Common Sense Economics is alone in understanding the role instinct plays in decisions people make. Decision is actually not a perfect term because when instinct kicks in the reasoning is bypassed. No decision is actually made. The behavior is automatic.
Albert Einstein was a is frequently quoted because he had many thoughtful and clever things to say. He defined insanity as follows.
“doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” _Albert Einstein
Despite getting miserable results over and over again without exception mankind looks to government to solve problems. Democracy gives citizens a choice but time and time again they choose central economic planning over free enterprise. Since the beginning of the Republic government has not failed to make a problem worse, even once. Central bankers who have never once made an accurate forecast are looked up to as if they were gods. Never in the history of the world has a government economic policy failed to make an economic problem worse.
It could be argued that we are all insane, based on Einstein’s quote. It is more reasonable to ascribe such consistently destructive behavior as instinctive. As evolution continues, human beings have intellectually surpassed the need to depend on instinct to survive, but instinct is present and plays a huge role in determining how everyone uses his time and energy.
All of the social sciences study human beings as autonomous, responsible, independent thinkers, Each is assumed to act individually. Use this model and never in a million years will it explain human behavior in the market place, politics or anywhere else.
Everyone can think independently but instinct is the path of least resistance. By default, political choices are made instinctively.
Clearly, the most basic of instinct is to exalt the species. Humankind is defined with the most flattering terms possible. Study mankind as an animal and everything makes sense.
The world’s experiments with democracy started three to four hundred years ago. During that time period there has not been one case where ordinary people reined in government or even demonstrated authority over elected leaders. Intellectually people are completely capable of understanding principles of free markets and democracy. Given a choice they instinctively choose something else.
In the human animal mind, government is divine. They are driven to serve a master and in time always end up doing so. Common Sense Economics had identified the most common transaction as that of trading freedom for comfort. This is not a conscious decision. It is instinctive and automatic.
At the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, only a tiny percent of the population had any inclination to rebel against the king. A handful of men literally crammed liberty down everyone else’s throat. Today democracy based governments are failing. The right to vote is meaningless in the face of the right to control public opinion. A small group of elites control government and use it to collect rent off of everyone else, just as was the case when the colonies separated from England. Government provides a way for the privileged to live above the law and they do.
So, what is next. If, ordinary people are going to hold on to a significant portion of their rights, a small number who truly value liberty will have to do as the founding fathers did and cram it down everyone else’s throats. Otherwise the rank and file will bargain their way back into servitude. Considerable progress has been made already in that regard.