Quote of the day—Doug Casey

I’ll speculate it was largely due to an intellectual factor, the invention of the printing press; and a physical factor, the widespread use of gunpowder. The printing press destroyed the monopoly the elites had on knowledge; the average man could now see that they were no smarter or “better” than he was. If he was going to fight them (conflict is, after all, what politics is all about), it didn’t have to be just because he was told to, but because he was motivated by an idea. And now, with gunpowder, he was on an equal footing with the ruler’s knights and professional soldiers.

Right now I believe we’re at the cusp of another change, at least as important as the ones that took place around 12,000 years ago and several hundred years ago. Even though things are starting to look truly grim for the individual, with collapsing economic structures and increasingly virulent governments, I suspect help is on the way from historical evolution. Just as the agricultural revolution put an end to tribalism and the industrial revolution killed the kingdom, I think we’re heading for another multipronged revolution that’s going to make the nation-state an anachronism. It won’t happen next month, or next year. But I’ll bet the pattern will start becoming clear within the lifetime of many now reading this.

Doug Casey
August 4, 2017
Doug Casey on the End of the Nation-State
[For more background on his thoughts regarding this topic see Doug Casey on Phyles.

I’ve been wondering, for about 30 years now, how the rapid changes in communication might affect government. What new forms of government might come about now that worldwide communication is essentially free and messages travel at the speed of light. It never really occurred to me that perhaps the nation state would evaporate. Casey points out another factor that affects the continuing viability of the nation state, cheap transportation.

Sure, I’ve read science fiction books where a planet would be owned by a corporation and was, in essence, an evil government. But Casey is talking about something different here. He talks about Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age and Snow Crash as possible examples.

I’ll have to think about it more.—Joe]


19 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Doug Casey

  1. To help your thinking about this Joe, read Jennifer Doudna’s book, “A Crack In Creation”. I think many of the near-term changes we can look forward to you will find at least mentioned therein.

  2. friends:
    it is not just of passing curiosity when the gubment, which usually has a monopoly on such matters, gives up nasa and lets a private individual have his own space exploration thing going on.
    right now, elon musk has the bigger booster, as between the usa and himself.
    that means a concentration of money, resource, and brains for hire. and, a greater concentration of power.
    i look to see the return of the baron. maybe not the abolition of the king. but, the baron. or, perhaps the warlord.
    i am glad to be an old poop. let the young ‘uns live through it.
    john jay

    • Before you think that the government has given up control, look for the description of the hoops you have to jump through to get permission to put anything into space. It’s rather ugly, especially since the US “law” claims to apply to US citizens no matter where they are.

  3. I’ve read and listened to a fair bit of what Casey has to say. He strikes me as a very prescient individual in a lot of ways….

  4. p.s. and, of course, the individual w/ weapons is the great enemy of the borg. that’s why the borg wants to have our guns, … , for themselves, of course.

    the gun. and, the net. the two great weapons the people have. (and, kendo and edged weapons.)

    and, will.

  5. “Right now I believe we’re at the cusp of another change…”

    He doesn’t actually say, in the posted quote, what he expects that change to be, or from where it will come. Therefore I don’t really know what he’s saying.

    Apparently, from your comments, he refers to the internet? The Progressives saw (maybe still see) the internet as their big “organizing” medium. And they are more organized, being collectivists. We’re a “herd of cats” by comparison.

    So what difference, really, does “instant” communication make? Or is it that the regular Joe can now be heard, whereas before, one had to be “published” in some way? In this surveillance society, I have to wonder if the internet is more of an organizing tool for the libertarian (again; contradiction in terms?), or a tool for instant recognition of “threats” (to the authoritarian system) for the ruling class.

    Certainly the internet has broken the monopoly on “news” services, at least to some extent, at least for now.

    I keep wondering whether the American founders could have fomented their revolution successfully in today’s situation (instant worldwide communication and air travel, to say nothing of modern weaponry), and I keep coming up with the answer of “No”. Likely they’d have been discovered, and pinpointed, and put down, very quickly. They were able to do what they did, I submit, because of and not in spite of, slow communications and limited transportation capabilities.

    No; I’m inclined to believe that the more things change, the more they stay the same. If anything we’re reverting back to the days of British Mercantilism, or Fascism. And anyway, without our fragile and vulnerable infrastructure, significantly controlled by governments and their cronies, all the “high tech” in the world is of no use. Most people know nothing of it, in terms of being able to duplicate any of it. Take away their internet connection, and their GPS, and disrupt shipping for three days, and they’re lost in a strange world, starving and out of gas. Even the Nineteenth Century technologies are a mystery to the vast majority.

    And again, no; we have all these new things we rely on, these wonderful new tools, only so long as we’re allowed to have them. Today that would include our food supply, water supplies, transportation, communications, and energy, to name but a few, any one, or all, of which could be shut down with little more than a word. Just deactivate your bank account, and then see how far you’d get (just that one thing), for yet another example.

    • Read the two essays I linked to. That will help explain where the changes, he claims to see, are coming from. I see the growing debt, of so many governments, at all levels, worldwide, bringing about dramatic change of some sort.

    • The Committees of Correspondence certainly could not operate today over the internet given that confidentiality is an illusion.

    • You have legitimate points, but your “solution” seems to be to grumble like a dying old man about kids on your lawn.

      Don’t like the leftist advantage? Do something to combat it.

  6. If you were designing a government today, instead of 200+ years ago, you wouldn’t have people travel to have meetings and vote on stuff.

    You would either have a few offices scattered around a state, or you would set up a secure facility at the Congresscritter’s home. Keep them close to the people and away from the lobbyists.

    Sure they would have to meet from time to time, but the bulk of the communication could be just that – secure communications.

  7. The internet is bringing the end of geographic boundaries to friendships and relationships.

    When I grew up, my friendship group was drawn from the children that lived in streets near my home, or went to my (local) school.

    Thanks to the internet, and internet gaming, many of my son’s friends don’t even live on the same continent.

    At the same time, my daughter is creating dance works in collaboration with other choreographers in the US and Taiwan – all without leaving home.

    • True. But at the same time, many kids don’t know who lives on their street, and never venture into the woods at the end of it because it’s unstructured and might not be safe.

  8. Since border enforcement of illegals ramped up, construction worker pay has increased ~30% since they are not competing (as much) with illegal and under-the-table workers. The State (governments at all levels) will shriek and scream and demand they control the people, and will add an ever-increasing regulatory burden to extract wealth from the people. The State and borders won’t go away, or wages will fall far enough that debt-slavery will lead to civil war.

    • I haven’t seen the numbers, but I suspect that pay increase is in states like Texas. The construction workers I see in New Hampshire don’t usually look like they came from other places.

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