Small Technology and the Death of Big Government

As powerful technologies grow smaller, more capable, more affordable, and more concealable, large and oppressive governments grow less viable. If a person can supply his own food, clothing, shelter, security, health care, and means of income — all at a minimum of expense in time, effort, or money — who needs governments, as we know them?

Some governments are more oppressive toward their citizens than others. Dictatorships of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are currently among the most tyrannical. But particular agencies in western nations have become oppressively high-handed and corrupt. To oppose these quasi-criminal government enterprises, people need the will to resist. But they also need appropriate technology and the organisational skills of resistance.

Consider, for example, a nanotech nuclear weapon that is the size of a thumb drive or writing pen. Or a tiny assassin that travels on the wind as microscopic dust until it reaches its target, self-assembles, enters easily into a body orifice and burrows into a vital organ to detonate, deposit a toxin, or do all types of other mischief. If no government official or agent is beyond retribution, the balance of power between governments and their citizens will shift.

Suitcase Nuke  Through the Eyes of the Enemy by former GRU Colonel Stansilav Lunev

Suitcase Nuke
The Old Face of Small Nukes

Through the Eyes of the Enemy by former GRU Colonel Stansilav Lunev Target: America

According to former Russian and Soviet agents, Russian agents have already placed suitcase-sized nukes in a number of American cities. But imagine much smaller nuclear weapons, shrunk through the magic of nano-technology. How would these tools change the calculus of power?

Since the yield of these warheads could go from a fraction of a ton to many tens of tons of high-explosive equivalent, their delivery by precision-guided munitions or other means will dramatically increase the fire-power of those who possess them – without crossing the threshold of using kiloton-to-megaton nuclear weapons, and therefore without breaking the taboo against the first-use of weapons of mass destruction.

Moreover, since these new weapons will use no (or very little) fissionable materials, they will produce virtually no radioactive fallout. Their proponents will define them as “clean” nuclear weapons… __ 4th Gen. Nano-Nukes

New and concealable technological tools of all types will give small groups more resilience and more striking power — opening big governments to more wars of resistance and a wider range of insurgency movements against governments and agencies that are seen to be oppressive toward honest citizens. As tools of telecommunication and high-powered computing become more concealable, governments will pay a larger price for oppressing and suppressing dissident groups.

But small technology is about more than just smaller mega-weapons and leveling the playing field against tyrannical governments. Nanotech and 3-D printing will also become tools to provide everyday necessities, trade goods, and luxuries of all kinds. In this way, these technologies will come to provide more and more of the things that big governments traditionally claim to provide. As governments become less necessary to the perceived well-being of citizens, the people will become more resistant to the demands and dictates of big governments.

3-D printing… promises to deliver “mass customization” on an unprecedented scale, in which an ever-growing array of medical devices and consumer products can be designed according to the exact specifications of the buyer, from artificial limbs to tablecloths. But even more important may be the expanding use of robots. We should not think of robots as the clunky metal creatures of 1950s sci-fi movies inspired by Isaac Asimov or the automated machinery in assembly plants. Robots, sensors, and actuators can be made in any size or shape, to hear and see what we cannot, go where we cannot go, and perform household tasks of any kind, from walking dogs to making beds to taking care of children. Mass customization will make technologies available for a range of human needs


“Small” technology enables individuals to make personal choices, fashion their world to their own dimensions, deploy their own talents and pursue their interests in ways of their own choosing. Standardization yields to customization. ___

As each person is empowered to “go his own way,” the cohesive forces that pull large nations together are likely to weaken and lose their hold. This principle is a far greater threat to large and tyrannical governments and government agencies, than any miniature weapons of mass destruction.

Ordinary citizens will find it easier and easier to assemble a “toolkit of independence” as the technology develop. People will need to be clever and resourceful — particularly now, in the early stages of development. But as the tools become more powerful, cheaper, and more widely available, the knowledge of how to use the tools will also become widely available.

At that stage, the greatest deterrent to personal, family, and community independence might be the lack of will, or the fear of taking a chance. For those who are used to being members of the herd, stepping out on one’s own can be intimidating.

But perhaps we should not rush to a premature disintegration of large societies such as those in Europe or the Anglosphere. The continuing existence of large tyrannies in the third world — such as Russia, China, Islamic dictatorships, or the abundance of nickle and dime tyrannies across Africa, Asia, and Latin America — could pose a serious threat of invasion and conquest toward small, liberated, decentralised societies.

If freer societies lose their cohesiveness as global powers while powerful dictatorships such as China and Russia remain armed and belligerent, whatever freedoms that technology-liberated persons make for themselves are likely to be short-lived — unless they can also drastically weaken the surviving tyrannies.

If one wants true and lasting technology assisted freedom and independence, all world tyrannies should be weakened and broken down roughly over the same time period. But such dictatorial regimes cannot be made to collapse suddenly, without preparation of the battleground. A sudden collapse in these impoverished third world tyrannies would lead to widespread suffering and anarchy resolving itself into another tyrannical government.

Which brings us to an important part of technology-inspired liberation: Trojan horse infiltration of oppressive tyrannies by new technologies carried back home by overseas-educated nationals. Students from wealthy elites in tyrannical nations such as Russia, China, etc. are frequently sent to the freer atmosphere of the west for a university education. While there, they often absorb many of the ideas for liberating applications of modern technologies. Since at least some of these students return to their dictatorship of origin after graduation, the mechanism for infiltration is already in place.

Other methods of infiltrating disruptive technologies into dictatorial regimes will also be used.

Widespread global disorder is inevitable as existing technologies develop — and as new technologies are spun off from rapidly developing sciences such as applied genetics, information science, cognitive sciences, and more to come. But if the new technologies are used properly, and if provisions are made in advance, some islands of stability can be kept largely intact. These islands of stability can serve as springboards for the continuing targeted application of new sciences and technologies, with the goal of expanding the more intelligent and wise elements of humanity well out into the broader universes of space, knowledge, and rich, harmonious life.

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