The Economical and Political System of Isolated Tribes

Are pirates socialists or capitalists? Lately, it’s become hard to tell the categories apar

Parasitism can only be called capitalism in certain situations of monopoly or artificially created demand or drop in supply.

Otherwise, it’s redistribution of wealth. The distribution policy may be in dispute, thus democratic solutions come into play as to what human nature would perceive as fair or unfair distribution. The identity matrix of one group against another, however, invests pirates with their own kind of tribe and culture and identity. The existence of an enemy solidifies internal unity to some extents, which justifies attacks and acts of war. This is the opposite of what a Greater Union is designed to create. It’s not designed to create a people or tribe or alliance of tribes intend on conquering foreigners because they feel particularly incensed or enraged. America would have become an expansionist empire under such a philosophy and doctrine, rather than a non-expansionist entity that actually contracts and is mostly stable.

There’s only so much wealth to go around. When there is a sudden over-abundance of wealth, somebody is working to create it or making it known. Yet this creates instabilities, bubbles, in which a few elite make off with the largest amount of goods. There is a power imbalance along with the wealth imbalance. Workers can be rendered into wage slaves. Corporations start to take more risks to not get locked out of a new market. Investment in security and stability goes down in relation to the investment in risk and greater profits. Thus this creates an incentive for asymmetrical raids on such large caches of wealth, until the security system establishes an equilibrium.

In a sense, the same is with liberty. Give a nation liberty and it won’t work, because their security apparatuses are anemic. Liberty then turns into anarchy. Opportunity and business prosperity then turns into incentives for theft, hostage taking, and extortion. Liberty and security must go hand in hand, for the one without the other is anarchy and the vice a versa is tyranny or at least a benevolent dictatorship.

Because it is usually an authority or a oligarchy that can decide how much security will be improved, while the costs of not having security are primarily born by the people at the bottom, with the least wealth and power, you have an instability in the system. The ones with the most motivation to put a stop to chaos, are the ones least able to do so given the imbalances present. Yet the imbalances cannot be righted or corrected without stability being brought to the situation. This renders the resolution of this system a mite problematic.

If it was only up to a single leader, it would have only been luck that would have decided whether Iraq could be pacified, the luck of the draw on whether you got a genius for a leader or not. By punting the decision making ability down the line to those most invested in the situation, it essentially made it certain that the problem would be solved eventually. A single leader is as good or as bad his own personal qualities. He may have what it takes to make the right decisions straight on down, or he may not. It’s a gamble. A more distributed network is less of a gamble, as you have more chances of getting the right info, the right decisions, the right people at the right place at the right time. Still, there have been incidents where a mostly all powerful leader could set things into motion that wouldn’t have been done without their vision or charisma.

There have been autocrats or dictators that have solved these issues from a platform of top down management, with solutions ranging from impermanent to more permanent. Alexander was one, MacArthur another. Even though they had able assistants and lieutenants, both leaders brought something definitive to the table that couldn’t be replaced. The top down system of Alexander’s Empire failed as his lieutenants warred between themselves rather than taking into consideration the problems of the people they ruled. MacArthur broke some of the guilds and family rule which had stymied Japanese economy, allowing greater competition on this front. He valued the needs of the people, especially when it came to their Emperor. He was recognized by the Japanese as Japan’s new shogun, but never planned to stay for long. A monarchy that was designed to decay into something more stable.

Anarchy is not stable, but neither is autocracy. The most efficient way to solve problems and resolve people’s differences is to get actors as close to the incident as one can. As Machiavelli once noted, it’s unwise for any Prince to try to rule a conquered city/province from far away.

Maybe Bush had skipped that lesson when democracy was unveiled as the solution to regional violence. I think he confused the product with the solution. Constitutional republics are already stable platforms. Thus of course they would create and engender peace. But democracy or its forms are not the best way to turn anarchy into stability. That requires both autocratic rule combined with investment in bottom level initiative.


I suppose to the Somalians, they have all these rich foreigners who travel in their area and who won’t or can’t defend their rich ships or persons, it is like an overwhelming temptation. Why shouldn’t they take what others can’t defend? They have no guarantee of security if they refused to do so.

It’s like the NIgerian email scams. There are rich ignorant folks that have an unequal share of the wealth, and cunning/raids can make up for this inequity. Using the Left’s doctrine of wealth redistribution and white privilege/guilt, America should be happy that Nigerians are scamming gullible folks. Piracy and jihad are, also, just another means to the same righteous end. The West can no longer judge Islamic men, because the West still looks down upon indigenous cultures and does not truly respect women’s rights. It is still the white man dictating to the Arab what they are or are not allowed to do.

In the end, however, even if wealth was redistributed in as close an equitable scale as perceivable, so long as power is hoarded and vaporized so that it rises to the top and sucked away from the bottom, wealth redistribution is meaningless. It is a temporary reprieve, a spring break, so to speak. Money is transfered, but people’s lives are not made better because that money isn’t stable income. It isn’t part of a stable system of politics or power sharing.

If the only reason a tribe shares power is because they hate enemies and fear them, what happens when those enemies disappear? That can’t be allowed to happen, else their own system of governance would break down into petty squables. Which is why so many people who have power try to hoard it and use it to create external enemies. Something the Democrat party accused Bush of doing after 9/11, although this was a matter of internal Democrat fears only. They feared losing their hold on blacks and other minorities, which were starting to see their self-interests align with Republicans, not Demos.

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2 Comments on “The Economical and Political System of Isolated Tribes”

  1. Stirner Says:

    re: the last paragraph. Do you have a datapoint that factions of the Democratic base were looking to leave the proverbial plantation?

    GWB never seemed to get much mileage out of appointing Powell and Rice (IMHO), and I am drawing a blank on other signs during that time.

    A somewhat inverted point is playing out right now, where the US leftists are desperately clinging to Bush as a demonization target. With that now played out, they are moving Palin up to the foreground. The tea party Middle American Radicals would seem to be a next logical target, but the left seems more comfortable dismissing the growing movement -so far.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    My point was more concerning the perceived threat to the Democrat base after 9/11. They couldn’t allow Bush to continue with the security wars because blacks like that kind of stuff.

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