Of Cogs and Continuity

Those of you who follow my twitter feed, will no doubt have picked up on my general sense of dislike for many social organizations, ranging from corporations, to government and the educational system. This could be viewed as a general anti-authoritarian or anti-social bent, and while this was a strong motivation in my younger days, my dislike these days is founded in something quite different. When evaluating any form of group, I find it very useful to begin with the reason for its existence. In a corporation this usually pertains to their core products, the frame through which they view their core business, and the extent to which, their main source of revenue is actually their main focus. When it comes to government it often takes the form of reverse-engineering from the effects to the causes.

In my essay on “The Good Boys” I argued that a social group should align incentives with the behaviors it requires from its population, and that a major problem in our modern western society is that the incentives are no longer there, which is the source of turmoil and conflict. I further expanded on this in later essays, covering how the various institutions that are tasked with raising a new generation of men are doing so based on outdated information. For instance, the blue pill guide to life is still based off the fact that society needs dutiful, conscientious and agreeable men, who work day after day at a job for which they have little passion, but which is secure and predictable. However, that the rewards for men who follow this check-list have to a large extent been removed.

Within political science there are those who think government can be run as a business basing this on the fact that government is in fact a producer of goods and services. Then there are those who think that applying business thinking to government means ignoring that government is generally not run with a profit motive. Both sides have some valid arguments, and it’s too grand of a discussion for me to handle within the scope of a blog-post. However, the former perspective is an interesting one in that if one views various governmental units as producers of goods and services, what information can one obtain? Continue reading