Everything you need to know about assassination politics
It's a combination of encryption, anonymity, and digital cash to bring about the final annihilation of all forms of government.
James Dalton Bell (born 1958) was born in Akron, Ohio and was a Washington State native who graduated from MIT.
In April 1995, Bell authored the first part of a 10-part essay called "Assassination Politics"
He was imprisoned on felony charges of tax evasion in 1997.
In 2001, Wired called Bell "One of the Internet's most famous essayists" and "the world's most notorious crypto-convict".
The US government considers Bell a very dangerous man. So terrible, in fact, that during his last trial (if it can even be called that) the entire court record was sealed, he was forbidden to subpoena witnesses, and he was forcibly “represented” by a lawyer chosen by the government, whom he was not allowed to fire.
What makes Bell so dangerous? He has an idea, and he’s written about that idea in detail and at length. His version of the idea is one that most would probably classify as “radical,” but it’s the nature of the concept which gets the government into an uproar.
Bell’s calls his idea “assassination politics:” An anonymous prediction market in the deaths of political figures. In a prediction market, participants place bets on events, and collect if their predictions are correct (the players who aren’t correct lose their money).
Basically, Bell’s idea is that anonymous, untraceable digital money (which wasn't around when Bell had the idea in the first place) will enable the enforcement of “good behavior” on politicians. A politician who pisses people off will find his or her name listed in the “assassination market.” Once enough money is in the pool under that politician’s name to make it worth the risk, someone will “bet” on when that politician is going to die, kill (or arrange the killing of) the politician at the time in question, and collect the pool money.
The concept can easily be tweaked to include anyone working as a government official. Military and police included.
In reality, calling this Bell’s idea is stretching the truth quite a bit. He didn’t invent digital money, nor did he invent the concept of an “assassination market.” The only thing Bell did was write about the political implications of both. He’s now spent more than a decade in the court system and in numerous prisons stemming from doing so.
Bell’s essay took developing technological advancements to their theoretical extreme, but government prosecutors couldn’t try him for “felony composition of an essay” Rather, they patched together a crazy quilt of allegations, ranging from tax evasion to even stalking a federal employee — most unworthy of being called “crimes” even if they were true.
It would be easy to write off the Bell case as a rare case of government overreaction — if not for the evidence that in the decade following his original prosecution, lots of other people have found themselves confronted by police, and some have even gone to jail, for implementing a non-extreme, but central, element of the package he put together. That element? Distinguishing, identifying and then outing bad actors in any form of government position.
With the arrival of small, portable digital cameras, and live streaming capabilities “gotcha” moments have embarrassed law enforcement with public documentation of abuses on a regular basis. The response has been a general crackdown — not on bad cops, but on those who expose them.
Bloggers, “real journalists” and regular citizens have been roughed up, and in some cases arrested on bogus “disorderly conduct” charges, for nothing more than taking pictures of public employees in action.
Post-9/11, the “global war on terror” has provided new excuses for suppressing the urge to take photos or video footage. In America “suspicious” behavior worthy of police attention now includes taking photographs of buildings, an activity once considered a common pastime.
The courts have been known to support the power of a police officer to demand identification from a "citizen", but that trend doesn't go both ways when it comes to the identities of police officers and other government employees. Police departments routinely withhold the identities of officers involved in shooting incidents.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona even subpoenaed and arrested two newspaper editors for publishing his home address. Also in Arizona, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who exposed bad cops, stealing his computers and records.
The connection between the increasingly secretive stance of “law enforcement” and the writings of Jim Bell may appear insubstantial, but it isn’t.
Politicians desperately don't want you to know, and to never want you to learn, three things:
That you don’t need them.
That they do you more evil than good.
That there may be something you can do concerning it.
Just as the music industry is losing its ongoing fight with peer-to-peer file sharing tech, the government is going to lose its fight with digital photography and videography. And with Jim Bell.
"If they continue to work for the government, they deserve it. My suggestion to these people is to quit now and hope for mercy," Bell said in a telephone interview from the medium-security federal penitentiary in Phoenix.
He has since been released.