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In The Three Laws of Political System Change we explained the necessary conditions for a system to change. In the article Political Systems Lifecycle we show you how a system is born, develops and dies.

However, none of these laws indicate a general direction towards which Political Systems trend over very long periods of time. For that we need the Law of Political Systems Direction.

To help us in our search, let’s draw a small table of Political Systems over time and their key characteristics. Then, let’s rank their characteristics from 1 to 10; 10 being the best and 1 the worst.

 

Key PS

Freedom

Security

Economy

Example

Year started

No System

10

1

1

Primitive Humans

2.5 million years to 200 thousand years ago

Minimum

Leadership

9

4

2

Alpha Humans or Primitive Tribal Leaders

160 thousand years ago

Totalitarian Leadership

2

5

4

Absolutist Tribal Leaders

70 thousand years ago

Absolute Monarchy

3

6

5

Kings and Emperors of Antiquity

7000 years ago

Limited or Parliamentary Monarchy

7

7

6

European Kings

1000 years ago

Communism / Socialism

5

6

6

USSR

Socialist EU / Latin America

200 years ago

Democracy

8

8

7

Current PS

200 years ago

Austro-Libertarian

10

9

10

Forecast

Future

 

CRITICISM

Before we even begin to analyze the chart a few words for our critics:

  • No, the chart is not perfect.
  • Yes, we skipped a lot of historical events. The chart outlines only the main, prevalent, Political Systems.
  • No, we did not capture evolutions within Political Systems.
  • The weighing system is not perfect and is a perceptual average from multiple sources. It is not an objective, quantitative measure since we showed you in the article Political Theories and Systems – what they are and how they work that such a thing is impossible.
  • Yes, many Political Systems overlap each other over time.
  • Yes, it is a big-picture-only chart, so stop trying to split hairs and find relatively minor errors. We know they exist!

Ahh… we feel much better now and ready to continue.

 

POLITICAL SYSTEMS DIRECTION

We are looking for an arrow that indicates, in general terms, in which direction Political Systems tend to evolve.

 Law of Political Systems Direction

 

The chart shows a clear evolutionary direction.

In the beginning, freedom was maximum. However, what is the point of being free if your chances of being dead are excellent? Therefore, humans traded some freedom for increased security.

Over time, Political Systems evolved into freedom-grabbing systems while still providing meaningful security.

As time went by Political Systems emerged which provided more freedom while maintaining or increasing security levels.

It can also be seen that throughout history economic conditions improved constantly.

From this, we can deduce that the basic engine of PS change is indeed economic improvement, as we already discussed in The Three Laws of Political System Change.

From the chart we can also deduce the law of Political System direction:

The general direction towards which Political Systems evolve is marked by increasing Freedom, Security and Prosperity simultaneously.

Which is a counter-intuitive rule. One would expect that more control is needed to be safer. At the same time, more control would imply a less free market and therefore worst economic conditions. Alas, that is not the case, which is good news indeed!

 

WHAT CAME FIRST? THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

The question that we now need to answer is the following:

Does the Economy improve because of larger Freedom and Security improvements or is the reverse true? Do Freedom and Security improve due to large Economic improvements?

This answer has never been fully elucidated. However History and Sociology provide us with some clues.

Let’s start with Sociology.

The type of crime we are interested in is what we may call “personal crime”. Actions that directly pose a security risk to your person: murder, armed robbery, theft and related illegal activities.

If we look at the geographical locations where these types of crime are high, you will notice that these locations coincide with places were economic conditions are poor. The poorer the conditions, the higher the crime rate. The reverse is also true. As economic conditions improve, personal crime decreases.

The reasons are not difficult to elucidate. A person goes into crime for economic reasons. Realistically speaking, most people would cringe if offered a life of stress, persecution, insecurity, jail and possibly a violent death; all for a meagre financial gain… unless they are forced into it.

From History we can also see a similar law taking place but at the country level.  For example, let’s take Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was a country artificially assembled by gluing several vastly different cultures together under a political fist (communism) that controlled all armed tools (armed forces).

As the old joke went, Yugoslavia had eight distinct peoples in six republics, with five languages, three religions (Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim), and two alphabets (Roman and Cyrillic), but only one Yugoslav — Tito.

Note: Tito was Yugoslavia’s supreme ruler, although a quasi-democratic body of government with limited power did exist.

Yet, mysteriously, until Tito’s death, all those peoples, cultures and particularly religions that would normally be adversaries, they all seemed to live in peace. And no, this was not an illusion. If you had visited Yugoslavia anytime during Tito’s reign, you would have noticed that not only tolerance existed but also a definitive friendship amongst all those dissimilar factions could be perceived.

How was this possible? Simple, Tito understood very clearly the power of Economic conditions to overcome dissimilarities. Under Tito, there was a very strong re-distribution of wealth.

The closer to the west Yugoslavian Republics were, the richer they were and the more they donated to the Federation. The closer to the east the Yugoslavian Republics were, the poorer they were and the more they received from the Federation.

However, one other element must be disclosed. This re-distribution of wealth allowed for even the poorest Republic to have a lifestyle above poverty. This is critical since in the eyes of the poorest people, the basic economic needs were met. There was no reason seek a different Political System.

However, as times changed, many industries in the western-most Republics became unprofitable and closed. Money that once was flowing freely begun to trickle down. Economic needs of people were no longer met. The stage was set. All it required was a trigger.

And then Tito died. Powerful politicians in Serbia decided to go for a money and territory grab; confident that their control of the Army will allow them to win easily. Big mistake. The Republics that could, separated. The remainder of the country was plunged into a bloody civil war, and the rest is history.

Yugoslavia is just one such example. There are many others. We could reach the same conclusion with the disintegration of the USSR. Or a positive example with current China (where the Chinese communist Political System transformed itself into a capitalist oligarchy) and hence started to meet the economic needs of its population and therefore negating the conditions for a Political System change.

And now, returning to our original question, we can confidently say that in all probability improving Economic conditions lead to improved Safety and Freedom.

 

CONCLUSION

We can now go back and look at our conclusions from a Libertarian perspective.

Political Systems evolve towards better economic conditions and increased freedom and security. However, increased freedom and security is a by-product of improved economic conditions. Therefore, the Political System offering the higher chance of improved economic conditions is also the Political System that has the highest chance of being adopted. In this case, the only Political System with those characteristics still available and not discredited is the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system.

This means that the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system is the general direction towards which existing Political Systems are and will continue to evolve.

So now you know. You cannot plead ignorance any longer. In the end it your choice as it has always been. You decide.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

 

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