The P2P Society

Sean Lynch describes his vision for making government obselete.

As people share music files on peer to peer services, they take away power from the large music distributors. Artists now have the opportunity to distribute their music directly to the people who want to hear that music in a very similar way to the way people might perform on the street for tips. Other revenue models are of course possible, but the point is that this more direct relationship between the consumer and producer of music could make traditional music distributors obsolete.

I am hoping that this sort of model extends to other fat corporations and the government. We are no longer dependent on the USPS to send letters due to email. Books can be distributed online, though people like reading them on paper, so that gives the publishing companies a little time to find new business models before they start feeling the same pain as music distributors. Technology even makes it possible for smaller companies to make and distribute automobiles.

First, governments were making coins out of precious metals, only standardizing their weights and fineness. Then they started issuing paper that was exchangable for precious metals because the paper was easier to carry around. Then they switched to purely fiat currencies with paper and cheap pot-metal coins. Now, with electronic transactions, we don't even need the paper any more. However, electronic transactions also make it possible to exchange not just fiat currencies, but anything we want, including mutual fund units, stocks, gold, or whatever! Fiat currencies are still used because they are relatively stable and liquid, but what will happen the next time a major economy goes into hyperinflation?

Rather than talking about how past societies managed to get by with less government, I'd like to talk about how technology is making government less necessary. Whether or not you think government ever was necessary, the fact remains that it's here. However, people are increasingly interacting in ways that aren't under the control of government, and that trend just might help make government obsolete.

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Myria