Why it's important in the negative world to establish positions in essential industries
Off-topic, apologies if this was posted already: "The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism" was the most popular First Things essay of 2022, and is excerpted on pages 8 & 9 of the annual report here: https://www.firstthings.com/annual-report
Good thoughts. I wasn't familiar with Camden Spiller.
I think about this a lot in terms of guiding my kids, if they too have a penchant for business. My career was launched on the big-city corporate side, but we need to consider the possibility that the path I followed will, in the not-too-distant future, require more or less denying the faith in order to get along.
My thought for my kids up to now has been to suggest siding with the conservative-leaning "local gentry" as opposed to the left-leaning "professional-managerial class". The best way I know of to make money in this fashion is real estate.
But of course, one downside is there's a lower ceiling on rewards, and also on the IQ of who you'll be working with, if you affiliate with the local gentry. For those with bigger aspirations, Aaron's approach here is as good as anything I can come up with.
Aaron didn't say it here, but there's also something to be said for having a business that's not very visible. Which doesn't apply to Musk but does apply to Spiller. A B2B business is generally less visible than a B2C one, and industrial transformers are pretty obscure even by B2B standards. No one knows who makes industrial transformers, probably less than half the population knows what they do, and less than that thinks about them once in a given year. All of this makes it less likely that you or your business will be targeted.
Great writing, Aaron. I would add, so long as we don't have any kind of Georgist tax policies being passed in the near future, land ownership will be a pretty key form of leverage in Negative World.