The Nature of Political SystemsThe State is the territorial power monopoly. The term "power" here is explicitly "the control of others' behavior in order to maximize one's own inclusive advantage." The State (often referred to as "government") is this species' current manifestation of hierarchy. As such, it is a ruling class contrivance which has been particularly successful in furthering their own benefit. The ruling class has for the most part managed to institutionalize a great slave labor camp within their controlled territories. Typically, the ruling class consists of unproductive thieves who steal the productive wealth of their enslaved, ruled classes. They have devised numerous strategies, of varying success, to ensure that they steal enough wealth to give them relative advantage over the ruled classes. It hardly matters whether they call their institutions of coercion "democratic, communist, or fascist" when the fundamental characteristics of all societies are the same. All States arbitrarily usurp the most profitable enterprises: "taxation" (systematic theft), money, making law, judicature, policing, public ownership, licensing, utilities, transportation, communication, war/ mass destruction and death/ pillage... (not to exclude gambling, drugs, and other "vices"...) Our "great" institutions and traditions are simply more efficient devices of coercion and ruling class advantage. Far from just Our Leaders in government, the ruling class is a spectrum of individuals and groups which have succeeded in fulfilling their relative advantage at the expense of the ruled classes.
Some of this may sound familiar; certainly numerous "cranks and cynics" say things like this. Or "Sure, we know about the hierarchy and government- but government is necessary and anyway-nothing-can-be-done-about-it." The difference here is "Why do we have these institutions?"; "What are its motivations and historical origins?"; "What really is the explicit utility and limits of government?"; "Why have these institutions continually gained more power?" (a constitution notwithstanding) These issues are (almost) never honestly confronted. The hierarchy is an extended Reciprocal Utility Network. It results from people gaining power through social contract. The people in progressively higher classes tend to support proportionately the current system, that has given them their relative advantage. At the same time, progressively higher levels have increasingly greater power- to control the system and to maintain their advantage. Each aspect is intimately related to the other. Certainly, "wealth, power, and prestige" contribute to one's position in the hierarchy, but these are almost secondary consequences of "who one knows, how well, and what one has managed to do for him." The fundamental mechanism of hierarchies is an escalator effect: one supports the power and position of his immediate superiors now so that they reciprocate with favors (survival fitness) and advancement in the future.
The system necessitates (or is a consequence of) an unequal power over desirable resources. One might well ask why people don't just keep their own wealth, and the reason is that a great amount of wealth can always be stolen from the ruled classes (extracted from their labor) and a mechanism must exist to divide the spoils. Even tho people within the ruling class hierarchy "cooperate" (so as to best plunder the masses), this does not detract from the fact that everyone within the hierarchy has differing abilities to gain power. Consequently, after many generations, a rigid hierarchy consists of many, many levels of power occupied by people who have worked hard in subordinating, conforming, favoring cohorts, and enforcing the will of their superiors, and sincerely believe in the system and how much they deserve their acquired advantage. The existence and perpetuation of the hierarchy is entirely explained by Reciprocal Utility: benefit is created by selective cooperation, favoritism gains relative advantage; "altruism" is reciprocal. The stable hierarchy depends on how broad based the support of the rulers and system can be made; the spoils must be divided to "buy" the support of a large stability-determining fraction of the whole population. In the USSR, almost all goods of survival value are (and must be) absolutely controlled by centralized rulers who use these spoils to buy the support of an extended ruling class and an enormous police state (5-15% of the population, depending on definition). The overwhelming dissatisfaction with the system necessitates as great an institution of violent terror and thought control as can be created with modern technology. The strategy of the American ruling class, on the other hand, is to depend on the great desirability of the many pretty little trinkets of consumer goods to induce the support of a much larger base thru monetary means (payoffs, beneficial legislation, jobs). The American Ruling Class consists of complex, multi-pronged institutions remarkable for their subtlety. A short list includes familiar and un-familiar power bases: politicians, bureaucrats, paid intelligentsia, organized religion, professional societies, the police and judicial system, military/ industrial complex, the mercenary political activists, mass media, trade unions, and numerous types of special interest groups (i.e.., "favored" industries). A great deal of effort by each of these groups is spent concocting schemes and deceptions to justify their theft and coercion. One common belief is the admission that these groups are seeking their own self-interest, but that everyone else is also doing this, and therefore, the competition between these groups "balances them out", or keeps them "in check". Simply absurd. A much greater realization is that these groups are in collusion with each other to steal as much wealth as they can get away with from the ruled classes- the consumers, the masses, the American herd. They realized long ago that their cooperation enabled just such a far more effective theft and enslavement. Most important of all, this collusion is not necessarily intentional, conscious, or even active! Many mechanisms (unconscious behavioral strategies) effectively result in this hierarchy. One example is passive acquiescence even when one "knows better".
However, another situation exemplifies a truly remarkable concealment of collusion: the triad, government-organized religion-medical establishment. Briefly, doctors have a vested interest in unhealthy patients, and it shows in the numerous medical conspiracies they are guilty of: in the most expensive cures rather than prevention (e.g.., the anti-vitamin/ mineral supplementation dogma, ref's), in the government and establishment coercion of medical monopolies rather than cost efficiency or lowered consumer costs, the incredible abuses of the FDA and the "controlled market" of medical prescriptions, instances too numerous to mention of refusing cheaper or "immoral" treatments for human ills... Likewise, organized religion leaders care far more about their personal gain, increasing their power over "their flocks", about the conformity and subjugation of their followers than about "salvation, morality, god's message"... Organized religion has become the second most powerful group in America almost entirely because government policies have helped it acquire enormous wealth and power over "non-religious" institutions. In 1973, American organized religion had a larger cash flow (profit) than the five largest multi-national corporations added together after taxes- second only to our government. Unfortunately, only this much is admitted by church leaders themselves- for unlike every other individual or group in America they are beyond government accounting; it is really unknown how many businesses they own, how much land, how many "shell" corporations they have established to invest unknown amounts in other financial concerns, or how profitable the businesses they admit owning are. But, it is huge. With their enormous wealth and their facades of propriety they have manipulated untold countless politics, laws, and commercial practices to enforce their idiotic, arbitrary "morality" and increase their personal inclusive advantage. Finally, the government cares far more about (is exactly devoted to) stealing more power, wealth, and privilege from the people than "helping them with just laws" or any of the alleged "necessary functions of government".
But, what are the links between these power bases? Since 1840, when a state passed the first "tax-exempt" church property law, government has violated the 1st amendment right and left to give organized Judeo-Christian religion a relative advantage over all other groups: tax-free status on all property owned, tax-free status on almost all income, audit-free status on all financial transactions, subsidies to church concerns ("charities", hospitals, retirement communities, schools, religious associations and committees...), special immunity or favors in laws and regulations too numerous to mention (cf., O'Hair). Traditionally, most of the largest health service facilities have been owned and often operated by the church... and we all know how profitable medicine is. Doctors in turn are highly supportive of religious morality wherever it can possibly "concern" medicine. Just one example is their attitude towards birth control: placing contraceptives under prescription and their own control, restricting abortion to a few church-free clinics, and often discouraging a sexually liberated lifestyle. One cannot help but wonder why a polio vaccine was discovered 40 years ago, but VD is epidemic now. The government is currently dumping billions into the medical establishment with research grants, various subsidies, and a veritable artesian spring of medicaid, etc. On top of all that, medical expenses are tax deductible -- in effect, subsidizing the medical care of the wealthy, distorting market forces, and enriching the medical establishment. Doctors are used as "authoritative" yes-men for any mildly relevant policy of the government. An example is their "scientific" support of the government's utterly unjustifiable totalitarian drug policy (cf. Davenport). "What would the government gain if these other groups seem to be diluting its wealth and power?" The government gains in innumerable ways: passing morality into law gives them more power (and almost inevitably, more wealth), those who pass the laws are church members, enormous campaign support and outright bribes (not necessarily money, just "favors") from all that wealth (doctors included, especially that bastion of iniquity, the AMA), the government has acquired enormous power thru "health" regulatory agencies (FDA)... Finally, they gain that ages-old benefit, the reinforcement of each other's authority -- for doctors, church leaders, and heads of state are all "authority figures", just as the shaman, witch-doctor, and chief were. The State acquires supporters of the status quo and of its necessity and utility to rule. And the combined strategies of the triad together steal more wealth from the ruled classes than they might have separately.
The enormous abuses of power and theft of wealth and destruction of lives that States, America included, are capable of cannot possibly be covered here. I strongly recommend the work of Murray Rothbard, who typically is one of the few to publish a frank, but ignored, revelation of the system. Some of the major abuses of our government are: victimless crimes, an hereditary aristocracy, uncontrollable economic power, constitutional violations, sovereign immunity, unlimited power of regulatory agencies, corrupt incompetent judicial system, massive do-nothing wasteful power-hungry democratically unaccountable bureaucracy, the two party hegemony (e.g.., resulting in sham elections), nationalization of numerous profitable markets, interference militarily, economically, covertly in other States (cf. Davenport in "Problems") The only way to understand all these problems is to realize that they are intrinsic to the system. But of course, this realization is the most desperately ignored one. After all, "America is so great", and "we have the most freedom." Power means abuse. Why should it be otherwise? If all the neighbors give their guns to Mr. Jones is he just going to "guard the block"? Mr. Jones is a biochemical structure whose primary motivation is gaining relative advantage! The inevitable consequences of this type of government are: proliferating crime, destructive regulation, wasteful money-draining military-industrial complex, over-crowded courts, the well-deserved poor police image, poor public services (i.e.., postal), pollution from public utilities and other industries protected from legal action, incursions on free speech and individual freedom, welfare system/ urban housing/ proliferating handouts/unemployment, inflation/ recession and too numerous monetary Mills, horrible public education... In every case, the problem results precisely because of government interference or ownership. In every case, stopping the government maintained monopoly (or oligopoly) of a service and returning control to the private sector will improve the situation. The advocacy of private, free enterprise and competition is not some "archaic, sentimental faith" as statists claim, but recognition of unrepealable economic reality. (See Murray Rothbard, David Friedmann, Irwin Schiff, William Wooldridge, Henry Hazlitt) For the specifics of the reciprocal utility structure of the federal government, see Charles Peters.
The Fundamental Inequality of ManAlthough I have been talking about all these "horrible things, which should not be" do not infer that something can or should be done about them. A very good reason for the nature of human societies exists or societies would not be like that. Likewise, the oppression by the ruling classes has usually been decried as their fault. In fact, the "responsibility" for the current system is equally with the submissiveness of the masses. The lower classes play their part in supporting the status quo, too. Progressively lower classes are increasingly more complacent -in proportion to their perceived ability simply to survive and reproduce. Many (how many is unknown) within the masses might never have achieved any survival advantage at all. Now, thanks to the ruling class, they are proliferating like... hordes of people. It cannot be concluded that this situation "decreases the survival advantage" of members of the ruling class (as in "they are being out-reproduced"). The situation is more analogous to the proliferation of farm and herd animals. These animals may be "out-reproducing" us, but they do not compete for, or diminish, our valuable resources. They are simply exploited to the ultimate benefit of the herders. The popular reproductive success of the masses may be related to the utility of the masses in supporting the hierarchy (i.e.., the Ruling Class) and helping the ruling class dominate their more capable competitors. As usual, despite warnings about the "population explosion", we still assume that persons have "a right" to reproduce. And as usual, this might be "nice", but it ominously portends an unstable situation as we are vastly increasing the genetic load (to be discussed later).
A great many features of our civilization (often well-known "problems") result from the great docility and credulity of the masses. Mainly, the great international conflicts are merely ruling classes fighting for control of productive herds of people, seeking to gain the benefits of exploiting the masses and their resources in a particular territory. The fault is not entirely with the exploiters, such a situation exists only because the masses are so exploitable -- submissive, manipulable, conformist, ...sheeplike... To be sure, not everyone in the ruled classes is sheeplike or incompetent; all that matters is that "the majority" is so manipulable that a competitive minority is forced to conform. This happens by mass acceptance of coercion, by the power of the wealth stolen from the masses to force conformity, and by the mass media and "social pressures" to conform... Besides wars, the exploitable, credulous nature of the masses results in such problems as campaign spending, propaganda and the Cold War, advertising excesses and emphasis on PR, the power of political blocks and special interest groups, "bread and circus" politics, horribly mediocre "cultural acheivements" (art, broadcasting, movies, books, music,...) and perhaps the worst of all, "Who controls education, controls the future."
The reason that we should not expect anything to be done about this is that deep programming exists both to dominate and submit within the hierarchy. We find in other animal societies an instinctive, ritualized response to others on the basis of hierarchical position. Such responses decrease potentially harmful conflict for both competitors. The loser stands to gain a future chance, and the winner gracefully accepts his dominant position. We can then predict that an obviously strong selective pressure (to dominate and submit) also applies to man. The propensity to conformity also reinforces the hierarchy; nonconformity implies outcast and labels one "untrustworthy" in social bonding significance. A non-conformist also is instantly a more threatening competitor and draws special disadvantage from the ruling class. A great amount of delusion focuses on achieving conformity. Some popular myths are: equality of persons, the majority is right, the popular is correct, the badness of abnormality (strange, weird), and also the appropriateness of much behavioral coercion (i.e.., ostracism). A great deal needs to be said about "the spread of behavioral programs"- the links between sharing programs, ritualized socialization, group-belonging, social bonding, and conformity. Some particularly human responses which support the hierarchy are awe and reverence of "authority figures", trust and respect for Our Elders and Leaders, beliefs in relative individual insignificance compared to Society, and numerous beliefs in the virtue of human traditions and institutions... In all these cases, a capacity to develop these beliefs and a tendency to adopt appropriate beliefs (and not the particular beliefs or verbalizations themselves!) are genetically influenced and have been heavily selected in man. Such a state, as evidenced by a uniform historical momentum, has great resistance to change.
It might be objected that the "inevitable institutions" described are found only in western culture or a fraction of human societies. This is a common misconception which originates in the belief that genes ("if" they are involved) absolutely determine a single trait no matter what the environment may be. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is impossible for genes to express a trait without an environment --even if only the amino acids needed to build proteins. In the causal chain from genes to behavior influencing structure, the environment is continually involved. In the development of brains, the environment is obviously not "just" biochemicals, but a history of the individual's experience --including climate, perceptions, behavior, and culture. The point of confusion here usually arises from forgetting that social interactions and culture are also heavily influenced by genes... [The intricate relationship has been explored in Wilson & Lumsden, Genes, Mind, and Culture]
It is amusing to consider that most of the America's indians have (or had) no State, no institutionalized coercive hierarchy. Not only was it unnecessary, many of their social traditions specifically prohibited it. It is not a question of their not having "attained higher civilization"; their cultures were exceptionally stable and its individuals maximally satisfied [Clastres, 1981]. From a sociobiological perspective, all the members of any tribe were so closely related that no motivations to form exploitive institutions developed. How could it possibly benefit one's genes to exploit one's own family? Ditto for the highly successful, complex, and cultured anarchy of the Irish clans before the English conquest in the 16th century. The obvious corollary: the disease of State follows an increased population density and genetic diversity. Alternately, the conquest of a territory brings genetic diversity too (the ruling and ruled classes are obvious).
The alleged freedom from biological motivations is often rationalized by imputing numerous "wonderful" traits to everyone that only a few elite possess. A common assumption has been something like "well, anyone can do that if they just tried hard enough" (that is, had enough motivation). But this is the whole point! The masses who "won't" really "can't". Self, structure, and function are one and the same. The prevalent illusion is that some idealized, insubstantial personhood (derivative of "soul") exists independently of the physical reality of the organism. In fact, intention is nothing more than function, which is nothing more than the physical consequence of structure. These "proofs" of man's biological transcendence lie in the ascetic (or priest, nowadays), the Einstein, Mozart, or philanthropist. "With such great self-denial, creativity, and virtue, such great artificiality, how can we be determined?" Here the exception does not disprove the "rule" (the generalization)! Otherwise, there would be no population genetics or evolution; the albino would "prove" that there was no genetic pigmentation.
The complex (genetic/biochemical) structure of the brain admits a wide range of behavioral generalities ("personality"): 1) balance of dominance between brain structures (e.g.., rationality vs. emotionality); 2) the extent of the use of more abstract symbolizations of Reality and how much they affect behavior; 3) the usefulness of individual vs. conformist skills (e.g.., creativity vs. imitability); 4) the nature of the vast programming for sociality (aloofness, subservility, friendliness...); 5) other traits persons possess in obviously varying competence. As mentioned elsewhere, these observations are trivialized for reasons of egalitarianism, etc. And again, the ramifications of inequality make it far more important than the similarity between men. The numerous problems that result from this ignorance may include: rising crime and police states, bungling democracies and social reform, ruinous escalating welfare policies, mediocrity and blunted potential... A particular example: given a type or class of humans who are incapable of individual rational autonomy or a class which cannot be productive even in principle (and instead parasitizes "friends" and society, stealing from anyone), then social policy will have to treat these people differently. If we were to be rational, without gasping about rascist blasphemies, we would pursue the neurochemical basis of such types and provide the decision makers with hard evidence for more pragmatic policies. For another example, a biochemical marker (serotonin levels) correlates with creativity and delinquency, i.e., the delinquent is a more creative individual never allowed an outlet to express himself. A more disturbing variation within the human population is the great number of persons who are simply incapable of rational thought beyond their day-to-day decisions. It's not that some (most) people "won't" read this, they can't; their motivational system will not allow such thoughts, associations, or memories. No amount of rational arguments and facts can be expected to "change their minds"; only appeals to their emotions and other lower level programming can work.
A most startling fact to the average American is the hereditary nature of the top positions in government.(ref.) Despite many wishes about "becoming president when you grow up", most of the major power positions of the State have always been occupied by a relatively small in-breeding "few families". How can this be when everyone votes for ("chooses") the occupants? The clever ruse of the ruling class was to form "parties" that were really controlled by the few families and "friends of the families". By conspiring together and with all the power that their great stolen wealth gave them, they predominately controlled the selection of "viable candidates". And Surprise!, the candidates were members or friends of the few families. Once in office, they appointed the chosen genotypes since the overwhelming majority of power positions are bureaucratic or not democratically accountable. The nature of some of these appointments has been described (ref); America is "ruled by regal and infallible judges, especially by Supreme Court dictum."
The whole idea that "freedom of speech and democratic institutions" does not allow such things to happen is very poorly reasoned. Mass opinion is swayed by the predominance of beliefs it is exposed to. A few individual dissenters are all but invisible compared to the great organs of the mass media, which are controlled by the wealthy and powerful who are singularly devoted to their personal advantage. In addition, effective propaganda need only appeal to man's biological desires (which it always does) to be accepted. This far more deceptive strategy does not need censorship, but even then, they use that too. The FCC can control what is broadcast over the airwaves by its licensing power. Public officials routinely violate freedom of speech thru laws against "profanity", "libel and slander", boycotting/picketing, "conspiracy", and "incitement to crime". Most important of all, freedom of speech requires economic freedom -- communication costs money. The government has tremendous economic power to disadvantage disagreeable views, e.g.., postal "specials" and refusal to serve, tax laws against "political activism" and a narrow definition of "tax-free institutions", ownership of the most important meeting places (even if only "city square"), harassment under a onerous body of codes, regulations, and legal procedures, laws affecting broadcast views ("equal" time, "obscenity" laws, "national security", etc.), and most recently, the control of cable TV... This list does not even mention the horrifying power of the "invisible government" which effectively operates outside law (refs). In conclusion, a particular genotype, probably by virtue of its behavioral effects (the greatest success at collusion, conformity, demagoguery, and deceit), controls our State, and in all likelihood, other States too.
EducationEducation is simply indoctrination. As expected when the spread of behavioral programs is so important, the 18-26 long years of "maturation" and education are simply conditioning for particular (usually ruling class) programs. Education is not so much for training or learning vital facts about reality as it is for indoctrination in dominant social mores. The textbooks are propaganda emphasizing subordination to authority and State, nationalism, rewritten history, virtues of the status quo. The long years of repression and absence of even normal social freedoms serve to fashion a cog for the social machine... conformity, exploitability, acquiescence are therefore essential. Teachers are chosen on the basis of mediocrity and conformity to the school hierarchy. Coming from the bottom of the social hierarchy, they dearly love to dominate and repress their students into one homogenous mediocrity. And Americans wonder why education is suffering! This public leveling policy is the major reason. It levels everyone toward mediocrity- "so we can all be equal". "Equality of opportunity" is supposed to justify this, but obviously, it has nothing to do with it. For the most part the government coercively initiated mandatory public education in the early history of this country. They were more frank about their motivations- "to inculcate subordination to state, cultural uniformity, and 'civilized' morality". Thus they indoctrinated future generations of the masses, at the masses' expense, to support their hierarchy. They could well afford to send their own offspring to private schools, where naturally education was superior (and predictably, stress leadership more than subordination). The current rationalization seems to be "to make better citizens".
Reproduction is one of the major influences of biology on society, and just how much is often ignored. Parents rarely admit how very much they have invested in their offspring. All the time spent playing around is rationalized as "love"; infinite rationalizations justify bearing the baby but usually fall on some meek excuse like "individual fulfillment" (patently false since the baby is not the individual); and then for 18 years or more, tens of thousands of dollars (major survival fitness) are taken from the parent and given to the offspring. But I care not at all how they delude themselves. I do care that the support of reproduction (this huge investment required for human offspring) is coerced out of all citizens whether they have children or not. Its numerous forms are not only the property tax for public education (most of which goes to a fattened educational bureaucracy anyway), but entitlements (Aid to Families...) and subsidies (like day care centers). And now, with all the confused furor about public education, the State has an excuse to fund even more numerous studies, pilot programs, education aid... (Remember, it's not their money, and it makes them look good). Hilariously, the excuse for this coercion is "good citizens benefit us all" --even while public schools churn out mindless automatons of steadily declining competence and critical abilities (="good citizen").
The only way to improve the system is to let educational institutions be competitive (yes, that means no public education), and not to force children of tremendously differing innate abilities thru the same dull brain-washing. Education now is a public good which necessitates a single allocation strategy --that which will satisfy the majority and even then, only thru a filter of intrinsically unresponsive bureaucracy. On the contrary, private goods are maximally responsive to a multitude of interests. This topic has been extensively discussed by the Friedmans.(ref.) If you really worry about "making a better citizen", you can simply require a literacy test for voting and public office! It would be entirely the choice of parents and children whether the various educational options are worth the benefits.
Nature of Economic SystemsDespite their artificial distinction, economics differs little from politics for both are basically control of fitness value. In the past century, States have increasingly used the "economic carrot and stick", as if this coercion were more benign than direct physical coercion. Communists are fond of saying "political freedom is not separate from economic freedom" as if this justifies their violation of both. Indeed they are not, and the ruling class is now directly stealing what it is most interested in. It has always stolen resources (goods, land, women). Now it steals money, the symbolic units of survival fitness. Originally, property was territory -- a convenient set of extent survival-important resources. The permanence of property allowed its retention across generations, especially if stolen by a ruling class. Such a situation allows increasing acquisition beyond any meaningful use or necessity. In principle, "capital", artificial wealth, allows rewards for productivity (the satisfaction of traders). But now this wealth too has become permanent by way of money. Money is easily retained; increasingly large money investments are required to make more money; capitalists are forced to depend on those who own the greatest accumulations of money; money is easily stolen by the ruling class (e.g.., paycheck deductions). Again, our great economic "progress" reduces to a more convenient device for the ruling class to gain advantage.
The "noblest ideals" of man historically concerned the illusion, justice. Again, talk of justice is merely a verbal attempt to alter behavior, and nothing more. The doing of justice is the output of programs for quite different reasons (e.g.. the police for money or personal profit). But for sake of discussion, consider the standard "justice of ownership": 1) original acquisition, 2) exchange, 3) rectification of injustice concerning 1 & 2. We will not need to recapitulate all previous historical opinions of "justice", because an entire argument and its conclusions are invalid if the premises or assumptions are false. The economic abstractions of utility, satisfaction, and exchange of value are nothing more than perceived fitness value, biologically advantageous behavior, and reciprocal utility. In this light, justice is simply the affirmation of a biologically desirable result. Three almost totally separate aspects within "ownership" are not often distinguished: nominal possession, use, and control. Any of these can be separately weighed in the decision to maximize or "make best". But what to maximize?
If anything, I wish to discourage "shud be" and replace it with agreed goal, hypothesis, and empirical success. Are the problems of the use and control of survival fitness value to be perpetually, insolubly with us? Certainly, but a most rational course could at least optimize the situation. We can choose what is most pragmatic by its "economic efficiency". While not immediately obvious, this course would be the complete absence of coercion. Only this policy maximally satisfies everyone's self-interest, basically because it allows maximum incentive. What works best to satisfy individual desires results in maximum utility. This contrasts with the common belief in satisfying "social" or public desires, which do not exist. By the way, such a "best" strategy most resembles the often disparaged free-market capitalism. (More on this later)
An agreeable principle for 2) might be "when all parties consent to exchange of justly owned valuables". 1) might be "just if acquired from nature (unowned) and adds value to it or can utilize it". An important qualifier is the "patent principle" --sole rights for a period about as long as it might have been for someone else without the knowledge of the owner to utilize or add value. Added value must perpetually remain in original ownership. So far tho this policy is good only for the first landing party on an alien planet. 3), "rectification of injustice" is nearly impossible if we ignore Shud. To what extent can anyone coerce another to rectify an ambiguous injustice? The obvious recompense from thief to victim can be easily legitimated, policed ,etc. But theft has gone on now for at least a few million years. The most certainly wrong solution would be "steal from the rich to give to the poor." The State claims original ownership over everything in its "natural state" and in fact, has institutionalized theft to a far greater degree than its rectification. Capital has become far more important than resources and represents permanent "value-added". But permanent for whom?
Now we arrive at the crux of the problem. The greatest inequality of wealth, of "unjust" wealth, comes from its devolution to family and friend. But this is quite justified under the above principles; both donor and recipient consent to the exchange of the mainly just wealth. We are missing a fundamental pragmatic principle -- that "just" wealth be earned, incentive exist to produce. There is nothing to reward if it is unearned, no productivity to maximize by incentive. Why then do people work so hard all their life just "to give it away" to a very few? Because people are not motivated solely as individuals; they are motivated to maximize the relative advantage of inclusive self (themselves, their relatives, and especially their offspring). On the fundamental level where the individual gene machines blur into indistinguishable gene copies, we must decide whether kinship altruism (i.e.., inheritance) is unearned, unjust income for individuals or reward to those gene copies. Of course, we have all unknowingly chosen the latter, upto now. This one ignored point is responsible for most of the alleged economic failings of our civilization. If each generation could start anew, individuals would be rewarded in proportion to their capabilities and productivity (the result of consensual exchange of valuable goods). Maximum economic efficiency is thus naturally obtained. Instead, the present system represents utterly unequal initial opportunity as particular gene copies receive disproportionate wealth and are predominately rewarded for distinctly non-productive behavior.
The common delusion that America has somehow achieved "equality of opportunity" (or, "anyone can strike it rich") is especially required to conceal how fixed the system is. Certainly I agree with a minority of scholars that private ownership, free enterprise, and competition are the best possible strategy, especially in regard to opportunity. But not only is that not the modern situation --it is unlikely to have ever been! Whenever the State has existed, free enterprise has been prevented by the State's fundamental nature of institutionalized thievery and coercion. When, rarely, it has not, other biological factors impede free-enterprise: reciprocal utility (favor by criteria other than value), hierarchy (unequal power over resources from criteria other than utility), group behavior, incomplete knowledge/ irrational decisions, etc. These factors create a situation of less than idealized perfect competition, maximum satisfaction, comparative advantage, free choice... On the other hand, discarding free enterprise does not follow from its lack of perfection! Many stories of rags to riches are told and, of course, some are true. But why aren't the millions of times more numerous stories of failure despite the best efforts told? Some wealthy men really struggled and earned every penny, but they are most definitely the exception. The great riches instead come from graft, kickbacks, bribes, beneficial legislation, successful deceptions on the stock market... and dear old dad. Of overwhelming urgency in our wealthy age, wealth creates more wealth -- exacerbating a cycle of inequality caused by inheritance. We can predict that property and ownership (again, totally human constructs) have utmost importance to the human for survival fitness reasons (and the genetic influence of this trait would have become selected for. We see this programming in some of the first declarations of toddlers: "That's mine!") But while this may be important for "social stability", it is routinely violated by the State, and permanently stolen goods accrue in time to the ruling classes. The problem then is the tendency for property to be respected, even if it was originally unjustly acquired. Such unjust ownership can change only by political revolution.
Contrary to common belief, one cannot have enough wealth; what counts is having more relative to others --the most basic expression of biological competition and survival fitness. Fundamental motivation www.s for relative advantage will counteract any attempts for a more "equitable" wealth distribution. Individually, people seeking relative advantage will steal, lie, cheat, and gain power, wealth, and prestige under whatever circumstances that these activities will (appear to) benefit them (obviously, in excess of [apparent] cost). But it is also just as important that they disadvantage anyone else- that they steal from someone else, cheat, confuse, malign, cripple others, and gain power over others, wealth relative to others, prestige only by comparison greater than the lower levels in the hierarchy. These strong motivations to oppress mean the gross organizational structure of society will exist to impede Others from progressing or gaining advantage (over the structure determining rulers). An interesting application of this concept: David Friedman argues that a ruling class does not exist mainly because the current system makes everyone poorer -their personal interest would have lead them to better opportunities. On the contrary, they do not seek "absolute advantage" (or rather, "personal interest") but advantage relative to the ruled who most definitely suffer more than they do. Sure, each trade union probably pays about as much or more in higher costs from other unions' as they gained in their own benefits, but to non-union workers, higher prices are pure extra cost.
ConclusionThe stereotyped conclusion of contemporary synthesists has been the gloss of optimism and hope, as if they are giving the human creature something sweet to ruminate on, rewarding his inspection of their beliefs. To the contrary, the final conclusion must obviously be: hopelessness, futility, biological constraint and necessity, intrinsic ignorant failure, torment and suffering. And I fear the final conclusion will also be inevitable destruction, extinction, and human-less entropy until the end of time. We live in very Dark Ages indeed. History demonstrates a behavioral momentum in this species, the result of particular, unchanging characteristics of the "social elements". Aspects of this momentum are often labeled statism, socialism, humanitarianism, institutionalism, conservatism. Not I, or an entire class of thinkers, can expect to perturb the human ensemble. We cannot expect the biological motivations of most to change. Furthermore, no such "sweet", "nice" advice can even be expected to work, since it was offered because it sounds nice and not because it might work (two entirely separate aspects).
Not only have I demonstrated the intrinsic problems resulting from our biology, but it appears very much as if things are going to get worse. Such runaway "progress" as this species has experienced seems very likely unstable. The opening parable was true upto this point, but what will be the result of this instability? Is man's "destiny" to breed like rabbits and steadily incorporate organic molecules and energy in the universe around us, "proudly" accumulating biomass and stupid behavioral programs? Or will his "sophistication" give the most deceitful, power-hungry humans the means to eliminate all competitors? Nuclear weapons will soon be child's play and an abundance of alternate destructive tools are developing; any number of scenarios have been foreseen: biological, chemical, tactical, electronic, directed-energy warfare. Our destruction need not even be intentional. The conversion of all of this planet's fossil fuels into carbon dioxide, major alterations in the reflectivity of the Earth's surface (i.e.., deforestation), the enormous effluence of novel chemicals into water, air, and land might radically change climate.
If we actually survive several more generations, several evolutionary considerations will become very important. The greatest threat, and instability, in this species' future is its increasing genetic load. A shortsighted policy of "humanitarianism" has already radically altered our genetic composition. Humans with defective genes and debilitated constitutions are increasingly saved from the natural course of selection. This might have been just another consequence of man's wonderful beneficence and "goodness". However, this increased survival fitness costs, and inevitably all the rest of us are coerced into supporting them. But this is only the beginning. For every genetically defective individual that reproduces when he would not otherwise have been able to, more defective individuals are added to the fraction of the population always born defective (by mutation or recessive genes)- and saved, and more and more support will be increasingly forced out of us. Again, this suits the ruling class just fine, for it creates an ever greater class of dependents to rationalize the hierarchy without providing any serious competition. The medical establishment is especially happy since they are paid for all this beneficence. Related to this is the ignored development of an increasing mutation rate. Several factors will influence this: 1) Industrialization is increasing the number of carcinogens and mutagens in the environment and in the products we use, 2) the increasing population density and mobility allows more extensive infection by mutagenic vectors, 3) rapidly increasing exposure to electromagnetic radiation from all parts of the spectrum, 4) moderately increasing exposure to radioactivity, 5) and the most important of all, increasingly poor nutrition all around the world supported by a deceitful medical establishment (ref., vitamins and minerals are the body's most important defense against infection and biochemical/genetic damage). This development is especially worrisome in light of the increasing genetic load; otherwise, the effect of this cannot be foreseen. Other anticipated developments in evolution are the increasingly strong selection for deceit and self-delusion in humans who form increasingly important reciprocal bonds while the swelling masses become more anonymous. These phenotypes will also gain gene pool representation because people who know better are choosing not to reproduce or compete, for which their corresponding genotypes are selected against in time.
Of course, none of this has to be. Knowledge can set us free. I have not maintained that we must be blind automatons, only that that is exactly what most of humanity seems to be. Only knowledge can alter our biological priorities. But this is not likely to happen. It requires a dispassionate analysis of the evidence, of objectivity in analyzing Reality, and "this is impossible", intellectuals are fond of saying. Much has been written in the past decade as a result of the revolutionary explanatory power of sociobiology. But even sociobiologists are still inhibited in pursuing the implications of their discipline. For the same reason that an evolutionary paradigm was not applied to human behavior for a century (or appreciated: Darwin, and others, published some remarkably insightful, and ignored, essays... evolutionary jargon was frequently misapplied to rationalize Shud), humans have great difficulty in distinguishing between their knowledge and programming. They will not accept a distinction between their "most profound beliefs" and empirical knowledge. Only by such knowledge can we even tell what our genetic influences are. They are even less likely to subsequently retain this particular knowledge in the biological channeling of learning, the ranking by "importance". A dedicated conditioning (reprogramming) and thought storage in external media, which might be called "virtual memory" (e.g.., writing), are required to transcend this genetic control. (Other suggested strategies include a thorough education in science [method, biology, biochemistry...] and the use of hallucinogenic drugs which can leave one with some awareness of his chemical control.) Least likely of all will humans achieve the realization that their own individual purposes and motivations are not necessarily the same as a gene machine's, and as conscious individuals, choose motivations and behavior contradicting genetic dispositions.
But I am only beginning to suggest the extent of our true hopelessness. A popular notion is that the "secret of life" would be wonderful and fascinating if somehow revealed. People could not really care less. They don't care about truth itself; truth for them is a nice-sounding label to rationalize their fitness strategies. Most humans will react to the truth only as they see personal relative advantage. I fully anticipate that almost all humans reading this will find very, very little survival advantage in it. But, I really don't care what anyone thinks or does; I do not even begrudge their absurd world views. After all, we don't blame animals for their often mindless or harmful behavior. I have no interest in others' behavior and beliefs because I am not competing with them for fitness. Of course, everyone suffers if anyone is inhibited from achieving his potential. Each of us can benefit under cooperation from maximizing the potential of anyone else. But, this is their decision. They can choose to be as lazy as they want, or allow the ruling class to repress them to any degree. I am simply not exercising the non-existent "right" to beg, compel, persuade, threaten, or coerce anyone into "what I believe is best". I will only state that each of us and our civilization has such greater realizable potential than we now express. However, I do protest people trying to harass, coerce, injure, or steal from me . Reciprocal tolerance unfortunately does not exist. My purpose in publication of this is to increase awareness in anyone, an increase which will surely result in benefit for all of us. With the immanent threat of extinction, such awareness is desperately needed.
If people only admitted their biological motivations they wouldn't entrust just any stranger with power over them... power that is inevitably abused. My greatest emphasis has been that abuse and failure are intrinsic to our antiquated irrational beliefs and institutions. With ever greater rapidity, our environments (tools and culture) are changing. The question becomes, "when will our genetic dispositions prevent us from adequately adapting?" Already a gross number of problems burden everything in society. Built into the law and operating procedures of our government, for example, are incentives for abuse in that officials will do anything they can get away with: bloating the bureaucracy, mismanaging and stealing public funds- providing poor service in return, usurping power, "requiring" ever greater amounts of public funds, elevating themselves to a self-perpetuating ruling class... Overall, our "progress" as mankind is mostly the development of increasingly efficient means by which the ruling class has extended their wealth, power, and control over others. I think we are perilously close to the last and final subjugation -- when our technology enables their permanent and totalitarian enslavement of the ruled classes.
The USSR is a case in point. In the Soviet Union, a rigid hierarchy is supported thru massive police institutions; all desirable goods, favors, positions, and prestige are determined by degree of conformity to party dictates and willingness to behave (e.g.., spy on, frame up, or defame others) for the benefit of your superiors. In return for "State-guaranteed" health, education, welfare, housing, and jobs, the masses are given a standard of living as deplorable as a third world country. All the desirable- adequate, even- survival goods in life are given as rewards utterly by party and police member will for behavior that maintains their power and wealth in the hierarchy. The black market accounts for at least one quarter of all economic activity: so much so, in fact, that most workers feel privileged by the ubiquitous job theft they can get away with. They have long since lost all incentive to be productive. Most realize that only thru theft, deceit, and subordination can they acquire what they want. The USSR is commonly regarded as "horrible". But the USA is quite comparable in most essentials and rapidly growing more authoritarian with every year. Our ruling class has simply been more cunning, "...and we'll let them think they're free!..."
I hope I have demonstrated, if not the total truth, at least the power of sociobiological explanation. Obviously, one essay cannot cover the spectrum of topics which sociobiology can address. Instead, I hoped to give a brief outline and idea of the explanatory power now available to human consciousness. I'm sure that for most, this essay is simply "disturbing" or "cynical", and if they have even read this far their brains will soon conveniently "forget" so they can continue their agreeable lives. For my more sympathetic readers, I have another very important communication:
What can be done?Is America too hopeless to 'fix'? Will the ruling class likely realize the problem and step off their thrones? Can the American herds ever be expected to vote for, say, the Libertarians (probably the only group to advocate individual freedom)? Obviously, it is not only unfixable, but going in the wrong direction. We might as well expect all fathers to kill their first-born, than expect equal opportunity and class mobility. They'll never be able to legislate a flat-rate income tax, much less a flat tax which would represent equality of public services. Neither will they remove all the "allowed deductions" or return to the tax rates they promised when the 16th amendment was passed. (Only .4% of the pop. paid any tax at all --at about the rate of a few percent). America's youth was ideal in comparison; we should wonder why it has slid so far, so seemingly irrevocable (see David Friedman for a discussion of public goods and bads and why anarchy is essential). Can you imagine the repeal of the civil service acts or the absurdly fat government and military pensions? Can you imagine some of the incomprehensibly immense wealth of the religious ruling class reverting back to the people? Can you picture the trade unions and big business suddenly announcing that all the special interest legislation and coerced advantage that they have acquired has "hurt everyone more than it has helped us; therefore we desist." No. They have worked hard for a well-earned hell; let them keep it.
Among the human population, the few which can understand needs to organize. They might form an ideal society, a contractual anarchy of self-selecting self-sufficient individuals who will consciously cooperate with each other. The first, and perhaps only, clause of the contract need be "I agree not to coerce another". (I recommend M. Rothbard for an enlightening discussion of the feasibility of such a society.) Maximizing their own benefit by reaching their personal maximum potential and productivity, they will maximize everyone's benefit by the exchange of their goods and wisdom. We can scarcely imagine the potential of a society in which productivity, and not deceitful, conniving power-grabbing, is most rewarded. Many more considerations could be given, but the fundamental point is that for once, society might be rationally planned to maximize individual interest instead of enforced by a conqueror or cunningly conspired by aristocrats. Let there be no mistake; it would not be easy. The "competitive spirit" of the rest of the world makes it extremely unlikely that a Utopia would be allowed to exist -- certainly not an entirely open society. In any case, I hope I have added building material to your dreams; if so, I would like to hear from you.