The Sovereign Individual
by James Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg
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What You Will Learn on The Sovereign Individual
Sovereign Individuals in the Information Age is a concept that is gaining popularity as the world moves towards a more connected and digital future. The idea is that individuals have the power to take control of their financial future and become independent from the traditional systems of government and citizenship. In this article, we will explore the concept of sovereign individuals in the information age and how it is changing the way people think about their wealth and freedom.
In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the shifting landscape. As technology evolves, our societies, economies, and personal lives undergo significant transformations. The Sovereign Individual, by James Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg, which explores these transformations and their implications for the individual.
Written in 1997, this prescient work has only become more relevant with time. The authors see a future with individuals having greater freedom and control over their lives, free from traditional government constraints. Through their insightful analysis, Davidson and Rees-Mogg offer valuable lessons for navigating the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
Discover how to take control of your future with The Sovereign Individual. Discover how technology can help shape your future in this innovative book.
Chapter 1: The Transition to the Year 2000
In “The Sovereign Individual”, the authors explore a new stage of social organization – the informational society. Throughout history, there have only been three stages of economic life: hunter-gathering, agricultural, and industrial. However, something entirely new is now emerging.
The first stage, hunter-gathering, saw individuals living in small groups and relying on hunting and gathering for survival. The agricultural stage brought about larger, more complex societies. And, with the industrial revolution, the third stage arrived, characterized by mass production and the factory system.
The informational society represents the fourth stage of economic life. It will have a profound impact on every aspect of our lives, from work and communication to thinking and living. In this society, knowledge and information will drive economic growth and prosperity.
The authors examine the impact of this transition on individuals, governments, the economy, and the future of humanity. They argue that the transition will result in the creation of a new class of individuals – “sovereign individuals” – who can transcend traditional power structures and achieve greater freedom, wealth, and personal power.
History Repeats Itself
In “The Sovereign Individual,” the authors argue that our current situation parallels the past. Technological change leads to shifts in moral standards and disdain for those in control of outdated institutions. This revulsion often arises before a new ideology of change takes hold.
The authors compare today’s world saturated with politics to the 15th century when life was saturated with religion. The cost of supporting both institutions reached historic extremes.
The authors predict a technological revolution will downsize the nation-state, similar to how the gunpowder revolution downsized religious institutions.
The authors point to the example of what happened to organized religion in the wake of the gunpowder revolution. Technological developments created strong incentives to downsize religious institutions and lower their costs. The authors predict that a similar technological revolution is destined to downsize the nation-state early in the new millennium.
The Information Revolution
“The Sovereign Individual” investigates the consequences of the information revolution on society and finance. The authors aim to help readers seize opportunities and avoid destruction. They predict the change of historic proportions, even if only half of what they say comes true.
Unlike the industrial revolution, the information revolution will occur within a single lifetime and globally. Technical and economic advancements will spread universally and break with the past so deeply that it will seem like the magical domain of the gods from early agricultural societies. Many contemporary institutions will likely become impossible to preserve.
The information revolution will bring both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits include liberating individuals. For the first time, self-educated and motivated individuals can invent their own work and fully reap their productivity rewards. Genius will break free from government oppression and ethnic and racial prejudices. The cyber economy will keep your identity hidden.
Ideas Become Wealth
The information age will bring upward mobility. The more clever you are, the less propulsion you need to reach financial escape velocity. Even modestly means individuals will soar as politics weakens its grip on the global economy. Unprecedented financial independence will become a reachable goal in your lifetime.
At the highest plateau of productivity, these sovereign individuals will compete and interact on terms that echo the relations among the gods in Greek Myth.
Politicians will no longer be able to dominate, suppress, and regulate commerce in the new realm. This is good news for the rich and even better news for those who are not so rich. Politics imposes more obstacles to becoming rich than to being rich. Benefit from the death of politics as violence and jurisdiction decline.
Chapter 2: Mega Political Transformations in Historical Perspective
As Johan Huizinga noted, “In history, as in nature, birth and death are equally balanced.” In “The Sovereign Individual,” the authors explore the historical perspective of mega-political transformations and their impact on society and the economy. They use this context to make predictions about the future and help readers prepare for the changes to come.
The Waning of the Modern World
Something new is coming, just as farming societies differed from hunting and gathering bands and industrial societies differed from feudal or yeoman agricultural systems. The new world to come will mark a radical departure from anything seen before.
The civilization that brought you world war, the assembly line, social security, income tax, deodorant, and the toaster oven is dying. Deodorant and toasters may survive, but the other institutions won’t.
The Taboo on Foresight
In “The Sovereign Individual,” the authors argue that trying to see outside an existing system is like trying to have a dialogue with a character in a play. It breaches a convention that helps keep the system functioning. Every social system, whether strong or weak, clings to power and pretends that its rules will never be superseded. This is true for practical reasons, as the more apparent it becomes that a system is nearing an end, the more reluctant people will be to adhere to its laws.
Therefore, any social organization will tend to discourage or play down analyses that anticipate its demise. This helps ensure that history’s great transitions are seldom spotted as they happen. If you know nothing else about the future, you can rest assured that dramatic changes will not be welcomed or advertised by conventional thinkers.
Conventional sources won’t warn you about changes. To understand the transition, you must figure it out yourself.
Beyond the Obvious
Looking beyond the obvious is important in understanding historical transitions. Even though they may be real in retrospect, they may not be acknowledged for years or even centuries after they occur. The fall of Rome is a prime example. Despite being one of the most significant historical events of the first millenium of the Christian era, the fiction that Rome had survived was held out to the public for a long time.
The reason for this was not just the inadequacy of communication in the ancient world. Even if CNN had been in business, it would not have reported the fall of Rome accurately. News providers seldom report conclusions that would convince subscribers to cancel their subscriptions and leave.
The problem was not just that authorities said “don’t report this or we will kill you.” Rome was already so degenerate by the later decades of the fifth century that its fall genuinely eluded the notice of most people who lived through it. The characterization of social developments is often ambiguous. Only those with strong character and opinions would challenge a prevailing conclusion, even if it’s based on pretense and reinforced by dominant institutions.
The fall of Rome serves as a powerful example for understanding the present and future. In this book, the authors aim to provide a historical perspective on the current changes in society. By illustrating important megapolitical points with real examples from the past, they hope to give you a better understanding of what the future holds.
History is a valuable teacher, with stories that are both interesting and relevant to the future. We’re in a change of historical seasons as society transforms. The information age will bring major changes but may differ from our current society.
To truly understand the future, it’s important to look beyond the present and draw lessons from history. The authors invite you to think critically about the changes ahead and consider the historical lessons that may be relevant to your future in the information age.
The advent of agriculture was a major turning point in history. It marked a change not only in diet, but also in the organization of economic life, culture, and the logic of violence. Farming created large-scale capital assets in land and crops, making them valuable targets for theft. This led to an increase in organized shakedowns and plunder, which in turn led to larger societies and contests of violence being won by the larger group.
Competition over land and resources led to the rise of stationary societies and employment and slavery. The first wealthy individuals, specialists in violence and forefathers of government, protected crops and took a portion of them as payment. In areas with low threat, farmers were autonomous, but as population density increased and food competition intensified, warriors took more crops as protection fees.
The rise of resources led to a surge in plunder that lasted for millennia. Warriors and priests became the first state leaders, controlling crops and using the proceeds to build states. The logic of violence became dominant in agricultural societies and heightened the importance of coercion.
The transition to a settled agricultural society marked the rise of private property. People would no longer be content to work hard for the entire growing season just to have their crops taken by others.
The rise of agriculture led to the powerful being able to organize a new form of predation in the form of a local monopoly of violence, or government. This sharp differentiation of society resulted in different circumstances for those who benefited from the plunder and the masses of poor who worked the fields. While there was private property, it was seldom owned by those at the bottom of the pyramid. In times of drought, they often lost their crops and faced starvation.
The Feudal Revolution of the Year 1000
In “The Sovereign Individual,” Davidson and Rees-Mogg examine the rise of an informational society and its historical background. They explore the Feudal Revolution of 1000, which they view as a reaction to risks of predatory violence and low productivity.
Feudalism, in its various forms, emerged as a way to deal with the collapse of public authority and the resulting decline in property rights and prosperity. The collapse of productivity undermined authority, leading to the transformation of the year 1000 that launched the feudal revolution.
During the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome, the economy of Western Europe withered, and infrastructure went untended. Literacy became rare, and artistic, scientific, and engineering skills disappeared. The collapse of the Roman authority largely freed farmers in the countryside from taxes that had sucked away one quarter to one third of the gross product of the land.
As populations increased, power dynamics were disrupted by the rise of heavy cavalry. The medieval knight and advancements in horse riding equipment, like the curb bit and contoured saddle, made it easier to control horses while fighting with heavy weapons. This made smallholders less valuable as soldiers, as they couldn’t afford to maintain war horses and arm themselves.
The authors argue that this new progression in the logic of violence caused the next political revolution, as the cheaper horses bred for war were four oxen or 40 sheep, while the more expensive ones cost 100 sheep. Armor also cost a sum that no smallholder could afford.
Overall, The Sovereign Individual offers a fascinating glimpse into the historical context of the emergence of an informational society. The authors’ analysis of the Feudal Revolution of the year 1000 sheds light on the challenges and opportunities presented by the collapse of public authority and the emergence of new forms of organization and governance.
Only a poor man sells land
In the late tenth century, competition for land led to a decrease in productivity and a rise in violence. Those without the resources to protect themselves were at the mercy of those who could pay the price, leading to a situation where anyone with armor and a horse could become a law unto themselves. This resulted in a melee of fighting and plunder, with authorities powerless to stop it.
The breakdown of authority was due to long-standing megapolitical conditions. Small farmers were unable to stop local land seizure by warriors and even kings with their authorities were powerless. This created a “blade runner” scenario in the late 10th century where security was uncertain and controlled by those with resources.
The peace of god
During the feudal revolution, the breakdown of order led to adjustments in behavior that reinforced feudalism. One of these adjustments was a surge in castle building. Castles were difficult to attack and once erected, they were razed only with the greatest effort. As castles became more prevalent in the countryside, it became increasingly implausible for the king or his counts to effectively challenge the supremacy of the lords.
The “peace of God” was a term used to describe the safety and security castles provided during this time. The rise of castle building reinforced feudalism by giving lords a place of refuge and symbol of power. Lords could now rule with more autonomy and the king or count couldn’t challenge their authority.
In conclusion, the rise of castle building during the feudal revolution had a significant impact on the balance of power between lords, kings, and counts. Castles provided a sense of safety and security, and their presence in the countryside reinforced the lords’ authority and autonomy. The peace of God became a symbol of the new order that emerged during this time, and the lords were able to rule their lands with greater independence.
Chapter 4 – The Last Days of Politics
The idea of politics ending may seem absurd, but the authors believe the information revolution will bring it. Modern politics, as controlling and rationalizing state power, is mostly a recent concept. The authors believe it will end like feudal duties and obligations did in the Middle Ages.
The information revolution has already changed many aspects of life and it will change politics too. New tech like the Internet and blockchain can disrupt power structures and give individuals more control. This could render politics unnecessary.
The information revolution will end modern politics. The authors believe politics, as controlling state power, is a recent concept that will end like feudal duties did. New tech can disrupt power structures and give individuals control, making politics unnecessary.
Disdain as a leading indicator
Moral outrage against corrupt leaders is not a unique historical phenomenon but rather a common precursor of change. Moreover, whenever technological advancements separate old forms from the new driving forces of the economy, moral standards shift, and people begin to regard those in charge of old institutions with growing contempt.
At the time of writing, there is little evidence of a clear rejection of politics. However, the authors believe that this will come later. What they observed in the final years of the 20th century was an inarticulate disdain.
The authors believe disdain is a signal of change. It shows a shift in moral standards and dissatisfaction with the status quo. People’s disdain for corrupt leaders shows they’re not satisfied with old forms of governance and want something new.
The last days of the holy mother church
The monolithic church declined at the end of the Middle Ages. It had become senile and unproductive, unlike its positive economic impact five centuries earlier. It burdened the population and drove down living standards.
The nation state faces a similar fate. It adapted to the gunpowder revolution five centuries ago but now returns to violence are falling and conditions have changed. The nation state has exhausted its possibilities, become senile and bankrupt.
Technology drives a revolution in power that will destroy the nation state, just like gunpowder weapons and the printing press destroyed the church’s monopoly. The nation state serves as the dominant form of social organization but it’s ripe for a fall.
The nation state declines like the church did. Technology drives a revolution in power that will destroy it, as it did to the church. The nation state has become senile, burdensome and unproductive.
The Birth of The Industrial Age
Many of the sharpest minds of the fifteenth century missed one of the most significant developments in history, even though it was happening right in front of them. This development was the first industrial technology: the printing press. Just as the cannon was creating new economic opportunities, the printing press was opening new intellectual horizons.
The printing press was the first machine of mass production and a defining technology that marked the beginning of industrialism. Although it had not yet reached maturity, the principles of mass production were in place, and the printing press paved the way for future industrial technologies.
Lowering the Cost of Knowledge
The ability to mass produce books was incredibly subversive to medieval institutions, much like how microtechnology will be subversive to the modern nation-state. The printing press rapidly undermined the Church’s monopoly on the word of God and created a new market for heresy. Ideas hostile to the closed feudal society spread quickly as 10 million books were published by the final decade of the 15th century.
Because the Church attempted to suppress the printing press, most of the new volumes were published in places where established authority was weakest. This is similar to attempts by the US government to suppress encryption technology. The Church found that censorship did not suppress the spread of subversive technology; it merely ensured that it was used in the most subversive way possible.
Depreciating the Monasteries
The printing press significantly lowered the cost of reproducing information. In the Middle Ages, the high cost of duplicating manuscripts by hand limited literacy and economic progress. The printing press had a dramatic impact on scriptoria, allowing monks to produce manuscripts that could be duplicated in hours.
This devalued the religious orders and made them less economically important to the Church. Mass production of books lowered the cost of heresy and gave heretics a larger audience of readers.
A Parallel for Today
The authors believe that change as drastic as that of five hundred years ago will happen again. The information revolution will destroy the monopoly of power of the nation state, just like the gunpowder revolution destroyed the church’s monopoly.
There is a striking parallel between the situation at the end of the 11th century when life was saturated with organized religion and today when the world is saturated with politics. The church then and the nation state today are both examples of institutions that have grown to a senile extreme. Like the late medieval church, the nation state is a deeply indebted institution that can no longer pay its way. Its operations are becoming increasingly irrelevant and even harmful to the prosperity of those who once were its strongest supporters.
Impoverished, Grasping, Extravagant
In the late 15th century, the church was offering poor value similar to today’s governments. Religious observances multiplied, with more churches, convents, monasteries, and new holy days. Services grew longer and more complicated, resulting in institutional overload, like heavily politicized societies today.
Similar to today, the burden of income redistribution fell increasingly on the productive in medieval times. However, the costs were rising faster than those in authority acknowledged, as there was a shift in the use of capital. Although the advantage of holding land over money capital was declining, medieval society still valued social status over one’s ability to use capital effectively.
Little consideration was given to the rising opportunity costs of staging exaggerated religious observances. These costs fell most heavily upon the more ambitious and hardworking peasants, who relied more heavily than the aristocracy on deploying their capital effectively. They paid the most in supporting the extravagant church bureaucracy.
Chapter 5: The Life and Death of the Nation-State
The nation state, like the medieval church, has served as the dominant form of social organization for centuries. But now, like the church then, it has exhausted its possibilities and is bankrupt. The authors believe that technology is precipitating a revolution in the exercise of power that will destroy the nation state, just as the gunpowder revolution and the printing press destroyed the monopoly of the medieval church.
In this chapter, the authors examine the role of democracy and nationalism as resource strategies in the age of violence. They look at how the nation state has evolved and how it has responded to changing megapolitical conditions, including the changing nature of violence and the rise of new technologies.
The authors contend that democracy and nationalism were crucial resource strategies for the nation-state during times of violence, but they are losing their relevance as the conditions that led to their emergence are transforming.
The Great Unanswered Question
This section raises the question of what traits state socialism and welfare state democracies share that made them the final contenders for global dominance. In the past, there were various forms of sovereignty, including absolute monarchies, tribal enclaves, prince bishoprics, direct papal rule, sultanates, and city-states. Yet, following the gunpowder revolution, many of these systems dwindled to insignificance within a few decades.
The authors ask why so many other systems of sovereignty lost significance while the great struggle for world power at the end of the industrial age saw democracies lined up against state socialist systems. This is the great unanswered question, and the authors aim to address it in this section.
The authors believe that a theory of megapolitics points to the answer of why state socialism and welfare state democracies rose to dominance. The answer is similar to asking why sumo wrestlers tend to be fat. A lean sumo wrestler, despite impressive strength to weight, cannot compete with another who is gigantic.
In an increasingly violent world, the systems that predominated through five centuries of competition were necessarily those that facilitated the greatest access to resources needed to make war on a large scale. The systems that provided the greatest access to resources held the advantage in an era of violence, and state socialism and welfare state democracies emerged as the final contenders for world domination.
Who Controls the Government
The authors raise the question of who controls the government and who owns the state. Deficits imply that the government is influenced by those who possess the most resources, such as the wealthy and influential. Nevertheless, the matter of government ownership is multifaceted, and the authors seek to delve deeper into this issue in this section.
In the authors’ view, comprehending the ownership of the government is crucial, especially given the potential downfall of the nation-state. The issue of who holds control over the government and who possesses ownership of the state is critical in shaping the future of the nation-state and the likelihood of a power shift.
The Role of Democracy: Voters as Employees and Customers
The authors posit that democracy is better perceived as a form of government run by its employees, rather than by its customers (i.e., voters). They contend that if customers were genuinely in charge, it would be absurd for them not to receive what they desire. Similarly, if a salesperson took a customer’s money but disregarded their requests, the customer would be dissatisfied. Likewise, voters in a democratic system are disheartened by the limited control they have over government spending.
The authors argue that the costs of democratic government have surged out of control and that most democracies run deficits, which is a fiscal policy characteristic of control by employees. Governments seem resistant to reducing costs and it is all but impossible to fire a government employee. The advantage of privatization is that it makes it easier to weed out unnecessary employment.
Viewing mass democracy as a government controlled by its employees illuminates why altering government policy is a daunting task. The authors argue that this outlook underscores the significance of contemplating alternative governance models and the potential advantages of privatization.
Who controls the government? Is it the voters or the employees? A theory of megapolitics suggests that many democracies operate as if controlled by employees, not customers. This is due to the high costs of government operations and resistance to change.
To address employee control, the welfare state emerged. To create a working majority, more voters received transfer payments and subsidies, becoming pseudo employees of the government.
Customers typically want to set prices for products and services, including protection. But during the Cold War, western democracies did not follow this principle. Instead, the welfare state, with its ability to channel more resources into the military, emerged as the winner of the spending contest against the Soviet Union.
Efficiency wasn’t the goal. The challenge was to extract resources and channel them into the military. This system worked in the industrial age because it was inefficient where it counted. The welfare state’s success in the spending contest during the Cold War is cited as a key factor in their victory over the Soviet Union.
Chapter 6: Megapolitics of the Information Age
Close of an Age
The end of an era is near. The information age is causing a shift in the megapolitical landscape. The focus has shifted from manufacturing to information and computation, from machine power to microprocessing, and from mass production to smaller teams and even solo workers. With the decrease in scale of the enterprise, the potential for sabotage and blackmail in the workplace decreases as well. Smaller operations are harder to organize for unions and politicians.
The ease of moving operations to a more comfortable location will increase, as the virtual corporation will be able to flee a jurisdiction at the speed of light in response to any sudden increase in attempted extortion from governments or other entities. The presence of a virtual corporation in a jurisdiction will be entirely contingent on the spot market.
Insights for the Information Age
The balance between protection and extortion has remained unchanged for centuries. However, with the advancement of information technology, this is about to change. Information technology is enabling a significant shift in the factors that determine the costs and rewards of violence, leading to a fundamental change in the balance between protection and extortion. The information age is bringing about the biggest changes in life, occurring to variables that were once taken for granted. The factors that have remained unchanged for centuries or even generations are now subject to fluctuations and shifts.
Government as a Seller of Protection
As we move into the information age, the role of government as a seller of protection is changing. The biggest change is due to the new megapolitical force: the communication capacity and the rise of the World Wide Web. This new technology is analogous to the printing press in its ability to transform society. The law of telecom is repeals the law of nations.
With the vast amount of communication capacity unleashed, more money will be spent on communication because it is so cheap. This will render established media such as telephony and television obsolete. The World Wide Web will deliver a rich mix of signals to every computer, drawing people into the borderless virtual world of online communication and cyber commerce. This virtual world, known as the “metaverse,” has enough graphic density to become an alternative cyberspace reality.
We are moving out of the metaphorical dark ages, just as the change from highly competitive violence to the use of cavalry marked the end of the dark ages. The question remains, what will governments be protecting in this new age? The logic of violence that motivated governments in the past may no longer apply in the future.
It would still have remained difficult for the large-scale industrial firms to operate in an environment of chaos and violence. The government’s role in protecting these firms and their assets was crucial in allowing the growth of industrial economies. However, as we move into the information age, the nature of protection that governments provide may change. As virtual corporations and online commerce continue to grow, traditional industrial installations with high capital costs may become less significant, and the emphasis of protection may shift towards safeguarding digital assets and information technology infrastructure. This shift in focus will necessitate governments to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of the new economy.
The Information Age
As a result, the government’s role in the information age will be distinct from that in the industrial era, emphasizing safeguarding intangible assets such as data and intellectual property rather than physical assets. The challenge will be enforcing laws and regulations in a virtual realm where borders are insignificant.
This transformation will have a profound impact on the way we live and organize society. The government must take a proactive approach to address information age issues such as cybercrime, privacy, and security. The future will necessitate a fresh comprehension of the relationship between the government and its citizens, founded on trust, transparency, and accountability.
Competition Without Anarchy
As the world becomes more interconnected and information-based, violence as a means of attaining and retaining power becomes less useful. Information technology enables the creation and safeguarding of assets beyond government control, leading to a new level of protection. The ability to protect assets in cyberspace creates competition without the need for anarchy. This change in protection will continue to transform the role of government and the means of gaining and sustaining power.
Chapter 8 – The End of Egalitarian Economics
Shifting Local Advantages
As the information age progresses, the advantages of living under a government will shift. The traditional advantages of government protection for wealth accumulation will disappear. Governments that impose high taxes, burdensome regulations, and income redistribution will become unfriendly to businesses. This will make it less and less attractive for the “sovereign individuals” (the super-rich) to give their money to the government. The rise of the information age will bring new ways to avoid paying taxes.
On the other hand, the ambitious poor of the world stand to benefit the most from these changes. The nation-state, with its declining relevance and increasing bankruptcy, will no longer be necessary for the new political forces that emerge in the information age. The end of egalitarian economics will bring new opportunities for those who are willing to embrace the changing landscape of the information age.
After the Nation-State
As the nation-state system of government becomes less relevant, the future of governance will be shaped by smaller jurisdictions and enclaves. These mini-states, similar to medieval city-states, will be driven by entrepreneurial positioning rather than political maneuvering. The categories and boundaries that defined the industrial age are becoming blurred as the information age creates a new economy. Independent contractors will work remotely, connecting across borders to form virtual assembly lines. The dynamics of work and commerce are changing, leading to a future that is difficult to predict but sure to be shaped by the advancements in technology and communication.
Chapter 9: Nationalism, Reaction, and the New Luddites
Market Competition Between Jurisdictions
As market competition between jurisdictions intensifies, governments that once relied on their territorial monopolies will face the harsh reality of global competition. In the information age, quality and price will dictate the success of a jurisdiction, not just its size and political power. As a result, the high-cost regimes that dominated the industrial era will begin to fall out of favor. With their predatory tax regimes, heavy-handed regulations, and poor quality protection, these regimes will become unattractive to businesses and entrepreneurs. They will also face the risk of losing their most talented citizens to other regions offering better economic opportunities. This shift in the global landscape will challenge the old notions of nationalism and lead to a new era of market-driven competition between jurisdictions.
Who will be the losers in the information age?
In the information age, there will be a new market competition among jurisdictions, based on the quality and price of their services, reversing the industrial-era logic that favored high-cost regimes. Heavy-regulation welfare states with redistributive tax systems will no longer be preferred. Tax consumers, who cannot improve their wealth by moving, will lose income as they will no longer have the ability to rely on political force to take from more productive individuals.
With the expansion of information technology, the “left behinds” will become more nationalistic and disagreeable, and it is uncertain when this reaction will take an unpleasant turn. However, as nation-states begin to disintegrate, it will lead to further devolution and promote the sovereignty of independent individuals. The emergence of new enclaves of jurisdictions, similar to city-states, will offer highly competitive protection services with low or no taxes on income and capital.
Citizenship goes the way of chivalry
The information age is expected to bring significant changes to governments and citizenship. The shift from industrial to information age will initiate market competition between jurisdictions, reversing the previous logic that favored high-cost regimes. Tax consumers and the “left behinds” will lose, as they can no longer rely on political force to extract wealth from the more productive. The concept of citizenship is also anticipated to evolve, as the nation-state and nationalism are demystified. However, there is a possibility that some nation-states may take covert measures to limit transience and travel’s appeal.
Afterword: Devolution and the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns
The argument of this book clearly informs the decision to redeploy your capital, if you have any. Citizenship is becoming obsolete, and it’s time to optimize your lifetime earnings by becoming a sovereign individual. Instead of being a passive citizen who pays whatever tax burden is imposed on you, you should be better positioned to prosper in the information age by negotiating a private tax treaty that obliges you to pay no more for government services than what they are worth to you.
Therefore, it is advisable never to leave your money in any jurisdiction that claims the right to conscript you. To optimize your wealth, you should aim to primarily reside in a country other than the one from which you hold your first passport, while keeping the bulk of your money in a third jurisdiction, preferably a tax haven.
However, it’s important to note that any recipe for easy success is bound to disappoint. Opportunities to succeed abound as a consequence of the informational revolution, but it’s up to you to determine which one is right for you to capture. If you’re intent on accumulating capital in order to realize your full potential as a sovereign individual, it should be one of your priorities to study and evaluate the works of various gurus and success manuals.
Additionally, success in business (as in most areas of life) depends on the ability to solve problems. By teaching yourself how to solve problems, you will have a bright career ahead of you. No matter where you live, you will find problems that need solving, and in most cases, those who would benefit from solutions to their problems will pay you handsomely to effect them.
In conclusion, read as many success manuals as you can, not with the idea that any set of rules will automatically make you financially independent, but with the understanding that success is a choice. Arm yourself with the perspective and habits that characterize successful patrons and you will find success in the information age.