What an exciting 24 hours. How do you feel? A little pissed off? Scared maybe? I get it. A Republican supermajority is a little frightening. We live in a world where political power is overhyped and from first glance things might look pretty grim.
Are we really doomed?
The most important thing I can tell you right now is that we greatly overestimate the power government has in the 21st century. Every day we see entrepreneurs, technologists and inventors finding creative solutions to subvert the establishment powers. The state is unbelievably slow and ineffective in their ability to crush good things. Uber banned in Austin? Arcade City pops up to fill the void. Weed still illegal in your state? Bitcoin and online markets make it possible to get high quality product shipped to your front door.
And this isn’t just a matter of privileged people being liberated by technology. Bitcoin has created a world where families in disenfranchised countries can send and receive international payments without the absurd fees by Western Union. Google maps has made sneaking across borders significantly easier for world citizens.
Would it have mattered if Hillary won?
Even if you’re not sold on my techno-optimism consider the view that a Hillary presidency would have been just as terrifying. Both politicians are what political theorists call “populist”, a type of political position that lacks principles other than supporting what is popular among the masses. Hillary like Trump constantly flip flopped to make herself more marketable. One year she’s slamming big corporate interests the next she’s supporting TPP then the next she’s retracting her support. One year she’s proclaiming the importance traditional marriage and then the next she’s trying to champion herself as a socially liberal hero. The worst get to the top in a democratic society. The system is not rigged in favor or honest freedom loving people.
Why is democracy so terrible?
So what going on here? Why is there such a radical dualism here where the worse get to the top politically but technology brings us freedom in the private sector?
The system is simply built this way. This is no conspiracy theory. I’m not trying to tell you there’s a cigar filled rooms with half reptilian white men are coordinating the take down of America. What I’m trying to say is that institutions matter. The existence of democracy creates incentives that lead to these sorts of outcomes.
People are self interested. This is the most basic premise of human action. We act to accomplish a desired end goal. We do not act out of randomness or pure total unmotivated free will. We have desires, be them inborn, learned or whatever and we always act to fulfil these desires.
Given this premise consider the overwhelming cost of being an informed voter. If you wanna maximize your general joy for the day why bother reading an economics book or studying policy in-depth when you could be doing something you love like playing video games or going dancing. Voters aren’t dumb there’s simply a lack of incentive to be well informed. Democracy will always be coupled with an ignorant electorate.
When dealing with an ignorant voter base the way to sell yourself is not through truth, for political truths are complicated. The actual arguments for policy takes too time to explain in a 30 sec TV ad. The way to sell yourself is through creative deception and indirect voter buying. Skills the honest and good do not develop or are simply above using.
The nature of the beast is lying and stealing. There’s no way around this. Democracy does not lead to good people being in charge.
So what’s the alternative?
Democracy sucks so what’s the other option? I’ll just say it straight up. No tricks or deception. No hidden language. Anarchy. Anarchy is the alternative.
Tomorrow I’ll write a post explaining what Anarchism is and why you should consider it. You’re encouraged to let your hatred for the system boil in the meantime, but please keep in mind this isn’t the end of the world. You’re free if you want to be.
See you tomorrow. There’s always a silver lining.