Republished from The Dangerous Child blog
Most of us enjoy living in prosperous and harmonious societies. We want to believe that we can sleep soundly in our homes without fear of being invaded and brutalised — and that our automobiles will still be where we left them last night, ready to take us to our pleasure and our business.
In ancient times, the gods were credited for harmony and prosperity — or blamed for poverty and unrest. Later on, the people blamed or credited kings, rather than gods. Modern people tend to credit or blame their governments for the good or bad times, respectively.
At the Al Fin Institute for the Dangerous Child, we look to the human substrate of society to explain each society’s success or failure. While huge and corrupt governments such as we see in the US, Russia, China, India, and the EU can restrict opportunities and make excessive demands on their peoples, it is the people themselves who are responsible for allowing such governments to come about and continue to exert control.
Most people in such societies live as if they are unaware of the pivotal role they play in the existence and nature of their governments. It is in the interest of governments, established media, academia, and popular culture to keep the people in a state of ignorance and quasi-helplessness.
“What can I do, I’m just one person?”
The answers to this question are many, varied, and lie deeply beneath multiple layers of concealment. Taking the time required to sort through these obscuring layers would be worthwhile for bright and curious individuals who want to learn to play their own game, rather than the game of the schemers who often operate at higher logical levels of influence. Dangerous Children are brought up to play the games within games that help to reveal reality’s interleaved logics.
What Allows Complex Societies to Work at All?
System: a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme: __ “http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/system?s=t”
The key words in the definition of “system” above, are “coordinated,” “plan,” and “organizational scheme.” Most modern people believe that for complex societal systems to work, they must be guided by a strong, organised government — much as a locomotive is guided by its strong and fixed rails. The larger and more complex the society — it is believed — the larger and more powerful the government that is needed to keep society “on track.”
But this is all contingent upon the nature of the people who make up the society, isn’t it? Intelligent, organised, hard-working, orderly, thoughtful, and broad-visioned people are less likely to need either “the guiding hand” or “the helping hand” of government — making significant portions of modern governments somewhat superfluous. Law enforcement and welfare bureaus, for example, are of much less importance in societies of competent, responsible people. Departments of Education, likewise, are quite superfluous when families educate their own into a broad-based competence of multiple skills mastery.
Governments do not need to perform every single role in a society whose people are bright, creative, ambitious, honest, law-abiding, and having strong executive functions.
Governments stagnate, while private enterprises in competition tend to innovate. (One view of this dichotomy of state vs. private enterprise)
The brighter the citizens, the more self-starting, the better their impulse control and attentional control, the more focused on plans and goals — and the more competent — the less governmental oversight and control that is needed.
If a society finds itself with a relatively homogeneous group of peaceable, intelligent citizens with strong executive functions, it is in the interest of such a society to maximise the value of its citizens, and to limit the influx of less intelligent people with poor executive function and more violent tendencies. And yet we see in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, and other formerly promising nations exactly the opposite trends.
Larger, more mixed nations such as one finds in the extended Anglosphere, India, France, Spain, Brasil, and elsewhere, are beyond the point of controlling demographic decline, and must take stronger — but more subtle — steps to achieve a better result in the long term.
The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several nations of Europe and Latin America find themselves in this predicament: declining demographic quality, but lacking governmental or societal will to reverse the decline.
It is for such cases that The Dangerous Child Institute developed its extended nations programs. If a dysfunctional alliance between government – media – academia – culture – and societal institutions in general militates against an abundant and expansive human future, then it is up to those who are capable of envisioning such a future to plan around the many obstacles.
Doomers, survivalists, preppers, etc. tend to restrict their vision to short and intermediate-term survival. That is not good enough. Wisdom requires thinking and planning at all time scales, for a broad range of contingencies — far beyond what doomers can envision.
The Dangerous Child will naturally form communities of Dangerous Children. Communities of Dangerous Children will naturally network, trade, and share ideas and technologies with other communities of Dangerous Children.
Such networks — and networks of such networks — will eventually constitute shadow economies and shadow infrastructures, ready to assist in disasters and to pick up the pieces after significant catastrophes.
Shadow governments — which will eventually make conventionally corrupt and wasteful governments superfluous — will take a dynamic and fractal form which might be impossible for most conventional thinkers to imagine, without a lot of help.
But here at the Institutes, we are not planning to give up. Our purpose is not to convince, persuade, or convert. It is rather to inform and provoke thought. Anything else is up to you. Unless, of course, you intend make Dangerous Children of your progeny. In such a case, more in depth exchanges of ideas may become necessary.
For now, think about it.