Bosses? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bosses

This glorious country—the most successful wealth and freedom-producing entity ever created—was founded on a profound insight: no bosses required.

Rather, the founders of this country had a grand vision of a country of free people. No kings. No rulers. No bosses. By limiting the power of government—and the myriad of bosses who wish to reside in it—the founders sought to protect the power of individuals. This was a process which unleashed the genius and wisdom of millions and made this country the envy of the world.

Unfortunately, over the past 100 years or so we have foolishly allowed political snake-oil salesmen—wannabe bosses—to attack this genius design. Top-down, “we know best” hierarchical organizational structures became all the rage.

This new age of man was supposed to usher in a glorious unleashing of human potential. Those in government quickly embraced this new way of thinking—as they saw themselves as the bosses of an ever-expanding ruling class—and the seeds they planted have permeated almost every aspect of life.

Now it seems government employees—both elected and unelected—and “experts” by the truckload, in effect, have become our bosses, covering most aspects of our lives. They rule over us with a militaristic, top-down, we-know-best structure from which there seems to be no escape. 

Sadly, this is the path of any government that doesn’t adhere to strict limitations on its scope and power—it is the nature of the beast.

Almost every problem in this country has its roots in this new, boss-structured system design. Culture wars? Wokeness? Right versus Left? Public education battles fought through forced enrollment in government schools? At their roots, all these new institutions are created by the boss-system design—and if we don’t adjust course, bosses will be the end of us all.

The Biden Administration’s latest multitrillion-dollar, 2,400-page bill? It’s 2,400 pages of bosses. Obamacare? A couple thousand pages plus perhaps 20,000 pages of regulations. Bosses, bosses everywhere.

The “battle” to fight climate change is the most boss-producing action ever known to man. It envisions thousands of new and more powerful bosses in every area of your life. Why climate change requires an explosion of government bosses is never fully explained but some boss somewhere said it is required, and thus it is so. 

This sad state, bosses begetting even more bosses, seems to be the natural consequence of having a boss in the first place. Each is like a single female caterpillar laying millions of eggs—creating an exponential explosion of new bosses.

But the reality is, individual freedom shrinks and the odds of failure and societal friction explode as bosses grow more and more numerous. 

At one time it was perhaps understandable to think putting bosses in charge of large segments of our collective and individual lives would lead to better results for all. But based on the real-world results of the last century and the very recent discoveries of swarm intelligence, we should know better now. 

The actual science of swarm intelligence puts the final nail in the coffin of this thinking.

Some have thought having bosses would be far superior to the supposed chaos and inefficiency created by individual freedom. Yet swarm intelligence proves the reality to be just the opposite.

Bosses lead to chaos, conflict, inefficiency, and ultimately anarchy. Perhaps counterintuitively, individual freedom is the path that leads to peace, advancement, order, and structure. Freedom isn’t “messy,” bosses are.

Freedom is self-organizing. It takes care of itself. Bosses just screw this up.

A “boss-design” is based in the fantasy thinking that requires the boss to have a clear and certain vision of what the future holds—unlikely at best—along with the wisdom and understanding of how to properly address this future. An impossibility. Throw in the reality that in a government system there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of bosses throughout any given process. And they all will be “right”? Never in a million years.

As management consultant guru Peter Drucker once noted, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” 

And that is for the relatively easy task of guiding a business—trying to guide a society is thousands of times more difficult. And it is certain to fail.

Swarm intelligence is an incredible IQ multiplier—isn’t a honey bee hive far more intelligent than an individual honey bee? Think of it this way, if a boss has an IQ of 100, the swarm will have one of 1,000. It can never be matched.

And solutions from a swarm are emergent. They bubble up from the swarm—always. A boss design is premised on solutions being predictive—i.e., someone must identify/predict the problems and then determine the solutions and then figure out how to implement these solutions by whatever means are available. In the context of society and government, predictive system designs will always fail. It is a mathematical certainty.

Thus, boss system designs will sooner or later lead to catastrophic failure. It is the nature of the beast.

The only workable, long-term system design is individual freedom. The science on this is now overwhelming.

Fundamentally it is not about who the bosses are or their beliefs, rather it is about system design. The freedom-design is robust and leads to order, progress, and peace while the boss-design leads to chaos, friction, anger, and violence.

Enough with bosses—they might need us but we don’t need them. The bosses won’t like it but humanity will.

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About John Conlin

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change. He holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA, and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education. He has been published in American Greatness, The Federalist, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, and Public Square Magazine among others.

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