WASHINGTON, April 14, 2017 — The vision of the West as the center of the world is collapsing. It was created by the Western elite to serve their interests and their bottom line. It was a rigid vision and could not be sustained.
Had this vision included all other nationalities as partners, not inferiors, it might have had a lasting impact. It was under intellectual pressure for years and survived, but the pressure mounted under the weight of hypocrisies exposed by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The Western vision is of global domination, and it centers around the West’s control of international finance. The elites received an enormous bailout after Lehman’s collapse, then received support through quantitative easing for several years after that. U.S. debt doubled under President Obama, but the elite also demanded tax breaks.
President Trump has come to answer their call. We are in the days of Robin Hood, where the poor finance the lavish lifestyles of the rich. That’s what TARP openly proclaimed.
The collapsing international order served Western Interests and cooperating kleptomaniacs around the world. It was never about morality, human rights or ending poverty; it was about money. If the Saudis provide oil, who cares that they crush liberty? If Mugabe played ball, who cared what he violated human rights?
The idea of white men as the center of the universe is dying, except to the Western elite and rednecks trapped in the past. So what comes next?
Knowledge economics is the study of knowledge as a resource. According to a 2012 paper, “Defining Economics in the Twenty-First Century,” it looks at the properties of this resource and its allocation. This approach to economics suggests that what comes next is a vision distributed across the needs of humanity.
As knowledge becomes the most important currency and begins to race through the world economy, the tempo of change accelerates in less economically developed societies. Even in the poorest parts of the world, cellphones and the internet are everywhere. Knowledge is everywhere.
Information is everything. Physics suggests that the universe is an information processing system; economics suggests that the same is true of the economy. It allocates information about prices and availability of resources, needs and wants. And as information spreads and knowledge is there for everyone, everyone becomes a more important part of that information processing system.
The first law of information is that every relationship leads to a loss of freedom. This law to everything from atoms to humans to black holes. Information flows and connections define most things, from relationships be between our neurons to the agents in an economy.
An important factor here is probability. Enormous and improbable strings of causality lead to everything in this quantum world of ours.
Probability imposes on knowledge. Our knowledge is enormous, but it develops, like the economy, in unknowable and unpredictable ways. The cost of developing new information and finding new uses for it is high, but once it’s there, it is cheap or free for the taking.
The result is a world whose future is controlled by no one, where the vision of Western elites, resting as it does on centralized power and information, is swept aside.
No one knows where the next great discovery or innovation will come from. Hence it is not just wrong, but foolish to impose restrictions on participation in the global economy. The system demands liberty. The only economic system consistent with this type of liberty is one that lets people choose their relationships, understanding that each relationship limits freedom. It lets people choose those relationships by the costs they’re willing to bear in time, money and autonomy.
That system is free markets and free trade. Outside restrictions on choice distort and limit the creation and flow of information. They are about control, not human welfare. They institutionalize inequality for the benefit of elites. Free markets are a threat to elites, a knife at their throat and the threat of gasoline and a match set to their money.
The Western vision paid lip service to markets and freedom, denying the substance. It is dying, and the knowledge economy is killing it.