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IPFS News Link • Economic Theory

The International City Model: Freedom Is the Solution, Coercion Is the Problem

•, By Charles Hugh Smith

History is simplifying the choice ahead in terms of solving socio-economic problems: increase coercion or increase freedom. The legacy systems–nation-states and their core institutions–want to increase their power to coerce everyone as the ideal solution, while those being coerced want more choices and freedom, not less. The legacy power structures seek more centralized control, those under the thumb of monopolies and centralized powers want decentralized, localized options.

Stripped of PR niceties, the legacy systems view any problem as a threat to their power: every problem boils down to this: how do we protect the status quo from any change, because the current configuration is the source of our wealth, authority and power.

To the leadership of legacy systems, freedom and agency are the problem and coercion is the solution. To those being coerced, freedom and agency are the solution and coercion is the problem.

Actually solving the problem to the benefit of the citizenry is not viewed as the issue: the issue is how to secure and protect a sclerotic, corrupt status quo ruled by the few at the expense of the many.

This describes every centralized hierarchy in every nation-state, province and city, and in every sector from Big Tech to healthcare to higher education. The goal is not to welcome change and expand citizen-customer options and transparency, it's to restrict anything and everything that doesn't increase their control. That includes decentralization and localization and the expansion of agency and freedom.

From the point of view of the elites at the top of the status quo, the problem is once the masses escape the smothering grip of corruption, exploitation and servitude, they won't choose to remain exploited and controlled.

To secure their power, elites must suppress choice, transparency and the autonomy of citizens and customers, for if given the opportunity to move to a freer, more transparent system, autonomous people will abandon oppressive kleptocracies, both public and private.