The Sovereign Individual

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Book: The Sovereign Individual
Author James Dale Davidson & Lord William Rees-Mogg
The Sovereign Individual.jpg
Publisher Simon & Schuster
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Some summary points to keep in mind as you seek to understand the Information Revolution

  • A shift in the megapolitical foundations of power normally unfolds far in advance of the actual revolutions in the use of power.
  • Incomes are usually falling when a major transition begins, often because a society has rendered itself crisis-prone by marginalising resources due to population pressures.
  • Seeing "outside" of a system is usually taboo. People are frequently blind to the logic of violence in the existing society; therefore, they are almost always blind to changes in that logic, latent or overt. Megapolitical transitions are seldom recognised before they happen.
  • Major transitions always involve a cultural revolution, and usually entail clashes between adherents of the old and the new values.
  • Megapolitical transitions are never popular, because they antiquate painstakingly acquired intellectual capital and confound established moral imperatives. They are not undertaken by popular demand, but in response to changes in the external conditions that alter the logic of violence in the local setting.
  • Transitions to new ways of organising livelihoods or new types of government are initially confined to those areas where the megapolitical catalysts are at work.
  • With the possible exception of the early stages of farming, past transitions have always involved periods of social chaos and heightened violence due to disorientation and breakdown of the old system
  • Corruption, moral decline, and inefficiency appear to be signal features of the final stages of a system.
  • The growing importance of technology in shaping the logic of violence has led to an acceleration of history, leaving each successive transition with less adaptive time than ever before.

Summary of reasons the nation-state succeeded over the last two centuries (p132)

  • There were rising returns to violence that made the magnitude of force more important than efficiency as a governing principle.
  • Incomes rose sufficiently above subsistence that it became possible for the state to collect large amounts of total resources without having to negotiate with powerful magnates who were capable of resisting.
  • Democracy proved sufficiently compatible with the operation of free markets to be conducive to the generation of increasing amounts of wealth.
  • Democracy facilitated domination of government by its "employees", thereby assuring that it would be difficult to curtail expenditures, including military expenditures.
  • Democracy as a decision-rule proved to be an effective antidote to the ability of the wealthy to act in concert to restrict the nation-state's ability to tax or otherwise protect their assets from invasion.


Quote.pngWith democratic decision-making, the nation state could exercise power much more completely over millions of persons, who could not easily cooperate to act collectively in their own behalf, than it could in dealings with a much smaller number who could more easily overcome the organisational difficulties of defending their concentrated interests.
— p132

Quote.pngNow the advent of the Infomration Age implies another revolution in the character of money. As cybercommerce begins, it will lead inevitably to cybermoney. This new form of money will reset the odds, reducing the capacity of the world's nation-states to determine who becomes a Sovereign Individual. A crucial part of this change will become about because of the effect of information technology in liberating the holders of wealth from expropriation though inflation. Soon, you will pay for almost any transaction over the Net of World Wide Web at the same time you place it, using cybercash. This new digital form of money is destined to play a pivotal role in cybercommerce. It will consist of encrypted sequences of multihundred-digit prime numbers. Unique, anonymous, and verifiable, this money will accommodate the largest transactions. It will also be divisible into the tiniest fraction of value. It will be tradable at a keystroke in a multitrillion-dollar wholesale market without borders.

Six-part series on

An excellent series can be found here and covers the following:

1. A brief description of some basic "Sovereign Individual" issues.

2. Two case studies of individuals who have made considerable progress toward living their lives as Sovereign Individuals.

3. Some practical steps to consider in order to change or reorganize your life, affairs, and circumstances so you can live in practice as close as possible to the ideal Sovereign Individual.

4. A review of the book The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson & Lord William Reees-Mogg.

5. A comprehensive description of some ideal characteristics of Sovereign Individuals.

6. Resources for Sovereign Individuals.

See also