We’re publishing an original piece today by David McGrogan, an Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School, in which he recommends some books that can help us understand how we ended up living under the plimsol of soft totalitarianism. One of his recommendations is The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter:
Tainter’s thesis is relatively straightforward: as societies grow and develop, they become increasingly complex, with new laws and regulations and public services being endlessly created. These increasing layers of complexity cannot be removed once they’ve become entrenched – because we get used to them, and they come to appear essential. This results in a never-ending conglomeration of purportedly necessary government schemes, none of which is ever revoked; in the end, all this stuff becomes a drain, gobbling up resources, until the society is denuded of productivity and becomes brittle, ready to be pushed over as soon as a genuine crisis hits. Some, including Rishi Sunak, entertain the naïve belief that there will be a ‘back to normal’ moment for our economy. Tainter would tell them that the opposite is much more likely: furlough and other forms of government support for businesses, vaccine passports, mass-testing, Covid regulations and ‘guidance’, massive quantitative easing/money printing, quarantine and the like will all become part of the furniture, something we ‘have to do’ indefinitely, draining productivity and constantly increasing public debt, until a real emergency comes along and it all comes falling down like the biggest house of cards in history.