Suppose, hypothetically speaking, that a group of extreme right-wing market fundamentalists managed to take control of a country in order to usher in a world where, in the words of Lord Rees-Mogg:
The new Sovereign Individual will operate like the gods of myth in the same physical environment as the ordinary, subject citizen, but in a separate realm politically.”
What would we see? How would it look different from a normal democratic society?
A normal democratic society looks a bit like this: in essence, it is quite a simple picture.
Citizens elect politicians whose duty it is to represent the interests of the citizenry as a whole. The politicians form a government which taxes the citizens and provide transfers of cash (for example old-age pensions) and services (for example healthcare) to the citizens. That is the basis of the social contract.
[This is not the place to get into the question of whether in a fiat currency system, taxes actually need to be linked to spending – as a matter of observation they are usually linked to within a few percentage points.]
If instead we had constructed a Plunder State to run for the benefit of the ‘sovereign individuals,’ the picture above would remain the official description of what was happening, but the picture below would more accurately represent the reality on the ground.
There would still be elections, but the politicians in power would receive most of their money in the form of ‘consultancy fees’ or ‘directors’ fees’ from the wealthy sovereign individuals, and as a result they would also receive their instructions from these wealthy individuals. The ordinary subject citizens would find themselves with decreasing influence over their elected representatives.
The wealthy, in return for these ‘fees,’ would receive huge amounts of taxpayers’ money in the form of uncontested contracts or other forms of cash injection into their businesses – what they receive might be 100x or even 1,000x greater than their payments to the politicians. The PPE (over £1 billion) and Test and Trace (up to £37 billion) scandals give an indication of the kind of thing we might see.
In addition, the sovereign individuals would largely have removed themselves from the tax system, for example by holding all their wealth in off-shore trusts. So the government would increasingly be acting as a mechanism for redistributing wealth from the ordinary subject citizen to the sovereign individuals.
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