We are at a point in time in history where government is attempting to exert more control but in reality is having less control and the trend toward less control is unstoppable. If we follow this trend to its logical conclusion (this will be well into the future) it inevitably leads us to a world without government. The reason is that predictable advances that we are of right now will essentially render the world ungovernable by traditional means and the only effective mechanism for maintaining order and fairness will be hyper localized self regulation and enforcement.
How can a world without government exist and would it be better than the world we live in now? We have an example of a world that, not only lives without government, but thrives without government. It’s called nature. The Internet is slowly facilitating a reorganization of power and influence while technology is developing products that have equally wonderful and horrifying uses. In the meantime, almost all governments operate within a system designed for the issues of the 19th century and are run by people that have no ideas what this paragraph is referring to and never will. The inevitable advance and muturation of this set of circumstances will eventually render government irrelevant and useless and force individuals to develop self regulatory mechanisms and solutions.
There are many current and obvious small scale examples. One such example is the central regulatory body within each country that decides what kind of programming is acceptable and not acceptable to be screened on television networks. While these bodies are regulating television, an increasing proportion of society are not watching television. They are watching the Internet and, unless they are in China or another country that restricts Internet content, they are essentially watching anything they please. This includes unrestricted access to the most outrageous violence, pornography, hate speech, not to mention foul language and, at this point in time, the world doesn’t seem to have come to an end. Although there are clearly numerous psychological (and other) consequences that arise from this unrestricted access to all of humanity it will be decades before we know whether the negative consequences offset the positive consequences (assuming this metric is even measurable or quantifiable).
While all of this is happening the central authority that determines what can be screened on public television channels is becoming obsolete and its ongoing reason for existence is being challenged and we know it’s fate. This government entity is as obsolete and useless as the obsolete technology that is attempting to regulate.
China’s restrictions on Internet access are serving to do nothing more than to make China the poster child of how government’s influence will be supplanted by technology. The number of ways that one human will be able to communicate with another human (including Internet access) are proliferating at a great rate. It will eventually be impossible for the Chinese government to totally restrict Internet access. It is inevitable that we will all be connected and it’s likely that we will be capable of connecting in multiple ways – so any attempt by any government to restrict connection will eventually be futile.
We often hear the expression that technology will always be one step ahead of government. Technology is in fact increasing its lead. It was one step ahead of government but now it’s 10 steps ahead. In a few years it will be 100 steps ahead and the lead will continue to increase until the elastic between the two of them snaps. The point in time at which the government / technology elastic snaps will be the point in time at which the world will cease to be managed by government and must be capable of transitioning into a new form of self-government or self-regulation. Dealing with this situation doesn’t require us to reinvent the wheel. In this case, nature is the wheel and it is the model upon which a self-regulating system that replaces government will inevitably operate.
Over the course of the 21st century, democracies will evolve with increased fluidity.
Many western countries have two party systems. This is primitive and will inevitably disappear. In US I believe that a new third political party could be successful by offering a message that involves being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. However, this would eventually fragment even further.
Online voting will eventually become the norm and this will eliminate voter suppression.
The elections of one country are now no longer totally controlled by one country or its citizens. Anyone can develop and execute any number of online projects designed to influence public opinion and the voters. One day in the future there will be an election in a country that is actually decided by the online activity of people in another country. This will obviously trigger questions about the validity of such elections and why they should continue to be held.
Next article in this series: “The Future Of Humans”