How will MLG affect business?
“With the decay of feudal and clerical authority went political and legal changes of vital significance. For the successful direction of business enterprise, the wayward and irresponsible conduct of absolute monarchs, accustomed to tax, imprison, and harass their subjects at will, was utterly impossible.” As I began reading The Rise of American Civilization by Charles and Mary Beard, I stumbled over the above (on page 16). Before reading that, I had not given much attention to the possibility that it was the Dynamic of Commerce that had wrested power from the monarchs of Europe. Having been introduced to that idea, I now see it as probable.
And so it makes sense to me that a vigorous merchant class would insist that the King keep his distance in regards to their businesses. And where the Kings were strong enough to hold on to their arbitrary use of Power to plunder, business development would languish. If it is probable that some King, warlord, some two-bit dictator, or just the Criminal next door, will swoop down and take the fruits of your labor – why bother? A corollary to this is what we would expect today – the poorest of countries are those countries where there is little hope that if someone works like hell to create some wealth, that he will be able to keep it and pass it on to his children. Where Criminals flourish, wealth withers.
At one time Kings were of great benefit to anyone who wanted to survive, but they started to get a little stale as Societies evolved; their roles became more of a detriment than an aid to the development and survival of the Individuals of those Societies. Seen in relation to the Social Contract, Kings began to be out-Exchange – they became parasitic – and to that extent Criminal*. To bring the Exchange back into balance, the Social Contract wasn’t completely voided, but the Kings’ free reign was severely curtailed. The engine of Society’s survival was no longer centered in throne rooms behind thick stone walls. The engine was more and more in Commerce. The bold, intelligent, innovative, and curious – the true energy behind any Society – were less and less mounted on horseback waving swords. They were in mechanics’ garages, counting houses, and on the decks of merchant ships. They forced the Kings to be good – if they wanted to keep their jobs.
Since the 17th Century, the Royals who clung to Power, like dictators of all stripes, have gone Criminal. They were no longer holding up their side of the Social Contract. But centers of Power do not easily give up the advantages their Power provides. So they will hang on for as long as they don’t get hung. If you think about it, the current European Royals are just a highly paid group of glittery anachronisms. They have about as much utility as the flashing lights, and jangling bells within the windowless gambling palaces of Las Vegas. But even though Kings might get overthrown, there are no true Revolutions, in the sense that everything changes. Peoples’ opinions about what is right and what is wrong do not change over night. So those bloodied revolutionaries who successfully overthrew their King, Dictator, People’s Committee, or whatever Seat of Power – will soon be found fawning over the next incarnation of yesterday’s villain, whom they now elevate to a position of Power over themselves. As it was with Kings, so it is with the democratically elected Aristocrats found in modern western societies.
Democratic Republics had their moment in the sun, when they actually held up their side of the Exchange in the Social Contract with their people. But too soon an oligarchy of moneyed families gained a firm control way beyond their utility to the people with whom they were exchanging. The remnant Royals and their modern elite equivalents are Criminal. They constantly take from Society more than they give. Since no one likes to admit that he is a Criminal, the occupants of the Seats of Power look for popular support in their assertion that they deserve to be well paid for little or no useful work. The Elite sought allies within Society to legitimize their Criminality. Thus arose the Welfare Class! “It’s OK to receive more than you give. In fact – it’s your Right!” Those elite Criminals who pushed such a Philosophy also had to argue that it was OK to treat the ablest among their fellows as if they were draft animals to be yoked to a sled upon which out-Exchange Criminals could get a free ride. Thus came about Forced Charity.
If you are such a Criminal, of course you don’t want to see yourself as a Criminal – it’s damaging to your self-esteem. You see yourself as an under-appreciated, underpaid Do-gooder. At great personal sacrifice, you force the majority of others and particularly the most able, to do what is Holy – support you and other assorted deadbeats! MultiLevel Governance will blow that garbage out of the water, and reinvigorate Free Enterprise. The opening quote above, got me pondering – and in a nutshell, this is my answer to the question posed in the title of this chapter. Basically, if Liberty, individual initiative, free association, and unhampered production, are good things, then MLG will be an awesome organizing force in Society. If you subscribe to the principles of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_hand), or Ludwig von Mises Human Action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Action), or Ann Rand’s John Galt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galt_%28Atlas_Shrugged%29), then you will be able to see how MLG will allow an explosion of wealth creation among those who utilize that organizing structure.
Much of the problems of Economics for Central Planners is in correctly allocating Capital in the Marketplace. There was a joke in the Communist Block when their economists contemplated world-wide Communism. They figured that they would have to leave a certain area free to exchange without any controls or Government interference – this is so that they could determine the relative value of Goods and Services. Absent the moment-to-moment decisions made by Individuals regarding what they want, there is no way to determine the constantly changing Relative Values! Allocation of Capital would always and only be the reflection of real people making real decisions in real time about what is worth what. There would be very few bridges to nowhere, as built by Central Planners. Head to head, Socialist Societies would be unable to compete with a MLG Society. Under MLG, there is instant association among like-minded people towards some purpose. They determine the means to their Goals, and through their own donations of money or raw energy, put the realization of those Goals into action. If such Associations could bypass the Criminal Socialist Meddlemen, they would see their dollars spent wisely and without waste. The difference is basically the difference between Individual Planning and Central Planning. The Group looking for a free ride might be large, but since they are by definition non-producers, they would not be able to deliver much clout in the MLG Marketplace. In essence what they would be pushing for is enforced Charity. When Charity is voluntary, there is an equal Exchange. But when Charity is enforced, as in all Socialist societies, it is by our current definition, totally Criminal. An interesting aspect of the inevitable changes in Seats of Power as MLG gains popularity is that the current holders of those seats will not necessarily be confronted directly – causing conflict. Rather they will largely just be ignored, and important things will get done without their involvement.
As more and more folks recognize that traditional Government is good for less and less, so will Government’s Power be gradually lessened. It will be interesting to see if in the modern MLG context of computer/Internet technology providing instant communication and near instant Action, whether Government as such has any utility at all.
*A couple basic themes of Economics fit right in here. It is of course a fact that the person on each side of an Exchange values what the other has, more than he values what he currently has. If that weren’t the case in each instance, no Exchange would take place. This is not a plea for some Board of Exchanges to determine Fair Prices. Quite the opposite – each side of the Exchange is responsible for his side of the bargain. The Free Market insists that each Exchange is Value for Value in the minds of those making the Exchange. The average of these free Exchanges determines relative Values at any given time, in any given local. If we can agree that the Price or Value of some Good or Service is determined at the moment of agreement in the Marketplace between a willing Buyer and a willing Seller, we can easily see that any perversion of that Exchange would be Criminal. (And please note that Buyer and Seller are really arbitrary terms placed on two Exchangers because Money is the medium of Exchange. He with the Money is assumed to be the Buyer, and the other the Seller. Exchanges are more simply seen as Barter – with or without Money.) If Force or Deceit enters into the equation, and either Exchanger is forced or tricked into making the Exchange, which he wouldn’t otherwise make – that is Criminal. We will here define any intentional out-Exchange as Criminal.