Guest post from Mike “Dr.Doom” Hobart:
The True ‘Invisible Hand’ Is Not Borne of Evil, Not The WEF, Or Some Grand Malthusian Conspiracy
The current economic, geopolitical, locally political, and technological environment has resulted in many individuals having taken to a way of thought where they believe in an unknown & shadowy hand guiding our world toward ruin. I am here to provide a counter argument to this position. Bear in mind, I will not be using the c-word that gets so flippantly thrown around, as I am most interested in this being a thought exercise. This argument will be based on a few points-of-view that I have already written about previously as well as those that I personally have not written. I will provide links to those individual arguments as they arise in relevance, so that you—the reader—may visit them independently of your own volition.
What is this position that I speak of that seems to be gaining in popularity? That is that the developments in local and national government decision-making are rooted in nefarious intent. That the reason for these developments is a shadowy intent to sacrifice the many for the sake of the few, and particularly with the intent of weakening or destroying individual states, or America as a whole. That a significant, meaningful number of the participants are acting in a manner that represents intent for self-destruction—or in the very least achieving a greater state of weakness. The justifications used tend to be the headline events that have occurred over recent years; the responses to a particular infectious virus, the actions of a broader pharmaceutical industry, the nature of the symptom management industry (aka “healthcare), the precarious events around food, meat and poultry processing plants, the list can go on and on.
I aggressively disagree with this view.
Without further ado… let’s get into it.
Can It All Really Be Mere Coincidence?
The question: “How long before so many of these failings in deduction and reasoning can occur until they become a statistical impossibility to be mere coincidence? How is what is occurring not a ‘controlled demolition’?”
First, before we get started on my elaborations here, to make sense the reader (you) must have an understanding of what a complex adaptive system (CAS) is. If you do not, I will have multiple writings on this topic, the first of which is here. For those that do understand what a CAS is, we must acknowledge that such a system represents what looks like intelligence as more and more variables are accounted for and inputs (resources) are consumed to maintain its operations (life). Now, when it comes to a CAS, we are dealing with any number of independently motivated actors that are all acting as nodes of the broader system (the CAS)—yes like a neural network or blockchain network. Think of these “nodes” as cells, or individual people; being a part of a large operating system like an economy or a country. Then we must also acknowledge that these individual actors are not going to be of the highest intelligence or capability, simply for the fact that they will not be required to have such standards to maintain a life cycle of relative comfort while abiding by the rules governed by the CAS in which they occupy. Most individuals simply want to be comfortable and capable of reproducing and seeking their own happiness, whatever that may mean.
This is important to understand as this effectively establishes the standard of quality of the average participant (node) of said CAS, as well as the incentives that drive those individual actors. Both of which are very, very important for consideration when judging the actions of individuals and the systems & mechanisms that are made up of actions by those individuals. Like… businesses… and governments. Essentially every human being as a part of this world is independently motivated to seek out their own success, and the success of their kin first (discard ideologues here, as they are outliers), over the success(es) of an other. Meaning: these individuals are not incentivized to engage in activities that necessarily benefit the system, but themselves—survival comes first. Furthermore, this also means that the individual is not incentivized to consider the consequences or ramifications of their movements for success as they would affect other participants within the broader system. A drug dealer is not incentivized to consider how negatively impacting his product is as that would deter him from seeking his own success, no differently than say… a large pharmaceutical corporation would be.
So, what’s the point of all of this? My belief is that we are dealing with a complex adaptive system that represents an intelligence, due to the amount of variables accounted for, that is on a trajectory towards negative outcomes that appears to have malignant intent (because it produces a negative feedback loop) but it is actually powered by incompetence in the individual actors due to the incentives acting upon their lives. Not that there is some master plan to bring about the mass death of large portions of the population, nor an active strategy to bring about the downfall of their own country.
For example, I do not believe that our food quality was destroyed in order to feed the big pharma industry—that’s nonsense. I believe that big pharma, and the symptom management industry (calling it a “healthcare industry” is a joke and an insult to the average citizen), have benefited as a downstream effect. I believe that we learned how to produce highly potent, easily replicable, and very efficient mechanisms to produce processed foods due to a natural inclination for businesses to seek profits, and at the hands of a modernized industrial country. I believe that individual actors bought these foods hand-over-fist because they are delicious (due to their high carbohydrate, fat, and salt content) and cheap. I believe that the ramifications of such foods takes YEARS to observe and identify, all the while their negative effects on public health gain momentum as bodies, like economies, exhibit compounding results (as discussed in this essay). And that’s without any actual nefarious activities by corporations; liiike taking advantage of the bureaucratic system on the side of corporate lobbying and funding “scientific” research that makes their products look healthy and safe—I placed scientific in quotes because when the studies are not allowed to report the actual science due to the relationship of their funding, then it’s simply *marketing* and not actual science.
To put a bow on this one; I do not believe there is some grand cabal steering America towards ruin—in my opinion that would be giving these implicated groups, organizations and individuals far too much credit. To pull something like that off requires far more intelligence than I believe they are capable of. And yes, this includes an organization that was unelected and incorporates the letters W-E-F in their acronym. I believe that we are witnessing a cascade of failures brought-on by a system driven by high time-preference incentives, stupidity, and greed.
The Sociopathic Magnet
Then there’s the issue of this system “attracting sociopaths.”
This argument does not hold water in any sense. Human beings as a species are natural gamers. We are literally built to poke, prod, and produce strategies that not only allows us to seek out success within a ruleset, but the more clever members of our species devise strategies to use the ruleset of the system in which they abide by to work for them, catapulting them towards success at a rate faster than their peers, as we are also naturally competitive. If you would like an example of this, all you need to do is simply watch children at play with each other. You will witness many instances of the most clever children using the rules of their games to their advantage so they may seek out victory faster than their peers.
Simply possessing the desire to succeed does not automatically make one a sociopath. Sociopaths hold no stock in empathy or valuing of human life, let alone working to avoid the suffering of others. Any system that provides a capability to achieve greater levels of power over their peers will attract sociopaths of every make and model. The greater the honeypot of power; the greater the sociopathic magnet. There is no getting around this reality.
Power Dynamics and Sociopaths
The issue of the temptations that a fiat currency brings.
Through my studies and observations I have adopted a philosophy: a society or civilization takes on the philosophies incentivized by the currency with which the average individual transacts on a regular basis.
What this means is that I believe that a fiat currency, that is capable of being produced flippantly at whatever fleeting whim of whatever individual or group that claims authority over it, will eventually cause the character traits that such a whimsical authority system promotes to bleed into the incentives of the average citizen. For example, following the 2008 GFC bailouts of American banks and industry, the average American (as well as citizens across the world) learned quite a few lessons all at once: (1) from that point on, the name of the game was to become “too big to fail,” doing so meant you could f*ck up at nearly any level and the US government would protect you to avoid mass job loss, (2) the average American would always get sacrificed before anybody in the upper socioeconomic rungs would ever see a day of prison time, regardless of how much loss had occurred across society-broader, and (3) in the race to become “too big to fail,” do whatever it takes to win over your peers; make as much money as fast as possible, rules and consequences be damned.
What these result in is an incentive structure that rewards frauds, cheaters, liars and thugs. This also results in, yes, attracting sociopaths. So, with this in consideration, it does make the broader system an ample magnet for sociopaths (as discussed previously). *It was very important that we distinguish that a hierarchical or success-rewarding system is not enough to place blame for attracting sociopaths.
As this CAS continues chugging along for longer and longer periods of time, that is driven by incompetence and short-sightedness of individual actors, and is perpetuated by this tainted fiat currency system as laid-out following the GFC, it accumulates higher and higher saturation levels of sociopaths and incompetent short-sighted thinkers. What results is an ever increasing number of negative effects, negative events, and a continuously worsening macro picture… ultimately leading toward a climax—but this is not a fun climax. At which point the system fractures, and cascades of corrections begin to wash back across the system like waves.
Do you think we’re beginning to witness those cascades? I believe we could be, as I have also described how I believe that this very economic system has been a leading contributor to the cascades in human fertility and public health, which I wrote briefly about with—a specific focus on male health in particular—here.
More Regulations Only Create More Opportunities To Take Advantage
The next question is, “Well shouldn’t we be able to regulate this kind of activity out of our society to prevent these kinds of outcomes?”
The short answer is No. You’re ultimately asking to regulate-away the human condition. We are gamers, we are schemers, and we are greedy. You cannot regulate-out human characteristics with manmade rules or regulations. All that establishing new rules, or more rules, does is allow for fewer and fewer individuals to be capable of taking advantage of the ruleset and the system itself. Resulting in an inevitably ever-increasing wealth inequality gap. This wealth gap doesn’t just include monetary wealth, but educational wealth (real education, not indoctrination), wealth in time, wealth in mental & physical health, and wealth in family & loved ones.
In my opinion, the only effective regulation of CASs is that of natural selection and free markets. In these systems, as in nature, what survives and thrives works. There’s no coddling, or holding back of those experiencing outsized gains over their peers, and there’s certainly no manipulation of the rules to allow one individual or party to survive against the odds outside of shear tenacity & capability.
This also does not mean I am a Libertarian, or some purist Austrian economist. I am simply stating the reality of our situation.
The Reality Of The Human Condition
Now bears the question, “Is this just a reality of the human condition, is humanity doomed to always reach this failing point?”
The short answer here is Yes. However, it doesn’t have to be quite so doomish. We have to look back into history to understand why these failing CASs develop and then charge headlong into the ground like flight MU5375 in the first place. For examples we can look at the long history of The Church, or my personal favorites would be looking at how society at the time reacted to individuals like Galileo or Copernicus. These men pushed forth very revelatory ways of thought, and these new ways of thought challenged the established power of the “elites” of their time. Those elites were incentivized to defend their positions of power, as are all who attain it, and therefore chose to discount the new ways of thought in order to facilitate an ignorance within the populace and their subordinates so that their positions of authority and value could be maintained. Our species is no more evolved now than it was then.
In honest reflection humanity is doomed to repeat this sigmoid progression of success and failure, yes. History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. However, what doesn’t have to be continued is the potent ignorances that allow these systems to get to such aggressive, widespread, catastrophic failures.
I believe that what we are witnessing is a complex adaptive system that is made up of independently motivated actors, acting on short-sightedness and incompetence, that is producing negative outcomes, in which other aspects of the adaptive system benefit from (thereby entrenching the effects), and is rewarding further short-sightedness and incompetence, that is also driven by a fraudulent & broken economic system, which attracts greater and greater numbers of sociopaths and fools, which further entrenches the negative effects as well as further attracts more fools and crazies.
Then, to make matters worse, those that hold positions of power within this parasitic and flailing system are incentivized & motivated to build moats around their hills of success—preventing the march of disruptors that approach with new & innovative ways of thought. Which could provide solutions to the problems & inefficiencies that these individuals’ own success may have created, let alone enabled. Giving it a guise of malfeasance, or willful malignant intent and design, when in reality it is simply a mechanism of incompetence, greed, and high time preference that gets labeled with some great Malthusian Cabal.
That viewpoint is much easier to conceptualize and grab hold of as it requires less consideration & contemplation than my theory laid bare for you here. Not to mention that very theory is also represented over and over again in Hollywood films, like 007’s Spectre or the Jason Bourne story arch. Making it more “fun” to believe in, if that’s the proper word to describe such a thing. I personally believe it is, as the individuals that detail such theories often approach the concept with excitement as if they are getting the “opportunity” to partake in some videogame or film storyline or plot, wrought with excitement and where they get the chance to position themselves as the hero for identifying a secret plot.
This system continues until it breaks under its own weight of stupidity and greed, as intelligence and honor are not rewarded by this system whatsoever. When it does come time to break, the individuals of a high intelligence and honor are ultimately the ones that end up acting as support, as they bear the weight of the cascading society in an attempt to prevent a total loss.