Whilst most of us know about the concept of Peak Oil, the idea of living through a period of Peak government is possibly something new.
The term Peak government is not original, but I feel it describes aptly, my general opinion concerning the recent expansion of governmental interference in our day-to-day lives, as well as explaining the apparent abundance of inadequate leaders around the world.
Peak Oil is not the disappearance of Oil; it is the disappearance of “Cheap Oil” which due to rising prices will lead to a reduction in usage.
In a similar vein, Peak government is not the disappearance of government; it is the beginning of a period when government interference in our day-to-day lives – through a lack of resources and support – will start to contract.
Fragmentation within both Europe and national governments are starting to indicate that Peak Government may already have started.
Government – because of the inherent political ambition – is an animal whose goal is always expansion, and because of this, “downsizing” is something no current government has any mechanism to handle.
Government is a group of people who control society’s powers through legislation. The group, because of their power, too eagerly believe that it is incumbent upon them, to continually manufacture new laws and new rules and regulations – to basically “tinker” and adjust, and they do so, even if the changes have no real merit.
Whether society needs these new laws and regulations is not the issue, the issue is, those in power feel impelled to make laws – at any cost!
Time after time we see regulations amended, or even reversed, based on their “deemed” level of effectiveness, and we see them altered according to the ambition of the minority; ie the political class in power.
Laws are often created, not for the benefit of society, but almost without exception, to take control away from the individual and give it to the state.
I have often mentioned in my articles that “God only made 10-commandments, yet the EU has managed to pass 110,000 laws in 12 years”…And yet, with all these laws made, few would state that life is better today than it was at the turn of the millennium.
Anyone who studies fluctuations, be they in stock markets or society trends, will readily admit that we see a massive acceleration in activity as we head towards a peak, followed by a rapid reverse of direction.
In terms of “Peak Government”, it would not be unfair to suggest that this “massive acceleration in lawmaking” is an indication that we are getting near to the end to this period of overzealous governmental interference. Therefore, we could soon expect to see a period where less laws are created: meaning that government will stop expanding its influence.
Whilst this may seem absurd, it could be said that the global economic collapse will result in reduced funding for government, and without funding, they will be extremely limited in being able to finance changes; so making more intrusive or even necessary laws may prove unaffordable.
In practical terms, we all know that making laws about the types of foods we eat, rules about how we chastise our children, and a host of others, though important for technocrats, have little impact on the vast majority of people – other than the fact we have to finance all the work that goes into creating and imposing them.
And what are some of these laws and regulations we have seen:
Most of us now realise that government regulations, encouraged cheap mortgages to be made available to the masses. We also now realise that the government failed to build in any mechanisms to alleviate the inherent risk, for when these borrowers found themselves unable to service the debts and loans.
This is one simple example of government failure, doing something popular, without understanding the repercussions and dangers. This was the political “tinkering” which led to the recent banking crisis.
We also know that it was another government ruling that removed the “ring-fence” around “savings” capital and “speculation” capital, when they forced capital market institutions and building societies to both adopt the status “bank”: This one allowed, through “takeovers” and “buy-outs”, speculative entities to buy savings institutions and use allocated savings capital as guarantees for their speculation activities. When the speculation went wrong, the savings capital got dragged into the losses.
These are prime examples of where government “tinkering” hase caused disastrous outcomes.
If you study the acceleration in the creation of laws over the past 30-years, you will find numerous examples of laws being made, which did little to benefit anyone, yet cost billions to create and enforce. And many examples of ludicrous laws: i.e. the shape of a banana; or whether you can sell vegetables in metric or imperial weights: All petty tinkering which caused upset and cost for no specific reason.
Society must take the blame for so much legislative wastage. We became increasing apathetic towards politics.
As a result of our apathy we allowed successive governments to do as they wished, with little in the way of checks and balances.
Indeed, although we claim that by segregating the executive, the legislature, and judiciary in our government we do have these checks, in essence, this trias politica have become bed-fellows, with the executive generally doing as it pleases.
As our governments influence have grown unfettered, such as in the case of the EU, we found ourselves accepting the dictates of the political classes far too easily, and without any real opposition, the speed at which the politicians introduced laws, including very bad ones, has done more harm than good.
This now needs to be re-examined.
I don’t believe it is unfair to state that “rebellion normally comes as a result of poverty”, nor is it unfair to state that “poverty is often a result of poor or tyrannical governance”; be it domestic or foreign.
Again, I see it is only a matter of time before the voice of the people demands that politicians become more accountable, and it is very probable that those seeking office, instead of promising new laws, simple offer to scrap many of the old, inappropriate ones.
This is not a specific action exclusive to be championed by either the right or the left,. BuT i feel that as a people get more “Fed-up” with the quality of their politicians, they will demand a more common-sense approach towards running their societies.
If this comes about as a result of poverty, it might be said that that without wealth and affluence, most laws made over the recent decades will be basically redundant anyway.
Laws on types of food which can be made or consumed mean nothing in a society of hungry people. Laws on how you can make money or how you are employed, mean very little when people are struggling to make ends meet. And I would suggest that the 1000’s of laws created to legislate on transportation, be it goods or people, will mean nothing if we can no longer afford petrol or other forms of energy.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it may prove indicative of why we may need less government in the future.
As a qualifier, I don’t for one minute want to suggest that our society should become lawless.
Thou shall not kill and thou shall not steal will always be important within a civilised society (but I would say that the one about “coveting your neighbours wife” has probably been redundant for many years!)
I would admit that this subject is somewhat academic in the current environment. However, it is something worth considering: especially by those who have a political interest.
As we are seeing, the Greeks are completely fed-up will the laws and rules being imposed upon them. They have voted for a wide range of political views, and even though a position of power is awaiting “he who can bring these opposing factions together”, no one can get enough support, because the people have had enough!.
Moreover, the problem in Greece is not domestic; it is a problem of foreign rule. Increased rule from Brussels is now completely unacceptable!
This being the case, a Greek departure from the EU is almost guaranteed. And then who knows whose next!
We can talk about the financial implications, but it should also be recognised that by leaving the EU, the Greeks will no longer be forced to comply with the 100,000+ laws and regulations which the EU has heaped on them at great cost.
And if these rules no longer are going to apply to the Greeks, why should they apply to the rest of us.
Scrapping the EU and scrapping its exhaustive laws does not make us unruly or uncivilised…
All it does is takes us back to where we were 20-years ago…and I suggest that that might have been a FAR better place!