Top Down vs Bottom Up Societies

Here is a political primer for two terms people need to understand. There are only two kinds of society. Top Down and Bottom Up, or as I like to say, Big Government vs Limited Government or Negative and Plus.

TOP DOWN is the oldest and most common form. It can be as small as a tribe to as large as an empire. It goes by many names: Fascist, Socialist, Totalitarian, Communist, etc. But they are are the same. It is only a matter of degrees. Even the softer ones become harder over time. Their similarity is in the fact that they’re ruled by a small group of elites at the top. And they restrict the freedoms of their citizens. In a soft BG society the restrictions may be things like limits on free speech or the government taxes everything. They use the tax revenues to bribe the populace with alleged “benefits” which could easily be handled by a private sector, and better. But governments in these societies are competition for private enterprise and they tend to push companies around through excess regulation. Alas, the US is a BG system now. But we have the potential to legally turn it back around. The window to do that is closing, however.

Top down societies are negative because they only serve the people at the top, and their greed and the bureaucracies they create limit success and thus send the society into a slow decline until it collapses and is replaced through violent revolution or social change.

BOTTOM UP societies have been very rare in human history. They are societies where the people have power over their representatives. The constitution of these nations limits the power of the political class. Such societies have been enormously successful where they have been practiced. For a short while in Ancient Rome, in a more limited way and in the United States for the first 120 years or so. The designers of our constitution understood the weakness of human beings and their tendency to take the path of least resistance. They knew that they would entrust others to govern and some of those leaders will be corrupted by the power they wield. And thus the founders of the US created a constitution that limited each of the three branches of government. It has made the US government an incredibly stable society that has lasted 235 years, longer than most governments on Earth. Nations may be older, but not their governments. We have also created the most prosperous and free society in the history of the human race. However, all of that is changing for the worst. We need to get back to our core principals.

Bottom Up societies can theoretically last indefinitely until they are corrupted by those who want to change the system to a top down state. That is where we are now.

For more info here is my essay on the subject.

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  1. Now that the Olympics are over, I’ve been catching up on my DVR recordings of Glenn Beck.
    I think he’s been reading your essays on TD and BU governments!

  2. Not sure about that, but it’s good to see people like him deal with this important issue. People have taken their freedom for granted and now they may lose it. They have no idea how precarious things are right now.

  3. People have taken their freedom for granted and now they may lose it.

    Question: Why are they taking it for granted?

    Answer: When was the last time you saw a movie, TV show or comic book which celebrated freedom and the individual over the collective?

  4. Pingback: » The New Fascists, Part 4: The Marching Minions of the Frankfurt School - Big Journalism

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