V-50 Session 4

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the fourth session of the V-50 Lectures. This evening, I’m going to explain why all civilizations in the past have had this in common: they have perished.  And why all present civilizations are perishing.  Why the United States republic is perishing.  What has that got to do with you, regardless of your age, sex, occupation, education?  I will answer this question in part by giving you a quotation from Edmund Burke who said “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to triumph is that good men do nothing”.  All that is necessary for the forces of evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

Now if by evil one means coercion, and I’ve defined coercion as any attempted and intentional interference with property, and I pointed out that coercion leads to stealing which is nothing more than the taking of an individual’s property without his permission.  And if stealing leads to slavery, which is nothing more than controlling an individual’s property without his permission…now remember property comes in three forms:  primordial property, the biological derivative of life, life itself, primary property, the intangible derivatives of life: actions, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, innovations, and from that comes secondary property, the tangible derivatives: food, clothing, shelter, furniture, tools and so forth.  But if good  men are those men who do not coerce your property, or other people’s property, who do not steal, who do not enslave, who do not embezzle, who do not pickpocket, who do not swindle, then the forces of evil will triumph over good  men who do nothing.

I have two principal topics to discuss this evening.  One will be the historical basis of society.  I’m going to examine the historical structures of society, that all of these historical structures of society have been founded upon relative standards of rightness.  And secondly I will discuss a rational and moral basis of society.  And this society will be built, not upon relative standards of rightness, but upon absolute standards of rightness.

And so, in the first part of this discussion, the historical basis of society, I’m going to explain what has happened with all past social structures. With respect to part two, the rational and moral basis of society, I’m going to explain what has not yet happened but, in fact, must happen if our species is going to flourish rather than to sink into oblivion.

This lecture on the historical basis of society will not be, for example, a history lecture.  But I’m going to analyze why all past social structures have been unstable and, therefore, undurable.  In fact, Professor Galambos is the first historian to demonstrate how to apply, what I have already introduced, as the absolute standard of rightness and the scientific method as intellectual tools to accomplish something for the first time.  Namely, a scientific interpretation of history.  This is quite important to apply to history.

If you read those history books, you will find that man has been searching for freedom for some six thousand years.  I’m afraid the search has been without reward because he’s never found freedom anywhere, at any time.  In Session 1, I gave you this precision definition of freedom.  Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full, one hundred percent control over his own property.  Another way of stating the same principle:  An individual volitional being has liberty when he has total control over his primordial, primary and secondary property and when every individual possesses liberty and there’s not one slave, then that societal condition is called freedom or its logical equivalence.  If you have liberty and everyone else has liberty, and there is not one slave, then everyone has freedom.

Now the first reason why we’ve failed to accomplish freedom in the past is due to the failure of semantics.  No one has ever provided us with a precision definition of freedom prior to Galambos.  And the second reason is due to a failure of strategy.  The strategy in the past to achieve freedom has been hundred percent wrong.  We have believed, for example, that freedom is attained by one means alone, namely, by opposing tyranny.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I will demonstrate that when you oppose tyranny, it is impossible to achieve freedom.  Throughout history, this has been a major strategic blunder.  It’s an error that has generated incredible catastrophes.  And the false belief has been, it’s been accepted, that freedom is achieved  by opposing tyranny.  The historical approach to freedom has been, for example, to fight tyrants.  People cry out, “Well, we’re not free because we have tyranny”.  And then what do they do?  Well, the very next thing they do is the mistake that propagates a succession of mistakes.  And what’s that?  Well, they initiate a program to fight, to fight those people they believe responsible for this tyranny.  “We’re going to rid the nation of this tyrant.

We must find a leader who’s sympathetic to our cause, someone who favors our principles.  Then we will have freedom”.

Alright, what is the erroneous opinion here?  We have believed in the past that freedom is the absence of tyranny.  This false belief has been the basis of all historical movements for freedom.  It has been the basis of all past crusades, all causes, all programs, all political action for freedom.  In other words, if we can just eliminate tyranny, the result will be freedom.  If we can rid of this tyrant, then what is left over will be freedom. And this view is one hundred percent wrong because freedom is not the absence of tyranny.  Freedom is not the elimination of tyranny.  Elimination per se is a totally wrong concept.  It’s always a negative approach.  And so I will demonstrate that freedom can never be a derivative of negative action.

Rather, it can only be a derivative of positive action.  This goal of freedom, let’s put it on the screen again, will never be achieved with negative action.  And also please note something very interesting.  Freedom is not a condition that naturally exists in nature.  You don’t find this existing in nature.  Individuals do not naturally have one hundred percent control over their own property.  Man is not free by nature.  How do you know?  Well, it’s observable.  If man were free by nature, if it were man’s nature to be free, if freedom was indeed a natural societal condition, then all we would have ever had from the very beginning would be a condition throughout all history that would have been what?  Freedom.  Has this existed in history?

And so, I will demonstrate that when you fight for freedom, you will fail.  To further illustrate, do automobiles exist in nature?  Do you find automobiles hanging from an automobile tree, ripe for the plucking?  Model A Fords were plucked from the Model A Ford tree?  Well, obviously, they don’t exist in nature then.  They have to be innovated and then manufactured.

In a like manner, freedom does not exist in nature because it involves innovating a new product called freedom.  And then you have to have a means of introducing your new product, freedom, into the market.  Somebody has to innovate and build the technology that will bring about this condition called freedom wherein every individual does possess liberty.  I will demonstrate that when you fight for freedom, then you will fail.  When you are fighting, you are fighting something or somebody.  Fighting always involves in a negative action.  And so, freedom is not the removal of a negative, but, rather, what?  It is the building of a positive.

Automobiles are not born out of the removal of horse drawn carriages from the market.  And so, when you can build a technology that fully protects property, then, by definition, you cannot have tyranny.  When all property is fully protected, you have the opposite of tyranny and that is called freedom.

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to continue applying this standard of rightness I introduced in Lecture 2, that is right for the third science we’re building here called volition, which is both rational and moral.  Alright.  Look around the world today.  Look at all the areas in this world where people believe, for example, that freedom comes about by overthrowing the colonial master, the tyrant.  Well, you’ve seen that, in Southeast Asia, the people were successful there in kicking the French out of French Indochina, at least that’s what it was called when I was a kid, French Indochina.  Today the French are gone.  But do the people who remain have freedom?  The French are gone from North Vietnam.  But do the North Vietnamese people have freedom?  They’re gone from South Vietnam.  But do the South Vietnamese people, do they have freedom?  In Africa, the people were successful in kicking the Belgians out of the Belgian Congo.  Today the Belgians are gone from the Congo.  But do the people who remain, do they have freedom?  The British are gone from India but do the Indians have freedom?  And so forth.

I think it should be made very clear that freedom, as a goal, is certainly not new, ladies and gentlemen.  Men, you know, they have always desired freedom.  The problem has been, the word freedom has not been precisely defined.  Therefore, the goal was fuzzy and the means to achieve the goal even fuzzier.  You see, people have always wanted to live their lives unmolested.  You do recognize you’re not the first person in history who wanted to live his life unmolested?  You do recognize that?  Everyone before you would have liked to live his life unmolested by external forms or coercion.

But the problem has been these people have chosen mechanisms that were totally incompatible with the ends they were seeking.  People have desired freedom on an intuitive basis.  If you’re whipped by the slave master, then you knew you didn’t like it.  Just how much intelligence you think a man must possess in order to recognize that he doesn’t like being whipped?  How much do you think that takes?  Little.  Very little intelligence.

But please take note of a very important point.  And that is being whipped and not liking it does not tell you what freedom is.  And furthermore, it does not tell you how to achieve it anymore then not liking to walk teaches you how to build an automobile.  And so, what do you do?  You decide, well, you know, I think it would be a lot better if that somebody else who held the whip, I think it would be a lot better for somebody else to hold the whip.  As a matter of fact, I think it would be a lot better if that somebody else were me because it’s my turn to do the whipping.  Well, all that’s happened for the last six thousand years, ladies and gentlemen, one thing, the whip has changed hands.  The whip changes hands but there is no freedom because you cannot achieve freedom by opposing tyranny any more than you can get to the moon by opposing gravity.  The principle is identical.

I think it would be worthwhile to, at this time, identify for you five historical concepts of freedom that past societies have been built upon.  And all of these concepts of freedom have one thing in common.  They were wrong.  The reason they were wrong is they all led to slavery.  They are these five we’ll look at.  They are respectively: political democracy, or what is called majority rule, citizenship, independence, status, and commerce.

Alright, the first one, political democracy, here is a fallacy that has been almost universally accepted.  Namely, if you can choose your own ruler, you will be free.  Alright.  Since we’re using the scientific method here, which begins with observation, is this generalization observationally corroborable?  Can a man be ruled, on one hand, and be free on the other at the same time?  Can a man have his property controlled without his permission and be free at the same time?  Clearly, he cannot, if you look, which means, of course, only a few people will see it because, to see this, you must be a careful, sensitive observer.  During Lecture 5 next week, I will give a critique of the concept of political democracy, or majority rule, since I’m coming back to it in greater depth of it next week.

We’ll go on to another blind alley that did not lead to freedom, namely, citizenship.  It was believed that if you were a citizen, a member of a state, nation, city – in fact, the term citizen is derived from the Latin term civitas – if you were a citizen, this meant you were entitled to all of the civil rights granted by the state.  In other words, if you were a citizen, you were free.  But if you were not a citizen, what were you?  A slave.

Well, even here, the citizen, he had his property confiscated and in that sense he, too, was a slave.  You had a relationship where a slave served another slave called a citizen.  The citizen served the politician along with the slave.  And then the politician claimed to serve everyone.  Are they still doing that?  Anyhow.  People believed that, if you could attain membership in a superior group, some elite group, that this was tantamount to the attainment of freedom.  This was the belief in Greece and Rome.  When Athens, for example, was a flourishing city state, it was a great honor to be an Athenian.  However, please remember there were more slaves in Athens than there were so-called free citizens.

To be a citizen of Rome was considered the greatest of all possible achievements, but if you were anything less than a citizen of Rome, then you lived to serve Rome.  In Germany, the Nazis promulgated this concept of citizenship.  If you were a German, you were a member of the master race.  Hitler told his followers Germany will achieve its destiny when Germany rules the world.  To the German people, this meant freedom.  To a lesser degree, the British followed this citizenship myth.  If you were a British subject – incidentally, what does that mean, a British subject?  What does that mean?  Oh, that meant you were subject to the whim of the crown.  But, in any event, if you were a British subject, you could go to Hong Kong and tell the Chinese what to do.  You could go to India and tell the Indians what to do, Jamaica, and tell the Jamaicans what to do.  The only problem is, freedom does not spring from citizenship even if you are a Roman citizen or a German citizen or a British citizen or even if you happened to be an American citizen.  Freedom springs from a rational and moral social structure wherein every single individual possesses guess what?  Liberty.  And that’s its only origin.  And it’s always been that way and it always will be way.  We’re dealing with absolutes.

Another blind alley that did not lead to freedom was independence.  A great intellectual blunder has arisen from an almost total misunderstanding of the American Revolution.  And one of the fallacies that has been believed in connection with this is that, if you can overthrow the colonial master, you will be free.  Well, now, it’s true that the American colonists did overthrow their British colonial master but this was not the source of their greater liberty.  There were actually two separate independences that grew out of the American Revolution.  These two independences were formally declared in what I will come back to later, a document called the Declaration of Independence, which has also been almost totally misunderstood by those educated in the United States and outside of the United States.  I’ll come back to this later.

The Declaration of Independence is so significant, practically nobody understands it.  The more significant and important the work, the fewer will be the number of people who understand it, including the two classes: those who went to school and those who did not.  In general, however, the greater miscomprehension will obviously rest in the minds of those who went to school, in general, the longest.  In other words, they have acquired a higher level of what is passed off as knowledge.  Incidentally, and this may be a little early – do we still have guests?  How many people have not enrolled in this course?  Just out of curiosity.  Alright, maybe.  Maybe I’ll take the risk.  I can’t remember what I was going to say.  It’s almost academic now.  Something about school.  It was right on the tip of my tongue and then I got sidetracked.  Anyhow.  Do you remember the subject I was just talking about?  Well, we’ll go on.

I was talking about the miscomprehension that one acquires, generally, in what is called school.  I’m afraid that much of what you were taught in school, with the exception of those things you were taught in the domain of what is called the physical sciences and, to a lesser degree, the biological sciences, and this might be a hard pill to swallow, but this will be corroborated continually as this course goes on, most of the things you were taught, on subjects outside of the physical and biological sciences, most of the things you have been taught are either wrong or useless or some combination of the two.  That is not a popular statement but….alright.

There were two independences that came out of the Declaration of Independence.  The first is the independence of the thirteen colonies from British political interventionism.  The second, and the significant one, was a new principle, a new concept, a break from past tradition, that the individual is an independent sovereign being, that he lives for his own sake.  The Declaration of Independence asserts that man is to be independent from a mechanism called the state.  This is the significance of the Declaration of Independence, not the former.  If all that would have been accomplished from the Declaration of Independence was the separation of the colonies from England, then all we would have had in this country was another monarchy.  We would have no sooner gotten rid of George III then we would have had whom?  George I, George Washington would be the new king of America.  And so the significance of the Declaration of Independence, I’ll return to it later, is, for the first time in history, something happened that never had happened before.  The monarchy is deposed.  The kingship is eliminated.  I’ll return to this later.

A free country, then, is not an independent country.  A free country is one wherein every individual possesses liberty.  An independent nation can be totally enslaved on an internal basis.

For example, they kicked the Belgians out of the Congo.  They no sooner do this and what happens?  A state of anarchy reigns in the Congo.  An anarchy is a more primitive and a more destructive concept than even, let’s say, Nazism.  Anarchy’s worse for reasons which I don’t think I have discussed but I’ll come back to it later.

For example, Uganda, not too long ago, was a British protectorate.  I think it still was when I was a kid.  It was called British East Africa.  I don’t know what they call it now.  They may still call it that.  Well, today the British are gone from Uganda.  Lake Victoria, I believe, is still named after a British queen but the British no longer protect Uganda.  Now Uganda is run by a thug which is a rather nice way of putting it, run by a thug, president for life, field marshal, doctor, Ph.D.. I have to find out what his Ph.D.’s in, maybe thugism, Idi Amin Dada, who can be seen, for example, you ‘ve seen pictures of this in full dress uniform, a chest full of ribbons, mostly self-awarded.  And this thug is responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen.    I’m not here to condone British colonialism, but I think that the Ugandans were doing a little better under the British than they were under this thug.

The British were kicked out of India.  They have, for example, things in India like compulsory sterilization.  How many of you know this?  Compulsory sterilization.  And you can go out to the countryside and find villages where you won’t find any young men.  They’re all hiding in the jungles and out in the country because the largest majority of them are not too happy with the prospect of being coercively sterilized.  And there’s been a tremendous amount of this going on in India.  I mean that’s right out of Nazi Germany.  This is freedom?  This is liberty?

Of course the argument is, well, what about the tremendous overpopulation?  Well, what about it?  Coercion is not the solution.  That’s one thing that this course will demonstrate.  Coercion was never a solution to any problem and never will be in the future.  And there will be zero exceptions. That’s been the case in the past.

Status.  This concept was best, I think, represented by the feudal structure.  Under this system, people are ruled by an elite class of people that you can call feudal lords.  I think they have been more properly named as robber barons.  Let’s say you live at this time and your goal is to become, let’s say, a baron.  How do you get to be a baron in a feudal structure?  You must be very careful about the selection of someone – your father.  Because if you make the mistake of selecting a father who’s a mere stonemason, then there’s a pretty good probability you get to be guess what?  A stonemason like your father.  If your father is a mere peasant farmer who raises pigs, then there’s a good probability you will be a peasant farmer of one kind or another, like your father, and probably his father before him and his father before him.

But if you want to be something lofty like a baron, then you better make sure you choose a father who’s a baron.  But  more than that, you better get yourself born male and, more than that, you better get yourself born the first male.  Then you have a pretty good chance of being a baron.  And that’s the feudal structure.

And the feudal lord has a considerable amount of liberty.  He has control over his own property, the derivatives of his own life.  However, he also has control over everybody else’s property at the same time.  And of course, essentially what he’s doing is offering, claiming to offer at least, a service to the serf and what’s that?  Protection from other feudal lords.  The system goes pretty much something like this.  One feudal lords says, “Boy, that baron over there, that guy’s dangerous.  Any day he might attack us.  Follow me. I’ll be your leader.  I’ll protect you.  Follow me.  Give me your support.  Give me your allegiance”.

And then, the next baron, over in the next county, says, “Boy that baron over there, he’s really dangerous.  Any day he may attack us.  You give me your support.  Follow me.  I’ll be your leader”.  Etcetera.

Essentially what they had here – the whole system was nothing more than a glorified protection racket.  That’s feudalism.

And finally we have commerce.  This involves a belief that commerce, or a proper type of commerce, leads to freedom. This is a system you may have studied in school called mercantilism.  It was believed the country would be free and prosperous if more wealth flowed into the country than flowed out.  And this was based upon a fallacy that, whenever you have a transaction, somebody wins and somebody loses, and you better be the winner.   This belief was very much prevalent, especially in the western world, in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.  A country was believed to be wealthy if it exported more than it imported.  This was called a favorable balance of trade.  This fallacy is still widely held today in the United States.  You’ve heard and seen the popular phrase “Buy American”.  Well, what does that mean?  Well, obviously, it means, well, you should only purchase products that are produced in the United States, but don’t buy from any foreign types or foreigners.

Let’s look at that briefly.  If I had time, I’d go into this in greater depth.  Ladies and gentlemen, once you understand how to apply the scientific method and rationality to the social structure, it is so easy to reduce all of these totally idiotic beliefs, reduce them to hopeless shambles.  And it’s easy to do.  And one by one, I’ll show you how to apply these things.

What are they saying here?  It’s alright to export but don’t import.  Alright, let’s look at that.  First of all, is it moral for me to generate property that wouldn’t have otherwise even existed, generate property or products, and sell them to somebody who lives in another country who wants to buy it?  Is that moral?  The fact that he lives in another country is irrelevant.

Okay, if that person wants to purchase it from me, is that moral?  Certainly.  If I can make a profit selling it to this person who lives in another country, is that rational?  Of course.  If it’s profitable to that person to purchase the product and he is better off for it, is it rational for him to buy it?  Certainly.  Which means it’s the right thing for him to do and the right thing for me to do.  Therefore, this exchange is right.  And if it’s right, it can’t be wrong.  We’ll dealing with absolutes.  Or if something is wrong, then it can’t be right. It works both ways.

Alright, conversely, is it moral for somebody who lives in another country to generate a product that wouldn’t have existed had he not generated it?  Is it moral for that person to sell this product to me?  Of course.  If that person can make a profit doing this, is it rational?  To be sure.  Is it moral for me to buy it?  Yes.  Is it moral for me to sell it to somebody who lives in this country?  Yes.  If I can make a profit doing it, it’s rational.  Therefore, it’s the right thing to do.

Alright, then who’s harmed by this?  If harm is an imposed bad involving coercion, who’s harmed?  Well, of course, somebody will say, “Yeah, but..but…but..but”.  I mean, what if the Italians are manufacturing shoes, let’s say sake of illustration, let’s say you can buy an Italian shoe for $30 that is, let’s say, twice the quality of an American shoe selling for $40.  Alright, how many of you would prefer, assuming they have this condition, how many of you would prefer the Italian shoe that’s twice the quality of the domestic shoe selling for $30 to the domestic shoe that’s the inferior shoe selling for $40. How many of you would prefer the Italian shoe?  Alright.  How many of you would rather have the domestic shoe?  Alright.  That would be almost all people, wouldn’t it, with a few exceptions. Alright.  What does this mean then?  Well, the domestic shoe will have a difficult time competing in a free market.  Isn’t that right?  But if you can get a better shoe, twice the quality, for $30 instead of $40, your standard of living has gone up, hasn’t it?  You get a better shoe and you can spend the extra $10 on something else, can’t you?   You have a higher standard of living.  Is this observable?

“Yeah. But, but, but….what about these New England shoe manufacturers who can’t make a living now because nobody wants their shoes?  What about them?”

Do they have a right to make shoes?  Well, it’s moral to make it.  It’s moral to manufacture shoes.  But the way we try to solve this problem is how?  Coercion, stealing.  Well, we’ll put a tariff, we’ll put a $20 tax on the Italian pair of shoes.  Now 20 and 30 makes 50.  Now, even though the Italian shoe may be better, it’s now $50 and the inferior domestic shoe is only $40.  Will that now look more attractive, the domestic shoe look more attractive to more people now?  Yes, especially if they’re not concerned about, they want to pay the extra money to get the higher quality, now the domestic shoe will look more attractive.  The question is can we accomplish anything constructive with the theft?  I’ll come back to this later in greater detail.  I especially want to bring it up in the discussion period.

But let’s just look at this from one other aspect.  Alright.  I’m manufacturing, let’s say, ball bearings in this country.  I want to sell these ball bearings to someone who lives in Holland.  We have a moral exchange.  Fine.  Everyone says, “That’s great.  Go ahead and sell ball bearings to Dutchmen.  That’s fine”.

The only time they get unhappy is when the Dutch want to sell something here because they’re foreigners.  Alright?  If I buy tulips, first of all, is it reasonable to assume that I will want something in exchange for these ball bearings?  Is that reasonable to assume?  I want something.  They want to buy the ball bearings.  I want something in return, don’t I?  What?  Well, if we trade tulips, then I’m importing tulips.  If I trade ball bearings for gold and bring the gold in, then I’m importing gold.  If I trade the ball bearings for Dutch guilders, then I’m importing Dutch guilders. Whatever it is, I will want likely something in exchange, won’t I?

Well, it is very clear to anyone who looks, which will exclude most people, they’re too insensitive to ever see anything, but if you look, you’ll see you can only export if you also import.  It is simply an exchange.  And you can’t have a one-way exchange.

Now there’s a way to do this I should mention.  It’s obvious I can’t make a profit selling ball bearings unless I get something in return.  The only way you can do this is, you can give it away.  That’s called foreign aid.  We may come back to that later.  Would you like a quick explanation of foreign aid?  Alright, without even discussing it, I just gave you the…for those listening to this lecture in tape land, I just put on the screen the ACB slide.  Alright.  All this means is….we’ll come back to this later….essentially, I’ll come back to a fuller discussion of this later.  But B appoints A to steal property from C.  And then A gives the property stolen from C to somebody who lives in another country.  That’s foreign aid.  This also involves bribery and other things of a repugnant nature . We’ll come back to that later.

While using the scientific method by observing individuals, it is possible to discover a principle of nature, a law of nature that will explain the cause of the failure of every civilization.  A principle is simply a generalized statement with respect to some observable in nature, some phenomenon.  You discover this through observation.  I gave you a volitional, essentially you can call this a volitional law of nature applying to man as the first corollary.  Let’s look at that again.

It simply says all volitional beings live to acquire just one thing, property.  Remember property is the derivatives of life.  An important natural principle that applies to all volitional beings, we call it the principle of least action.  There is a principle of least action in physics.  I’ll give you one here for volition.  And applied to man, the principle of least action states: “Individuals seek to acquire the greatest amount of property with the least amount of chores”.

A less precise statement of the principle of least action simply says all men are naturally lazy.  And by lazy, I simply mean individuals prefer to avoid those activities which, at least on a subjective basis, are called chores or, in a general sense, called work.  To illustrate, how many of you ladies look upon washing dishes as the high point of the day?  You just can’t wait to get home to do the dishes.  For how many is this the high point of the day?  Not too likely.  The probability is you look upon washing dishes as  a chore.  The only reason you wash them at all may be that, perhaps, you find it undesirable, for one reason or another, to eat off of dirty dishes.  And even if you don’t mind eating off of dirty dishes, let’s face it, it really looks bad when you have company.

And what does the company say?  “Margaret, would you get me a new fork please”?  And holds up the fork.  It’s a lot easier to do in a restaurant.  “Waitress, would you get me a new fork”?  Anyhow.

Individuals prefer to engage in those activities that give us more pleasure than mere day to day chores.  And so the principle of least action has two important manifestations.  One is constructive.  The other is destructive.  One, in fact, is the builder of civilization and the other is the destroyer of civilization.   Well, the destructive aspect of the principle of least action can be summarized in the following goal:  “To get something for nothing”.

When an individual is in search of something for nothing, it simply means he’s an idiot.  He cannot observe reality.  You see, it’s observable that before you can eat a loaf of bread, it must first be baked.  And before you can bake that loaf of bread, you better prepare the dough.  And before that, you better have some flour.  And before that, the grain should be harvested.  And before that, it should be planted.  And before that, the ground ought to be prepared.  Nature does not provide man with bread.  You have to work for it.  You don’t get the bread for nothing.  You don’t walk in a forest and find loaves of French bread dangling from a French bread tree, all properly sliced and packaged in cellophane.  There’s an old Hungarian proverb I’ll share with you.  It goes this way: “A hungry man with an open mouth will wait a long time for a roast duck to fly in”.  A long time.

The laws of physics tell us that you cannot, in the physical world, get something for nothing.  This would be a violation of the first law of thermodynamics, also called the law of conservation of energy.  Applied to volition, it’s phrased in the following way, namely, you cannot get something for nothing.  You cannot get the bread for nothing.  And the difference between a rational and an irrational individual in this connection is that the rational individual, he wants to acquire the greatest amount of property with the least amount of effort.  That is rational.  But the fool wants if for nothing.  He’s a fool because it’s unavailable.  Always unavailable.

Now, it hasn’t been difficult for politicians to find followers.  Masquerading as great humanitarians, they will cry out, “Follow me and I will give you free schools, free roads, free food, free medical care I heard someone say.  Excellent.  Free insurance”.  On and on and on.

And how does the average fellow respond to this?  “Hey, that’s great  That’s the best offer I’ve had all year”.  How many of you recognize that would be a common reaction?  “Hey, that’s great.  Really?  Free?  I don’t have to pay anything?  Wow, that’s great.  Sign me up.  I’m for that”.

Well, the quest for something for nothing comes out of the natural inclination of people, in general, to be lazy.  Now before I continue with the destructive principle of least action, let’s talk about the constructive aspect for a moment.  The  constructive aspect of the principle of least action can be summarized in one word: innovation.  You’re all, I’m sure, familiar with the cliché “Necessity is the mother of invention”.  Whenever there’s a mother, there’s usually a father around somewhere.  And the father of invention is laziness.  Since man is naturally lazy, he would rather use a tool, for example, called a plow to dig up a field rather than trying to use his bare hands.  Why?  It’s a lot easier to use the plow, isn’t it?

Let me give you an illustration, a true story, about the constructive aspect of the principle of least action: innovation.  The story involves a young man whose goal in life was to be a professional inventor at a time when there was no such profession.  And this young man was spending all of his time making various experiments with all kinds of gadgets and things.  The only problem was there wasn’t anyone really interested in purchasing any of his inventions.  But he thought it was important to continue them.  In the meantime, he had to earn a living and he wasn’t a moocher and he wasn’t looking for handouts or subsidies.  And so, what he was trying to find was a job where he could get paid for sleeping, so he could have an income and, at the same time, spend his waking hours doing something important, like inventing various things.

This young man, his name was Tom Edison.  And he finally got himself a job working for this telegraph company.  And he deliberately chose the very worst hours, you know, like one o’clock in the morning, three o’clock in the morning, 3 a.m..  And the reason for this, well, there aren’t very many people sending telegram messages at 3 o’clock in the morning.  And so, there’s very little activity as a telegraph operator.  And this enables him to get quite a bit of sleep on the job.  And then he can spend his waking hours doing something significant and so forth . At least he thought so, making various…inventing various things.

And this worked out quite well. However, there was one technicality that was interfering with his sleep and that was that the job required him to remain awake.  The obstacle was the telegraph company had a policy that once each hour every telegraph operator must, at a specific time, and it was different for each telegraph operator, but they had at a specific time, once an hour, they had to send a message into the main office for obvious reasons, to let everybody back home at the home office know that, you know, all the  telegraph lines are operational and all the telegraph operators are alert and on the ball.  And this is interfering with his sleep. Every hour he’s got to send off this ridiculous message.

And so, finally he decides, well, there must be a way to solve this problem.  And so, he rigs up a clock which is attached to a device that automatically, once each hour, sends the signal that is supposed to be sent off to the main office.  This worked out quite well.  As a matter of fact, it worked out so well, that of all the telegraph operators that worked for this company, this young Tom, he had the finest record of all.  Why, as soon as the appointed time would arrive, bang, the signal would send itself off to the home office and nobody was more punctual than this young Tom Edison.  As a matter of fact, his boss was so impressed with his punctuality that he decided one morning, early in the morning, to drop in and pay his compliments to his star telegraph operator.  The boss walks into the office and here’s the telegraph operator’s chair empty.  And so, he starts looking around and finally walks into this back room.  And there, stretched out on a table, sound asleep, is his star telegraph operator.  So the boss says, “Hmm.  I want to see how he does this”.  So the boss tippy toes over to the telegraph operator’s chair and he waits to see what will happen.  And sure enough, as the appointed time arrives, bang, the signal sends itself off to the main office.  And there’s Edison stretch out on the table sound asleep.   The boss goes over to Edison.  He nudges him and Edison wakes up and the boss says, “You’re fired”.

Well, although Edison lost his job over this, it still accurately illustrates the positive aspect of the principle of least action innovation.  And I might point out that the construction of an automatic signaling device, on the part of this young Edison, was not a wasted effort.  I would further like to point out, if Edison’s boss even had a little imagination, instead of firing him, he might have offered him at least a vice-presidency of the company.  Do you think, if you were the president of this company, you could have used someone on your staff with the ability and imagination of a Thomas Edison?  Do you think he could have been any value?  Incidentally, the name of this company that he worked for was called Western Union.  And this same company, Western Union, later employed hundreds of such automatic devices, similar to the one that Edison had devised.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the early beginnings of what was called automation, a rather useful concept.

Well, this is the constructive aspect of laziness called innovation.  Alright, let’s examine now the destructive aspect of laziness.  Let’s see what that looks like.  I’m going to examine the destructive aspect of laziness and how does this part of the principle of least action, this concept of something for nothing, how does this lead to the destruction of every civilization?  That goal right there.

Alright, I’m continuing to use the scientific method to make observations of individual volitional beings.  That’s the first step of the scientific method.  We go on now to step two of the method.  We generalize.  Here is another generalization concerning the nature of man and that is all volitional beings seek security.  They seek security.  This is another observationally corrobable principle.  If you look, you will find not one exception to this generalization.  Security is simply a mental condition wherein one worries less, has less anxiety about the fulfillment of his daily requirements for survival or pleasure.  Security, in fact, is defined as the lowest form of happiness.  In other words, the lowest level of happiness, that is the basic minimum, essential to survival.

An individual considers himself secure if he doesn’t have to worry about where the next meal is coming from or where the next month’s house payment is coming from.  And so, all people wish to obtain the basic necessities of life through the employment of the least amount of effort on their part or the least amount of action.  And this produces, ladies and gentlemen, what is called the ideological demand for security.  Ideo is a Greek term meaning idea.  The idea of demanding security comes natural to all volitional beings.  This is a universal characteristic of all volitional beings.  It is moral to demand security. It’s a part of your nature.  However, at this point, we do have a problem because whenever you have a demand, there will always be somebody seeking gain who will do his best to meet that demand.

Well, now, with regard to the necessities of life, security has only one means: the acquisition of guess what?  Property.  When you acquire a large amount of secondary property, you also acquire a large amount of security with respect to at least the necessities of life.  On the other hand, when you only acquire a small amount of secondary property, you also acquire a small amount of security, or a large amount of insecurity, which is the same thing, with at least respect to the necessities of life.

Alright, where does the security come from?  From the acquisition of property.  Where does the property come from?  Remember, as I indicated last week, there are three ways in which an individual can acquire property, three and only three.  One, produce it which includes, recognize, trading property that one produces for more desirable property, trading services or property.  A service is a form of property except it’s intangible.  So we have one, produce it.  Two, receive the property as a donation or, in other words, mooch it  And three, steal the property.  That covers all possibilities with respect to the acquisition and particular of secondary property.

And so, the demand for security can be met in two ways.  One, something for nothing . Two, innovation.  Alright, returning again to the first corollary, you can acquire property through something for nothing.  In other words, you acquire property, giving nothing in return or, two, you can acquire property through continued innovation that will lead to the higher production of property.  In other words, through both innovation and high production.  You can also acquire property morally through low production except there’s more of it, for your effort, if you have high production.

Well, the first part of this is destructive, the quest for something for nothing is destructive.  The second part, innovation, is constructive.  If you are a careful observer, you will see that security, in the last analysis, can only come about when man is capable of producing more property with less effort.  A search for security through innovation and production, then, is constructive.  It’s universally profitable to all people.

Unfortunately, the destructive search for security, the search for something for nothing, has been far more prevalent throughout history.  Ladies and gentlemen, the fact of the matter is this concept of something for nothing as a goal has been, and continues to be, the direct cause of the failure of every civilization in the past and all that exist today.  Whenever someone wants security, who’s that?  Everyone, isn’t it?  Whenever someone wants security, there will always be someone who comes along and says, “Well, that’s tremendous.  Say, I’ve got just the plan for you.  Would you like somebody to take care of you if you get sick?  Would you like an income even though you’re not able to work?  How would you like some security in your golden years so you can retire and you don’t have to work in your golden years?  How would you like your children to get a free education?  You don’t have to pay anything.   And how would you like superhighways for your car?  You pay nothing.  And if you ever get hungry, can’t afford food, all the food you can eat. You pay nothing.  It doesn’t cost you anything.  All you have to do is accept my plan”.

And does this sound harmless to most people?  Yes, because most people cannot think.  That includes both classes, those who went to school and those who did not go to school.  Unfortunately, most people have been led to believe that the more years they attend school, and the higher were their grades, the better is their ability to think.  Worse than that, the student who gets an A in a subject or in a class, and therefore comes to the conclusion that he understands the subject, that is a giant, horrendous blunder.  You can get magna cum laude and understand nothing.

On the other hand, you can also get an A in a subject and understand it.  The two, though, are not related.  That’s the point I’m making.  But the one who’s faked out is the student.  He thinks because he got an A, he understands the subject.  He may or may not.  The grade, essentially, nothing to do with it, in general, with few exceptions.  We’ll cover this later.

Incidentally, the better your ability to think in general, the greater will be the difficulty you will have in school.  You do not have to know how to think to be an A student.  And, oh, again, what do I mean by thinking?  You can test premises for truth, thought processes for validity.  You have a foundation of semantic precision.  You can integrate all of this with all four steps of the scientific method and come up with absolute rightness.  If you know how to do that and you start applying that to what you’re learning in school, the probability is you will not do too well.  That, of course, will vary depending on what your major happens to be and so forth.

That, of course, will vary depending on what your major happens to be and so forth.  So all you’re asked is, “Accept my plan”.  And that sounds harmless to most people.  However, when you accept his plan, that makes him the planner.  And the planner will ultimately plan where you work, what your work is, what you buy, if at all, where you live, where you play, if at all.  And this may not be spelled out this clearly in the beginning, but, in the long run, you wind up with this.

These plans in this course have a name.  They’re called political action.  The ideological demand for security produces a supply of political plans which culminate in political control of property.  Control of property means control of the individual.  Control of the individual means slavery.  And the planner in every instance is a dictator.  He dictates the plan that you will follow.  Yours is not to reason why but to do or what?  Die.  Literally.  Behind every political law is a gun.  That is essentially the motto of the state.  Yours is not to reason why but to do or die.  Except they don’t explain it that way because that has a bad image.  Even a dimwit might not like that too well.

In every instance, the cause of the failure of civilization has been the same.  The striving for security, then, on an ideological basis, but the striving for security is met with a supply of political planning, not innovation, not high production, but more plans, all of which inhibit the production.  The political plans are imposed upon the individual.  The individual, however, actually thinks he’s getting something for nothing.  He demands more security.  His demands are met with more political plans and he gets what?  More control of his property.  And this, of course, diminishes the individual’s incentive to produce property, to build, to create, to innovate primary and secondary property.  Every time you get another plan, the incentive goes down because every plan brings with it what?  More control of you through the control of your property and there is no exception.

It’s clearly observable, if you look, that as coercion goes up, individual incentive goes down.  As incentive goes down, guess what?  Production goes down.  In other words, as coercion goes up, production goes down.  As production goes down, shortage and scarcity goes up.  The scarcity leads to unrest.  That, in turn, leads to insecurity.  That insecurity leads to fear.  Fear leads to demonstration which leads to riot which leads to chaos which leads to anarchy, finally to tyranny of the mob.  And you have wall to wall destruction and destruction for the sake of destruction, vandalism for the sake of destruction.  Remember the vandal doesn’t have, as a goal, so much the theft of your property.  What does he have as a goal?  The destruction of your property.  Those are not even the same goals, are they?  After the vandal burgles your house, since he may not be able to cart away all of your property, especially the house, then he sets a torch to it and burns it to the ground.  If he can’t have it, then he doesn’t want you to have it either.  That becomes a higher level of destruction than just the fact that you got your house burgled.

As a result of all of this, every society collapses.  They collapse for identical reasons.  The only things that change are the names of the leaders, the names and dates of the wars, the names of the people liquidated, the names of the nations, these change, but what does not change is the fundamental cause of the collapse.  Future historians, as if there are any, will be writing volumes on the previous six thousand years and they will all be entitled “The Decline and Fall of _____” and then you fill in the blank.  You fill in the name of the nation or the state or the civilization.

Probably the most famous decline and fall, I’m sure most of you have heard of, and that’s Edward Gibbon’s famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  This was published some two centuries ago, specifically 1776.  This is volume one of the Modern Library edition.  In the first volume, Gibbon discusses the extent of the coercive state degrees that resulted in the destruction of Roman production.  The coercion, the political action, the supply of plans reached what?  A new high during the reign of Emperor Diocletian.  In fact, Emperor Diocletian issued the Edict of Diocletian in 301 A.D..  Well, maybe I’ll just read a few things from Gibbon here about this whole business.  If I can find it, that is.  I have it marked here.  Okay, here we go.  Page 333. Alright. If I’ve got the right volume, we’re in business.  Let me read some of this.  This is Edward Gibbon writing two centuries ago about Rome. How many of you have read some or part of The Decline and Fall?  This is Gibbon:

“The system of Diocletian was accompanied with another very material disadvantage which cannot, even at present, be totally overlooked: a more expensive establishment and consequently an increase of taxes and the oppression of the people.  The number of ministers, of magistrates, of officers and OF servants who fill the different departments of the state was multiplied beyond the example of former times”.   [Sound familiar?]

“And if we may borrow the warm expression of the contemporary who said, [now he’s quoting a Roman living at the time describing all of this, the Roman said,] ‘When the proportion of those who received exceeded the proportion of those who contributed, the provinces were oppressed by the weight of tributes’”.  [A tribute being a tax.]

There’s a footnote here about the Edict of Diocletian.  This was found after Gibbon wrote this book.  So he didn’t even have access to the Edict of Diocletian because it was discovered after he wrote this book and I think after his death.  In any event, they’re talking about here in the footnote, “the preamble [that is of the Edict of Diocletian] insists with great vehemence on the extortion and inhumanity of the merchants and vendors. [The reason that the merchants, vendors, and producers are bad guys, they’re essentially attacked here in this preamble of this, because they keep raising their prices.  Anyhow.]  Among the articles of which the maximum value is assessed are: oil, salt, honey, butcher’s meat, poultry, game, fish, vegetables, fruits, the wages of laborers and artisans, schoolmasters and orators, clothes, skins, boots, shoes, harness, timber, corn, wine, beer, etc.”.

There was something like three thousand items that were specifically named as to what the price would be, a maximum or ceiling price on these products.  I won’t read you all three thousand.  They’re not even listed here anyhow but you can generalize.  And then it says, “That appreciation and the value of the money, or the rise in the price of commodities, had been so great during the last century that butcher’s meat, which in the second century was two denarii the pound was now fixed at a maximum of eight denarii the pound”.

So they had inflation.  It was a Roman state induced inflation, just as is our own inflation a state promulgated and fostered inflation.  But the people who are blamed for this are the producers of property who set the prices for their own property.  And the same thing happened in Rome.  The producers always get blamed for inflation and yet they are not the cause of it.  But the secret of effective statesmanship is that you manage to successfully always get the people blamed for the problem who are not responsible for it and see that the ones who are responsible for it never get the blame.  That’s the highest achievement of statesmanship.  Anyhow.  I’ll have more to say about that later.

Well, they had this situation.  Let’s say you’re a businessman, either today or in Rome, and there’s a state-induced inflation going on which means that each day the value of the currency of the realm is dropping in value sharply.  They had a hyper-inflation or an advanced rapidly increasing inflation.  Alright.  Whether you live in Rome or in America, you’re a businessman, a producer of property, a seller of property, and inflation is running away rapidly, could you likely figure out that if you do not raise the prices of your products or your services, that it is only a  question of time before you will be what?  Ruined.  You will be wiped out.  You will be bankrupt.  Is this observable.  Do all of you see this?  Is there anyone who does not see this?  If you do not raise the price, you will be wiped out.  Alright.

Do you think the Roman producers saw this?  You do not have to be a graduate of the Harvard Business School of Administration to recognize you will quickly be ruined.  So what occurs to you?  Raise the price.  Alright.  The only problem is, in Rome, if you raise the price, would you like to know what the penalty was for raising the price?  It’s called capital punishment.  In other words, you’ll be executed.  Legally, of course.

Well, not wanting to be executed for so-called black market prices, or selling under the table or something at a higher price, many of the Roman producers and businessmen decided, well, what we better do is, maybe the situation will improve, let’s just not sell anything at all.  We’ll keep our property and our products and inventory.  And we won’t sell anything because, if we do sell without raising the price, we’ll be wiped out.  On the other hand, if we raise the price, we don’t want to get executed.  So we just won’t sell it at all.  We’ll just store it and hopefully conditions will improve later.

Would you like to know what the penalty was for doing that?  For refusing to sell what was your property, the punishment was capital punishment.  Would you like to know what the penalty was at this time if you did not pay all of your taxes?  The punishment was capital punishment.  However, would you like to know what the penalty was if you could not pay your taxes?  Not would not, but could not, since you had nothing to pay with.  The penalty for that, however, was execution.

Now many people were discouraged.  As a matter of fact, ladies and gentlemen, some were so discouraged they said, “Hey, I quit.  This is ridiculous.  No matter what I do I’m going to be ruined or executed.  I quit”.  Would you like to know what the penalty was for quitting?  Exactly.  You guessed it.  Execution.  Even with execution being the penalty, many quit anyhow.  The farmers deserted the land and the fields were untended.  Everything was going to weeds.  People just left their factories and their businesses.

In the meantime, they couldn’t collect any taxes to speak of because there wasn’t any property being produced.  You see, the state can only steal property that is produced, that exists.  You cannot tax property that doesn’t exist.  You can try but it’s academic.  You cannot steal, for example, an automobile that was never built.  And things were getting so bad that they didn’t have any money left in the treasury and they didn’t have any means to pay, for example, the Roman legions who had been defending Rome all these centuries.  And many of the legionnaires were getting very discouraged because it had been a long time since they had been paid anything and here they’re expected to risk their life for Rome and they don’t even get paid for this.  And so, the Roman legions were deserting in legion number.

Well, guess what happened?  The vandals showed up in Rome.  The barbarians, well actually, the barbarians were simply…in other words, there were Roman citizens and everyone else.  They were barbarians.  If you weren’t a Roman, you were a barbarian.  And the vandals were a subclass of the barbarians.  And the vandals sacked Rome.  But there wasn’t even much to sack because Rome had been destroyed. How?  The ideological demand for security was met with a supply of Roman political laws.  And the Roman political laws brought with them more control of the individual’s property, more slavery, more anti-incentive, and ultimately the destruction of Roman production.  Then the vandals sacked Rome.  It was no contest.  I might point out when Rome was highly productive, before the destruction (sic) had been destroyed, why the third string Roman Legion, with their one hand tied behind their back, could have wiped out these vandals and barbarians.  And they had been wiping these guys out for centuries.  Virtually no contest.  Chewing them up and spitting them out.  That was when Rome was strong.  When was Rome strong?  When it was highly productive.  High production is the source of the strength of a civilization.

I’d like to illustrate that the planners have received a very large boost in their implementation of coercion from a dangerous, very dangerous, misinterpretation of the Golden Rule; a misinterpretation that has led to an almost universal acceptance of certainly one of the most destructive philosophical fallacies of all time.  Historically, the Golden Rule has been practiced in one form or another in practically every civilization that has had any degree of durability.  The Golden Rule has been around for a long time.  To just give you a few illustrations:

Six century B.C., Confucius said, “What you don’t want done to yourself, don’t do to others”

The Buddhists in the 5th century had the following:  “Hurt not others with that which pains thyself”.

In the 4th century B.C., Plato said: “May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me”.

The Hindus had, in the 3rd century B.C.: “Do not to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain”.

The Jews in the first century had the following: “What is hateful to yourself, don’t do to your fellow man”.

The Christians, by the first century had the following: “Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”.

And so, this Golden Rule concept has been with us a long time.  It is significant because it works.  The phraseology is often given this way: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  There’s another way this can be phrased.  It’s a double negative of the first.  It goes this way: “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you”.  The latter phraseology is superior because it’s not meddlesome.  “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you” means do not attack other people’s property as you would not have them attack your property.  The French expression for it, I believe maybe I’ve not given you that, the French expression for this is: “laissez-faire” which means “Let alone”.  That essentially is the philosophy behind the negative version of the Golden Rule.  The English translation of the French “laissez-faire” is more blunt.  It is simply, “Butt out”.

Well, the positive version of the Golden Rule can lead to coercion.  For example, following the positive Golden Rule, you could give your encouragement and support, for example, to state coercion in an effort to provide free milk to so-called underprivileged children at taxpayers’ expense on the grounds that, if you were underprivileged, you would like to have access to free milk at taxpayers’ expense.

On the other hand, just apply the double negative version of the Golden Rule to the same illustration and it comes out this way: do not give your encouragement and support to the state in an effort to provide so-called free milk to so-called underprivileged children at taxpayers’ expense on the grounds that if you were underprivileged, you would not wish to have access to free milk at someone else’s expense. Big difference, isn’t there?  And so, the negative version of the Golden Rule doesn’t lead to problems.  It doesn’t tell you what to do but what not to do. But regardless of which Golden Rule you prefer, they both represent statements that promote the protection of property.  And yet, I would say probably most people believe that the Golden Rule is an altruistic concept based upon brotherly love, friendship, kindness, comradeship and so forth.  It’s not.  The Golden Rule is nothing more than an individualistic concept and this is what makes it both right and workable.  The Golden Rule does not tell you to leave other people’s property alone because you like them or because they happen to be your neighbor.  The Golden Rule says, in effect, if you attack other people’s property, you may suffer the very same fate yourself.  The Golden Rule is a purely defensive concept.  It’s self-preserving concept.  If you attack somebody else’s property, figuring that you’re smart enough and big enough to get away with it, then someday somebody who’s bigger and smarter than you are, may attack your property.  And if you squawk, it can easily be pointed out, well, you did the same thing.

The basis of the Golden Rule is not “Love thy neighbor”.  How can it be?  Do you love all of your neighbors?  How many of you love all of your neighbors?  Well, I will go on record as saying I do not love all of my neighbors.  Some of them are even repulsive.  But most of my neighbors, I don’t even know.  Fortunately.  Because what is the probability that your neighbor is necessarily a person worth knowing?  He may or may not be.  But even if he is, I don’t have time to chitchat with my neighbors.  I don’t have time.  I can even have a neighbor who is intellectually curious, who’s excited about the acquisition of knowledge, who may be rational, who’s productive, a person of quality and responsibility and character, integrity.  I could have such a neighbor but I don’t know about it.

In either case, I neither love nor do not love these neighbors.  I don’t even know them.  I have no inputs on them.  Like my neighbor who lived behind me, he was a good neighbor, the neighbor right behind me.  I never hear these people.  I never see these people. I could pass them on the street and never even know who they are.  I don’t know their names.  I’ve never even heard a sound from next door.  For all I even know, nobody even lives over there.  And that, as far as I’m concerned, is a good neighbor.  Never bothered me once.

In fact, I was telling my class this about this time last year.  And I said that was my attitude toward my neighbor in the rear until just the other day when my neighbor cut down two of my trees on my land, on my side of the fence.  I now know the name of my neighbor to the rear.  And I can assure you, whatever my attitude towards this neighbor is, it is not love.  Well, anyhow, I don’t want to get into a long discussion of this.  But I will make one statement.  The man who loves everybody loves nobody.  Any rational concept of love requires discrimination.  It is a discriminatory concept.

And to further illustrate, let’s say that a husband and wife are having breakfast together one morning.  And the wife has prepared a very nice breakfast for her husband.  And at breakfast, she says to her husband, “Harry, I just want you to know, this morning, on this beautiful day, I just want you to know, Harry, that I love you very deeply – as I love all men”.

Conversely, in the other direction, and it probably does not make your day.  And so, what does this mean?  The person who loves everybody loves nobody.  That is such a totally shallow concept of love that it’s devoid of any meaning whatsoever.  The fact, however, that I do not love my neighbors, most of them I don’t even know, so I don’t have any attitude on them, one way or the other. I just hope they don’t bother me.  But that does not mean I want to attack their property.  Or anyone’s property.  I don’t even want to attack the property of people I may not love or dislike even.

Well, the Golden Rule has been used almost universally.  It’s survived because it works.  But a misinterpretation of the Golden Rule has led to the development of a catastrophe called altruism.  Webster defines altruism as “devotion to the interests of others opposed to egoism and selfishness”.

The only problem with that is it’s impossible to have altruism.  The whole concept is impossible.  Everything you do is selfish.  Every volitional action you take has one specific purpose in mind and that is the acquisition of primary or secondary property, the enjoyment of primary or secondary property for your own selfish interest.  And there is no exception for you or anybody else throughout your entire life.  So when you take an action claiming it’s only for the sacrificial purpose of helping someone else, well, that doesn’t alter the fact that you were taking that action selfishly for the purpose of augmenting your own happiness as you see it and there’s no exception.

The destruction from this pseudo-altruism comes not from the fact that, let’s say, one group of people want to help another group.  The destruction comes from the method one group chooses to help another group.  One group might say, “Well, we got to take care of the old people.  We’ve got to help these old people”.

And someone else says, “Well, yeah, that’s right, we do.  Do you want our senior citizens to live a life of destitution and poverty?  Do you want them to be deprived of proper medical care simply because they cannot afford to pay?  Well, do you”?

How many of you want our senior citizens to go without medical care?  Let’s see a show of hands.  How many think I want the senior citizens to go without medical care?  Just for the record, it does not make my day to learn that anybody has to go, for one reason or another, without proper medical attention, regardless of their age.  That does not make my day to know this.  But the solution to this problem is what, that’s offered?

Well, it’s a terrible thing that this old person here cannot get the medical care he needs.  So B appoints A to steal the property of C.  Young person C has his property stolen and it is then turned over to old person D.  Brilliant.  The mechanism for this is theft and it is never a solution, ever.  And this is called, of course, altruism.  It’s not.  It’s theft.  We have believed, because of this phony concept of altruism, because we’ve accepted this fallacy, we’re vulnerable to a false alternative.  We have believed that it is our duty, our obligation, to give our property to those who have less property.  In fact, the fallacy that we have believed, ladies and gentlemen, and this is a total catastrophe, we have believed that one man’s need represents a rightful claim upon the property of another.  We have believed that old person D, his need for food or medical attention, represents a rightful claim upon young person C’s property, based on his need for medical attention or food or what have you.  That only happens to be the foundation of slavery.  One man’s need being a rightful claim upon the property of another.  That is the foundation of slavery.

Now this is almost universally believed and accepted by almost everyone in one form or another.  They believe that one man’s need is a rightful claim upon the property of another except they don’t state it that way.  We have been conditioned to accept false alternatives.  Because of this, the true alternative is never even considered.  A true alternative is the senior citizens do not have to starve.  We do not have to steal property to feed them.  I will prove again that there are no exceptions to this generalization, that the most efficient solution to every problem, the most rational solution to every single problem, the most practical and pragmatic solution will, in every single instance, always be the moral solution with zero exceptions, regardless of the problem.

But, primarily because of this popular acceptance of pseudo-altruism, we have sanctioned, condoned, and supported the entire political mechanism.  The man on the street says, “Well, Mr. Politician, I’m really busy myself but I’d like you to do good for me.  As a matter of fact, I will give you permission to seize my parents’ property.  And I give you permission to seize my children’s property, my children’s children’s property.  I give you permission to seize my best friend’s property and my neighbor’s property and my relatives’ property and everybody else’s property, even the ones I don’t even know.  I will do this, in secret of course, behind the backs of my relatives and friends and neighbors and so forth.  Have any of you ever done this?  Who’s willing to admit that he’s done this in secret?  A number of you.  I’ve done this in secret.  Why?  The same reason they believed for 2000 years that heavy objects fall faster than light objects.  It’s called acceptance on blind faith without testing the premises for truth, thought processes for validity, connecting up with the scientific method, etcetera.  So, if you’ve done this, if it will make you feel any better, I’ve done it too.  I got an A in the course that said it’s the proper thing to do.  What was your grade?

And so, B, in secret, behind C’s back, appoints A to steal from C,  And then, further we say, “If you do a good job, A, if you do a good job with the property that I have authorized you to seize without the permission of the owner, then when you are up for reelection again, I will once again authorize you in secret, behind the backs of my friends and neighbors and relatives and the people I don’t even know, I will authorize you to steal more property as long as you keep doing a good job with what you’ve stolen.  Do we do this?  Hm-mm.  And it’s wrong.  Because it is immoral and it is totally irrational.  It is totally immoral and it is totally irrational.  Other than that, it’s not too bad.

The question one might ask, and I hope all of you is asking, is what is the alternative?  How many of you are asking the question what is the alternative?  I hope all of you are asking that question.  You know why?  Because if you are not asking the question, what is the alternative, when I use the scientific method to clearly demonstrate the alternative, if you are not asking the question in the first place, then when I give you the answer, it won’t mean a damn thing to you because you could not care less.  I’ll come back to that subject when we get to education in 14.

 

Continuing now with the second part of Lecture #4, I’d like to discuss this problem of the attainment of security. Now security happens to be an immediate requirement.  In fact, it is an urgent requirement because, if you do not achieve at least a minimum level of security, you will starve to death.  And I gave you this generalization earlier that all volitional beings seek security.  And in the quest for security, some individuals will develop certain skills that will enable them to acquire and build larger amounts of property than all their neighbors.  And as the individual increases his competence at producing property, he will acquire greater and greater amounts of property.  This acquisition of property is consistent with his nature.

I gave you, again, the first corollary: all volitional beings live to acquire just one thing, property.  However, if one has a particular talent for acquiring property faster than his neighbor, his neighbor may covet this property and then figure out a way to take away his neighbor’s property without permission.  The greater the amount of property an individual generates, the greater will be the number of people competing to take it away.  And there’s two ways, of course, you can acquire property.  And that takes us to the second corollary, which I also gave you in Lecture 3, which says “Morally acting man seeks profit.  Immorally acting man seeks plunder”.  That’s the two ways you can acquire property, morally or immorally.

Well, let’s take a moment to look at a  primitive man in his early savage existence.  Let’s say one particular savage develops a superior skill at hunting game.  Therefore he acquires more food than his neighbors.  Please note he is now a potential target because the more property he accumulates, the greater will be the number of looters attracted to his property.  Looters are always attracted to property, the property of others, in pretty much the same way iron  filings are attracted to a magnet.  Once having acquired property, it might occur to him to seek the services of someone who can protect him from his neighbors who might just seek to plunder his greater accumulation of whatever: animal skins, spears, food.  And even if this superior hunter himself is stronger than any one of his neighbors, he still has to sleep and therefore he still requires some help.  And those who have less property and are more numerous can easily gang up upon him.  When he seeks a source of protection, this is a part of the ideological demand for security.  Perhaps he can find someone who’s even tougher than he is to protect him.

It just so happens that there is a fellow not too far away who is prepared to offer this particular protection service.  This guy might be the local tough guy.  Maybe he’s beaten up anyone who challenged his toughness.  He might have even killed a few who thought they were tougher just to prove his point.  A tough guy, himself, he also becomes a target for those who think that they are even tougher.  And if anyone is tougher and he knocks off the top tough guy, then he is the new king of the mountain.

The top tough guy says, “Look, you can depend on me.  I will offer protection to everyone.  Just come to me if you need help.  I will fight your battles for you”.  Now, of course, if the top tough guy is protecting the property of his followers, obviously he doesn’t have time to hunt game, make a coat out of skins, provide for shelter for himself.  How could he?  “Since I’m protecting your property”, he says, “It’s only fair that you take care of me by providing me with the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, weapons”.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the entrance of what is called the tribal chief.  Now since the tribal chief is tougher and stronger than his fellow savages, he will take care of them.  And since the tribal chief does not have time to produce property, he fights.  He recruits other strong-arm types, ones, of course, that he thinks he can control, to fight with him.  And gradually he builds up an army of savages.

After a while, the top tough guy no longer says, “I’ll take care of you if you take care of me”.  It soon becomes, “You take care of me first and I’ll see nobody attacks you”.  You take care of me first.  Soon, please note, it is no longer a voluntary exchange of property.  Now you must pay tribute to the top tough guy.  This is the origin of what is called a tax.  Before it was a tax, however, it was a fee paid for a service.  At the point in time when the service is no longer purchased, but you’re forced to pay for it, then it is no longer a fee but a tax.  If it’s a service, it must be a mutually voluntary exchange.

You’ve heard of, for example, what is called the Internal Revenue Service.  I’ve always wondered what the service is that I’m getting.  I must have missed something.  Anyhow.  If it’s a service, then you can cancel your subscription to the service.  Why don’t you then just go ahead and cancel your subscription to the IRS?  Or just send them a note, please take me off your mailing list and I will reciprocate.

I’ve suggested that the social technology has not progressed since the days of the caveman in view of the fact that we’re smart enough to destroy ourselves but not smart enough to prevent our own destruction.  Any cursory examination of history quickly reveals, then, that almost all of the coercive destruction of property in the past has been caused by one single mechanism.  It’s called a political state through political action.  Almost all of the murders in history have been caused by the political state.  Almost all of the pillage, the torture, the arson, the plunder has been caused by the state.  Well, can anyone in this room identify any war in history that was not fostered by, that was not launched by one or more political states?  I can’t.  The political state is the engine of war.  In fact, before you can even have a war, you must first have a political state.  The war can only be sustained when the political state has the coercive power to seize property to finance the war, when it has the power to seize people to fight in the war.  As long as there are political states with the coercive power to seize property, there will be political wars.  It is a foregone conclusion.  There is something inherent within the structure of a political mechanism that will generate what is called war.

And before I continue any further with the discussion of the state and the politician in particular, I’d like to make it clear that I am not suggesting that the politician will necessarily act with malicious intent.  Most politicians have accepted false alternatives.  If they see what they consider to be a problem, the first thing that comes to their mind, the classic panacea to solve every problem, there ought to be a law.  Maybe I better give you a free translation of “there ought to be a law”.  You should take this cliché out of your vocabulary.  You know why?  Do you want me to give you a free translation of that, there ought to be a law?

B says, “I don’t like what C is doing.  There ought to be a law.  I appoint you, A.   If C doesn’t stop that, shoot him”.  That is a free translation of “there ought to be a law”.  Remember, behind every political law is a gun.  Do any of you question this?  Does anyone challenge it?  If anyone does question that, behind every political law is a gun, please see me immediately at the end of the session.  I’ll tell you how to test that out.  If you don’t believe it.  And that’s what you’re essentially saying when you say, “There ought to be a law.  I don’t like what that guy is doing.  I appoint you, sir.  If he doesn’t stop, shoot him”. And that entire concept is totally and completely primitive.

Ladies and gentlemen, you know, for the last six thousand years and before that, we just don’t have a record of it before that, for the last six thousand years, we have been trying to solve man’s problems with guns.  Of course I realize we haven’t had guns per se for six thousand years, but the gun is symbolic of any coercive weapon.  It could be spear or bow and arrow or a cannon or what have you.  We have been trying to solve problems with guns for six thousand years. You think we have given the gunman a fair chance?  Do you think six thousand years is long enough time to find out whether or not that approach is going to work?  How many think we have given him a fair chance to try it out, the gunman?  The gunman is one who wears a gun.  A gunman is one who wears a gun.  I think so.  I think that’s a fair chance.  Or is anyone’s attitude, “Oh give him a chance. Give him a break”?  I think we have.

The concept of political action, or essentially gunmanship, which is a term I just coined, I’ll write it down, gunmanship, the whole concept of political action is totally primitive.  Therefore, the names I will assign to identify the two types of politicians will also be primitive.  There are two kinds of politicians.  They are as follows: the tribal chief and the witchdoctor.  I’m going to examine how these groups obtain their status, what their relationships are to each other.  All politicians fall into these two groups without exception.  Every politician is either a tribal chief or a witchdoctor or both.  These terms are used to illustrate, again, that we’ve made zero progress with respect to the social technology since the days of the caveman.  Again, the observation that man is civilized today, that he’s made progress in the social domain is an illusion.  The automobiles, the washing machines and the telephones and the TV sets give evidence that we’ve progressed in the physical sciences.  These things do no, in any way, represent an improvement in the social structure but simply our ability to apply the laws of nature to consumption products.

Well, let’s take a look at a modern day tribal chief.  It could be a president of Mexico or France or the United States.  How does a modern day president differ from an earlier tribal chief?  How do they differ?  Some might say, “Well, I mean, how can you compare some primitive tribal chief with, let’s say, the president of the United States?  Why, the president, obviously he is a civilized man.  Why, he takes a bath daily.  Sometimes he may take even more than one bath in the same day.  Whereas, a primitive tribal chief was filthy.  Why, he didn’t use Dial soap, had no Ban spray deodorant.  You could be a hundred yards downwind and, ‘Here comes the chief’”!

However, the question I might ask is did the president produce the bathtub?  Did he produce one bar of soap?  No.  He’s benefiting from the innovations and productivity of others.  Some might say, “Well, wait a minute.  The president is civilized.  He uses modern, electrical illumination”.

Well, did the president, for example, did he produce the electric lamp?  Is that his innovation?  Does he know how to produce an electric lamp after being shown how by somebody earlier, namely, Edison?  Does he know how to do that?  What if it were up to the president to light the White House with his present knowledge?  Starting from zero.  I’m not certain the president could even make a candle.  The White House, at least at night, would quickly be the black house.  There would be a blackout at the White House.  Do you think I’m exaggerating?

The fact that the president rides around in an airplane, the fact that the president rides around on Airforce One, instead of on Horse One, does not make him a greater man.  It means that he’s making use of the innovation and productivity of others.  The president commands armies that have intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple hydrogen warheads instead of armies that throw spears but who made the bombs?  Do you think the president knows how to make an ICMB?  I’m not sure he knows how to  make a spear, at least a good one.  You got to know something to even do that, don’t you?  What is his function?  To command and coerce his fellow man.  The only difference is the president today has better tools than did his predecessor and, therefore, the difference is he’s more dangerous.  The modern day tribal chief is more dangerous than his ancestor.  That’s the only difference.

Now there are many other tribal chief titles besides president.  We have, for example, what we call the junior tribal chiefs.  They have lesser titles like governor, mayor, the heads of the various agencies, the head of the Internal Revenue Service.  There, of course, is a classic example of a modern day tribal chief.  He’s a coercer who coerces with brute force.  And, again, that’s very easy to test out.  For example, just try cancelling your subscription and they will cancel you out, but not the way you had in mind.

There are many different names for tribal chiefs in other countries:  prime minister,  premier, secretary general, chancellor, generalissimo.  Other tribal chief names have lost favor, like king, emperor, duke, highness, czar.  Czar is Russian for Caesar.  Kaiser is German for Caesar.

Now how about this witchdoctor fellow?  What does he look like?  Well, in contrast to the tribal chief, he doesn’t pick for himself a very impressive title.  He might take a relatively unobtrusive role, something like, oh, maybe, the chairman of a special advisory committee on national goals.  You say, well, what harm can this fellow do?  He’s just the chairman of some obscure committee.  He’s simply an advisor who decides what the national goals ought to be.  That’s all.  Of course, if his decision as to what the national goals ought to be is accepted by the tribal chiefs, then everybody has to act according to his plan.  And when the tribal chief accepts the advice of the witchdoctor, the tribal chief becomes the puppet of the witchdoctor.  And so, historically, the tribal chief then emerges as a great warrior, a superior warrior.  He offers security to his people.  “I’m a great warrior.  I will protect you from attack.  Follow me”.

Well now, occasionally, someone might ask however, “But what if I’m not attacked?  Why would I need you?”

The tribal chief always has a ready answer for this question.  He says, “But you will be attacked”.

At this point, it’s the job of the tribal chief to get himself attacked to demonstrate that he’s indispensable to his people.  You see, the tribal chief creates the struggle.  This is how the war is brought about.  And the slogans, you know, have been pretty much the same throughout the centuries.  It doesn’t matter whether the language is French or English or German or Chinese.  You get pretty much the same type of slogans:

“We are now in the middle of a great struggle with the enemy”.

“We cannot swap horses in midstream”.

“Let’s all pull together”.

“In unity, there is strength”.

Then you suddenly hear a tremendous, thunderous applause from the people at these great, dynamic words from the leader.  Let’s all pull together.  In unity, there is strength.  Which means, freely translated, I want everybody behind me.

Thomas Paine said, and I will return to Mr. Paine later, he said, “Taxes are not raised to carry on wars, but wars are raised to carry on taxes”.  You see, most people will openly welcome taxation if they believe it is necessary for national security.  Well, every once in a while, somebody might come along, see through the entire hoax and swindle, refuse to shut up about it.  The natural reaction of the tribal chief is kill him.  He’s a heretic or a lunatic.  Get rid of him.  A troublemaker.

But then someone else standing in the shadows says, “Wait a minute chief.  If you kill him, you’re going to make a martyr out of him.  Chief, I’ve got a better plan.  Let’s see if we can’t figure out a way to justify your actions.  Let’s see if we can’t figure out a way to get the people to like you”.

“Huh?  You mean to tell me you think you could actually get the people to like me?”

“Listen, chief.  If we really go about it right I think we can get the people to love you”.

“Yeah?  Do you really think they would love me”?

“Chief, listen, if we really go about it the right way, I think we can actually get the people to worship you”.

“Yeah?  Worship  me?  I like that.  Let’s hear more of what you’ve got to say”.

It is the function of a witchdoctor to make the actions of the tribal chief palatable to the people.  If the witchdoctor does an outstandingly fine job, the tribal chief will be greeted with wholehearted enthusiasm from his victim subjects.  The deification of the tribal chief is brought about by the witchdoctor.  An example in our time, in the case of the late Adolf Hitler, if you were walking up the street, every time you would meet somebody on the street, what did you have to do, every time you would pass somebody on the street, just like in the Hollywood movies, “Heil Hitler”.  Why did people do that?  Why did  virtually everyone do this?  Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine a more nauseating and self-degrading experience?  Every time you meet somebody on the street, you must greet him, singing your praises and hailing this third-rate mobster thug.  Why would you do this?

What if you’re walking up the street and somebody says, “Heil Hitler” and you reply with some other gesture?  Using your imagination.  Why not do this?  Or, if not even that, somebody says, “Heil Hitler” and you just walk on by with no expression at all and do nothing.  Why not in Nazi Germany?

You could never know if there might be somebody in the shadows watching all of this.  You just walk by with a smirk on your face.  No “Heil Hitler” enthusiasm.  And he’s watching all of this and he says, “Very interesting.  Unhappy with the Fuhrer’s leadership.  Probably a spy or a Jew.”.

First thing you know, you’re down at Gestapo headquarters.  “Explain why you’re unhappy with the Fuhrer”.  Die Fuhrer, in German, means “the leader”. El Duci in Italian means “the leader”.

Well, this glorified mobster, Hitler, with the help of his witchdoctors like, for example, Dr. Josef Gibbles, and others, he became not only indispensable as far as the German people were concerned, he was looked upon as a source of natural law.  That’s pretty hard to top.  And would you like to know what people were fooled by Hitler’s propaganda machine in Germany?  You know who was fooled?  The  two classes -those who went to school and those who did not.  And you could not have found a country at the time where you had much better educated people than the Germans.  Is that right?

And of these two classes of Germans, who were fooled by Hitler, those who went to school and those who did not, which class do you think was the most deeply and effectively fooled?  That’s right.  Those who went to school.  They were so effectively fooled that you will meet many intellectuals who lived through the Hitler era as adults in Germany who, today, believe that Hitler and his Nazi thugs, for example, did not murder any Jews at all.  That the concentration camps, Dachau and these other places, these were built by the Allies after the war with the purpose of embarrassing the Germans and their allies and the whole thing is Allied propaganda.  That is a not uncommon posture among German intellectuals even today.  And these are among the most intelligent people.  This includes even major innovators who believe this.  That’s a pretty effective level of foolery, isn’t it?  And swindle.  After all this time and they don’t believe it.

There are many times when the witchdoctor is clever enough to get the tribal chief to be his puppet.  This, of course, would be the hallmark of the most able witchdoctor; when the tribal chief thinks he’s dictator, but actually, he’s wrapped around the little finger of the witchdoctor.  Maybe I’ll give you an interesting historical example of witchdoctor/tribal chief relationship and also it’s a fine example of relative rightness.

There was a man in France in the latter part of the 18th century who was looked upon by the French people as being a man of such great character and quality and honesty and integrity that he was given the title by the French people of The Incorruptible, The Incorruptible.  That was his title.  And some of you have heard of this man.  His name was Maximilien Robespierre.  And on July 27, 1793, Robespierre was appointed the head of the Committee of Public Safety which was the, then, ruling body of France.  In other words, he was the head tribal chief in France.

And if ever there was a good man in history, it would have to be Robespierre.  A truly good man, incorruptible.  And in the interest of doing good, in the year 1793, this man, Robespierre, during a forty-six day period, sent exactly 1285 people to be shortened by a head on the guillotine, 1285 people.  My headache’s gone, which is a rather permanent cure for a headache, but perhaps rather overly drastic, especially if it’s your head falling into the basket.

Incidentally, the guillotine was named after Dr. Guillote who introduced this.  He didn’t invent the concept.  He introduced the guillotine as a humanitarian gesture.  It is one of the most vicious torture devices ever conceived.  Of course, the knife does not hurt.  It’s very fast, immediate separation of the head from the rest of the body, almost immediate, probably not too painful.  What’s painful is when you’re standing in line.  And every time you watch the knife fall and the head fall into a basket, you feel it.   And the closer you get to the head of the line, I’m sure the more it must hurt.  And the waiting in prison when you’re not sure when is your turn going to be next?  Anyhow.  Dr. Guillote must have been a nice fellow.  Anyhow.  He meant well, you know?  But you know the cliché that goes along with that, he meant well?  The road to hell is paved by those with good intentions.  Do you know that the most destructive people in history, who promulgated the most vicious violence and murder have been those people whose principal purpose in life was to do good?  Certainly, Robespierre is a classic example of this; a truly good man.  Then why is he doing this?  It’s not that I have anything against you personally, you might say to somebody about to be guillotined, but this is in the history of France.  Vive la France.  I have no alternative.

On July 27, 1794, one year later to the day that Robespierre was appointed the head of the Committee of Public Safety, he was openly denounced by the national convention.  His arrest was voted.  On the next day, July 28th, Robespierre was guillotined without trial.  In other words, what happened was, he was disposed by his own advisors.  In other words, the witchdoctors kicked out the tribal chief.  Whether the tribal chief gets rid of the witchdoctors or the witchdoctors get rid of the tribal chief, it doesn’t really make any difference because there will always be another set of tribal chiefs waiting in the wings or witchdoctors waiting in the wings to take over.

And I think this is an interesting example of relative rightness because the last day Robespierre was in power, on July 27, 1794, on that very day before he was arrested, he sent 45 of his political enemies to the guillotine, on the last day he was in power.  The next day, he, himself was guillotined along with 104 of his followers; the next day and then two days after that.  That was a beautiful example, not the best use of the word beautiful; certainly an interesting example of relative rightness.  The last day that Robespierre is in power, on July 27, he’s just sent 45 people to the guillotine that day.  At this point, is Robespierre right?  Is he right?  You’re darn right, he’s right.  Of course he’s right.  Anything he says is right.  Why?  Exactly.  You don’t want to be the 46th on the guillotine.  Is that right?

The next day, on July 28th, Robespierre is guillotined.  Is he right at this time?  Robespierre?  Robespierre who?  Oh, yeah, he’s the crazy lunatic that’s been running….oh he doesn’t know anything.  He’s wrong.  Is that the attitude on the next day?  Please note on July 27th, while he’s still in power, essentially everything he says is right.  The next day, everything he says is wrong.  That’s a good example of relative rightness.  At least, if you think he’s wrong, you can’t afford to let him know it.  Or suspect it or even get an inkling of this.

Let’s take a closer look at these terms and particularly this term I gave you, coercion.  Coercion is any attempted and intentional interference with property.  And it takes two forms:  force, which is interference with property by physical means and fraud, which is interference with property by intellectual means.

Force involves any act of aggression or unprovoked attack upon property.  Fraud employs a device called deception which is simply the deliberate use of an argument that involves untrue premises or employs invalid reasoning processes or both.  Fraud is simply the deliberate use of an irrational process.  Fraud is designed to get individuals to take actions that they wouldn’t normally take if they were able to detect the deception.  And when the first deception is uncovered, then the fraudulent party will resort to a new deception in order to cover up the old deception.  In other words, the only time it’s necessary to use force is when somebody comes along, points out the entire chain of deceptive arguments are false.

At this point, the witchdoctor goes to the tribal chief and he says, “This fellow is too clever for his own good.  Get rid of him in the usual manner”.  The tribal chief is a specialist in force.  The witchdoctor is a specialist in fraud.  And the arguments that these people advance, the arguments advanced by these political coercers, throughout the millennia, have always been the same.  They involve, essentially, three concepts.  They are: need, sacrifice, and leadership.  And the slogan will go something like this, whether it’s French, German, Italian, you name it:

“The nation needs….”

“You sacrifice”.

“I will lead you”.

That essentially covers the entire political appeal.    The nation is in need.  You do the sacrificing.  I’ll do the leading.  Follow me.  And that’s the basic pattern of every political leader in history.  A direct result:  all societies have collapsed.  They collapse for identical reasons.  The only things that change are the names of the tribal chiefs and the witchdoctors, the names of the wars, the names of the people liquidated, the names of the people lined up against the wall waiting to be shot, the names of the people pulling the trigger.  They change.  What does not change is the fundamental cause of the collapse, namely, property is not secure.

A very interesting, I think, historical example of this occurred in Egypt.  I have an interesting question for you.  How do you think that the Egyptian pharaohs were able to get the Egyptian people to build all of these pyramids and tombs and so forth, when there were only actually a small number of slave masters who were actually holding the whips and a tremendously large number of slaves?  Why those slaves could have thrown over the whip holders in a matter of minutes.  It would have been no contest.  How were they able to pull this off for thousands and thousands of years?  How did they pull this off?  It would have been instant catastrophe for the whip holders if the slaves ever did anything about it.  They would have made mincemeat of these people, these whip holders.  How did they pull this off?

Very clever.  The entire culture of the Egyptian people was based upon one principal thing, namely, preparation for the life hereafter.  They simply wanted their pharaoh to go out in style so that in the next world he would be in a good position to take care of his people.  And so, if you want to be taken care of in the next world, then you got to take care of the pharaoh in this world and provide the pharaoh with fine furniture and gold ornaments and art treasures and food and all kinds of incredible wealth.   And then in the next world, he will take care of you.  But, what if you failed to take care of the pharaoh in this world?  What can you expect in the next world?  Exactly.  Nothing.  You lose.  So you better take care of the pharaoh in this world.

And this worked.  For thousands of years it worked, for the pharaohs at least.   And essentially what happened was the demand for security was what kept the Egyptian slave in line.  And the demand for security was met with a political supply of plans.  What was the plan?  You take care of the pharaoh in this world and in the next world he will take care of you.  That was it.

Let me ask you something.  How do you know that these Egyptian slaves were all swindled?  Incidentally, one of the things, of course, the slave had to do, in addition to making all this wealth, they had to store it some place and they had to put in a big safe.  And the safe sometimes took the form of a big pyramid and other types of safes too.  The pyramid was a giant safe, an internal labyrinth of various secret passages.

For example, if the architect was still alive when the big tomb was finished, he would be executed.  So he couldn’t reveal the secret entry way to the inner tomb where all this wealth was stored.  And all the people that worked on the interior chambers were executed.  So they couldn’t reveal the secret of this.  And they even went so far as to execute the executioners because they were afraid that maybe someone who knew the secret might pass this on to one of the executioners in order to get his life saved as a trade.  Sometimes they would even execute the executioners of the executioners who executed the executioners.  But eventually you have to put an end to this because you quickly run out of Egyptians since the number was finite.

Well, how do you know that they were swindled?  Because whenever you open a tomb – for example, there was one opened in 1924.  It was King Tut’s tomb, Tutankhamun, or some other such pronunciation.  I might have slaughtered that.  But, anyhow, just call it King Tut.  When the Egyptologist, Carter, in 1924, entered the sealed chamber, where the pharaoh was kept with all his wealth, everything was exactly intact where it had been put thousands of years earlier.  And every time one of these tombs was opened, many of them were plundered even within a decade, or sooner, after they were sealed, because they had all this wealth there and there was a tremendous interest in plundering it.

As a matter of fact, how many of you know from your study of Egypt, that not only were there dynasties of pharaohs, there were whole dynasties of grave robbers who did nothing but subsist on robbing these tombs.  How many of you know this?  It’s a fact.  There were whole villages and dynasties of grave robbers over thousands and thousands of years, lived off the plunder, and they still do this.  This is still done in Egypt today.  But whenever they open a tomb, what do they find?  Everything is completely intact where it may have been put there thousands of years earlier.   Which tells me something, that these people must be getting pretty hungry and they must be not getting too much from the pharaoh.  That’s called fraud.  They were swindled and for thousands of years, they were swindled.  In other words, the pharaoh did not make delivery.

And the pharaohs knew it because the pharaohs, well, they did fear their tombs being plundered.  That’s why they went to such elaborate efforts to try and protect the property.  But anyhow.  I won’t go so far as to even say all of them knew it but it was known to most of them.  In any event, I’ll go on to another subject.  All of the tombs were not pyramids.  The pyramid was just one particular type of tomb that they stored all this in.  Anyhow.

You think that it is only the Egyptians who were swindled through the concept of the ideological demand for security being met with a political supply of plans.  It wasn’t only the Egyptians who have been swindled.  The principle of least action says all men are naturally lazy.  I stated there are two aspects of the principle of least action.  One is constructive.  The other is destructive.  The destructive aspect involves the quest for something for nothing.  A constructive aspect involves innovation which leads to high production.  Both of these are offered as a solution to the demand for security but only one of them works.  Security has one origin, high production, which has as its foundation high quality innovation.  As simple as that.

We know from experience that the destructive aspect of the principle of least action seems to be the most attractive.  Even though a political plan leads to destruction and chaos, this is still the aspect that is the most universally endorsed.  One might ask this question.  Why is the destructive aspect of the principle of least action the one that seems to be the most attractive?  Why is it the most enthusiastically endorsed?  Well, there will be more on that subject as this course continues.

But I do want to give you some hope.  And that is, when I talk about the basis, this evening, before I’m finished, of a rational and moral society, I want you to recognize that this is not a utopian goal.  It’s possible to build a rational social structure without everybody being rational.  It’s possible to build a moral social structure without everybody being moral.  If in order to have a rational, moral social structure, everybody had to be both rational and moral, that would be hopelessly utopian.  This is not a utopian goal, which means it can be built.  Difficult, yes, but not impossible. I made that distinction earlier.

If one, for example, can understand the nature of the principle of least action, that is, people seek to acquire the greatest amount of property with the least amount of effort, if you can understand it without attempting to repeal it, you can use your knowledge of this to build a solution.  If you can harness nature, you can put nature to constructive use.  What was formerly destructive then becomes constructive.  To give you an analogy, fire, to a primitive man, is a great danger if he doesn’t know how to use it:  how to start a fire, how to contain it, how to limit its destructive force.  To such an ignorant man, fire then poses a great danger.  But once understanding the nature of fire, you can harness the fire.  You can use it for a source of enjoyment and pleasure.  You can use it for warmth.  You can use it for cooking.  You can use it for light and so forth.

Alright.  We recognize that all individuals seek security.  They want as much property as possible with the least amount of effort.  Recognizing this, one of the things you have to do is simply build a mechanism whereby you can make it more appealing to the individual to produce property rather than to steal it.  Since those are two of the ways you can get to property: produce it or steal it or mooch it.  So we will make the production more appealing than either the mooching or the stealing.  The solution has got something to do with knowing how to do that and we’ll come to this later.  The reason there is so much theft and so much mooching is, for a large number of people, that seems to be an easier way to acquire property.  So that’s the approach they follow.  The solution has got something to do with let’s not make it so easy, especially when it comes to stealing property.

Alright.  The function of the tribal chief and the witchdoctor, what is their function?  The tribal chief is the physical attacker of property.  The witchdoctor justifies the attack.  The witchdoctor, actually, will obtain the willing compliance of the victim.  The victim actually says, “Oh, yes.  I want to be attacked.  Take my money. I’m in paradise when you take my property”.  And that is exactly the condition we find ourselves living with today in the United States.  People want to be taxed.  How could we possibly not be taxed?  “Why if we’re not taxed, who will build the roads?  If we’re not taxed, who will educate my children?  You want my kids to grow up to be illiterate bumpkins?  If we’re not taxed, who will protect us from the Soviet Union”?

People have been led to believe, through a mechanism called fraud, that the only way they can have all of these goodies is if their property is plundered.  “Well, the government’s got to have money to operate, doesn’t it?  How can they protect my property if they do not have money to operate with”?  Would you like a free translation of that? How can the government protect my property if they do not steal my property?  It’s called internal contradiction.  Just how do you think the government can both protect your property and steal it at the same time?  Who are they fooling?  Almost everyone.  It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  You can fool almost all the people almost all the time.

How can a government protect my property if they do not steal my property?  It’s called internal contradiction.  Just how do you think the government can both protect your property and steal it at the same time?  Who are they fooling?  Almost everyone.  It’s beautiful, isn’t it?   You can fool almost all of the people almost all of the time.  One of the objectives will be to discuss this evening the nature of a rational and moral social structure.  A moral society will be one in which justice prevails.  I will explain what justice is in the twelfth lecture on justice.

I’m going to give you now what, in physics, is called an ideal experiment.  One of the best examples of this is the greatest engine ever built.  Actually, it’s not built.  Let me rephrase that.  The greatest engine ever conceived.  The engine is called the Carnot engine after a French physicist by the name of Sadi Carnot.  And Sadi Carnot has put forth, essentially, what one might call the ideal heat engine or, heat exchange engine, which clearly delineates the optimum in efficiency in what is called the heat exchange engine.

One of the interesting things about the Carnot engine, although it’s the world’s greatest engine, it will never be built.  You say, “Well, what good is it if you can’t build it”?  Well, it’s an ideal concept.  It’s the greatest engine of all time because Carnot has clearly delineated the optimum in efficiency.  And because this is clearly spelled out, we can get closer and closer and closer in our design of more and more efficient heat exchange engines without ever building the optimum or the ideal.  It is one of the greatest achievements in physics.

I’m going to give you an ideal experiment applied to volition except this one can be built.  In that sense, it’s not even ideal in the long run.  I’m going to assume, for purposes of illustration, that there is a place on the planet that is most backward and primitive and I will use, as an example, Afghanistan which has got to be one of the most backward, primitive places on the planet.  There are about 250,000 square miles of mountains and deserts.  There’s somewhere in the general magnitude of, maybe, 20 million people who live here.  And most of these people are nomads.  They live in stone huts if they even have a hut, mud huts.  And I’ve deliberately chosen one of the most backward,  underdeveloped, primitive places on the planet.  Without explaining how it happened, I will have an ideal experiment wherein, suddenly, everyone in Afghanistan has total control of his primordial, primary, and secondary property.  In other words, everyone in Afghanistan has liberty.  If everyone there has liberty, then, at least in Afghanistan, they have freedom.

Now is this condition that exists in Afghanistan, is this the same as anarchy?  Anarchy entomologically means “without ruler”.   I don’t know if I’ve given you this illustration or not, but what if every ruler suddenly drops dead?  Would we have freedom?  What do you think?  How many think we would not have freedom?  Suddenly every ruler drops dead.  Not only will we not have freedom, you would have wall to wall anarchy.  You would have a universal Watts Riot.  The masses would go totally berserk.

I mean, just look, for example, what happened just recently in our greatest city, New York.  The lights go out for a few hours.  All that happened was the lights go out.  And what was the result of this?  Total chaos and anarchy.  Did this happen?  Yeah and for no other provocation than the lights go out.  Imagine what will happen in this country if something really serious happens.

You may want to think about that.  The whole country is on the threshold of anarchy.   And so, freedom is not anarchy.  That’s why I say anarchy is even worse than a Nazi Germany.  There’s a difference.  At least in Nazi Germany, it is clear who the bad guys are and you know what directions the bullets are coming from.  But when you have anarchy, you don’t even know what direction the bullets are coming from.

I remember in our own Watts Riot, you know, they were shooting firemen off ladders.  How many of you remember this?  Well, if you’re a fireman, first of all, it’s a risky business to be a fireman to begin with and a lot of them get killed in the line of duty.  It’s not without risk.  Even the most dedicated fireman, I think, will quickly lose his enthusiasm to put out fires if, in addition to taking the normal risk, he’s got to worry about getting shot off a ladder.  Am I right?  A few people, if they have destruction as a goal, can destroy everything.  It only takes a few.

Well, I’m going to give you a view now…this is not anarchy but freedom.  The opposite of freedom is anarchy.  So this is not anarchy.  I’m just giving you a brief view of what a rational and moral social structure would look like without attempting to explain how the property would be secure.  Property would be secure from attack from private criminals, pickpockets, muggers, burglars, holdup men, embezzlers.  There would be no political criminals, no legal plunder.  Without explaining how, the country would be protected from any form of external aggression.  Innovators would be properly paid for their intellectual achievements and so forth.  Those people who do the best job of serving their fellow man in general will be rewarded with the highest profits.  Those who generate the most property, save the most property, produce the most property, primary or secondary, will have access to the most property.  And those that produce less property will have less property, as simple as that.  Those who generate the most, have the most.  Those who generate the least, have the least.  Those who are not satisfied with having less can, at any time, generate more.  And they will have optimum incentive to do so because they can retain 100% of everything they produce.

Alright.  Assuming that the remainder of the world is as it is now, I have this question for you.  In Afghanistan, everybody’s got liberty.  My question is what would be the direction of the property flow?  Would you expect to see a great exodus of property from Afghanistan, primordial property, people trying to escape from this place?  People trying to get their secondary property out of there, their ideas out of there?  Would that be the direction of the property flow?  Or would there be an influx of property?  People trying to get to Afghanistan with their primordial property, their life, their ideas and their secondary tangibles?  Alright.  How many think the direction of the property flow would be an exodus of property from Afghanistan and the general attitude, “Let’s get the hell out of here”?  How many think that would be the direction of the property flow?  Okay.  One person.

How many think the direction of the property flow would be an influx of property, primordial, primary, and secondary, into Afghanistan?  Alright, maybe a third of you or more perhaps.

How many aren’t sure what direction the property flow would be?  Alright, a few of you.  How many, quite frankly, just don’t care one way or the other.  I couldn’t care less buddy.  Alright.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this condition did prevail, you would witness the most incredible influx of property, primordial, primary, and secondary, that the world has ever seen in a shorter period of time in this, what is today, most backward, primitive place on the planet, or one of the most at least, would soon be the center of wealth on the planet.

Now do any of you know of, if not in total, at least in part, any historical precedent of what I have just described here?  Any place ever happening in history?  Where sir?  The United States of America.  Anyone else?  Anyone concur with that?  No one?  One, another person, two people.  Your position is the same?  Three people.  Hm-mmm.  That means yes.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you go back two centuries, to this country, you would be hard pressed to find a more underdeveloped and backward place on the planet because essentially what we had here, except for a very small periphery along the coast, two centuries ago, 1776 specifically, about all that was here was wall to wall trees, the Great American Desert, including much of the southwestern United States, the Great Plains, that was called the Great American Desert, and an occasional Indian.  And that was it.  Wall to wall trees, the Great American Desert and an occasional Indian.  By occasional I mean there were never more than three million Indians at any one time in all of North America.  Did you know that?  You know there’s seven million in the LA basin?  Not Indians, but people.  Some are Indians.  You spread three million people out over all of North America and that’s practically no one.  You couldn’t have a more underdeveloped place.

And yet, in a century and a half, we produced more tangible wealth, more tangible property, ladies and gentlemen, than the combined total of all other civilizations throughout all history.  Would you say that’s a pretty impressive statistic?  I think so.  And that’s with only a small percentage of the land mass and a small percentage of the population.  We produced more than everyone else had done combined throughout all history.  Alright.  I have a question for you.  How did we do this?  How do you think we did it?  What are some of the dimwitted explanations that are offered in what is called school?  I’ll look at some of those.  Unbelievable.  We hear such idiotic statements:

“Well, we had a major proportion of the resources”.  That is total baloney.  You don’t even have to be a geography major to know there are resources all over this planet.  Tremendous resources in Asia, South America, Africa, Russia.  The only difference is we developed the resources.  So that’s not the reason.

Other arguments are, “Well, Americans work harder”.  Baloney.  Who do you think works harder, the average American truck driver or the average Chinese coolie?  Ladies and gentlemen, if a truck driver did the work of a coolie, the truck driver would drop in his tracks of exhaustion before the lunch break, before the first 10 o’clock break, which the coolie doesn’t likely have.  The truck driver hardly does any work at all.  The truck does all the work.  All the truck driver does, he steers to the left, he steers to the right, goes forward and backward and faster and slower as the case might be.  He starts and stops.  That covers all possibilities.  Generally, he doesn’t even load or unload the truck.  Somebody else does that.  If it’s a dump truck, when he gets to where he’s going, he pushes a button and there goes the whole load.  He can listen to a stereo while he’s steering with his little finger.  They have power steering in big trucks these days.  You can get them with even automatic transmission, air conditioning, stereo, all of this.  Am I right?

Other arguments are, “Well, we became wealthy by plundering the American Indians”.  I mean it’s unbelievable the things people come up with.  Well, if that’s true, that is so easy to refute, if that’s true, let me ask you this question.  How many steam locomotives do you suppose that we plundered from the Sioux Indians?  How many steel factories were stolen from the Cheyenne Indians?  How many ball bearings were swindled from the Algonquin Indians?  Well, you know the answer: zero.  Now it is true that Europeans did plunder Indians and Indians plundered Europeans.  But that was not the source of our wealth.  I might also remind you, weren’t all the natural resources here when the Indians had the whole place?  What did they do with it?  Nothing.  What property were the Indians missing?  It’s called primary property.  They didn’t understand the first law of motion.  They didn’t understand the first law of thermodynamics.  They didn’t understand the principles of the leverage developed by Archimedes.  They lived in a Stone Age culture.

Well, then, did we become wealthy by getting foreign aid from the wealthy nations of the world who felt sorry for us?  I do not know of one penny’s worth of foreign aid we ever got.  Oh, the French gave us some money in the early days but that was not for capital investment.  That was to buy guns to kill Englishmen.

Alright, how did this happen?  I’ll tell you.  It’s important to understand.  First of all, we kicked out the king.  In Europe, in particular, they said, “Well, that’s ridiculous.  Why, the whole thing will collapse into anarchy.  You wait.  It will be a disaster.  You can’t survive without a king”.  So they waited for us to collapse.  They waited and they waited some more.  And then a few of them said, “You know?  They’re not collapsing.  As a matter of fact, it looks like the potential for profit in America is better than it is here in Europe.  Let’s invest in America”.

And they did.  And why did they?  I’ll tell you why they did.  Because we did something that no one else had ever done before.  I’ll come back to this in greater depth later.  We did a little bit better job of protecting a particular type of property than anyone else had ever done.  What was that?  What kind of property was that?  Secondary property.  We did a little better job.  The whole nation was founded on the concept that individuals have property rights.  And simply by doing a little bit better job of protecting really only one kind of property, secondary property, we generated more wealth in a century and a half than everybody else in all history had generated, combined.

You see, as protection of property goes up, incentive to produce property goes up and therefore the production of property goes up and poverty goes down.  Poverty simply means little property.  And there is only one way to eliminate poverty – produce more property.  And that will always be true in perpetuity unless you can repeal the first law of thermodynamics, which you cannot do, and the other laws of thermodynamics.  So don’t waste your time.

Let me ask you something else.  What if we had done this, ladies and gentlemen?  What if, instead of just doing this, what if instead of doing a little better job of protecting secondary property than anyone else had ever done, what if we had gone beyond that and built a structure where there was total protection for secondary property plus total protection for primary property so that the major producers of property, the innovators, do not have their primary property swindled and stolen, their ideas stolen?  You do see that an innovator will have more incentive to innovate when his ideas are not stolen?

What if we had total protection for primordial, primary, and secondary property?  What do you think we might have produced in the first century and a half?  That magnitude of property staggers the imagination, to use a trite expression.  Trite but it does apply.  That does stagger the imagination.

And that’s what the basis of a moral and rational society will produce: the total protection of primordial, primary, and secondary property which means every individual has liberty which also means everyone has freedom.

I’m going to discuss in Lecture 5, which is next week, the most effective way ever designed to control people and that’s called price control.  Remember that the economic controls in Rome strangled the producers.  There was a state created inflation.  The value of the money continued to fall.  The state destroyed the farm production.  The businessman was in the position that, if he didn’t raise prices, he’s forced into bankruptcy.  The penalty, of course, essentially everything he did to try to protect himself was he got to be executed.  Rome was destroyed by price controls.  The price control concept was the principal foundation of Nazi Germany.

I’ll have more to say about this in next week’s lecture.  Incidentally, that’s one of the more interesting lectures for new people, guests.  If you know any curious people, invite them to the session.  I will reduce concepts, certain concepts that everyone has accepted as being proper, like anti-trust legislation, I’ll take that concept and reduce it to a hopeless shambles using the scientific method and rationality to do it.  So I look forward to seeing all of you next week.  I bid you good evening.


© Sustainable Civilization Institute 2010