Economics and Human Rights

Information. Safety. Empathy.

From the book by Andrey Sokolov, "Economics and Human Rights"

"Economics and Human Rights" is a book about how the observance of human rights affects the economy.


Anyone can go to the library and take a movie, book or magazine that interests him. Read and return. In most cases, this service does not require any “library” payments from him. However, of course, this is not a free service. The library receives budgetary funds and thus each person pays for the library's work monthly through taxes.

The library purchases from the copyright holders one or more copies of a product (for example, books) and distributes this product an unlimited number of times, giving out to library visitors.

This is the general principle of operation of all libraries. And school, and city, and the largest state libraries.

Torrents work in the same way, only they are not organized by the state and do not exist at the expense of taxpayers.

Torrents are created by one or several programmers, but information for these libraries is purchased not by the budget for taxpayer's money, but by specific individuals with their own money, after taxes.

An individual, having received a unit of commodity information legally, is free to do with this property at his own discretion. For example, put it on a shelf, give it to a neighbor to read (watch, play), give it to a larger circle of people for use, using a copier, camera or other device, can give it to someone, or it can put it in a torrent, thus providing access to information for anyone with a computer, network access and special software. Nevertheless, this is also a way to "give to read, see" to a neighbor. There are just a lot of neighbors.

Thus, torrent is the digital world analogue of the library. The only difference is that libraries are funded by taxpayers, while torrents are funded by users.

Why are there so many scandals around torrents? Rightholders quite rightly accuse torrents of decreasing the copyright holder's profit by distributing information.

However, it is not clear why copyright holders do not make similar claims against libraries or people who exchange books, films, games. All of them also reduce the copyright holder's profit.

Wouldn't it be wiser to make claims to the authorities and demand a reduction in the tax burden? After all, everyone who uses torrents pays taxes to the state and, before putting something on the torrent, spends his money on the purchase of information goods.

A person who downloads information from a torrent also receives it not for free. Before downloading, he must buy a computer, pay tax, pay for Internet access, pay tax, get a salary, and finally pay taxes on it. Thus, before the information is downloaded, a large number of people will pay a large amount of taxes. This gives the full right to information producers (film studios, publishing houses, the press, manufacturers of computer games and software) to demand from the authorities to reduce the tax burden on business and thus preserve the previous profit.

Taxes inflict much more damage on the manufacturer, much more significantly reduce profits than all the world's torrents combined.

According to the Declaration of Human Rights, people have the right to receive information and education. Torrents, like libraries, provide them with these capabilities.

And this is beneficial to the state. Torrents are beneficial to the authorities because:

Torrents save everything. Absolutely everything that can be electronically saved. After all, each person is interested in something different. He buys it, saves it, shares it. And there are many people, many interests ... and now only on the torrent can you find a copy of a TV show, a rare book, an old magazine, program or game.

In some countries, the authorities, while subsisting on taxpayer money, nevertheless violate the right of these taxpayers to information and education. So the Swedish court in 2012 sentenced the founders of The Pirate Bay Peter Sunde, Gottfried Svartholm, Fredrik Neij and Karl Lundström to prison terms and fines.

Fortunately, not all countries are so shortsighted. In Portugal, according to the founder of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde, neither those who download pirated copies nor those who distribute them have any problems. In 2012, a local copyright organization obtained a list of IP addresses of active torrent users and brought it to the Prosecutor General's Office. Prosecutors responded that distributing files for personal use did not violate Portuguese law.


Currently, there is a widespread myth that the legalization of drugs, prostitution, weapons, and the relaxation of immigration rules can lead to an increase in crime. However, this is a myth. The right to arms reduces the crime rate, the legalization of drugs simply eliminates drug cartels and drug-related crime, the legalization of prostitution reduces human trafficking and reduces the level of crime around this profession. Likewise with immigrants. Not a single massive wave of immigration has led to a surge in crime in host countries.

Moreover, over the past 25 years (according to data for 2017), according to criminologists, there has been a widespread “Great crime drop”.

It is important for the reader and the layperson to understand that the hype in the press, crime stories and the real state of affairs are two big differences. And this is vividly illustrated by the fact that for the first time the decline in crime was noticed in the United States, which is the country most often mentioned in the crime columns of the media.

Nevertheless, science and statistics speaks of the exact opposite than MPs and journalists.

Compared to the 90s, crime in the United States by the beginning of the 2000s decreased by 70%. And according to police statistics, and according to the feelings of residents.

Studies conducted in other countries have shown that this trend is typical for all developed countries.

There are many hypotheses to explain this phenomenon. Each can be true for a particular country. Some of the reasons for the decline in crime that are important for this book include:

To this list you need to add computer games that keep teenagers at home and thus prevent vandalism and petty crimes. Torrents that allow you to download and watch an unlimited number of movies, which also leaves no time for crime. Social networks that make it possible to communicate without leaving home.

In contrast to the above, the growth of the criminal situation is facilitated by all kinds of legislative prohibitions and ill-conceived laws, examples of which could be found in abundance in this book. If the law is contrary to common sense, human rights and freedoms, then it will undoubtedly be violated. The problem is that “when people begin to break one kind of law, disrespect inevitably extends to all other laws, even those that everyone thinks are ... fair, such as laws against violence and vandalism. ... it is likely that the rise in violence and brutality ... is one of the consequences "of this, wrote Milton Friedman in 1979.

The great decline in crime began almost simultaneously, in the early 90s, in all developed countries. It can be assumed that the partial legalization of prostitution and some drugs, the emergence of a large number of personal computers, torrents, social networks, computer games is directly related to this decline. In any case, it coincides in time.

According to the British-Dutch group of criminologists led by Graham Farrell, technological securitization (alarms, cameras, frames, etc.) is a factor in reducing crime common to all countries.

This conclusion also entails another, that the legalization of weapons, prostitution, drugs and the easing of migration policy, which took place at the same time, do not entail a decrease in the level of security.


Empathy, as a conscious state policy and the basis of social movements, is a fairly young phenomenon.

In the 20th century, examples of state empathy - US aid during the famine in the USSR, Berlin Air Bridge, care for the disabled, which began in the 70s. An example of public empathy is certainly all kinds of charities, volunteer movements, and even animal rights movements.

At first glance, all activities related to empathy are expendable, increasing the burden on the budget and the economy.

But if you look more closely, it turns out that the opposite is true.

Empathy, the acceptance of the labor of prostitutes, which led to their legalization in the Netherlands and Germany, brings multibillion-dollar revenues to the budgets of these countries.

The empathy that created the INSITE health facility serving heroin addicts in Vancouver, Canada has reduced the risk of contracting AIDS, hepatitis B and C for all residents of that city. This saved taxpayer money and the health budget.

Empathy for people with cancer and multiple sclerosis has led to the legalization of marijuana in dozens of US states, which has generated huge revenues and jobs for thousands of people.

Empathy, manifested in the ubiquitous arrangement of ramps, toilets, elevators and other things for the disabled, led to the emergence of a new high-tech industry, the integration of disabled people into the world of healthy people, their employment, and again to additional tax revenues.

However, the most important thing in all this is a decrease in aggression in society, an increase in trust and mutual assistance, respect for another person, albeit one that is very different. After all, everyone needs empathy. After all, it is the lack of empathy between people that often leads to drugs, including the use of ecstasy or alcohol.

The empathy trend has led to caring for pregnant women, nursing women, and children.

The unconditional income currently discussed by economists is also a form of empathy, preventive protection against hunger and problems for life and health.

Even the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights is the same empathy.

Empathy in education has led to the emergence of highly effective teaching methods, for example in Finland.

Empathy and understanding of economic benefits led to a softening of the migration policies of a number of European countries, for example, in Germany.

Thus, all manifestations of empathy have a beneficial effect on the economy.

Empathy and freedom are inseparable. For the place where empathy is minimal is prison. Where empathy is greatest, there is a good school, a good clinic, a loving family.

Empathy of one person for another leads to respect, replaces fight - with discussion, war - negotiation, violence - compromise. Empathy is a win-win attitude.

Empathy is, to the highest degree, respect for human rights, respect for these rights.

The state, of course, claims to be the biggest champion of empathy. Legislators are constantly introducing various social initiatives, fighting poverty, distributing benefits.

I'd like to tell them this. Step back and don't interfere. Get off the neck of taxpayers and they will solve all the problems themselves. At the expense of non-profit organizations, at the expense of charity, at the expense of targeted assistance, at the expense of private initiative.

Resolve faster, cheaper and more efficiently.

The effectiveness of state social programs can be illustrated by an example "by contradiction."

Any person has much less money and opportunities than the state. However, the gangster Al Capone did an excellent job with his funds, organizing free canteens for the unemployed.

Of course, he needed it to create a good image.

But does anyone doubt that lawmakers lobbying for social programs are driven by something other than a desire to create a favorable image and convert it into votes? But the social programs of these statesmen cost the taxpayer much more expensive than the entire criminal activity of Al Capone “cost” the state.

Another example of the implementation of social programs can be the activities of the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

To gain support and some protection from the authorities, and subsequently the vote of the voters, Escobar built roads, stadiums and 450 free homes for the poor in Medellin.

Escobar had presidential ambitions and spent his money on food programs, construction of youth sports centers and other "social programs" to enlist the support of voters.

Both Escobar and Al Capone spent their money on this. Let the criminal, but their own. And they spent wisely, because it was their money.

However, if cocaine, prostitution and alcohol were legal, then the money of Capone and Escobar in the blink of an eye would turn into "clean" and legal. That is, it was not gangsters who made this money criminal, but the authorities.

Capone and Escobar built a reputation for themselves at the expense of their pockets. Legislators, in their pursuit of votes, accept a huge number of ill-conceived, unsecured social programs. But not at your own expense. And at the expense of taxpayers.

It is taxpayers who have to pay for the legislator's ideas.

And this again brings us back to the chapter on taxes. To the cost of services rendered by the state for our money, and to the quality of these services.

It is possible that the number of examples provided in this book is overwhelming. After all, it is quite enough to realize what the right to life, the right to work, the right to rest are - and everything will become clear without examples. After all, the immutability of these rights was confirmed by a large number of states in the UN more than half a century ago. Confirmed ... and partially, if not completely, forgot. And it usurped the right to life of its inhabitants, to their death, health, work, education, rest. Under the guise of concern for society, it turned everyone almost into a slave who has no right to dispose of his life. So at the state level, empathy is still much worse than at the level of residents.

Oddly enough, the theme of empathy has something in common with the theme of drugs and the theme of euthanasia. After all, the right to life is the right of a person to dispose of his life in full, up to the right to suicide. Otherwise, there is no right and no choice.

The right to euthanasia is also the right to life, the right to end one's life, the right to die. A doctor who assists a patient in euthanasia is performing an act of empathy.

However, at the moment, a person can't dispose of his death, he can't take care of his health against the will of the state.

Now the right to life and health of a resident belongs not to a person, but to the state, because a person does not manage his money for health care - he sends it to an insurance company. And the insurance company spends them on the salaries of its employees, office, etc.

The overhead of insurance companies increases the cost of medical services. This leads to a decrease in the overall quality of medical services. To the fact that some medical services are becoming very difficult for a person, if not completely inaccessible. By giving money in the form of taxes to an insurance company, a "health insurance fund" or other structure associated with the state, a person loses the opportunity to independently manage his money, independently choose a doctor or clinic. And doctors are deprived of the opportunity to earn income outside the state or state-associated clinics and hospitals. In fact, this is purely Soviet totalitarianism - "if you are not in the system, then you are doomed."

The modern state has usurped the right to weapons, drugs, education, treatment, euthanasia. Usurped the right to life.

At best, a person has the right to legally die from tobacco or alcohol, or choose a faster way to commit suicide. However, the state does not encourage such actions. The state needs taxpayers. The monster wants to eat! And eat a lot. To do this, he needs the right to people's lives.

Perhaps the approach taken in this book is as different from the familiar status quo as Newtonian classical physics is from Niels Bohr's quantum physics. However, any body that obeys Newton's laws consists of quanta that act according to the laws of quantum physics. There is no contradiction in this, although it is not always easy to understand.

In modern society, 1 person is 1 out of 7 billion quanta on earth. Therefore, not taking into account the rights and freedoms of people is as unreasonable as not taking into account the laws of quantum physics. In physics, this unreasonable behavior ends in an explosion. In the case of humans, it is an uprising. And there are many examples of this.

However, the horizontal relationships of people-quanta in the modern world have already actually developed for the emergence of the so-called quantocracy, when people-quanta solve their problems without looking back at power, ignoring power. Probably, this is the next stage in the development of society, after democracy, or maybe this is one of the forms of democracy, more focused on the needs of each individual person.

All civic associations, volunteer movements, public initiatives, charities are examples of quantocracy. Quanta people themselves gather and build a shelter for animals themselves, extinguish forest fires, and implement environmental projects. And in most cases, power only hinders them in this.