Category: Parody, We Think
Our tasks as governors, police, leaders, authorities, and good citizens are many, but one important one concerns this post: to maintain the social order. The status quo must somehow be either maintained or at least only gently departed from on the road to progress. Departures from the social order lead to imbalances, rioting, chaos, and generally should be avoided. Avoiding and punishing behaviors which mess up some social order is the basis for much of our legal and governmental basis and history.
As the 19th century began to close, the second industrial revolution was upon us, and a big problem presented itself: how could the social order be maintained in the advent of the massive increases in efficiency and economy bestowed upon us by technology?
To put it another way, society had a natural class structure. This included a class of laborers (serfs, peasants, proletariat, blue collar, working class) to perform necessary manual labor required in agriculture, construction, and the various other tasks required. Technological progress now gave us the possibility that one person with a tractor or hydraulic machine could perform work in one hour which previously required hundreds of hours. Suddenly, there would be an entirely different economy: one of sudden abundant wealth and privilege previously unavailable.
Already, electric power was being delivered to houses. Some inventors like Nikolai Tesla spoke of an era of wireless communication. Others had continued the work of Ada Lovelace and spoke of calculating machines increasing our efficiency still further. The writing was on the wall: a time of unheard of wealth would soon be on the land. We would have to transition our time towards educational, research, arts, and other such activities previously only available to a few. Or would we?
Perhaps dear reader this sounds OK to you. Well, perhaps you should think again. Consider for one that the value of a silver dollar was likely to explode in the coming deflation caused by this massive increase of efficiency and wealth. Commoners would suddenly have massive purchasing power. The social structure would be shattered. This is not "OK", this is something to be avoided at all costs.
Maintaining Social Order amid Technological Discovery
And so, an extensive program was undergone to combat these forces, and maintain the social order. The plans were threefold:
- To use powers of governance to limit technological innovation as much as possible, via intellectual property regulations and other techniques of monopolization.
- To limit trade and economic activity as much as possible, via extensive regulation frameworks, tariffs, and outright bans
- To drain the wealth from the nation directly from the top, by empowering parasitic and sociopathic groups to take as much as they want and to squander the wealth of society in the most disastrous ways.
These tasks were undergone with basically unanimous support because, well, everyone agrees we must maintain the social order. There was enough to eat and people were surviving, so an unknown change from such a setup is universally disliked. The population still calls loudly for "more jobs" in a remarkably similar chorus to that which initiated the drive to choke the economy. Calls for free health care and education are fought tooth and nail: these privileges are traditionally only for a certain class, and traditions are hard to break.
Our task today is to review the methods employed to choke the economy and see which ones worked the best. Lets start with the first initiative.
1) Suppress Technological Innovation
So how do we suppress technological innovation? One way that seems to work is to eliminate competition. In some ways, this had already been part of the law of the land under monarchy. The system of "royalties", in reference to the monarchy, allowed a privileged or well connected insider to obtain all the profits from an industry, by simply forbidding competition under penalty of death. Of course this continues today in our current system, but other things have been tried as well, less messy and perhaps even more effective.
Intellectual property law has come a long way since then, and now it suppresses technological innovation much more efficiently. Researchers are given an incentive to keep their research to themselves, and elimination of collaboration has been extremely effective at holding back technological and scientific progress. Prevention of dissemination of knowledge is also an effective technique, wasting enormous amounts of time as people repeat the same research and find the same dead ends. Consider one small example: very recently the domains sci-hub.io, sci-hub.cc, and libgen.io were blocked by authorities. People had been using these domains to share and read scientific and technological papers and books. Clearly this goes against our governmental mandate of suppressing technological innovation, and so it had to be stopped. Unfortunately some mirrors still exist for sci-hub and the library genesis project, but as long as they remain out of mainstream reach they won't cause as many problems.
The so-called patent system was very successful at suppressing innovation for years, however it leaves something to be desired. The library of patents has been made public, and so while it is technically forbidden to build from them or use them yourself, the patent library remains a resource that could help technological innovators find new ideas, in addition to its goal of preventing innovation on existing ideas.
Perhaps one of the most effective techniques of suppression is massive subsidies to monopoly industries. These subsidies can take the form of direct governmental aid, or as funneled through shell companies, or as investment in the stock market, ideally using taxpayer money or even better fiat issuance as is done today. This effectively eliminates competition as nobody can compete with free money, and these recipients make sure to push closed source old tech on their customers with no option to reprogram or innovate on the devices core technologies. Companies in this category are usually called "blue chips" or "fortune 500" technology companies.
So to recap, apart from the problem of the patent system being publicly accessible, intellectual property law and copyrasty, coupled with government and financial subsidies, have been hugely successful at preventing collaboration, education, and technological innovation.
2) Limit Economic Activity
Ah yes, our second initiative. By economic activity we mean any activity which would increase the wealth of households. Trading and doing business are the usual culprits here. What can we do to limit these activities?
The first efforts began as outright bans, which sometimes can be successful. What is the oldest business in the world? Well the saying goes that it is prostitution, and so this was banned. Sure, there are problems which this exacerbates, but this is well worth the gains we have due to the increase of poverty caused by the ban. What else can we ban? Well a lot really.
Thomas Jefferson said the that economic success of the United States would be due to the hemp industry. And so that too was banned. After these low hanging fruits we found (the easiest ways to choke the economy), other types of business were attacked. Today there is virtually no kind of business which can be engaged in which is not regulated, banned, subsidized, or otherwise economically choked in efforts to maintain the social order by eliminating the problem of too much wealth.
Eventually it was discovered that an outright ban is not ideal at choking the economy, as people simply do it anyway and form black markets. Better is to slowly choke the industries with agencies, regulations, taxes, and other forms of bureaucratic suffocation. The idea is that if you simply say nobody is allowed to sell milk, then they will simply sell milk where you're not looking. However if you first subsidize compliant businesses, charge for licenses and compliance certifications, and finally come down hard on those selling milk, you will not only drive all profitable business out but also produce an infrastructure of compliant consumers such that your ban can be more effective.
Direct bans, tariffs, and restraints on specific industries are quite effective, but more can certainly be done in this initiative. One of the biggest sources of trade is based around physical travel. Tourism, import /export, arbitrage - all these and more of the fundamentals of markets requires people to be able to more from place to place. So it makes sense, in the context of our currently discussed initiative, to curb as much travel as possible. The traditional formation of government agencies for the purpose was begun in earnest, leaving us with the US Customs beaurocracy as well as ICE et al. After all, immigration was another thing touted as leading to a successful economy of the United States. So of course it makes sense in our initiative to choke the economy to choke all immigration. Indeed, a system of "passports" was devised to make travel as hard as possible, as of course traveling leads to better education (which can help the economy) as well as massive influx of tourist wealth and trade dollars (also helping the economy). It makes sense that we should, in our efforts to choke this economy and restore social order, institute a system of "passports" by which to make such travel more difficult. Indeed this system has been quite successful.
How successful has it been? Well in this age of never before heard of efficiencies and transport abilities, how many citizens regularly travel to foreign countries? Not many. How many goods are equalized in price from one place to another due to the forces of the free market? Not many. One poster child for economic choking is the products of the Coca plant. Border control bureaucracies and gangsterism keeps the prices a few thousand percent different from place to place, meanwhile a police infrastructure destroys lives and families regularly. The net damage to the economy is massive. Success!
But is this enough? Remember, we are dealing with thousand fold increases in efficiencies due to the industrial revolutions and the information age. The initiatives described so far only choke the economy by some 90% or so. It's nowhere near enough to maintain the social order. So lets consider our third initiative.
3) Drain wealth from the top
You see, we're talking such an enormous change here that it's really hard to maintain the social order. How can we continue destroying the environment, fighting wars, abandoning our children, and paying extortion to gangsters when simultaneously we have devolped airplanes, spaceships, 3D printers, phenylethylamines, and mapped out mathematical spaces to amazing detail? If we have the ability for near instant secure global communications at low cost, cheap energy, it seems like it will be difficult to make sure there is a poverty class. Even with the above initiatives! For animals to take care of each other and work towards survival is such an innate instinct, that when coupled with amazing abundance it seems difficult to suppress. More must be done.
The problem was that even with suppression of technological progress and education, along with general suppression of business and trade, wealth was still going to accumulate too quickly. What was needed was a sink of wealth, such that it could be removed from the system from above in addition to preventing it to accumulate from below.
In fact the system created for this purpose has been the most successful of all the initiatives we outline here. The idea is to get the population using a counterfeitable token as a medium or exchange, and then push the counterfeiting industry into the hands of the most sociopathic groups available - in essence giving them unaccountable political power - which can lead to the most wasteful use of resources imagineable. This system is known as the fiat system and due to its excellent ability to reduce the wealth of the nation it is unanimously supported by the population today.
Who are the best sociopaths to put in charge of such a system? Being childish helps when it comes to ignoring the basic needs of long term survival and welfare, and so the most childish things like secret-handshakes, what-you-look-like racial designations, and religious mumbo jumbo in addition to title-adolation "lets call ourselves lords" are amongst the criteria used to allow the most ignorant to rise to positions of power in the fiat empire.
Once in power, the creation of the monetary token (the name "dollar" was re-used as this once stood for a physical quantity) was available to anyone who cared to play. In this way, all those citizens who wished to support the draining of wealth from their nation in the most blatantly disastrous projects imaginable could easily support this initiative simply by accepting these new dollars in exchange for their labor, goods, or services.
Needless to say, this was an enormous success. The dreaded increase in value of the monetary tokens was not only greatly lessened, but in fact even replaced by a decrease in value! Even today, we work hard to continue this decrease by allowing massive money printing, in the form of paper bills and in creation of bank accounts, in secret. It is important that everyone continue to use and accept these monetary tokens lest the wealth begin to accumulate in the hands of citizenry causing changes to the social order.
The efforts to choke the economy and maintain the social order have been an enormous success. Even today, in the era of jet aircraft, terabyte thumbdrives, 5G networks and solar power grids, there are remarkably still some people in poverty - and who must maintain such ancient traditions as slash and burn farming, ocean trawling, and even robbery. Success!
None of the initiatives on their own would have worked, but only with these three branches of government have we been able to choke our economy enough to maintain the medieval social order.
Especially worthy of accolades is the fiat system, which not only has prevented what would have been some hundred or thousand fold increase in the value of the monetary token over the last century, but has even created - in the face of three technological revolutions all providing amazing increase of wealth - an actual reduction of value of the monetary token!
We can look at continued warfare, illiteracy, disease, as well as deforestation, desertification, and pollution, as evidence that our hard work in implementing IP legislation, preventing travel, and most importantly accepting US Dollars as currency, have paid off big time.