I propose Snowden and Mannings to endow the next peace Nobel prize. At least that would be a redemption of the prize’s reputation from becoming just an ideological weapon. On the other hand I wouldn’t be happy about it either as it would for an other time revive the Messiah cult which is the foundation of many great religions, most of our social structures, and all of our recent problems. But I digress. This post is not about Nobel prize and not about Messiah faith (which is covered elsewhere) this post is about intelligence, entrepreneurship, and the reasons why leakages become so popular.
The core of the problem is the rise of mediocrity which in turn is identifying a declining empire. The rise of mediocrity in security agencies in the army in particular is meticulously described in this article of the Atlantic. It says:
Performance evaluations emphasize a zero-defect mentality, meaning that risk-avoidance trickles down the chain of command.
“Risk avoidance” may be translated into anti-entrepreneurship or even cowardice, and “trickles down the chain of command” means no less than an instance of the general fauceir rule of niche constructions. In that particular case, all “risk avoiding” commanders strive to have a crew that does not challenge their cowardice and expose their incompetence. Unfortunately that tendency eventually trickled down the whole chain of command and reached the general population already. That is the point when security is spying its own population.
That however also is the point when a decline of an empire finalizes into a fall. The life cycle of an empire is characterized by three phases:
- The innovative phase. In this phase the society still small in size accumulates new technologies in a quite innovative way, which gives it an advantage over neighboring societies.
- The expansion phase. By many historians this phase of territory and population growth is mistaken for the society blossoming into an empire. Mistakenly this phase is considered the rise of the empire, but it is actually the first phase of its fall as in this phase innovations already decline dramatically. Conclusively, further rising living standard is to less due to new technologies but increasingly due to exploiting existing technology to robber less developed neighbors. So it comes as no surprise that in this phase innovation is mostly focused on military. This change in a society’s behavior from fostering science and innovation to sheer robbery mirrors a parallel change in political and military personnel.
- The decline. In this phase non-robbery-related innovation come almost to a halt. The former technological advantage vanishes. The military advantage diminishes. The population kept calm by generous presents looted from other societies becomes turbulent and has to be more intensely monitored or even suppressed.
These three phases can be exactly found in every empire to my knowledge. There is abundant evidence of it from the British, German and Russian empires. The decline of the Roman empire is extensively described. Although Edward Gibbon’s book written in the 18th century England appears a little bit clumsy to readers unfamiliar to that extremely formal English, it relates exactly the details of phase three. Not surprisingly, this period was chosen by the author as British Empire entered the same phase. That decline of his own empire was anticipated by the sensible author.
The fall of an empire is not equivalent to destruction of society or even killing of its population. It is merely the salvation from a robber band which not only tyrannizes neighbors but also their own people. There are examples in history of nations whose people always have been prosperous without ever being an empire, Switzerland for instance, and Germany was more prosperous after the Nazis. I hope America will find its way back into into a free nation soon.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.