Episode 335 – Solutions: Spontaneous Order

by | Apr 20, 2018 | Podcasts | 50 comments

When you hear the word “order” do you automatically think of government? What if I were to tell you there’s an entirely different conception of societal order, one that doesn’t revolve around hierarchy but in fact specifically refutes it? Well there is, and it’s called “spontaneous order.”


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Quick. What comes to mind when you think of the word “order?”

If you’re like most people, you’ll think of something related to “law and order,” an old adage connoting justice and safety in a well-regulated society. This should be no surprise; the phrase “law and order” is invoked as a type of campaign promise or motto by any number of politicians in any number of countries around the world every single day. If nothing else, it has been drilled into the heads of American television viewers for the last two and a half decades thanks to the legal drama series of the same name.

A handful of more savvy individuals will think of the phrase “New World Order,” a political idea popularized by Bush’s now infamous September 11th (1990) speech but boasting its own colorful political history going back to the post-WWI era of Wilsonian diplomacy and H.G. Wells’ 1940 book of the same name.

Some may even connect it to the Latin phrase Ordo Ab Chao (“order from chaos”) which is a motto of the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. ‘Order out of chaos’ is, not coincidentally, a perfect description of false flag terrorism and other methods of manipulating public opinion: create a chaotic situation so that you can impose your pre-ordained “order.”

But whether we’re talking about “law and order” or the “New World Order” or “order out of chaos,” we’re ultimately talking about the same thing: an “order” based on a hierarchical view of society where a few lawgivers regulate, proscribe, manipulate, inhibit and control the actions of the masses.

What if I were to tell you there’s an entirely different conception of societal order, one that doesn’t revolve around hierarchy but in fact specifically refutes it? Well there is, and it’s called “spontaneous order.”

This is The Corbett Report.

So what is spontaneous order? In a nutshell, instead of envisioning society as a pyramid ordered by rules and regulations dictated by the elite at the top and enforced on the masses by an enforcer class, spontaneous order theory posits that society best functions as a decentralized network of free individuals participating in voluntary interactions.

The concept of “spontaneous order” has arguably been around since Zhuang Zhou, the Chinese philosopher of the 4th century BC who wrote that “Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone.” The idea was further developed in the 18th century by the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment and in the 19th century by thinkers like Frédéric Bastiat. It wasn’t until the 20th century, however, that the theory was named, codified and popularized by Austrian-born philosopher and economist F.A. Hayek.

In one (rather long) sentence of (rather inscrutable) academic jargon, Hayek described the idea of spontaneous order this way:

“The central concept of liberalism is that under the enforcement of universal rules of just conduct, protecting a recognizable private domain of individuals, a spontaneous order of human activities of much greater complexity will form itself than could ever be produced by deliberate arrangement, and that in consequence the coercive activities of government should be limited to the enforcement of such rules, whatever other services government may at the same time render by administering those particular resources which have been placed at its disposal for those purposes”

In ordinary English, Hayek’s observation is at once embarrassingly simple and mischievously profound: the social order that arises from the free choice of individuals acting to protect their own interests will be more secure and more complex than any rationally ordered system could be.

In order to see why this is so, let’s turn to the brilliant 1958 Leonard Read essay, “I, Pencil,” in which an ordinary pencil narrates the surprisingly complex process by which it is assembled and manufactured from its constituent ingredients:

“I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that’s too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.”

The central idea of the essay is that, as seemingly simple as the pencil appears to be, “not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me.”

Why? Because the creation of a pencil is not a one or two step process of assembling materials in a factory, but a globe-spanning effort involving the harvesting of cedar in Oregon, the mining of graphite in Ceylon, the collection of Mississippi clay, Italian pumice, rape-seed oil from the Dutch East Indies and dozens of other ingredients. Each of these ingredients has to be prepared in its own way. The cedar logs are shipped hundreds of miles away to be cut, kiln dried, tinted, waxed, and kiln dried again. The Mississippi clay is refined with ammonium hydroxide, mixed with graphite and sulfonated tallow and baked at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit before being treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats. The rape-seed oil is reacted with sulfur chloride and mixed with various binding, vulcanizing and accelerating agents.

As confusing as this (partial) list is becoming, it only scrapes the surface of what is really involved in coordinating the assembly of these ingredients. Think of all the people involved in the mining and transportation of the graphite for the pencil’s core. There are not only the miners in Ceylon, but those who make their mining tools, those who make the paper sacks the graphite is transported in, those who make the string for tying the paper sacks, the crews who load the sacks onto ships for transport and the crews who make the ships themselves, the ship’s captain and crew, the harbor masters and lighthouse keepers that guide the shipment to its destination and those who transport it to the factory, not to mention all those who supply these workers with food and clothes and other necessities. And that’s just the graphite.

In the end it is truly mind-boggling to contemplate just how complex the production of one simple little pencil actually is. Surely no one person could even itemize and keep track of all of this activity, let alone direct it all. And yet it happens. The “simple” little pencil sitting on your desk is proof of that.

The lesson of Read’s essay is that, counter-intuitive as it may seem, extremely complex operations not only require no single organizing authority but in fact don’t even permit one.

As interesting as this idea is, so far it is still largely an economic (and academic) one. Yes, granted, the creation of various finished products from their constituent materials can be a complex process. And yes, granted, there isn’t a single person who coordinates each and every worker in each and every part of that process. But what does this have to do with the ordering of society itself? We might not need a group of people to direct the making of pencils, but surely we need to regulate the complex and often dangerous activities we engage in as a society, don’t we?

Well let’s look at another example from our daily life. Statistics show that driving a car is one of the most dangerous activities that we engage in every single day, and few people could contemplate the idea of removing traffic lights, speed limits, lane markings and other basic regulations from the streets. Surely the rules of the road are what keep traffic flowing smoothly and prevent accidents, aren’t they?

Surprisingly, the removal of various traffic restrictions have not only been tried time and again in cities across the world, but they have consistently been shown to lead to safer streets with reduced commute times with happier drivers and pedestrians. How is this possible?

As I pointed out in a recent video on my website, the concept of “spontaneous order” is one that has been demonstrated time and again on the roads of various cities around the world.

The example I highlighted in that video–that of Portishead in the UK, whose experiment in removing traffic lights from a key junction was so successful that they decided to make it permanent–is just one of many examples of a road design ideology known as “Shared Space.”

Relying on the principles of spontaneous order, Shared Space advocates like the late Dutch traffic designer Hans Monderman postulate that making the roads “riskier” in fact made them safer. Rather than having everyone negotiating with the impersonal and inflexible rules of the road (signs, lights and markings), roads without such regulations require people to negotiate with the other people around them directly. Instead of seeing other road users as mere obstacles between themselves and the next green light, drivers are now forced to see and interact with other road users as actual humans. As crazy as the idea sounds, it has been implemented in a number of towns across Europe, from Ipswitch in England to Ejby in Denmark to Ostende in Belgium and Makkinga in Holland, and the result has been a dramatic decline in accidents. It seems that drivers, when left to negotiate with others for space on unrestricted roads, can act like adults, and a type of order emerges from those negotiations.

But what about the “hard cases?” It’s one thing to talk about order on the roads, but another thing to talk about order in a society where there are robberies, assaults, rapes and murders occurring on a daily basis. Is it possible to imagine any way of dealing with these types of problems other than how they are dealt with under the current system? Can we replace legislatures and court systems and law enforcement “authorities” with a decentralized, non-hierarchical system of justice? And if so, what would such a system look like?

Here again the problem may only seem like a problem because we have been conditioned to believe that the current system of laws, courts, and police are the only forms of justice imaginable. This system revolves around the idea that “law” is whatever is written down and voted on by legislators, gaveled down by judges or attested to by police. It promulgates the idea that getting offenders to pay money to the state or locking them in cages for prescribed amounts of time are the only possible conceptions of justice for their crime.

Opposed to this is the idea of a restorative justice system in which victims and communities are brought into dialogue to help determine how best to deal with offenders. What if the victim of a robbery (and the community as a whole) would actually benefit more from confronting and dialoguing with their offender than they would from putting him in a prison cell for x number of years?

Again, although the idea might seem counter-intuitive, restorative justice processes have been shown to leave victims with less post-traumatic stress and less longing for revenge against their offenders, and leaves violent offenders less likely to re-offend than traditional court trials. The process has been used to great success literally all over the world, from the violent slums of urban Brazil (where murder is the principal cause of death for those under the age of 25) to Hawaiian prisoner rehabilitation programs to troubled English schools.

From the economy to the roads to the justice system, there are ways to imagine a society where central planners and glorified “lawgivers” are not needed in order to maintain “order.” This is not to say that we can transition from a highly centralized society to a completely decentralized one overnight. We have been conditioned our whole lives to interact with others around us through the laws, rules and procedures of our highly centralized society. It will take much deprogramming for us to re-discover how to interact with those around us as fellow human beings. But it can be done.

In effect, we are on the brink of a transition from a youthful society that relies on “mommy government” and “daddy policeman” to govern our every interaction to an adult society that is discovering it can order and govern itself. It will not be an easy process, nor will it be a utopian one; there will always be law-breakers and those who go against the order of society. But we must understand that the idea that those disorderly elements can only be dealt with by ceding more of our power to centralized authorities is exactly what has led us to the brink of economic and societal collapse. Sometimes the best way to govern is not to govern at all.

The funny part is humanity has known all of this for thousands of years. Just read the 57th Chapter of famed Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching:

Do not control the people with laws,
Nor violence nor espionage,
But conquer them with inaction.

The more morals and taboos there are,
The more cruelty afflicts people;
The more guns and knives there are,
The more factions divide people;
The more arts and skills there are,
The more change obsoletes people;
The more laws and taxes there are,
The more theft corrupts people.

Yet take no action, and the people nurture each other;
Make no laws, and the people deal fairly with each other;
Own no interest, and the people cooperate with each other;
Express no desire, and the people harmonize with each other.

This piece first appeared in The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter in April 2015. To keep up to date with the newsletter, and to support The Corbett Report, please subscribe today.


  1. Very powerful piece. The population needs a thorough mental detox from the oppressive and coercive hierarchical structure of society that’s been mingled with the word “Order”.

  2. I think its abusive Pimp-daddy Government saying it loves you while bitch slapping you and stealing the profits you produce that people hate, not the idea of hierarchy or leadership itself.
    Most people were always happy to get on with their lives being left alone for the most part, and felt safer with a “trustworthy” lol leader taking care of things bigger then the average joe and didn’t even mind the regular robbery to pay for it as long as it didn’t get crazy.
    Whats gone wrong today isn’t that governments have gotten more full of control freak nuts, or even more powerful tools, its that the people themselves have become like the turkeys in the movie “Free Birds” and think that Government IS THEIR FRIEND and loves then as it takes them to “turkey paradise”.
    Basically its a whore / abusive pimp relationship.
    Its the peoples weakening minds , like a kind of dependent narcissism instilled by being raised in daycare and prison schools, that makes it possible for them to be prey to a new super predator Pimp class of Government workers who being themselves weak willed and hateful of their own weakness have a sick need to control and weaken everyone else.
    The only cure is stronger family and community bonds

    • Duck, I find your slandering of pimps horrendous! At least they provide support for a service that is wanted. 🙂 Yes, that dreaded pencil makes a return. I remember one day I was sitting outside a store in Daytona Beach and the power went out. All the traffic lights went out and I decided I would just sit there and watch the show. It was amazing. Normally rude and horrible drivers became polite and cautious. Smoothest intersection I had ever seen from that town. I’m also reminded of one of the infamous Peter principles in which he stated that when we increase the safety of something, like airbags and seatbelts, people will act in a manner which brings the actual safety back up to its’ previous levels. Very bad paraphrase, but I hope you get the point. JimBob who would probably still violate the rules if they got rid of all of them.

      • IshotSanta
        LoL , that kind of pimp is an agent getting better quality clients according to the book Freakanomics (1 or 2 cant recall…)and provides useful services, just like governments are meant to. If Governments acted like then people would hire them in a heart beat… sadly its not a free market. Lol

  3. True… but this only applies to peaceful people, the vast majority, yes, but they aren’t those in power… not those seeking power… not psychopathic, pedophiles or ‘Chosen People of Satan’… David R. Hawkins had one little line in one of his books that explains this rather easily. Essentially, that we live in one level of ‘Purgatory’. If you go esoteric, this is saying that we are in a ‘school’ for consciousness, and it is run by the ‘dark side’… this is why things always go ‘bad’… by the design of those working ‘hard’ behind the scenes to ‘rule the world’.

    The saying applies to not fall asleep while on guard duty… you are guarding your own consciousness… and we learn the hard way, no pain, no gain… this ‘school’ is setup like an obstacle course. Plato’s Cave analogy applies… we are those ‘sheeple’ sitting on the cave floor watching the fake light show the ‘chosen’ or sheep dogs are putting on… conditioning their ‘herd’… your own series on Rockefeller ‘assisted’ by Rothschilds is a good demonstration of this policy put in practice… dumb the herd down, dope them up… ‘divide and conquer’… by any ‘ism, as they are all essentially the same… tools for herd management.

    Of course, we could live essentially in peace, like many tribes have done, especially before the conquistadors arrived here in the Americas… but all the ‘White Man’ did was apply the usual tactics upon the locals, who were naive and in need of some learning… the ‘hard way’.. no pain, no gain. Gorbachev in the USSR… then Yelstin… is it any surprise the whole country got raped and went through a “Dark Night of the Soul”? And Putin has said this… how they trusted the West… the lessons continued and do to this day… as the ‘Satanists’ don’t want peace… empires thrive on conflict; without war, they will cease to exist… go ‘native’ and merge back into the local/regional history of the conquered territory.

    Using the Plato Cave analogy, some will ‘wake up’ and choose to stay and assist in the domination of the others; while some will choose to leave, after getting ‘as mad as hell’… after yelling from the rooftops… from trying to repeatedly ‘fix’ things… until they learn they simply cannot change the course of the river… the course of history, which is the course of study here in ‘Purgatory’. Stay or go… as the song goes… either way, there will be ‘trouble’.. Hanged Man situation, the Major Arcana of the Tarot is just these basic lessons for school here… the numbered cards added later for astrological considerations… but the major trinity of mind, body, spirit and their interactions are enfaced on those cards… our lessons.. this is why this ‘spontaneous order’ cannot be put in place, because those in control won’t allow it… yes, some freedoms are granted to a certain point… like Athens.. democracy is allowed to get the state, the people up to speed, empowered and strong… so that it can be perverted and taken over for the use of empire building.

    THe cycles of history… civilization as many have written on… from Spengler back to the 4 stages of the wheel of life.. gold, silver, bronze and our currently ending, iron. Order out of chaos, which is the reason for the takedown of our OWO… on its ashes the sheep dogs and their dark shepherds seek to build their NWO.. same script as always, only this time is different, as the role of Mother Nature approaches… that’s what that whole Mayan 2012 endtimes was about. .. the end of an age.. only they didn’t date it to 2012, that was that German and American researcher, which was late utilized in the western MSM… pushed like Y2K… because they knew it wasn’t going to happen then… manipulating the herd… making it think it’s all conspiracy idiots… ignore them…. settle down, sit down, shut up and continue to follow orders… stay in the Cave.

    This lesson of living in ‘Purgatory’ is one the native peoples forgot… until it was brought to them in force.. to remind them that they didn’t live in Paradise.. didn’t ‘walk with the gods’ anymore… at least not the ‘good gods’… when Earth was Eden… Earth is now Purgatory…. switched to the other side of the tree of life… we don’t learn much from being happy… that isn’t how this school works… it’s designed to hurt us until we wake up and choose sides. Simple, yet ever so complex.

    • gdpetti
      All people are violent, we just restrain ourselves in the face of others strength at first and later to a degree by morality. Even the most moral person would likely become evil if given unlimited power.
      Psychopathic folks and the naturally (MORE…) violent folks probably had a very important use in our early days as a species. Even the most heartless and unsympathetic type of folk needed to look after the tribe they depended on for their lives. Being a stupidly confidant risk taker, callous and aggressive are all useful traits in leaders who NEED those they lead. If the tribe died the leader did too. Thats why people will often support and follow such people.
      Nowdays people are freer to act harmfully to others and not get penalized since person to person sanctions are not as effective these days… “the mask of sanity” reported that most psychopaths are unreliable bums that people didn’t trust. The few who were self controlled enough to rise to leadership were useful before the current age when they no longer need to provide any kind of service to their followers and just victimize them
      Super Bums…

    • “this is why this ‘spontaneous order’ cannot be put in place, because those in control won’t allow it.”

      How did those in control get there? They were voted in. What happens when people stop voting and stop believing in authority? It ceases to exist. The belief that some people have the right to rule other people is the basis of government. This didn’t happen naturally—it has been brainwashed into everyone since they were children. Imagine a world where children were taught in school that the right to rule was not legitimate. The idea of statism would seem laughable.

      • scpat
        Royal power, tribal leadership, state power, all pre-date voting by a long time.
        Nobody voted for William 1 to rule England, yet somehow he did 😉 …. and if you dont vote AT LEAST IN LOCAL ELECTIONS (where you might have some actual real power) then you are leaving the “levers of power” freely accessible to people that want to use them.
        AS Mao said, “power speaks out the barrel of a gun” and imagining that state power wont exist because you dont believe in its authority or legitimacy will end badly.
        People have always had others they looked to for leadership, its just now that people are weaker and more child like then we used to be, so authority looks bigger because the people have become smaller. Spontaneous order can only grow where people chose to build it, if they choose it i really dont think any one could really stop it happening easily.
        WHat do you think?

        • I simply mentioned voting because it is commonly employed by governments to gain legitimacy. Some forms of government authority are Democracy, Monarchy, Autocracy, Aristocracy, etc. but the technicalities of those forms don’t matter for my argument. What they all have in common is that the people in those government structures believe they have the right to rule their victims. And most of their victims believe that it is legitimate for them to be ruled, and that it is simply a natural part of life.

          Your reasoning is circular. “imagining that state power wont exist because you dont believe in its authority or legitimacy will end badly [therfore we must keep giving it legitimacy].” Statism only exists because of a belief. Widespread anarchism could exist because of a belief as well.

          • You are correct in that voting is used to assume an air of legitimacy for a government (though it was an elected Government that held people in Slavery in the US/CSA and further back in places like Athens)
            STATE-ism does exist only because of belief , but Hierarchy and elites exist because
            a)people naturally arrange themselves like that and
            b)some people really are more capable then others and will naturally accrue wealth and the power that goes with it
            Legitimacy and power are not the same thing though legitimacy does increase the ability to use power without pushback by victims.
            If YOU say “freedom I wont” and the state has the means to kill you then either you or the state will prevail BY FORCE (if you dont use violence you would ‘prevail by force’ by NOT DIEING)
            Belief is not magic, it is used to shape things IN THE REAL WORLD… but it is IN the real world that you will either be killed or go on living.
            If everyone were to say “freedom!I wont” then its the inability of those who desire to rule to FORCE others to obey that dissolves the rulers power. Convincing people to obey is a more effective and useful way to rule, but all rule and all freedom ultimately depends on force I think.
            What do you think?

            • Without the belief that certain people have the right to rule and enslave (by enslave I mean tax, enforce laws, use force) others, then whether certain people are ‘elites’ or not wouldn’t matter anyway. Those ‘elites’ would not be seen as justified in enslaving people, so no person would feel obligated to obey them. They also would not be able to wield the force of government to achieve their goals, like they do today.

              “all rule and all freedom ultimately depends on force I think.
              What do you think?”

              I disagree with half of your statement. Rulers do use force, but ruling doesn’t depend on it. It depends on the nonsensical belief held by the rulers and the ruled that certain people have the right to rule. For the second part of your statement, just take a look back at history. Many rebellions and overthrows of tyrannical governments were done by people who wanted freedom and better living conditions, but then thought the answer was to place another person in power. That government becomes tyrannical and another violent overthrow happens. The cycle repeats itself over and over again throughout history. The reason it never works is because freedom isn’t achieved through using force or through some government bureaucracy. Freedom is achieved in the mind, without force ever being a part of it.

              • One person cannot rule by force unless they instill the belief that they have the right to rule over others and so get support. Once you look at the world and watch the connections of the belief systems fall away (sort of like the scene in the Matrix where the bullets fall down. I know; Whoa! :)) it all looks kind of silly. Or is that just me? JimBob who has noticed that even his statist friends are feeling disgusted with the state. Which could explain why the clamp down is happening. After all, this is a conservative state. Change ain’t welcome down here that much.

              • scpat
                “..Those ‘elites’ would not be seen as justified in enslaving people, so no person would feel obligated to obey them..”
                True, we agree here BUT do you think that the Nazi Occupation of France in WW2, or vise versa between the wars, was something occupied people felt obligated to ‘respect and obey” ?
                If you do not feel like respecting a cop or a solider (and don’t fear them) BUT you do not have the means to NOT DIE when they decide to kill you then feelings and thoughts mean nothing because you would no longer exist.
                “…They also would not be able to wield the force of government to achieve their goals, like they do today…”
                True IN A WAY… occupying by force takes a lot of energy which is why rulers want to have people accept their rule. Again, do you think Iraqi’s loved the US troops and government? Yet they obeyed them or died.
                so “…Rulers do use force, but ruling doesn’t depend on it…” is utterly wrong for the most part because while I can rule WITHOUT force but WITH consent I can also rule BY force and utterly without consent IF I HAVE ENOUGH FORCE AVAILIBLE . A cop carrying you to jail does not need you to accept it, you can do it or you can die and no longer be an issue.
                True, the cop would like you to accept their right but psycology aside ( not even evil people generally sit around wallowing in their evilness) they want you to accept it because if people whole sale reject it then using force becomes way way way harder BUT IT IS THE FORCE (or fear of that force) that compels obedience or death.
                Your right that freedom starts in the mind, in the choice of being free rather then controlled by the subtle leash of social control, but it does not end there. There is a real reason why the freest people have always been armed with weapons that they were willing to use to protect what they desired to protect.
                The American Indian saw zero need to respect the Europeans law, culture or morality. Choosing not to comply ended in their extermination just like Machiavelli said would be need to suppress them… paraphrasing the Prince ‘some cities must be destroyed because the inhabitants wont ever accept the loss oftheir freedoms.’
                Psycopathic people see things differently then social humans

              • Freedom is found in life. Death is of no consequence. All of us die. But to live free…. Rare. JimBob who thinks fear is the burden of the fearful.

              • Duck,

                Hitler was elected by ‘the people’ of Germany. It was the belief in authority (the right to rule, as termed by Larken Rose) that led to soldiers that believed they should enforce the orders of Hitler. Without the belief in authority none of that would have happened in the first place. Generally speaking, how do the people that commit widespread violence for the politicians (soldiers, cops, tax collectors, etc.) against otherwise peaceful people, exist in the first place?

                ““…Rulers do use force, but ruling doesn’t depend on it…” is utterly wrong for the most part because while I can rule WITHOUT force but WITH consent I can also rule BY force and utterly without consent IF I HAVE ENOUGH FORCE AVAILIBLE .”

                How does one acquire ‘enough available force’ when the belief in authority doesn’t exist and isn’t legitimate? How do nearly all Americans agree to pay taxes when they significantly outnumber the tax collectors and police combined? From my personal observation, most people comply not because they are afraid of being coerced and locked in prison, but because they believe they are ‘doing their part’, and that it is fair and okay to have their money taken from them. If even 10-15% of people refused to pay, the IRS could not keep up with, and enforce all the non-compliant people.

              • Public education conditions the population to this belief system. Ending the educational system is the key to freedom. All the formal education one needs is the basics of reading and mathematics, with a hearty serving of critical thinking. The unencumbered mind will educate itself from there. JimBob whose mind is generally unencumbered in all respects.

              • IShotSanta
                Your right, education has been used to weaken people. The kind of oppressive but ‘loving and loved’ Governments we have today are a symptom of that.
                Hey…thats why the Prussians invented it 😉

      • A brave person may choose to die for freedom…
        One can say that they made a point, that they had conviction. One can not say that they are able to enjoy their freedom much.
        Hitler was elected, true. He was elected because the people who voted(and funded and fought)for him wanted him to prevent a communist take over. Had he not been elected then the German camps would have been Red ones like in Soviet Russia where a vanishingly tiny percentage of the population took control of the nation. How many Norman knights ruled unhappy saxons? How many Romans did it take to reduce the Gauls to provincials?
        How did that happen? by force.
        It does not take a huge number of directed armed people to oppress the rest of the people, or indeed to kill them off if needed.
        The (semi)democraticly elected Russian Kerensky Government was kicked out by force and replaced by a Soviet one which then used force and terror to take control of the Russian Empire and form the soviet union. How many people supported the Bolsheviks at that time?
        Yes… leaders need some people to do their bidding, and yes you are right in that if 10% of people refuse to obey ruling becomes terribly hard. However, finding enough men to occupy Iraq (fewer then 1% of the native population) has not been hard. What was the ration of Allied occupiers to Germans in 1946? 100 to 1? more? Do you really think had they kept fighting there would be any native Germans alive today? Had the Nazi’s won how many Russians would live?
        Now its true that IF EVERY PERSON lost the urge to submit then you’d be right, however thats not human nature and I hold no more hope of it happening then the New Soviet Man or the Aryan Ubermench popping into existence.
        Utopian dreams are wonderful, but self proclaimed utopians have killed more people then anyone else in the last hundred years

        • Duck,

          What you are describing with people choosing one ruler over another is exactly my point. Most of the time the masses have good intentions, they are just extremely ignorant to reality. They are promised their ‘leaders’ will make life better for them so they think electing a ruler is the answer. They are trapped thinking inside the system, instead of freely thinking outside of it.

          “Now its true that IF EVERY PERSON lost the urge to submit then you’d be right, however thats not human nature…Utopian dreams are wonderful, but self proclaimed utopians have killed more people then anyone else in the last hundred years”

          So one person could enslave an entire country worth of people that don’t believe his authority is legitimate? That’s obviously not true. Governments operate from tax money and/or natural resources wealth with the combination of the belief by the masses in their right to rule. Without those funds, how could a government fund an army, a central bank, etc? And who would even be in their army if people didn’t believe in their supposed authority?

          Why do you assume that an Anarchic society is supposed to be a utopia? Do you really think that without ‘rulers’ and governments the world would become a perfectly harmonious place devoid of any wrongdoing? Of course it would not be. You make the point that I agree with that self-proclaimed utopias have killed many more people in history than could be killed otherwise. Socialist utopias, master-race utopias, and other authoritarian utopias have caused destruction on a massive scale. But do not call Anarchism a utopia and then try group it with some crazy authoritarian ideas. That would not be logical.

          • You have not answered my question…if the Germans had refused to accept defeat and surrender in 1945 how many would live now?
            Even if 99% of people don’t even understand the concept of authority 1% with unity and better tec can genocide them.
            Your horse and carting the legitimacy issue… the NEED for leaders to be seen as legitimate is BECAUSE OF THE POWER that people have, the more power regular subjects have the greater the need to be seen as legitimate so as to prevent the victims fighting back much.
            The less POWER to inflict harm rests in the hands of regular people the less rulers care.
            An Anarchic system can only exist WHEN REGULAR PEOPLE are smart and powerful enough to stop any existing group from exerting force of violence on them. The thing is, when the people are powerful and smart (both being needed…) then any Government they may have would be light and non tyrannical anyway.
            Your right that ONE person could not rule a whole nation that ignored him…However, a small bunch of guys with AR-15’s vs the Aztecs? Perry vs the Japanese?
            The point I am making is that people are naturally prone to group into sets and a small set of driven and well armed people will always prevail over a larger set of disorganized and/or poorly armed people. All humans group against ‘others’ unless specifically trained not to

            • It isn’t tech that defeats people. It’s conditioning. The US has some of the best mil. tech in the world, but the troops are useless without it. An archaic system exists always. You can’t wait until people get smart. You can’t wait until those “red pills” are dissolved. You just leave the damn cave. Remove yourself from that system and there will be no system to overthrow. Every blackmarket operator in the world knows this. The reason why 99% are ruled by the 1% is because of conditioning. That’s it. They cannot be defeated otherwise. Ask the Afghans about Russia. Okay, so Russia was culling some troops in that deal, but still. JimBob who lives in his own damn anarchic system and he don’t need no 99% of wusses in his realm.

              • IShotSanta
                Your right in that people leaving and building their own system is key, but thats not always an option (though it VERY MUCH is for us today!) The Indians mostly didn’t have the option of withdrawing and remaining small farmers or hunters or plainsmen. The system set out to capture, kill and/or assimilate them.
                The Tarahumara kinda managed it I guess from what little I know of them.
                What worry’s me are all the people who complain about what we have now and want to replace it with communism or fascism or something REALLLLLY co-coercive.. if the US army decided to kill every Iraqi it would be over in months. Using them against the US population would not work well as long as they see themselves as part of it

              • Tech is not a substitute. It cannot stand alone. Tech is merely a tool. You need to use it properly. It is also no substitute for that special something you have when you are fighting for your right to exist. The US has relied on tech, but it can’t beat the Syrians. JimBob who ain’t got much tech, but try and follow him in a swamp.

              • IShotSanta
                Tribal is only one step above family in its level of complexity. You know all the people in your tribe, they know you, you all know who’s doing what on a personal level.
                Town and State levels you CANT know all those people.
                When I say simple I dont mean primitive,

              • Anarchy doesn’t require you know everyone. We are having an anarchial relationship right now and we don’t know each other. It doesn’t require close contact. We could have all these systems and still have anarchy. So, placing it in simple or primitive is incorrect. In fact, it would, by it’s very nature, be far more fluid and comprehensive. JimBob who knows a thing or two about fluids.

              • IShotSanta
                low level means its the most natural… so like I said you know everyone in your tribe. That means you know who’s trustworthy and whos scum.
                You MIGHT trust me enough to send me some money for a promised service or goods, but I doubt you’d come here and enter into a small scale war on my behalf just because I said the guy next door was oppressing me by stealing my chickens.
                The family/tribe knows its own,the lowest lego block of of society is trust and you have to know people to trust them enough to fight for or with them.
                Why else do bad people try to weaken the family? because You’ll put your family and trust them over any larger scale system every time

              • Bitcoin is anarchial. No one knows anyone there. JimBob

            • Duck,

              I am not going to try to predict past historical scenarios with you because it does not legitimize Statism either way. It also seems pretty pointless.

              Statism is an unnatural, contradictory, immoral, insane belief. Anarchism is a non-contradictory, rational, and sane belief. Both are learned beliefs nonetheless, therefore it is possible for people to be deprogrammed of Statism, and to live life without authoritarian rulers.

              I realize that a small minority of Statists could inflict massive harm on unorganized innocent people. It happens all the time. But in a world where most people do not believe in authority, it is not also implied that all of those people would be pacifists who are incapable of organizing to defend themselves, which is what you are implying. The absence of a State does not mean the absence of organization or self preservation. It simply means the absence of coercive, forceful organization and blind obedience. People would still act in their own interests, and that would mean defending themselves against aggressors.

              • I think we may be talking past each other… we’re both saying that a small group can hurt the larger group UNLESS the large group has the means to use or resist force.
                I dont say they CANT protect themselves, just that any group of freeminded powerful people like that would be living in a system that was non-tyranical because any form of state or government that might exist would not be ABLE to be bad to them.
                State-ism is not really “unnatural”, its just an outgrowth of the human social grouping we do to survive.
                “Anarchy” would just be humans being social at the lowest, ‘most natural’ level- family and tribe/community.
                EITHER level will have powerful people that other look to for leadership… how abusive that becomes depends ON THE PEOPLE not the leader or even the system
                The point of the historical ref’s was to show that violence and the means to resist violence are the ultimate level that decide which society survives.
                Thats why very “pro-state” folks are often derisively called “sheeple”, believing their own capacity for violence to be low they require it as a service from professionals who then oppress them because they can not resist the tools of violence they handed these folks

              • On the issue of power…without the net this conversation would not happen, without guns knights would oppress peasants, without engines human slavery would still be highly incentivized… tec gives us power (sometimes) and power gives us freedom to do what we like

              • Why do you put anarchy at the lowest tribal level? It can be just as sophisticated (and more so) than anything we’ve got now. JimBob who hisself ain’t sophisticated, but he knows of those who are.

  4. I had the idea that transportation could be reconciled without the need for government signs, restrictions, and regulations, but I wasn’t sure how. This video interested me in researching what studies have been done to suggest this could work. Turns out some local governments have already been implementing “shared space” models for years in different parts of the world with great success. And it is becoming a trend more and more cities are turning to to increase safety. This is anarchy at work. Great to see real-world examples for all the haters.

    Shared Space: Reconciling People, Places and Traffic
    By Ben Hamilton-baillie


  5. Thank you for words of wisdom from, maybe, great great…great grandfather of Anarchism – LaoTzu.

    Link to chapter 57 of Tao Te Ching is broken.
    Here is other one:
    A bit different translation.

    Some more tao wisdom, excerpt from Chapter 38:

    The Master does nothing,
    yet he leaves nothing undone.
    The ordinary man is always doing things,
    yet many more are left to be done.

    The kind man does something,
    yet something remains undone.
    The just man does something,
    and leaves many things to be done.
    The moral man does something,
    and when no one responds
    he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

    When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
    When goodness is lost, there is morality.
    When morality is lost, there is ritual.
    Ritual is the husk of true faith,
    the beginning of chaos.

  6. Totally irrelevant as usual, but has anyone here ever heard of the X22 report? They’re a pro=trump place, but their stories dove-tail nicely with my admittedly sketchy understanding of global events. Unfortunately, It is 4/20 and so I’m not as confident in my critical thinking skills at the moment. Has anyone here ever heard of it, and is it any good at all? JimBob who knows more about what he doesn’t know than what he really does know.

    • Never mind. He has good points, but I just noticed it doesn’t hesitate to go off the rails! JimBob who is still listening to it, but that’s only because it’s fun!

  7. Corbett lays the concept out very well.
    I am often impressed by his communication skills.
    And I liked having the visual.

  8. This was great James, thanks.

    Reminds me of McKenna’s assertion that, as systems increase in their complexity through entropy, they spontaneously collapse into higher forms of order.

    This is easiest visualized through zooming out from somewhere deep in the Mandelbrot Set. As you pull back through the seemingly-increasing eccentricity, you will always find a ‘reset’ point, for lack of a better word, where the overarching shape of the set (the two bubbles, vertically stacked on each other, with smaller ones stacked parallel to their left in the coordinate plane).

    “Zooming out” in the Mandelbrot set is, truly, “seeing the bigger picture.” It is from this vantage point that we can recognize (re-cognize, if you will) the higher levels of order.

    Thanks again,

    • Well, that was cool. I was stuck for a second when you para=quoted the law of thermodynamics (1 or 2 or whatever) and attributed it McKenna, but it makes sense that he would have known of it. JimBob who praises McKenna for his ground-breaking work in psylicibin. Seriously. No; I mean seriously.

  9. People are often so afraid of dying that they never really live. Immortality (or at least the freeing of the illusion of time. Bear in mind, today’s date is 4/20)can only be when you realize it’s right ‘chere already. JimBob who is a tad hungry right now.

  10. Fear and greed are not mind viruses, they are normal drives and emotions that humans have to guide them. Its only when they get out of balance that they become problems.
    The point yu make about minds being moulded by the ones before them makes me think of “the Abolition of Man” by CS Lewis where he talks about later generations having less llong term power to shape the future then earlier ones as the time line is shorter and shorter as you near an end point.

    • I always linked fear and greed together. Greed being a fear of not having enough. JimBob who ain’t got much but he’s okay with it.

  11. James, James, James, OMG, EXCELLENT. A wonderful, precise job. I am proud to support you. This piece is SO telling you get 5-Stars from me. It’s the future poo. Take a whiff!

    Having studied the world authority for many years and finding to my dismay that it’s all a sham created by childish, selfish humans who are not adults but more like awful children, I couldn’t agree more. However, adults are coming together to better the world around them in hopes of truly enjoying their lives without the self-appointed man-child gatekeepers. And it’s beautiful every time.

    I was never interested in studying the real world underpinning of this planet’s authority system prior to the last decade but, as many, I awakened and found I had no choice but to dig out everything I could about the “who and why”, cause it definitely wasn’t what I was being sold. What became clear was the narrative was a huge lie. I came to the exact conclusion, on my own, that is encapsulated here in this tiny video presentation and supported by past and present thinkers at every turn.

    As always, your examples were excellent (and well known if you subscribe to TCP.com). I’d add one. The recent farm-to-table movement which appears to be about gardening and health but it much more. It deserves to be on the list. People all over the US are choosing to come together to improve the planet, their nutrition and their wider community. The movement looks small and specific. It’s not. It’s working just as you noted here. There are no authorities. And except where interfacing with corporations or intuitions is necessary, no leaders. Monetary system dictates here. But that will change, too. We ARE in a transitional state from adolescence to adulthood as a world. The awful children in control today will fight sleep but the lights are dimming outside and the bedroom waits for them. Slowly, slowly, people will change this authoritarian system that’s held us for millenia no matter how tightly the controllers holds on. It’s happening. Thank you, again. Great piece.

    • If this is all to save face from their initial accusations of Russian collusion in the election, then this is a very sad state of affairs indeed. Pretty comical though.

      • Haven’t they ever heard of Discovery? This opens up their servers to trumpy/russia. That won’t turn out well. JimBob who sometimes wonders if these “elites” are really as stupid as they always look.

  12. How much do you get?

    Thank you from me.

    “Monetarily incentivizing the exploration of morality, justice, freedom etc. : “Danger!”
    because any sort of “money” incentivizing places the discussion even more so on the cut-throat basis of vying for limited resources”

    You showed very obvious case. I think it’s more or less the same for all exchange between people. Free markets and sound money are just prerequisite for free society, something more is needed. For example Lao Tzu, I posted link above.

    About coercion, it should be seen in a context. Like anything else, if you want to get understanding.

  13. Absolutely love this! Thanks for mentioning Hans Modermann.

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