I think our disagreements here are some due to your lack of understanding of what Bitcoin is and whats possible with it, and partially due to philosophical premise disagreements that we have already identified on other forum threads.
"[Government] will oppress Bit Coin owners to the degree that it sees Bit Coins as a problem.
How effective and profitable will this be for the government?
"The purpose of government is to eliminate the use of initiated physical force - by anyone.
No, that's the purpose that you want. An extant government's purpose is not as easily defined or observable, you have to look at what it does and what kind of things it causes to exist and be maintained.
"The problem of initiated violence, by thugs, by foreign governments, and/or by our own government remains a problem that Bit Coins doesn't solve.
Invalid! It has so far remained a problem that Bitcoin hasn't completely solved. But Bitcoin has improved some people's ability to avoid theft from inflation, once-monopoly enforced transaction fees, and corrupt regulation hindrances. And as more people adopt it, it will solve this problem more.
"Enough people intimidated and the rogue government will happily settle for the tax revenues of those who aren't in prison. Rogue governments would crush 95% of the population...
Potentially. This would be a very overtly oppressive government. I don't think such a government could exist everywhere around the globe, nor would it or could it be the most thriving powerful government over the long term.
"I don't think many people see Bit Coins as currency right now (except for some drug dealers and some technophiles) - as a media, they aren't stable enough and there isn't enough trust in the technology or even awareness that they exist. It is still early days for Bit Coins. But, if, or when, they do acquire more popular support as a currency, then watch how fast, and how ingenious, and how unrelenting the government will be in going after anyone who uses them.
We are seeing this process going on at present.
"There is no magical technological solution to bad government.
Bitcoin isn't magical. Its real properties give producers, savers, and traders more security and more ability to trade efficiently than ever before.
Children start out without political values and then, as they grow up they adopt political values. And they become voters. When enough of them understand and demand liberty, we will have tamed the rogue government - that's the good news. But, it is a generational process - that's the bad news. There doesn't appear to be a short cut. People who aren't happy with that don't do themselves any good by ignoring it.
That's your worldview. You think that everybody's the same and that everybody would benefit more if they just traded with each other. I completely disagree with this.
I think there are huge differences between people on: 1. Their mental & physical abilities; 2. Their current ownership of market purchasing power; 3. Their current set of valid and invalid information about the world; 4. Their current set of whom they've identified as trustworthy friends. I think all of this does lead to conflicts between rational men (rational self interest to be at war with another human)... which in the end means that friend/enemy/neutral relationships between people are kind of like a graph with groups of related people who have similar friend/enemy/neutral relationships with other particular groups of people. Hence a government that comes into power will not necessarily be the friend of all humans (Randian), instead it will only be the friend of particular groups within that graph.
Then next, real properties of entities within the groups in that graph determine which groups are the most powerful. As humans and technology changes, potentially different groups gain new abilities, giving them different properties which enable them to have more control over the world than previously, which necessarily makes them more powerful and the "most powerful government" over the world will then change to suit their needs more.
This is not to say that groups of friends who form a government can't make policy mistakes that go against their self interest. Lots of mistakes are made, having an optimal government is a very hard to have... in fact impossible, we can only approach optimal in any sort of decision making because an entity within our reality cannot omniscient nor omnipotent.
=== Reiteration ===
- You argue that we need to change the minds of parasites and manipulators. Change via past parasites and manipulators will majority vote with us for a government that is better for us.
- I argue that we need to develop technology and change our behavior in ways such that parasites and manipulators don't gain from their attacks. Effectively this "starves the beast", making the parasites and manipulators effectively have little or no power gained from parasitism and manipulation. Shifts of real power over resources in the world from one kind of group to another shift different groups into status as "The most powerful government over a geological region".
You can't convince a blood sucking leach to disconnect from your leg by suggesting its in the leaches best interest to find nourishment from some other source. But you can put on a wetsuit to shield yourself, or once attached you can cover its body with salt.
Similar goes for humans who for whatever reason have determined for themselves to be a parasite on you. I would agree that some humans can be convinced that such is not in their self interest, but this has so var proven too not be the majority. A great mass of humans exist which I doubt you will ever be able to convince due to the process of duty/hope/faith/god manipulation AND the existence of penniless people who for whatever reason would rather attempt to steal than work. Then back to my 1,2,3,4 "differences between people" which necessarily put humans into different friend/enemy/neutral relationship groups... you are never going to be able to convince everybody to be your friend.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 12/02, 9:14am)