If you don’t have an earthshaking idea, get one.

You’ll love building a better world.

At the end of World War II my father and other young men came home, and our quiet world of waiting, worrying women and children became one of joy, excitement, vigor, and optimism. For a time many of these veterans would gather at our house to talk about what they had seen and done. But mostly they talked about the future. They were all children of the Great Depression, so they talked about how America would fare economically. They talked about what it would take to keep us safe. They talked about political phi­losophy, jobs, sports, religion, education, world affairs—they were, for me at least, a wonderful window on the world. I was permitted to sit with them and I could even ask questions which they would patiently answer. But eventually most of these men moved away from our small town to jobs or colleges in Fort Worth or Waco, both cities about seventy miles away. My father, three uncles, the husband of my mother’s cousin (whom I called, “Uncle John”), and a few family friends remained. For more than a decade they would meet often and spend an hour or two conducting a seminar that my mother called, “Solving the World’s Prob­lems.” It was fascinating for me.

I admired all those veterans very much then, and I still do. They were confident in themselves and sat­isfied with the many mighty things that they and millions more had accomplished in World War II. They thought that they and America would build a better world. Who is to say they were wrong? But they could not live forever and, ultimately, they had to pass America to their children.

From these experiences I developed a deep interest in how our institutions worked. In high school I determined to study them to see if I could devise ways to make them better. I realized that I would have to study them throughout my life be­cause my point of view would change as my age and circum­stances changed. I further vowed that upon reaching retirement age if I had learned anything useful I would write about it.

Let me be explicit. “Better” meant “better for ordinary people, first, last and always.” Those veterans—those young, wise, and caring men—taught me that the purpose of government was to serve all of the people. They were very clear that government, above all else, must help those who need help, protect those who need protection, and recognize and cherish those who have served and sacrificed. The systems I propose in this book are intended to serve those goals.

I am now twelve years beyond retirement age and I was right to wait. In 1965 I saw the movie The Cin­cinnati Kid. I identified with Steve McQueen’s portrayal of a brash, young gambler. I wanted McQueen’s character to win the big game against the old gambler played by Edward G. Robin­son. Thirty years later I saw the movie again. Then I thought McQueen’s character was a fool, and I wanted Robinson to win all his money. Many things changed over time.

I became a teacher of math and German in a large Texas high school and later entered the world of computers just when they were starting to be widely used by American businesses. From 1965 to 1995 I worked as a designer and developer of large-scale computer systems. Updated versions of some of the systems I helped develop are still in use today, and they directly affect the daily lives of millions of Americans.

The years of my working life were exciting in that our nation was undergoing tremendous change, and I, in a small way, helped structure that change. In my segment of that world, com­puters were being applied for the first time to all aspects of a business: accounting, marketing, personnel, analysis, customer service, billing, product support, and much more. We called this process “developing application systems.” We followed a simple procedure in each new situation. First we had a data-collection step, followed by analysis and de­sign, implementation, and operation. My work permitted me to continue with my hobby of imagining ideas for improving our institutions. In some cases my ideas were actually implemented, and I got to see how they worked.

Upon reaching my 65th birthday, I decided that I had learned some worthwhile things, and I will offer them here. I am not a scholar. I am simply a former schoolteacher who became a com­puter programmer—I am an ordinary man, or as my father would say: “a common man.” I was raised a Southern Baptist, gradu­ated from Baylor University, then the largest Baptist school in the world, and have lived all but four years of my life in Texas where (as the old joke goes) there are more Baptists than people. At Baylor, some of my minister-in-training friends informed me that because of a technicality I was not a Christian—I had failed to be baptized. So, I became a golden-rule concretist, one who believes in making the Golden Rule of Reciprocity a concrete thing—a working system of government that implements the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” I lived one year in each of the following places: New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Mechan­icsburg (Pennsylvania), and Greenwich (Connecticut). They were all nice places with nice people.

I admired my father and mother very much. They were smart, logical, and deeply analytical. My father went only to the eighth grade, but he knew so much about so much. I am still amazed by it. My mother finished high school; in fact, she and I graduated from the same high school 21 years apart. She told me how she had read all the books in the small school library when she was a student, and she chal­lenged me to do the same. In my senior year I was looking through the shelves to find a book I had not read and came upon a small volume of poetry. I took it to the checkout desk and there discov­ered that the last person to take out that book was my mother twenty-one years before. She and I shared a big laugh about that. She had an intuitive grasp of mathematics. When I was in college I would talk to her about the math courses I was taking. She would understand things immediately, and she often helped me to understand them as well. One of the most interesting mathematical dis­cussions I ever had with her was when she started talking about mapping the rich inner lives we all have onto the poor actions we are allowed by na­ture and society. I talked with my father about everything else—but mostly I listened to them both.

So what I have to say is drawn from ordinary experiences in ordinary jobs while I was living an ordinary life, but with extraordinary parents.[1] In the writing of this book, I have used the same approach that I used to design computer applications. I frankly hope that my ideas make it to the light of day, and I hope above all that they provoke anger and re­sistance. Throughout my career of introducing change, I saw that such reactions were the leading indica­tors that we were on to something good.

I have presented my ideas informally to many persons and a good many of the reactions I have received would cause a practical man to abandon them. But I have had some encouragement from friends and family. One friend has been steadfast in her belief that things can, and must, be improved. Her insights into our society in general and into the baseless hypotheses put forward by industrial agriculture, corporate medicine, and the criminal justice system in particular, have kept me on the right path. Two lifelong friends and classmates read an early version, and while they did not agree with some of the things I wrote, they nevertheless gave me valuable suggestions and encouraged me to continue. For example, one of them taught me that there are many good lobbyists—the problem is that our system rewards the bad ones. Last, but not least, another friend has taught me two things. First, love is the answer to most human problems, and second, life is simple, but people make it complicated.

My brother, Randall, read the book as it was being developed and he corrected my many mistakes, sharpened my poorly expressed ideas, offered his own ideas, and reinforced my love and admiration for our parents. In fact, he pointedly reminded me that the heart of this book is based on the ideas, attitudes, beliefs, and actions of our parents. He is right. No matter what differences nature and nurture may have produced between us two brothers, we are definitely our parents’ children. We two apples fell in the comforting shade of the tree, and we are glad of it.

So I, a weary old man, wrote this book to make good on the vows made by that earnest young boy in the spring of 1956—and I aimed this book at the earnest young people of today. But I also wrote this book to honor my ancestors, and all the other Americans like them, who, through the way they lived their lives—their hard work, their independence, their self-reliance, their clear-eyed view of the world, their high intelligence, their strong voices and their fearlessness in using them, their sense of right and charity, their drive to leave the world a better place than they found it, their fairness, their love of family and country, their belief in education, their conscious practice of the Golden Rule of Reciprocity, their willingness to sacrifice, to do their part, to expect no more, and no less, than what they deserved, and all the rest they did—defined for me the “American Way.”

Many persons and organizations lay claim to the term “American Way.” I include in it all the things that my parents’ generation fought for in World War II, and the things that those of us who stood and waited for our loved ones’ safe return dreamed about while the battle raged. All the ideals from those long ago days, whether fully realized or not, are the ideals that I hold, and against which I measure our systems and institutions. Those ideals, for me, are the true American Way, chiefly because they include all Americans. We are all in this thing together, and I wouldn’t have it any other Way. I devote this book to an effort to reestablish the American Way, because I fear it is racing away. I think it is essential that we Americans agree on what the American Way means to each and all. It is essential that we agree on what each of us must do in order to do his duty. For too long we have gone our separate ways as we tried to find our way. The new way will focus on common destinations and common ways to travel to them. It is essential that we assume responsibility for our national government and all of our other major institutions, and once we agree on what they should do to build a better world, we must bend them to our will.

The essential ingredient of the original American Way, the ingredient that built, defended, and when necessary, rebuilt America is the people. In this book I offer a system that will enable us to sharpen the definition of the American Way, and will enable us to make it a reality. I call this new system, “faction-free democracy.” In the new system, the people will express their will in clear language and then they will use their absolute power to carry it out—there will be no middlemen. Faction-free democracy is truly government of the people, by the people, and for the people—and through faction-free democracy we can establish an America where all persons can live long lives, and their lives will be worth living.[2]

My father, who had the outlook of a philosopher, used to say that there are three eternal questions which engage humankind: “Where did I come from? Where am I going? What should I do while I am here?” My mother, who had the outlook of an engineer, would counter with her four eternal questions: “Where do we stand? How did we get here? Where do we want to go? How do we get there from here?”

I would often talk with my father about the myriad answers to his questions, and it was lots of fun. But he would usually close the discussion with a reminder that I should answer his third eternal question, “What should I do while I am here?” by trying to answer Mother’s four eternal questions. That is exactly what I have done for the past six decades, and this book is a summary of my answers to her questions.

And finally, when I was approaching adolescence I became a little too smart for my own good. I was cracking wise one day and my mother patiently said something like this, “Jerry, I had a dream about you last night. I saw you standing in a dark place with a bright light shining on you. Behind the light I could see many pairs of eyes watch­ing you. I could not decide if you were addressing a large group of people who had come to hear what you had to say, or if you were leading a prison break and the guards had caught you in their searchlight. Things can turn out either way, and it is all up to you.” And my father often said, “All of us are born ignorant, but not all of us overcome it.”

To my father I say, “Poppa, I have tried my very best to overcome my ignorance.” And to my mother I say, “So far so good, Momma, so far so good.”

This book is not my dream, but it is my idea. My dream is that your idea will be heard, and it will shake the earth.

Introduction

Adapt or Die

 

This book was written to offer answers to my mother’s four eternal questions. When I started work in 1956, the answers would have been different. But today the answers are clear and the goal is unmistakable. We, the people, through government, religion, education, economics, business, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, must urgently respond to the onrushing catastrophe of global warming. In short, we must adapt or die. Each nation will have a different set of answers depending on its unique situation, but, in general, we all have the same problems.

 Where do we stand?

We stand in a world where the survival of our civilization, even the survival of our species, is in doubt. Scientists who are experts in the various aspects of climate change and extreme weather due to global warming, are virtually unanimous: we must do something now to stop the burning of fossil fuels. We are committing suicide.

How did we get here?

We got here because evolution by natural selection gave our ancestral species ever larger, ever more complex brains that they, and finally we, used to make billions of rational decisions that enabled us to survive and thrive. We used our intellects to build a great civilization with many technological and scientific marvels. But our powerful brains are of no value unless we use them to rationally decide questions that can affect our chances of survival. In the last two centuries or so, we human beings have ignored our intellectual tools, and indulged our selfish, unthinking urges. We have been childish. We have acted irrationally. We assumed that Nature would absorb all our excesses. But we were wrong, and when scientists began to warn us that we were damaging our planet, we ignored them. And as the problem worsened, those who had the power and responsibility to take bold action to save us from ourselves failed to do their duty. Some selfishly wanted to protect their wealth and power, others rejected the warnings based on their “common sense,” still others rejected action based on ignorance (some of it self-imposed), and those who took the warnings seriously lacked the courage or the power to force confrontations that could have led to prudent action.

 Where do we want to go?

We want to move to a world that does not burn fossil fuels. We want to do all the things necessary to stop the warming of our planet, and we want to establish international systems that will preserve and protect us. Earth is the only planet we have.

How do we get there from here?

 In America’s case we must replace our Madisonian republic with faction-free democracy and replace tyranno-capitalism with democrato-capitalism. We must strengthen the wall between church and state, we must remove ideology from education, and we must change our business structure to one that is driven by demand. All institutions, all over the world, must adapt the intellectual process that was used by the ancient Athenians as they moved from monarchy to the first, and only, democracy. We must rely on evolution by intellection. We must apply our intellects in rational, benevolent, and forward-looking ways. We must think our way forward.

 The Critical Path to Success

The critical path to success begins at the beginning. We must finish what the Founding Fathers started. They started and won the revolutionary war (with the indispensable help of the people), and they established our Madisonian republic, both of which they meant to do. The Declaration of Independence was a multi-purpose document. It was meant to convince other nations that the American colonies fully intended to create a new nation with the same rights, powers, sovereignty, and responsibilities as all other nations—there was no hope of reconciliation with Great Britain. In addition, the moving words of the Declaration, which included “all men are created equal,” “unalienable rights,” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” were meant to inspire the people of the budding nation to give their all in making independence a reality. Both goals were met. France came to believe that America was committed to separation from Britain, and the people were highly motivated to fight. But something unexpected happened—the inclusive, democratic words of the Declaration continued to hold power through the centuries. As it turns out, we, the people, want more than mere national independence—we want liberty and justice for all. We want democracy.

Over the generations, we have given our blood and treasure in the belief, instilled in us by our leaders, that we were protecting our own democracy while also purchasing democracy for other nations—but some of them, especially lately, have rejected the freedom we sacrificed to give them.  At home our leaders tell us we have democracy, but we know we don’t—unfair, undemocratic, and even un-American inequality can be seen from coast to coast and border to border. We grouse and grumble, but good citizens that we are, the great majority of us rarely threaten or take action, and democracy remains beyond the horizon.

We Americans have gotten many things right. We have used our power to help keep the world more or less on the path toward justice for all. We have gotten many things wrong, but when we finally realized that we were wrong we have often (but not always) tried to correct our errors. However, there are still situations in which we are wrong, but we think we are right—and our blindness to our errors has caused us to dig in our heels and fight against the changes needed to do the right thing. In fact, we teach our schoolchildren things about ourselves that are wrong and thereby inculcate in them a hard-to-shake misunderstanding of how life, especially American life, works. I know this to be true from personal experience, and from years of studying our major systems.

As I wrote this book, I encountered some unexpected difficulties. For example, I believed what we are taught in school: America is a democracy with liberty and justice for all, capitalism is the best system to provide economic prosperity for all, we fought the Civil War to end slavery, and we passed civil rights legislation in the sixties to end racial discrimination. But when I tried to document these facts, I found that they were not entirely true, and I had difficulty deciding how much, and which part, was true. Was it what we are taught in school, or was it what I could see with my own eyes?

I could see that racial discrimination was hard at work in America. I could see that most of our citizens do not enjoy the fruits of capitalism—in fact, they are taken advantage of by the capitalists. I found that access to education, health care, economic opportunities and resources, as well as access to civil rights and protections, depended on one’s race, gender, economic status, sexual preference, religion, physical status, or place of birth—we are not all equal in the eyes of the law.

But the most perilous problem I observed was our inability to recognize and organize to deal with the onrushing catastrophe of extreme weather due to global warming. This failure is so blatant, so irresponsible, and so suicidal, that I felt its causes may also be the causes that have produced so many of our society’s problems.

Over decades, as I tried to analyze our most important systems, I could see many problems with our national and state governments—most Americans can. So I searched for the cause, the design error that led to the mistreatment of so many groups. Non-males, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-Christians, the not-well-to-do, non-natives, and the disabled are all treated as second-class citizens by our major systems.[3] Instead of being protected by our government these seven groups are actually abused by it. I could not find the design error—and I finally realized that there was no error. I realized that our system of government was working as designed. I realized that our system was designed to exclude seven hated groups from full American citizenship, from equal access to resources and opportunities, from equal rights and protections under the law. I realized that our system of government is not a democracy at all—it is a plutocracy.

These realizations were at first impossible for me to accept. I would try to find my own error, over and over. It took me more than five years to complete the second chapter, The Madisonian Republic. Because I was taught in school that our government is a democracy I was shocked to see that James Madison said our government is not a democracy. He said so in Federalist 10, and he was plain about it. Our government is not a democracy. He said clearly that democracies do not work. Even Benjamin Franklin said our government is a republic. The story goes that a woman met Franklin on the street and asked him what kind of government we would have. He said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Madison said the same thing, over and over. But I could not accept Madison’s own words. My teachers had said otherwise and I believed them. But slowly I realized that they were only teaching, repeating, what they had been taught.

This internal conflict brought me to a virtual halt in my writing. I did not have a writer’s block because I did not know what to say. My block was that I knew what to say, but I did not have the will to contradict all I had been taught. But finally, I was able to convince myself that my task was to design a new set of integrated systems, just as I had vowed to do in 1956. So, to keep that vow, I had to finish this book—I had to go where the facts took me—and I had to be plain about it.

So, to be plain about it, James Madison feared democracy. He and Alexander Hamilton, in an effort to kill the idea of an American democracy, unfairly disparaged democracies in some of their Federalist essays. There Madison leveled a direct and deceptive attack against democracies in general—and ancient Athens in particular. Madison and Hamilton wanted a plutocracy—they wanted our government to be permanently in the hands of the wealthy elite class of which they were both leading members. They could not call our new government a plutocracy (which it was and is) because the people would not accept it, and they could not call it a democracy because the people were bound to see that it did not obey the will of the people. So, they designed a new form of government: a representative republic, which is a plutocracy dressed in the clothing of democracy. This clever ploy enabled them to use the language of democracy when they described the new government, while they were taking the people’s power and money and giving them to the plutocrats. And their ploy worked. We Americans insist that we are a democracy, but we are wrong. This gross error is extremely important, and extremely hard to accept—we have all been well-trained by our schools, by our politicians, and by our media. We have all been good students.

A democracy is a form of government that enables the people to define and implement their will. It obeys the will of the people—it works for the common good. A representative republic, as Madison designed it, obeys the will of those who control the representatives—and as we know all too well, we, the people, do not control our representatives. Public opinion polls measure our constant low level of satisfaction with all of our elected officials. In general our representatives do not represent us. Therefore our government does not obey the will of the people. Therefore our government is not a democracy. This is not mere pedantry—this is the key to revitalizing the American Way—this is the key to America’s future—this is the key to your future—this is the key to the future of your descendants. We must replace our Madisonian republic with a democracy—a government that adapts the best ideas from the democracy of ancient Athens. Only then will we have a government that works for the common good. Only then will each American have the rights, resources, opportunities, and protections that will give her an equal chance to go as far as her efforts and talents can take her. Only then will all persons be able to live long lives that are worth living. I explain what James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were up to in the second chapter. I probably have more detail there than you need, but I wanted to be very, very plain about this fundamental weakness of the American system.

For the moment, we must realize that our governments at all levels, our economic system, our religions, our political system, and some others all work as designed. And the things they do to trample on the rights of the people are not done by accident, they are done on purpose. This conclusion led me to search for a common cause. Why were all these systems organized to work against the common good? There could be only one answer: human nature—and human nature is determined by one thing: evolution by natural selection.

Evolution by natural selection has two sides—on one it creates new life forms; on the other, it destroys them all. It has ruled our species since the beginning. It is mindless, purposeless, relentless, merciless and amoral—it is a force of nature. It has produced two living varieties of humankind who instinctively follow their evolved natures: democrati who are timid and altruistic, and tyranni who are aggressive and selfish. Democrati naturally work for the common good—they act rationally.  Tyranni naturally work against the common good—they act irrationally.

The Cycle of Human History

  • Tyranni naturally, aggressively push forward to take power.
  • Democrati naturally, timidly step back to let them pass.
  • Tyranni naturally use that power to indulge their selfish urges.
  • Innocents (tyranni and democrati alike) suffer and die unnecessarily.
  • A great commotion occurs—from elections to wars.
  • Tyranni-outs seize power from tyranni-ins.
  • Innocents continue to suffer, but under new rulers.
  • And the cycle renews.

But because Nature has been so bountiful, because democrati greatly outnumber tyranni, and because humans are so resilient and so creative, this brutal process could not stop progress—very costly progress, often needlessly tragic and unevenly distributed, but progress nevertheless—of that there is no doubt. However, we are now dangerously near the end. Nature’s bounty is nearly exhausted. She can no longer heal our self-inflicted wounds, she cannot replenish what we take from her—she cannot forgive our greed.

Without the assistance of Nature, we humans are finally on our own. Our millennia of adolescence are over. It is time to grow up. We can no longer afford to indulge our selfish urges—we cannot afford to just do what comes naturally: act reflexively, act without thinking, play political games instead of doing the hard work of facing and solving the immense problems we have created for ourselves. If we continue to follow the instinctive natures given to us by evolution by natural selection we will go the way of countless other species—we will decline, even become extinct—and it will be sooner rather than later.

Tyranni naturally seek power and wealth. Large institutions have power and power leads to wealth. It is usually beyond the ability of a single tyrannus to gain control of a large institution. He must have allies. Recognizing this fact, tyranni are prone to form groups in pursuit of power and wealth. They work together to dominate those who do not belong to their alliance, while they intrigue against each other as each seeks to become the ultimate ruler, the supreme tyrannus. Such groups of power-seeking tyranni are factions, and they have been commonplace throughout world history. Once they gain power, once they control a large institution—from state legislatures to Wall Street banks to national governments—they irrationally push their power as far as it can take them—even if it leads to the destruction of themselves and the institutions they control.

The most powerful institutions are national governments, and they take on many forms. They are called monarchical, fascist, communist, socialist, democratic, republican, etc. I suppose that such classifications are important, but the most important category is omitted from the discussion. Governments are either tyranno or democrato. They should be measured by how they treat their people. Those that serve the common good are democrato and those that do not are tyranno. For example, several tyranno-governments have plagued us in our history. The monarchies were Great Britain under King George III, and the Empire of Japan. Nazi Germany was socialist. The Italian government of Benito Mussolini was fascist. The U.S.S.R. under Josef Stalin was a collection of socialist republics, and it was called communist as well. The Chinese government under Mao Zedong was called a republic and communist. The Confederate States of America was called a republic, as were the states of the unrepentant, postbellum South. The government of North Korea, I suppose, has its own specific identifying term, but I don’t know what it is, and I really don’t care. I only care that all of these governments treated their people badly. They were controlled by factions and they worked constantly to widen and increase their power over others. This tendency is natural for tyranni. But as they pushed and pushed their power, these nations finally met resistance and they had to obey a natural law, the law of evolution by natural selection—they had to adapt or die.

Great Britain lost its American empire because it could not adapt to the demands of its colonies. The Confederate States of America was formed because its founders believed that they could force the world to adapt to them. They thought that they could force the rest of America to accept their false hypotheses of white supremacy and chattel slavery. Such fantasies ultimately are fatal. The world is a natural place, obeying natural laws, not an ideological playground for the indulgence of false hypotheses. The Confederacy’s only hope was to adapt to the rest of America and to adapt to the world. But it was not to be. The Confederacy’s lack of adaptability caused it to belligerently self-destruct in four years of fratricide, which killed more Americans than all other wars combined. But for more than a century after this great tragedy, the faction of white supremacy controlled the southern states, and violence against black citizens continued. At long last, after another great shame had marred our history forever, America moved closer to its ideal, and non-white Americans finally were able to begin to claim, little by little, some of their long-overdue rights—but the struggle is far from over.

Nazi Germany tried to force the world to adapt to its false hypothesis of Aryan supremacy and was blasted off the face of the earth—and a benign government rose in its place. The Empire of Japan tried to force its own racism on the rest of the world and it, too, was destroyed and then replaced by a more peaceable system of government. The U.S.S.R., because of its belief in the false hypothesis of totalitarianism, and because it could not adapt to the outside pressures first applied by Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, eventually crumbled. Even now many nations struggle along, unable to adapt to the intertribal problems that have plagued them for centuries—for them, catastrophe is always near.

If we look carefully at our nation it is clear that we share too many characteristics with these tyranno-governments. We do not work for the common good. From the beginning we have mistreated seven hated groups: not-male, not-white, not-heterosexual, not-Christian, not-well-to-do, not-native, and the disabled. Our government is ruled by a small group of wealthy elite men who hold all of our nation’s power. These men hold power for decades, and it is very difficult to remove incumbents. The people have a small voice that is almost never decisive. Through their tight control of the election system and the two-party system, those in power decide who is to be granted access to power. Our rulers listen only to their own ideas, or to the ideas of sycophants, or to the ideas of those who give them money. Our rulers substitute their own wishes for the wishes of the people, and our rulers use our power primarily to benefit themselves. And, unfortunately, with regard to the economy, energy, inequality, and extreme weather, our rulers are pushing us beyond safe limits. It is safe to say that they are not following a policy of “safety first” in these four dangerous areas. The governments I named above were controlled by factions. Our government, like the other governments just described, works against the common good. Our government is a tyranno-government; it is not a faction-free democracy.

 Factions Currently at Work

 There are many factions at work today in America. The faction of states’ rights has done immense damage to our society, and it is still at work. The faction of white supremacy, which was the basis of the government, religion, and economy of the tyranno-South, is alive and well. It can be found throughout the nation and is concentrated in several large sections of our country. Misogyny is actively at work everywhere. It can be seen in the practice of paying women less than men even though they are doing equal work. It can be seen in the medieval practice of denying women the right to control their own bodies—many state legislatures, overwhelmingly in the control of tyranni, have made it clear that they think women are second-class citizens, and must be kept in their place—subordinate to men in other words. The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention treat women as second-class citizens. These two large religions clearly, and irrationally, believe that women are inferior to men, and should be subordinate to them.

Our political parties use factions to stir the passions of ordinary citizens. For example, some of our current leading political figures use hateful language to vilify non-Christians, non-whites, foreigners, and the poor, thereby garnering votes and campaign contributions. And their disparagement of non-heterosexuals has just now been muted by a recent Supreme Court decision declaring that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as everyone else. But, knowing human nature as I do, I am sure that this period of quiet will not last long and the bitter attacks will resume.

Anti-science and pro-ignorance are really two sides of the same faction. Americans who favor these two manifestations of irrationality seek to gain control of the public schools so that they can become theological seminaries from the first grade upwards. When they are unable to achieve this goal they move to the faction of separatism, and create their own schools so that anti-science and pro-ignorance can be taught to their children. And we must not forget capitalism. The form that we practice today is one of the strongest and one of the most dangerous factions. If left unchecked, it will destroy our civilization.

STEM vs. GREEB

 Tyranni seek power wherever they can find it. They want power and they want it right now. Tyranni are very successful in the ideology-based institutions of government, religion, education, economics, and business (GREEB). Such ideology-based institutions yield power in irrational ways: through aggression, deception, money, nepotism, cronyism, personal charisma, and the like. In general, facts matter very little in these institutions. What matters most is the opinion of the dominant tyrannus—the facts be damned. As a result tyranni have controlled the GREEB institutions throughout our history. There are many ways to define ideology. In this book, I define it thusly:

Ideology: ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true, but which are not supported by rational argument, and which give exact rules, directions, or instructions about how one should do something.

The fact-based institutions are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Such fact-based institutions yield power and influence to those with a proven record of high performance demonstrated over a period of years. In these institutions the truth is discovered—not decreed—it is universal, and it is repeatedly re-verified by independent groups. Tyranni do not do well in such situations; they are accustomed to brushing aside facts and opinions that are disagreeable to them. Democrati have dominated the STEM institutions throughout most of our history, and because they tend to stick to facts and truth, they have not done well in the GREEB institutions.

It does not matter what the ideas or beliefs of any institution may be—STEM or GREEB—and it does not matter if their ideas or beliefs are rational or irrational. But it does matter how those ideas or beliefs are applied to our society. Unfortunately, the ideas or beliefs that are not supported by rational argument can lead to mistreatment of our citizens. Some institutions believe that homosexual Americans are not entitled to the same rights, resources, opportunities, and protections as heterosexual citizens, even though there is no rational argument to support that belief. Similarly some ideologies mistreat people who are not white, not male, not Christian, not native, disabled, or not rich. Such mistreatment is irrational and inconsistent with American values. The GREEB institutions typically practice this kind of mistreatment and, by acting in this way, they show that they are not willing to work for the common good.

Let me be plain, discrimination based on color, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, disability, place of birth, or religion is not rational. There is no rational basis for these forms of discrimination (no doubt my list is incomplete). And to a great extent such discrimination is not practiced by the various STEM institutions, but it is practiced by many of the GREEB institutions. Such discrimination is irrational and it works against the common good.

There is one more important point. Many citizens may choose to accept the ideas or beliefs of a given GREEB institution and find themselves in disagreement with the way those ideas or beliefs are applied to our society. I think this often happens in Christianity. I accepted, in general, the ideas and beliefs I was taught at my local First Baptist church when I was young, but as I grew older I began to see how some churches treated some groups in ways that were not consistent with their own beliefs—they did not honor the Golden Rule of Reciprocity. This practice is widespread and is known as “hypocrisy.” Realizing that there was no hope that this particular sect would ever change its ways, I withdrew from it in 1959. I still hold the same beliefs, but I apply them to life in a way that differs from the teachings of my childhood church and my alma mater.

In essence, the GREEB institutions attract tyranni who, when they gain power in a given institution, implement policies that work against the common good, and they use the ideology of that institution to justify those policies. Taken together, the GREEB institutions form Tyranno-America, which works against the common good. Taken together, the STEM institutions form Democrato-America which works for the common good. In summary, it is not what you believe, it is what you do to others that is important.

Some hybrid institutions are split between ideology-based and fact-based elements. Journalism and medicine are two of the most important examples. Journalism is controlled to a great degree by business, or the profit motive—likewise with medicine. In both of these institutions, especially journalism, the ideology-based profit component can have a crippling effect and can alter the operation of the fact-based components. Many organizations that claim to practice pure journalism are actually shills for one or more GREEB institutions. It is sad to say that medicine is also adversely affected by the profit motive. Professional standards very often suffer in both institutions.

Tyranni are not satisfied with their control of the GREEB institutions. They want to control the STEM institutions as well. This desire has become clearly visible in recent years because the STEM institutions are a threat to the GREEB institutions. A great deal of the power and wealth of the tyranni who control the GREEB institutions is based on fossil fuels, and the STEM institutions have called for moving away from fossil fuels as soon as humanly possible. The tyranni who control the GREEB institutions cannot combat the facts marshalled by the STEM institutions, so they resort to lies. This naked use of outright falsehoods and ideological appeals to supernatural beings is shameless and extremely dangerous. These tyranni have so far managed to keep our government from taking essential steps to deal with the onrushing catastrophe of global warming. So long as tyranni control one of our political parties, or control enough elected offices in Congress or state governments, or control many of our largest, richest corporations, they can block prudent actions thereby making it more and more likely that we will destroy our civilization—and it will be sooner rather than later.

The ancient Darwinian struggle between tyranni and democrati is not being fought through armies, but through the institutions that each variety controls. We find ourselves in a war between the GREEB institutions and the STEM institutions, with the people, who are mostly democrati and mostly powerless, in between. This is a war between ideology and rationality, and if ideology should triumph all will be lost.

The only way for democrati to win is to take control of the GREEB institutions—government, religion, education, economics and business—and restructure them so that they work for the common good—which, thank goodness, has a rational basis. We will use good ideas wherever we find them, and the system that is rich with good ideas is Athenian democracy. This ancient, first democracy was a great success, and there are seven reasons for that success:

  1. Power Management—the Athenians understood that there are two kinds of government power: administrative and transformative. They understood that administrative power can be delegated but transformative power cannot, except in very limited, tightly-controlled cases. Unfortunately, we foolishly mismanage our power. We delegate too much—to too few people—for too long a time. And we delegate our power through the corrupt system of parties and partisan elections.
  2. Government of, by, and for the people—the Athenian government was of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our government is of the people, by the plutocrats, and for the plutocrats.
  3. Liturgies and Public Works—the Athenians had ways to persuade the wealthy to willingly spend their wealth for the common good. We don’t even ask the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.
  4. The Oath of the Ephebes—the Athenians taught their youth that they had a duty to act on behalf of the common good—we should do the same.
  5. Evolution by Intellection—the Athenians formalized this process for managing the evolution of civilization. It relies on the sustained, cooperative, rational acts of humankind. It depends especially on the most important of our intellectual gifts: the power to make something out of nothing but an idea. We will think our way forward. We will use our intellects together. We will ponder important matters with purpose and objectivity. Unfortunately, many powerful factions within our GREEB institutions have largely ignored this form of evolution. They reject knowledge, science, rationality, inclusion, and progress in favor of ideology, prejudice, willful ignorance, exclusion, and irrationality as the tools of governance. And, unfortunately, they have enough power to do great harm to our civilization—they could even destroy it.
  6. The Silver Mines of Laurium—the Athenians knew how to manage their money supply.  We don’t know how to manage ours—but, if we apply our intellects in rational ways, we will quickly learn.
  7. Investing in the People—the Athenians thought it was so important for the people to participate in their democracy that they compensated the poor for the income lost when they attended the Assembly. Without this payment they would have been unable to participate.

Here are some of the ways we should apply these seven ideas:

  • Change the way we choose our representatives.
  • Change the way we manage government power. To the extent possible, all groups that wield transformative power must be large enough to be made up of tyranni and democrati in the proportions they occur in nature. In general, power should be delegated by random selection, for short periods, for specific, limited purposes, to thousands or even millions of citizens, and its use should be subject to review by the people. However, if the authority wielding transformative power is so small that it cannot be made up of tyranni and democrati in the proportions they occur in nature—such as one or two police officers on patrol—then special oversight procedures are required.
  • Change the relationship between the national government and state and local governments—replace states’ rights with American rights. Only the national government can enact laws that limit or deny the rights of the individual. State governments will primarily carry out administrative functions. State legislatures can pass laws, but they will be limited to regulations and rules. Laws that criminalize the behavior of citizens can be enacted only by the national government.
  • Change the way we treat the seven hated groups: not-male, not-white, not-heterosexual, not-Christian, not-well-to-do, not-native, and the disabled, and call on all citizens to serve in our faction-free democracy.
  • We should as a society devise and implement ways to favor rationality over irrationality, facts over ideology, knowledge over ignorance, inclusion over exclusion, progress over regression, and love over hate. As a matter of course our society should favor evolution by intellection.
  • We should gladly accept the fact that we have an unlimited supply of money and apply it to serve all of us. We should replace tyranno-capitalism (a system of economics that works only for a few) with democrato-capitalism (a system of economics that works for all of us). We should build a new system of economics as well as a new system of government.
  • We should invest in the people to the tune of $36,000 per person per year from birth to death so they can do the things that will build a better America. These include taking care of their children, staying in school, staying out of jail, serving in the government when they are called upon, taking care of their health, their homes, and their local communities. In addition we should pay certain professions for providing invaluable services to the people: military personnel, health care givers, lawyers, police officers, firemen and other emergency responders, teachers, and the like. They should be paid a premium by our faction-free democracy.
  • We should use our unlimited supply of money to change our economy from one that redistributes money to one that distributes No longer will we take money from one citizen and give it to another. We have enough money to provide resources and opportunities to everyone without reducing them for anyone. This means that taxation for the purposes of redistribution will be eliminated. We will need a few sin taxes, and we will need to use a special form of taxation to drain excess money from our system in order to control inflation, but essentially, we will lead tax-free lives.

 Chapter by Chapter

1.You are what you do—to others.

 In this chapter I summarize where we stand. The most important thing to understand is how our species is divided into two different varieties: democrati and tyranni. I summarize the process of evolution by natural selection. I show that many people including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Quincy Adams, John Dean, Charles Darwin, James Earl Carter Jr., Edward O. Wilson, the sciences of medicine and anthropology, and more have noticed these two varieties. I discuss their characteristics. I also include a discussion of Evolution by Intellection, and I briefly summarize the current status of most of our major institutions. This chapter shows that evolution by natural selection has a strong, even dominant, effect on all that we do. To save ourselves from ourselves we must control ourselves.

2. The Madisonian Republic

In this chapter I discuss four major topics. First, I discuss how James Madison was afraid that the states would pass unjust laws. Next, I discuss how the Supreme Court is corrupt, and that the right of petition and assembly has failed. Next, I discuss how the theory of “states’ rights” is nothing more than a license for certain states to evade and defy laws that move us toward making “all men are created equal” a fact instead of a dream. Finally, I analyze in detail Federalist 10, written by James Madison. I show that he cleverly uses the language of democracy to obscure the fact that his “scheme of representation,” his Madisonian republic, is really a plutocracy. Our Madisonian republic is tyranno in the way it is designed, and in the way it operates. It is a danger to us, the people.

 3. The Tyranno-South

In this chapter, I discuss how tyranni long ago established themselves as a powerful faction in the southern states and adopted slavery as the principal engine of their economy. I discuss the conflict that arose during the writing of the Declaration of Independence and then during the framing of our Constitution. I talk about Benjamin Franklin’s last public act: a petition for the abolition of slavery. And I discuss, and quote, the hateful words emitted by two congressmen who defended slavery and warned the nation to leave slavery alone. I talk about how the “Slave Power” played a dominant role in American affairs for decades until the Civil War. I discuss Alexander Stephens’ “Cornerstone Speech,” which celebrated the establishment of the Confederate States of America, and which made it crystal clear that the protection and expansion of slavery was the principal reason that the southern states fled from the Union. I show how the leaders of the Confederacy did not act wisely in seceding, declaring war, and fighting the war. I show how the aftermath of the Civil War was a constant, pervasive action by southern politicians to re-enslave free black Americans, and to reestablish the antebellum culture of the southern states. And, finally, I show how the attitudes of the old, slaveholding South have changed little. In many hearts and minds the Civil War is still being fought. In fact, the tyranno-South is still a prominent faction in our nation and has powerful negative effects on our national efforts to implement the democratic principles first set out in the Declaration of Independence.

4. Tyranno-Christianity

Almost any large institution can have two forms: tyranno and democrato. It all depends on who controls them. Religion is no exception. In this chapter I discuss tyranno-Christianity. Because it is controlled by tyranni, this form of Christianity does not work for the common good. On the other hand, democrato-Christianity does work for the common good. Throughout my life, I have been part of churches that practiced tyranno-Christianity and they do great harm to America. On the other hand, democrato-Christianity does great good. I show that many people, one of the most famous is Jimmy Carter, have noticed these two varieties of Christianity. He publicly resigned from a tyranno-sect and joined a democrato-sect in 2000.

 5. Tyranno-Parties

 Because political parties control access to political office and because political office can be easily converted to power and wealth, our major parties are constantly under assault by tyranni who seek to control them. So, the differences between parties are very often unclear, but from time to time, on some issue or other, there will be a clear demarcation. One party will work for the common good, the other will work against it. One of the clearest examples was the Democratic Party at the start of the Civil War. It split over slavery with the southern half becoming the party of the South. The Republican Party of that era became the party that was anti-slavery and the party of the North. For a long time the people of these two sections of our country voted the same way: Republican in the North, and Democratic in the South. Then Lyndon Johnson signed civil rights and voting rights legislation when he became President, and the two parties switched. The Republican Party became the party of the South and the Democratic Party became the party of the North. This chapter discusses the tyranno-acts of these parties.

6. Tyranno-Capitalism

 This institution is an abomination. It does great harm to America and the world. I show that chattel slavery, as practiced in the tyranno-South, was the original business model for tyranno-capitalism. Modern tyranno-capitalists, like the slavers of the tyranno-South, seek wealth and power over others. This power over others has resulted in a transfer, actually a theft, of wealth from the unpaid slaves and the underpaid laborers who followed to the tyranno-capitalists who exploited them. I discuss the false hypothesis of the “invisible hand.” Next I show how tyranno-capitalism manipulates the people and blames them for its failures. Next I show how tyranno-capitalism punished the people who were caught up in the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Next I discuss the hypocrisy of tyranno-capitalism—how it extolls its virtues while it covers up the harm it does to the people and to the environment. Next I show how tyranno-capitalism has taken control of the national and state governments. Next I show how economics is not a real science, and how it has supported the noxious policies of tyranno-capitalism. Next I show how economists admit that tyranno-capitalism does great harm to the people—they even have an oxymoronic name for it: “creative destruction.” And finally, I show the severe shortage of money that tyranno-capitalism forces on millions of Americans. I offer a table showing the way that tyranno-capitalism distributes money to the American people.

7. Seven Superior Ideas of Athenian Democracy

 James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were determined that America would not be a democracy, and they repeatedly libeled ancient democracies in their Federalist essays. I give some examples of their disparagement of the ancient democracies. Next I give examples of how modern historians have concluded that those democracies—particularly that of ancient Athens—were a success. I then discuss in more detail the seven superior ideas of Athenian democracy that I listed above in this Introduction. I show how they could be applied to our new systems of government and economics.

8. Cohort, Jury, Sample, Work Group, Classroom, Individual

 In this chapter I discuss how our population will be divided, as needed, into groups of different sizes who will serve different purposes. Cohorts will divide our population into four large groups based on age: Guardians, Experts, Generalists, and Sages. Juries of 10,000 persons will carry out functions similar to those now performed by members of the House of Representatives. Samples will be groups of citizens who will be randomly selected to gauge the opinions of the people on a variety of issues. We routinely use this technique today in opinion polling. Work Groups will form to perform some long-term task, such as designing a new banking system.

We already know about the Classroom, except that there will be more people involved in teaching. And each of us will be expected to act as Individuals when called. When we are speaking for ourselves alone, we must give our opinions and our service in ways that are consistent with our personal goals and beliefs. After all, what use is a democracy if we cannot each pursue our own happiness? When we are acting as surrogates on behalf of others we must follow a process that serves and protects those whom we represent—even if we dislike them. Our duty is always to serve and protect.

9. American Rights System

Whenever and wherever the rights of the individual are at stake, the American Rights System will have full jurisdiction to investigate, legislate, prosecute, and otherwise protect those rights. The American Rights System will be the most important branch of government. The rights of the individual are the exclusive province of the American Rights System—as directly managed by the people—and the primary task of that system is to be proactive in protecting the rights of the individual. No rights may be given to individuals or groups unless those rights are given at the same time and in the same way to all other individuals or groups. No rights may be taken from individuals or groups unless those rights are taken away from all other individuals or groups. Individuals and groups that are judged to be dangerous to the safety of themselves or others may, by following a lawful process, have their rights curtailed.

Through the American Rights System, we will finally have American Rights which are given to all citizens. All citizens will have equal access to rights, resources, opportunities, and protections so that each of us will have a fair chance to go as far as our talents and efforts can take us, and each of us will have a fair chance to build long lives that are worth living for ourselves and our loved ones. This is the American Way.

The American Rights System will be formed by implementing a new system of justice from the Supreme Court to new policing systems at all levels, and it will restructure state and local governments so that the abominable system of states’ rights will forever be extinguished.

10. Legislation, Administration

Our new Legislative System will rely on a national Internet system for the gathering and development of ideas that the people want to convert into national policies. It will rely on young Americans under age 26 to manage the system, and it will rely on a randomly selected Jury of 10,000 citizens to vote on one bill as our new House of Representatives. If we process 300 legislative acts each year, then we will call on 3,000,000 citizens to vote on those bills.

We will have a new system for evaluating the hypotheses that underlie proposed legislative acts and other matters of national importance. If such a system had been in place we never would have passed the demonic legislation that implemented the tyranno-theory of “trickle-down economics,” and we would have been able to avoid the costly, bloody invasion of Iraq. We will have a Goals System which will enable the people to set national, state, and local goals and then to measure progress toward achieving them.

We will replace the current Executive Branch with the Administrative System. This new system will be delegated administrative power only. Transformative power will be kept in the hands of the people. Two thousand citizens (500 each year) will be randomly selected to serve as Chief Administrators of our country. They will manage the current Departments that are now handled by the Executive Branch.  State and local governments will follow the same structure, they will consist of randomly selected citizens who will administer the functions of governance. The court systems at the state and local levels will continue to work, except there will be more of them, the judges will be chosen randomly, and they cannot rule against individual rights. Likewise, state legislators cannot pass acts that criminalize the behavior of citizens.

11. Education, STEM, Rationality

We will have the money we need to fund our education system, at all levels. Our children will be able to afford college. We will place great emphasis on rational thought. We will teach how the scientific method works in the STEM fields, and we will explain how its sibling, evolution by intellection, can be applied to most human endeavors from our personal lives to governing the nation. We teach how to think rationally by studying the many examples of rational, and irrational, thought that have had profound effects on our history.

12. An Unlimited Supply of Money

Here I discuss our new economic system: democrato-capitalism. We will provide each citizen with a regular and adequate supply of money in the form of an annual stipend of $36,000, regardless of age. This stipend will be paid from birth to death, and it will be in the form of twelve equal monthly installments. It will be directly deposited in each citizen’s bank accounts. All banks, other than investment banks, will merge into a single bank with many branches which will provide banking services to citizens and businesses. Home loans, small business loans, consumer loans, and the like will be easy to get and interest-free. For citizens, taxes as we know them will disappear. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and the like will no longer be needed. We will have some sin taxes to discourage harmful practices, such as dumping industrial waste into our streams and rivers. And we will have a tax designed to drain excess money from our system in order to control inflation. But, compared to today, we will live tax-free lives.

Governments at all levels will regularly make budgets and panels of citizens will approve them. There will be ample funding to pay good salaries to teachers and other public servants. Starved school systems such as those in many states where the state legislatures would rather cut taxes than educate their children, will no longer have to contend with such madness. They will get ample funding to give their schoolchildren good educations, with free lunches, in good, safe buildings, with well-paid teachers, with excellent learning aids such as computers, laboratories, field trips, cross-section and cross-state sharing of education programs with other school districts.  Minimum wages will be raised to livable wages and will be made mandatory.

City, county, and state functions will be well-funded and much-needed projects can commence. For example, the states that have been willing to sacrifice public safety for the sake of smaller government will have the money they need to repair their crumbling roads and bridges. State colleges can expand their facilities and faculties to better serve our children. Progress will not be limited by money. Instead it will be limited by equipment, materials, trained personnel, proper planning and management, and the like. We can finally begin to rebuild our infrastructure. And, as we do this, we will give the highest priority to projects that will enable us to slow global warming, adapt to its adverse effects, and prepare our population to live in a new world.

In addition, I discuss the lie that we have a limited supply of money, and I show how the national fear of inflation is unfounded. The threat of runaway inflation has been a perennial, and very effective, scare tactic employed by tyranno-capitalists to prevent spending money on the needs of the people. And finally I talk about how we, as a nation, need to get over our hatred of the poor. We have plenty of money for everyone, even those we don’t like, even those who we think don’t deserve it, even those we hate.  Poor people, like all other people, are good people, and, just like everybody else, they will take advantage of the opportunities and resources offered by democrato-capitalism. The lives of all Americans will be more productive and thereby will improve the overall economy. We need millions of people who are well-trained, well-paid, and well-motivated to work on building a bright future for us all. We are all in this thing together.

13. We Earthlings, We Astronauts

We human beings are exquisitely evolved to live in Earth’s natural environment. But we evolved to fit into the world. The world did not evolve to conform to us—and it never will. So long as we lived in harmony with our world, we maximized our chances of survival. But as we have changed the makeup of our world, we have decreased our chances of survival. In fact, we may have already committed suicide. It is certain that we have unleashed forces that can wipe us out unless we do something and do it now. Every day we waste moves us closer to the end of our civilization, and possibly to the end of our species. In this chapter I propose a plan that will change our trajectory. It is unclear how much time we have to act on my plan, but it is clear that there is a real drop-dead date. If you know of a better plan then jump on it. I will do all I can to help. If you want to try your hand at developing your own plan, then I wish you well, and I will help. But if these two approaches are not available, then please consider my plan. Doing nothing is suicidal.

It is irrational to ignore or worsen the dangers of global warming. It is irrational to work against the common good.

It is rational to work to extinguish, control, and mitigate the dangers of global warming. It is rational to work for the common good.

We must be rational.

We must work for the common good.

We must adapt or die.

 

[1] The parents of my schoolmates were also extraordinary. It sounds silly to say that all the parents in my little hometown were extraordinary, but I think it was true. In many ways, their generation and the generation that preceded them, at least the ones I knew, were all extraordinary. We don’t call them the “Greatest Generation” for no reason.

[2] Ersail Bullard Hamrick, in November of 1958, told me that the national goal of America should be “to build a nation, and help to build a world, in which all persons can live long lives, and their lives will be worth living.” She had mentioned this idea prior to this date, but this is the earliest date I can specify. On another occasion she said, “A democracy is a government where the people define and implement the common good so that individual citizens can live long lives that are worth living.”

[3] Many groups have been mistreated by our national and state governments. Blacks were mistreated long before we became an independent nation. Not all of these groups applied at all times. For example, some of the Founding Fathers might not have been born in America. But I am writing for this era, not the founding era. So I chose terms that apply mostly to the period of our history since the Louisiana Purchase. Native Americans are certainly native-born, but are, in the eyes of tyranni, not white, so they are mistreated. I tried to find a way to make clear that I was including all those who feel the cruelty of discrimination, but I couldn’t. Naming all the groups I could think of became too unwieldy, so I decided to use these seven hated groups while acknowledging that my list was incomplete.

Table of Contents 

  Getting Started
Why I wrote this book. . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
 

Where do we stand?

 

1. You are what you do—to others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
 

How did we get here?

 

2. The Madisonian Republic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
3. The Tyranno-South. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
4. Tyranno-Christianity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
5. Tyranno-Parties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
6. Tyranno-Capitalism. . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
 

Where do we want to go?

 

7. Seven Superior Ideas of Athenian Democracy. . . . . . . . . . . . 297
8. Cohort, Jury, Sample, Work Group, Classroom, Individual. . 341
9. American Rights System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375
10. Legislation, Administration, Operations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
11 Education, STEM, Rationality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
12. An Unlimited Supply of Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 461
 

How do we get there from here?

 

13. We Earthlings, We Astronauts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507
End Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519

 

 

 

 

6 Responses to

  1. Disaffected says:

    Interesting take, Jerry. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought and hard work into this, and I think you’re mostly right in your prescriptions, are far as they go anyway. A couple of points for further thought:
    You’re obviously an optimist when it comes to humanity in general, and American democracy in particular, which implies a rather Euro/Techno-centric viewpoint as well. I think it’s fair to say (correct me if I’m wrong), that you’re a true believer in our current system at heart, but just feel it needs some (rather major) adjustments to continue to thrive, and that it is, in any case, the best (and perhaps only?) path forward from here.
    In that light (and feel free to correct me if I’ve misinterpreted you here), have you even considered the idea of human overshoot as put forward by William Catton and many others, or the role that even relatively benign non-conspiratorial/collusional capitalism has played in painting us into our current predicament? In that light, “easy money”, as you mention above and as MMT is famous for advocating, amounts to little more than fanning the flames of human overshoot with gasoline soaked rags.
    Similarly, you seem to have an almost religious adoration for the term democracy, often termed in other quarters as “the tyranny of the masses.” Given the masses current apparent adoration of one such as Donald Trump, I wonder if you might not be willing to reconsider that view. The founders, of whom I’m no particular fan either, certainly knew what they were doing in this regard at least. Grant every drunken sod at the bar the vote and soon enough we’ll be overrun with drunken idiots proclaiming “free everything” for your vote, almost like we are now.
    But I think you’re on the right track with all the rest. If nothing else, your ideas are at least coherent, even if they might be in some cases misguided, wrong-headed, or simply simplistic.
    All that aside, you’re a damn good writer and a better than average (from the one post of yours I’ve read) deep thinker. I salute you for your efforts! I’m going to bookmark your blog and read it regularly, for awhile at least, to continue to evaluate. I look forward to it!

    Like

  2. Rocky Coulter says:

    Hestal: DailyBeastMan here, and I not only like the “cut of your jib”, I think this has to be the most outstanding, accurate assessment of the critical state the earth has fallen victim to, that I’ve ever read! Absolutely spot on! And you’re right about the Internet being the key to eliminate this obstruction facing the STEM institutions, and our ultimate path toward a more highly evolved civilization where every individual has the opportunity to share their unique talents, and build a better world, a healthier world, a smarter world, a world without limits, and which is sustainable and progressive. It’s too bad Jimmy Carter has gotten too old to continue his original work on our capitalist system. The world would be a much better place, if only we had listened and acted accordingly. He was the last truly intelligent STEM based leader America ever had, and a genuinely moral man.

    You need to PUBLISH your ideas IMMEDIATELY. It’s not a perfect plan….. but IT WILL INSPIRE ONE!!! Thank you!

    Like

    • Disaffected says:

      Funny you should mention Jimmy Carter, as he is the ultimate example for how unyielding the current system is to change. And his reputation hasn’t gotten much better in the soft glow of retrospect than it was when Ronnie RayGun first unceremoniously kicked him to the curb way back when. Americans have finally(!) woken up it seems to the class warfare that the Reagan Revolution gave birth too, but very little else has changed in the interim. Unlimited military spending with no apparent benefits? Check. Financial deregulation and tax cuts for the rich in the face of welfare reform mandatory health care insurance at extortionist rates for the poor. Check.

      Ideas for a better society are all well and good and are to be encouraged. Unfortunately, we have no lack of good ideas at this point; but rather, we’re totally lacking in the will and the ability to coalesce around a coherent course of action based on a select few. And that’s a problem, as it indicates that we’re a fractured society at best (certainly along economic fault lines, but also likely along racial and ethnic lines, and very possibly many others as well), if not an increasingly incoherent society that no longer widely shares significant cultural values.

      This is why such calls to reform as this one usually fall on deaf ears with me. I’m no longer a particular believer in the unquestioned merits of democracy in the first place, nor do I think the US has ever been a particularly good example of a democracy in the second, nor was it ever intended to be. Our Representative Republic has indeed gone off the rails – much as the founders were afraid it would – in the past century, but how to fix that’s an entirely different question than most people are asking these days.

      In the end, our problem’s pretty simple: our Corporate Capitalist Republic has been captured by the Corporate Capitalists (surprise!) among us, and they ain’t giving it back! And why in the world would they? They put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears over the last 150 years or so in accomplishing their goals, and they now have a legitimate claim on the spoils. Further, anyone who naively thinks that a little thing like “voter empowerment” will stand in their way is probably a prime candidate for a re-education camp, if it ever comes to that, although the MSM circus serves the same purpose in real time these days.

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  3. Brian Pepin says:

    Wow alot of information that i never knew about in my studies of my life.thanks for letting me know 😊.

    Like

  4. I’m having trouble with your concept of unlimited money supply, but i look forwad to reading your book for your explanation. Where can i buy a copy?

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    • Hestal says:

      You are not alone. Almost everyone I talk to about an unlimited supply of money has difficulty accepting the idea. I was lucky. At the end of WWII my father and other young men came home. Many of those young veterans would gather at our house to discuss what they had done and seen, but mostly they talked about the future. I was a little boy then but these men were my heroes, and I tried to be like them. They talked about our government and our economic system, and they talked about the gold standard. In 1933 most of those men were in their teens when FDR, for all practical purposes as far as ordinary people and ordinary commerce were concerned, took us off the gold standard. Nixon finished the job when he took office. In 1946 the question of the gold standard and whether to return to it was still a hot topic, as was the hyperinflation that took place in the Weimar Republic. Because I was a little boy, I had no trouble accepting a world that was off the gold standard. In fact, these young men debated whether,by freeing our money from gold, we had an unlimited supply of money as a consequence. These men talked for several months in 1949 about this question and they came up with a novel thought experiment. They imagined that we were still on the gold standard, but we suddenly discovered that the Rocky Mountains were made of gold–in effect, we had an unlimited supply of money–trillions and trillions of dollars in gold. They then worked through our economy to see what the consequences would be of having an unlimited supply of gold. They found that it could be managed easily, and it would create a better world. Once they worked out the details based of an unlimited supply of gold, they said let’s drop the gold and just go with money. So, to me, it made sense, and ever since then I have watched our people suffer because the people who control our supply of money don’t want to let go of their power. They like having power over others, and they like being rich.

      Anyhow, in my book, I devote a chapter to showing how such a system would work. I think you, and anyone else who will take the time to think, about it, will like it.

      My book is at the publisher right now and we are going back and forth on issues of interior design. It should be ready to print by Labor Day or so. I hope it will be released before the election.

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