In times of central economic planning, it comes down to one thing: costs. And what are costs? What are prices? Ask that of the tens of millions who died under the Soviet gulag system or Mao’s Cultural Revolution. They’ll tell you exactly what prices are. They’ll tell you that human lives are prices. The cost of Stalinist Russia lurching forward to industrialization was tens of millions of human lives.
In other words, how are you gonna pay for the technological progress? For the incendiary military power? For territorial defense? For the swell industrial base? For the wildly-heightened social status? Are you gonna pay it with capital from the market? Or with blood? That’s the difference between a socialist and a communist. The socialist would rather get voted in, and the communist is not at all averse to using violence to get in. You pay for progress in one way or another.
The reality of human interaction is that everything can be seen (that doesn’t use force) as a market. That’s where much of what we value comes from. That’s also where problems are figured out. Everything, outside of the use of force, is a “market”. But is it still market money after you grab it? No, of course not. As soon as it sinks into your pocket it is yours. It is central. It will be used for central planning. By hubris. Because you, the central planner, knows better than anyone else, don’t you? Of course you do. You’re like every poor stiff’s fantasy of winning the lottery. You know EXACTLY what you’d do with it (you’d buy a massive unnecessary house, a Lambo and rent a bunch of limos and bookers and blow). No, asstard, of course you don’t know. You win the lottery and six months later youre string out on something horrible, you have massive debt, don’t know where the $ went and want nothing more these days than to suck a tailpipe and float away to oblivion in a carbon-monoxide stupor. In other words, wildly few people know what they’d use the $ for. And that includes central planners. But the evil of central planners is that the damage is not localized. Are you some stiff with a winning lottery ticket? Well, maybe you’d upset some members of your family and stress out a few friends, but that’s about it. Hopefully you don’t take anyone else out in one of your chemical-fueled spirals.
Can you come up with a decent explanation as to why you’re in this position to begin with? That is, taking money from these people and giving it to those people (this is where Biological Leninism comes into play, at least in all democracies and socialist states). Because you’re just simply better at it. Because the central planners know better than the rubes, you understand. And, if you’re a territorial monopolist of organized violence, that is, a State™, you are, by definition, not part of the market anymore. That’s how it works. You loathe the market. Like most. But you got out. Into something safe. Like central planning. Cushy. Hawwwt. You’re good at smooth-talk and telling people what they want to hear. You’re livin’ the life.
Humans interact and form markets. Humans buy and sell. Barter. Discover money. It’s tough, this market. It sometimes sucks, even. Your special snowflake ego has to deal with the fact, unremitting, that there are others who are better than you. At whatever. Feel free to fill in the blank here.
Human owners of territories (territorial monopolists of violence, that is, States™) interact with all other (market-oriented) humans who occupy those territories and then form parasitic relationships with them. It’s a basic mob model, an extortion racket. And if the parasite gets too big, the host starts to die. The parasite doesn’t understand what happens when the host dies. The parasite is too busy snorting blow off a hooker’s finely-contoured ass in the back of the limo to ponder such trivial stuff.
None of this is wrong. None of this is unnatural. Nothing man can do can be in any way shape or form considered “unnatural” (since humans are not separated from nature…whoever thought differently might have subscribed/is still subscribing to The Enlightenment™).
But let me introduce the idea of skin in the game. An owner of territory who can, if he doesn’t think long-term, lose. Lose his throne, lose the territory, be murdered by his immediate family. Lose the serfs (medieval parlance for working- or middle- or upper-middle-class). Absolute autocracy. Monarchy, in other words. Not Moldbug’s CEO of Washcorp. One with no skin in the game. No long-term view.
So if you’re taking other people’s money with the promise that you’re gonna use it to defend the perimeter and to protect each taxpayer from invading hordes and from every other taxpayer, you’d better not be doing it by democracy. Because democracy is a low-intensity civil war out of the gate. Democracy is already a Hobbesian war of all against all. And that’s to say nothing of the inherent bureaucracy.
That’s where the question of the Soviet gulag system comes in. And how one actually pays for “advancement” (or “progress”) in a collectivized, centrally-planned State™. Or maybe Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Or perhaps Cambodia’s Killing Fields. One in the position of the central planner cannot know where the money needs to go at any time (human reality being that no one human is omnipotent and all-knowing). That’s why the Soviet Union became in its entirety a black market. People need stuff. They need toilet paper, shelter, zit cream, flip-flops, warmth, Ford Tauruses, fresh water and pavement saws. They require these things. Otherwise who knows what might happen. Humans are crafty and shrewd apex predators. You refuse a human and the “tribe” he lives in their stuff/social status/ dopamine rush(es) and you’ll get ostracized and possibly killed. Maybe even drawn-and-quartered. Ended.
And so that’s where we are today. Still debating this topic of The State™. And its role. And anywhere one looks in the Outerwebz one can see this debate being played out, over and over. But this time it looks like a number of people have realized that politics is downstream from culture. And culture is downstream from genetics.
So I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my ringside seat for the next several years to watch this.
Bring the popcorn.
I’m not a gambling man, but if I were, I’d put some $ on the notion that Monarchy, or at least popular support for those with skin in the game, will gain some serious traction in the West inside of 20 years. Serious traction. That’s as specific as I’ll go on that one.