Structuralists draw attention to the pointlessness of debating the ideal policy position when existing governments have powerful, built-in policy biases that will make good policies impossible to implement. For example, probably 90% of economists would agree that America should eliminate agricultural subsidies, but those subsidies are renewed year after year. The logic of collective action in democracy dictates that the interests of the few win out over the general interest. So the subsidies stay.
Problems of collective action, coordination problems, status quo bias, misaligned incentives, institutional sclerosis, regulatory capture - these are the kind of problems that concern structuralists. We seek to create a healthy substrate for societies of a variety of kinds to grow and prosper. Structuralist ideas for making better societies include subsidiarity, dynamic geography, free exit, constitutions, separation of powers, bill of rights, charter cities, seasteading, term limits, built-in sunset on regulations, license-free zones, voting reforms, and polycentric law, among others.
Structuralism is neither left nor right on the political spectrum. Structuralists welcome anybody who accepts the legitimacy of the central thesis of public choice economics: politicians respond to incentives, so we should get those incentives right. We do not want more or less government - we want better government. In this increasingly gridlocked political world, plagued by public debt and legacy red-tape, where state and national governments remain paralyzed and incapable of passing urgent and obvious reforms, structuralism is highly relevant. It is the movement for the needs of our times.
- Let a Thousand Nations Bloom recommended reading list
- Charter Cities - Paul Romer
- Dynamic Geography - Patri Friedman
- A formalist manifesto - Mencius Moldbug
- Don't be a warrior - me