The Sovereign Individual

By James Davidson and William Rees-Mogg

The Sovereign Individual was a book published ten years ago and written by two English investment bankers. It contained some long-range predictions that I found fascinating, especially when I considered that this book was written more than a decade ago.

Its theme states that Industrial Society, which dominated four hundred years of human history, will soon give way to a new world order. No longer will the large industrial nations control the smaller countries. No longer will the large corporations grow at the expense of smaller enterprises.

The arrival of the Internet and the age of electronic ‘everywhereness’ will bring about profound change. The speed and availability of information transfer will empower some enterprises to excel, while handicapping others. It will empower a few who can adapt to high-speed communications and reduce to insignificance the historic strength of larger, less resourceful entities. This will ultimately be true of large nations as well as corporations. The great democracies will be unable to maintain law and order while policing the expanding criminal activities activated by the Internet. Smaller nations will be the first to fall before the onslaught of expanding crime.

Some of these eventualities are already in their late stages of development; still others are just beginning.
We are standing at the threshold of a momentous transformation.

Internet communications will profoundly affect, the inequality of individual income levels. It will permit a few talented individuals to create huge fortunes. The appearance of youthful ‘instant’ millionaires will be commonplace.
Tax avoidance will be increasingly enticing for these wealthy individuals as Internet transfers of funds make non-payment of taxes a simple matter. Investing in unregulated off shore funds will be the norm. Successful investors will abandon their homeland domicile for citizenship in low tax provinces.
Government budgets of the western democracies will be strained as tax avoidance trends gain strength, and tax receipts decline.

Small nations, like Switzerland, Bermuda, and the Bahamas will increasingly provide safe harbor for super rich tax evaders. Small nations will be transformed solely for the purpose of creating havens for the growing population of criminal lords and drug kings to hide their loot.

Cyberspace and high-speed communication will vastly increase the profitability of crime and simultaneously spread government corruption. Digital thugs will become more adept at stealing individual credit identity. Drug dealers and leaders in crime will act increasingly in concert to bribe and control government officials. Corruption will be the norm. Terrorism will add to the imbalance of lawlessness, as new methods of destruction are mastered.

The trend toward anarchy will be evident first in smaller nations where drug trafficking is already prevalent and government corruption a growing problem. South and Latin American nations will be especially vulnerable. Chaos in daily life will dominate these small nations. It is already in progress on the US-Mexican border, where drug lords battle openly for control. It is also in progress in Columbia, Ecuador and many other Latin American countries. Drug dealing, kidnapping, digital theft and the taking of hostages are rapidly becoming the only rewarding vocations for the citizens of these communities.

The larger nations, the United States and Western Europe, will find increasing difficulty meeting their committed government expenditures. Social benefits will retreat in value, as budget deficits rise and inflation advances. The cost of policing will become increasingly burdensome and ineffective. Social unrest and rising crime will sap their strength as tax receipts from rich citizens fall, federal debt rises and the nation’s solvency is thrown in doubt.
American global predominance will decline, as concern with Muslim terrorism replaces our earlier preoccupation with the spread of Marxist ideology.
The book contains much gathered evidence to support these conclusions, which, for the most part, are well documented. And remember, the book was written in 1992.

If you can stand the arrogant nature of the narrative by the authors, and the dark portrait of the future portrayed, you may want to read the book and judge for yourself if the authors have it right.
A lot of what is happening today may then begin to make sense to you.
For the citizen of modest means, I recommend a Taser stun gun.
Richard E. McConnell July 23, 2005