As Voltaire observed, "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." This is precisely how empires collapse.
Society has been structured for a few centuries now such that we are expected to voluntarily give up some of our wealth to governing bodies, and in return they will “ honestly and prudently” govern for the betterment and cohesiveness of society, so that we can collectively live in peace with each other. That is the theory of the Social Contract.
As I talk with friends and clients, there is rising anger at how the resources we all “voluntarily” turn over to governments are being squandered, wasted, fraudulently re-allocated, and that a ruling, governing, elitist class is rapidly emerging (Hunger Games) that subsists extravagantly on these taxes, not to mention the entitlement class that also has come to depend on the largesse of the working class.
The anger rises daily, and I am now constantly hearing from people about how they plan on “beating the system” i.e. dodging taxes, legally or illegally. People are rebelling in rising numbers, and it manifests itself in so many ways--working less or not at all, going to a cash economy, making up deductions that don’t exist, giving less to charity, cashing in on the entitlement culture, etc. etc.
The trust in government to do the right thing is rapidly being eroded, so the Social Contract unravels more and more. How much longer can a society survive, living side by side, collectively, under such circumstances? I have started to study the concept of the Social Contract, to better understand the theory behind it, and why more and more people feel it is broken.
Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:
1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economyComplex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).
We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.
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