The Stigmergic Revolution


WhiteIndian's picture

"Specialization (division-of-labor) is for insects." ~Heinlein

Humans evolved as egalitarian band animals, and it takes central coordination, hierarchy, and administrative mechanisms to get them to behave like ants.

Darkcrusade's picture

Pro 6:1 ¶ My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

Pro 6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

Pro 6:3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Pro 6:4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

Pro 6:5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter], and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Pro 6:6 ¶ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Pro 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

Pro 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.

Pro 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Pro 6:10 [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

Pro 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Pro 6:12 ¶ A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

Pro 6:13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

Pro 6:14 Frowardness [is] in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

Pro 6:15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

The Humanitarian with the Guillotine

In her discerning book, The God of the Machine, Isabel Paterson draws important distinctions between Christian kindliness directed toward the relief of distress, and the
misguided efforts of those who would make it a vehicle for self-aggrandizement.

She points out that most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet
formula of their own. "It is at this point," she says, "that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine.''

Although prompted by good intentions, such a program is usually the outgrowth of egomania fanned by self-hypnotism. As stated before, it is based on this idea:
"I am right. Those who disagree are wrong. If they can't be forced into line, they must be destroyed."

Egoism, a natural human trait, is constructive when kept within bounds. But it is highly presumptuous of any mortal man to assume that he is endowed with such fantastic
ability that he can run the affairs of all his fellowmen better than they, as individuals, can rum their own personal affairs.

As Miss Paterson observes, the harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional "do-gooders," who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others - with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.

But it is a mistake to assume that the do-gooders are insincere. The danger lies in the fact that their faith is just as devout and just as ardent as that of the ancient Aztec priest.

WhiteIndian's picture

"obsessed with fanatical zeal to IMPROVE the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own"

A city-Statists like Ludwig Mises fits that description well.

"You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the IMPROVEments in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you." ~Ludwig von Mises, letter to Ayn Rand, January 23, 1956