Similarity to Other “isms”

It will undoubtedly be pointed out that Matchism is in many ways closer to forms of government individuals living under representative democracies have rejected or indeed waged war against on principle. Although there are good points to be made to support this, overall, Matchism does not fall into any of these categories so much as it represents a synthesis of the best ideas from each of them, a syncretic political system.

Specifically, Matchism superficially most closely resemble communism. Many of the fundamental concepts, such as common ownership of the land and resources, prohibition of inheritance, and government by people working in small groups (i.e., soviets, as in the original design by the Bolsheviks) could have been drawn directly from the works of Marx and Lenin. In the case of Matchism, however, they were actually derived independently from common source material, and noting that a key tenant of Matchism, the prohibition on inheritance, although proposed by Marx in the Communist Manifesto, was one of the few key ideas that was not included in the Soviet implementation of it (probably because it conflicted with Lenin’s preference for a hierarchical organization). The communist maxim “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a good rough description of the Standard Income, the requirement that the unemployed and disabled work (for the State if necessary) to secure this income, and a consumption and no-inheritance based tax system. One might even note that the vast majority of the Matchist economy will consist of public companies, shares of which will all be owned by individuals, which means even the requirement of “public ownership of the means of production” will be satisfied.

Still, the differences between Matchism and communism, at least so far as it has ever actually been implemented, are far larger and more significant than these similarities. Most notably is that Matchism requires a robust and competitive capitalist economic system at the highest level, which is the antithesis of the planned economies of traditional communism (collectivization, the botched implementation of which was the single greatest failure of the Soviets and communist Chinese, resulting in millions of deaths due to starvation and disease). This competitive economic system is required because communism, like utilitarianism, is a poor match for human Clinations.

But the biggest difference is that Lenin’s design was for a dictatorship, where a few SDAPs (his “Vanguard of the Revolution”) would wield unlimited power. This proved the most disastrous component of the Soviet design, since it stifled criticism and therefore innovation and so retarded the development of the people living under this rule by decades or more. And of course Mao was most likely a psychopath, for whom staying in power was the only thing that really mattered, his “communism” being more like a hobby, the dabblings of the ultimate amateur social engineer.

Many liberals, progressives, and anarchists will make the opposite complaint: Turning the economy over to untaxed corporations and individuals will virtually ensure an unequal distribution of power and wealth. Matchism also requires a seamless path between developed and undeveloped Localities. They will fear that these policies will bring back the worst of 19th century capitalism: Robber barons, who dominated railroads and other heavy industries in the US in the late 1800s, and carpet baggers, which invaded the South after the US civil war, snatching up war-torn resources at cut-rate prices.

The risk of robber barons arising is minimal, based primarily on the specific prohibition on monopolies (and especially natural monopolies) found in Matchism. Although “robber baron” behavior will tend to arise in all corporations, the prohibitions on inheritance, requirement of shareholder empowerment, and inability to corrupt leaders into passing laws that favor them will prevent them from becoming the overarching problem they have been in the past (and frequently are even today).

The possibility of “carpet baggers” taking over a newly-added Locality is a more serious issue and must be a carefully regulated part of the Locality-creation process. Because there can be no protective tariffs between Localities, nor any regulation of the movement of the People, if the standard of living is lower in a new Locality than in the Globality as a whole, there will be a natural influx of capital into a new Locality and migration of the people out. The primary means of control will be the multi-year Implementation Agreement, which must be approved by both the Globality and the new Locality. It will govern all aspects of conversion, and must include specific investment and emigration targets and policies and a staged elimination of protective tariffs.

Also of concern to liberals and progressives will be that Matchism makes no allowance for “affirmative action” or other reparatory reverse-discrimination policies. These will have to be phased out as part of the Implementation Agreement, which could possibly include any last-ditch efforts to render them unnecessary.

Matchism seemingly resembles dictatorships in its high reliance on powerful Managers at both the Global and Local levels. It cannot be disputed that a “benevolent dictatorship” is by far the most efficient form of government, and when it eventually comes to pass that computer and software technology develops to the level we can create one, we ought to try this. Until that time, however, it should be clear that no human being is suitable for that role and so we must ensure that our dictator-equivalent (i.e. Manager) only possesses the ability to execute the laws rather than create them or confirm that they comply with Matchism and the tenets of social engineering. This is one area where the framers of the US constitution got it right: Separating these three powers is key to preventing a real dictatorship (or other tyranny) from developing. Unfortunately, they badly botched the definition of the process of selecting the executive: It’s nearly incoherent, and not at all descriptive of the way presidents are selected today. Voting on a President as a type of popularity contest is about the worst way to select a good executive, since it almost completely ignores the crucial issue of their management skills and experience.

There are certain proposals in Matchism that resemble those made by libertarians and some fiscal conservatives especially the requirement of a robust capitalist economy, but also on the need to reduce the size of government and especially expenditures on national defense. There is also much overlap on libertarian prescriptions for individual freedoms, particularly with respect to drug use. But each of these freedoms come restrictions (i.e., the Credentialing system) that libertarians may find objectionable as being “coercive”. Which of course is a bogus objection, because “coercion” is defined as persuading an individual to do something by threat of force. Requiring an individual to choose between having the freedom to drive a car and the freedom to not take the driving test is not coercion because it lacks this key characteristic (i.e., there is no threat of force directing you either way). The same applies with all other proper social engineering tools: For example, putting a higher tax on cigarettes isn’t coercive because there is no threat involved, and as long as the cost is in proportion to the actual costs assumed by The People (i.e., the purely practical matter of the higher projected cost of the additional health care, disability payments, and janitorial and fire protection services that will be required by a smoker), it is objectively fair. If the taxes are higher than that, they tread into the area of class 3 or 4 behavioral engineering, which while still not coercive may be considered unfair by some because they rely on the relatively weaker moral justification.

Libertarians also tend to be fond of the concept of “land ownership” rather than only ownership of improvements to the land. As explained in Land and Natural Resources, however, this is an outdated concept that only leads to dishonest, illogical, and inefficient policies.

Finally, libertarians and fiscal conservatives are more generally comfortable with high levels of inequality than our evolutionary ancestors would have been: There were no libertarians in Pleistocene-era bands because those who would have been “alpha males” and denied resources to others would have been exiled or executed by the group. Nor would those in the group with libertarian sympathies refrain from participating in this process due to their ideology (hey, better him than me!). Worse, as shown in the section On Charity, libertarian and fiscal conservative preference for charity over State-guaranteed welfare is shown to be inherently inefficient and unfair (i.e., unworkable). As such, pure libertarianism, Ayn Rand’s objectivism, and radical fiscal conservatism are fundamentally incompatible with Neurotypical human nature to the point of being inherently amoral.

The fact that these philosophies don’t account for the strong egalitarian Clination in neurotypicals also means that they are also fundamentally incompatible with any sort of direct democracy: If you give power to the broad middle of society, they will instinctively institute some sort of wealth redistribution to provide a floor standard of living (at least). While the form of government these philosophies are compatible with is always left inexplicably vague, dictatorship and oligarchy would seem to be the only two options. Oh, there might be some handwaving about anarcho-syndicalism or anarcho-primitivism (if we could reduce the world’s population by 99.99% or more) as options, but neither of these are stable forms of government as long as SDAPs exist: The strongest of them will inevitably overwhelm even the lower-performing SDAPs in other syndicates/locations, devolving the society into a dictatorship. Given what we’ve learned about dictatorships, oligarchy, in the form of a “representative government”, would seem to be the only viable form of government for objectivism/libertarianism/strong fiscal conservativism. And of course even this only works to the extent that it would be SDAP-led, since only they have significantly lower levels of the egalitarian Clination necessary to prevent a wealth-redistribution policy from arising. That is, to the extent that it is not really “representative” at all.

Matchism’s proposed drastic reduction in population and emphasis on rebuilding nature through the expansion of wild land (Parklands) resembles the philosophies of Green Anarchy and Primitivism. And the compatibility actually goes much deeper than that: The System at its core is a way to implement the Pleistocene-era egalitarian decision-making process that many Anarchists promote, although it does so by using technology rather than eliminating it. By allowing each person to have direct control over the process of establishing government policy it is a way to provide not only the practical benefits of restraining SDAPs the same way our Pleistocene-era ancestors did, it also directly addresses the issues of alienation, apathy, social stratification, and coercion that plague our current civilization and that are the primary motivators of Anarchists.

But anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, like communists, will strongly object to Matchism’s reliance on corporations for the bulk of economic activity. These movements’ focus, to the point of obsession, on the dangers of “capital” and corporations belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of capital and of the corporations that require and generate it. These things are just tools, being more akin to electricity and power tools than to “evil magic”. Like money, too much electricity in the hands of one person leads to disaster, and there have probably been millions of injuries and maimings as the result of our reliance on power tools which are indeed quite dangerous if improperly used or maintained. But no serious utopian would even consider proposing a civilization that rejected the use of electricity because of the dangers it poses humans. The problem with capital is merely that we haven’t yet mastered the political technology to properly and safely utilize it. The Matchism System will allow us to harness the great power and efficiency of capital while simultaneously minimizing the danger it presented to earlier poorly designed and maintained political systems.

The insistence on equality all around, and the rejection of the concept that the government should run by powerful leaders (who are almost always men) might strike one as being derivative of feminism. There is some common cause, and in fact Matchism may have identified a fundamental flaw in the radical feminist strategy: It is not all humans that should be the targets of their efforts, it is primarily the SDAPs who are their adversaries. This being the case, implementation of Matchism will enable major advances in feminism, the SI will eliminate wage discrimination at least at the low end of the economic scale, and an equivalent to the US ERA comes for free. Nevertheless, Matchism is certainly not an endorsement of the proposal of electing or promoting women into positions of power in an effort to provide balance and equality: Authoritarianism is not a sex-linked trait, and so one might even say “Behind every great Authoritarian man there is an Authoritarian woman working to marginalize herself and any other identifiable outsider”.

Although the prescription for combining a robust capitalist economy with a robust social welfare system might be reminiscent of “Third Way” political movements, there is a vast difference in philosophy and proposed implementation: “Third Way” politics is highly hierarchical and assumes (indeed seems to be designed to ensure) that the same types of wealthy and powerful individuals who exercise almost complete control over our current political and economic systems will remain in power. The same is true of most socialist and even populist movements: Although they might claim to be “of the people and for the people”, because they do not deal with the SDAP issue at all they may actually end up being worse for The People in general than pure conservative or liberal philosophies because they coopt the good and accentuate the bad aspects of these philosophies (i.e., the only thing worse than a corrupt two-party system is a corrupt single party system).

As for The System being an oligarchy, this is probably a fair description (or criticism, if you prefer). Until such time as our machines are powerful enough to eliminate all the drudgery from human existence, thereby allowing each individual the free time to fully contribute to The System, we are going to have to rely on some subset of the population to do most of the heavy lifting required to run a government. Since this is what we do now in all representative democracies, one can’t really criticize Matchism as just another way for the rich and powerful to exploit everyone else unless you can also prove that it is worse in this respect than any other system. Given what we now know about SDAPs, and how Matchism systematically constrains their biases towards prejudice and aggression, proving something like that is going to be a tough row to hoe.

What Matchism hopefully resembles least is the type of hierarchical government where the “chosen people” get complete control over both the economy and the private lives of all of The People. Proponents of this type of system are sometimes called “Social Conservatives”, but of course that is in most cases just a euphemism for “Authoritarians”. Although Matchism’s capitalistic features would seem to be compatible with their general economic inclinations, in fact with Social Conservatives Capitalism isn’t considered a necessity, but merely a tool that can be used (or misused) as needed to achieve their real goal, which is SDAP domination over The People, freedom to impose their religious beliefs on others, and the facilitation of increasing their own wealth (as was demonstrated in Altemeyer’s Global Change Game experiments in which Authoritarian players put more than twice as much money in their own pockets as the Neurotypicals did).

Always keep in mind that our current hierarchical governments are a relatively recent invention, evolutionarily speaking. Human beings and their direct ancestors lived primarily in egalitarian groups for millions of years and so that is the environment we have evolved to function best in. Only with the advent of agriculture and a resource-sharing system that relied on storage did the even older (and more primitive) hierarchical form of organization reassert itself. Given the technology available up until very recently that was indeed the best form of government we could hope for. But now we finally have the ability to implement something better.

Next: Similarity to Utopias and Dystopias