You Can't Escape God, 1978
The great maladies
THE THREE MOST DEADLY ECONOMIC-SOCIAL-POLITICAL MALADIES that this World has ever confronted must now be examined in two successive chapters of our study for three compelling reasons. In the first place, these grave ailments -- at the approach of the 21st century -- not only were causing vast immediate injuries to people everywhere but also were threatening to culminate in one or more kinds of total disaster, contrary to God's as well as Man's desires. In the second place, all of these problems were originating as violations of the basic rules of moral conduct which God and his Son set forth for Mankind. In the third place, we are obligated to deal herein with this trio of critical matters because modern Clericalism, as an illegitimate offshoot of Christianity, was continuing to be one of the chief contributors to even these worst of humanity's Atomic Age troubles.
Foremost, we recognize among these most dismaying problems an increasingly malignant updated version of the age-old confrontation between the ideologies of Individualism and Collectivism (more commonly but less accurately described as "Capitalism" and "Communism"), as were being championed respectively by America and Russia. Thus, even among people who had only the foggiest idea of the moral factors at stake in the collision of these opposites of morality concepts there had come to be a widespread awareness that it included the hazard of a military convulsion capable of reducing our planet to a scorched and lifeless condition. In addition, there had already been vast bloodshed as recent products of this controversy and the costs of constructing lethal weapons in the dubious hope of thereby achieving a non-cataclysmic stalemate had become an oppressive burden not only upon the principal adversary nations but also upon the whole of Mankind.
Moreover, in America -- as in numerous other nations -- there had developed a violent internal counterpart of the same ideological debate. Thus was evident in economic-social-political turmoil resulting from an increasing acceptance of the use of force for the accomplishing of injustices that were being cunningly white-washed by Collectivist dialectics. Further, this nation's domestic involvement was apparent in a continuous process of brain-washing applied to millions of its people by fellow-travelers of Communism and designed to put additional components of Collectivism into America's already-hybridized Capitalist-Communist mixture. Meantime, more discerning people -- intimidated by mass violence and by government itself, and handicapped by inadequate dialectics to explain the moral mechanisms of Individualism -- could do little more than wage a retreating resistance.
The second of the modern World's most grievous problems continued to be a widespread and accelerating reversion to the amoral savagery of Proto-man as manifest in the form of "ordinary" crime. Thus, in America, at the time these words were written a murder was being committed every 23 minutes, a rape every 23 minutes, and a burglary every 27 seconds, while similar statistics were applicable to such other crimes as kidnaping, rioting, shop-lifting, "mugging", and "mad-dog" terrorism. In still another aspect, this nation's checkered conduct problem continued to include an anti-morality revolt by a numerous minority of teenagers characterized by permissiveness in sex, and increasing prevalence of venereal disease, and addiction to mind-damaging drugs. Footnote 1
Let it be noted, however, that every form of evil conduct -- including the category of ordinary crime -- is actually a violation of Individualism's moral principle of individualistic property ownership; hence, it needs to be clearly recognized that "crime" is simply an arbitrary classification of certain kinds of evil and that this kind is no different from others in not being a reflection of conformity to the precepts of Individualism but rather is characterized by violations of them.
The third of the World's gravest problems at the eve of the 21st century had become commonly known as humanity's "population explosion." This numbers-of-people problem not only was continuing to be an increasingly major cause of the relative poverty of many backward nations but also was doing hurtful injustices of millions of large and small families even in the affluent nations in ways which eminent economists, philosophers, and clergy had either failed to notice or had considered to be too religiously contentious for them to choose to mention.
Moreover, contrary to popular notion, the ultimately disastrous consequences of failure to compel a termination of the population explosion do not relate solely to the World's capacity for food production. Instead, if the increasing of the numbers of people were to be allowed to continue not even far into the future it would not only revert humanity to national and even man-to-man wars for sheer survival but also would jeopardize even the life-supportive temperatures of Earth's climate and the capacity of our planet even to provide a sufficiency of oxygen for human lungs.
We do not and shall not imply that the portions of Christian clergy who have been practitioners of Clericalism are or have been the only mis-leaders who have helped to cause, to worsen, and to perpetuate the modern World's three greatest problems. Instead, we emphatically assert that many non-clergy, by their acts or teachings, have done far more overt damage to Mankind's quest for peace and happiness than can be correctly charged against the modern Clericalists. However, we shall have only a minimum to say about the acts of the non-clerical mis-leaders. This will be because it is only the misdoings of the "activist" fringe of the priesthood which are at the center of the purview of our study.
Nevertheless, we shall go into considerable detail to identify the moral truths which relate to humanity's chief trio of problems. This will be necessary because the correct applications of morality at the complex levels of modern life cannot be clearly identified and understood except by tracing these applications upward from morality's bedrock levels.
Also, it will be necessary for our study to be utterly candid in exposing the methods, motives, and results of Clericalism, no matter how prestigious some of its participants may be. Thus, bearing in mind the Clericalists' claims or postures of being "God-guided" and their partly related inclination to be smugly aloof to merely casual reproof, we can know that if our analysis dealt with them timidly they would simply ignore it as being too evanescent to worry about. Similarly, we can know that if we followed a middle-course that substantially pricked their complacency but left our gates open for them to launch a counter-attack they would respond with polemics, ridicule, and sophistries designed to make such a half-way indictment of Clericalism seem ill-founded.
Hence, only by making our exposure of Clericalism utterly candid can we hope for either or both of two desirable results. The first of these would be a voluntary abandonment of Clericalism by many or all of its present participants. The second would be an imposition of restrictions both by secular society and the Church itself to clip the wings of would-be priestly activists who attempted to invade the bailiwick of secular society at the complex levels of modern economic-social-political affairs.
As an initial step toward examining on a one-by-one basis the modern World's most critical problems and their relationship to Clericalism, let us note that all three of these are matters of morality -- and that all morality consists of respect for the right of individualistic property ownership.
Of course, many people tend to think of morality primarily in bodily terms relating to sex. In turn, they normally think of property ownership as involving only non-bodily items such as automobiles, money, or real estate. In fact, however, all forms of immorality consist of violations of the basic right of individualistic property ownership regardless of whether the property stolen is of a bodily or non-bodily kind.
Thus, whether an act steals money from a man who owns it or steals a body's life-value from a man who owns it, what is actually involved is a violation of morality by a process of violating the owner's right of ownership. We can perceive, accordingly, that even immorality in matters of sex consist likewise of a violation of ownership; for example, the immorality of rape consists of a theft of bodily value from its owner by the use of physical force. Indeed, even sex-by-seduction is also a theft because seduction is simply a different kind of physical force.
In addition, we shall do well to note that in all immorality there may be secondary as well as primary victims. Thus, if a woman's husband is murdered, he is robbed to the living-value of his body but she is robbed of that same value also. Indeed, the violation of an individualistic right of property ownership is immoral even if the victim is unaware that any robbery has actually occurred. For example, a person may be robbed of good health without realizing that he was the victim of malicious poisoning.
It is equally clear, however, that respect for the right of individualistic ownership as the keystone of morality applies to non-bodily as well as to bodily property. For example, to steal a man's money or his automobile is a violation of that keystone just as surely as to steal a fractional or total value from his ownership of his body. Moreover, to steal a man's motor truck is a similar violation of morality regardless of the fact that such a vehicle, unlike a passenger car, is an item of "production capital."
Moreover, the immorality of stealing is involved even if the actual robbers acquire no loot. For example, to burn or dynamite another man's building leaves nothing for the perpetrators of such a crime to retain for themselves. Nevertheless, such an act immorally deprives the owner of a value he had rightfully owned. On the other hand, a man is guilty of robbery if he knowingly shares in the loot, even though he may not have participated in the active part of the deed.
Finally, robbery is robbery even when the victim, to escape some alternative injury threatened, goes through the motions of giving "consent." For example, a man who faces a robber's pistol may appear to be willing to surrender his wallet. Yet, such a victim is actually twice robbed; first, he is robbed of a fraction of his body's value by the psychological impact of fear; second, he is robbed of the wallet itself. Moreover, robbery is robbery even if a robber makes token payment for the loot. Thus, if a robber were to demand the surrender of a 50-cent quantity of eggs at a price of 10 cents as the alternative to throwing a brick through an egg-store's window, a robbery is actually committed even though the store-keeper may "agree" to hand-over the eggs in exchange for 10 cents.
Accordingly, as further analysis herein will make it increasingly clear, we are going to need to perceive that the keystone of all morality -- respect for the right of individualistic property ownership -- is the crux not only of the World's problem of "ordinary crime" -- but also of the confrontation between the ideologies of Individualism and Collectivism and of the population explosion, too.
As a further preliminary step relating to the modern World's three greatest problems, let us now note that modern Clericalism began to take its present form hardly more than two centuries ago -- although even then it was already the heir of previous priestly inclinations to posture or claim infallibility or the equivalent thereof in all matters of "faith and (economic-social-political) morals" while also manifesting a companion fallacy that the clergy possesses divine authority to impose a direct or indirect clerical dominance over secular affairs.
We observe, therefore, that modern Clericalism differs from its medieval predecessor chiefly in two respects. First, it has come to include Protestant as well as Roman clergy. Second, it has become content -- temporarily, at least -- to seek only an indirect domination over secular society's rules for economic-social-political conduct. Let us be sure, however, that the theory has remained as firmly fixed as ever among some of the Clericalists that it would be "desirable" for at least a portion of the Christian clergy to exert a direct and total rule over Mankind and that certain modern strategies should be pursued in that all-out direction.
The first major case of modern Clericalism began as a theological counter-attack when Charles Darwin, in l859, published "The Origin of Species," the first organized summary of the truths of Evolution. In this case, it appears that the most strident voices against those truths came from Protestant clergy who denounced Darwin's principles as iniquitous and wholly untrue. As time went on, of course, most clergy of all denominations came to accept Evolution as "simply the process which God used to create the human species." On the other hand, there have remained today many clergy still refusing to admit that Evolution on Earth was not dependent upon any intervention by a previously existing God. Moreover, still fewer -- if any -- have ever perceived that the principles cited by Darwin will serve even as one of the principal keys to account for and prove the existence of God himself, as explained in one of our study's earlier chapters.
More precisely significant to the present point of our study, however, is the fact that rampant Clericalism -- led chiefly by Protestants in this case -- not only dared to assume or posture infallibility even in this matter of biology but also applied the tactic of seeking to impose their anti-Evolution views on secular society by means of political action. Thus, the laity followers of these Clericalists were persuaded to adopt secular laws forbidding Darwin's truths to be taught in schools either as theory or as irrefutable fact. Of course, such laws by midpoint of the 20th century had been repealed or had come to be more honored in the breach than in the compliance. Nevertheless, the case of Clericalism-versus-Evolution shows how some Protestant members of the clergy have been just as capable of posturing infallibility as have their opposite numbers of the Church of Rome. It also shows how modern Clericalism has found it unnecessary to supplant secular government in order to impose a clerical dominance upon secular society simply by doing a job of brain-washing on secular minds.
As for the Roman brand of modern Clericalism, its most basic fallacy was shown unchanged from medieval times when as recently as 1870 the World Council of Bishops, affiliated with the papacy, reaffirmed the doctrine of papal infallibility by a vote that was 547 affirmative and only 2 negative. Curiously, however, in that balloting there were apparently 215 abstentions.
The final three decades of the 19th century and the first three of the 20th were a period in which the percentage of Roman Catholics in America was swelled enormously both by immigration and by the Roman priesthood's exhortations to their followers to beget large families. One result of this was that it imposed heavier economic burdens on typical Catholic families than were experienced by typical Protestant families. This self-caused circumstance, in turn, caused typical Catholic citizens to blame "the (secular) system" -- rather than themselves -- for their economic difficulties and led them generally to vote for political nostrums as antidotes for their economic troubles.
Protestant Clericalism in America reached a new zenith in l9l9 when a constitutional amendment forbidding the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, except for medicinal use, became the law of the land. This was an instance in which the principal clergy even of a single minority denomination were politically activist enough to induce a secular majority to put a law of dubious popularity on the nation's books, even though this legislation was repealed 14 years later.
Yet, the machinations of modern Clericalism from 1859 to about 1930 were hardly more than trial balloons as compared with the deleterious impacts of numerous Protestant and Roman Clericalists in connection with the World's greatest problems in subsequent years, as later analysis in our study will show.
THE INDIVIDUALISM-COLLECTIVISM CONFRONTATION at the approach of the 21st century will be perceived by thoughtful analysis not only to be, of itself, the foremost of the modern World's three most deadly problems but also to be a chief spawning ground for fallacies at the heart of both of the other two of humanity's most critical companion troubles. In addition, it will be made clear herein that much of Mankind's confusion and error in all matters of economic-social-political morality has been due in part to the considerable impacts of Clericalism, especially in this "Capitalism-versus-Communism" category.
Many people have been aware of the "cold war" costs of the Individualism-versus-Collectivism antagonism in terms of recent bloodshed at its geographic perimeters and in terms of the financial costs of attempting to achieve a military stalemate as an alternative to nuclear cataclysm. Perhaps almost as many have been aware of the devastation that would occur if such a stalemate were violated as a result of miscalculation, accident, or act of insanity. It is probable, however, that fewer than one percent of Mankind have had any clear knowledge of the moral issues which have been at stake in the confrontation between the respective opposites of economic-social-political ideologies.
In America, for example, vast numbers of people have erroneously supposed that either of the opposites would be morally correct provided it was chosen or unopposed by a majority of citizens. Moreover, even among Americans who hold or suspect that a complete system of Collectivism would be morally wrong there has been a widespread unawareness that substantial portions of that ideology have already become mixed with somewhat larger portions of Individualism in this nation to make it actually an economic-social-political hybrid. Likewise, the so-called Communism of Russia, having had some bits and pieces of Individualism injected among its principal portions of Collectivism -- near the opposite end of the ideological spectrum -- is another economic-social-political mongrel. Hence, we shall need to analyze Individualism apart from the American mixture called Capitalism and we shall similarly need to distinguish between Collectivism and the Russian mixture called Communism.
This does not mean that our study will recommend that the clergy in America, Russia, or any other nation should become propagandists on either side of this ideological controversy. To the contrary, we shall continue to insist that the Christian priesthood, to be in accord with the functions assigned it by Jesus, should teach the basics of morality (plus theology, of course) but leave it to secular society to do the translating of morality's fundamentals into the more complex terms requisite for the economic-social-political conduct of modern Mankind.
It does not follow, however, that a clergy which kept itself within those limits would not exert a desirable and powerful indirect impact upon secular society's efforts to make a wise choice between Individualism and Collectivism. In the first place, the clergy's teaching of theological truth would not fail to increase an awakening of secular desires to learn and be obedient to the moral rules for earthly conduct. In the second place, a hammering from the pulpits to stress the basic significance of the Ten Commandments and Jesus' teaching to "love thy neighbor" would not fail to help Mankind to think in a correct direction toward the moral complexities of modern life. In the third place, it would remain highly proper and potent for the clergy to discuss the significant facts of the experience of the Hebrews in Egypt and such other typical matters as the conduct not only of the Good Samaritan but also that of the robbery victim whom he aided. In the fourth place, a clergy which kept itself within the limits of its divinely-authorized functions and thereby avoided blundering into a frequency of economic-social-political errors would find secular society far more receptive than ever in the past to all proper portions of the Church's teachings.
Thus, there are two chief reasons for our study now to make an analysis -- limited in scope yet adequate for these immediate purposes -- of the respective ideologies of Collectivism and Individualism. First, even this truncated explanation of them will enable secular society to recognize which one of these opposite systems is truly a structure of moral principles. Second, it would not suffice even the ecclesiastical objectives of our study if we merely showed that some members of the clergy were still violating God's intent by engaging in Clericalism, thus leaving unrefuted any possible contentions that they had nevertheless led humanity in a "constructive" direction. Instead, we must additionally show that the Clericalists have actually misled much of secular society into erroneous concepts even of what economic-social-political morality actually is.
In Collectivism, we find the basic pattern of economic-social-political conduct conforms to an ideological theory that all human society is like a single multi-cell organism in which each person is merely one of many subservient cells, not entitled to have an independent life of its own. In turn, the same dialectics hold that the "brain" of this colossal creature is comprised of a small minority of its person-cells who constitute a government to direct and dominate all producer-consumer functioning of each of the millions or billions of the totality of cells.
Implementing that organism concept, the structure of Collectivism provides for a ruthless enforcement by its government of a related ideological theory holding that none of the cells can ever possess a moral right to be an individualistic property owner. Instead, it is held that all wealth in every form is rightfully owned only on a collective basis by the total body, known as "the State," with the government functioning as the sole custodian-and-manager of all property "on behalf of the people as a whole."
A Collectivist State likes to pretend that it rides both sides of the ownership fence by contending that it claims exclusive ownership only of productive forms of wealth such as land and machinery, that it respects individualistic ownership of consumer forms of wealth such as food and shelter the same as does a system of Individualism. However, we shall see that this pretension is simply a dialectical smoke-screen to flimflam a Collectivism's rank-and-file people and to confuse the people of non-Collectivist nations. Let us examine, therefore, the process by which a Collectivist government, while maintaining its own people as a self-perpetuating ruling entity, achieves a slave-holder's property status in its relationship to non-governmental people not just in the matter of productive wealth but also at the consumer goods level, and thereby imposes a disguised condition of slavery upon the rank-and-file people themselves.
Thus, by seizing all forms of productive wealth (i.e., "capital"), such a government becomes the monopolistic operator of all productive facilities and functions. This means, accordingly, that the only way a non-government person can obtain the consumer goods essential for his family is by becoming an employee of the governmental monopoly. In more specific detail, it means that each rank-and-file subject must obediently perform whatever productive labors the State's bureaucracy may assign him, at whatever wages it may unilaterally choose to pay, and in whatever location that the government's minions may decide. It means also that he must pay whatever prices the government may put upon whatever consumer goods it may choose to offer for sale after it has previously decided what kinds and quantities of such goods should be produced.
Moreover, an employee of such a governmental monopoly cannot seek to improve his consumer status by shopping in competitive stores which, by virtue of greater efficiency, could offer better quality at lower prices, because a Collectivist government does not permit any competitive stores to exist. They are prevented from existing by the fact that no way is left open for any potential competitive merchant to possess and invest the productive capital that would be requisite for such an enterprise. As for the prices in the government-monopoly stores, neither the customer nor the government itself can know whether these reflect efficiency or inefficiency in production costs because there are no competitive producers to provide comparisons for the measuring of labor-and-management efficiency.
Thus also, a rank-and-file subject of Collectivism cannot seek to improve his family's consumer status by obtaining higher wages from some more efficient competitive employer because government -- enforcing its rule that productive capital can be owned and managed only by the State -- thereby prevents any competitors from existing.
For the same reason, no subject of Collectivism can even become self-employed unless it might be on a minister basis. Thus, government might be too busy with larger matters to bother a man who achieved self-employment using production capital no greater than a needle and a spool of thread. Similarly, he might escape prosecution if he earned a living by doing small fix-it jobs with a hammer and saw. Nevertheless, according to the "fine-print" principles of Collectivism, even a needle and thread or a hammer and saw, so used, would be classified as production capital to be owned by the State only.
Now let us confront the claim of Collectivists that such a monopolistic arrangement gives the whole population a better standard of living than the same people would obtain if they functioned in a system of Individualism, a claim based on a supposition that Collectivism is "more efficient." Let us proceed, therefore, to recognize the facts which even in this aspect of our analysis are quite contrary to that Collectivist contention.
In the first place, the possession of all productive wealth by a Collectivist State automatically puts supreme authority and power in the hands of a self-perpetuating governmental "aristocracy" whose members obtain and maintain their membership by means of political trickery and brute force (even by murder, whenever this may seem to serve their objectives), in utter disregard of their relative lack of any managerial or technical skills. As a result, the entire population of such a State is exposed to the inevitability that an unhappily large percentage of the government's decisions, effecting the producer-consumer status of the rank-and-file people, will be hopelessly and painfully unsound.
In the second place, such ultimate authority in a Collectivist State must be at too great a distance from the points at which there is need for a close-up knowledge concerning whatever routine problems continuously arise. Thus, any move to allow spot-decisions by low-ranking local managers is too frequently offset not only by the ineptness of these political appointees themselves but also by their fear of being subjected to "second-guessing" by the higher levels. Moreover, this factor of too-distant controls applies not only to matters of equipment, methods, and timing, but also to the evaluating of the rank-and-file employees.
In the third place, inefficiency in the total productivity of a Collectivist State is caused by the non-use of the initiative and full skills of non-government people not only by excluding them from engaging in individualistic enterprises but also by excluding them from managerial roles in the State's own production and distribution functioning.
It follows, therefore, that -- even if we disregard the limitless number of cases in which the subjects of Collectivism are individually held down to a producer-consumer status lower than their actual potentials by denying them the right either to hire out to competitive and more efficient employers or to possess and use the capital requisite for them to become self-employed or employers themselves -- the average standard of living of all of the rank-and-file people will still reflect whatever degree of inefficiency that exists in the system as a whole. In other words, Boris (or Fred) will typically suffer as much as a 20 percent injury from inefficient use of the labors of his fellow-men, plus whatever paralleling injury that will directly apply to himself through his being denied personal freedom to choose for himself how best to use his personal skills and initiative in combination with self-owned capital for improving his own producer-consumer level -- including the additional prospect of himself becoming an employer of numerous fellow-men, thereby creating opportunities for them to better themselves also.
Let us perceive, accordingly, that the typical non-government person in a Collectivism is a victim of a stealing process to whatever extent his actual standard of living is less than it would have been if he had not been subjected to the fallacious theory that only the State can be a rightful property owner. Moreover, he continues to be a victim even if improvements in technology cause modest gains in total productivity so that "this year's" results under the handicaps of the stealing process are better than "last years" results under the same handicap.
Of course, persons with high potentials are robbed worse than those with low potentials. Moreover, this is true despite the fact that, although "pure" Collectivism likes to profess the Marxian concept of "from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs," the hybrid called Communism long ago discovered that the abilities-needs formula is hopelessly unsound. As long as people believed they could receive whatever they "needed" as consumers regardless of how little they might develop and apply their abilities as producers, too many of them found it pleasantly and preferably easy either to subsist at minimum need levels but with virtually zero levels of production or to self-inflate their consumer needs in excess of any on-the-job advancements of productive output.
Hence, hybridized Collectivism -- while retaining the principle of State ownership of all wealth and a State monopoly of all production and distribution facilities -- found it necessary to install a hybrid version of Individualism's principle of wage differentials. Ostensibly, this step was intended to correlate the consumer standard of living for each family to the worth of its own level as a producer of wealth. Let us note, however, that although this was a step in the direction of morality, it could not by itself either terminate or provide reimbursement for the robberies inflicted by other aspects of Collectivism.
Moreover, Collectivism's version of wage differentials cannot yield justice even in its own phase of producer-consumer relationships. Thus, because the Collectivist producer continues to be unable to ascertain by free competitive processes the real worth of his labors, his actual wages can be measured only by bureaucratic guesses which -- even if those who do the guessing were invariably to have a desire for accuracy -- cannot have the automatic and impartial correctness which is requisite for justice. For example, if competitive measurements could show that the justice wage differentials in two different trades should be 10 kopeks today for Fred and 8 for Boris, the measuring of their differentials by merely bureaucratic guessing would have a 50-50 chance of granting 10 kopeks for Boris and only 8 for Fred. Hence, the mechanisms of Collectivism would be robbing Fred of 20 percent of the wages he actually deserved while Boris would be receiving an unearned 25 percent bonus.
Moreover, Collectivism does not confine its processes of stealing to non-bodily wealth alone. Instead, it does not hesitate to steal even the lives of rank-and-file people whenever in the opinion of its rulers it may seem that single or wholesale murders may help perpetuate Collectivism itself. Thus, because the State has a monopolistic control of all sources for wages it can accomplish political murders simply by shutting-off "un-persons" from employment. Similarly, because it has a monopolistic control of all distribution facilities it can accomplish political murders simply by withholding the necessities of life from its stores in any chosen area. (Indeed, on one notorious occasion a certain modern Collectivist State applied the latter process to more than three million of its rank-and-file people!) On other occasions, however, a Collectivist ruler or group of rulers are also quite capable of murder by bullets or poison or by any other process that happens to be handy. Thus, the dialectics of Collectivism assume that Individual Man does not have a real property ownership to apply even to his body; in other words, even the bodies of the rank-and-file are assumed to be solely owned by the State.
Let us perceive, therefore, that even the hybrid versions of Collectivism have built-in structural mechanisms which commit processes of stealing against and among its rank-and-file people in a continuous and automatic variety of ways. Hence, let us further perceive that because any kind of stealing is the opposite of morality it follows that Collectivism, in each of its mechanisms, is inherently and undeniably an immoral system.
What becomes of the slogan -- beloved by dupes of Collectivism -- that such a system gives "Power to the People?" In particular, why do the rank-and-file remain passive in their experiencing of the processes of Collectivist injustice? In fact, there are four chief answers to these and similar questions.
In the first place, a correction of the built-in injustices of Collectivism would require a total abandonment of Collectivism itself. Yet, so effective is the dialectical brain-washing which a Communist government applies to its rank-and-file people from the cradle to the grave that, almost without exception, they are made blind to the injustices that they actually sustain. Indeed, a constant flow of cunning propaganda devised by the State's dialecticians keeps most of the people persuaded that they live actually amid ideal and glorious conditions. Moreover, no one is given opportunity to show the people otherwise. Such a would-be teacher would simply be hustled off to prison or to an insane asylum. As an alternative, he might be secretly tortured until he publicly confessed his "error." Moreover, so thoroughly are the masses of the people indoctrinated by Collectivism's dialectics and propaganda that they can be relied upon even to approve such acts of government and even to fight, if necessary, to preserve their system from any would-be rescuers from it. Hence, the ballot-box ("democracy") in Collectivism is only a sham. The "power of the people" is simply detoured into a groove in which they are initially made mentally incapable of opposing or correcting the system that they already have.
In the second place and for many of the same reasons an abandonment of Collectivism by an armed uprising of the rank-and-file people is easily kept from even being attempted. Thus, the rulers of such a State can always rely on a Secret Police -- who are themselves beneficiaries of membership in the ruling class -- to ferret out any potential organizers of revolutionary action. Likewise, the political supervisors planted in all military units can be relied upon to keep all weapons of war subject to the government's commands. Hence, the only chance for an internal revolution even to begin would be in case that the State had suffered a crushing defeat in an international war or in case of a completely critical economic breakdown. Accordingly, if we make the somewhat dubious assumption that the rulers of a Collectivism will ever be too smart to take any risk of defeat in an international military conflict there remains only a merely theoretical chance of an economic collapse as a possibility of triggering a revolutionary rejection of a Collectivist system. For this it would first be necessary for almost the totality of the people to be reverted to the verge of starvation, a most unlikely possibility in view of the fact that even a slave population can normally be caused to produce more goods than are vital for it to consume.
In the third place, the power-of-the-people in Collectivism does not include more than a small and highly risky chance even to make one-by-one or small-group escapes into other nations where anti-Collectivist truths of justice, of morality, are primarily dominant. Just as the ancient Pharaohs had armed guards and fearsome chariots to keep their slaves in slavery, so it is highly significant that a modern Collectivist State has iron curtains, mine-fields, and guards with machine-guns to keep its rank-and-file people from escaping from the "Utopia" which it professes to be. Footnote 2
In Individualism, as our study now needs to clarify for the benefit of secular society and especially for the Clericalist sectors of the Christian clergy, we find the antithesis of the immorality of Collectivism.
Thus, "Individualism" is simply the one-word name for the total system of specific rules which Mankind must obey in order to create and enjoy a condition of morality (or call it "justice") in all of the forms of economic-social-political conduct.
Of course, no nation has yet devised for itself a completeness of Individualism. This has been due in part to the fact that Mankind is still engaged in a still-unfinished process of discovering-learning what the total rules of morality must actually be. As a result, all modern nations have continued to have economic-social-political conditions which are mixtures of morality and immorality.
For example, Communism as in Russia is actually a mixture of perhaps 90 percent of the immorality of Collectivism and 10 percent of the morality of Individualism. Similarly, the conduct of the American people reflects a mixture of about 80 percent of Individualism and 20 percent of Collectivism. In other words, this nation is simply a "20 percent violator" of the morality of total Individualism.
In part, if America (like all other nations) is not only to keep itself from still deeper acceptances of the moral fallacies of Collectivism but also is to complete its escape from the immoralities of its hybrid condition it will be necessary for its people and especially its clergy to acquire a clearer and more complete understanding of how it is that total morality is embodied only in a totality of Individualism.
Accordingly, our study now proceeds further toward that goal by noting Individualism's initial recognition of the fact that the entire structure of morality begins with the fact that no two persons are identical or ever can be made identical in the ultimate totality of their respective characteristics.
In the first place, with the exception of "identical twins" (whose total likeness can exist only at the moment of birth), each person inherits a combination of genes and chromosomes different from all others. Hence, even this primary factor of heredity is manifest in different gradations of inherited mental and physical capacities comprising as many different mixtures of potentials and limitations as there are numbers of people themselves.
In turn, originally as a product of differences in inherited capacities, each person becomes unique in his combination of consumer-producer desires. For example, a child who inherits greater physical than mental potentials will tend of his own desires to translate his capacities into physical rather than mental skills. Moreover, the direction and extent to which a child or adult will desire to translate capacities into abilities will be modified by still other desires, in particular by a competitive desire instead for the alternative pleasure of avoiding the amount of developmental labor that would be requisite for a maximum fulfillment of ability desires.
Likewise, each person's choices concerning the manner and extent to which he will make ultimate use of his abilities to be a producer of goods or services values -- preparatory to being a consumer of goods or services values -- will be a manifestation of his own unique combination of consumer-producer desires. For example, he may have an almost limitless list of nascent desires for consumer pleasures, yet of his own choice he will abandon many of these because he will find it more desirable to escape the labors which otherwise could make a fulfillment of the primary desires available.
Accordingly, we see that each person's genetic form of heredity, even if this were the only factor involved, would make all men different (i.e., "unequal") in their consumer-producer desires and in the materialistic attainments which relate thereto.
But what about the factor of environment as an added element in the myriad different and unequal combinations of consumer-producer desires and in the related material attainments? We note that psychologists, sociologists, and political demagogs have traditionally spoken of heredity and environment as though only a person's genetic characteristics were derived from his own ancestors. The fact is, however, that environment itself is primarily hereditary!
In other words, the most potent elements of each person's unique environment are normally inherited just as surely as his unique combination of genes and chromosomes is also inherited. Particularly in childhood, each person's environment is simply and primarily a hand-me-down product from his own unique lineage of ancestors. Thus, it reflects that lineage's previous acceptances or rejections of consumer-producer desires which likewise were the products of earlier inherited combinations of genetic and environmental factors. Moreover, it is also the same inherited combination of genetic and environmental elements which continues to influence each person's innate consumer-producer desires and attainments even when he becomes an adult.
In turn, Individualism recognizes that even the nature of Earth itself compels each person to be different from all others in varying degrees as reflected also in consumer-producer desires. For example, there can be no way to equalize the environment and the related desires of people in the polar regions with those of other people in the tropics. Neither is there any way that Mankind can transform all mountains into valleys or exchange ocean shores for inland places. Hence, Individualism recognizes that morality requires the Polynesian to be free to pursue consumer-producer desires which may include merely a bamboo shack for his residence while an American, for example, must be equally free to engage in moral pursuits of consumer-producer desires which may include a brick house with central heat and air-conditioning. Likewise, however, each American must also be equally free to pursue a different and also unequal combination of consumer-producer desires which for him may actually yield in their material aspects merely a two-room cabin with neither central heat or air-conditioning.
Further in perceiving that all persons must be free to be unequal in consumer-producer responses to unique genetic and environmental inheritances, let us also note that one of the most potent, and unique, elements of environment will ever consist of people themselves. Thus, the greatest single portion of people-environment in a person's formative childhood will normally consist of his own parents who will be different in many ways from all other parents. Hence, even the fact that children do not desire to swap their parents for other persons and that parents desire and have a right to refuse to swap their children for other children can mean no less than that no two families can ever be equalized in their environments even at this most fundamental level.
Thus, let it once and forever become clear both to secular society and to all members of the Christian clergy that morality requires obedience to the realities of both the genetic and environmental elements of heredity and that this accordingly requires all persons to be different -- unequal -- in their consumer-producer attainments reflecting their unique heredity-and-environment impacts on their respective consumer-producer desires. In other words, as only the economic-social-political system of Individualism provides, morality requires all persons to be equal in the right to be unequal -- to be different in their respective combinations of consumer-producer desires and to be different in the material consequences of their differing consumer-producer decisions.
It can also be easily perceived, likewise, that the most basic operational tenet of morality consists of a requirement for respect for the principle of individualistic property ownership -- the rule of conduct which is fully provided for only in a perfected economic-social-political system of Individualism but which is disrespected and declared to be non-existent in a system of Collectivism.+
Thus, it is evident that our study will also need to clarify for the sake of secular society and in particular for the members of the Christian clergy the manner in which the right of such ownership comes into existence and what its numerous corollaries require.
Let us proceed, therefore, by initially recoining that whenever any person uses his mental or physical labor to create a value -- whether of a tangible or intangible kind -- he thereby spontaneously and rightfully becomes the sole original owner of whatever it may be that he has thus created. Basically, this means he has the original right to be the sole possessor-or-consumer of whatever it may be that he has so created, regardless of how great or small the value may be and regardless of how long he may choose to defer consumption and retain possession.
It also means, however, that he has a right to choose voluntarily to transfer his ownership to others, in which case their ownership right becomes the same as when it was in the hands of the original owner. Likewise, the right of individualistic property ownership means, however, that either the original owner or any subsequent owner has also a corollary right to refuse to make a transfer of such ownership unless he is provided, in exchange, with the ownership of substitute values having a worth which he -- by his acceptance thereof -- acknowledges to be sufficient.
In turn, an owner's right to refuse to transfer a value ownership means further that he also normally has a right to defend his ownership against any person or persons who, by the use of any form of force, might seek to accomplish a violation of the true ownership.
Thus, there are just three circumstances by which an owner of values may be deprived of his ownership by applications of force without involving a violation of the morality-of-ownership principle. The first of these exceptions occurs if an owner is assessed by due process of law with a morally reasonable penalty for having been proven guilty of having himself committed a violation of some provision of morality prescribed by law. The second is a circumstance in which property ownership may be transferred by due process of law for the settlement of a debt; in other words, to complete a previous sales transaction in which someone has already transferred ownership values to another without having received the substitute values that were promised in exchange. The third exception is in the case of eminent domain wherein a government may seize a property from its owner to serve a correctly-defined moral purpose, but reimbursing the deprived owner by paying him with tax money a price determined by a jury of his peers to be just and equable.
Now to see how the morality of Individualism's ownership principles -- apart from those foregoing exceptions -- can be illustrated by simplified examples of their applications let us begin with the hypothetical case of a primitive "Ben Bricker" who creates values by his labor of forming wet clay into the shape of bricks. In such case, because the finished bricks have a use-value not possessed by mere raw clay, we see that Bricker brings into existence a previously non-existent value of which he thereby becomes the original owner. Moreover, let us particularly note that the use-value thus owned by Bricker was not stolen from other men; neither can they claim rightfully any "co-ownership" of it because it didn't even exist until Bricker alone translated a nothingness into a something-ness.
Similarly, let us note that a primitive "Fred Fisher" may create and thereby become the sole original owner of previously non-existent values by performing the labor of catching fish which had no use-value until someone performed the labor by which they were caught.
Hence, just as Bricker could choose to make an immediate consumer-use of the brick values or could postpone a decision concerning them, regardless of how many bricks he might accumulate or how long he might keep them, so could Fisher choose to eat the fish-values as fast as he caught them but also could choose to put some of them in a storage basin whereby he would continue to own the stored fish-values, likewise regardless of how many he accumulated or how long he kept them.
However, Bricker's ownership right pertaining to the brick-values would also allow him to choose to transfer that ownership to some other person -- in which case, the new owner's right would be the same as Bricker's original right had been. Similarly, Fisher's ownership right pertaining to the fish-values would allow him to choose to transfer that ownership to some other persons likewise. Hence, it might be that Bricker and Fisher would mutually agree to exchange the ownership of perhaps 10 brick-values for the ownership of perhaps 10 fish-values. Yet, for example, if Bricker deemed 10 brick-values to be more desirable for himself than 10 fish-values, his right of ownership would include the moral privilege to refuse to transfer any brick-values to Fisher unless both men arrived at some other rate of exchange which was acceptable to both. Similarly, Fisher would have a right to refuse to transfer any fish-values to Bricker unless the terms were acceptable to the fish-owner as well as to the brick-owner. Thus, it might be that an actual exchange of ownerships on terms mutually accepted would be 10 fish for 9 bricks or perhaps 10 bricks for 9 fish.
Let us stress the related point of morality, however, that if Fisher refused to meet Bricker's terms or if Bricker refused to meet Fisher's terms it would be within Fisher's right to seek out some other brick-maker who might consent to Fisher's terms and it would be within Bricker's right to seek out some other fisherman who might consent to Bricker's terms.
Next, let us observe that just as Fisher might acquire the ownership of the brick-values, so might he then rightfully sell these to still another person -- perhaps "Tom Talent" -- in exchange for money-values; in such case, Fisher's ownership of the money-values would be the same as Talent's previous ownership of them had been.
Also, let us note that although in the earlier exchanging of fish-values for brick-values Fisher might have said he was "selling fish" and "buying bricks" while Bricker might have said he was "selling bricks" and "buying fish," the fact is that there is no difference between a buyer and a seller. Hence, in the transaction between Fisher and Talent it would be equally correct to say that Fisher was "buying money" from Talent and that Talent was "selling money" to Fisher.
In turn, just as Fisher would have a moral right to refuse to sell bricks or fish for what he deemed to be insufficient money, it is also true that Talent would have a moral right to refuse to sell his money for what he deemed to be insufficient bricks or fish. Likewise, just as Fisher could have no right to point a spear at Bricker to compel him to surrender bricks and just as Bricker would have a right to fight Fisher if Fisher attempted such a move, so it is equally true that neither of them could have any right to threaten or do injury to Talent to compel him to surrender money on terms that he was unwilling to accept; moreover, Talent would have the same right to fight in defense of his money-ownership as Bricker and Fisher could rightfully fight in defense of their ownerships of bricks or fish.
Next, let us deal with the misleading practice of classifying all production costs in separate categories of "materials" and "labor" (as though labor costs were not involved in the costs described as materials.) Thus, in the hypothetical case of "Bakers' Bakery" -- wherein "Bob Baker" performs the baking labor while his brother, "Boris," furnishes the ovens, the wrapping machines, and other capital investment of the enterprise, it is obvious that these brothers become the original co-owners of the values which their collaboration creates by transforming flour into bread. In turn, if "Casper Consumer" wants to become the owner-consumer of a bread-value created by Bob and Boris he will need to purchase the ownership of that value from the two original owners of it. Let us additionally note, however, that in the sale of that loaf of bread Bob and Boris must also be reimbursed for transferring to Casper a number of connected values (which the baker-bookkeeper listed as "materials") of which Bob and Boris had to become the temporary owners even before they created a final value by the baking process.
Thus, before the bread could reach the consumer's table, it first was necessary for "George Grower" to plant wheat seeds and harvest the grain that would become the "materials" to be used in baking the bread. In turn, it was necessary for the grain to be transported to a flour mill. Accordingly, it was morally necessary for "Melvin Miller" to purchase the value created by the farmer's labor and the value created by the labor of transporting the grain from the farm to the mill. Hence, after Miller created a third value by grinding the grain, he was the rightful owner of three cumulative values, not just of the milling value alone. Likewise, before the Baker Brothers could get possession of the flour-material it was morally necessary for them to purchase the three values which just previously had been owned by Miller, plus a fourth value created by someone who transported the flour from the mill to the bakery. Hence, when Casper Consumer gets a loaf of bread from the Bakers Bakery, he is morally obligated not only to purchase the ownership of the final value put into the bread by the baking process but also to purchase the ownership of the four previous values which the Baker Brothers similarly had to purchase before the final value could be created by themselves. Thus, by such analysis we see how the rightful ownership of a single property value is commonly combined in the rightful ownership of a long succession of cumulative values.
(Merely to avoid unnecessary complexities of explanation, our study cites examples chiefly of values that are created and owned as attachments to raw materials. However, it is equally true that intangible values can likewise be created and individually owned. For instance, a teacher creates a value by implanting knowledge in a student's head and sells that value in exchange for money-wages. Also, we now note without enlarging upon it that all groups of successive cumulative values begin with the creating of some useful form of knowledge. For example, a pool of oil beneath the Earth's surface would have no useful value of its own if its existence were forever undetected. However, for the purposes of our present study it will be unnecessary to explore the full significance of the values-by-discovery principle. Here it will suffice to show how values are created and become successively owned in subsequent stages of value-creating processes.)
Let us next consider, therefore, another facet of the morality of Individualism: How the living standards of Man as a consumer-producer are improved when the production of values is aided by the use of capital as in the form of productive tools.
Accordingly, let us consider further the case of the primitive Fred Fisher who -- with neither a net, a trap, nor even a fish-hook -- might catch 10 fish a day with his bare hands, a quantity just sufficient to keep his family at a bare subsistence level. However, let us suppose that by a 30 percent lengthening of his daily labor (without increasing the quantity of goods his family consumers) he accumulates a surplus of three fish a day for 200 days, thereby to allow his family to continue to consume 10 fish a day for 60 days in which, instead of fishing, he uses that time for the constructing of a fish trap of timer, stone, and netting. Hence, because that previously non existent trap-value was brought into existence solely by Fisher's own labors, he thereby becomes the rightful individualistic owner not only of the trap value itself but also of whatever increased total daily catch of fish may be the result of his tool aided labor. Accordingly, if by his use of his self owned trap capital his daily catch becomes 16 fish instead of 10 it will be also evident that the six fish increase will be his self-owned daily profit resulting from his combination of self owned capital and self supplied labor.
Now let us also suppose that some other fisherman -- "Paul Pike" -- has likewise been catching fish by hand but does not set aside any surplus to enable himself to construct a trap because, even if he chose to add three fish a day by increased labor his total catch of 13 would merely match an equal expansion of the consumer demands of the Pike family. In turn, let us suppose that Fisher -- with his daily labor now reduced to 8 hours but with his daily income boosted to 16 fish by its inclusion of a daily 6-fish profit -- is asked by Pike to build a similar trap for "me, too."
In such case, let us perceive that Fisher might well point out that to build the second trap would cost himself the value equivalents of 960 fish because during the 60 days of trap construction he would need to do without his new level of 16 fish a day income. In other words, the Fisher family would need to reduce its own consumer status from a level of 16 fish a day to 13 fish a day for 200 days and from 16 fish a day to 10 fish a day for an additional 60 days to make it possible for Fisher to construct a trap for Pike.
Hence, we perceive that Fisher would be generous as well as morally correct if he offered to construct and sell a trap to Pike at a price of 960 fish to be paid by Pike to Fisher. Indeed, Fisher might even offer to allow Pike to make such a purchase on a time-payment plan -- pointing out that, by becoming the purchaser and user of the trap, Pike's profit alone would cover the price in a mere 160 days.
We would not be surprised, however, if Pike came up with an alternative proposal. "Instead of me buying the trap to use as my self-owned capital, just let me rent it so that I may use it as borrowed capital, is about the way that Pike might put it.
Well, of course, the principle of lending-borrowing is simply a temporary form of buying-selling and is equally moral. Thus, Fisher might tentatively suggest a rental price of two fish a day. On this basis, let us note, the total profit from the collaborative application of Pike's labor and Fisher's capital would still amount to fix fish a day. Hence, Pike's payment of two fish as rent would give Fisher a third of the total profits but two-thirds of the same total profit would remain for Pike, the borrower-user of Fisher's capital.
However, according to the principles of Individualism, Pike would have a right to reject the rental terms proposed by Fisher. Thus, Pike might make a counter-proposal of a price of half a fish a day. Yet, Fisher would have an equal right to reject the rental terms proposed by Pike. Moreover, just as both men would know that Fisher would have a moral right to seek some other prospective borrower who might be willing to pay a higher rental, both men would also know that Pike would have a moral right to seek some other prospective lender who might be willing to lend at a lower rental. Hence, it might be that Fisher and Pike would mutually agree on a rental price of one fish a day for as long as Pike might continue to be the borrower-user of Fisher's capital. Let us note, therefore, that on this not surprising basis, Pike the borrower would be retaining five-sixths of the total profits from the Pike-Fisher collaborative use of Fisher's capital while only one-sixth of the total profits would remain for Fisher the lender.
Now, just as the primitive Mr. Pike rejected opportunity to become self-owner of the productive capital he used, preferring to borrow it from Mr. Fisher, so it is similarly true that millions of modern men choose to be non-owners of productive capital and, instead, become "employees" who are, in effect, the borrowers of capital provided by their "employers." Moreover, just as the total profits of the Pike-Fisher collaboration were shared both by borrower and lender, so it is also true that Individualism causes there to be a sharing of total profits by both employees and employers in modern employer-employee collaborations.
Of course, in the long time absence of any clear explanation of the total mechanisms of employer-employee relationships in Individualism, millions of employees (in America, for example) have been deceived by demagogs to believe erroneously that all profits created in those relationships are seized and retained by employers-investors. It will not be difficult, however, for our study to provide -- probably for the first time in employer-employee bargaining -- not only a wholly clear proof of the fact that American employees to share in the total profits of their collaboration with their employers as an inclusion in the purchasing power of employee wages but also to provide a reasonably approximate computation of the amazing largeness of the employee's share. In addition, it will not be difficult to explain how the basic mechanisms of Individualism provide for a justice-measuring of the profits-sharing to be automatically accomplished.
Thus, proceeding with another illuminating hypothetical example, let us perceive that if an entire society were comprised of persons who, to qualify themselves to be consumers of values, had to be producers without the use of productive capital, the average man might produce and consume "X" units of values a day. In contrast, if such a man in a different society becomes an employee collaborating with an employer who provides productive capital and managerial skill, and if such an employee is paid wages which enable him to be the consumer of "10X" units of values a day, it is obvious that one of those 10 will represent what he would have earned in the absence of such collaboration, but the other 9 units of the purchasing power of his wages will constitute a portion of the total profits resulting from the employer-employee collaboration.
Let us proceed, therefore, to determine whether there is employer-employee profits-sharing in America, for example, and how Individualism's mechanisms normally provide for an automatically accurate measuring of such sharing on a basis of justice for employers and employees alike.
Accordingly, we perceive that -- instead of millions of men reducing their hours of productive labor in order to spend wastefully much of their time in individually peddling their limited and simple product values directly to the public -- the modern American employee pre-sells to his employer the values which the employee proposes to co-create in employer-employee collaboration. In other words, the employer becomes the original customer for the values which the employee would have produced if there had been no collaboration plus the additional values made possible by the actual collaboration. Thus, the employee's price for selling those values consists of the purchasing power of the money paid to him as wages.
In turn, having provided the capital and managerial skills for the collaborative production of those values, the employer then takes on the added responsibility of trying to re-sell them to the consuming public. Thus, if an employer is to continue to possess capital for his employees to use in the collaborative creating of subsequent total profits he will need to do the re-selling at prices sufficient to reimburse himself for the wage-price he has already paid his employees plus his other operating expenses. In addition, he will rightfully desire his re-sale income to be large enough to leave him a residue as his own share of the collaboration's total profits. Most employers, however, must take a chance on whether their re-sale hopes will be fulfilled. Thus, in many cases they are unable to re-sell at prices sufficient to leave them any profit. Indeed, in many cases their re-sale income is insufficient even to reimburse them for that they previously paid out in wages and for other operating expenses.
As for such other employers as succeed in re-selling at a price sufficient to leave them a share of the total collaborative profits, this share will vary greatly from one case to another. Yet, such variations will be morally proper; they will simply be responsive to the fact that it is each typical employer's non-guaranteed hope of obtaining above-average profits which induces all typical employers to take the risk that some of them will receive below-average profits or even encounter a serious loss. Moreover, the above-average profits of some employers and the losses or below-average profits of others will yield merely an average level of profits for all.
Of course, many employees have perceived that, in terms of shorter hours and lighter loads at the producer level and in terms of purchasing power of their wages at the consumer level, they have somehow received some benefits from their collaboration with their employers. Nevertheless, they have generally remained unaware that benefits is simply a synonym for profits. Thus, they have not generally perceived that they are already participants in profits-sharing, especially within the purchasing power of their wages. Instead, they have generally assumed that "profits" have been received by employer-investors only. In turn, a related factor in that erroneous assumption has been the presumed ability of employers to choose arbitrarily whatever size of profits is received at the employer's level and the supposition that whatever the employers actually receive is an exorbitant amount in comparison to the worth of the capital-and-management contribution to the employer-employee collaboration.
Accordingly, having already explained the moral reasons for some employers to receive larger or smaller profits than others, let us now consider two of the three groups of automatic and impartial mechanisms of justice which Individualism provides to measure and to limit the employer's profit margin regardless of how much he might like to obtain.
First of these mechanisms is obviously the on-the-spot price competition of products-versus-products in the public markets. For example, Smith brand shoes must price compete not only against Jones brand shoes but also against television sets, food, cosmetics, hardware, and automobiles and all other products or services that are offered for sale. Hence, if the public's preference for the price-level of any product or group of products is relatively large the sale of other competitive products will decrease unless their price levels are reduced sufficiently for them to recapture a sales popularity. Thus, competition -- by squeezing prices or products already in stores -- automatically causes a still greater reducing impact on the profit shares of employer investors regardless of how much they may desire for their profits to be larger than they actually receive.
Second among the mechanisms of Individualism which exert an automatic regulatory impact on retail prices and which thereby cause corresponding variations in the rates and amounts of the hoped for profits of employer investors is the competition of capital-versus-capital in seeking favorable opportunities for investment. For example, a company that comes forth with some new product having an exceptionally great consumer appeal may temporarily be able to sell it at prices which will temporarily yield employer investor profits greater than the average; yet, almost immediately there will be a run of other employer investors to produce directly competitive products and the results of this will be price cutting and corresponding reductions of employer investor profits as rapidly as the supply of such product catches up with or exceeds the market's demands.
Moreover, just as employer investor profits are squeezed on the top side by price competition at the consumer level, so are they also squeezed on the bottom side by the necessity of the resellers to compete with each other in wage terms in order to have sufficient employees at work in the collaborative production of the goods proposed to be offered for public resale. Hence, we shall presently need to examine the manner in which the mechanisms of Individualism, if freely operative, provide for an automatic and impartial measuring of the various differentials of wages.
More immediately, however, we shall need to expose the fallacy that employer investors are subject to lower need to sell "pressures" in reselling to the public than are experienced by employees in pre-selling the same values to their employers. Let us note, therefore, that the pressures fallacy usually begins by falsely raising a specter of starvation as the measure of pressure in the buying of food; moreover, it paints as the victim of such pressure a hypothetical penniless or near-penniless person.
In contrast, that penniless and starving premise ignores not only the fact that the principles of Individualism are themselves never the cause of anyone being in penury but also the fact that in such a nation as America ample provision is made to assist any persons who are innocently the victims of misfortune. (On the other hand, the morality of Individualism protests the fallacy that individualistic property ownership should be violated by taxation or by ordinary thievery to allow thousands of men to evade supporting the children they have procreated, to allow thousands of women repeatedly to conceive infants for whom there is no in-family means of support, or to allow the subsidizing of persons whose low or non-existent incomes are simply the result of their unwillingness to perform honest work.)
However, the primary refutation of the fallacy that employers are not exposed to sufficient need to sell pressures is shown by the fact that it is not necessary for consumers to quit all buying of products or services, or even to quit all buying in a single category, in order to apply irresistible pressure on employer investors to reduce prices on as many kinds of products or services as the public may choose. For example, suppose that bakers of bread, instead of making an average profit had been temporarily able to keep for themselves an additional margin of a penny a loaf. In such case, in addition to a lower price and lower profits impact which the foregoing circumstance would cause by means of a rush-in of new competitive capital, let us consider what the paralleling impact would be if millions of housewives began buying just four loaves a week instead of five.
Obviously, such a reduction in bread buying would not expose anyone to the pressures either of starvation or of malnutrition. Yet, consider how great the resulting need-to-sell pressure would increase upon the bakers and their profit margin. At the bakery level, for example, the 20 percent decrease in sales would mean a likely 50 percent reduction in profits. Moreover, the consumer impact would not be confined to the bakery level; instead, it would also increase the need-to-sell pressures on all millers of flour and on all growers of wheat. Indeed, this pressure would be far greater upon the bakers, the millers, and the farmers than any paralleling pressure on the typical housewife for her pressure to buy an additional loaf of bread each week would truly be completely negligible.
Now let us examine precisely how well American employees were actually faring amid this nation's incomplete processes of Individualism at the approach of the 21st century.
Accordingly, we note again that in the employer-employee relationships of Individualism, the employee pre-sells his portion of the co-ownership of the values to be produced collaboratively by himself and his employer and the employer pays a specified and mutually accepted wage price for the purchase. In turn, let us further approach a recognition of the extent to which the employee -- through such pre-selling -- becomes a profits- sharer within the purchasing power of his wages regardless of whether his own employer is able to retain a share of the total profits at an above average, average, or below average level, or sustains an actual loss.
Thus, the certainty of a profits-share being included in the purchasing power of every American employee's wage is a result of the fact that, instead of wages being measured by the size of the employer's profits-share or the size of his loss, they are measured by comparison with other wages in a wage differentials structure whereby all wages are subject to an automatic and impartial formula of justice to whatever extent that "Labor" itself allows the principles of Individualism to apply. Accordingly, we note that such factors as personal ability, reliability, and the amount of mental or physical effort involved in each job are among the numerous factors which account for extensive and morally proper wage differentials. Moreover, this is a matter of justice insisted upon by employees themselves.
For example, it is evident that a janitorial employee participates in a collaborative arrangement with his employer which produces a nominally co-owned total of values of smaller wage-worth than are the values created in a collaborative arrangement involving the pilot of an airliner with many lives aboard. Hence, at the time these words were written a typical American janitor might be selling his share of collaborative profits to his employer at a wage-price of slightly less than $5,000 a year while a pilot's wages might be $30,000, and while the average employee's wages were about $8,500. However, before we can adequately appreciate the fact that there are profits included in the janitor's wages as well as in the average wages and as well as in the pilot's wages, we shall need to examine how the measuring of such differentials is done.
Accordingly, let us note that the prevailing wage levels in most occupations are always pretty well known to employees in all categories as well as being known among employers; indeed, a general awareness of such differentials tends to become common knowledge even among children of high school age. But let us also note that there are numerous other factors of job desirability, rather than just the matter of wages alone. Thus, recalling our earlier analysis of genetic and environmental inheritances, we perceive that many a youth who would consider a pilot's wages to be desirable will consider it even more desirable to avoid the educational labors by which a mentality may be built up to the level of a pilot's qualifications. Similarly, still other persons who may achieve a pilot's mentality level may deem a pilot's wages less desirable than a job at lesser wages but in which they can keep their feet on the ground. In turn, there are lots of men who prefer to work outdoors even in cases where this may mean lower wages than they might be capable of earning in an office job. Conversely, there are others who prefer to be "chained to a desk" provided this lets them earn higher wages than they might earn outdoors.
Likewise, although it is commonly known that stenographers can command higher wages than typists, some girls prefer to be typists because this lets them avoid the labor of learning shorthand. Yet, who is to say whether the typist makes a less-wise choice? Perhaps she intends to keep a typist job for only a year or two before marriage, in which case she figures the labor of learning shorthand would be a wasted effort. Indeed, even in a single category of employment the wage-differentials may be substantial as a result of simply on-the-spot desirability factors. For instance, a stenographer may be glad to accept a job at little more than a typist's wage if the stenographer is to work in a plush office with carpeted floors and piped-in music, whereas another stenographer will be able to demand and get perhaps $10 a week more wages than is the stenographic average if she is to work in an office with concrete floors and lots of noise from nearby factory machinery.
Hence, it is the total evaluations of job desirability -- in which wage differentials are only one of several interrelated factors -- which determines how many persons at any moment will be seeking to obtain or retain jobs in each of the numerous employment categories. So it is this how-many element which, in turn, constitutes the ever changing employees "supply." In turn, the totality of employers -- by individually estimating the size of the public's desire to purchase the products or services that are proposed to be collaboratively produced -- make individual computations of the number of employees to be needed in the various categories of the related collaborative production. So it is these computations which, in turn, constitute the factor of job opportunities "demand."
Accordingly, if Employer "A" had 100 employees but foresees a possibility for mutually profitable employer-employee collaboration that would require the hiring of 10 additional employees, his offer to do such added hiring will constitute an expanded factor of demand. In turn, if 10 persons -- either as first-time applicants or as employees of other firms -- deem these 10 opportunities to be desirable at existing wage rates and if the 100 already employed consider their existing jobs desirable at the same wage rates, these 110 persons will constitute a matching factor of labor supply. Thus, no change in the wage rates will occur in this circumstance.
However, if Company "B" -- to retain its present employees or to fill a need for additional employees -- has found it necessary to increase the desirability of its jobs by raising its wages higher than those at Company "A", there not only will be a dearth of applicants at Company "A" but also it will begin to find its existing employees quitting their jobs in order to take the higher paid jobs at Company "B" (assuming that all other factors of job desirability are equal.) Hence, the need of Company "A" to have 110 employees at increased wages instead of perhaps only 90 at existing wages will oblige it of its own initiative to increase its wages to make the desirability of the 110 job opportunities competitive with those at Company "B".
On the other hand, if Company "C" fails to match the wage increases elsewhere, its employees (at the expiration of any contract period) will be free by the rules of Individualism to quit their jobs as fast as they find more desirable jobs elsewhere. However, if 50 quit while another 50 choose to remain this will signify that factors other than wages made the retained jobs more desirable to those who didn't quit than the desirability of other jobs available elsewhere.
Thus, Individualism says to every employee: "Just as you or any other person can refuse to sell any property you already own -- whether, for example, it is a house, an automobile, or money -- if you are not offered an exchange value which you are willing to accept, so you can likewise refuse to pre-sell to an employer whatever share you would own of collaboratively-produced values if such values were, in fact, produced." Individualism further says to every employee, however: "But if you do enter into a collaborative arrangement for pre-selling such values, it would be a violation of morality if you then refused to perform your promised part of the collaborative effort -- just the same as it would be a violation of morality if your employer, having entered into such a collaborative arrangement, refused to perform his part of its terms."
Moreover, recalling from our study's earlier example showing that the primitive Ben Bricker could have no moral right to prevent Fred Fisher from selling fish to others when Bricker refused to buy them from Fisher, and showing that Fisher could have no moral right to compel Bricker to buy fish at whatever price might be demanded by Fisher, Individualism includes a corresponding further tenet of morality for modern employer-employee relationships. Thus, to every employee it adds: "Just as it would be immoral if you, having refused to enter into a collaborative transaction with some employer, were to be prevented by him from entering into a competitive transaction with some other employer, so it would be similarly immoral if you, having refused to enter into a collaboration with one employer, were to prevent or seek to prevent him from entering into such collaboration with prospective employees other than yourself." In other words, even at the employer-employee level, justice requires buying and selling to be a two-way, not a one-way, street.
Until now, however, apparently no one has ever provided a clear and adequately illuminative computation of what the results of employer-employee sharing of collaborative profits has actually been -- in America, for example,
Accordingly, our study begins such a computation by noting that by the late decades of the 20th century the amount of productive capital invested by American employers averaged about $10,000 for each employee. In turn, the profits share of these employers averaged about $500 a year from each such investment. Of course, some employers received profits higher than average even when the size of their investments was less than average. On the other hand, some employers received profits less than average (or a loss) even when the size of their investments was greater than average. Thus, it is self-evident that it was simply the expectation or the chance of receiving greater than average profits or of receiving not less than average profits which constituted the moral inducement for the average employer to make a capital investment in an enterprise for employer-employee collaboration.
But although many employees failed to comprehend the moral propriety and need for there to be a wide range of differences in the size of employers' profits, and although many employees assumed that "Capital's" share of profits (whatever it might be) was surely excessive and greedy, most employees didn't consider the actual dividends paid to investors sufficient to induce themselves to accumulate and invest productive capital of their own. In the first place, the typical employee preferred to spend all his income to purchase a glut of consumer goods. In the second place, he often saddled himself with excessive family obligations which left him virtually no residue for making capital investments. In the third place, he regarded productive capital investments as too risky for himself. In the fourth place, to the typical employee the possibility of himself getting an investor's average return of $500 from a $10,000 investment seemed -- inconsistently -- too small to be attractive!
To get a clear computation of the employee's shares of total profits, however, as included in the purchasing power of their wages, we shall need to examine next what the standard of living of the typical American would be if he had to earn a livelihood for his family in a (non-American) society in which he, having provided no productive capital of his own, had to do without productive capital provided by others. Thus, we find that the average earnings of other peoples without capital in such places as India, New Guinea, and mid-Africa, in terms of local buying power even today, are seldom more than $100 a year. Hence, it is obvious that if a typical American were to be transplanted into such a no-capital economy while also lacking any productive capital of his own he would fare but little if any better than those who already are residents of such places. Plainly, the transplanted American could not manufacture an automobile for himself (or others) with no tools other than such non-capital items as sticks and stones. Or, even if he fashioned a hammer and a screw-driver for himself, how could he then manufacture a television set, or an x-ray machine, or print a textbook to educate his children?
On the other hand, the most accurate picture of the transplanted non-capital American's standard of living is provided not by measuring what consumer goods he would lack but rather by considering what his productive labor without capital could actually obtain. Thus, we perceive his principal labors would be for the producing of food. To do this, he would scratch a plot of ground with a stick and plant yellow corn to provide two adults and two children with a combined year-round consumption of about one pound of corn meal a day. He might also raise about 100 pounds of soybeans annually to improve his family's protein deficient diet. Of course, his wife would need to pound the corn into meal and his children would need to gather sticks and straw to fuel the family's mud oven. There would be virtually no meat to eat. On one hand, there wouldn't be enough land to allow meat animals to forage for themselves. On the other hand, it would take about five pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat if animals for food were to be fed by human produced crops. There might be, however, a few scrawny chickens which would feed themselves and supply the family with about four eggs a week. Also, an over-fished stream might yield a daily pound of carp. But it would take many days of labor to purchase an annual one pound of salt. In turn, our computation assumes that such a family would be fortunate enough to live in a warm climate so that little of its productive labor would need to be expended for shelter, fuel, and clothing. Thus, clothing would be merely of cotton wrap-arounds and shelter would be merely a one room hut with a dirt floor and walls of sun- baked mud.
In other words, such a family's basic no-capital standard of living could be duplicated in America today at a cost of slightly less than $300 a year. However, let us arbitrarily assume that even without capital a transplanted modern American would be clever enough to boost his family's standard of living to a level that would cost $500 in America's late 20th century's price structure.
Accordingly, we perceive that (although there are other factors than consumer goods alone which are a part of the excellence of the modern American employee's standard of living) when a typical American employee in the late decades of the 20th century was receiving $7,500 in annual wages this included a primary $500 as the equivalent of what his purchasing power would be if he had to rely on only his labor in a no-capital society -- but the additional $7,000 in his wages had become his money-share of the total profits of his capital labor collaboration with his employer. Hence, with such an employee getting that $7,000 and with the average employer getting $500 as their respective annual shares of the money count of their total collaborative profits, it is evident that the total money count of those profits was like a "money-pie" cut into 15 slices, with 14 of these going to the employee and with only 1 of the 15 going to the employer.
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