The Purpose of a System is What it Does

There is a basic maxim in systems thinking, stemming from the world of cybernetics. It can help us think about both politics and economics. This basic maxim is as follows: the purpose of a system is what it does. Stafford Beer, a British theorist, coined this maxim. Beer said that there is “no point in claiming that the purpose of a system is to do what it constantly fails to do.”

There is a lot that we could learn from this heuristic. There is also a lot that our elected officials could learn from this heuristic. A similar idea exists in the world of economics: intentions do not equal results in economic policy. Take, for example, raising the minimum wage. The intention behind this policy is to raise standards of living. The actual result, however, is unemployment and higher prices. After the policy is put in place and the consequences have occurred, it does not matter what the original intention was. The purpose of higher minimum wage laws is, therefore, more unemployment and higher prices.

The same can be applied to political proposals. For example, the intention behind the immigration system is so that the less fortunate can have a better life in the United States and experience the American dream. The reality of our mass immigration system is increased crime, unemployment for Americans, election chicanery, terror threats, enriching drug traffickers, and so much more. Therefore, we can confidently say that these outcomes are the purpose of the mass immigration system.

It does not matter whatsoever if the creators of a policy intended for this to be the result or not. We can confidently say that the purpose of mass immigration is to destroy American society, but that does not mean that those who opened the borders were nefarious. They may have been, but they could also just be incompetent.

Christ said we can know the heart by the fruit it produces. We should look at the fruit that policies produce as well.

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