intelligence to revolt, only to organise one. And you can be guaranteed that they will if they're feeling oppressed.

I do believe that Egyptian ex-President Mubarak would disagree with your conclusion.

Azuriel said...

Hitler and his army was defeated because he/the army were a discrete target "over there" (for most) that could actually be defeated. Meanwhile, the combined might of the United States and many of our allies cannot smoke a couple thousand terrorists out of caves, 10 years and hundreds of billions of dollars later.

Similarly, we don't "pay tribute" to rapists and thieves but that is because there are so few of them. If a college campus starts rioting however, suddenly the National Guard gets called in.

Like many Libertarians, frankly I think you are simply out of touch with the reality of the world you live in, based on your idle philosophic fantasies. "M&S cannot cooperate." Really? You explain that by saying that they don't identify with other M&S, but it would not take very long after the first "mob pack" goes down before anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes that this isn't going to be an isolated attack. You aren't talking about not inviting people to your guild or refusing to boost them in raids - you are talking about literally leaving a population group to die in the streets.

Even if we assume your analysis is correct and the the various M&S sub-groups don't merge after an attack on one of them, what gives you any confidence at all that even one M&S group could not bring civilization down to a screeching halt? Did you see/read about what happened to New Orleans during Katrina once the government essentially bailed out? Maybe there are (lower) levels of civilization you are willing to accept, but you can be damn sure it would not resemble the one in which you currently occupy.

Dzonatan said...

That Muraden was an obvious troll to which you gaved attention to.

I wouldn't be so sure on the "M&S cant revolt" thesis. All it takes is one opportunist with medicore leadership skills who knows more or less what they are capable and simply stiring them in the right direction while he picks up the "loot" while they do the "fighting".

Sure... Its very unlikely that their campagin would ever succed but the very concept of possible trouble even if minimal in casualties is still something people do not want to deal with.

Samus said...

A full blown revolution is not a realistic outcome, but a rise in crime is. In that respect, I have only argued that welfare is CHEAPER than fighting them.

Mafia: "Pay us $10k or we will wreck your store."

Police: "Pay us $200k and we will take care of your mafia problem."

Maybe you should pay for the police to fight the mafia, but you need to recognize you are picking the much more expensive way to deal with them.

Anonymous said...

If M&S can't cooperate, how come there are M&S guilds, some of them even raid and have killed 1-2. This is far from impressive, but it's enough to disprove your assumption that they can not unite to complete a task.

The answer is that someone with half a brain will always show up to lead the M&S. He will do it because it will make him feel superior. To the rescue of the M&S comes that other group you hate, the socials.

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. And so is the half brained man in the land of the zombies.

Jumina said...

The example with Hitler's army is not very good. Better example is the Hitler's revolution itself. Hitler was not supported by M&S but by working people. They were mobilized by huge inflation and his promise to cut corruption and payments of state officials. Actually the reason for Hitler's victory was dissapointment of middle class with their own state.

The same goes for Russia. The communists revolution was incited by middle class (with the help of german intelligence) tired by pointless war and defeats.

In shortcut revolutions are never made by leeches but by working people when they see some really unwanted change in the society. M&S never see some unwanted change because they never think.

And the reason why we can't destroy a few terrorist in caves in the Afghanistan is because nobody actually see them as a threat. Otherwise we would stop talking about human rights and simply wiped the area from the map.

ApuNahasapemapetilon said...

"among the immigrants there are lot of M&S, it's obvious from the fact that they escaped from somewhere (where they were "unlucky")..."

So, if you leave your server because of lack of o&d, or because you can't find a regular guild, or you leave your server to join The Pug, you're a moron because you escaped from your server and didn't try to make a "The Pug" project on yours?

So if you've been born in a country with an incredible background on corruption, endemic economic problems, without the most primary infraestructure; and you come to the conclusion you're best option to you and your family to survive is, you know, let all those slackers drown in their banana' shit, forget all the nationalist non-sense and jump out of the boat, you're a moron?

I'm not saying there are no m&s among inmigrants, I'm saying our displacement is not any kind of indicator. Your behavior in your destiny's country, it is.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure what gave you the idea that Greedy Goblin is a libertarian's blog?

While Gevlon does indeed (in my honest opinions) adheres to some of the economic principles of a Libertarian's view of free market, and while he did quote Atlas Shrugged and similar, his stern criticism of a huge part of the population and the implication "they" should be, well, eradicated is rather opposite to one of the main values of Libertarianism that can be simplified as "live and let live" motto.

A (true) libertarian does not judge other people's tastes, habits, preferences or choices from the self-asserted point of view of someone who knows/does/is better - I am sure you will recognize this is Gevlon's basic attitude.

If you are gonna throw around "titles" at least try and distinguish the characteristics :)

lancore said...

If they would be able to work together to reach a certain goal, they would be neither Morons nor Slacker.
That alone makes an organized M&S revolution absolutely impossible.

Pilgaard said...

@ Iancore

What was not stated in the post but in some other comments is, that someone non-M&S would stand up to lead the M&S. Either a social who thinks it's "the right thing", or an opportunist who can see a benefit in it (fx: It would satisfy his/her need to feel superior).

The question then is if it should be labelled "M&S" revolution.

Mithfin said...

I call BS. Zombies are NOT cross-cultural phenomenon. Fear of the walking dead is, but they are not the zombies and they are different for different cultures. Though, for all Christian eastern-European countries they are pretty the same, because were inspired by devastating bubonic plague epidemics, they have nothing in common with pop-culture zombies. They are dead, completely, they are often have no flesh at all. They are rarely attack people - just dance or pray or walking in groups.
As for pagan living dead, they are mostly flesh eaters, blood suckers or "life essence" thieves, but not brain eaters. Empusae, draugar, upyrs, vourdalaks, strzygi, ghūlh, jiang-shi and so on. They are all singletons, lone-hunters.
The idea of zombies at the form you described was born in XXth century and belongs to the pop-culture. That is why zombie is common in all now-days cultures - they are part of international pop-culture. And there is NO primordial zombie-archetype. Fear of the mindless crowd is invention of XXth.

Campitor said...

Organizing and defeating Hitler is a "I'm going to jack you up" scenario that worked because Hitler wasn't in your own backyard. It's an easy decision to firebomb cities when it's not your own.

Hitler came to power because of the excessive debt forced on his country by the reparations they were forced to pay for the 1st world war. The massive debt collapsed their economy, which in turned caused the M&S and the less than M&S to go collectively insane and pursue a war of destruction that almost caused the obliteration of their country. Hitler was able to come to power because of that vacuum.

The world ignored the plight of Germany, turned a blind eye to Hitler's aggression, and look where it ended up. All of Europe was turned into a battlefield that left their countries and economies in shambles for years.

History has never been kind to leadership or countries who have adopted a "laissez faire" attitude. Advocating the ignoring of the M&S will only create a vacuum and we all know that nature abhors a vacuum. Some megalomaniac will eventually show up and rally the M&S. I'd rather pay a few dollars of my taxes to keep the M&S well fed and happy than be forced to retreat from my home and neighborhood because a bunch of punks have organized into a gang and decided to take over my house.

And zombies do roam the land. Just go hang out on the Somali coast where those ship stealing, khat smoking terrorist live. Or go vacation in Columbia in the cocaine growing regions where the coca-leaf chewing poor are baking their "product". Plenty of M&S in both aformentioned countries who are manipulated by a few, which in turn are a blight on the rest of the non M&S world.

And fighting the M&S as opposed to working with them is more expensive alternative. The US, where I live, spends an exorbitant amount of money on housing prisoners. But yet studies show that crime prevention programs and work programs are cheaper and better at reducing crime rates than higher incarceration quotas.

pippen1001 said...

there are courses in sweden that handles the survival of a zombie disaster

Quicksilver said...

About M&S revolutions:

Nobody says that anti-m&s changes have to be immediate and drastic. If on the span of a few years a pack of laws restraining their rights and regulates their welfare the impact will be severely diminished.

Any revolution "per-se" is really unlikely to succeed as the law-enforcement and army would more than surely engulf pretty easily any early rebellion.

The only actual problem is criminality which will surely rise thus being detrimental to the rest of the population.

Anonymous said...

@ lancore

By definition, yes. However, the common misconception is that people name something nowadays and immediately assume they understand it.

Gevlon uses M&S as a way to describe certain people. That doesn't mean that we can straight away attach a note saying "impossible" to a scenario of some individual, who potentially is neither a moron, nor a slacker, rallying the "mindless" masses for his own, or his organizations goal.

In my country, M&S are the main target of presidential campaigns, simply because they are so easy to manipulate. I've seen riots incited by certain individuals in power, that (when looked upon from an outsiders point of view) have NO REASON to occur. They just do.

I'd rather be on guard, than slack myself because I've underestimated how much harm stupidity can cause, or be used to cause.

Anonymous said...

Living in a portion of the United States with a disproportionate number of residents on welfare or disabled gives a little different perspective on this.
Once government upkeep becomes a cultural phenomenon in an area, most of the self-imposed stigma is removed, allowing the M&S to see the others as "just some other guy who had bad luck" and not "a lazy jerk who never worked a day in his life".
When an area reaches this level, organization is not only possible but can be very likely in some situations. This is one reason why some US political parties cater to these groups.

Anonymous said...

Your post could have been a lot shorter:

"What are unemployed wellfare leeches going to do? Go on strike?"

Campitor said...

@ Okrane

Your 2nd point is quite possible but doesn't mean its impossible. Clearly the Iranian revolution, current Egyptian revolution, and the recent Algerian revolution show otherwise. I'm not willing to gamble the equilibrium of my present form of government unless the situation arose that made me rethink otherwise. Revolutions, successful or otherwise, justified or otherwise, come at a very steep cost to the individuals on either side.

And technically revolutions mean a change in the current political form of government. Rebellions, insurrections, strikes, crime, and anarchy are all tools of revolution but they all don't lead to a change in government but can have extremely detrimental effects on even the most robust economy.

Joshua said...

Yeah! I love zombies. At any rate, Alexander may have a point about basic zombie fear. I can't say I've seen "different" cultural representations of zombies. In fact I don't think there is a kind of fear of M&S zombies per say. More like a fear of an unstoppable death.

But I will say M&S zombies CAN have organization. They just need a seed to form. This seed is usually the organizers of peaceful protests that turn into riots, ex. Tunisia in its current state. The revolution started with the elite and well educated fed up with loosing money to the "king" and starting the revolt the riots and the continued violence afterward were from the gathering poor (many M&S) saying that the revolt was theirs and not the RICH elitists.

Pro TIP: Zombie protection costs: 1 Shotgun and a trillion shotgun shells.

Jack said...

In California, they want to keep illegal immigrants out of the public school system.
Fine and dandy. I get it. What's worse though, uneducated, unemployable (M&S), immigrants who will never contribute in any good way to society, who will have to resort to crime to survive, or (at least) educated immigrants.
They may never reach you at your mansion but, then again, you may not ever want to take a trip downtown because of the crime.
Some form of socialism are an unfortunate necessity for the greater good.

Doug said...

We do pay tribute to foreign countries. Quite a bit.

sam said...

azuriel check your history.

If we had occupied germany like we've occupied Afghanistan we wouldn't have the peaceful country we do.

We had over a million troops there (all allies) for a long time. in the mid 50's there were op-eds going on about how much we'd spent in germany and japan and how they'd never be first would powers and we were waisting our time.

but the big difference is we built roads, schools, power plants and had solders on every street corner of every city for 20 years till everyone got used to behaving. In constrast we've just dropped pennies in the bucket in Afghanistan.

different culture different problems but just like economics has basic rules so does war. And occupations require insane amounts of troops for a long time to work. That and you have to be willing to address economic issues or you can't win. The internet, predator drones and really high tech weapons don't change that at all. If

Bristal said...

Regarding your moron: I posted an intelligent counter-point recently and you responded to me, "are you high?"

Zing. You really told me.

Now you are proclaiming that a 10 line exchange with this obviously high/drunk and/or playful player somehow supports your complex sociologic theory?

He's high; and drunk. Period. And he's clearly messing with you to get a rise out of you. Perhaps hoping to make it on your blog?

It's a humorous exchange, but it no more proves that WoW is FULL of your M&S than "are you high?" refutes my opinions.

Cathfaern said...

Gevlon, you forgot something: the socials. Yes, M&S wont form group and organize a revolution, because they can't and they don't care. But social people will care about the M&S and will form a revolution for them, like they're boosting them in raids.

Azuriel said...

@Anon, Re: Libertarianism

It does not actually matter that the Libertarian deludes themselves into believing the mantra is "Live and let live." What matters are the natural consequences of a unfettered pure-capitalism society once the cooling rods of government are removed. I understand that government would still exist to prevent fraud and enforce property rights, but that's exactly the issue at hand here: instead of being the bulwark against faceless corporations, government becomes a weapon for them.

"Live and let die" would be a more accurate euphemism. Fundamentally, the people advocating cutting the safety net believe that A) they won't ever need it, and more hilariously B) that removing the bottom has no consequences whatsoever. So the M&S or whoever is living on welfare and are not working. Do you imagine that they do not consume goods and services? Do you think companies like Wal-Mart and Target and Costco and Family Dollar etc etc would survive after their base-level consumers were eliminated? Do you think they could still achieve (profitable) economies of scale? Removing the bottom simply creates a new bottom higher up. Now it will be Gevlon paying $15/mile to drive the privately-owned toll roads to buy his $4 dinner that only has an advertised 15% chance of containing salmonella (it's not fraud if they tell you the risks).

Re: Infatuation with Zombies

Although you may be correct with the sub-routines, etc, I find it infinitely more likely that the prevalence of zombie flicks and games featuring them is because they satisfy a much easier outlet: killing people without remorse. In this sense, zombies are a video game evolution of (ironically) digital Nazis - an opposing force that needs no explanation (e.g. why are we killing them instead of X?) or moral justification (e.g. why should I not feel bad for killing?). Think about it. Here are enemies that look entirely like human beings, but carry none of the baggage.

Even most non-zombie FPS games feature an opposing force in that covers their faces with masks/armor, or otherwise feature the humanoid shape minus the human.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you were chat-ganked by a chat-bot.

Twiliak said...

The zombie isn't an idea that comes from a variety of cultures. It has a specific recent origin that relates many of the fears people have in the modern world, not some ancient primal fear in our "animal brains."

The current intrigue of zombies is not so much the fear of others but rather the fear of modern scientific advances, the loss of individuality, increased corporatism, the loss of government control or simply a basic fear of being turned into something less than human. What it is not is a fear of stupid people, if you want that movie watch Idiocracy.

Beartholomew said...

From The Fountainhead, (1943) by Ayn Rand:

"Listen, what's the most horrible experience you can imagine? To me -- it's being left, unarmed, in a sealed cell with a drooling beast of prey or a maniac who's had some disease that's eaten his brain out. You'd have nothing then but your voice -- your voice and your thought. You'd scream to that creature why it should not touch you, you'd have the most eloquent words, the unanswerable words, you'd become the vessel of the absolute truth. And you'd see living eyes, watching you and you'd know that the thing can't hear you, that it can't be reached, not reached, not in any way, yet it's breathing and moving there before you with a purpose of its own. That's horror. Well, that's what's hanging over the world, prowling somewhere through mankind, that same thing, something closed, mindless, utterly wanton, but something with an aim and a cunning of its own. I don't think I'm a coward, but I'm afraid of it."

This passage predates the introduction of zombies into popular culture, which is usually identified as the release of Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).