Modern Governing’s Social Complexity Problem

“GET OUT OF THE CITIES!!!” This line with accompanying punctuation marks slips into timelines of news feeds. It is the caption to a video of a wild attack on an innocent pedestrian by a criminal. It is the deep commentary to a graph on crime and prosecutorial malfeasance by a DA. It is also a call to removing oneself from a power center. In it’s favor though, is the unspoken fact that progressive ideology has created a situation where all of the solvable problems of our urban areas are unsolvable. Joseph Tainter would recognize this as a layering of parameters that makes America’s social complexity unsustainable.

Any city in America is not just the city but the metropolitan area. America’s previous era of suburban flight created a wide area of suburbs and even exburbs that are still part of a city’s reach. The blue city states in a sea of red political phenomenon is not just Chicago in Illinois but the tolerable commute to Chicago ring counties. One can leave the city and much dysfunction (as caught by urban videos) without leaving the power center. Suburbs are the purple parts of America. Once rural, one is isolated, away from any chance at influencing decision making circles and a transplant in different form. A transplant would have to map the power within their county, not just overt office holders but the major employers, major landowners, political donors, security forces, etc. Even then, the county is subject to the state, and the chance is high that your state is dominated not just by the liberal politics of the major metro area, but by the quisling conservative metro faction that enjoys the material benefits of the Clintonian economic policies of the left. Aaron Renn has covered this in his writing, and Kansas and Indiana are his focus, which are both red states that have a metro quisling right that dominates policy.

The problem with the cities, and this is metastasizing broader to states and even our nation is the decision making is hand-cuffed by progressive ideology making cities and therefore states worse. There would be easy fixes to crime problems in Philadelphia, Chicago, New Yok and Los Angeles if it were possible to not just vote out a DA, but to have an office of the district attorney that was not purely progressive in staffing. That starts with law schools, which means it starts with college curriculums. Public schooling and broader media messaging feed into that as well. A student does not enter undergrad wanting to be an attorney fighting for social justice in legal outcomes unless they were told for eighteen years that there is a rigged game against certain ethnic groups who also happen to be Democrat voter blocs.

The fight starts with K-12 curriculum. The fight continues with undergrad curriculum. The fight never ends with media messaging about crime. While a tough on crime approach makes sense to 40% of the population, it does not to another 40%. The middle 20% swings on how recent the last dead crook in police custody occurred. 

Difficulty reaching that swing 20% is that the progressive intersectionality stack and Democrat voter blocs make it impossible to discuss reality and consider consequentialism. The left are deontologists and whatever the fountains of the media and academics spout is good is what they will do. Consequences be damned. Currently, the good to aspire to is racial equity. Racial equity means reducing policing, setting up turnstiles at jails, and being soft on crime in the hopes of alleviating social outcome disparities for higher crime committing minorities. The marketing might be to fight white supremacy or to reunite families. Those hazy goals come with the good label, so recidivism and elevated crime rates do not matter. There are no brakes on the train. Not just ideologically, but we’ve reached tipping points in urban areas where there is no voter check on the dysfunction.

That social complexity makes economic planning a bit different. If the municipalities will not spend money on security and surveillance, private actors will. This is happening more in America. It is not a fully parallel construction of society like in Latin America, which would likely be destroyed as racist. It is a hodge-podge development, but it still allocates resources differently. Resources go to security more than other investments. This siphons off spending on productive actions. Long-term planning takes a hit as the quickly changing nature of cities makes individuals and companies hesitant to buy or enter long-term leases for commercial or residential property. Those property values represent a lot of wealth and have big pull in cities.

Firms can engage in flight from cities, but once again, social complexity forces the left to centralize the economic power and productivity to reward its clients. Growing property values in urban areas rewards the patrons. That is the story of the last thirty years of urban rebound. Cities got tough on crime to lure companies and individuals back into city cores. The big winners were the property holders and the cities that saw tax revenue increases. Now we cannot just have decent cities, but the cities must meet these social rules while also rewarding just the left’s preferred economic patrons. As we layer more and more to the checklist, the ability to perform core functions decreases. Every single entity in America now has to build in a DEI budget allocation.

America cannot allow economic decentralization and a tough on crime policy switch to occur because they break social taboos of the left, and the left controls the game. DEI expenditures cannot be removed, or else firms and agencies lose protection from civil rights lawsuit action. This is unsustainable. The problem facing the nation is that the left controls where we go and unfortunately, has not just internalized a death drive but has made it a policy goal. Whether abortion, sterilization or ambivalence to crime, these are all good in the eyes of our thought leaders who wish to enact social justice en masse. Making racial equity real is the supreme good, consequences be damned. Tainter’s analysis would lead us to believe a collapse to something simpler will come. This may be an actual collapse in cities. Hopefully, it will just be a collapse in unspeakable topics and social taboos to a simpler time. That time being just ten years ago.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott Dinger says:

    Ethnic cleansing.

    Like

  2. Freddy says:

    You forget the growth of the welfare industrial complex. For example, planned parenthood receives tens of millions of dollars from government. Some of that is used to lobby and make donations Democrats that will vote more money for abortion. The same thing is happening with open borders. Big money in illegal alien charity. This partly why the will of the people is irrelevant.

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  3. info says:

    The rot spreads of the cities to the countryside.

    Like

  4. NC says:

    it is DIE not DEI, I know the DaemonRATS use DEI, but that is the inversion.

    Like

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