To achieve optimum levels of efficiency, complex societies need the support of efficient hierarchies of decision-making.
People in the formative phases of the first civilisations learnt how to combine the efficiency of power with the disciplines of ethics. This was authentic power: the capacity to mobilise the efforts of free people to solve problems in an efficient and ethical manner.
That quality is almost wholly absent in modern societies, in which power tends to assume the form of political opportunism. This is a degraded form of force, which has become part of the problem, not the solution, to the challenges facing humanity. We see this in the way that seemingly all-powerful governments continue to be defeated by the painful problems which afflict their populations.
The explanation for this failure is to be found in the fact that these problems flow from the architecture of the social system. As such, they are aligned with the privileged interests of rent-seekers, who remain hostile to remedies which might cure (as opposed to mitigating) the problems. By understanding the causal connections – the transmission mechanisms for poverty, ill-health, corruption, unaffordable housing, and so on – we may identify the need for fresh approaches. By locating our analysis within the framework of the model of civilisation, we are led to the conclusion that intractable problems can be erased; but only by restoring the classical statecraft and its doctrine of the Single Tax.
Based on our review of the deep past and the recent present, we can illustrate how current problems would be placed on the path to resolution within the framework of the classical approach to statecraft.