It is a common theme in primitive, autocractic societies that the essentials supporting life, such as the flooding of the Nile or the growth of the rice crop, are guaranteed by the will or good offices of a monarch, who is often assumed to have divine attributes in view of his or her ability to provide these superhuman services. This arrangement is very convenient for state employees, for not only does the attribution of such powers to the Crown improve revenue for the state, fear of divine and eternal sanctions being so fearful a motivator, but it also implies by analogy that the Crown's servants are better able to provide for the needs of the people than the people themselves, not least because they have powers of vision and divine comprehension as far exceeding those of the citizenry as a god's intelligence towers over that of a mortal.

It seems, therefore, that the current growth of an intrusive and paternalist, maternalist, or nannying in loco parentalist state is not at all progressive, but in certain very important ways is actually a regression to a phase seen repeatedly over human history, namely that of a static hierarchy that funds itself from taxation and claims legitimacy in the administration of the entire economy on the entirely spurious grounds that it has powers over and above those of any natural individual or alliance of individuals within the entire population, or above that achieved by those individuals in spontaneous self-organising economic co-operation.

Indeed, it should be a continual surprise that the broader population surrenders control of their lives to a subset of the people, employees of the crown, which has no plausible claim to superior knowledge of any field other than its own self-interest, a claim that it shares with every man, woman, child and league within that population. To submit willingly to such government is either the result of oppression, which I think is less often true than might be supposed, or, as this unthinkingly respectful reliance on an external and infallible provider would suggest, is superstition, that is to say a judgement based on views that do not for a moment survive exposure to reasoning and the readily available evidence. Errors of this kind are extremely disabling to individuals since they weaken the incentive to self-support, without which no organism can thrive; furthermore, the burdens they place on the overall economy are considerable, entailing much pointless waste, and the combination of these is likely to lead to the decay of wealth and so in more or less short order to societal decay. But, however severe this decline, those in authority will be the last affected, and can persist in asserting their supernal wisdom and the legitimacy of their status to the very end. Indeed, as the general population becomes weakened and debilitated by the impositions of the bureaucracy the latter's claims to superior capability become, for the first time, plausible.