If honesty were suddenly introduced into politics, it would throw everything off. The whole system would collapse!
Why isn’t every Republican and the RNC screaming about the 2020 election? Because honesty about that election would collapse the system.
America’s voting system has been artificially complicated in order to funnel money to a few favored companies. This needless complication has concentrated the ability to manipulate elections into the hands of few hard-left zealots in the tech and media industries. And future historians will attribute the collapse of civilization to this concentration of power.
The assessment of over-complication of US voting systems comes not from Lin Wood or Rudy Giuliani, but from progressive tech writer and sci-fi novelist, Corey Doctorow.
Elections Cannot Be Centralized And Honest #
In a recent blog post, Doctorow warned: nothing on the internet can be secure, including elections. (We all know that.) But he also explained brilliantly why America’s election system is systemically flawed: complication.
Elections are actually easy: paper ballots, hand-marked and hand counted in sight of scrutineers from opposing parties. But thanks to a highly consolidated vote-tech sector with plenty of money to spend, Americans have been convinced that this can’t work for America.
“But, Hennessy,” you say, “the US is big. Hand counts would take too long.”
Really? They told Doctorow the same thing.
It’s a bizarre and innumerate proposition: America has more people, so it will have more ballots, so it can’t count them by hand.
But that’s actually irrelevant because elections are (or should be) managed proportionally.
Doctorow goes on to explain that Canada (his native land) and the UK have none of the election problems that plague the US:
Canada and the UK don’t consolidate all their ballots to a single counting-house where, like, eight people tally the nation’s votes.
The votes are counted at the polling place. America has more polling places than Canada, but there’s no reason it can’t have the same ratio of polling places – and ballot counters – to voters as Canada does. To a first approximation, that’s already true.
If you appoint one vote counter for every 500 voters in a given area, it doesn’t matter how many total voters there are. But simple logic is lost on Americans. We assume everything must be centralized to be safe. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Centralization Causes Fragility and Vulnerability to Attack #
In fact, centralization leads to fragility and massively increased vulnerability. As risk expert Nassim Taleb explained in his book Antifragile.
Beginning with the nonlinearity of fragility, Taleb explains that dropping a China cup from 20 feet causes more damage to the cup than dropping from one foot 20 times. Or, consider barbell training. My thrice-weekly barbell workouts involve lifting about 13,000 pounds, and I get progressively stronger with each workout. If, however, I were forced to lift 13,000 pounds one time, I would probably never lift an ounce again. I would instantly become very weak and possibly dead.
Or jumping. If I jump off a 1-foot wall 60 times I experience very different results than if I jump off a 60-foot wall one time.
Now, it’s true that a bad outcome could happen in any of the granular activities: the cup could crack on the 13th drop, I could strain a tendon on my 5th deadlift or twist an ankle on my 52nd jump. But those injuries would neither affect the other actions in the sequences, nor would they cause irreparable harm.
Now, let’s apply this law of nonlinearity to elections.
If votes in the United States were counted at the precinct with one vote counter per 500 (or per 1,000, or per 10,000, whatever the optimal ratio might be), a major error or fraud in one precinct would have little effect on other precincts.
But in 2020, we reduced our counting stations to one. Yes, just one counting system for the entire country. In 2020, we lifted 13,000 pounds all at once; we dropped the cup from 20 feet; we threw ourselves off a 60-foot wall.
We centralized elections into a single, massive, complicated system that broke, destroying everything.
Introducting Election Honesty at This Point Would Collapse the System #
And “destroying everything” is not an exaggeration. In fact, the entire theory of self-governance was destroyed by the 2020 election, which is precisely why the Republicans—even Republicans who love Trump—are afraid to call “fraud.” They know that if people realize the 2020 election was a fraud, then all elections are frauds and the entire American experiment in self-governance was an illusion. And that disillusionment will bring down everything.
Trust in institutions is already at an all-time low. The last time trust in a system of government was this low was around the time the Roman Empire was overcome by monasticism. Again, we look to Taleb to explain why the fall of the American system cannot be compared to anything since the fall of the Roman Empire: scale.
Your car is fragile. If you drive it into the wall at 50 miles per hour, it would cause more damage than if you drove it into the same wall ten times at 5 mph. The harm at 50 mph is more than ten times the harm at 5 mph.1
The last empire as vast and powerful as the United States was Rome. When the people lost faith in the Roman system, it collapsed into a political and cultural dark age across Europe.
The effects of the collapse of the American system will be even bigger. Rome was a stabilizing force only within the Roman Empire. But the USA has been the stabilizing force for the entire world for almost a century. When America falls, so will everything else.
And the cause of this collapse was not corruption or ignorance or Marxism, though each of those was a complicating factor. The cause of the fall of the American system was, in fact, centralization. Centralization increases fragility and leads to total collapse every time it’s tried.
Think about this when you hear of business consolidation (mergers and acquisitions), systems consolidation (computers), or any other form of centralization.
Nature provides the solution to the problem: division and diversification.
When a cell grows too large, it divides. A cell that does not divide will die when its surface area becomes insufficient to feed its internal structures. (See the surface-to-volume ratio if you don’t understand this concept.)
Diversification is simply nature’s way of not putting all its eggs in one basket. Many kinds of apples exist. Many kinds of bacteria, too. When an asteroid or super volcano wiped out the dinosaurs, other forms of life survived. A forest of a single kind of tree, even the beautiful pin oak, would be wiped out by a pin oak predator in a single season. A forest of hundreds of tree species would hardly look different a year after the blight.
Centralization and Consolidation Doomed the American Election System #
The 2020 election was decided by a single operation, Decision Desk, which consolidated data from a tiny handful of big-tech voting system companies, including Dominion. This created the most fragile and vulnerable election in world history. And the failure of that monolithic system will go down as the greatest political failure in world history.
George Carlin was right: honesty would collapse the whole system. The only way to keep that system going is to pretend nothing happened in 2020, which is exactly what the GOP is doing.
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) (p. 269). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. ↩︎