Why we need disruption now more than ever
Ever since I discovered the importance of individual rights and the role of markets in human progress, my biggest fear about the fate of world has been not that things will get worse, but that we will muddle along with more of the same.
My study of history led me to the conclusion that the rapid growth in the power of the State following the First World War reached some threshold in the late 1960s, and damned up (however imperfectly) human moral, social, artistic and technological progress in many ways. I don’t mean some sort of utopia, but the next semi-metaphorical stage of human evolution. A true cosmopolitanism to replace multi-cultural tribalism, post-post-modernism, post-democratic forms of government (distributed citizenship?), ubiquitous encryption, smart contracts, prediction markets, distributed education, designer babies, single stage to orbit, organ printing, uploaded brains, etc. Ironically, it was capitalism that created the technological progress and additional capital to make the modern welfare-warfare state possible, before Statism throttled it.
The perpetuation of the mixed economy, a condition somewhere between freedom and slavery threatens the progress of civilization on a fundamental level. The social-democratic welfare-warfare governments of the world strangle innovation, corrupt cultural and moral progress, and hinder the flow of history itself. Ultimately, the fault is not with politicians but with ourselves, down the small-town American voter who uses political violence to zone his competitor out of business, or big-city busybody who votes to decide what how neighbor is allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or play.
I know that no human institution is eternal, and for better or worse, this era of history will someday come to an end, but the possibility that it will last through my lifetime fills some deep part of me with an existential dread.
How will the next phrase of history arrive? Will it be a peaceful and harmonious transition to a glorious future, a descent into totalitarianism followed by tragedy, conflict and collapse, or something I cannot imagine? Whatever it is, I want to live to see it — and I will do my damnedest to bring our long-delayed future forward.
I believe that history has a momentum and a direction of its own. Capital accumulates, knowledge and wisdom is perfected, and though it is weak, imperfect and inconsistent, I believe that there is a *moral* arrow to history – a steady progress towards a better, more rational, just, kind, and *human* future.
For decades now, democratic nations have existed in an increasingly precarious state, as increasing productivity of labor enables ever more looting of the productive class, but just below a level that would lead to social collapse.
I believe that technological progress will become ever more rapid and unpredictable, disputing the rigid schemes of the central planners. Economic cycles will accelerate, central banks will fail, and empires will rise — and fall. Or so I hope.
For better or worse, we need disruption to bring our long-delayed future forward. This is the thread that informs my criticism of our most respected institutions, and my support of the most subversive, disruptive trends.
Thoughts on man and his universe