Society is past the point of being governed. We no longer need a president to function as a healthy society. In fact, the idea of central bodies of government ruling over differing classes of people is just absurd. We are all just too complex for a ruler! At least, this is what a recent report suggests.
Is there hope for us?
Prior to election day, Vice’s Motherboard published a report called Mathematics, which included proof that democracies are irrelevant to our society today. Social policy, or the idea that one process can work for everyone, has been deemed ludicrous as society is much too complex, and government always fails us in our expectations.
A complex organism
We, as humans, have become increasingly complex over time, which has no relation to democracy or communism. And this complexity matters, says Yaneer Bar-Yam, the New England Complex Systems Institutes (NECSI)’s director,
“There’s a natural process of increasing complexity in the world that at some point will run into the complexity of the individual. Once we reach that point, hierarchical organizations will fail.”
Bar-Yam realized how ridiculous it was to organize society into sections of a few. Government officials are, in most cases, detached from individual situations from lack of experience in the area.
Bar-Yam told Motherboard,
“We are raised to believe that democracy is good for us.”
Is this true? I think Democracy is over-rated, and so are other systems such as dictatorships and communism. Their centralized processes and democracies only focus on one or few groups of individuals, still leaving others with no ample representation. It just fails!
When discussing the individual needs of society, “human action” takes form as a possible solution to this problem. If you look at the human as a unique creature as compared to another, you may get the idea of why we are much too complex to be ruled as a group.
Humans are made from atoms, which make cells and then organs. If you try to describe an individual atom, it’s almost impossible. It’s only possible in relation to collective behavior of the whole. At least, it’s a bit easier.
This works in much the same manner when describing an individual person in a job, as opposed to a workforce. It’s easier to understand the pattern of an entire workforce than to catalog the daily behavior of one worker.
Is there a solution?
Bar-Yam suggests a solution called a “control hierarchy”, which enables an individual to control only their own actions separately from others. With this, one individual can influence others into taking the same actions. If this works, it will prove much more effective than hoping the government will influence a larger group into following their lead. In fact, what government does, in a nutshell, is control groups of people as if they are much simpler beings.
In fact, these aren’t new ideas. They are, in fact, ideas that surfaced in 1949 as well. Praxeology, or the study of purposeful behavior (human action), said that humans exist and act for a reason, basically.
“Action is will put into operation.”
Economist Ludwig von Mises said that those who are detached from a situation cannot possibly know what will happen inside the situation. Although science is pretty accurate at predicting what will happen in a situation, it cannot predict the future without question. And no matter the similarities from one situation to the next, there will always be incomplete knowledge with any given event or within any new group. It’s apparent that Mises understood the complexity of society way before Bar-Yam was involved in the study.
Mises writes in “Human Action”,
“Government means coercion and compulsion and is the opposite of liberty.”
Both Mises and Bar-Yam concluded that complexities of the human being, especially the level in which humans have attained at this point, makes it almost impossible for the government to rule effectively.
As we saw with the elections, numerous people refusing to vote, the desire for the governmental rule is on the decline. Choosing leaders obviously doesn’t matter as much anymore, and working as individuals to solve problems may just be what we need to thrive as human beings.