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« Enlightenment or Dark Ages? | Main | Government will be the death of us all »

If you believe in science you must be for small, limited government and individual freedom.

So you believe in science, eh?  Excellent!  So do I.  One aspect of this scientific thinking is a laissez-faire attitude towards results.  A person who truly follows science shouldn’t care one way or the other about a certain experiment; they simply attempt to map reality and by definition must follow the facts wherever they lead.  True followers of science should be impervious to allowing personal biases from infecting their professional thinking. 

With that said, I have a scientific challenge.  My hypothesis is if you accept the fact that we, humans, evolved on this planet then you must also accept as FACT the superior design and performance of limited, small government and individual freedom.  There is no other choice.

As for evolution, there has possibly never been a theory so supported by the facts.  It is overwhelming.  Plus of course there is that pesky fact that we had to come from somewhere.  Let’s call this the Prime Fact.  And all thinking about humans and our societies must mesh with this reality.  If an idea or some supposed human ability can’t be explained in an evolutionarily-constrained world, then it most likely isn’t true.

So why does the reality of life evolution force one to accept small, limited government and individual freedom?  Primarily the realities of swarm intelligence and the laws of statistics.  We can consider these Foundational Facts.  They too, like The Prime Fact are absolute; much like gravity they are everywhere, impact everything, and cannot be discarded based on anyone’s whim.

Swarm intelligence has driven human achievement since long before we were human.  It is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems.  Most of the time people think of swarm intelligence when referring to hives of bees, schools of fish, or herds of animals but human “schools” have existed since we have.  In fact all of humanity across all time could and should be considered a school.

A key ingredient in swarm intelligence is that no one is in charge. There is no “management” at all; just countless interactions between individual members with each following simple rules of thumb, each on acting on local information.

No member sees the big picture. No member tells any other what to do.  No fearless leader is required or desired.  In fact if a boss were to attempt to take charge of this process, the entire system would cease to function to the detriment of all members.

These types of systems are self-organizing.  Life itself is self-organizing.  Top-down, hierarchical systems are the antithesis of this Foundational Fact and they exist nowhere in the natural world.  

The beauty of swarm intelligence and self-organizing systems is that even for complex systems like human life and survival, behavior may be coordinated by relatively simple interactions.  And here’s the key; in a self-organizing system there literally is no cause and effect, it just is.  That might be tough to wrap your mind around but that’s the way it is.

Which leads to the second Foundational Fact, good ol’ statistics.  To emphasize the power of statistics think of a trivia contest where a single player takes on a team of 10 and that all players are correct 50% of the time.  The team will win 99.9% of the time.  Take that to a team of 50 and the team wins 99.99999999999% of the time; in effect the team will never lose.  Thus it is a scientific fact; the many will always outperform the few.

The non-profit corporations we call government violate both Foundational Facts.  Those things that make for smart group behavior like decentralized control, response to local feedback, and simple rules of thumb are the exact opposite of what governmental organizations attempt to do. 

Self-organizing systems are an incredible strategy to deal with complexity, government is not.  Worse yet, top-down, command-and-control systems will sooner or later create catastrophic failures, not so with self-organizing systems.

Swarm intelligence has the effect of being a tremendous intelligence multiplier; top-down, command-and-control systems have just the opposite effect.  These things are not true because anyone desires it; they are true because they are provable, scientific facts.

Combine the scientific facts of swarm intelligence and statistics with easily observed real-world results and the conclusion is clear; small, limited government and individual freedom is the only viable long-term design for human societies. 

And even when it is collectively determined government action is required, its actions should be shaped and directed by the Foundational Facts.  Government will provide far superior results if they throw away their top-down, “we know best” designs and build their programs around the realities of swarm intelligence and statistics.

So you believe in science, eh?  So do I and the science is clear.  Large governmental organizations are a provable threat to us all.  This isn’t based on political philosophy or some ephemeral idea.  It is based on hard science.  If we hope to be a long-lived species we must pull back from the brink and once again allow self-organizing systems to do their magic.  The science is clear.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is also founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.  E.I.C. Enterprise’s GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/so-you-believe-in-science-eh


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