The Coming De-Centralization

Occasionally, one comes across something that just stops one in one’s track and messes up the day’s schedule. This long (I mean … long) article by Anarchonomicon fits the bill.

After the State: The Coming of Neo-Medievalism and the Great Decentralization (

The article is too long to summarize, but the basic idea is that history has seen long periods of centralized political control, and much longer periods of de-centralized control. The author predicts that the inevitable collapse of modern states will lead to “Neo-Medievalism” in which small political units will proliferate.

".… What you may have noticed is there’s really just two great centralizing eras in the history of western civilization… the 300-350 years from the start of Alexander’s conquests til the final centralization of the Roman empire under the Caesars… And the 250-300 year history of modern empire: From approximately 1700-1945. …

… The total number of autonomous Greek city states, which prevailed from the Bronze age collapse to the first conquests of Alexander, and only truly ended with the final roman conquest of all of Greece, numbered over 1000. …

… In the past 3200 years we’ve had only 600-800 years of truly centralizing eras where power concentrated, or merely continued without disintegration, when power didn’t dilute… But 2400-2600 years of Decentralizing eras where polities where shrinking and the ability to exert power across distance was eternally shrinking. …

… The Roman empire ended when all of its tech advantages were adopted by the Germanic tribes its was fighting… because those Germanic tribes had been trained in them while employed as roman mercenaries. Likewise the age of imperialism ended shortly after WW2 ended, because at that point every colony had a generation of young men who’d just been trained in western fighting styles. A process that began with the Irish declaring independence after WW1 and reached a fever pitch after WW2 when even the colonial white settler states set up by the British (who you’d think would be the apex of dependence, what with minority rule) declared independence. …

… Federal Authority, legitimacy, and even Seeing Like a State style legibility and intelligibility to the central government is collapsing in real time before our eyes… and far from panicking and trying to rescue their control over the body of the American Nation… the US Federal Government is accelerating the collapse of their own power through petty bureaucratic interests and short term political considerations. …"

Optimistically, the author concludes:
… whatever successor institutions, aristocracies, and duchies devour the modern welfare states in a orgy of map redrawing and private fortune making will probably find that there is a great deal of economic and technological low hanging fruit just lying about. …

It really is worth reading the whole thing.


It is now time that we start thinking about our common future when the current centralised governments collapse because they will.
In short the debt ratio to GDP is unsustainable and only increasing plus the continuous lust for war will ensure a demolition of the current structures.

I would prefer a direct democracy where we the people vote on crucial topics.
This can best work if we create small units what we today call mini countries or previously city states.
We have the technology to ensure one vote for one legit person.
Democracy has the flaw of the tyranny of the majority hence the idea of smaller units where we find a common ground with our neighbours.

The time is approaching fast … most probably the collapse will happen between 2028 and 2033 depending upon country structure and stability.

I think that the process is already ongoing where people are moving to a place where they find common ground with their neighbours. The Covid tyranny speeded up this process.
We need to be conscious about the future possibilities and ready to seize the moment when it comes.


Agreed! But with some reservations. Switzerland is the closest thing we have today to such a direct democracy … and the educated civilized Swiss recently voted themselves a pension increase without any consideration of how to pay for it. And let’s never forget that in the direct democracy of Athens, men enthusiastically voted to send themselves to Sicily for the disastrous military campaign which led to Athens’ downfall.

However, the Greeks had some good ideas about making democracy work. Citizenship was restricted to those who were contributing to society. Most representative positions were selected by random lot instead of elected by popular vote. The few elected positions came with significant restrictions, like one-year terms, no re-election, and intrusive post-term audits with severe punishments for any self-dealing while in office.

As well as direct democracy, we need provisions to ensure no more permanent Political Class! No more unaccountable permanent bureaucrats! No more “Joe Bidens”! The now-forgotten US Constitution was actually a good step in that direction – but look what happened to it. As someone once observed, we get the government we deserve.


You are absolutely right and we need to discuss / create the best possible template for a future country.
There are many considerations to be taken into account but we still have some time.


Related – here is today’s dose of historically-based pessimism:
Death of empires: History tells us what will follow the collapse of US hegemony — RT Business News

The work of Giovanni Arrighi (1937-2009) does seem to hit the target dead center, even if he was dismissed as merely a Marxist. Historically, societies grow when they produce real goods & services – but eventually they turn to the short-term zero-sum (or negative-sum) game of financialization, which produces an illusion of prosperity in the here-and-now while destroying the true productive basis of an economy.

"… Arrighi dates the origin of this cyclical process to the Italian city-states of the 14th century, an era that he calls the birth of the modern world. From the marriage of Genoese capital and Spanish power that produced the great discoveries, he traces this path through Amsterdam, London and, finally, the United States.

In each case, the cycle is shorter and each new hegemon is larger, more complex and more powerful than the previous one. And, as we mentioned above, each terminates in a crisis of financialization that marks the final stage of hegemony. …

… Historically, Arrighi observes, these breakdowns have been associated with escalation into outright warfare – specifically, the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), the Napoleonic wars (1803-15) and the two World Wars. Interestingly and somewhat counterintuitively, these wars have typically not seen the incumbent hegemon and the challenger on opposing sides (with the Anglo-Dutch naval wars a notable exception). Rather, it has typically been the actions of other rivals that have hastened the arrival of the terminal crisis. …."

Worth reading & contemplating.


How about this …

Winston Churchill once said, “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

In 1927, King Oscar II of Sweden stated, “A man who has not been a socialist before 25 has no heart. If he remains one after 25 he has no head.”

This could serve as a hint to what I see fit for a future society.

  1. NO taxation on income or inheritance or any other funny thing, ONLY sales tax. The rest is being “printed” as e.g. 5% of GDP (a definition of GDP is necessary).

  2. Eligible voting age is 25 years or maybe it should be 30 years.

  3. Free Speech is universal on all media.

  4. NO standing army only police and border security.

  5. Every citizen is free to carry firearms with no restrictions.

This is of course only a very rough outline of how I see a future society. This needs much more consideration.


Just started reading your linked article and the first paragraph included:

There was a time, back in the 1980s and ‘90s, when finance-driven capitalism was supposed to usher in a time of better capital allocation and a more dynamic economy. This is not a view one hears often anymore.

This reminded me of something from circa 2004. I was in a small group discussion with the executive that reported to the CEO.

The company sales “outside the US” (a term that became politically incorrect as it was too US centric) of over 50% for a least a decade, but in the late 90’s the trend had changed from manufacturing locally for local use to following GE’s lead and manufacturing outside the US to take advantage of tax structure. By 2004, many engineers, including me, were raising concerns about this strategy because of things the financial analysis ignored. Technology loss and impact on new product development were our most solid arguments.

Thus, the meeting was needed to explain finance to a bunch of narrow minded engineers. When we voiced our argument, we were told that the world had changed and the US economy was now a financial economy.

At least in my experience, his first paragraph is dead on correct. It started with tax and moved on to buying and selling assets (businesses) and levering up the balance sheet. A 2% return on something with 10 to 1 leverage is better than a 10% return on something with zero leverage. The blue book math is pretty simple. Engineers can understand it, even if they prefer building things and overly worry about 2nd order consequences.


I agree this would be ideal. Based on current trajectories anywhere in the world, but especially in the increasingly-Marxist/Maoist west, I don’t think anything vaguely like it will ever happen. Maybe, after the whole thing collapses (and this could happen any time, likely initiated by financial collapse), something like this can arise, but that will require organization to resist and defeat the remaining emboldened would-be tyrants. Only then, after some semblance of order has been re-established, might an improved system arise.

We already see how those presently in power no longer feel constrained by traditional limitations of their power - as once enumerated in the Constitution. Imagine what they would be like in complete societal chaos. Imagine Covid power grabs X 100. Even if the “right” kind of leaders arose after having defeated the wrong kind (those we have now), the general public would likely demand use of any kind of force and coercion to restore them their “rightful” stuff and services. For this to subside and a new order as you describe to be instituted, would take some considerable time and re-establishment of trust.


I notice you can tip this writer using bitcoin or monero.

Bitcoin is one response to centralized money and currency

The truckers in Canada raised money using a bitcoin crowdfunding platform.

Much harder to freeze and seize bitcoin than bank accounts in Canada.

I made a bitcoin donation to the truckers

Bitcoin usage has increased in Russia after expulsion from SWIFT and asset expropriation from EU and USA