• Shreyas Prakash

Government as a SaaS

Could the future business model of government be a subscription model?

Based on the ideas of Balaji S from his recent podcast with Tim Ferris

We are seeing everything becoming a subscription model right now. From softwares, to social media, books, games and even food delivery services. Everything and everyone is taking the subscription route.

Which leads to the question of whether governments would follow a similar route?

We saw the great 'bundling' happening in the recent decades. Companies packaging their products into neatly bundled services making it easier to opt-in via recurring fees.

If we look at governments more closely, we realise that the future business model of the government could also be subscription based. We've already seen it happening with Singpass in Singapore, or the X-Road in Estonia.

The way this model might work is quite simple. You opt-in for the subscription in the relevant states. Your identity, passport, driver's license and other digital assets are all bundled neatly together to make services accessible. The doors are literally open, both digitally and physically.

However, on the flip side, giving such a root access of your identity and assets to the government provides enormous control to the state.

Even if the future governments might have a subscription-type model, there might be differences in the way each of these states might be varying in their approach of offering SERVICES of the subscription model.

We can broadly classify the approaches the government might take into three major approaches— submission, sovereignity and sympathy. Eventually, every country is competing with every other country in providing a lucrative value proposition for their 'residents' varying in these three approaches.

You have your free will to opt-in to any of the states providing a better subscription package that better aligns with your ideological values.

Classifying governments

Submission — Communist Capital

Here, the state becomes more powerful than the individual and submit in this process. The Chinese Communist Party is an obvious choice.

Bow your head, because they are powerful. Submit to the party or be doomed.

For any state, too much of submission even leads to the decapitation of the private companies. China's communist party has been essentially seizing previously founder-controlled companies such as Alibaba and ByteDance. This is followed by an intense demonization on media as CCP is essentially a state-controlled press. The CCP is also famous for regulating not just the physical packets that come in through it's borders, but also the digital packets that come in through the internet.

Too less submission can become dangerous too. This can also lead to anarchy causing high unemployment rates and absence of a social security net. Lawless SF is one such example.

If there is absolutely no submission, The multiple human groups would find it difficult to arrive at a consensus over any topic. They will clash and collide with each other until it leads to a full-blown anarchy. Anarchy could lead to high unemployment rates and absence of a basic security net for the citizens of the 'state'.

Sovereignity — Crypto Capital

On the other axis of submission, you have sovereignity. How much, or how less you value freedom.

Total individual sovereignity is a capitalist virtue where you do everything yourself without having to rely on anyone else. You are 'free' of external dependencies.

However, humans are not just individual animals, they are social animals. And when you start with a position of distrust where you dont want to rely on anyone else, that might also be problematic.

The total opposite of sovereignity is also bad. The corporation or the state can deplatform anyone any time.

Sympathy — Woke Capital

Total sympathy leads to the rise of 'woke capital' which we are seeing how the consequences look like. Woke Capital would be an example of how a press-controlled state would look like. Here, a corporate journalist can get a politician fired, but not really vice versa. Owing to "male, white privilege", you might have to apologise. Too less sympathy can also be harmful as it might lead to a zero charity society.

Every country ultimately becomes a combination of sympathy, submission and sovereignity. Different people will trace out different optima according to their liking. Netherlands for example is a functional society, but so is Singapore.

We essentially create multi-polar society where we can choose our pole of liking based on our ideological principles, nature and nurture.


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