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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shuckster's picture

I like your idea of the nodal network - nodes allow for parts to be knocked out, while the network as a whole remains robust. A common ideal would be the glue that holds the nodes together

Seize Mars's picture

Smith: thank you captain obvious.

We know this already, and it is (more or less) the American founders' ideal.

Guess what, the reason we aren't living this way is because the government - at all levels - doesn't want this, and they are very powerful. Now please give me some advice on how to get power away from these sociopaths!

g speed's picture

simple--arm everyone--let everyone be equally dangerous- and let the sociopaths kill each other.  

LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, the only other way would involve prosecuting the fruad for all to see.  Unfortunately, at this point this would mean TPTB would have to indicte themselves.  Really don't see how anything gets fixed without things getting bloody, even if it is only the sociopaths killing each other (which would be a good thing).

odatruf's picture

I'd argue that voters/Americans don't want this either.

In aggregate, the majority wants to exchange more for them for less for others.  It's as simple, horrible and complicated as that.


diogeneslaertius's picture

only a model which approximates natue can succeed


and only among humans, who are really the weakest animal on earth (and therefore the most intelligent!), do we see the potential to escape the crudity of the predation loop


only among humans do we have give and take potential and markets - but if we allow the world to be owned and run by tyrants, we will never taste freedom, we will never escape the fraudulent debt mazes constructed as our prison


but we must


the potential of our species has been squandered by elites forever and for too long

LawsofPhysics's picture

correct- in thr end Nature will provide a harsh solution for years of capital and resource mis-allocation and mal-investment.

diogeneslaertius's picture

in their delusion and power madness they really believed they could somehow alter the underlying logistical reality

LawsofPhysics's picture

You see more and more of this as new laws come out that prohibit any independent efforts for survival and encourage more, not less dependence on the state.  This is precisely why you see stupid un-enforcable laws like prohibiting the collection of rainwater and such.  Full retard, as no one wants to have an adult conversation.  fine with me, fuck em.  when paper dies we find out what the real value of everyone's labor is.  Fucking bring it.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit, you only need one "D" - Default.

slackrabbit's picture

I'll take all four and a packet of gravel.

diogeneslaertius's picture

take what i can get at this point :D

yeah, id settle for breaking the shackles

yrbmegr's picture

So, Tyler, you would not empower the central state to enforce equal treatment under the law?  So, your state could outlaw ownership of real property by people with spiky hair and that would be ok with you?

LawsofPhysics's picture

Wake the fuck up, there is no rule of law. Where is John Corzine?

The whole reason the western world is in the position it is in is because there has not been any real consequences for BAD behavior. Prosecute the fraud or the system will reset, period.

yrbmegr's picture

This post was not about things as they are, but about things as they should be.  Your observation may be correct, but it is irrelevant to this post and my comment.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"as they should be".

So fraud should not be prosecuted in the future?


Lednbrass's picture

Its a guest post, not a Tyler post so whats the point of asking the Tylers?

For myself, I would say absolutely people should have the freedom to govern themselves.  If someone with spiky hair lived there and their hairstyle was so important to them, they could leave. If losing the spiky haired was detrimental to that state, they could later change the law if they saw fit. I fail to see a problem here, the only opposition to localized government comes from those bent on inflicting their own views on other people someplace else.

As by your tone you seem opposed to the idea of people being able to live and govern themselves as they see fit, I will ask you why you feel you should have the right to determine how people you dont know in places you will never live organize their lives and communities?


Chump's picture

Herp a derp

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

dexter_morgan's picture

Is having spikey hair the equivalent of being black, or being female - examples of things allegedly protected? Quit putting idiotic straw men out there to support you love of the nanny state.

yrbmegr's picture

Ok, then.  Have it your way.  Black, female.  Or male?  You would be comfortable with states not allowing males, for example, to own property?

Lednbrass's picture

Well, that poster didnt respond but I'll play- if a locality did why should I care? I would live elsewhere. If San Francisco outlawed white heterosexual males, what difference is it to me? I dont go there, and wouldnt go there.

So what? In that same vein, if someone wants to open a store and only sell goods to biracial transgendered Armenians and I cannot shop there- why should I care?

g speed's picture

So lets change the big crooks for littler crooks--duh   what about unalianable and all that?  well I guess it wouldn't be so bad if you could rob a bank in Texas and then run over to Oklahoma-- Oh there will be a law about that? Then mostly its just about which bunch of crooks get to rip you off--the Fed or the individual state crooks----why can't anyone see that Gov'ts are obsolete and COG is the problem. 

Lednbrass's picture

States already have extradition agreements for felony level crimes but not on misdemeanors. I suspect this would continue.

If you get into a fight in one state and get a misdemeanor assault warrant, you can avoid it by not returning to that state until it runs out. Robbing a bank doesnt work that way, the Okie cops would send you back if you are picked up. Kick a guys ass in a Texas bar and get over the state line, you are already free and clear.

lolmao500's picture

I like DDD boobs...

In other (WW3) news...


Turkish source : The plane was in Turkish airspace when it was shot down by Assad's troops...

diogeneslaertius's picture

just because the universe is inherently super-complex doesnt mean there isnt a pattern in the fractal, why its all one giant harmony


the human mind/body is like a sort of hypercomputer, it is a pattern recognition-strong engine 


"what is self empowerment in an urban setting" et al. - pedantry


go mine coal for al iving and then come talk to me - knowing you are a slave is half the battle folks.


we cannot escape the inextricable bonds of fate, nor should we wish to.


no - even the Mona Lisa is falling apart. We have nothing to lose my friends.


EDIFICATION ITSELF IS VICTORY and a literal pulling peopl out of the Matrix



NuYawkFrankie's picture

You forgot the 4th "D": DISSOLUTION

diogeneslaertius's picture








New American Revolution's picture

Take a look at,... this exactly what we have done and have a complete program for, and have turned it into a Super Pac, Elect A New Congress, with a website that will be released next week with a program to do just that at   Way ahead of you buddy.

diogeneslaertius's picture

oh Santayana, you magnificent bastard

i will learn from the past


All Histories are false and children's stories


there are as yet NO HISTORIES - maybe, maybe if i could sense, detect, and relay the point-particle structure of one parsec of time-space, maybe I could begin  to get my hands on Something - but no, and we do not need reasons, we need but know which direction to fire


and we must resist the urge to play the roles that have been cast for us


we must have ideological revolution, emergent culture that grows, it must be global, it must be basedo n study of history and on a terse, hard grasp of the real underlying logistics (even if piecemeal, we must create transparent vectors)


this is the fire in which we are tempered


this age of OUTRIGHT DECEPTION and rule by thieves

Poetic injustice's picture

Forget it. Only empire that agreed to dismantle peacefully was British. All other ones screw everything more and more intensely, until blood is in streets.

shuckster's picture

Ha Britain still runs things - any "dismantelling" you speak of is purely symbolic. Things are still very much run out of Buckingham Palace

Glitch's picture

You are being culled. Not tomorrow, not after

AnAnonymous's picture

One US citizen on this site has it: thinkers of tomorrow are here.

US citizen thinkers.

People will migrate to the county that suits them.
Migration. Gonna be good.

Shifting the burden on a third party, US citizen style.

Whatsoever, good read. Very funny.

akak's picture


People will migrate to the county that suits them.

Kind of like how the Han Chinese have migrated into the homelands of the conquered (and increasingly displaced) Tibetan, Manchu, and Mongolian peoples?

MrPalladium's picture

"What "works" for some communities is not just what's cheapest in terms of consumerism."

The regnant elite doesn't give a fig about our communities nor does it give a fig about the population of the U.S. To them we are cattle to be used at their pleasure.

Attitudes at the top need to change in profound ways. Absent nuclear war directed at our cities or widespread "midnight surgery" it will not happen in our lifetimes.

Eyes on the World's picture

Redirect federal income taxes to the states.  Then have the states fund the fed budget line by line in part or in whole based on their interpretation of the constitutionality of the budget item in question.  Let the fed sue the state(s) so precedent is set on what is and is not a federal item, and allow the state to keep what it "gets away with".  Cut off all fed-to-state welfare.  It's that simple.  States develop their own policitcal "personality" to which business and labor will respond by moving into or out of states that fit their own personality.  This way decisions are made and funded locally, states are "forced" to govern from a more moderate standpoint (lest they lose revenue through people leaving for other states), and yet each state gets to have it's own political flavor that best represents the residents WITHOUT using tax dollars from other states.

LawsofPhysics's picture

States with natural resources will force this issue.  In some cases it is already happening.  Junking the truth does nothing to change it morons.

MeBizarro's picture

Yeah devolve everything to the county level which would do wonders for transportation, business, defense, etc. It is also largely completely impractical for planning on a regional basis for cities that really extend across several counties.  Kind of ridiculous cr@p I would expect to see on here and I knew it one of 2 guess columnists on here as soon as I saw the title.

Its a valid argument insist what should be a state issue vs. federal issue but devolving everything pretty much down the county level is a ridiculous sentiment that will never happen.  

The other issue is that is that when you have smaller independent states who have much greater levels of overall violence between states.  Ancient and modern history shows us this again time after time after time.  Just at Japan before Oda Nobunaga united Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century.  You had almost constant warfare between local daimyos.  After that during the Meiji period, Japan had nearly 3 centuries of peace and little internal conflict. 

sitenine's picture

Yeah! What we need is one world government! /sarc

MeBizarro's picture

Did I ever say anything about 'one global government?'  If your going to criticize me, at least base it on something I said okay jacka$$.

sitenine's picture

My conclusion stands, even more so actually. You are an idiot. I know what the Fuck you said, and my comment speaks directly to what you imply by what you said. Freedom is not peace; but, after reading your numerous misguided comments, I really wouldn't expect you to understand the difference.

MeBizarro's picture

So you just assume what people say and make ridiculous assertion and conclusions?  You must be a treat to deal with and a real good commentator. 

MeBizarro's picture

Assume you believe then there is no role for the federal gov't and we should disolve it entirely and let each state subsequently choose their own role?  Is that what you are advocating?

sitenine's picture

I don't recall that I advocated anything, but since you asked: I advocate a limited central power under a loose federation. You know, something like what the Constitution laid out before the federal government took it upon itself to start redistributing the wealth. I also advocate real money backed by real assets, but since you can't see past the first point, I won't even bother explaining what I mean by that.

MeBizarro's picture

So basically you want a return to a role for the federal gov't of say somewhere in the 1870s to before the 16th amendment was enacted in 1913 where the US went on a gold-standard and there was no income tax system.  You would also support a system then of high tariffs that were standard during that period too or a national sales tax instead which woudl be used to pay for the federal gov't as tariffs were the principal source of revenue for the federal gov't after the Civil War & income tax was abolished again.  

What are you arguing for then is not the Constitution really but the Articles of Confederation.  For someone who so readily calls another person an 'idiot' you sure don't know much about American history. 

sitenine's picture

I'm sorry. I meant, fucking idiot. This conversation has accomplished nothing, so I'm finished with you. Good day.

MeBizarro's picture

I tried to have a conversation with you.  Instead you just ranted about things I didn't advocate for and name-called.  I would bet good money that you have been divorced at least once and generally are a pretty miserable prick to be around. 

Eyes on the World's picture

Yeah, because what we have now is working so wonderfully for transportation, business, defense, etc.?  And, despite knowing human nature doesn't change, we're not in the 16th century in case you hadn't noticed.  Centralization works to a point under certain circumstances but that is not to say that it works in all circumstances.  It is neither an all or nothing proposal, and the COTUS (along with the Rule of Law) should be our guiding force.  

MeBizarro's picture

In the US, yeah it generally has worked pretty well overall although there is probably a strong argument that can be made we have erred in how many powers the federal gov't has, the amount of money it spend, and the extent to the role it plays in our country.  Definitely better than the Articles of Confederation.

There are simply a lot of things that smaller and localized gov't will never be able to duplicate including breakthroughs in technology & innovation, seting reasonable standards and regulations that allow business to function efficiently over a large enough area which increases efficiency & productivity, etc, gather significant defense, etc. 

There are things I want the federal gov't doing to make things more efficient.  Hell, one of the things I wish they did was handle things like licensure requirements for medical providers instead of the ridiculous hodgepodge and unncessary billions wasted on state licensure requirements.  Just one set of regulations nation wide.  Plenty of cases where devolving power to the local level actually encourages much more inefficiency, waste, and unncessary legal burdens.