Saturday, June 4, 2011

Have we ever been truly free? Part 1

My gut reaction was at first, yes we have. On further analysis I am no longer sure. In order to fritter away our freedom we must have had freedom to start with. It is true that our government is becoming more oppressive. That is the nature of all governments. But have we ever been truly free?

Or have we really been in bondage and imagined said freedom?
 At the beginning of history there was man and woman. Call it the biblical beginning or the scientific appearance of Homo Sapiens, there must have been a beginning. Man and Woman gave birth to children. As any other mammals, human children are born unable to care for themselves both physically and mentally. Baby Able (or Baby Uggu) depended on their mother’s breast and father’s protection to survive. Because of this parent/child dependence, the parent was the dominant figure. Father, because of his physical strength was the law giver (and I’m sure here is where nagging was invented as a counterbalance). This first form of government is called today a family.

 As baby Uggu grew, he became more and more independent needing his father’s guidance and protection less and less until he surpassed him in strength and rivaled him in wit. Because Uggu was used to his father’s authority, it is unlikely that he challenged him until he became a father himself. As the number of progeny and families grew, they remained together following the same seasonal paths. Several families traveling together in the wilderness following the seasons and the animal migrations formed tribes. Tribes were led by the strongest and more knowledgeable member of the tribe (not always the same man). It had to be so. A tribe that was led by a fool or a weakling would perish, so only the strong tribes survived and multiplied.

 This gives us our first dictate. Leadership positions are by necessity the exercise of force

 So what did a tribe need to survive? It needed the same things that the individual members needed. Water, food and shelter. Tribes migrated with the seasons in search of water, food and shelter. This migration created competition with other tribes for the same critical resources (hunting grounds, watering holes, primo caves). Competition in a system based on the strength of the Chieftain was resolved by force.

 Enter the first wars; and the second dictate:
 Wars have always and will always be fought for resources

The migration ended when some brilliant and observant person (probably a woman) noticed that grain could be made into bread and that it could be planted along the rivers in order to get more grain. Once woman invented farming and bread, man realized that the fermented grain he forgot to bring in from the rain, even though woman told him to, again and again, gave him beer. Such was the birth of nations.

 Tribes found, by accident, another fascinating fact. Division of labor and specialization benefits the tribe. Some were hunters, others did better as gatherers. Some could plow fields and others could raise animals. The bigger the tribe the more specialization there could be. With division of labor comes trade. How about some of your buffalo meat for some of my beer? It also brought in a very interesting class of specialization; the ruling class. They were in charge. They did not have to hunt or gather or farm. You will provide for them, because they were in charge. By the way, we can safely call this the first type of taxation.

  As the tribe grew, the ruling class could no longer use brute force as effectively as before. They had to resort to other forms of control. Enter religion. Want it to rain? Well we can talk to the gods and make it rain. For a fee of course. Don’t want to obey? Well then the gods will take away the rain and your family will starve.

 But tribal hunting grounds and now fertile land could not be the property of the individual. It was a valuable resource that the ruling class had to control. It had to be kept as property of the ruling class. Want beer? Then obey!

This gives us our third dictate:  The control of property is critical to the control of men

 We can safely fast forward thru the rest of history. Monarchies are really nothing more than very big tribes. Suffice it to say that the three dictates apply:

Leadership is the exercise of force

Wars have always and will always be fought for resources

The control of property is critical to the control of men

 Then something strange happened. Perhaps it was an awakening, perhaps an evolution. Men began demanding private property. I can’t really place it. It was not in Greece, nor Athens, Rome or England. The fleeting examples of private property in early history were really just an extension of the ruling class system. The Barons and the Landlords were just new names for tribal chieftains under the auspices of the King.

 The earliest example I can find is in the Plymouth Plantation. The Plymouth colonists did something by sheer necessity that had never been tried before. It was a desperate act, but hunger makes for desperate times and desperate times call for desperate measures. Gov Bradfford, after losing his own wife and watching the colony lose half of its population the first year, divided the lands into family plots and made the products of those plots the private property of the family. It did not start that way. The original contract could have been taken from the writings of Marx (had he been born yet). The Governor decided there was no other way to make the colonist productive. It was such a success, that they paid off their debts to the investors back in England and attracted a whole new breed of men.

Men that realized the next dictate:  
A man's mind is his property therefore the products of his mind were also his property

 Let’s pause here for a second. I want to emphasize this. Men who were subjects of the King, slaves to their masters and obedient to the tribal chief learned that their very lives were their property. This is momentous. Your property was not a privilege of the Monarch. Your property was yours. If your property was yours, then your production was yours and that meant that your life was yours. This radically modifies our dictates:

Leadership is the exercise of force over FREE MEN

Wars have always and will always be fought for the benefit of the ruling class

 A man’s life is his property, therefore his production is his property and he has the right to defend it against those who seek to control him

 This is a breath taking statement. Thru all of history men have dealt with each other as Parent-Child, Chief-Indian, Ruler-Subject, Master-Slave. And that relationship has always been based on brute force or the threat of brute force. Now the dictates had been changed. Now a free man was truly a free man. He was no longer a subject to his King, since he needed nothing from his King. His land, his food, his production and the benefits of his trade were his to enjoy without privilege from the ruling class. He discovered that a man is born free to live, grow, learn produce and trade. More importantly since the King was no longer his provider, he would perish if he did not. 

Freedom is not the natural state of man, but his ultimate destination as man.

This gives us our last dictate. The one that rules all others:

Man is born free. He is free to live, grow, learn, produce and trade with other men. Nothing short of this is true freedom. Man must be free in order to be man be continued 


  1. The Alchemy of Money. This sounds like an interesting topic and big enough to be examined from many angles based on what I have seen before of your work. If that is indeed your intention, Goldsaver, than you are taking a direction that I am not: you are focusing. Like FOFOA.

    My blog is more general. If it interests ME, up it goes. I have to hope that high enough percentage of my readership will like the various bits and pieces.

    Bon Voyage!

    P.S. Everyone, edit and edit again Comments... I almost let a couple of misspellings go through...

  2. It is. The focus of this blog will be freedom. The true meaning of it and an exploration of how to gain it and what type of society maintains it. A critical part of this is money.
    Money is the ultimate expression of freedom. It can also be used for evil. I will be exploring the meaning of money and the alchemists that have transformed it.