Civilization Unbound

by Jeff Ganaposki

CIVILIZATION – An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions.

Empirically, the “goal” is survival, individually, and species wide. That generally includes acquiring one’s needs and necessities, procreating, and passing on learning – successes and failures. Those simple goals are modified by avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. Though seeking pleasure is generally presumed benign, some find pleasure in odd and harmful behaviors. Others find it in controlling the actions of others, or taking from them their property, liberty, or life.

The mathematical moral statement of living beings is that harmless action in support of one’s life is good, and harmful action in support is bad. Self sacrifice for the benefit of another is highest good, and highest love. But compulsory self sacrifice is bad. Worst of all, is harmful action for no reason.

The concept of law breaks down into two antagonistic orders : the law of love and the law of the jungle. Those who follow the law of love support their lives with harmless labor and trade, and no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another. Those who follow the law of the jungle believe predators are good, prey are “good to eat”, and prey who fight back are “bad”. Most, if not all religions, aspire to the law of love, but invariably jungle law creeps in. Likewise, it is the same for governments. Originally instituted to unite the weak individuals in defense of their mutual persons and property from predatory attack, they become perverted into predators who go on the attack.

The usual tool to skew is perversion of self-defense. Defending against a predatory act is excusable. Invariably, someone will seek to “defend” before the act, and thus become the aggressor. Pre-emptive “defensive” predation – doing unto others before they do it to you – is typical predatory logic, the quintessential rationalization for evil. However, using evil to defeat evil, only means evil has won, regardless. Tolerance of evil is unmerciful to the next victim. But only non-violent opposition to evil will bear good results. Remember, evil doers believe they are “good” under their law of the jungle.

The world’s resources are inequitably distributed, and conflict constantly arises over the acquisition of necessities and luxuries. And the world’s population is inequitably distributed, ever changing, outward or inward, as the biological competition for the future unravels before us. Most are blinded by wealth and the pursuit of wealth. But wealth is not prosperity. Prosperity is the creation, trade, and enjoyment of surplus usable goods and services. Doing more, with less, so more can enjoy is the credo of lasting happiness. Doing less, with more, so fewer can enjoy, is the recipe for misery.

Knowing this, we can distill law and morality into a simple axioms:
[] All law is the protection of property rights (absolute or qualified), all else is policy and policy requires consent.
[] Harmless action in support of one’s right to life, liberty and ownership is good. Self-defense is good, too – but beware using it to foment predation.
[] Caring for the needy, deserving and pitiful is a good thing. Voluntary charity is a blessing. Compulsory charity is a curse. Slavery is never a solution to the ills of mankind. Government imposed slavery is not acceptable, either.

As to charity, it helps to have a lot of surplus with which one can share. Prodigious production of necessities is generally a good thing, and thus multiplying labor by mass production or eliminating it by automation is a positive development. However, in a money mad and usurer dominated economy, where the acquisition of money tokens is the sole accepted means to facilitate trade of that surplus, inequitable trade and predation will be prevalent. This can be avoided by alternative mediums of exchange, like private promissory notes that allow more than barter, and act as value holders for subsequent equitable trades. But remember, money tokens cannot “save” value over time. One cannot “store value” in money, no matter what it is made of. Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate trade, and the quicker it is traded for what one wants, the better. The promises of future performance and exchange is symbolized in the money token. But the money token does nothing to fill a storehouse of surplus goods, nor can labor be stored up. People believe that they can “save for their future needs”, but outside of investing at usury, hoarding money only removes it from its function – moving goods and services. That such an illusion is embraced by so many is why the predators rule the sheeple. It’s time they stripped off their woolies and stood up on two legs.

The ability for a nation or people or families to care for those in distress is proportional to their surplus productive capacity. For to consume resources and labor in their care, requires others to generate enough for themselves, the caregivers, and the pitiful and deserving people in need. Any imposition of greater burden on the hearty, or reward to the recipient class, will trigger a negative consequence. Human nature being what it is, “professional” recipients will arise, as will their champions, who will derive a good living as their champions. Penalizing the productive for the benefit of the non-productive will shatter a society.

Civilization is often measured by the degree and scope of cooperation of its members. The greater the cooperation and united effort, the greater are the achievements – in science, technology, architecture, art, lifestyle, efficiency and prosperity. Penalizing evil and rewarding good is generally the best way to preserve civilization. Doing the opposite will destroy a civilization. Predators and parasites do not cooperate well, nor for long.

Governments are instituted to secure the rights of men, thus protect against predators. Evil befalls them when predators infiltrate government and pervert the law. The subtle change is often discerned once the public servants become the masters. And noticeable when leaders change from serving the people to being served by the people. Revolution or peaceful change is then required to purge predators from their ranks. Just be certain you are not replacing one set of predators with new predators. To resolve the moral conundrums driving civilization into eternal warfare, predation, suffering and misery requires recognizing the enemy – predators – that hide among the innocent. Knowing what are predatory acts, helps flush them out. Inequitable trades, seeking gain at the loss of others – gambling, usury, limited liability, trickery, fraud, and outright theft and murder, are all evil, and should not be tolerated, or worse, rewarded. For when evil is rewarded, good men will be persuaded to go bad.

For long term resolution of the causes for war (unmet necessities) and cope with the geometric expansion of the human race, the obvious answer is to look outward, into outer space. Outside of the deep gravity well of our home planet, there is expansion space, unending power, and immense resources. Space colonization is the answer to generate world peace, as world peace is the answer to generate space colonization. For mankind needs to divert its surplus resources from eternal predation to cooperation in the leap into space. By building immense orbiting colonies, capable of holding millions of lifeforms, humanity can invalidate the limitations of a finite planet and finite resources. Even with geometric population expansion, humanity would not exhaust the resources of the solar system for several thousands of years.

But is humanity morally and mentally capable of divesting itself of evil, of predation, of parasitic tendencies, and willing to embrace prosperity? That is unknown. It is up to each to answer that question for themselves.