Saturday, December 17, 2011
If you enjoyed this essay, you may also enjoy "Mein Kampf - An Analysis" and "America On Strike" also written by Richard Edward Noble.
Click on the book covers to the right on this page for more information. Thanks.
My zone, your zone, our zone and the ozone.
by Richard E. Noble
The “History of the Great American Fortunes” by Gustavus Myers was used in this essay – a very interesting Radical analysis of this accepted American Right.
We hold sacred the Right to Private Property here in the United States. But this Right has not been without controversy. This notion once included the right to buy and sell other human beings and their children. It was also used by industrialist and Robber Barons alike to shoot their disgruntled workers and to deny them the right to organize and to bargain collectively for better working conditions and higher wages.
At one point in our history it applied to women and children. A man once owned his wife and children.
This Right to Private Property has also conflicted with the State and the Federal Government – Public Domain, Eminent Domain, National and State parks, National and State forests – roads, highways, interstate, damns, reservoirs etc.
On the international level, Private Ownership has been the divisive issue of the last two centuries. We define our current political systems by it:
Capitalism = Democracy + Private ownership
Socialism = Democracy + Public Ownership
Fascism = Dictatorship + Private Ownership
Communism = Dictatorship + Public Ownership
Conflicts with regards to public and private ownership are all around us today because of zoning laws and building codes and, of course, taxes. I’ve often wondered at what dollar amount a property tax turns into a rent. And considering the above definitions, when and if a property tax becomes so large that it is considered a rent; does Capitalism then evolve into Socialism? But even more interesting than that is the question of the basis and foundation of Private Property.
Private Property is based on a principle that, I think, no American would accept as fair, just, or even reasonable today.
Property has always been gained, from the beginnings of mankind’s times, through power, force and military might. The borders of countries have, for the most part, always been determined by conquests, invasions and war. Kings and power lords conquered and doled out property to their favorites. If there were people living on the property, they went with it. If you owned the property, you owned the people who lived on it also.
In the establishment of the American Colonies, we had what were called Patroons. The Patroons owned vast estates that were given to them by charters or grants or purchased from the Crown or others or that they finagled by deceit or fraud. It wasn’t until 1839 in New York that this manorial system was seriously challenged by the tenants who lived on and farmed the land. The land barons were forced by the revolt of the people and the New York Legislature in 1846 to sell off their estates in small farms to the people who lived and worked them. Of course, they sold off these vast estates at exorbitant prices, but nevertheless the tradition of small, individual, property ownership was enhanced.
Then the big money moved to the city. It was here that men like John Jacob Astor and industrialists like William “Billy” Wood and Andrew Carnegie, Pullman and bankers, like J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller Jr., turned the development of cities into their personal gold mines. Tenement housing, an apparent monetary triviality, turned into multi-million and billion dollar opportunities for their investment capital.
While Astor, and those of his unscrupulous agents and middlemen, got richer and richer, they turned the tenement factory worker communities into death traps for the poor and hard working. Diseases like typhoid fever, tuberculosis, cholera and others spread rapidly throughout the tenement communities. But the millions of dollars rolled in over the bodies of the poor until once again, as the rural tenant farmers had exploded in 1839; rebellion rankled in the streets and the tenement neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. The disgruntled and downtrodden, brought to the end of their faith in tolerance and acceptance, were finally motivated to risk their lives in the streets and back alleys. Somehow their protests were finally able to rouse the politicians, and laws began to evolve to protect the health and well being of the families living in these pits of American industrial revolutional squalor.
Astor and his super-wealthy friends then decided that it was time to give or dump the tenements onto the masses. The investment brokers would liquefy their assets. They sold their uncared for, unhealthy, vermin and rat invested, tenement disease incubators, before laws could be promoted requiring the landlords to spend some of their acquired millions to clean them up. It was a good business move. But once again, through a dark backdoor, the cause of individual ownership and private property was extended.
The prices of the tenements were high and exploitative, but somehow many hard working laboring families were able to become property owners – participants in the prized evolution of the propertied class.
Adolf Hitler dealt with the historical right to national territory and property rights – by way of Power and Might – extensively in his autobiography, Mein Kampf.
Adolf could not accept that a great nation, like his own, could be, cramped in such a tiny space in central Europe, while a much inferior nation like Russia had such a vast expanse of land to the west. He used the history of mankind to make his claim that the borders of any country are determined by the will of their peoples. Those with the will and the power, take; and those without the will and power are destroyed. To Adolf this was the fundamental principle of Civilization and an undeniable law of Nature – the survival of the fittest.
Russia and a good many other nations of the world disagreed. A catchy phrase of the period was – Might does not make Right. As far as I know, nobody wrote a book explaining why Might did not make Right but many people felt that the notion had merit – even if they didn’t know why. Adolf went ahead and tried to prove his point, but failed. At least he failed to prove that his people and his nation had the will and the power to establish their Might as Right. Whether or not Might actually does make Right still remains questionable, but, by no means, absolutely without foundation.
During a period called the Enlightenment, the world seemed to go through a sort of introspection and soul searching. Philosophers, social thinkers, economists, political reformers and the like all began to question the right of Private Property along with a good many other long established notions. William Godwin wrote a book, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice in 1793, and in the Colonies a controversial pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, wrote a piece that he entitled Agrarian Justice. Godwin questioned the whole idea of Private Property and Paine, accepting that Private
Property was a basic injustice, went on to devise an accommodation for property-less individuals.
An economist, Richard Ricardo, challenged property owners and the negative influence of their rents on the economy and wrote a book, Principles of Political Economy, challenging their moral and economic right to do so. He threw his support behind the new moneyed industrialist, entrepreneur and business community – he was a stockbroker by trade – and against the old, established class of property owner. He fought against the protective Corn Laws that were making land owners wealthy, claiming that these laws only served to increase wages, raise prices and create what is now called inflation. Ricardo, unintentionally, plants the first seeds of the class warfare which followed in later generations.
John S. Mill in his Political Economy – accepting Paine’s notion of the injustice of the un-propertied – tried to devise another solution. Paine had suggested that a tax should be placed on the propertied and that at the age of maturity every man without property would receive a cash inheritance as compensation. Mill suggested that the state would buy back from individuals all property and from then on, property would be rented or leased by the State. Henry George later expanded this idea into his Single Tax notion – but with no buy-back from the present property holders.
Then came Karl Marx and Frederick Engels who espoused an evolutionary theory of property that brought things back to Godwin. Their original idea was that private property would simply dissolve into an egalitarian utopia due to the inevitable collapse of Capitalism which would be prompted by the evolutionary destruction of monopolization. Lenin and others believed that this utopia was truly evolutional and inevitable, but evolution was just too slow. Lenin, and those who believed similarly, decided that the historical evolution of a classless, egalitarian economy needed the prodding of a benevolent dictator. True believing followers, like Joseph Stalin felt that benevolence was over-rated.
We no longer discuss the rights of the un-propertied or the moral justice of inheriting property, or people having too much property. We seem to have come to the notion that as long as a majority of individuals have the opportunity to work, save money, and buy their own piece of the planet – this is fair and just enough. The negative historical roots have all been put to the side, as beyond reclamation and practical justification.
Nevertheless, in recent years a return to introspection and moral and Agrarian Justice and soul searching has been revived. The exploitation and pollution of property and the planet has been suggested as morally unjust. There is now an argument between the property owner and the long term interests of random mankind.
Teddy Roosevelt had his preservation and set-aside notions which have given us our National Parks, forests and monuments. Today, we are now considering morally, environmentally and economically the use of an individual’s or developer’s property in relation to his neighbors – his community, his state, his country, the world – to future generations. It is the tree huggers against the libertarians.
Some go so far as to call this a revolution. The Green Revolution it is called. Peace and goodwill to man via clean water, clean air and socially correct balanced growth. The libertarians say these tree lovers are fanatics who care more about woodpeckers and brown-speckled, sap-sucking, bank climbing beetles than they do people. These people (tree huggers) hold Walt Disney as a god and fantasyland and Disney World in Orlando as a real possibility for the future of mankind and community development – these Libertarians say. And sometimes it is difficult to see if these Green revolutionaries are trying to make the world safer for people or fire ants.
On the other hand, if the libertarian has his way there may not be any more fire ants or people. We could revert back to cesspools of congested living, and rivers, lakes and oceans filled with green dyes, mercury, toxic chemicals, OIL, and non-edible, deformed, dying and disappearing sea creatures – not to mention, people (including Americans).
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
If General Smedly Darlington Butler's understanding of War interests you, you may be interested in reading "Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One" by Richard Edward Noble.
General Smedley Darlington Butler
“The Plot to Seize the White House”
Written by Jules Archer
By Richard E. Noble
This book is basically a biography of General Smedley D. Butler. Once again I must admit my ignorance in stating that I had never heard of this General or this plot against Franklin Roosevelt or of the author Jules Archer.
General Butler as it turns out was quite well known in his day, the plot to seize the White house was investigated in Congress and Mr. Archer has written many successful books.
Smedley Butler was a Marine and quite a Marine he was. He is another great General from a Quaker background. His dad was a judge and served in the congress for 32 years.
Smedley fought in Cuba, in the Philippines, in Mexico, in Nicaragua, in Honduras, in Granada, in Haiti, in China, and in Europe during World War I. He served in the Marine Corps for 33 years and on August 21, 1931 in a speech before the American Legion convention in Connecticut he summed up his career with the following:
“I spent 33 years ... being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short I was a racketeer for capitalism ... I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
“In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested ... I had ... a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions ... I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate a racket in three cities. The Marines operated on three continents.”
And he went on.
As you can imagine he created quite a stir. But his marines loved him. They lined up everywhere to hear him speak and to shake his hand. He was under fire over 120 times in his career, wounded numerous times and had a chest full of medals – he was presented with the prestigious Medal of Honor twice. On the first presentation he sent it back saying that he didn’t deserve it. The Marine Corps sent it back to him and ordered him to wear it. So he did.
At his retirement at Quantico he gave his farewell speech to his beloved Leathernecks and said; “It has been a privilege to scrap for you just as you have scrapped for me ... When I leave I mean to give every one of you a map showing you exactly where I live. I want you to come around and see me, especially if you ever get into trouble and I will help you if I can. I can give you a square meal and a place to sleep even if I can not guarantee you a political job.”
He actually gave out maps and it is said that he lived up to all his promises.
He supported the 1932 Bonus Army and their march on Washington and the Hover government. The same group of World War I vets who were routed out of their cardboard shacks and tents by MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Patton brandishing their sabers and doing their duty to defend America against America’s past heroes.
General Butler supported Franklin Roosevelt and he had this to say in one of his speeches:
“Today, with all our wealth, a deathly gloom hangs over us. Today we appear to be divided. There has developed, through the past few years, a new Tory class, a group that believes that the nation, its resources and its manpower was provided by the Almighty for its own special use and profit ... on the other side is the great mass of American people who still believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
“This Tory group, through its wealth, its power and its influence, has obtained a firm grip on our government to the detriment of our people and the well being of our nation. We will prove to the world that we meant what we said a century and a half ago – that this government was instituted not only to secure to our people the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but the right to eat and to all our willing millions the right to work.”
He developed a really unique military strategy. He shook the press and all the big wigs up when he said that he would never again carry a gun on foreign soil. He went on to propose two Constitutional amendments. In the first he suggested that only those who were physically able to fight be allowed to vote on any war. In the second he suggested that our planes and ships guard our coastline exclusively. He wanted it to be an end to U.S. imperialism and foreign wars. He was even opposed to our entry into World War II.
This book then goes on to tell of a plot on the part of the disgruntled rich and wealthy in America to seize the U.S. Government via an organization of soldiers and World War I veterans and establish a Fascist Government, as had been done in Italy and Germany. Butler exposed the plot and named names – the Du Ponts, J. P. Morgan, Rockefeller, Pew, Mellon, Al Smith, John J. Raskob and others of the rich and prominent were all brought under the spotlight.
An investigation in Congress took place and, of course, all the charges were denied. No one was ever indicted or prosecuted, but all of Butler claims were verified and corroborated by the investigators. The plot was foiled by its exposure and the American people and its government was alerted to the danger.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
If you are interested in this subject and the "Jewish Problem," you might find my analysis of Book One of Mein Kampf interesting.
Click on cover of book to the right on this page for more information. Thanks.
Peace not Apartheid
By Jimmy Carter
By Richard E. Noble
This book is a synopsis or outline of President Jimmy Carter’s many years of attempting to solve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
It is organized, simple, straightforward and to the point.
The Israeli Government was very upset with the ex-President’s analysis of the problem. I think this is because Mr. Carter views the Palestinians as justified, legal cohabiters in the right to ownership of the territory involved in this dispute rather than from the Israeli perspective that the Palestinians are terrorists and anarchists who are unfortunately living within the borders of Israeli lands whose goals include fomenting insurrection for the purposes of destroying and undermining the Israeli homeland and government. This is an obviously large gap in perspectives.
Jimmy starts the book with a brief analysis of all the countries involved. In a few short pages he describes each country and the stability and direction of their political systems. This was very enlightening to me. It was surely an oversimplification of each country, maybe even considered a caricature by experts, but perfect for the purposes of those of us who are not educated in the modern history of the various countries involved and only know what we “read in the papers”and hear on the nightly news.
The book contains an appendix with all the various resolutions and compromises that have been suggested and sometimes agreed to over the years.
Mr. Carter’s analysis is cold and blunt. If the President has a defect it is probably his inability to temper what he considers the truth.
The book is not filled with belly laughs but I did get an occasional smile. Like when he spoke to a group of Israelis at a political forum in Israel and mentioned to his audience that he was surprised that the questions from the Israeli audience received considerably more applause than his answers. And after you have read the book the reason will be clear.
The Book closes with The President’s …
Bottom Line: “Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of the majority of its own citizens – and honor its own commitments – by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions. The
United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.
"It will be a tragedy – for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world – if peace is rejected and a system of oppression, apartheid, and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.”
After reading this book and several others on the subject I have a personal and much more cynical bottom line.
I think that peace will come to that area when either the Palestinians or the Israelis vacate the area and find another home.
The Israelis are not leaving and they never will. Israel is the Jewish last stand. They will do whatever they feel is necessary to survive ... whatever!
The Palestinians receive token and guilt money from their Arab brothers but no Arab country wants the Palestinians in their territory. They have been chased out of every country in the area that has been strong enough to do so. Even their Arab brothers wish that they would disappear.
The Palestinians should cut their losses, take as much land as they can negotiate and petition the Israelis and the governments of the world for as much money as they can get in the name of world peace.
I feel the world and even Israel and the U.S. would be willing to commit substantial amounts.
With that land and money they should build themselves a country of their own where all Palestinians are welcome.
Whether they have been treated justly or not is no longer of any concern.
Monday, December 05, 2011
If you enjoy this economic essay on minimum wage and its perils to society and the wealthy, you may enjoy "Hobo-ing America" by Richard Edward Noble.
Click on cover to the right of this page for more information on "Hobo-ing America" and living on minimum wage ... for real.
What’s Wrong with Minimum Wages?
Why Don’t We Just Leave the Well-off Alone?
By Richard E. Noble
I have worked for minimum wage or below for the majority of my employment career - which started when I was about ten years old. I have always known that it is because of me that the world, at large, and the U.S. in particular, has been going to hell in a handbag. My bosses have explained this to me over and over.
You see, it is because of my demanding this exorbitant minimum wage that we have inflation, constantly escalating prices, unemployment, teenagers idling on street corners and a vanishing industrial and manufacturing base.
Strangely enough, people who make exorbitant paychecks and profits as owners of businesses and CEOs and CFOs, and Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Stock brokers, people receiving dividends from their stock portfolios and Indian chiefs who own gambling casinos in Miami have just the opposite effect on the economy. Their pay increases do not cause inflation or increase prices; instead their extra money acts as a stimulus to the economy, promotes investment at home and abroad, creates jobs everywhere and, in general, makes the world a better place for everybody to live.
It goes like this: if you give Michael Jordan or some such wealthy person another billion dollars a week, as opposed to giving another dollar a week to each employee at the Nike factory in Slumbovia, or Bumslavia, or Weallstarvingistan - nothing negative, economically, occurs. Prices do not go up because Michael Jordan or another among the minority of the rich has more money. They already have everything they ever wanted. They don’t need to buy anything. How many Hummers, BMWs, yachts, and diamond rings can one person have? Besides if the price of a quarter mile long yacht goes from 147 million to 150 million who would notice. This increase wouldn’t even make it into the pages of Money Magazine.
You can give all the money you want to rich people and nothing in the economic world will change. This is an economic fact that was proven in the laboratory of real life economic science in 1929 by that great American monetary savant, Herbert Hoover. And in recent times this miracle was duplicated by G.W. Bush – another economic genius.
On the other hand, an extra dollar in the pockets of a bunch of poor people automatically throws any economy into a tailspin. Right off, the price of M-D 20-20 skyrockets along with bread, peanut butter, and Chevrolet automobiles. This hits the commodity and retail markets immediately. The price of grain and legumes all over the world goes nuts. Farmers instantly begin double cropping, planting in-between the rows, and doubling up on fertilizers and polluting pesticides; government subsidies go through the roof, while profits to the farmers go down and the price of a tomato at the IGA in Wisconsin goes to a buck-fifty apiece. General Motors has to increase production, but the cost of labor in the U.S. is bankrupting them; so their new plant in China gets the contract while the DuPont family sells off all of their shares in Aunt Jemima Pancakes. It’s chaos.
If I, and those of my ilk, were willing to work for half or one third of minimum wage, my boss then could hire two or three more morons like me and, of course, the unemployment problem would vanish. This would also, more than likely, solve the illegal immigrant problem besides.
You see, if I were willing to pick tomatoes and sleep in an abandon building or old slave cottage or a farmer’s barn or root cellar while defecating in the woods or orchards or behind the hedges of better-off people in the San Bernardino mountains like illegal immigrants do, then the farmers would not have to encourage Coyotes to smuggle poor Mexicans and Central Americans across the Rio Grande and into Miami, Seattle, New York, New Jersey and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nor would they have to continue to falsify their labor and Social Security reports.
But because I, and others like me, are unwilling to do this, these poor farmers and packing house owners, and cottage-garment industry sweat-shop owners, and restaurant and construction company owners and landscapers, and concrete company and gas station owners, and grocery stores, and chicken and beef processing houses, and home cleaning and domestic services, and large chain department stores etc., all have to do all of these illegal, immoral things.
We minimum wage earners are like the pornographic video and bookstores in Holyoake, Missouri – we are the evil temptresses that lure the Jimmy Swaggarts and Tammy Faye Bakers into the snake pit of moral depravity; we are the Chunky Cheeses to the video game addict; we are the irresistible impulse luring the unsuspecting all over the world – we are the ones who are ruining the economic world. It is us, with our benign satisfaction with mediocrity, or unwillingness to achieve, and our ignorant and obstinate choice to remain unsuccessful.
Why is it that we continually choose to work at JR stores, and wash dishes in greasy-spoon type restaurants who provide no health insurance? Why do we continually take up residence in crime ridden ghettos? Why the heck don’t we just move? Why don’t we make application to better universities? Why do we accept advice and principles from parents who are even dumber than we are?
All of our kind hearted, generous employers are, of course, very good people; they are not criminals. They are as responsible and as civic minded as any banker, for god’s sake! It’s us; it’s me. And, you know, I don’t know what is wrong with me. I don’t know why I act like this. I have tried to get help for this problem but I have been unable to find any psychiatrists who are willing to work for minimum wage. They feel that if they work for any less than one hundred dollars a minute, research in mental health will be abandoned and more nutty folks, like myself, will be put out onto the sidewalks and alleyways of the American inner cities. This, of course, will increase the perv quotient, promote crime, juvenile delinquency and the threat of terrorism everywhere.
It was because of people like me, way back when, demanding their pays to be raised to a minimum that forced the textile mills to leave New England. It was the same type of ugly Americans in the Midwest and eventually in the South that forced these poor, patriotic hard working mill owners to go to South America, India and Asia where now, unfortunately, they are forced to deal with the same type ungrateful breed over there. We minimum wage earners keep breeding like flies – there seems to be no end to our kind.
What is the matter with us minimum wage workers? When will we ever learn?
If we continually ask for more money, this just makes the prices of things rise; and after the prices go up, we still don’t have any more money than we used to have. So what is the sense to it? What will it take for us to learn that we must figure out how to live on whatever it is that the boss is willing to pay us?
We certainly can’t ask the bosses to take less money. Why just look around, they are barely getting by on what they have now. And besides, there are so few of them and so many of us. I mean, if we took all the money from the 10% who own and control everything – all the rich people in the world – and divided it up among all the poor in the world, the price of peanut butter and jelly in the U.S. would be a thousand dollars a jar. M-D 20-20 would only be served at fine restaurants. Golf courses would disappear and America would become one huge bowling alley. Yes, every other cardboard house that the poor have built in the garbage dumps of the world might get a new tin roof – big deal.
Poor people just don’t seem to understand, if God wanted poor people to be better off, He wouldn’t have created Conservatives.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
If you find this book interesting, you may also find my two books "America on Strike" and "Mein Kampf - Analysis of Book One" to be of equal interest. Thanks.
Click on book covers to the right on this page for more information.
Declaration of a Heretic
By Jeremy Rifkin
By Richard E. Noble
I’ve taken a recent interest in books by Jeremy Rifkin. He has written several. “Declaration of a Heretic” is my second. My first was “The End of Work.” I have already posted that review.
In this book Mr. Rifkin presents his case against science – a difficult challenge to say the least.
He concentrates his attack on the two most significant breakthroughs of the 20th century: the splitting of the atom which ushered in the Atomic Age and the discovery of the double helix that brought the dawning of the Genetics Age.
“To cast these discoveries aside. To let languish the concepts that gave rise to them. To abandon the line of intellectual thought that led up to them. To say no to the human motivation that inspired them. For the true believers, the staunch upholders of the existing orthodoxy, such thought qualify as heresy.”
And so the challenge begins.
The author brings us all the way back to the Bible to trace the beginnings of this dilemma and the human penchant for learning and science. He reminds us that Adam and Eve bit of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. Knowledge and learning were the human curse plaguing mankind according to our Christian theological roots.
Now expelled from the Garden of Eden man would be forever condemned to live in constant fear of death and as a consequence of this angst he would be driven to seek security and perpetual life here on earth. Knowledge would lead to power and power would provide security and eventually life ever lasting.
Now science comes to the foreground.
“The Apostles of truth are no longer Peter, Paul, John, Mark and Luke. They are Bacon, Descartes, Newton, Locke and Darwin.”
We then dabble into Greek Mythology by touching onto Epimetheus and Prometheus.
“Prometheus noticed that Epimetheus had already distributed all the qualities at his disposal to the rest of the plants and animals. Not wanting to leave human beings totally unprotected, Prometheus stole the mechanical arts and fire from the gods and gave them to man and women.”
To the above scientific mix we add Adam Smith. We then proceed from Bacon to Descartes to Newton, to Smith to Darwin.
Bacon gave us the scientific method with his monumental work “Novum Organum.”
Descartes turned humans into machines and the universe into a mathematically predictable set of numbers and equations. “Give me extension and motion and I will construct the universe.”
Newton with his forces and gravity further reduced the universe to a matter of formulated laws of matter and motion.
“Locke concluded that each individual was like an isolated bit of matter in the universe with no goal than to perpetuate itself.”
Locke contended that “the negation of nature is the way towards happiness.”
Adam Smith then came and put the whammy on everything by claming that “it is only by each individual attempting his own material advantage that the common good of society is advanced.”
“Smith claimed to have discovered a natural law, the invisible hand, which he said automatically regulated the supply and demand of scarce resources among all the members of society.”
This type thinking brought us to the mandate of today’s modern civilization … efficiency.
If we will to be secure we must be efficient at all costs. Knowledge = power = control = security, which leads us all to cower beneath the dictates of efficiency and the efficiency gurus who now rule the world.
This book moves along asking all the biggest questions. Are we better off today because of the splitting of the atom or the discovery of the double helix? Has science truly been the benefactor of mankind or its nemesis? Or is it like most other things a blessing and a curse simultaneously?
If science does indeed have its negative and detrimental sides should we not be looking at it with a more reflective eye towards the damage it has done and to what can prevent further damage to man’s future on this tentative planet?
What is more important, efficiency, production and unlimited profits or human involvement, live sustaining jobs and the quality of our environment and human existence?
We now have the power via science and the splitting of the atom to explode the human race and this planet to extinction.
By way of our new scientific discoveries in biology, chemistry and genetic engineering we now have the capacity to reconstruct agriculture and human nature. Like Mrs. Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein from the annals of science fiction, we evolve to a real world in which the species barrier is not even a problem.
Today via genetic engineering we can construct crops and barnyard animals that have never existed previously. We already have a combination goat and sheep concoction and a mouse that has been injected with human hormone that the geneticists have named Mighty Mouse. It sounds rather funny but it is much more frightening than it is humorous.
We not only have the potential to do this, it is being done right now in the world around us. And it is being supervised, regulated and controlled by nobody. It has all been turned over to the so called free market. Which means it is entirely in the hands of the for-profit business community.
The oil companies have a bacteria they have spliced together in the lab that will eat oil slick. They are afraid to use it. They don’t really know what it can do.
Could it eat up all the oil reserves in the world and then present us with uncontrollable bacteria with totally unpredictable genetic possibilities? Could it combine with other natural things and produce other possibilities with no antidote.
If this were not bad enough the geneticists are now capable of cutting and pasting a new human being. A total prefabricating of human nature may be in the future. Man is attempting to scientifically take over the process of creation. A new horror along the eugenics line, may well be in our not too distant future.
When scientists first learned that it was possible to split the atom many of them standing at the testing grounds wondered if they were not in the process of totally destroying the planet. They were all not positive that the developing chain reaction that they were about to release could be stopped. They stood trembling for all mankind, but yet went forward with the test.
We were lucky that time. Will our luck continue with these new areas of discovery? Do we want to take such chances today? Wouldn’t it be wiser to put some rules and control into place?
But who will make these rules, Governments or capitalists?
The choices are on top of us. What do we do? What should we do?
The author is an optimist and a utopian of sorts. He gives us his cure for this mounting catastrophe.
This is another more than thought provoking work by Mr. Jeremy Rifkin. I would suggest everyone read it.
To say that this little book provides “much food for thought” would be grossly understating its importance.
Find out for yourself.
Get a copy of “Declaration of a Heretic.” Read it. Think about it.
It is up to us to decide if and how we and our planet will survive.
The future is here and it is scary.