There are many interesting ways to look at the world of politics and social philosophy. Much has been written from the standpoint of political science and these viewpoints, while interesting, are not really new and amazing. Here at NAA, we wish to wade into this morass by looking at politics through the lens of science (i.e. biology). It is at this nexis point that much can be learned. So without further adieu, here are three ways to look at politics that are not commonly in circulation.
THE POLITICAL BODY AS AN ORGANISM
In the Darwinian world that we live in, there is a constant battle for survival. Today you may be able to outrun the lion, but tomorrow you may not. Ant colonies or bees hives are in a constant state of grow or die, just as individual creatures face this struggle as well. Get older … get faster … get stronger … or die. Whether it is a virus colony or a field of clover, there is the ever present need to have your kind prosper and grow. Growth is the very essence of the biological imperative. That is why humans are here and dodo birds are not. It is why Cro-Magnon man (us) survived, but the Denisovans did not. They tried, but they simply lost in the great competition that is life.
NAA submits that these same principles apply to government. It naturally wants to grow and the individuals in it want to help it grow to enhance their own prosperity. There is a sort of collective consciousness in government … each of the cells (people) in the organism rely on the department or agency for their very survival. Some view it is a war with the private sector (which is in turn a series of companies following the prime directive as well – grow and add value … or die.)
There is a big difference between the private sector and government however, as one in the private sector must extract money from the public by providing a good or service that someone wants or needs. In fact, you must delight your customers on some level to extract the revenue for your desired growth. Government works differently, as it simply must get enough votes to stay in power. It extracts cash by threat of force and then uses it to buy votes from the various blocks which are happy to receive a portion of someone else’s money. There is nothing voluntary about taxes and no taxpayer is delighted to pay them. Even though the top one percent of all taxpayers pay nearly 50% of all income taxes and the top twenty percent pay nearly 90 percent of all taxes, it is not enough. Phrases like “fair share” are used to extract ever more from those with few votes so that it can be given (with a huge slice for government) to those with many votes.
The ability to take from the few to give to the many is the central flaw of democracy which only a functioning set of limits on government can cure. The U.S. constitution was an attempt to do this. It worked for a while, but now has failed in its goal of limited government. The growing organism that is the federal government ultimately solved the “problem” of the 10th amendment (and other restrictions) by way of the judicial use of the commerce clause and by way of favorable judicial appointments.
If the private sector opposes you, the government has almost absolute power to regulate your company until you “get your mind right.” The regulatory world is the enforcement arm of big government. It ensures meek compliance from the private sector. It is the toxin that the social organism injects into anyone stupid enough to threaten it.
So where has this led us. If you look at the graph below you will see that the growth rate in government is much higher than the growth rate in the private sector (where all wealth is created.) As government grows, the freedom of the individual shrinks. There is seemingly a one way ticket to tyranny. This is not evil. It is simply organizational biology at work.
There is a school of thought that describes creatures as being either r or K. r creatures tend to be the prey animals and their strategy for survival is to have as many offspring as possible and to reach sexual maturity as fast as possible. Implied in this is very little in the way of care and training. These r creatures rely on large numbers for their survival.
The K creatures, like wolves or other predators, have far fewer offspring, have them later and they invest much in the care of the young. There tend to be social structures that are highly rule based and hierarchical. A great value is placed on the group’s needs and not just the needs of the individuals within the group.
So what does this have to do with politics? Well if you think of the warrior class of people, you will see a highly developed set of rules and great value is placed on courage (where the group’s needs is placed above the individual’s needs.) This can be called patriotic behavior. Similarly, wealth creators, while motivated by greed, are people of rare vision and talent. These are truly K people. The r types in our society are the less successful and their strategy is to vote to give themselves benefits by taking from the K’s. Similarly, they enjoy freedom because K types are willing to die to protect the group.
This whole point of view plays right into the “politics as biology” theory. This is because you have a bunch of r types who have little power in their own life but they do have the power (by way of the vote) to redistribute wealth. For an interesting discussion of r vs K and the politics of each, here is a video discussing this exact point (in way more detail than the overview presented here.)
THE FUNDING OF SCIENCE IS SIMPLY ANOTHER WAY TO GROW GOVERNMENT
If government grows because there is an organizational imperative to grow, then it stands to reason that scientific research will be funded by government in such a way that it supports the prime directive of ever greater growth for government. This is a positive feedback loop where science gets funding, supports the governmental imperative, government grows bigger and funding for science grows ever larger. Propose research that goes against the governmental position and your chance of getting governmental funding greatly diminishes. Currently about 40% of funding for science in the US comes from government at one level or another.
The greatest example of this “funding with conditions” is global warming research. Funding in the US goes 3000 to one for AGW or climate change projects. Likewise the same holds true in Europe and at the United Nations. The UN wants to grow and so they have created a reason to grow … namely to save the planet. The whole narrative is largely bogus, but they work ferociously to promote their agenda. Who is there to oppose them? The people on the other side simply do not have the funds or the passion to create a viable opposition. All the passion is on the side that wants to grow because they will directly benefit.
Opposing this growth may have some value, but little direct power is accumulated by resisting a growing organism. This is particularly true for the private sectors companies where companies are “regulated” by the pro-growth entities. The energy companies actually give more to green peace and other groups who want to do them harm than they do to entities on the other side. They are trying to slow their demise by currying favor with their executioners.
WHAT FORCES CAN STOP THE GROWTH OF THE SOCIAL ORGANISM
Like the old movie about the ever growing blob, at first glance there seems little that can stop the natural process of institutional Darwinism. The ability to tax, to regulate and to redistribute wealth seems unlimited. However, there are three factors that may limit the growth of government.
First and foremost, it is important to note that the source of all wealth is the private sector. Just as rabbits in a field of clover can grow and multiply, ultimately there will be a point where resources run out. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialism is great until you run out of others people money.” Where is that point? Well research indicates that at about 33%, the wealthy start spending more of their time on tax avoidance than on income creation. This means that at the top, income extraction may be fixed at some percentage … well below 50%.
Secondly, it must be noted that much of governmental spending comes from borrowing, not taxing. This also has limits. Beyond a certain point there will be a “Greece like” reckoning and the borrowing must end. You can only borrow what people are willing to lend.
Finally, there can be a limit imposed by revolution. Throughout world history countries and empires have fallen. No country is immune to this solution to national bankruptcy. Let us hope that a stable limit can be reached to the size of the growing political organism well before this is the only answer.
That government behaves like an organism when planted in a democracy is almost beyond debate. Obviously, this organism will surround itself with a political philosophy that provides the arguments for its existence and the votes for it success. So it is today. There are three great political philosophies that are active in the world. Islam is one (Sharia law is its form of government), American Constitutional limited government (as originally conceived) is the second. The third is Leftism which is the philosophy of the ever growing social organism. (See Dennis Prager’s book “Still the Best Hope” for a full discussion of these three ideologies.)
While it is sad to say, it appears that the two that grind away at individual liberty and freedom will one day dominate. Freedom seems to be a fading throwback to another time … doomed to join the saber tooth tiger and the Neanderthals on the road to extinction.
The fact that science is enabling this demise is deeply troubling to the wizard. Science should be all about seeking the truth. It should about the scientific method. Alas, the toxin that is the political prime directive has become deeply ingrained in labs and academia. As a result, much of science is just not NAA anymore.