Who are we up against? We seek a spontaneous order society in which we each make our own efforts to serve others, and accept and learn from the decisions of the marketplace as to the value of those efforts. We respond to both the negative and positive feedback to refine our service offer and we commit to continuous improvement. Who is against us?
Firstly, government. We have evolved in our society to the point where government exists to repress the efforts of individuals. The reason is that it seeks out large special interest groups it can recruit as support by providing them special privileges and protection from innovation and competition. Innovation comes from individuals with new ideas. Government hates new ideas.
Within the general heading of government, we can include the elected legislators who formulate the code of conduct for the bureaucrats of the executive branch, and the bureaucrats themselves who both expand and act upon the rule-weaponry the legislators give them, and the judiciary who protect the entire structure. We can meet these enemies of individualism at the federal, state and local level.
We also must never forget the military. They have all the guns, and their powers of repression are unlimited.
The special interest groups that the government assembles against are led by the education industry, who run the propaganda mills to embed a spirit of dependency into the young generation before they are mature enough to for their own opinions. Closely following are the other unionized industries who engineer redistributive transfer schemes from the innovative and productive parts of the economic system.
We must also include the crony sectors who utilize proximity to government and integration of purpose to further their own sectional interests at our expense: the financial sector, the media sector, the industrial sectors that supply hardware and services to the government and the military, and, recently becoming more prominent in the crony sector, the data industry.
It’s a daunting array. It’s probably unbeatable. But it’s not inescapable. Individuals can live lives that suffer the least intrusion from enemies and achieve the most through self-reliance and self-efficacy. We’ll still pay taxes and stop at red lights to avoid the penalties for not doing so, but beyond that we can be proactive.
How? By recognizing that all of these organizations are hierarchies designed to exert power, and by choosing instead to adopt networks as our counter-hierarchical organizational tool.
Hierarchies are power structures in which you don’t have any power. To join a hierarchy is to abase oneself, according to Neil Ferguson’s latest study. It is better today to be in a network, where you can cultivate your ability to influence, than in a hierarchy which gives you no power.
The most power-consuming hierarchy of all, taking yours to accumulate its own, is government. The basic structure is that the government is at the top and you are at the bottom, powerless. So, to the extent possible, don’t participate.
In a network, you are a node, with infinite options. You can connect to virtually anyone anywhere in the world today. You can connect to virtually any knowledge, most of it free. You can connect to a vast amount of resources, from education to Open-AI to financing your business. You can choose what organizations you want to belong to, or choose not to belong to an organization. You can be an independent contractor, working on projects, or marketing your services to customers and clients that you find online. You can choose the clients you want to serve, such as small and local firms or creative companies you feel aligned with, or tech startups who need your help. They may have hierarchical organizations, but you are not controlled by the hierarchy.
Your meta-organization will be a set of nested and overlapping interconnected networks that you design and you opt into. Hierarchical power relationships are replaced by quality of connection. How much value are you giving and how much are you getting in return?
You can’t avoid the government. But you can keep a low profile. And you can avoid the compliance department, the HR department, the performance appraisal process and the mandatory company picnics and holiday parties.
If you choose network rather than hierarchy, you can avoid those who seek to block the road to individualism.