A Forbidden Thought: We Are Not Inadequate

ForbiddenThought

As I’ve noted before, the dominating systems of the West require us to feel weak, afraid, and insufficient; they couldn’t continue if most of us didn’t feel that way. And so, by plan, by instinct, or simply by inertia, the friends and operators of these systems oppose anything that breaks from that mold.

And so, the thought that humans are fundamentally adequate is forbidden. If you’d like to prove that sometime, say a few things like these at a cocktail party:

Western civilization has accomplished so many good things that it’s mind-blowing.

Most people are basically decent and don’t need to be controlled.

I see so much goodness in humanity.

Humanity is ascending toward the gods (or heaven, or whatever).

Or, if you are so bold:

Man is a glorious creature.

The responses you get should be educational.

Why This Thought Is Forbidden

The reason for this was beautifully defined by Buckminster Fuller in an interview he gave in 1981:

There’s a built-in resistance to letting humanity be a success. Each one claims that their system is the best one for coping with inadequacy.

In other words:

The systems running things claim that theirs is the right way to fix human inadequacy.

So, if you claim that humans are adequate, you’re also saying that those systems aren’t necessary.

Ruling systems fight things that call their rule unnecessary. So will people who are emotionally attached to those systems.

Promoting Darkness Is a Big Business

One of the reasons so many people espouse dark views of humanity is that the promotion of darkness is a huge business. As I’ve noted before, news channels are little more than fear delivery systems. Likewise newspapers, most of talk radio, and even most of the internet: Hour after hour, day after day, they report the worst things they can find.

And it’s not just news; advertisers also need you to feel insecure. Pay attention to the ads that are thrust upon you. A high percentage of them will make you feel insecure, inadequate or guilty. These are also part of the darkness-promotion industry. And most Westerners don’t even realize it’s happening to them. It’s all they’ve ever known.

Here’s an interesting comment I ran across. It came from a non-Westerner, back in the 1950s((The Indonesian President Sukarno, in 1956, as noted in The Brothers, by Stephen Kinzer.)). This man, visiting the US for the first time, said,

I find only one fault with Americans. They’re too full of fear. Afraid of B.O. Afraid of bad breath. They’re haunted by the fear that they’ll never get rid of dandruff. This state of mind I cannot understand.

The reason for that state of mind is simply that it’s inculcated in the American psyche every day by myriad advertisers seeking to exploit a human weakness, namely a tendency to obsess upon and overestimate fears.

And if that was the case in 1956, what is it now?

The truth is that nearly the entire Western world is flooded on a daily basis with imaginary fears. This has allowed the things that feed on fear to run riot.

As a result of these manufactured and magnified fears, most people fear other humans and come to the conclusion (understandably, even if wrongly) that humanity is dangerous.

And that’s why we believe we need government to save us, beer to make us happy, and fragrance products if we hope to secure a decent mate.

Fueled By Fear would be an appropriate sticker to place on nearly every corporate logo and political advertisement.

Look Around

The idea that all is dark and threatening – that mankind is inadequate to the world – is dispelled just by looking around.

First of all, look around and settle yourself on the truth of what I said above: that nearly everything we see and hear from organs of political power and commercial advertising are designed to make us fear, in one way or another. Then make a rough estimate of how many negative things you hear in the course of a day and how many positive things you hear. Decide what the percentages are.

I think that would be telling. After all, if you feed only upon negativity, it’s only reasonable that you’d build negative attitudes.

Now take a look at the world and consider things like this:

  • We’ve eradicated diseases, such as smallpox, that tortured humanity for untold centuries.

  • We’ve learned to feed billions of people and feed them well. We can grow far more food than we need.

  • We’ve created machines that move us across the ground tremendous distances safely and reliably.

  • We’ve created machines that fly us around the world and at incredible speeds.

  • We’ve harnessed the information stores of humanity and made them available to anyone, almost for free and almost anywhere.

  • The public cruelty of the ancient era has been almost entirely eliminated.

  • Slavery has been almost entirely eliminated.

I could continue, but I’m confident you get my point. We are improving, unfolding, evolving creatures. Certainly some humans are vile, but they are a small minority. Most of us, to varying degrees, behave reasonably well most of the time. Yes, much improvement remains, but we are moving in just that direction, even if too slowly for many people’s taste. (Including my own.)

And consider this, please: It’s primarily the Darkness Industry that holds us back. The sea of negativity that surrounds us is an anti-evolutionary poison.

I’ll close with another quote (slightly edited) from Bucky Fuller, this one from An Auto-Biographical Monologue/Scenario:

I decided man was operating on a fundamental fallacy: that he was supposed to be a failure. I decided that man was, in fact, designed to be an extraordinary success. His characteristics were magnificent.

We are not inadequate.

* * * * *

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  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Three Words You Must Remember

entropy

The statement I’ll be making today is simple… very simple. Nonetheless, I think it’s of tremendous importance. It’s the type of thing that, if kept sufficiently in mind, can slowly revise your mental universe.

It’s also the type of thing that makes me want to write, “Repeat this every morning, noon, and night for at least one month, then meditate on it for a few years.” And I’m not entirely unserious about this; I think that would be an immensely valuable thing for you to do.

This concept can not only revamp you, but could revamp humanity. And because I believe the three words to be true, I’m convinced that their effects would be almost entirely beneficial.

So, here are those three words:

Life reverses entropy.

If that sounds too simple or not entirely clear, no problem; I’ll continue. (You can find lengthier discourses in the subscription letter, especially in issues #39 and #79.)

Entropy Versus Life

Entropy (a physics term with sometimes complex definitions) is the nature of all inanimate things: rocks, water, air, and so on. These all wind down and wear out eventually. Given enough millennia, the winds and rains will wear down the mountains. Given a few billion years, the sun itself will wear out and collapse, ending our winds and rains with it.

Entropy breaks up concentrations of things; it spreads them out till they are all dispersed and everything is a huge, neutral, homogeneous mass… a useless mass.

All inanimate things eventually wind down and wear out. By themselves, they remain tied to entropy.

Living things, on the other hand, reverse entropy.

A fruit tree, for example, takes in the gasses from our atmosphere, light from the sun, minerals and water from the ground. Then it organizes, concentrates, and harmonizes them… and produces oranges, apples, etc.

The same can be said for all living things. All of them take material from the entropic, inanimate world and concentrate it, making it useful. This is what life does. And more so than the “characteristics of life” that I was forced to memorize and repeat in school, this is the nature of life. And truth be told, I think it should be taught as the central characteristic of life:

Life itself, whatever it may be, is recognized by its reversing of entropy.

Mere matter does not organize itself((There is the apparent exception of certain crystals that seem to “grow.” Properly, however, they accrete, rather than grow.)). Life, on the other hand, continues itself by concentrating, organizing, and productively using mere matter.

Plants and animals reverse entropy very effectively. Each, however, is able to reverse entropy in certain ways, but not others. Mankind is the great exception; we can reverse entropy willfully. We choose how we will reverse entropy, and we can choose more and newer ways seemingly without end… or we can evade such choices.

In this way the old idea of mankind being superior to the beasts is entirely correct; there is nothing on this planet that is remotely like us. We really are the “crown of creation.”

Back to the Three Words

If all of this is true or even just substantially true, there are huge implications:

  • If life is the thing that lies at the center of usefulness and survival (entropy would eventually erase all usefulness and survival), then the function, growth, and positive evolution of life, especially of human life, is a cardinal value… the cardinal value.

  • And if this is so, the restraint of life must be considered a cardinal offense.

  • The subjugation of life and its actions to mere rules – whether sold as “the wisdom of the ancients,” “the voice of the people,” or whatever – becomes a mass transgression against the functions of life and thus a transgression against both survival and thriving.

If the three words are true – or anywhere close to true – a great many things are opened to being questioned, and thus to improvement.

This is a deep rabbit hole. If we take the unimpeded functioning of life as a central value, our examinations of the world will change.

I think this is a concept worth holding in your mind and worth using as a touchstone for further examinations.

* * * * *

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  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

We Are Great

great

Every time I write one of these pieces, a certain number of people freak out, and often quite vocally. But it’s a huge mistake to define ourselves by what we’re against, and darkness is not all that exists in the world.

And we are magnificent creatures. I want my writing to help humans realize that this is true, and to start acting on it. Decrying what is wrong has a place, but a limited place: that of warning good people to avoid it.

The focus on evil is massively overdone. We are inundated with all that is bad in the world: News broadcasts are fully dedicated to nothing else, politicians are dedicated to nothing else, and the very existence of contemporary governance is predicated on “keeping fear alive.”

But all of that is degrading, distracting, and devolutionary. Sure, evil exists, but the truth about evil is that it’s small and weak (stay tuned next week). It’s time to stop devoting the whole of our lives to it.

Who Is “We”?

Since I’m saying, “We are great,” and since I’m expecting a lot of instinctive objections to the concept, I should define the term.

“We” refers to productive humans. And there are billions of us. We are the majority. Our big problem is we’ve been conditioned to think that darkness and destruction lurk for us on every corner and that nonproductive people are our natural superiors. But those are lies. We are superior to the willfully unproductive.

And yes, in this article, I’m completely ignoring murderers, criminals, and the various dependent classes. They don’t define me, and they shouldn’t determine the shape of your mind either.

Celebrating Our Greatness

The Romans used to celebrate themselves: their arches and domes, their aqueducts and fountains, their roads and farms, their prosperity. On the other hand, we’ve accomplished far, far more than the Romans. And yet, we are fully convinced that we suck. There’s a problem here.

The past few centuries have seen the most productive generations ever to inhabit the Earth. Never before, in our long history, have humans accomplished anything remotely close to what we have. And we’re poised to jump much farther… except that we’ve been convinced – irrationally and maliciously – that we deserve no credit for anything, that we’re vile and filthy and caustic.

Entire academic disciplines are devoted to convincing us – against any and every objective fact – that we can’t know anything, that thinking we do know sets us at the lowest depths of self-delusion, and that our only rational role in the universe is to hate ourselves and to obey our betters (aka, authority).

It’s all bullshit, my friends. All lies. All manipulation. It was all a coordinated attack on our minds.

With no historical precedent, productive people just like you and me have created these things (and many more) over the past few centuries:

  • The telescope.
  • The microscope.
  • Calculus.
  • The law of gravity.
  • The laws of mechanics.
  • The binary system.
  • The barometer.
  • Logarithms.
  • The slide rule.
  • Electronic calculators.
  • The blast furnace.
  • Practical steam engines.
  • Rifles.
  • Hand guns.
  • Eyeglasses.
  • Electrical generators.
  • Electrical transmission.
  • Ice cream.
  • The laws of electromagnetism.
  • Artificially produced ice.
  • Statistics.
  • The telegraph.
  • The telephone.
  • The electric light.
  • The electric motor.
  • The assembly line.
  • Automobiles.
  • Railroads.
  • Hot air balloons.
  • Airplanes.
  • Space travel.
  • Radar.
  • Photography.
  • Sound recording.
  • Video recording.
  • The fax machine.
  • The computer.
  • Radio.
  • Television.
  • The Internet.
  • The cell phone.
  • Refrigeration.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Mechanized farming.
  • The vaccine.

So… we suck?

The fact that we are great is obvious. The problem is our conditioning.

“Bow Down to Fear and Self-Condemnation”

Please understand that the dominating systems of this world need you to feel like garbage. They couldn’t survive a situation where productive people believed in themselves, trusted themselves, and were proud of themselves. The hierarchies of this world require that you cower before every imagined fear and never dare think your own mind is trustworthy.

Look and see: Who among this world’s sacrifice-collectors delivers your groceries? Which of them fixes your hot water lines? Which of the televised suits changes your tires or hangs a door or rewires your lights?

It is productive men and women who make your life better, not the mighty; they merely extort your wages.

You, my productive friend, are better. I don’t care what you were taught in school about ‘great men’ and their necessity. That was misguided at best. Much of it was purposely destructive.

Please consider this passage from Buckminster Fuller:

If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.

These are true words. And if they are true about machines, how much more do they apply to the people who create those machines?

The progress of the world waits for the productive man and woman to stop flagellating themselves. It’s waiting for them to stand up and act like what they are.

* * * * *

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You may never look at life the same way again.

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* * * * *

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Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Bitcoin: Let It Fork!

bitcoinfork

There has been a lot of commotion in the Bitcoin world lately. A few of the core developers (an informal group that maintain the program) made a big splash by saying that the “block size” (a technical issue) had to be increased or else horrible problems would ensue. They’re calling their plan “Bitcoin XT.”

What I Learned

At first, I simply didn’t want to be bothered with this. Just about everything that passes across a plasma screen these days is sold as a major, life-threatening crisis. I ignore as much of it as I can.

But after hearing a bit more about this issue from several friends, I decided to look into it a bit further.

The first thing that caught my attention was that this idea was being sold with fear. That, to me, is a huge red flag. If you want to sucker humans – if you want make intelligent people act stupidly – fear is your tool; every serious manipulator of humans knows this. So, this fact turned me off from the Bitcoin XT idea right away.

Next, I learned that one of the two guys driving this has been speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations about Bitcoin going mainstream. Seriously? Bitcoin is cypherpunk technology; it is inherently outside the mainstream. (Does Sid Vicious take tea with the queen?) Bitcoin was created by radicals and bears their nature. To make Bitcoin acceptable to the powers that be is to kill it. Period.

So, the fact that this idea comes from people who want to turn Bitcoin into a guv-friendly payment system – to neuter it and kill it – drove me even farther away. If I had wanted status-quo tech, I’d never have looked at Bitcoin in the first place.

Thirdly, someone told me that the guys driving this wanted to make themselves “benevolent dictators.” Hearing that, I immediately started laughing. Then I checked and found out that it was true and that they were saying so overtly. You can find the comment, “[W]e will be benevolent dictators,” here. That cemented it for me. In addition to everything else, these guys want to run a technocratic dictatorship. And not only that, but they had the arrogance to say so in public. Wow.

Be afraid, surrender your values, and accept dictatorship… that always ends well, doesn’t it?

So…

So, to all of this, I reply: Fork off.

Yes, I know that sounds like I’m playing cute word games, but I really mean it. I want them to pull their hard fork. I want them to break off and go away.

Take your fear, your compromise, and your dictatorship with you, and be gone. Fork off and take as many with you as will follow. It will be a great lesson, and more importantly, it will be a great cleansing. I welcome it… I seek it.

And if these people do split the Bitcoin blockchain into two parts (this is called a “hard fork”), here are some things that I expect to happen:

  • The fair weather venture capitalists will have panic attacks, as their dreams of Zuckerberg Heaven start to evaporate.

  • Mainstream media will breathlessly report – for the 20th time – that Bitcoin is dead… but this time for sure!

  • Regulators will have no clue what to do and will then pile into Bitcoin XT, turning it into just another PayPal.

  • The exchange rate… might… drop! Ye gods! It could be the end of the world!

  • The heart of the Bitcoin world will keep right on doing what they’re doing.

So, yes, I want the fork. It’s about time to shake out the people who are clogging up the works. Let the price fall for a while. Let the agents of the status quo go over to Bitcoin XT and leave the rest of us alone.

Now, please bear in mind that I’m under no illusion that Bitcoin is perfect. Changes may indeed be required. But anyone who seriously utters the phrase “benevolent dictator” or who pounds us with fear, or who wants to “go mainstream,” excludes himself or herself from being taken seriously in the world of Bitcoin.

The agents of the status quo should fork off. And the sooner the better.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Thousands… Millions… of Whom the World Is Not Worthy

NotWorthy

All of us have partial views of the world. We can only see and hear so much. At our best, we take in only a slice of the whole. Still, I’ve been noticing something that seems widespread and worthy of comment. Here it is:

I see an increasing number of people who are markedly better than the world around them.

My title for today’s dispatch comes from the book of Hebrews, where the author lists great men and women and concludes by saying, of whom the world was not worthy.

Yes, yes, I know that we can all complain at length about the stupid, brain-locked, and obnoxious people who surround us. And most of those complaints are true. But there’s another side to this:

Humans are inherently biased. We focus, probably at a ratio of at least two to one, on the negative.

Try asking people what they want. In most cases, they’ll start listing the things they don’t want. This negative bias masks most of the good that happens in the world.

And right now, there are millions of people who are becoming qualitatively better.

Why this should be so is a great question, and while I’m not going to dig in to it today, an increase in understanding has to be a central factor.

You Are Better

I obviously can’t know all my readers, but I do pay attention to them, and I think I have a pretty good feel for them. So while what I say here may not apply to every reader, I am sure that it applies to most. And what I want to say to you is this:

You are better than the world around you. Perhaps not better than every individual you know, but better that the enforced mentality of this world; better than its rulers; better than its great men. BETTER.

You see, we live in a time of rising contrast: millions of individuals are becoming better while the ruling systems of the world are becoming worse. Saying “of whom the world is not worthy” isn’t that big of a statement just now.

And I’m seeing people—old, young, male, female—who are, by nature, better. They display more kindness. They’re interested in understanding and improving. They are truer to themselves, and from thence are truer to others.

I think you should take this seriously. Compare your virtues with those of the world’s ruling systems. Find the truth of the matter and accept what is true.

Is “Better” Defined by Rules?

You’ll notice above that I said these people were better “by nature.” I did not say that they were better because they were good rule-keepers.

Keeping rules is precisely how not to become better. We’ve been trained to define “good” by comparing ourselves to rules, but the great thinkers of the world have been more concerned with transcending rules. First on the list of such people was Jesus, but I devoted an entire issue of my newsletter (issue #44) to that aspect of his philosophy, and it’s far too much to repeat here.

But I will give you two ancient thinkers. The first is St. Paul. He writes in one of his letters about people who:

doing by nature the things contained in the law… are a law unto themselves.

And this was not just a Christian concept. A few centuries earlier, Aristotle had said nearly the same thing:

This I have gained by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

So, if both pagans and Christians in Greece and Asia Minor could do this between 2,000 and 2,300 years ago, is it crazy to think that modern people are capable of it too?

Here are more modern thinkers who had more or less the same thing in mind:

Spinoza:

He who regulates everything by laws is more likely to arouse vices than reform them.

Jefferson:

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s will.

James P. Driscoll, writing on Carl Jung:

From whatever aspect we consider the command… it is the most dangerous single element in the social life of man.

Gustave Le Bon:

Armed with a small stock of formulas and commonplaces learnt while we are young, we possess all that is needed to traverse life without the tiring necessity of having to reflect on anything whatsoever.

Now, let’s go to the second part of this discussion: Who makes the rules?

In our time, that would be politicians. That is, the same people we condemn as liars nearly every day. Are we really supposed to take rules made by these people as definitions of “good?”

Furthermore, rules can be purchased from these people. Are we really supposed to surrender our moral natures to that?

Love, kindness, courage, integrity, understanding, and empathy: these are things that make people better. And they stand wholly apart from rule-keeping.

In the current world system, rules define who is punished, not who is good.

Fear of Being Better

People fear being better, and not irrationally. Let’s be honest about this: good people suffer mostly for their virtues, not for their vices. In our current situation, above-average virtue is often punished.

So there’s reason to fear being better. Not only will some people resent any type of positive difference, but the hierarchies of this world need their masses to be weak, intimidated, and confused. The problem with better people is that they grow out of those characteristics, even though they’re pressured to conform.

The system’s answer to this, as we all know, is to pile more penalties and pressure on these better people. It’s all they have; it’s all they know; it’s what they are.

So to you who are better, I have one primary piece of advice: Learn to accept the fact that you are better, and that you may be punished for it.

Is This Too Radical?

Before anyone gets the idea that these observations of mine are too radical to be taken seriously, please allow me to pass along another quotation:

That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Did you get that? If something is high and glorious among men, if it enjoys status—if it is authoritative, powerful, and feared—God is disgusted by it.

Now that is radical.

You wanna take a guess who said it?

Yup, that’s right, it was Jesus. That Jesus. The rabbi from Nazareth. Get a concordance and look it up.

So

Actually, there is no “so” in this case. This isn’t a prescription for conduct. I’m writing about internal acknowledgment, not outward actions.

What matters here is that you accept a fact: that the ruling systems of this world are less moral than you, and that you’re not crazy to think so. Whatever change that spawns in you will be to your credit.

But please, be better: Live with more love, more kindness, more courage, more integrity, and more empathy.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

This article was originally published by Casey Research.

We’re Better Than We Think We Are

WeareBetter

The problem with most humans is not that they think too highly of themselves: it’s that they think too little of themselves. They exhibit what G.K. Chesterton called a “weird and horrible humility.” To put it bluntly, we’ve been trained to perpetually self-accuse.

We grow up to question ourselves endlessly, to stay worried that we might screw something up. The law teaches us that we’re always on the edge of being punished. All the years we spend in school teach us to fear mistakes. And unfortunately, many religions teach us that we’re always on the verge of falling into sin and damnation.

The truth, however, is that we’re not that bad. We just think so.

Of course, we do sometimes screw things up… but not remotely as often as we mistrust ourselves. And a large percentage of those screwups occur precisely because we don’t trust ourselves!

“Human Nature Has Been Sold Short”

Humans have deeply devalued themselves, and I’m hardly the first person to say so. Here’s what psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote:

Human history is a record of the ways in which human nature has been sold short. The highest possibilities of human nature have practically always been underrated.

And here’s the Chesterton quote (from The Defendant) that I referred to above:

There runs a strange law through the length of human history—that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility.

And as long as we’re bringing up Adam, it’s worth noting that the Bible’s 82nd Psalm says something that many people find shockingly un-Biblical:

You are gods.

This statement was repeated, by the way, by none other than Jesus. Interpret that any way you like, but these men were clearly not calling us born and degenerate losers.

The truth is that we are far more and better than we’ve given ourselves credit for, and it’s time to stop treating ourselves like dangerous beasts.

Agents of Creation

Humans are agents of creation in the universe. For example, we’ve taken the raw materials of the physical universe and turned them into things of much greater value.

We’ve turned dirt and rocks into metals, then into vehicles, then used them to generate electricity through invisible forces that we learned how to control. We’ve built amazingly complex electronic devices, gathered all the information of the world, and made it available to ourselves on devices that we hold in our pockets. We’ve sent men to the moon and probes outside of our solar system. We travel the oceans and skies on a routine basis… we’ve unraveled DNA and split the atom… and much, much more.

Are we to receive no credit for any of this? Are we to ignore it all, because we’d rather cling to our habitual misery?

The individual human is an incredible entity in the universe—far higher and better than anything else we can see.

And Yet…

And yet, most of us feel bad about ourselves most of the time. It’s silly, wrong, and even masochistic, and yet this self-devaluing continues unabated.

Yes, as many people will leap to point out, humans have done some very bad things. But those are some humans, not all of us. The vast majority of humans cooperate through the vast majority of their lives. They love their families and work with their friends. Aside from momentary lapses, they mainly build and produce. Yes, there is now a large dependent class, but mostly because they’ve been tempted, pushed, or fallen into it.

Even business—often thought to be a place of competition—is far more about cooperation than anything else. The business owner must induce his employees, suppliers, banks, and customers to cooperate with him. If he fails to engage that cooperation, he has no business.

In fact, the evils of humanity serve to buttress my point. I won’t have space to cover this at length (I did in issue #25 of my newsletter), but let’s begin with a statement made by Hannah Arendt, who studied human evil carefully:

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

Most actual evil is not done willfully, but by people who abandon their wills. They find themselves weak and shaped by circumstances. This is precisely what we’ve been talking about in this article: the people whose cooperation was essential to evil, cooperated precisely because they devalued themselves. They didn’t feel worthy of asserting their own opinions.

So if these basically decent people thought better of themselves—felt confident enough to assert themselves—most human evil would simply evaporate.

“The Goodness of Existence”

Here’s another of Chesterton’s passages from The Defendant:

Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelly, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.

Both Chesterton and Maslow were right, and the sad truth is that human history has been dominated by people who sold themselves short as a matter of course. They were too intimidated to defend and follow their own thoughts.

We’ve dwelt on our inabilities more than our capabilities, and by a very large margin. We’ve been animated by the fear of failure, rather than the pursuit of our desires. We’ve been intimidated and confused, sure there was something deficient with ourselves.

But that was a wasteful illusion, not reality.

It’s time for us to stop believing that it’s our role in life to be ordered around, lest we embarrass ourselves. And it’s time to start trusting our own judgment, to start acting on our own will.

I’ll close with a few lines from a song called Already Gone, by the Eagles.

So oftentimes it happens

that we live our life in chains,

and we never even know we have the key

We do have the key, and it’s turned by accepting that we are better than we thought we were… and acting upon that belief.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

This article was originally published by Casey Research.