Assassination Markets

Just in case there could be any doubt about it, the primary point of this post is to insist that this is a really bad idea. It’s certainly ingenious, and highly topical, but considered solely from a perspective of sub-reptilian amorality, it’s still a really bad idea.

For one thing, it’s massively asymmetric, in the wrong way. Assassinate a McKinley, and it pushes things hard to the left. Assassinate a Kennedy, and it pushes things hard to the left. Assassinate pretty much anybody of any public significance, and the result is the same. Leftists are simply better at fantasy counter-factuals and martyrology, so the assassination of a leftist produces an imaginary ultra-leftist of even greater ideological purity (whilst killing a conservative works, or even turns them into a post-mortuary leftist). We all know that if JFK hadn’t been murdered by Texan capitalism we’d be basking in a socialist utopia by now. (There’s a reason why assassination is the preferred tactic of left-wing anarchists and communists, beside the fact these people are demented criminals.)

The reciprocal is even more compelling. Anything that spares leftists from the consequences of participating in reality aids their cause. To consider only the most prominent potential target, Barack Obama alive and in power is the greatest single asset the Outer Right has ever known. Felled by an assassin, he would become the capstone of progressive mythology, and everything he’s aiming to achieve would have turned out absolutely perfectly. If there’s a black counter-assassination market, surreptitiously protecting key agents of the Cathedral from acts of violence, it would be infinitely more effective to invest in that.

November 20, 2013admin 18 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy


18 Responses to this entry

  • Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Says:

    Direct link to market:

    If you’re using TOR just remove the “.lu” at the end.


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • peppermint Says:

    We are aware that, according to the newspapers, Chartism is extinct; that a Reform Ministry has ‘put down the chimera of Chartism’ in the most felicitous effectual manner. So say the newspapers; – and yet, alas, most readers of newspapers know withal that it is indeed the ‘chimera’ of Chartism, not the reality, which has been put down. The distracted incoherent embodiment of Chartism, whereby in late months it took shape and became visible, this has been put down; or rather has fallen down and gone asunder by gravitation and law of nature: but the living essence of Chartism has not been put down. Chartism means the bitter discontent grown fierce and mad, the wrong condition therefore or the wrong disposition, of the Working Classes of England. It is a new name for a thing which has had many names, which will yet have many. The matter of Chartism is weighty, deep-rooted, far-extending; did not begin yesterday; will by no means end this day or tomorrow. Reform Ministry, constabulary rural police, new levy of soldiers, grants of money to Birmingham; all this is well, or is not well; all this will put down only the embodiment or ‘chimera’ of Chartism. The essence continuing, new and ever new embodiments, chimeras madder or less mad, have to continue. The melancholy fact remains, that this thing known at present by the name Chartism does exist; has existed; and either ‘put down’ into secret treason, with rusty pistols, vitriol-bottle and match-box, or openly brandishing pike and torch (one knows not in which care more fatal-looking), is like to exist till quite other methods have been tried with it. What means this bitter discontent of the Working Classes? Whence comes it, whither goes it? Above all, at what price, on what terms, will it probably consent to depart from us and die into rest? These are questions.

    To say that it is mad, incendiary, nefarious, is no answer. To say all this, in never so many dialects, is saying little. ‘Glasgow Thuggery’, entering his dark room, to contract for and settle the price of blood with operative assassins, in a Christian city, once distinguished by its rigorous Christianism, is doubtless a fact worthy of all horror: but what will horror do for it? What will execration; nay at bottom, what will condemnation and banishment to Botany Bay do for it? Glasgow Thuggery, Chartist torch-meetings, Birmingham riots, Swing conflagrations, are so many symptoms on the surface; you abolish the symptom to no purpose, if the disease is left untouched. Boils on the surface are curable or incurable, – small matter which, while the virulent humour festers deep within; poisoning the sources of life; and certain enough to find for itself ever new boils and sore issues; ways of announcing that it continues there, that it would fain not continue there.

    Delirious Chartism will not have raged entirely to no purpose, as indeed no earthly thing does so, if it have forced all thinking men of the community to think of this vital matter too apt to be overlooked otherwise.

    Thomas Carlyle, Chartism


    admin Reply:

    Excellent find. One of the reasons why the Assassination Market problem provoked my attention, though, is that it has the potential to appeal to a misguided strand of thinking on the anarchist right. Left-wing support for chaotic political violence is to be expected, but right-wing support calls out for a correction.


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • James Says:

    Bob Murphy’s refutation:


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 7:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    I agree, Obama as president has been the most effective object lesson in the utter bankruptcy of the Left since the collapse of the Soviet Union. (As an aside, the fact that the Left has so successfully swept the ENTIRE COLD WAR under the rug is a testament to their comprehensive control over media and education.)

    The Left is remarkably good at finding excuses for their disasters, don’t give them a better one. As it is, they are currently trying to blame the travails of Obamacare on the Republican-controlled house, and more incredibly, on the fact that conservatives are “rooting for it to fail”, as if the concentrated psychic energy of Rush Limbaugh and his listeners can magically make the programmers of the website more incompetent.

    We should try to ensure that the coming failure collapses on the heads of those most responsible.


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 8:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Contemplationist Says:

    While I share your queasy feelings on the matter, I feel you propounded with an uncharacteristic lack of depth on this issue. Let’s game out possible scenarios. One would be to imagine the world in which a market like this would be functional.
    This world can only be utterly different from the one we live in. If assassination markets function, market dynamics come into play. Those who would wish to put out a hit must battle with those who wish to protect the target, all with money. This would give you a market price on the most sought after targets. How could this simply be fit into a Kennedy-Cathedral assassination model? Things would be utterly different if anyone at all could be targeted and the targets, if wealthy enough (if powerful, they would be) incentivized to be more careful of their actions.


    admin Reply:

    You’re right that this topic deserves a far more penetrating discussion (James’ Bob Murphy link is an excellent start to that, along with Jim Bell’s prophetic original).


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 9:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Says:

    Leftist politicians in democracies are invulnerable because they have a numberless army of clones behind them, ready to fill in whenever needed. And no one person really matters all that much as a result, so you make them stronger by striking at them, as you so ably explained.

    But not everyone is like that. Some people are unique, important and hard to replace.

    Putin had great success going after billionaire oligarchs and imposing personal consequences upon them. Jail, exile and (perhaps) assassination. Now the oligarchs who remain in Russia march to his tune.

    Sometimes they try to make defeated oligarchs into martyrs, but my impression is that it doesn’t work very well.


    admin Reply:

    Agreed, but then I’m still libertarian enough to identify the oligarchs as the right in this situation, so they would be expected to lose.

    I’d add your ‘clone’ argument to a list of arguments against assassination markets. One more, too: this phenomenon turns up the heat against the free Internet and especially Bitcoin to an unhelpful degree.


    nydwracu Reply:

    Calling for heads is counterproductive without the governmental power to back it up, but if heads must be called for, they can’t be the heads of politicians. The whole point of democracy is that politicians are gears in a machine: take out one gear and another will fit in the same place. Maybe it would’ve had an effect if Reagan had gotten shot, but I doubt it.

    Greece is instructive here. A Golden Dawn member whacked an anti-fascist rapper, so the Greek government cracked down on Golden Dawn. Then two Golden Dawn members got whacked and the Greek government didn’t care.

    America is much more machinic than Russia. (This is a problem for its future: is there anyone who can replace Putin? Does he have a dynastic transition set up? Or, better, is he building machines?) There aren’t significant oligarchs to whack, and the least insignificant of them all are on the right. It’d probably make more of a difference if the Kochs got whacked than if Soros did. What would Putin do? Probably exile a few oligarchs, but probably also shut down Harvard and reinvest its endowment.


    Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 10:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Valens Says:

    I think you misunderstand this and its implications.

    The point is to use monetary incentives to kill people, so the people who actually do the killing aren’t political assassins. The assassins would be impartial and could be totally apolitical. They’d just be getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. People like money, but they don’t like risking their lives to kill someone or getting caught. A political figure might have the best security detail, bodyguards, etc. and thus protect himself from outsiders getting to him, but the assassination market would mean that insiders who are closest to him and are in the best position to bump him off would have secure incentives to do so. His own security, associates, partners, lovers, friends, family, etc. could now be monetarily incentivized much more easily and securely. This would make being a political figure much less appealing.


    admin Reply:

    I get it, really. The original article deserves to be a classic (and it explains all this stuff very well). But do you really think something that makes “being a political figure much less appealing” is really helping? That strikes me as romantically implausible. (Politicians are already shameless sociopaths — do we really want to shrink the pool to reckless shameless sociopaths?)


    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 5:03 am Reply | Quote
  • Diogenes Says:

    If we’re reduced to actively wishing for the health and wellbeing of Mr. Obama (no assassination attempts), the USG had better get more tyrannical, not less, if the experience of the Narodnaya Volya is anything to go by.


    admin Reply:

    If the Right was sensible, it would be supporting a constitutional amendment to allow Obama to run for a third term. Hell, make him President for Life and total neoreactionary triumph is assured.

    As far as Narodnaya Volya is concerned, won’t the “no enemies to the Left” strategy help there? Weathermen and Black Panthers have already been inducted into the Brahmin elite, so I’m not sure where the angry leftist outsiders are expected to come from.


    Kevin C. Reply:

    “Hell, make him President for Life and total neoreactionary triumph is assured.”

    How, exactly, does this follow? I mean, this seems beyond hopelessly optimistic, and into the realm of outright insane. How would this do anything but accelerate the rate at which the Cathedral exterminates us heretics?


    admin Reply:

    “… beyond hopelessly optimistic” — yes, I’ve been falling prey to that recently. The enemy is self-immolating so rapidly and comprehensively, it looks as if the only danger is some kind of conservative salvage operation. Were the GOP to die today, secessionary disintegration of the USA would be a certainty.

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “The enemy is self-immolating”

    This is what I mean by over-optimistic insanity. They are getting stronger, and the only “immolating” will be the burning of us heretics.

    “Were the GOP to die today, secessionary disintegration of the USA would be a certainty.”

    An impossibility can never be a certainty, and “secessionary disintegration of the USA” is most definitely impossible (at least, impossible until after the irreversible destruction of industrial civilization).

    Diogenes Reply:

    I’d say who gets burned in the Cathedral Singularity (once Leftism reaches critical Mass) will ultimately depend on who is smarter: the heretics or the Cathedral’s representatives in academia and government.

    Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 5:25 am Reply | Quote

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