Guest Post: The Solution to Concentrated Power: The Triple Ds

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Solution to Concentrated Power: the Three Ds  

Why keep squabbling over issues that cannot be resolved except by the Tyranny of the Manipulated Majority? Decentralize, diffuse and devolve power to the lowest level and the national dead-ends vanish. Natural selection will sort out what works and what doesn't.

The solution to centralized power can be summarized as the three Ds: diffusion, decentralization, and devolution of power to local communities. Yesterday I analyzed the global failure of centralization: The Master Narrative Nobody Dares Admit: Centralization Has Failed (June 21, 2012).

The concentration of power into the hands of a few bureaucrats in Europe has failed, just as concentrating monetary power into the (privately owned) hands of Federal Reserve bureaucrats has failed. Enabled by a captured Central State, financial power has become concentrated in five banks, media control has been concentrated into six corporations, and so on, ad nauseum.

Concentrating centralized political power inevitably spawns State/private-capital cartels that stripmine taxpayer/citizens. This cannot be avoided or staved off with 1,000-page legislative bills and 30,000 pages of regulations, all of which serve to consolidate the power of centralized government and private capital.

The Argument Industry (May 25, 2012) is a symptom of what I term profound political disunity. (If I didn't coin the phrase, I am the predominant user of it in recent history.) This is a key concept in my books Survival+ and Resistance, Revolution, Liberation, for it underpins our inability to address, much less solve, the over-arching problems of our society and economy.

Yes, arguing fruitlessly without hope of resolution is a profitable "make-work" business, but it has a debilitating effect in the real world: views get hardened by propaganda into rigid ideological silos, and fractured institutions are slowly delegitimized.

Take gay marriage as an example. Does anyone seriously think there will ever be some sort of national consensus on this issue? Why does anyone think there *should* be a national consensus that is politically imposed on the minority who disagree?

My friend Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds recently summarized the "devolution solution"--devolve power to the states:

They want to force their way of life on everyone else, we think they're idiots, etc, etc. and n'er the twain shall meet. EVER.


So why try to force the fit if it doesn't work anymore? Let Arizona do whatever it wants. Or Wisconsin, Or Florida.


Let North Carolina ban gay marriage... but let the gays in NC pick up the hint and move to more hospitable climes and so forth for other groups and individuals who would not be able to get along in a situation whereby the DOMINANT paradigm of a particular region would be allowed to have free rein.


But let the rest of us do what we want to do and we'll KEEP our tax dollars *where we live*, thank you very much!

Not only do I totally agree, but I would devolve power even lower down the ecosystem to counties. Let me first stipulate that I have consistently held that there is an essential role for a strong but limited Central State: it must have the power to disrupt and dismantle local monopolies, oligarchies and criminal organizations, and it must retain the power to guarantee freedom of faith, exchange, movement, expression, enterprise and association to all individuals. It must also be empowered to defend the nation against external threats and attack, and protect the nation's "commons"--its soil, water, air, natural beauty and resources--from despoilation and exploitation by global, national or local Elites.

But beyond these limited roles, all other power should be diffused and decentralized to the lowest units of local political power, the counties. If County A legalizes gay marriage, County B bans it and County C decides that marriage is a private affair that the government should have no role in, then people who have concluded this is a key issue will migrate to the county of their choice. (County D may choose by not choosing to enable an "Argument Industry" that endlessly gnaws over the same old tired ideological debates as part of the local "entertainment industry.")

There is a decidedly favorable element of natural selection to this process of letting local communities choose their own machinery of governance. With no Savior State to skim money from one community to give to another out of political favoritism, local communities will have to tax themselves for whatever services they desire.

If productive people are being taxed into penury and receiving little in the way of services they desire, they will move to a county with more favorable policies. Corrupt kleptocracies will be abandoned until there are no productive people left to exploit, and the kleptocracy will implode.

Each county will be an experiment on what works and doesn't work, and it is likely there will be a spectrum of successful models. Those counties which allow concentrations of power to infect and control their social and financial ecosystems will likely stagnate; those which incentivize freeloading will be overwhelmed with freeloaders, and so on. Risk and consequence will be reunited, as they are in Nature.

If County E decides that all CEOs of banks chartered to do business in the county must live in the county, then business/finance will adjust to that political will. As noted yesterday, If 500 banks are forced to compete in a transparent marketplace, it will be very difficult for those corporations to purchase the political power the five "too big to fail" Central State-created banks now own.

Is local control of the way of life "efficient"? Perhaps efficiency's elevation to godlike status is as misplaced as confusing convenience with meaning. What "works" for some communities is not just what's cheapest in terms of consumerism. "Efficiency" is often corporate-speak for a second-order tyranny.

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unrulian's picture

Isn't a DDD the answer to everything?

jcia's picture

Chris Duane believes so. His website is:

His videos on youtube are great eyeopeners:

Ghordius's picture

"The concentration of power into the hands of a few bureaucrats in Europe has failed..." CHS, you last one yesterday was better, and from there I am still asking why you are projecting this thing around. It's utter nonsense.

The european bureaucrats do what the european governments tell them to do - period. All the rest is the usual propaganda, usually from the UK and very often sponsored by MegaBanks hyperhypothecating in the Square Mile that are afraid the EU could enhance it's banking regulations.

Here , still a good answer to this blabla...

Do me a favour and stop writing about europe, you don't know enough about it - you write well about what you know firsthand

El Viejo's picture

The virtual world is a good model of reality. After all we created computers in our own image. (not totally) but nevertheless there was a time when only DEC and Big Blue existed and then along came small desktop computers. The IBM AT was a revolution. It was in fact decentralization of computing. However along came predators and preyed upon individuals. The wise protected themselves. And now they are selling recentralization as a solution to the complaints of the weak or lazy. How well is the Cloud doing?? Anybody know?? I will not participate.

falak pema's picture

awww, u don't like group virtual sex up in the clouds?

Model for reality! ur own words! 

GoldSilverDoc's picture

...."I believe... in a Cental State"


Sure.  That's great.  Kind of like have a "little bit of cholera", or "just a smidgen of cancer".  Does a body good, right?



El Viejo's picture

I just like being independent from central authority. Call me a passive anarchist and to my knowledge Cloud computing has not taken back the virtual world. There are still millions of independent computers out there and they still have the freedom to participate in the Cloud or not.

i-dog's picture

It's difficult for Europeans to comprehend the self-organising nature of free humans. They have lived all of their history under the yoke of big government, or elected dictators, or kings and bishops.

The American experience is quite different. Originally settlers arrived into various colonies and negotiated directly with the native Indian tribes to purchase their own land and to set up their own local administrations (at the township level). When their already minimal state governments became overbearing on a community, the community would ask a neighboring state if they could merge with them, and they did so. This system worked for nearly 200 years until the switch to a central government was sealed with the Constitution replacing the Articles of Confederation in 1789.

Freedom is in America's DNA. It was peopled by religious, political, economic and ideological refugees from scores of nations and coalesced into a single 'country' that values (or used to!) hard work, freedom of speech, individual self-defense, and personal responsibility. This is the reason that the kings and bishops of Europe have been waging a constant attempt, through their agents and sympathisers, to bring it back under their control since the very beggining.

The current 'End Game' in America, since 9-11, is the final stage of an ongoing deliberate sabotaging (and now, destruction) of 'the American way of life' that began with the negotiations over the form of the Constitution, and one can't expect any European -- particularly not those who adore the 'European Experiment' -- to understand. It is totally outside their framework of comprehension.

falak pema's picture

we agree to disagree. We pay rugby you play football. As long as we swim together and play tennis on the same court there is still hope! 

Lednbrass's picture

Why should other people be forced to swim with you or play on the same court with you?

Perhaps they dont like you or want live like you do, or under a common political structure with you. Why should they be compelled to do so, and how is that compulsion not you trying to impose yourself through the force of central authority?


GeneMarchbanks's picture

Freedom is in America's DNA.

Dna doesn't work that way, it... never mind.

It is totally outside their framework of comprehension.

The official story last I checked was that you got hit by what turned to be mostly Saudis. Perhaps you should stop mangling everything together in some schizophrenic theory modeled on G.U.T and focus on what your government does outside its territory. Just a thought, albeit a difficult one for a person such as yourself who mistakes solipsism for 'freedom' and recycles fables of history as fact. Lastly, stop diverting attention away from the absolutely huge and very serious domestic problems of your 'nation' because Europe wants none of your 'freedom' that ends with more prisoners than farmers.

We all anxiously await your next gem where you tie in the Jesuits and Wiccans in a century old crime against the 'free' market or some such shit.

Begone no one wants you.

CH1's picture

So long as the Muppets keep obeying the politicians, tyranny will continue.

All else are dreams.

i-dog's picture


"Begone no one wants you."

LOL ... You're getting your cassock in a tizz....

GeneMarchbanks's picture



“My way of joking is telling the truth; that is the funniest joke in the world”-- GB SHaw

It's good to laugh, glad I delivered.

JR's picture

No one wants you, i-dog?  I want you, because fundamental truths and intellectual details on the crisis of Western Civilization are what are most needed.

Americans and their concept of freedom are unique. And therein lies the hope that this nation can make a course correction in its quest for representative government, once again in the hands of a responsible people, not in the hands of a democracy mob.

The Australians gave up their guns; Britain embarrassed itself with a Diamond Jubilee for a Windsor woman with no power to help improve the lives of its people; and the Greeks voted to trade sovereignty to the bankers for a few more months of public paychecks.

Americans will not commit these acts of surrender; they have had freedom and they fully expect it to be restored or they will fight. Your analysis provides that hope, because Americans do understand freedom.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Right. Listen here, i-dog deals in acute historicism, free market mythology and just has a general lack of talent for presenting a thought connected to the information presented. Worst of all he/she/it habitually detracts from real sources of your God awful US hegemony like the Unholy Trinity(IMF/WB/WTO) and FIC to lead the discussion astray into some bogeyman like the Catholic Church which probably hasn't been relevant in your nation since the JFK administration. I know it's hard living in a chaotic ochlocracy but please let us at very least come to some real sources of the general discontent instead of substituting personally derived conflicts with what is actually going on. I submit to you, the most difficult place to get a grip on present ills is from within America.

Instead of continually projecting ones own inner discomforts with some or other Institution let's at least keep to the subjects in question so thereby provide some context.

Lednbrass's picture

What a whining, servile, contemptible little twit. Im assuming you are in the UK, if nothing else its good to have your sort around as a reminder of why everyone left. Any English worth a damn left to conquer new lands or died in the wars- the remainder is nothing but the weak product of generations of the cowards, shirkers, and stay behinds mating with each other with disastrous results.


JR's picture

Gene, following America’s settlement by fleeing Europeans, a second round of Europeans brought to these shores the poison of central banking and Mafia-like financial tactics to destroy America’s representative government.   To breakdown the resolve of an American Christian middle class, European Jewish bankers directed the 1965 immigration coup which began to flood America's borders with Third World voters and their support for welfare state redistribution of wealth.  Most significant was the arrival of the Warburgs and the Rothschild representatives to create an American central bank – the “Federal Reserve” -- that they could control in conjunction with Frankfort and the City of London.

The surge in financial secrecy and low information populations was the foundation of the loss of representative government in America and the rise in central control by the bankers - which is now expanding to world control and economic crisis.

But the European-style-tyrant-over-serfs has not yet been completed as Americans already are on the road (Ron Paul) to overthrowing the tyrants and their institutions that you and the world so rightly abhor.

shuckster's picture

shameless idealism: america is following the exact same path as every young nation that turns into an old nation does - a small rabble becomes a big, structured country, with the rich dominating the poor and control falling into the hands of a select few, who inevitably insist on handing it down to their offspring instead of allowing it to be distributed amongst the people. america is not exceptional any more than ancient greece was or classical rome or the british empire

otto skorzeny's picture

when my old lady wants to shut me up when I'm on a "we're all f-ed" rant (usually after watching an Obama clip)she pops one in my mouth and I gently begin to coo

battle axe's picture

I knew a girl in college with DD, she seemed to have all the answers I was looking for....

No Euros please we're British's picture

Well it is Friday and a picture paints a thousand words...... where are the double Ds?

Bananamerican's picture

"Isn't a DDD the answer to everything?"

at this point, a DNR...

El Viejo's picture

I believe that DDD may at least be a good thing. I believe that diversity is a good thing. I believe that it is like Entropy and Enthalpy in Weather. Too little Entropy and you may get a lightening bolt or a huge storm. I believe that America's protection has partially come from the diverse opinions and cultures comingled here.

diogeneslaertius's picture

diffusion, decentralization, and devolution of power to local communities


a global series of republics based on individual human sovereignty


or bust



Matt's picture

The problem I have with this concept, is what if a gay married couple in County C wants to move to County A, where it is legal, but must pass through County B, where it is illegal?

Do the "inter-County Highways" count as federal territory where county laws do not apply, or must the gay married couple risk arrest and prosecution under County B's laws?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"The solution to centralized power can be summarized as the three Ds: diffusion, decentralization, and devolution of power to local communities."

Charles....I love ya guy and I admire your persistent effort to educate and inform. But I couldn't disagree with you more. The solution is self empowerment. Unless and until this happens the cycle with endlessly repeat. 

You are talking about scattering the cockroaches. I am talking about eliminating the food source.

falak pema's picture

what is self empowerment in an urban environment and how does it work in a legal framework. Who will regulate it and empower the judiciary that exercises law. You cannot be actor and referee of your own interactivity with the "self empowerment" of others. 

You should write a paper on that CD. 

Spastica Rex's picture

There's that devil - lurking in the details.

falak pema's picture

there's that detail lurking in the devil of self empowerment! 

POst scriptum to CD: your posts are very thought provoking. But they have to be practical. 300 million people is a big ship to navigate in "self empowerment". Just saying...happy hunting for solutions.

Spastica Rex's picture

For me, the central dilemma is whether or not humans are something more than beasts. If they aren't, who gives a shit? In that case, all of this is just the natural expression of our species and extinction is always an option.

If this is all about natural law, how can humans do anything other than fulfill their nature?

Nature is red in tooth and claw.

centerline's picture

Talk about getting down to the root of the matter!  +1 from me.

falak pema's picture

and we all end up dead. What works for me at 20 doesn't at 50 etc. Its a moving target, life's needs. How to avoid depending on others is a dilemma which precludes getting old! Lol, I think CD will propose a solution where we all gas ourselves before the State gasses us! Not stupid, just brutal. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And precisely why unless people become sick and tired of being stepped on and abused they will never ever consider alternative ways.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We always expect different results, but we are never willing to change within, to accept our own responsibility for the conditions we find ourselves in. Thus it is not me, but everyone else that is always the problem.

The system is designed to enable our own self disempowerment because that is ultimately what we want. The system was created by us to serve us. An alcoholic, when asked to create a city from scratch, will make sure there are liquor stores on every street corner. Then s/he will complain that alcohol is too easy to get, thus the temptation is too great and change will never happen.

There are no quick and easy solutions to our problems because "we" are the problem. We allow these problems to exist. It is as simple as that. You simply cannot control millions of people without their willing consent.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Working.....hold please.

I can promise you this. Few will like it because the "solution" is not push button easy nor fast acting. This is one of the reasons why we constantly hand our own sovereignty over to those who claim "author-ity", in effect to those who author their own "right" to power by convincing us to hand over ours.

Clampit's picture

Internet jurisdiction.

Facebook already speaks quite loudly to those who print, immagine if they had efficient blacklists to squish corporate or political roaches. What if they held an election? A trial?

That they haven't yet, I believe, is why they have the market valuation they do. And why I didn't invest or bother to create a login.

falak pema's picture

keeping the Internet free and democratic and protected, so that hitmen cannot track you down in real world, is vital for its true survival as tool of human progress. Internet jurisdiction in a self empowered net is a good example. I don't know how to manage this w/o some official third party governance. I'm interested in CD's version of how we resolve Internet theft by hackers...etc. or corporate spying of your storage as they have your IP. The very fact that we depend on Internet companies who dominate the NET means as individuals we are powerless if they wanted to control our actions via their portals or services. Its a lonely world, the Net, if you have to make your living off it and its a self empowerment world, where the NET access is controlled by the big boys. I have no experience in that area. Not everybody offers free services like ZH. 

Carl Spackler's picture

The first action of self empowerment is get out of the urban environment.

The modern world is hyper-connected, so you don't need to be there.

Matt's picture

That's great for a handful of people, but not really possible as a solution for societal change.

Dr. Engali's picture

Charles always has a statist solution when it comes to his ideas. The problem with that is it will always evolve into a super state over time.

Spastica Rex's picture

I don't know. I think you might be splitting hairs here.

diogeneslaertius's picture

my only cavaet is that we need to both eliminate the food source and scatter the roaches to win, but i think youve got the prioritization down pat


scattering rocahes is merely hacking at the branches


the root of this evil tree is indeed grown in the soil of the disempowered individual human, the sheep feed the system and are its shield


we must be like sheep dogs

LawsofPhysics's picture

Psssst, CD,  you are the food source.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I fully agree. And I taste like chicken.

I can remove myself as a food source by refusing to be the victim, to refuse to act and think and be the victim. It starts very small, just a slight shifting of my attitude and grows exponentially from there.

Or......we can accept the predator's promise that s/he will not eat the food (us) that we willingly present before them. We've been down this road hundreds of times over thousands of years and the result is always the same.

Time to find the courage to look within and discover the source of our

LawsofPhysics's picture

You can do it so long as your tribe let's you.  Sure, I could disappear into any one of a number of wilderness areas and do just fine, but the awakening you speak of will require many to accept a new paradigm, otherwise the few that do will simply be overwhelmed (think holocaust) by the ignorant that are armed by the "them" you speak of.

This is why identifying the fraud in broad daylight and prosecuting the perps, for everyone to see, is so important.  If this never happens (justice) you will never identify "them".  

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I agree that the fraud and corruption must be exposed. Agreed! This must be done. So the real question is as follows.

Why is it still hidden from view? Yes, yes, I understand that those in power are making every effort to obscure their culpability. But if it is plainly obvious to you and me, why is it nearly invisible to so many others? This is a fundamental issue that must be resolved. Why are so many unwilling to look? I submit that this is because they cannot face themselves, thus they subvert themselves to others.

And I strongly disagree with the consensus view that the majority must awake before change can begin to take hold. The herd is highly sensitive to changes in the wind. In fact this is how the herd is controlled, little nudges here and there, not powerful thrusts.

Enlightened change beginning with me, you (and those people over there) will quickly make a difference. But it requires that I decide to make personal changes within regardless of whether anyone else does. It requires that I demonstrate personal courage with NO expectation of reward of any kind. This effects real and lasting change, which then quickly propagates outward through my family and beyond.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  Now regarding actual actions, what will your action be when the nameless thugs have their boot on your neck, or that of your child's?

Chance always favors the prepared mind.

Stuck on Zero's picture

I thought DDD meant: "Diet. Diet. Diet."


diogeneslaertius's picture

centralized systems do not work, the universe is inherently super-complex, quantum dualism is real and there is NO WAY for a cnetralized system to ever be as Intelligent as a Nodal Network where the nodes themselves are strong, robust, and calculating


we have only to wake up the rest of the planet to the THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF TOTAL ENSLAVEMENT in which we still find ourselves


up-ending the holographic Economic Deathstar they have created is rather simple through sound money