Sunday, December 25, 2022

Orderly Devolution to a Low-Trust society

Southern Belle had an interesting insight that she shared with me on our trip to Detroit Metro Airport to pick up Handsome Hombre.

S-B tends to hold her cards close to her vest. As somebody immersed in the working-world, she realizes that being too forth-coming in her political or religious views can make her a target. Those zipped-lips extend to family as well. I am still not 100% sure what her opinions are and that is OK.

I was sharing my perceptions that society will fragment as the government became increasingly hostile to productive people and anybody who does not demonstrate 100% loyalty to the Government every day of the week. Over time, that will result in concentric rings of loyalty where every person will first be loyal to self-and-family, then tribe, then village... Some groups would anticipate events and manage an orderly retreat and not lose too much productivity. The majority will be totally surprised and the transition will be a total fertilizer-storm.

I also mentioned the concentric-ring model (also called Low-Trust model) was the rule historically and still was the norm in Latin America and Spain, Italy, Greece and the "Developing" countries.

The most successful early-adapters will adopt working models that already have the bugs worked out rather than inventing their own and remaking many avoidable mistakes. The challenge is to find a concentric-ring model that is fully compatible with the current, US culture.

That is when S-B surprised me.

"I think the Mormons (also known as the Church of the Latter Day Saints) might have what you are looking for" she said.

Historically, the US Government has sometimes been hostile toward the LDS church. The LDS church is also institutionally aligned with being prepared since one of the pivotal events in their history was the diaspora which saw a major portion of the LDS church move from the mid-West to Utah. For those readers who are members of the LDS church, please forgive me if I skate over this and perpetuate inaccurate myths.

It is her perception that the LDS culture is very hospitable toward incubating businesses in the sense that a young family with a business concept can easily find legal, accounting, web-design and the host of other professional services required be a fledgling enterprise.

It should come as no surprise that the fledgling business is "hooked-up" with other LDS church-member's businesses.

Of particular interest is that LDS professionals help the new business dance on the safe side of the tax evasion/avoidance line. In many cases, with a little bit of foresight and advance planning actions that could be perceived as evasion can be legitimately defended in an audit as avoidance. That is one of the risks that is unique to the more Developed Countries. All countries have greedy tax-codes but the Developed Countries have more layers to detect the (potentially taxable) flow of resources.

Getting back to the point, the model represented by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (at least in certain areas) is a good departure point for an orderly development of a parallel economy.


  1. Unfortunately the baggage that goes along with being a Mormon outweighs the many benefits. Like many other groups, it is worthwhile to take the good stuff and jettison the rest.

  2. I've read many small business owners will only hire LDS employees for their account needs. Just like folks with a concealed carry license have a very low criminal rate, LDS people have a very low rate of stealing from the company they work for...

  3. ERJ, S_B sounds like a very astute woman. I am sure that I have read of this phenomena you discuss, but have never heard it so precisely described. I can definitely look at my own life and say that is precisely the mode I find myself in.

    Another model are communities which have a common tie - I am thinking of ex-patriate communities of the 19th and early 20th Century, where for various reasons there was an entire economy that thrived for people of specific ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds. When a newcomer "arrived", they immediately had an entire network to plug in to.

  4. Given your concentric ring model - "...first be loyal to self-and-family, then tribe, then village..." - the LDS model should be unsurprising.

    They're about 150 years ahead of the curve so the tribal association theme is very well established. Within a decade or so we'll be emulating them. Think "Survival Tools 101."

    As to Mr. Sido's comment, it is not uncommon for closed societies to develop a certain amount of tumors; look at Modern Liberalism.

  5. is a pretty decent website. They seem to be ahead of the curve but not whack-a-doodle.

  6. LDS make great neighbors once they learn to trust you. Helping them with their snow removal or leave raking and they often feel obliged to help you next time. A basis to grow a good neighbor status.

    I've read their Pearl of Great Price and their missionaries seem amused I can quote it to them, but I'm politely not interested in becoming an LDS.

    There is always a risk of a well-organized group whose leadership isn't fond of you being a real problem. LDS tend to follow their leaderships "suggestions".

  7. As Arthur so wisely understated in a prior comment it is always best to eat the fish and spit out the bones . Leadership seems to be the big problem now-a-days . The doctrine of the Nicolaitans warned of in the Revelation seems to be earning a good living at LDSAVOW .

  8. Near us we have groups of Mennonites and some Amish, either of whom might be reasonable models. In my view, however, one would need to introduce the concept of self-defense. From my minor readings on both, they are a little too much on "turn the other cheek".

    We also have a number of LDS temples around us. I've had my path cross theirs on several occasions, including one where the crossed for some time. I've found every member of the church I've interacted with to be exemplary people.

  9. The Mormon societal model, specifically the one you will find in Utah, works....because the Mormon church is NOT particularly "diverse". Diversity + proximity invariably equals conflict.

  10. Who exactly has destroyed our trust in the media, government and the medical industry?

    That would be the media, government and the medical industry

  11. Wondered how the LDS model would transfer. Wondered what would be the glue that held a group together. Dawned on me that this is already going on in the home school community. Similarly the binding element is one of faith. Roger


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