One of the greatest assaults on individual liberty in the West is the administrative state. This sclerotic expansionary beehive of mandarins stands athwart our lives, our liberty, and our pursuit of happiness shouting “commerce clause!” But there is yet hope (or at least relief) on the horizon, and it comes not from the political class (duh!) but from the tech industry.
My basic observation is this, there are two classes of technology are emerging that could dismantle or neuter the regulatory state. The first category is compliance enablers. This means a piece of software or hardware that makes compliance radically easier. It could be some sort of stupid reporting requirement or a tricky tax form. This tech/service does it for you cheaply and in a legally defensible manner. Think about LegalZoom and all the tax software out there as the early examples of this phenomenon. In the future, I could see the average corporate compliance department being replaced with sophisticated AI. This technology would become widely available to small businesses. $10/month to never hear from the EPA again!
The second category of technology is what I call end-run enablers. This is the technology that has the potential to reduce modern regulatory agencies to rubble in the long run. Take, for example, the 3D printer. Not only does this technology have the potential to revolutionize manufacturing and design, it will also render most gun laws unenforceable.
Now, the bureaucracy will tolerate the compliance enablers, but it will fight like mad against the end-run enablers. The Drug War hasn’t been winnable for a long time, but we’re only just relaxing our policies now in the U.S.. How long will it be before the anti-gun crowd recognizes the futility of their crusade?