by Dr. Win Wenger and Frederick Mann
Dr. Wenger is the world's leading expert on intelligence and creativity increase, innovative problem-solving techniques, and accelerated learning. I (Frederick Mann) started applying Dr. Wenger's methods in 1985 and had considerable correspondence with him at that time. I ascribe much of my success to Dr. Wenger's beneficial influence on my life.
Some important thinking skills are identified and used in this report. By following the arguments and thinking about the thinking skills involved, readers may improve their own thinking skills.
Before reading this report, you may want to refresh your memory by rereading Report #07B: The Nature of Government. [Note: Report #07B has been obsoleted by the article: Is "Government" A Solution To Anything?, and Reports #07A, and #07E.]
One of Dr. Wenger's most important principles is that when studying something, you can accelerate your learning by describing what you're learning. One of the many techniques Dr. Wenger has developed is called "freenoting." As you study something, you write down whatever thoughts and ideas come to mind. You do this with no censorship; you simply write down whatever comes up. (And don't worry about being offensive!)
I (Frederick Mann) would appreciate it if you could send me a copy of your "freenotes" generated from reading both reports #07B and #07C. It would be even more useful if you could cross-reference your "freenotes" to the reports, for example, by writing a "1," "2," "3," etc. on the report and a "1," "2," "3," etc. on the corresponding "freenotes." This information will help me to improve the reports and also to identify the thinking skills necessary to read and integrate them.
The following is Dr. Wenger's response to Report #07B:
301/948-1122, P.O. Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332, U.S.A.
Win Wenger, Ph.D., president
January 16, 1995
Dear Colleagues in Freedom:
We share a strong common interest in reducing the excesses and costs of government or "government," or "so-called government," and enlarging the domain over which free individual action and initiative prevail. I have only recently encountered your tenets, courtesy of Don Winfield. There are significant differences both between our approaches and our apparent end goals.
(What I'm taking to be your organization's policy, goals, arguments and positions, are as expressed in Frederick Mann's The Nature of Government. I am new to your work and have not yet read or listened exhaustively to all that your Society has to say. I feel impelled to respond in some way, though, to what I have encountered thus far since Mann's paper is taken to be one of your Society's foundations.) My purposes in writing this letter and sharing these points of difference publicly, are:
We concur - that government, its costs, its excesses, its abuse, needs to be reduced. - But eliminated? Among all the variety of social ways people have lived or are living, which have been recorded, either there has been government, or there has been such a strong binding and pervasive tradition that no extrinsic rules were needed. In the latter instances:
This is not to say that we cannot devise a way of life without either oppressive customs or government - but the anthropological and historical records on this point are not very encouraging. To assert that we can exist without compulsion or oppression of some sort, requires strong proof however in the absence of supporting examples.
Also, as in my book on incentives, a purely free market cannot work, for reasons which Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations) himself noted, without some sort of "help" in some key areas:
(1) External economies - which the individual provider cannot benefit from himself, so according to his own bookkeeping he refrains from providing that. - And the well-being of our culture and society as a whole suffers accordingly. Waving a magic wand to abolish government, even if successful, still leaves this major need unmet, a huge under allocation in both this area and in many other areas of economic activity where the benefits of the doing go to others and the costs are borne by the doer.
(1)A. We concur that providing government funding and supervision as a way to get basic research done, has proven disastrous.
(1)B. To convince me that government can be abolished without the pressure of this essential need forcing government back into being to provide for it, you have to convince me that there is some other way to rig agreements and enforcements in society which will flexibly and opportunistically enable this crucial area of economic activity to be provided at levels where the overall benefits justify the levels of expenditure.
(1)C. Here, as elsewhere in my incentives book, I argue not for the abolition of government but for its reduction by shifting tax loopholes around in such a way that the private sector, scurrying around as always in ways to take advantage of such loopholes, will provide adequately in basic scientific research and no further need than that for government involvement thence pertains.
(1)C.(1) This is a meaningful difference between us since you do not wish to have any taxes, much less "government," in the picture at all. Ignoring externalities of all sorts does not make them go away. Your persuasion to me has to convince me that some pattern of self-enforcing behaviors, without some sort of "government" involvement, will in a purely free marketplace offset the externality derived dysincentive to under produce in this and other forms of activity where significant external economies or benefits pertain. I don't say this can't be done - quite the contrary, with all the creativity and ingenious problem solving tools we have around us, we may well be able to come up with something effective here. But this does have to be addressed or unmet public needs will force responses which will bring even a thoroughly abolished "government" back into being to provide for. - And a lot of damage occurring until such time as such an apparatus was back in place.
(2) External dyseconomies or costs, example being pollution. Pollution is killing all of us, individually, a bit at a time and a few at a time, and threatens to do far worse than that. Pollution (and other forms of environmental degradation and destruction happen) happens because the provider reaps the benefits of the polluting activities, while the rest of us are the ones on whom the costs mainly fall. Thus far, social approval, the law of torts, or other constraints have not sufficed to be saving our lives. No "government," and no system of modifications interfering in this regard to offset such externalities in free marketplace decisions, and the very Earth breaks under us. Say "bye bye," rain forests. "Bye-bye," living oceans. "Bye bye," the very oxygen upon which our life subsists and well short of that point more than enough other man-made "natural disasters" to kill us all. Again, ignoring this vast sector of economic activity because it is inconvenient to the "no-government" thesis, won't make the problem go away.
I do have one proposed instance thus far where the rain forests, at least, can be saved without government intervention or involvement (in the incentive book, the philanthropists' prize for iguana-recipes to start a world fad favoring this forest-habitat-requiring meat animal over cattle). With sufficient ingenuity or creativity we might so be able to address each other area of external cost or dyseconomy. Until or unless we can devise such effects and be sure of them working well, however, to propose abolition of "government" in this regard is not only unconvincing but even dangerous.
(3) Indivisibilities make the matter even more acute. How much is your share of the benefits from the costly, sustained world campaign which eradicated smallpox, for example?
And so likewise for each of the other areas cited in my incentive book, and which Adam Smith was first to cite in 1776. Until we can come up with something better than government which will effectively address each of these and the other needs, to abolish "government" would be ruinous at best, fatal to all of us at worst. Right now, all I've been able to come up with generally is a system of incentives to offset these incentive-distorts in the free marketplace. To achieve this would greatly reduce the role of government but would not abolish it. If you can come up with more effective means which will address each and all of these needs, or if we, working together, can discover such, then the case for abolishing "government" will begin to be a bit more convincing and less catastrophic.
I'm minded of the fact that no tax is fair. A per-capita tax falling without regard to disposable income, is regressive and terribly unfair to the poor. A progressive tax is unfair to the rich, and tends to penalize achievement to boot. No fair way of taxing has ever been devised. Fine, you say, eliminate taxes altogether. So long as the above-cited and other crucial needs are not more effectively accounted for without government than with it, you can't. From here it looks like you will throw away a lot of hard-fought gains, and ultimately be forced by those unmet needs right back into the hands of government and taxing, legally or otherwise, morally or otherwise, with or without permission of the aggregate of sovereign individuals - and after a huge amount of suffering and loss and life-loss. So I don't see that we can eliminate taxes altogether as a way of eliminating the unfairness and illegality of taxes altogether. Up to this point in my own inquiry, though, I see an effective way of reducing the unfairness and illegality of taxes by reducing the need for taxes, substituting huge areas of economic activity back into the private sector and out of the hands of government by means of reasonably prudent uses of incentive - including incentives built into the tax structure.
I can see evolvement of a situation where government - or "government" is so slight as to be virtually invisible and insubstantial. Taxes would be low - far lower than now, at least - though not absent, unless some other source of wealth-flow effect can be devised to offset the distorts in the free market to incentivize at extrinsic levels. I see a rising level of well-being under such conditions where most people are in fact immune to extrinsic incentives and are pursuing what they pursue for whatever higher reasons - but I don't see us ever without need of some extrinsic-level incentives because of the sheer variety of human beings.
Is "government" an evil? Pretty obviously yes. Under present conditions, has it abused its powers? Yes. Is it founded on at least questionable legal grounds and justifications? Probably yes? Can we do without it? We can do without a lot of it, but I can't see us minimalizing it without its playing some sort of role in an incentive system, much less abolishing it altogether. I can't see that as a final answer, though, because of the sheer abundance and power of the various available problem solving and creative ingenuity building methods we have, if we have a will to work them through to see what we can find.
-That was the core of my main objections. Obviously the detail can go far further, and every meaningful distort of the free-market, every substantial general need, has to be met effectively by other effective mechanisms before we can abolish either government or "government!" Assume we had found some such ways. There is another concern. Psychology's "First Law" is, "You get more of what you reinforce!"
I concede that there is a role for "waking the public up," that nearly everyone is a sleepwalker in regard to many of the areas of concern which your organization has expressed. I'm not certain that surrounding every reference to government and matters pertaining with one pejorative or another is an ideal way to do so. Still, perhaps it is valuable that some of us do so. - But to reach a broader public with our arguments (assuming we've addressed those need areas and our arguments are correct and persuasive!), those arguments have to be at least intelligible, at least readable. Those pejorative-ridden essays may be a wake-up call and maybe some of us must carry that on as part of the wake-up call - but they are virtually unreadable for most people and therefore must fail of persuasion so long as that is the case.
In this letter I have made this detailed a criticism in hopes that in your effective answer to each point will be laid basis not only for my complete conversion to your cause but a clear justification for everyone to rally to that cause.
In looking at these several issues and responding to them and to each other, we at the very least can both enjoy the clarification and further perceptual benefits to be gained, via the Principle of Description, from describing our respective perceptions in these matters to each other as quality audiences.
To the extent that these several critical points remain partially or wholly unresolved and my identification to your cause thus incomplete, we may still be able to work together over some range of concerns sharing, as we do, a common desire at least to reduce the cost, the role, the abuses, the irrationality, and the damage to freedom by government or "government" under current conditions.
Proposed for action:
l love the fact that here is a spirited group of articulate, high-integrity
people concerned about the larger issues and actually devoting
attention and action to doing something worthwhile as regards
those issues. You are a precious phenomenon and may well turn
out to be one of the better hopes of humankind and a human future.
I certainly hope that we together can find how to join our respective
efforts, or at least to move them forward in tandem. With considerable
respect, I am
Yours sincerely, Win Wenger
FREDERICK MANN'S RESPONSE
Our organization is not concerned with "reducing the excesses and costs of government," "abolishing government," "eliminating taxes," etc. We create our own alternatives without falsely-called "government" or "taxes." There never have been any of these in the true free-market sector, so there's nothing to abolish. If other people want to "government" and "tax" themselves they're welcome to do so - and suffer the consequences!
Readers should note that Report #07B: The Nature of Government is really aimed at the most advanced freedom thinkers, not the general public. I also suspect that even among all those who have at least read our introductory materials, fewer than 1% have developed the thinking skills necessary to read, integrate, and apply the principles and actions suggested by #07B.
Just before beginning this response, Jim Robertson indicated to me that our most important mission was to wake people up to the way their thought processes and actions are enslaved by words, primarily those of terrocrats (terrorist bureaucrats). I indicated to him that I thought this was our second-most important mission. (#1 is overcoming death!) There are now definitely four people at our "headquarters" with an advanced understanding of #07B - who have developed all or most of the thinking skills necessary for such understanding. The first such thinking skill may well be to recognize the emotional impact of certain words used in certain ways - see the Harry Plott Saga II.
Understanding and recognizing "coercion" and its implications and consequences is a thinking skill I expect most readers of our materials have already mastered. By "coercion" I mean the initiation of fraud, force, violence, or threat of violence against another or others. It's the use of threat or force to overwhelm the will of another. It implies that, "I'm wise; you're stupid and can't think - therefore I'll think for you and force you to obey my will."
Another way to define coercion is "violation of person or property." An individual's person is violated through force or threat of force (without consent). Property is violated through misrepresentation, fraud, theft, and pollution.
A general proposition: Force is a substitute for Thought. Someone who can't think or lacks intelligence or thinking skills, resorts to force or coercion. A parent, lacking the necessary persuasive skills to persuade a child to do "the right thing," resorts to coercion, establishing a pervasive pattern.
From our organization's (and libertarian) perspective, coercion is simply another word for crime. Crime is a substitute for Thought. Criminals resort to crime because they lack thinking skills.
"Government" is institutionalized Crime. Simply examine the actions taken by the terrocrats who masquerade as "government." Notice how many of their actions, if taken by other individuals would be widely recognized as crimes. "Government" is a Substitute for Thought. Does Dr. Wenger promote "government" because he hasn't come across the most advanced freedom arguments and/or properly thought through the issues from a real free-market perspective?
At the Atlanta seminar, John Pugsley indicated that if you plant the seed of coercion, it will grow until it eventually destroys society. In other words, if you allow any coercion, you in principle accept all coercion. The same point is illustrated in my book The Economic Rape of America: What You Can Do About It: Any society that implements any tax will eventually tax itself to death (literally!).
We regard coercion (violating person or property) as the dividing line between the civilized and the barbaric, between the lawful and the criminal, between human and savage.
In The Phoenix Gazette of September 26, 1992 John Mark wrote an article under the headline: "Using force: Just how far are we willing to go?"
He first examines the issue of abortion. He concludes by saying the issue is, "whether they think the government should once again prohibit abortion by force."
Then he turns to the family leave bill. He says, "The issue is whether government should force companies to adopt such a policy, without regard for the individual circumstances in each company."
Next he discusses the $50 million aid package to America West Airlines, some of the money coming from government. He indicates that some of that money was taken by force from an employee of a competitor of America West. He asks, "But should government be forcing people - through mandatory taxes, fees, licences... - to pay for things that might actually be against their personal economic interest?"
He indicates that the common thread running through all these issues is that of force, and, "Force is the weapon of government. Do it our way or go to jail, pay a fine, or both."
Mark indicates that on a few matters government force is justified - like in dealing with murderers. But, he continues:
"The vast majority of government activity, however, is not so clear-cut. It requires some soul-searching.
Try this simple rule when considering a coercive law, program or regulation: Would you be willing to enforce it personally? [emphasis added] That's not an idle question. Every time our government punishes someone, it does so in our name, the name of the people.
So, how many of us would be willing to march over to the home of that Southwest Airlines employee and forcibly collect from him to bolster America West? How many of us would be willing to confiscate money from a businessman or woman who, for one reason or another, doesn't think it's feasible to offer a family leave program at this time?
I can hear it now: That kind of thinking leads to anarchy, Mr. Mark. Maybe so. But anarchy has been given a bum rap over the years. It doesn't mean "no rules." It means "no rulers."
My dictionary defines anarchism as "the theory that all forms of government interfere unjustly with individual liberty and should be replaced by the voluntary association of cooperative groups."
Our representative form of government is supposed to more closely resemble anarchy than monarchy ("one ruler") or other forms of authoritarianism, including the "tyranny of the majority." That's the way it was designed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, two documents whose sole purpose is to sharply limit the power of government. That's the way it was designed by those famous "anarchists," the Founding Fathers."
My question to Dr. Wenger: If you propose any kind of force or coercion as a "solution," are you willing to personally take out your gun and enforce it? - or will you hire terrocrats to do your (dirty?) work?
"Government" Consists of Individual Human Beings.
The human brain is an abstracting device. We might call the first level of abstraction the "concrete abstract." Consider the concept "table." The concept or word corresponds to and represents a physical object "table." However, the concept "table" is more general than the object "table" - because the concept "table" can be applied to any of a large number of objects with flat surfaces and (usually) four legs; whereas the physical object "table" is one specific object.
Our next level of abstraction we might call the "collective abstract" - for example, "furniture." It's very useful to lump together a number of diverse but related objects and use the abstract word or concept "furniture" to represent all of them. It makes thinking and communicating more efficient. Instead of saying, "Clean the chairs, the tables, the shelves, the mirrors, the cupboards, etc.," you can simply say, "Clean the furniture." It's much more efficient. But with the increase in efficiency comes a potential lack of distinction.
"Government" can be described as a collection of individuals, pieces of paper, buildings, weaponry, etc. Let's take a look at what becomes possible when we think in terms of individual human beings, instead of the monolithic collective abstract "government" - a two-sentence refutation of all the arguments for "government":
Unfortunately, for most people - including many freedom lovers - it seems impossible to grasp the above refutation because they are locked into the habit of thinking, talking, and writing about "government" as a volitional entity. They say "government does this and that" - as if "government" is some kind of living, breathing entity capable of performing actions - collectivist thinking. Sometimes it seems that when you say to these people, "Look at anything that "government" supposedly does, like running a school, and you'll find that all the work is being done by individual human beings," - individualist thinking - they can't hear you. They seem so brainwashed with the notion that "government does things," that their brains automatically shut out anything to the contrary.
We are dealing with a particular mental process here: when the mind is confronted with a thought that is dangerous to the way its knowledge has been organized hitherto, it tends to either "wipe out" the thought, or distort it into something more acceptable - as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen-Eighty-Four: "Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought... crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
Collectivist vs. Individualist Thinking
Terms like "the government" and "the free market" are collectivist abstractions. "The government" and "the free market" essentially consist of individuals. If you examine any "government agency" or "free-market company," you'll find the work being done by individuals (some using machines).
Dr. Wenger seems to imply that if some individuals call themselves "the free market" - or organize themselves as "the free market" - then they (by some magic?) become unable to do certain things (such as handling "externalities" like pollution); while if other individuals call themselves "the government" - or organize themselves as "the government" - then they (by some magic?) become capable of doing these things. I suggest that this is pure superstition - as indicated in #07B.
I've heard many people say, "If we didn't have a government, then so and so would happen." Whatever they put on their list, are horrors we suffer from right now. The simple answer is, "If we have government, then we'll suffer from whatever's on your list!" So you'll notice that all the "externalities" (consequences beyond the parties directly involved in economic activities) Dr. Wenger mentions (pollution and destruction of rain forests), are externalities we suffer from right now. The notion that the terrocrats who masquerade as "government" can ipso facto handle externalities better than other individuals is quite absurd.
In fact, I would suggest the opposite. It's a phenomenon I call "fecal alchemy." Whenever individuals start calling themselves "government," they're affected by a kind of reverse magic - practically everything they touch seems to turn into feces! I think Dr. Wenger could easily make a very long list to demonstrate this.
Another answer to, "If we didn't have a government, then so and so would happen," is simply, "How do you know that?"
While it's quite appropriate in a political speech to say "government doesn't work" and "the free market works" - appealing to the emotions - in order to achieve greater intellectual precision, we need to talk in terms of individuals. Neither "the government" nor "the free market" is a volitional entity that works or doesn't work.
Abraham Lincoln said, "Government must do for the people what they cannot do for themselves." Translating this collectivist statement into its individualist version (realizing that "government" essentially consists of individuals) we get, "Individuals must do for people what they cannot do for themselves" - an obvious absurdity. Or, translating Dr. Wenger's, "The free market can't handle externalities, but government can," we get, "Individuals can't handle externalities, but individuals can!"
The "AIDS" genocide is an example of collectivist thinking in action. About 30 previously identified diseases are arbitrarily lumped together and called "AIDS" - a baseless collectivist abstraction. The perpetrators of the hoax are paid billions of dollars every year for, among other atrocities, murdering 100,000 or so victims by giving them AZT, a drug previously abandoned for cancer research because it's too toxic. See Report #09A: AIDS - Bad Science or Hoax?
Dr. Wenger writes, "Is "government" an evil? Pretty obviously yes." Sometimes it's appropriate to speak in terms of generalized abstractions, for example, in a political speech. However, sometimes it causes problems. In the case of "AIDS," one of the reasons no cure has been found is that researchers are looking for cures for the wrong thing. If instead, they looked for cures for each of the 30 or so diseases they claim constitute "AIDS," they might find the cures much sooner.
One of the themes of #07B is that nobody has been able to find a cure for the problem of "government" because nobody has sufficiently understood the nature of "government." When someone says, "government is evil," exactly who or what is it that is evil? Are the terrocrats who constitute "government" evil? Or are some of their actions evil? If the last, which of their actions are evil? Evil is that which harms. Aggression against or violation of person and property constitutes harm. I suggest that it's the coercive or harmful actions of terrocrats that are evil. In other words, coercion is evil.
In writing the above, I've identified an important thinking skill: making finer distinctions. "Government is evil" is a gross statement. Making a finer distinction: "Terrocrats are evil." Making a still finer distinction: "The coercive acts of terrocrats are evil." I think the last is the most useful of the three statements.
Three Economic Sectors
We make a distinction between three economic sectors: public (terrocrat); private (slave); and free. The operating mode of the terrocrat sector is coercion or violence. People in the private sector kowtow to the terrocrats and finance them. They are severely controlled and regulated by the terrocrats. The terrocrat attitude towards people in the private sector is essentially that the latter are slaves. The terrocrats own their slaves and may:
The free sector (free enterprise) is based on private property, voluntary exchange, and the sanctity of contract. In the free-enterprise sector all property is privately owned, all exchanges voluntary.
Win-Lose, Lose-Lose, and Win-Win
A most important difference between voluntary exchanges and forced or coerced exchanges is that the former tend to be win-win, while the latter tend be either win-lose or lose-lose. We have purchased some of his books from Dr. Wenger for resale. We engaged in this transaction because we figure we can sell the books for more than we paid for them. We figure we'll win. Dr. Wenger sold the books to us because the money we pay him is more than his cost of production; he wins. This is a typical voluntary exchange where both parties win.
Now consider a forced or coerced transaction. We point a gun at Dr. Wenger and tell him, "Your money or your life." He reluctantly gives us his money. We go out and spend it. We win, he loses. I suggest that whatever ostensible "benefits" terrocrats promise in return for the money they steal, the end result is practically always at best win-lose. If we consider all the consequences of coerced transactions, we may well conclude that overall everybody loses as a result; they are lose-lose transactions.
Our organization, operating in the true free-enterprise sector, has no "government" or "taxes." As individuals, we abide by our Code of Basic Principles For Civilization (listed in Report #01). We expect that this is a superior form of societal organization. To the extent we can demonstrate results, people will believe us. So far, we've made no claims about being able to handle externalities better than anyone else.
In both philosophy and law, the principle, "He who proposes must prove," generally applies. Now Dr. Wenger says "the free market doesn't work." How does he know this? Neither he nor Adam Smith have had any experience of "free markets."
Then Dr. Wenger essentially argues that because both he and Adam Smith claim that "the free market (win-win) doesn't work," therefore we must have "government" (win-lose or lose-lose) to prevent things like pollution. I think we have nothing to prove. It's up to Dr. Wenger to prove that his "government" (win-lose and lose-lose) "solutions" are better than the best solutions (win-win) produced (and to be produced) by his most advanced problem-solving techniques.
Whenever Dr. Wenger advocates a "government solution," does he prefer: force over thought, monopoly over competition, compulsion over cooperation, crime over lawfulness, stupidity over intelligence, harm over benefit, evil over good?
The Spreading of Free Enterprise
As already indicated, our organization is not about abolishing any "governments" or "taxes." We start off with none of these. In any case, talking about abolishing such is rather pointless, unless you have the power in your own hands to do so.
(Similarly, to talk about "implementing incentives" is largely a waste of time - unless you have the power in your own hands to implement the incentives. Furthermore, any proposed "solution" like "implementing incentives" - or "abolishing government and taxes" - is mere hot air - unless you have the power in your own hands to implement the solution. See "Criteria for Solutions" below.)
We operate in the free-enterprise sector (as distinguished from the terrocrat (public) and slave (private) sectors) of the world. We simply implement whatever solutions we can. We don't need so-called "permission" from terrocrats. Of course, they may attempt to interfere with our solutions. We use the appropriate aspects of Freedom Technology to nullify their interference as best we can. We constantly improve our ability to better implement better solutions and to better deal with terrocrat interference.
To the extent that we successfully implement solutions, people shift their economic activities from the terrocrat and slave sectors into the free-enterprise sector. If our solutions are better than those of the terrocrats and slaves, and our economic activities more efficient than theirs, then we continue to grow and they may shrink. Through competition, in areas where we perform better, we replace terrocrat and slave activities (and solutions).
If any of our activities cause unwanted "external economies" (needed products or services that individual providers can't benefit from by providing them - like "general defense"), "external dyseconomies" (like pollution), and "indivisibilities" (like some people benefiting from the discovery of the polio vaccine at the cost of others), etc., then we develop win-win, voluntary-exchange solutions and implement them. Realize that it may not take very long before, on average, individuals in the free enterprise sector are 10, 100, or 1000 times as wealthy as the terrocrats and slaves. This will make it much easier for us to develop and implement solutions to externalities, indivisibilities, etc., than it is for terrocrats and slaves.
The existing free-enterprise banks and related financial institutions are examples of a broad-based free enterprise solution. We don't moan and beg about "abolishing the Federal Reserve system" - we simply create an alternative that might outcompete the terrocrat-slave system.
Two Propositions Concerning Institutionalized Coercion
Consider these two propositions:
I describe coercion as violation of, or aggression against, person or property. Coercion is synonymous with crime. The phenomenon of "government" is institutionalized coercion or organized crime.
If someone claims that "only government" can solve certain problems, would it be reasonable that we ask him to demonstrate three things?:
Now we also need to examine just what constitutes a "problem." As in the case of "AIDS," many people are wont to lump things together into a collectivist abstraction - like "pollution." Sometimes this is appropriate for efficiency of communication. But when it comes to solving problems, more accurate thinking - finer distinctions - may work better.
And if you think about it for a while you might conclude that only volitional entities (individuals) can have problems, and only individuals can solve problems. If some individuals gang together and call themselves "government," it's still the individuals who solve the problems. Obviously many individuals can suffer from the same problem, and cooperate to solve the problem they individually share.
We also need to examine possible psychological reasons why someone might hold proposition 1 (above) valid. Suppose someone has lived all his life in the terrocrat and slave sectors. He's never experienced what it's like to live in the free-enterprise sector as a free sovereign individual. Because of his psychological conditioning he believes that only terrocrat masters can solve certain problems. (At best he also believes in slaves begging their masters for more freedom - but not too much!)
Now let's examine proposition 2 (above). I attempt to live my life as a free sovereign individual. That means I want my person and property respected; I have a right to do anything that doesn't harm the equal rights of others. I treat them accordingly. I also have the right to defend myself and my property against anyone who tries to violate my rights - including killing attackers if necessary, warranted, and appropriate.
By coercion I mean the initiation of force or violence. If some would-be "problem-solver" tries to impose his "solution" on me or my property with his gun, we have a new problem. We have a win-lose or lose-lose situation. I put it to you that institutionalized coercion only causes more problems. The evidence is all around you.
Coercion, Competition, and Cooperation
The operating mode of the terrocrats who masquerade as "government" is coercion. Ultimately, their power, as Mao said, comes from the barrels of their guns. They do their utmost to outlaw competition through "government" monopolies, licensing laws, tariff protection, etc. When someone tries to compete with their monopolies (such as alternative health care), they don't hesitate to attack, terrorize, and destroy. (To suggest that only these terrocrats can solve certain problems could be considered grotesque!)
In the free enterprise sector, our operating modes are competition and cooperation. We need to demonstrate that competition and cooperation are more powerful than coercion - our solutions superior.
Criteria for Solutions
My idea that we need criteria against which a proposed solution should be tested is very recent. So the following is very tentative:
A Challenge to Dr. Win Wenger
Dr. Wenger says that #07B is "virtually unreadable for most people." I suspect it may also be partially difficult for him to read because he hasn't yet sufficiently developed all the thinking skills necessary to read it properly. I don't know what all of these thinking skills are. We need to identify them, describe them, and develop exercises others can practice to master them. Because of his most extensive work in increasing intelligence and creativity and developing ingenious problem-solving techniques, Dr. Wenger is probably one of the most qualified persons in the world to help us identify and describe the requisite thinking skills and developing exercises to teach them to others.
So I invite Dr. Wenger to reread #07B. If you find any part of it difficult to read, or you find fault with it, please indicate the necessary, so we might identify the requisite thinking skill, and/or correct the part. I also invite you to do some "freenoting" while reading #07B and send us the results - preferably cross-referenced with #07B as indicated in the introduction of this report.
One of the requisite thinking skills could be: Expand your comfort zone. I suspect Dr. Wenger finds the term "terrocrat" uncomfortable. What exercise might be necessary to make it comfortable for people to use "terrocrat" in their thinking and communication?
In the conversation with Jim Robertson mentioned earlier, he also
indicated that millions of people have been slaughtered in the
name, or as a result, of the collectivist abstractions they were
enslaved to. Persuading people to use "terrocrat(s)"
instead of "government" is one of the first steps in
freeing them from this most destructive collectivist abstraction.
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