Sunday, March 9, 2014

Picking battles

Interesting comment in Reddit on how businessmen/revolutionaries work:

I agree, it's a sad truth. Sadly it doesn't change the fact that there are people with guns who will take your money, lock you in a cage or just plain beat/kill you for not complying with their version of the rules.

For example, at BitcoinStore we state true value on exports and that results in citizens of some countries being charged absurdly high import tariffs (VAT). Our customers don't like this and neither do we. We're repeatedly asked to state false value, but we never do. We don't do this because we agree with the concept of VAT or the idea of being forced to reveal the value or contents of a shipment, but because the people with guns can and will take away our money, freedom and lives.

Does the threat of having our awesome stuff taken away reduce the amount of awesome stuff we could have? Yep. Is it horrible terrible bullshit? Yep. Will they still put us in a cage no matter how much we are against them having the power to do so? Yep.

As a group of freedom-loving people it is indeed our responsibility to change all of these things, remake the world in a more favorable image, but we also must recognize that we are NOT the side that has all the guns, tanks and political power. We're the side throwing rocks at the people with M16s and we need to behave accordingly. It doesn't mean we shouldn't fight, it means we need to be smart about it.
This is guerilla warfare, we fight only the battles we know we can win and we take all the weapons we can carry off our fallen enemies. A series of small wins makes us stronger and we can go after bigger wins with time. Charging headlong into the enemy is suicide.

Smart tactics, not loud voices will win this fight. Choose your battles.
This is the fate of everybody who tries to wear away at the state on a well defended route. You can't directly compete with the state's resources in the first world and so you have to comply most of the time to get your picked battle attacks in at a sustainable pace. It's only on approaches where they don't see you coming and haven't prepared for your sort of attack that you get the prospect of a different result. Unfortunately then, what seems to mostly happen is panic leavened with occasional violence as the sousveillance people have been finding out.

HT: Samizdata