I came across an interesting bit of reading on the relative stability of hierarchies of violence today. It’s a tidbit on a Substack so epistemic status is that I learned something and I’m thinking a lot about trust as we live through various crisis points in real time on networked media.
The article that starts with prison gangs and the weight of violent action on bosses and gets deep on hierarchical stability and selection pressures. I really do recommend the reading as it gets into Scottish kings, American federal bureaucracy, and military service academies.
I’m working on improving my theory of organizational structure because somehow I am one of the louder “thinks in public” about corporate governance and decentralized autonomous organization. It’s a bit of an accident as I am just very interested in how collectives organize resources at different scales.
Some of investing thesis surrounds a nexus of how we organize decentralized power when centralized powers wish us your in-group to be illegal or killed. It’s a salient question for all of us in an age of institutional failure and I’m keen to learn more about what works in the most adverse situations.
Skarbek might call this market competition for governance, an Italian futurist might say “War is the hygiene of the world”, a musician might say a rolling stone gathers no moss, a survivalist that the quickest stream is the freshest…But the phenomenon remains. the devil reigns in hell… because where else are you going to go
I’m a doomer but only because I’m keen to head off going to hell. I’d like to avoid us having to return to a Hobbesian war of all against all just because we’ve gotten a little tired of liberalism because it allows for out-groups to live and let live. So putting it out there that functional systems can be stable and maybe stability isn’t our only goal.