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eCon 101 —
Intro to Economic Control

Clarity comes from understanding how things work, thereby allowing us to predict how well – or poorly – things will turn out. Clarity anywhere is valuable, but economic clarity is the most valuable of all, at both the individual and societal levels.

Economic Control theory (aka eCon) provides clarity about how humans operate under various control regimes – as individuals, as family units and as external control agents over other people. It does this by focusing on the power, humanity and collective intelligence of the actors in a socionomic organism, including the intelligence-related topics of data and bandwidth available to the actors.

eCon segments actors in a socionomic organism into four classes: socionomic electrons, represented by households and comprised of families and individuals, and three classes of socionomic nucleons, including governmental agencies (aka GovNukes), businesses and religions. Nucleons are few in number relative to the masses of electrons. This is all explained in eCon 300 – The Particle Physics Model of Socionomic Systems.

Electrons vastly outnumber nucleons, by definition. They also have a vastly greater collective IQ, plus access to vastly more data and bandwidth than do the nucleons in any given socionomic organism or target universe. Yet nucleons have more power than electrons, sometimes vastly more power. This out-of-balance situation is visualized here via the eCon Scales.


eCon Definition, Goal & Inputs

eCon is a new socioeconomic control theory applied to political-economy choices at the group level. eCon informs a coherent and quantifiable framework for understanding the incentives and intelligence of socionomic actors.

eCon supports a paradigm ideally suited to 21st century economic challenges. Its goal is more for more. #More4More

eCon takes data, theory and humanity into account in order to understand and predict the success or failure of socioeconomic systems and policies. As to humanity, eCon focuses on control because control matters to people.

As a pragmatic new approach to economics, eCon is equally informed by applied psychology, sociology and systems. Systems means data, lots of data.

NOTE: eCon was conceived independently from Wikipedia’s Control Theory page.

Results Matter

Ethical pragmatism demands that a good economic control theory measure success in terms of pragmatic results. More good for more people should be the goal. Thus, eCon ignores intentions, focusing instead on the pragmatic results of actual and potential economic control systems. #More4More

Control Matters

​Human behavior evolves positively when individuals have control over their own lives, which is what happens when control is decentralized. Decentralized control (aka dCon) increased significantly in the 1700s and famously hit a fortuitous peak in 1776 with the American Revolution. Per capita prosperity shot up with it, first in America and then elsewhere, and now in much of the world, as seen in the GDP Per Capita graph below. eCon explains why.

Economic Control leads to People Control.

Money Control extends to People Control when control is centralized.

cCon is People Control. You’ve been warned.

Why have things gone right?

Humanity has been on a two-century rocket-ride of increasing prosperity, and of increasingly decentralized control. In this case, correlation surely equals causation. IOW, increasing dCon is why prosperity took off and shows no signs of abating, especially in the pervasively networked and data-informed world of the second millennium we now inhabit.

Anyway, prosperity took off around 1800, after being lower than a snake’s belly for the preceding millennia.

Has it all been a bed of roses? Uh, no. Humanity put itself through hell after hell in the 19th & 20th centuries, not least by using the fruits of industrialization to wage war on an earthshaking scale.

And yet, we people of the 21st century are the most blessed of any global population in history, Americans most of all.

Consider the following articles about the global condition.


Why has America – the world’s first Burkean Nation – prospered most of all? Because our Founders, taking advantage of fortuitous circumstances, wisely understood eCon in general and the innate superiority of dCon eCon in particular. How that works is explained further on in the eCon Canon.

Centralized Decree v Decentralized Wisdom

eCon is a network theory model that examines outcomes from organisms under varying degrees of Centralized or Decentralized Control. This didn’t matter until about 1700 because technology of both the communication and labor-saving kinds inhibited decentralized control. But then sailing ships started connecting countries, followed by railroads connecting cities, soon with telegraph lines running alongside them. These and a million other innovations enabled decentralized control of politics, economies and the resulting political-economies.

Our 21st century networked and technologically enabled environment takes communication and labor-savings to new levels. This begs the question of which organism will outperform, one that allows self-control for the vast number of individuals at network’s edge, or one that centralizes power to the relatively few control points that bind them together?

Centralized Decree, or Decentralized Wisdom, that is the question.


eCon provides a theory and model to derive the answer.

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