Origins of FREEDOM
Regardless of Context - technological, political, legal, religious, cultural or personal, Social Existence is “exchange-based”.
In 1945, two Nations - United States and Great Britain , have won the war to save the DEMOCRACY of Western Civilisation.
As a result, every aspect of the current world situation has “1945” indelibly etched into it; a geo-strategic watermark bitterly resented by the Nations of grand Cultural pretensions but few - often none, intellectual contributions to the birth, development and protection of the MODERN ERA.
In this sense, it's no accident that United States and Great Britain are again bearing the burden of a timeless battle between the forces of oppression and freedom, or in the current context – Medievalism and Modernity.
wA thankless task… One could reasonably assume that when liberated from an odious “dictatorship”, the remaining civil society may have recognised its opportunity. Certainly, the role United States and Great Britain had played in transforming the “dictatorships” of their former enemies in Europe and Asia into free, vibrant and prosperous Societies, is hardly an unfathomable secret of History…
Neither is their role in winning the Cold War and securing freedom for further hundreds of millions…
Nor is the direction which peoples of the world choose to improve their lives difficult to discern – it points towards Western Modernity, not away from it…
wYet cocooned in their Medieval ignorance and unable to grasp the notion of LIBERATION, those civil societies can only howl; “The invaders are bringing us their Modern Values – it's our duty before God to shoot them in the back!”
What were the American and British intellectual contributions to the rise of Modernity?
The FIRST AMENDEMENT to the American Constitution and the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – apart from the Democracy of Athens, the two most important social developments to have taken place over the past several millennia of Civilization…
“Congress shall make no Law…”
For more then two centuries - like a Guiding Star which first shone above the New World then over the rest of humanity, the FIRST AMENDMENT pointed a true course to those believing that the most inalienable right of our lives is the right to FREELY COMMENT on our Social Existence.
Just one paragraph - taking but a few seconds to read, had put on notice the tradition of SILENT AQUIESCENCE ruthlessly inculcated into their Societies by the parasitic cabal of Aristocracy and Religion throughout all the previous millennia.
Despite its serendipity - after all, it came from nothing more than a sectarian compromise amongst its pious Authors, irrespective of political corruption and obscurantism despoiling its noble birthplace to this day, the unyielding protection and respect the FIRST AMMENDMENT gave to dissenting voices may yet free the hearts and minds of humanity.
wBut doesn't the FIRST AMEMDMENT descend directly from the IDEALS of French Revolution? Undoubtedly…Alas, having made that great intellectual breakthrough, the French – instead of CONSOLIDATING it, surrendered it to Napoleonic Dictatorship which then ravaged Europe for nearly a generation. And after those IDEALS became stymied at Waterloo , the French decided to apply their penetrating minds and steely courage to more practical matters – such as ensuring the quality of their cheeses, etc…
From the time a “Miner's Friend” first “raised Water by Fire” in Great Britain more then two centuries ago, the IMPLEMENTATION of Industrial Revolution allowed its participants to first “test” - then correct, untold millions of their “intellectual assumptions” with the empirical exactitude hitherto unheard of during our entire Social Evolution …
For unlike the problems arising throughout the ten millennia of Agriculture, primarily as a result of droughts, pestilence and social discord – a failure of Technology will immediately lead to COMMENT; “Let's THINK of a better way of doing this… Quick - before others put us out of business”.
wMultiply the “THINK BETTER” by the hundreds of millions of unavoidable problems blotting the past two centuries of our Industrialised Existence...
Be it the faults which have rendered countless machines, tools, appliances and gadgets inoperable or those shutting down power stations or delaying aircraft taking-off - they have all activated one self-critical question; “Which “intellectual assumption” had caused this problem? How can we PREVENT it ever misleading us again?”
Out of such a twin crucible of the SECULAR REVOLUTION - which had freed human thought from its subservience to extraneous superstitions, and the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - which additionally refined it through “scientific testability”, had poured the only Gold Standard of intellect - our capacity for CRITICAL THINKING.
wSo, these had been the uniquely American and British contributions to the development of Modernity… Right?
“How dare you! We've invented Writing and had Banks when you still lived in caves!” some Cultures will protest vociferously. “We've built the Pyramids when you, etc…” others chime-in. “We printed Money and had the world's most advanced Civil Service when you, etc…” “What about our Inventions, our Arts, Architecture and Literature? We had them when you, etc…” So it goes on and on…
Language can be a double-edged sword - whenever something is declared “meaningfully” but “inconsistently”, it always exposes the shortcomings of its authors. Here, an extemporaneous use of the NOUN “we” reveals more then its authors bargain for…
It depicts embittered Medievalists desperately searching for a place of pride and honour within an alien landscape of MODERNITY.
Bereft of any contemporary achievements but aware that Cultures which had once occupied their “geographic Region” did have them in the distant Past, these losers of History simply cannot resist their “Eureka!” moment…
“Who needs contemporary achievements? All we have to do today is refer to peoples from one, two or three thousand years ago as “we”, and our direct lineage to their fabulous intellectual prowess duly becomes established”.
There is only one problem - it has taken MODERNITY less then two centuries to land on the Moon. Had those Cultures of the Past discovered something of intellectual significance, their Version of MODERNITY should at least have colonised Mars by now. That is, after first showering mankind with marvels of Technology and Social Improvements we can't yet even conceive of…
wWhy didn't it happen?
They had failed to develop the SECULAR and INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS.
Two centuries ago, Western Civilization saw the descendants of those once advanced Cultures squatting in their own intellectual waste - lucky not to be kicked in the head by their aristocratic and religious masters for the slightest sign of disobedience.
And had their hovels never been white-washed with Western achievements, those Cultures would still be displaying their Medieval squalor to this day…
Suppose Reality manifests itself only in “repetitive patterns” and countless “Universes” are but perpetual “repetitions of their pattern”. Could an equally perpetual “repetitive pattern” of INTELLECT somehow be present within this all-encompassing and omnipresent cosmic miasma?
To consider this we need Life to have at least the capability of PERCEPTION allowing it to discern the BENEFITS within its Environment to encode them into corresponding “concepts”.
Take only two Words; “exchange” and “fairness”. Currently, the “concepts” behind those Words guide every moment of our Social Existence…
First, we “exchange” our physical and intellectual efforts for the Money of people BENEFITING from those efforts - and put it in our pockets… WORK.
Next, we remove that Money from our pockets to “exchange” it for various BENEFITS of social survival - Food, Shelter and Clothing, plus such extras or luxuries as we need or can afford... COMMERCE.
But always , keeping a sharp eye over those “exchanges” is our archetypal instinct not just to EVALUATE their FAIRNESS - but be ready to COMMENT upon it. How archetypal?
Workers revolts, peasant revolts, slave revolts against the un-FAIRNESS of “exchanges” foisted upon them by the powers that be? Much earlier…
Picture a chimpanzee - the 95 % genetic cousin of ours, lower a twig into an anthill, pull out some ants then blissfully lick them off the stem…
Had those twigs been “intentionally modified” to make them MORE suited for anthill poking? Let's say they are… If so, then there's some hint of Tool being used and the chimps appear to be already at the main gate of Social Evolution.
What else? Nothing… That's not to say chimpanzees cannot perform many complex intellectual and mechanical tasks vastly superior to anthill poking. But they're yet to do so, once , without our painstaking tutelage. And that is the crux.
So, that's how far our closest kin had progressed on their own whilst in the meantime, we have managed to intellectually and mechanically conquer the Moon. Which further gates of Social Evolution did our quick-study cousins fail to pass through? The “Stone Technology” and a gradually accumulating propensity for EVALUATING the degrees of EQUIVALENCE between “Stone Tools” for other BENEFIT-bearing Objects for the purpose of “exchanges”.
Why assume our Toolmaking ancestors may have EVALUATED “exchange” without Language? Here - the “chicken” of this context might have started from say, a “genetic mutation” which only somehow led to Language…
wApart from their functionality, Stone Tools possess one key quality which would compel their owners into “exchanges” - they are inedible. No matter how cleverly crafted, a piece of Stone has no intrinsic survival value when its owner hasn't eaten for days… “Why not “exchange” it for some “non-Tools”, FOOD particularly, then simply make another Tool?”. Here, it's the “concept” of anticipated BENEFIT – not its linguistic expression, which is sufficient to drive the process forward.
But let's examine the contrary case. With Toolmaking having being around for at least two million years and the Language-proper, perhaps a hundred thousand - no mutually EVALUATED “exchange” of “Tools” for “non-Tools” had taken place during the intervening 1.9 million years.
wTo be tenable, that “hypothesis” depends on structural uniformity that is neither evident materially, nor possible in principle…
First, it requires the raw materials of Toolmaking to be “distributed equally” for all “proto-humans”, so no individual relies on another or is favoured with their chance, more plentiful discovery within the Environment.
Next, it demands that all possible physiological and conceptual capacities be “equally distributed” amongst all “proto-humans”.
No “specialisations” in the myriad of different Social Potentials which group survival is continually presenting to its individual members - everybody is mysteriously absorbed in doing everything to an “equal” extent.
Alas, that's not how Physical Reality ever works. Natural Selection doesn't promote “equality” of Life's “physiological” and “conceptual” capabilities, only their SUFFICIENCY to survive from one Action to the next.
A few decades ago an inspired film - “2001- A Space Odyssey”, touched on Toolmaking. In its most celebrated image, our purported “ancestor” - having bashed its simian adversaries with an animal Bone, was shown triumphantly throwing it into the air. That Bone flew high - in the next frame it became a Spaceship floating is space, etc… Nice editing.
wTo become a TOOL, an Object must first be modified from its natural state, in order to BENEFIT its user to a greater extent than its natural state hitherto permits.
That modification embodies the “INTENT of BENEFIT” - a brisk, all-Purpose “concept” developed by Evolution to allow Life EVALUATE Potential Action before IMPLEMENTING them, and whose origins precede Toolmaking by the aeons.
Now, even if those Bones were “intentionally modified”, there would have been no Spaceship until the “exchange” of such Bones for other BENEFIT-bearing Objects had first emerged within a “proto-social” group. It's neither the Tools nor the “exchanges” per se - but a devilishly intricate “conceptual process” of EVALUATING the EQUIVALENCE of expected BENEFITS, out of which our Language, Intellect and Social Existence had arisen.
Needless to say that “process” still remains as intricate and in many places of the world - as fraught, as it would have been on the day it first occurred.
Suppose half a million years ago, you'd spend a few days at fashioning an obsidian cutter. Having finished it, you are now aware of a familiar craving. HUNGER. It's been there all along - but being too absorbed by of your task, you had barely noticed it.
Next, a distant relative turns-up in your cave with a few fish dangling on a stick…Fish! Your eyes light up…
The relative, renowned not just for hunting but also for a ferocious temper, points to the fish - then gestures with cutting motion. So you warily display your flint masterpiece together with another, half-finished cutter. You know that should your visitor decide to grab these Tools and saunter away, there is nothing that can be done - he's is big as a mammoth and vicious…
But instead, having carefully examined the cutters, the Hunter places a fish at your feet. He then places your finished cutter at his feet…
Tempting… But your composure restored, your instincts point in the same direction which all of your “human” descendants will still be following half a million years later - you want “MORE >”.
You take a second fish off the stick, place it at your feet and offer a nervous grin. Infuriated by your impudence the Hunter grabs at both fish, ostensibly preparing to walk away...
Then - at the last moment he places the second fish next to the un-finished cutter and gestures with a chipping motion; “You'll get the second fish but only when you finish the other Tool”... FAIR EXCHANGE?
It looks uncomplicated, as easy as training a chimpanzee to carry out some complex task we marvel at without satisfactorily addressing the underlying question; “Why hadn't they reached this level on their own?”
wA million years of Social Evolution may have been needed to teach “proto- humans” - through trial and error, how to choose a path around the violent, archaic impulses which EVALUATION of EQUIVALENCE briskly brings to the fore amongst us even today …
A million years of non-linguistic experiments with violence, ruses, bluffing, thieving and disappointment before an intuitive expectation of EQUIVALENT BENEFITS could establish itself amongst “proto-humans” as their inherited Knowledge about “exchanges”.
Potential “exchange” of SAME for DIFFERENT = “less? / equal? / more?” > EQUIVALENT BENEFITS? > “conceptual COMMENT” > linguistic COMMENT
This “repetitive pattern” displays the crucial strand of “Social DNA” which had programmed in countless generations of our “ancestors” the nuances of behavior we now experience a million years later.
Yet implicit within it is another, much more danger-laden step past the gate to our “humanness” – the “concept” of FREEDOM of COMMENT. Language and Human Intellect are about to flower in a bed of blood.
What would you do if a dollar coin dropped in your garden several months earlier and long forgotten, magically grew into the stalk topped with 50 - 60 brand new dollar coins? Probably you'd have replanted the lot to see if that magic works again. For if it had - with just two crops a year you could have bought the entire Earth within a lifetime…
wThis magic occurred about ten millennia ago with the first planting of our Agricultural Crops - providing Tribes of hunter-gatherers and petty herders with a SURPLUS OF FOOD they hadn't expected before the “Afterlife”…
Before long, a swathe of humanity has abandoned the chancy subsistence of their caves and forests - only to be harnessed into ruthless predictability which running of Organised Agriculture imposes on its participants.
What would you do
if a dollar coin dropped in your garden several months earlier and
long forgotten, magically grew into the stalk topped with 50 - 60
brand new dollar coins? Probably you'd have replanted the lot to
see if that magic works again. For if it had - with just two crops
a year you could have bought the entire Earth within a lifetime
This magic occurred
around ten millennia ago with the first planting of our Agricultural
Crops - providing Tribes of hunter-gatherers and petty herders with
a SURPLUS OF FOOD they hitherto expected only in their wondrous dreams the "Afterlife"
Before long, a swathe of humanity has abandoned the chancy subsistence of their caves and forests - only to be harnessed into ruthless predictability which the running of Organised Agriculture imposes on its participants.
1. “Homo SAPIENS” has its origin in the “Homo FABER - MERCANTILIS”; a primate not merely turning its Environment's objects to Artifacts - but also capable of “exchanging” them for other BENEFIT- bearing Objects.
Our Social Existence began the moment “proto-humans” had “exchanged” A for B - most probably a TOOL for “non-Tool”, after having EVALUATED the BENEFITS of that “exchange” as MUTUALLY EQUIVALENT, i.e. FAIR…
2. EVALUATION of “exchanges” results in a Potential for COMMENTING on their FAIRNESS - providing functional impetus to the rise of Language and eventually, to our current “concepts” of Justice, Social Responsibility, etc… But always, behind all of these lurks an invidious specter - each COMMENT on FAIRNESS is fraught with mutual consequences…
From the time “exchanges” had established themselves as a “proto-social” norm leading to “anticipation” of EQUIVALENT BENEFIT - maybe as long as one million years ago, COMMENTS on that EQUIVALENCE would have been a thorn in the side of all who had participated in that activity… And little has changed.
3. Since an “exchange” may be evaluated by both participants as FAIR - or by one as un-FAIR, Natural Selection shall inevitably force some to explore a clever survival stratagem - introducing into the “process of exchange” their JUSTIFICATION for preventing the COMMENTS of un-FAIR…This is to prove a gold-mine - but full of tragic accidents.
Once “justifications” evolve into “ideologies” which claim to BENEFIT their “proto-social” group - any COMMENTS on the un-FAIRNESS of “exchange” will promptly be interpreted as denying the BENEFITS to that entire group.
Consequently, instead of being “mutual”, the BENEFIT of “exchanges” will become permanently tilted to favor those who, generation after generation, inherit such “ideological justifications” and perpetuate them by all manner of “indoctrination” and “enforcement” through GOVERNANCE.
These are the irreducible essentials of the Primitive Era of Social Evolution.
Though born out of “proto-human's” first grasp of “because” - a “concept” essential to EXPLAIN the Environment's natural phenomena, the detritus of that Era is still characterizing GOVERNANCE across much of “humanity”.
The “ideological justifications” of “We are born to GOVERN”, “We GOVERN in the name of God”, “We GOVERN in the name of National Glory” and “We GOVERN in the name of Working Class” do differ “conceptually” and come from totally disparate periods of History…
But backing them, there is only one historical modus operandi - those who COMMENT adversely on the “fairness” of GOVERNANCE are to be used as “examples”. They are to be threatened, imprisoned or tortured and if that is not enough - murdered, in order to INTIMIDATE the rest of Society.
5. With survival of Life depending on “specialization”, GOVERNANCE which
prohibits FREE COMMENT favors only those who “specialize” in enforcing their claim to “GOVERN a Society” through organized INTIMIDATION.
At the opposite extreme of “survival possibilities”, GOVERNANCE allowing FREE COMMENT promotes only those who “specialize” in reaching the top through organized but competitive PERSUASION.
6. Since “< intimidation / persuasion >” express the “maximum divergence” in the EMOTIVE INTENT of Words used at the top of their power structures - no “trust-based” dialogue between such structures is possible in principle.
7. Western Democracy - a system based on PERSUASION, is confronted by two distinct quandaries. While advancing the virtue of PERSUASION across the world, it must also “anticipate” - a generation ahead, the consequences of collaborating with systems based on INTIMIDATION.
As has been the case with “nazism” and “communism”, a serious threat to the West can arise when only INTIMIDATION and Technology of War project the ideological obsessions of a powerful Nation.
With the present “war on terror” - albeit valid, being waged against a Culture of Religion-backed INTIMIDATION bereft of this national centrality, the West should not look upon that Medieval adversary as more then an inconvenient distraction… At present, the predominant threat to Western Civilization is China .
8. China could soon prove to be occupying a spot of History at which Nazi Germany had found itself in the early 1930's, including - ironically, hosting the Olympics and being hypnotized by its “corridor to Taiwan”…
Two centuries ago, Modernity had found in China a Society stunted by five millennia of continual civil INTIMIDATION and therefore unable to conduct its affairs through open “intellectual PERSUASION”.
Consequently, China's “intellectual contribution” to the Modern Era was to come only from those fortunate enough to escape its shores and have their talents nourished and rewarded by the FREE COMMENT of the West.
wNothing worthwhile from China - a Culture that over lengthy periods of the Feudal Era was the most technologically advanced in the world?
“It's all the OTHERS' fault”.
No other explanation - religious or secular, is as sacrosanct to this Culture as blaming OTHERS for the problems arising from its History-old contempt for the FREEDOM of COMMENT, PERSUASION and CRITICAL THINKING.
And as it had been with the Nazi ideologues - once their Technology of War has been bolstered with newly acquired Wealth, the INTIMIDATORS of China will not rest easily until a retribution has been exacted on those OTHERS no matter what cost.
That's not to suggest that Nazi ideology will be duplicated in “No Chinese soldier shall ever retreat!” mindlessness. No, unlike Nazism, “communism” devours its own - hence its longevity. But China undoubtedly shares with Nazism its tenets of “unique ethnic superiority” which – nurtured across a hundred generations and untamed by a single day of CRITICAL THINKING, had programmed that Culture for eventually staring-down the West.
wThat threat is exacerbated by the criminal negligence with which Western Governments – too deep in the pockets of Vested Interests to comprehend what should be FREE and what FAIR, encourage forcing their weary $120 a day workforces to compete against an enormous, ruthlessly run and highly accomplished $5 a day hard-labor camp.
The Wealth acquired by China as a result of WESTERN JOBS thus being destroyed must lead to its geo-strategic assertiveness, which – steered by the Political Elite
whose sole experience in rising to the top is gangsterism, has a historically familiar ring about it…
Here, unless we recognize we're complicit in knotting own our nooses, the future generations shall justly hold us to account for their plight.
9. Having began ten millennia ago with Agriculture our Civilization has over the last two centuries been enriched by the Modern Era of INDUSTRIAL and SECULAR REVOLUTIONS - an achievement of Western Civilization.
Therefore, after the social pretensions and grievances across the world had been dissembled into a stalemate, the WORTH of any Culture or Nation can be decided by just two archetypal questions of “exchange” -
a. “What over the last two centuries of Modernity did your Culture or Nation receive FROM Western Civilization?” Technology…? Democracy…?
b. “What, throughout that period, did Western Civilization receive from your Culture or Nation IN RETURN?” Spicy dishes…?
Should that still leave lingering doubts, the WORTH of any Culture or Nation can further be assessed directionally, by observing the “emotional Vector” peoples of the world follow when seeking to improve their lives…
a. “How many people had abandoned your Culture or Nation and headed for the West in search of a better Future?”
b. “How many people had abandoned the West and headed for your Culture or Nation in search of a better Future?”
Here, we endlessly see peoples incapable of CRITICAL THINKING enter into the West unable to grasp the dichotomy between “Culture” and a “Nation”.
After locating a comfortable seat at the table of Western PROSPERITY, they sing praise to the Cultures still keeping their former Nations in squalor - the very CAUSES they had to forsake those Nations and look for a better Future in the West.
Thus, it's time for those who BENEFITED from having been accommodated by the West - but through a daze of their Cultures rile against its imagined or real shortcomings, to reflect on a ”directional” quandary based on the most elemental of intellectual “concepts” – the “WHY/ why NOT”
“WHY is it that the millions of Western families have never migrated in OUR direction with bundles on their backs to BENEFIT from the social values and material opportunities our Cultures had created within our own Nations?”
And insofar as they feel capable of CRITICAL THINKING - those conditioned by Medieval backwardness to waste their lives on defying MODERNITY may also take a day off and ponder on causality inherent in the above questions.
wAnother, cognate question has lately been posed in tragic circumstances - “Why do they hate us?”
“They” blissfully slept through the only period of History which could have enhanced their intellectual abilities - the last two centuries of the Modernity. An Era of enormous social improvement and economic success self-evident from the Constancy of Direction peoples of the world choose to improve the prospects of their families…
Once awoken by that success but unable to understand - let alone emulate it, “they” became reduced to the only response from which a failed peoples can still draw some despairing consolation – their HATRED for that success.