Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

Human Heartedness, Civilization and Justice

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me… the essence of human heartedness is wanting good things to happen to good people. The Confucian term Jen, becomes, goodness, empathy, “human heartedness,” etc… as translated by E. R Hughes. I favor the term human heartedness for the associations it brings up. What then is good, empathetic, and indeed human hearted? Since these words are all adjectives, the noun they modify has to be considered in any logical examination of the topic, that noun is human being. Now to narrow the field of inquiry, what would a human being who is good, empathetic or in other words, human hearted, want? Certainly not that evil happen to anyone… except as comeuppance. Clearly someone who is good would want good to happen to everyone. Civilization, in every sense, flourishes when people are human hearted, and rot when they are not. It follows then, to be human hearted is a self interested choice, as that choice transcends immediate self interest for societal self interest, freely self imposed, it can be said to be… self interest rightly understood.

Civilization, even in it’s most infinitesimal, is a boon to humanity. Think of the difference in standard of living of a single man alone in the wilderness, against that of a group of ten people, who have formed a community. The single man alone would stand a better chance however, if the group turned against itself, insuring no one survive. The more human hearted the members of the group the better the chances of survival, and in fact, some level of comfort achieved. While the woman alone, eating grass tops and a meadow vole, sheltering in a hollowed out ice cave might survive the night, the human hearted group, sleeping in a yurt warmed by a fire, after supping on roast venison would get a far better rest. Civilization is a boon to humanity while barbarism is a curse.

It is that sense of justice and human heartedness that has allowed humanity to form civilizations. In my definition of civilization, I do not mean empires that spread through conquest, no those are always barbarisms, I mean civilizations that create peace, prosperity and with liberty for the people. Those only rise when the people are human hearted and justice prevails. Eliminate one of those legs and civilization collapses back into the ocean of chaos that surrounds and constantly batters it. Since civilization provides the indispensable framework for people to improve their lot, and civilization itself relies on both justice and a human hearted people, to be both just and human hearted is in each and every one of our personal best interest.

If we seek, in our own self interest, to be human hearted… whom then would be the best candidates for good things to happen to? If we believe in the underlying philosophy of the old adage, “what goes around comes around,” then we understand that what a person visits in the world he or she should get back. In other words, at the core of sane human beings, a sense of justice speaks to us, and says, “what he sows shall he reap…” Those of us who sow good in the world, as a matter of justice, deserve to reap good, those who sow evil deserve to reap evil. Since that sense of justice is innate in humanity, people who are human hearted, share in that characteristic. Therefore a person who is good, empathetic and in fact human hearted would favor good people to have good things happen to them, out of a sense of justice. That is why we get angry when a good guy gets killed in a movie, it is our innate sense of justice, revolting at the injustice.

Some people have a false notion, they can be unjust and the opposite of human hearted, without effect to the civilization that allows them their comfort, prosperity and health. The false logic continues, since many others are human hearted and just, civilization will go along fine, and being unjust and uncaring they can get the advantage. To believe so however is as childish as it is ignorant. The seeking of immediate gratification over long term gratification leads to poverty, suffering and want. It is common sense that spending all of one’s pay on booze will lead to health issues and an impoverished retirement. Ignorant, in that injustice and psychopathy are the same as, defecating in one’s water supply.

If we want an ever increasing level of comfort, then we should seek to be human hearted, and to be human hearted means to want good things to happen to good people. The best way to make good things happen to good people is by creating civilization. Prosperity, comfort and health are goods that are always most plentiful when true civilization is present. The false notion that we can be selfish and unjust destroys the very civilization itself we rely on for so much. So, be human hearted…promote good things happening to good people, be good yourself so you deserve good things, be just… and you will be doing your part to promote civilization, prosperity, comfort and health, for yourself, your children and all your loved ones.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

The International Capitalist Party supports…

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems to me the US is at a crossroads, do we take the road most traveled and vote for the Marxist or the Nationalist, or do we take the road less traveled and vote for the Constitutionalist? Since most politics is based on emotion rather than reason it is hard to convince anyone to vote for a candidate based on reason. Emotion however has got us into the mess the US, and indeed the world, is now in and it is only reason that can extricate us from the pending man made disasters. Emotion is the road most traveled, in fact it has been trod so many times it is widened to a superhighway. The founding fathers used reason to set up our limited government with it’s checks and balances and emotional egoistic men that have undermined it. Let us use reason and common sense to pick our next President rather than blind emotion that has failed us so spectacularly in the past.

Nationalism is ignorance and despotism… masquerading as patriotism. Nationalism has brought the world horrors that rip the soul. Such slaughter that washed the world with the blood of innocents in the past, nationalism has always resulted in war, tyranny and suffering, and it always will. That is because nationalism blinds men’s minds to right and focuses our minds on might. The nationalist leader is always and everywhere an egomaniac. The nationalist leaders of the past, around the world, always offer the people the red meat of propaganda. The Fuhrer will save us, we are the chosen people, strength through joy, power to the people, the enemy is untermensch, etc… the nationalist has all the answers and those answers are always based on unlimited arbitrary power. Put simply… nationalism is the fastest way to destroy a nation and it’s people, reducing them to slaves. Therefore, in a rational country, a nationalist candidate should be avoided like a plague.

Marxism is only surpassed by Islam as the greatest murderer of people, but it has taken Islam a thousand and a half years to murder so many, while Marxism only took a century and a half to get there. Marxism offers plenty none of which it ever has or ever will deliver. From the French revolution to Venezuela, Marxism has promised wealth for the poor and instead, delivered suffering on an epic scale. Marxism is like a prion disease that converts healthy economies into zombies that eat their own. Today in the race for the White house there are two Marxists, one avowed and unabashed the other a crypto-Marxist, either have a good chance of gaining the Presidency, both of which will further the policies of the anti American Marxist President Barack Obama. If that happens, the path back to prosperity, freedom and limited government will be closed, perhaps forever.

The rational choice for the highest position in government must always be the person who has shown he or she will follow our founding principles, has a track record of keeping his promises and is plain spoken about it. Our nation has prospered whenever our founding principles have been followed and floundered whenever they have been ignored. Only two Presidents in the Twentieth Century have been followers of our founding principles, both had flaws but their adherence to the concept of limited government gave us economic prosperity, international safety and societal tranquility. Under Calvin Coolidge the nation underwent the fastest period of economic growth ever seen, hate groups withered and the standing of the nation in the world elevated. Ronald Reagan ushered in rapid economic expansion, removed the threat of nuclear annihilation from us and brought us a lower crime rate. Both Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan were hated by the elite, they both faced a hostile establishment and both stuck to their principles once elected.

Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has shown attributes like those of Reagan and Coolidge. Once he got elected to the Senate he stuck to his principles, principles of limited government, fiscal restraint and eschewed international adventurism. The politician who remains uncorrupted by power is a rare and special person. Such a person should get the accolade of the people most of all while earning the undying enmity of the elite. It is rational to choose the candidate who follows those principles that made America great, economically, internationally and societally. Emotion however, cannot be overcome with logic, as logic cannot be overcome with emotion. It is up to the individual to choose, to be controlled by ignorant and self defeating emotion, else rise above emotion considering the choices rationally and with logic. You have the power to choose the road less traveled and prosper or the superhighway of emotion and want. The International Capitalist Party, being based on historically empirical facts, economic logic and philosophically pragmatic, supports Ted Cruz wholeheartedly and I believe you should too. Make a self interested choice based on logic and choose well, or not, and choose poorly, in the end, you will either prosper or suffer for the decision you make… please choose wisely.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Political Heroin

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, addiction to heroin always results in poverty, sickness and a loss of one’s soul, socialism is exactly the same. Like addiction to heroin, political heroin, socialism, promises good times but delivers anguish. Both addiction and socialism make people dependent, they ruin lives and remove the incentive to get ahead. Both are alluring however. The idea that something can be had for nothing, wealth in the case of socialism and euphoria in the case of heroin, is very attractive. Today we have politicians who are nothing but pushers. They shill for socialism as a cure all for the ills socialism has visited us with. They offer a free sample, later doses of socialism will cost you dearly though, your job, your family and your soul. Even many so called conservatives offer out socialism, they say a little socialism won’t hurt you, just like a pusher claims a little heroin won’t hurt you. Both types of pushers are villains.

Imagine all the people who’s lives have been ruined by addiction to heroin. We have all seen the television shows where the heroin addict is a pathetic figure, emaciated, jonesing for a hit, strung out and will do anything for another hit of heroin. They live on the streets, stink because even taking a bath gets in the way of their addiction and plead with passers by for money. They have given up their humanity, their lives and their very souls. Of course they didn’t start out that way. Most heroin addicts started as attractive, personable and outgoing people who had it going on. They thought a little high wouldn’t hurt so they open the door and walked through. It doesn’t happen overnight, and that is the trick. Their friends see them going on as if everything was well with them and try it for themselves. Then they too walk through the door to ruin.

People in socialist countries mirror heroin addicts. The nation usually starts out as relatively wealthy. They have people that are attractive, personable and have it going on. They convince themselves the country would be better off if they tried a little socialism. The fall doesn’t happen immediately, some nations last longer than others, but the fall is inevitable once that first taste of socialism has been tried. Eventually the people are starving, the middle class is destroyed, the family unit has collapsed and the people have turned from all morality and religion. All anyone wants is the next free handout. The work ethic is corroded to the point where fewer and fewer people work and more and more become dependent on the handouts. People live in the streets from lack of opportunity and when the government runs out of other people’s money, famine, filth and despair fill the land.

The examples of nations that have gone down the path to addiction are legion. Venezuela is only the latest, but that nation, rich in natural resources, was preceded by hundreds of others. The socialist politicians like to point at socialist countries that haven’t lost everything yet, like a high school kid points to the functional addict, who is still on the football team, as an example of who he wants to be. They claim the functional addict is happier, more popular and cooler than you. All the while offering a free try. This has happened since the invention of political heroin by Rousseau. It is the functional addicts however that keep getting more people, and nations addicted to heroin and socialism. Even the most functional addict eventually falls and becomes destitute.

Today our politicians claim we need to become more socialist to solve the problems that the welfare state has brought about. They blame capitalism, but there hasn’t been capitalism since the 1920s. They point to the functional addicted nations as examples of what we should do. They point at the results of our past use of political heroin and offer that we just need to do a little more and everything will be better. No different than an addict who believes things are terrible now but everything will be better once they find a dose… and it seems to be while the dose lasts, but every dose, either of heroin or socialism, needs to be bigger to get the same result. Eventually, no matter how large and potent the dose it only keeps the addict level, the high has gone, but they need it just to stop the pain.

Heroin and political heroin, socialism, have the same attractive qualities, they both have the same addictive nature and they both ruin. At first the high seems harmless but as the addiction progresses it becomes all powerful. The answer is not to only take heroin on Friday nights, that becomes impossible, the answer is to go cold turkey. Of course, that answer is not what the addict wants to hear. They will argue to the head of a pin that it wont work, will be too painful, and that it might even kill them. What they really fear however, is the withdrawal. A heroin addict feels like their bones are breaking as they withdraw from heroin and a nation will feel similar pain as it withdraws from political heroin, socialism, but unless the drug is kicked, the fall is eventual. Both heroin addicts and political heroin addicted nations will eventually reach rock bottom, and will be forced to quit, Venezuela is almost there. Sadly, the draw is so strong, even after the pain of withdrawal, both will usually become addicts once again the moment they get back on their feet… and so, the addiction seldom ends, until the addict dies.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Human Heartedness

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the Confucian ideal of Human Heartedness, is one we all should emulate. It has been translated into many English words and phrases, but I prefer human heartedness, because it sums up most all of what Confucius wanted to say, as evidenced by his teachings. Those who should emulate human heartedness the most are our leaders since Confucius had the most to say to them. Unfortunately, most people in the West, when they hear “Confucius…” they turn off. The name has been so diminished from it’s rightful stature, from Charlie Chan movies, where the name Confucius became a punch line. Others cannot fathom how anything someone said in 550 BC, could have any relevance to today. They turn their backs on ageless wisdom to their own and our detriment. The human condition and indeed humans themselves have changed very little since then. We still strive for pleasure and avoid pain, we still fall into traps and snares and it is egoistic self interest that baits those pitfalls. Yes, Confucius and his human heartedness have a great deal to say to us today, to ignore such wisdom is to see the pit and yet step into it anyway.

A large component of human heartedness is the Golden Rule… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Every one of us could benefit from following the golden rule. Better even to double down and hold others to a lower standard then we hold ourselves. It is in our animal nature to hold others to a much higher standard than we hold ourselves and in our civilized nature to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We would benefit by living in a civilization where there can be less laws, less draconian punishments and less government, because we control ourselves from within instead of needing to be controlled from without. Prosperity would increase, since regulations, laws and ordinances are friction to the economy, but become more and more needed the more barbaric the people become. We should all incorporate human heartedness, the golden rule, into our lives.

Human heartedness is all about compassion and empathy. The golden rule is also explicitly about empathy. As I wrote in my last article, compassion and empathy are paramount human attributes, that lead to civilization and away from barbarism. The barbarian has no compassion and no empathy. When an Italian city state was being attacked by the Gauls, Roman dignitaries were called to mediate. One of the Romans asked the Gaul general, “By what right do you lay siege to this city?” The Gaul answered back, “Natural law, that the strong must take from the weak, so the strong can survive and the weak die out…” But what the Gaul didn’t understand is that there are many forms of strength and a multitude of forms of weakness. His was marshal strength, a strength that always has it’s better, he lacked wisdom. We must have compassion and empathy else we become like the Gaul general, strong in might but weak in wisdom.

One of Confucius’ disciples asked, “Does the human hearted man love all?” I suppose referring to Mo Ti’s all embracing love. Confucius said, “No! The human hearted man loves the good and despises the bad.” Clearly Confucius didn’t want good men to turn their faces from evil and so allow it to grow. To be human hearted is to lift up that which is good, in other words… pragmatically benefits individuals, society and culture, while attacking the bad, that which lowers people, harms society and rots the culture. It is obvious that embracing evil as well as good gives evil a leg up, since the good will be fair and honest while evil will use good’s virtues against it. To have a prosperous society where crime is low we need to be human hearted and embrace good while fighting evil.

When talking about leaders Confucius liked to refer to the Sage Kings of “old.” The sage kings led, as Confucius would argue, “by force of personality,” or to put it in modern terms, they led by example. If they wanted the people to be more honest in their business dealings, they would be more honest themselves, and if they wanted the people to stop lusting after each others wives, he would forswear it himself. In that way the leaders of the great society would convince the people to be virtuous. The Duke of Lu asked Confucius one time, how he could get the people to stop lusting after ill gotten profits, women and luxury. Confucius told him to stop doing those things himself and the people would follow. Confucius had to flee Lu state shortly after. The leaders of society want the people to be virtuous, but can hold to the virtue the demand in another, for a single day. If we want our children to live in a safe, prosperous and civil country we must only elect human hearted leaders, who will lead by example.

When Confucius was asked what he would do if he were made emperor, Confucius replied, “I would rectify terms…” or put another way, he would set standards. Standards apply to everyone equally, they create systems where commerce can flourish and they level the playing field for everyone. Today standards are eschewed for regulations, ordinances and laws. Instead of everyone on the same level, regulations are specifically designed so some politically favored group, can get a leg up on an otherwise free exchange. Where a standard is what it is, no matter how politically favored a person is, application of a law is dependent on who the person is. Look at Hillary Clinton’s wiping a subpoenaed email server before turning it in. If you or I did that, what was on it would instantly become irrelevant and we would be charged with a felony, tampering with states evidence. She however was not. A standard is the antithesis of arbitrary rule. For any country to flourish the leaders have to be human hearted, setting and holding everyone, including themselves, to a standard.

There is no question, we are no different than the people who lived before us, oh we might drive cars, talk to people on the other side of the planet, and have put a man on the Moon, but essentially we are the same. We have the same desires, wants and needs. Therefore, wisdom that applied to human beings in 550BC still apply to us today, perhaps more so since we have grown arrogant, egoistic and self aggrandizing, not for our achievements, but for the achievements of those who have come before us. How many among us could create a gasoline engine, having never seen nor heard of one before, yet most of us take them for granted, and look down our noses at those who didn’t have them. Yes, our society, civilization and personal lives would benefit greatly from following the wisdom of Confucius, and becoming more human hearted.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Right Principles for a Nation

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, while abandoning right principles is the ruination of a great nation, those very same principles provide a handy road map to prosperity, low crime rates, and a rising standard of living, for nations wishing to become so. Moreover, any nation adopting those universal right principles will have a positive effect on human history going forward. Everyone knows this truth in their hearts but the lure of power corrupts the elite and keeps them from it, while the lure of free money, keeps the people corrupt and prevents them from demanding it. So, instead of universal profit for everyone, people allow their greed, envy and lust bar them from it. Should a nation, even if old and set in it’s ways were to adopt these principles, it would see a turnaround in it’s fortune that would astound the world.

Wealth can be had for all, not by redistributing a dwindling amount, that is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but by creating access wealth. Society has the ability to create huge accesses of wealth easily. To create such prosperity however, does not require a government program, nor a large bureaucracy, but by empowering people to achieve their goals. Government’s role in creating societal wealth is to provide standards, not regulations. Any country could do it, few actually want to, and even fewer will. Here is a list and explanation of the right principles leading to a prosperous, free and vigorous nation.

Protecting the individual from the collective is of the utmost importance. Whenever the collective decides what is good for the individual, both the collective and the individual suffer. The individual because the collective never has morals or compassion, it is pure force. Moreover, the incentives in a system where the collective good supersedes the individual’s good, become pernicious. That is because instead of being motivated by self interest everyone is motivated by self preservation. The collective always has a ready reason to kill an individual for the collective good. Where the collective is king those who create wealth are stepped on, their inventions taken and they are personally attacked, because anytime someone rises above the rest in a collective, they become a threat. That way a society that values the collective over the individual must stagnate.

The free market system is the path to societal prosperity. Not welfare state capitalism, which is no more than a more palatable name for socialism, actual free market capitalism. Of course a free market is predicated on individual liberty and cannot function in a collective. A real free market however is the surest path to national prosperity there is, history shows this to be empirically true, while crony capitalism and socialism are the surest path to poverty and famine. During the era of actual free markets the economies of Europe and the US grew exponentially, not at the pathetic 2% we have come to expect since capitalism became crony and the rise of the welfare state. During the only time in the 20th century the US engaged in a real free market, under Calvin Coolidge, the economy soared to new heights of growth and prosperity, which led to a rocketing rise in the standard of living, low crime, less racism and huge access of national wealth. Until Herbert Hoover and FDR took the US down the path to cronyism and the welfare state.

In a real free market, one with standards, it is easy to get rich but hard to create monopoly. Building a monopoly requires at least some government intervention, to suppress competition by creating a barrier to entry, stifling innovation by regulations, having obscure tax codes or outright cronyism. Occasionally a monopoly can grow organically, where an innovation is too expensive or complex to implement, by the time the patent runs out, it is very hard to compete with it. If however, lacking government barriers to entry, the profit gets too high, other companies will compete for that high profit.

Limited government that creates standards not regulations is another principle that leads to prosperity for a nation. Imagine if a gallon was a regulation and not a standard? The volume of a gallon would depend on who was selling it, what liquid it contained, the shape of the container would be prescribed and the political favor of both the buyer and seller would be paramount. The regulations regarding the volume of a gallon would quickly run into perhaps hundreds of pages. In this way regulations create the conditions where monopoly can form, politically favored individuals can become extremely wealthy without providing any value and sand is thrown into the mechanism of the free market. Standards however facilitates the free market like oil an engine. Standards cannot be used by corrupt politicians to pass out money to their cronies, hinder the competition of unfavored businesses or enrich themselves at the cost to everyone else. Standards are a principle that leads to a prosperous nation while regulations lead to poverty and cronyism.

These fundamental, universal, right principles, wherever and whenever they are adopted, will inevitably lead to prosperity, a rising standard of living, less racism and low crime. All the goods people say they want. The elite will always argue against them however, because then the elite would have to provide value for their wealth, like you and I have to, and that is unacceptable to them. That is why the elite are in love with collectivism, cronyism and regulations. They intentionally confuse regulations with standards, they wrongly claim the collective is more important than the individual and they spuriously argue there needs to be monopoly to produce high value products, all to move us away from right principles and towards wrong principles. Those very few nations that do adopt right principles will be the movers of history in a positive way.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Our Bright Future is in Our Hands.

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, if governments did only their core responsibilities, the world’s economy would expand rapidly, wars would become a thing of the past and crime would become rare. People who run the governments around the world, have created a system where their power and wealth is protected and enhanced by regulation, taxes, usurpations and war. To that end the bureaucracy is their most powerful tool. It is in actuality arbitrary rule with an administrative face. The role of government is, and always has been, warped. Since the first tyrant usurped power and attacked his neighbor to expand the tyrant’s domain, government was set up by and for the powerful. That dark paradigm has existed up to today with only a very few bright stars. We remember them in our history books, lore and our imaginations. The future could be bright instead of dark, if governments followed the examples of those singular places and times, where government took it’s rightful role, instead of being the means for evil people to meet their wants at cost to humanity.

When Rome threw off the yoke of the tyranny of kings and became a republic, protecting the rights and property of all the people, it started down a path that would lead it to become the longest lasting empire the world has ever seen. At it’s apex Rome covered most of the then known world. It’s economy was second to none and the military might it wielded couldn’t be matched. Contrary to popular opinion, Rome didn’t invade any of it’s neighbors, it only fought defensive wars, and if a neighbor kept attacking it, Rome would conquer it, leave the government intact, only placing a governor to make sure it didn’t attack Rome again. Every city state that Rome conquered in that way was better off than before in every measurable way. That is how Rome expanded during the republican years.

From this example, we see that when the city state of Rome had a government that followed it’s right role, Rome was prosperous and safe, when it abandoned that right role of government, crime, tyranny and poverty ruled. In republican Rome the people were jealous of their liberty and the elite kept to their place. Once the elite, patricians, realized they had the power to take the wealth and property of the people, plebeians, they began destroying Rome from within. The rot started when those who wielded political power began increasing that power and using it to steal. They must have had some knowledge of what they were doing, but their selfish interests trumped philosophy and patriotism for their country. It has been said that when Rome was a republic, it enjoyed nothing but good fortune, and when it became a tyranny, is suffered nothing but catastrophe. Every nation, country and empire is the same.

One of government’s principle economic downfalls, was the invention of the administrative state, the bureaucracy. A legislative body meets in the open, with every eye of the nation upon it, when an executive signs, vetos or enacts a law there is not one person who doesn’t know who did it and why, but where bureaucracy reigns, every act is hidden by the bureaucracy itself, with no one to hold accountable and no one to who has responsibility. Right government is transparent and accountable while wrong government is opaque and all powerful. By this definition bureaucracy is wrong government. Opaque government is the system most people have had to live under since the dawn of time, and only a very few people in limited periods of time got to enjoy transparent government, before they were destroyed from within, by those very people entrusted with it’s protection. Moreover, bureaucracy needs something to do, and what it does is regulate, and so regulation must grow forever, until the eventual fall.

It is in the interests of those who run governments to make as large a proportion of the population dependent on government, and therefore them, as possible. Doing so increases their power, lowers the chance of their loosing that power and allows them to hand out largess to their cronies. Wealth in such a system flows only to those with political favor. That is how Bernie Sanders, the socialist Senator from Vermont, went from welfare to becoming a multimillionaire simply by holding public office. His case is no different than the Roman statesmen, who connived to take the land from the plebeians, or the elite who took all the land from the citizens of Athens, requiring Solon’s sage innovations. All governments are the same, those with political power live above the law, and those without political power are below it’s protections.

It isn’t me who is saying that limited government creates prosperity, peace and equanimity, it is history, along with the smartest human beings to ever draw a breath, I am just parroting them. Taxes are a drag on the economy, that cannot be denied, and they only go up, regulation is friction to an economy, yet they are never high enough, those in government refuse to hold themselves to any of their own laws or constitutional limits, and there is always some tin pot dictator who wants to subject more people and more land to his despotism. That is the nature of government, we all know this intuitively, but listen when the elite claim limited government would be a catastrophe, and it would be… for them.

The future could be bright, and might be, if only we demand it… but the elite will use every dirty trick in the book to hold onto their usurped power, prerogative and wealth. The internet could be a means to reclaim our sovereignty, but now it is being groped by the greasy hands of the bureaucracy. There are some who say that technology is going to advance so fast, even the most ardent regulator wont be able to reign in our freedom, lets pray and work to that goal. The capacity of humanity to create untold wealth and peace for everyone is unlimited. The only thing standing in the way of humanity’s living in that peace, prosperity and liberty, is government and those who run it.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

What is education…

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the goal of any education system should be to produce educated human beings, rational maximizers capable of participating in the market system, the political system and navigating the turmoils of life itself. That requires, as a self evident fact, the teaching of math, reading, science, philosophy, history, and religion. Because, for a person to be educated, he or she must know… the religions of the world, where we came from, really understand human nature, be able to reason, comprehend science to the level it is in at the time, and the most arithmetic possible. Any other motivation is opposed to that goal. If we really want our children to be educated then, and there is not one among us who doesn’t, we must strive to our utmost to make our schools produce educated people.

Every major religion should be taught in our schools. The biographies should be taught, as understood by the religions themselves, of Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Confucius, Krishna, Moses, David, Abraham, Issac, Ishmael and Mohamed. They should be understood by every student graduating school. The system of worship should have less attention than the foundational ethos. Not just Western and Middle Eastern religions, but Eastern ones too. A well educated student must understand where so many of our expressions come from. How can anyone understand what a Prodigal Son is, without knowing the parable? The basics of Shinto and other Eastern religions must be taught as well. Religion provides us with a moral code, that code is like the laws of physics under which a machine works, alter or ignore those laws, and the machine of civilization ceases to function. When the machine of civilization fails humanity falls into barbarism.

Our history teaches us what has been done. That which has succeeded and that which has failed is the provender of the history teacher. Those who do not know history, are damned to repeat every bloody, violent second of it, personally and in living color. Human history, all human history, is bloody, violent and plague ridden. It is the tragic story of violent men, marshalling great forces, to subdue other violent men, who have marshaled great forces to subdue nations and peoples. The reason Athens and Rome are so singular in human history is they had liberty. Albeit for the citizen and denied to the slave. History shows, slavery and tyranny are the persistent lot of the individual… not liberty. The lessons of the past teach, unambiguously, that liberty begets prosperity and tyranny begets poverty. Those lessons should be well understood by every student.

Philosophy is ignored by schools today as outmoded, which shows the ignorance, or sinister motives of those who set the curriculum today. Philosophy at the most basic level is grammar. Call grammar class philosophy 101. Language is one of the primary topics of philosophy. Think about Kung Sun Lung’s White horse paradox, showing the insufficiency of language to accurate reflect human thought or the world. Once grammar is understood, the well educated student would be taught epistemology, the study of knowledge. To be truly self aware is to look at ourselves with the eye of another. Just looking into what is knowledge, if what we think is true, really is true, etc… gives us perspective and enhances our self awareness in a positive way. To debate existence itself is to reach for enlightenment. Each area of philosophy should be taught from both the Eastern and Western perspective. Because a thing cannot be understood unless it is looked at from different angles.

Science must be taught to the level it is in the society. To flick a switch, and have no concept of how the electricity that excites the ionized gas in a florescent lamp, was made, transported to the switch, or that there even is such a thing as ionized gas, is to be uneducated, it is to be enslaved by technology. How things work is more important in a technological society than any other. To that end, the education system has to teach the dirty part of science, plumbing, electronics, mechanics, etc… as well as the inspirational flights of physics, astronomy, geology and biology.

Unless a person is able to read, they are unable to interact with the mass of information available to all of us, thus making them ignorant in the most villainous fashion, because it enforces that ignorance. Reading not only opens up highways of information it helps standardize the mind to the rest of humanity. Reading gives us a reference point. The ability to read provides a framework in which we are able to apply the lessons of religion, history, philosophy, science, and math. The student who graduates unable to read has been embezzled from. Without reading, the acquisition of future knowledge is made much harder, and verification of what has been taught becomes impossible.

Those who cannot do basic math are lost in any society and are especially hobbled in the market system. Even the most basic market interaction requires a knowledge of math. Further, math is pure logic, and is the only area where truth can be deduced from pure reason. In no other aspect of human existence can pure reason be applied to get a result consistent with reality. Therefore, math and the logical structure it imparts to the mind, is critical for a person to be able to reason. A person without math skills cannot be called educated in even the broadest sense of the term.

Most of all the love of knowledge must be taught. It is that thirst for knowledge that differentiates human beings from animals. A dog is self aware, experiences love and is able to reason, but has no thirst for knowledge. Humanity advances along with our knowledge. The advance of our knowledge is limited by our philosophy and morality. To be an educated human being, is to have insatiable curiosity, never to be satisfied with what is known, it is to be always seeking to know the unknown. Without curiosity we stagnate, individually as well as a society. Since all knowledge is impossible to have, the thirst for knowledge is one that is impossible to slake. That is the advantage of curiosity, it drives the advancement of the person, society and the culture.

A system that graduates a large portion of students unable to read, make change, or find their own nation on a globe, is one that has failed spectacularly. Where students leave school without a sense of the moral code, that humanity has spent thousands of years and oceans of blood constructing, is to have failed society itself, and condemns those graduates to retrod that ground, with all the blood, violence and human suffering that went along with the first and every subsequent pass. To further the insult by graduating students who are unable to reason, have no curiosity and cannot interact with others, is to betray on the most basic level. That schools, colleges and universities in the US and elsewhere, are graduating students lacking some or all of these fundamental attributes, shows an utter, total and complete failure of the entire education system, from top to bottom. Such a system doesn’t need more money, or power, it needs to be replaced, with a system that creates educated human beings, not politically indoctrinated, entitled, egoistic, new class, morons.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Economic Cancer

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the economy has cancer, sectors that are supposed to facilitate business creation and operation are now the ones supported and the real economic actors, (firms that build things and provide services) are now facilitators. I am of course talking about the legal profession and the financial sector. Turning the economic incentives against the creation of businesses and capital expansion of their production. This has had the effect of decoupling wages from productivity, drying up capital available to expand production and start new firms, adding extraordinary costs to doing business and lowering profits for firms the create things. An economy reacts organically to inputs from the actions of it’s various sectors, as such, when incentives become perverted firms need to use more and more creative measures to stay competitive, and are forced to do creative accounting to appear more profitable than they really are. All these negative incentives in an economy result in lower economic outcomes for everyone… except those in the financial and legal services sectors.

The financial services sector of the economy is there to be a conduit from people’s savings to firms looking for capital to start or expand their businesses. The way economists traditionally see banks is that they take in the savings of individuals and firms, paying reasonable interest, amass that capital and make it available to businesses to start new ventures, or expand profitable ones. In this scenario both savers and firms win, a win win. However, today the financial services sector has become the be all end all of the elite. Politicians kowtow to the too big to fail banks, giving them special privileges denied to other sectors of the economy, they have out sized power over the policies of government, there is even a shadow pseudo government agency that explicitly protects them… the Federal Reserve. Instead of being a facilitator of business the financial services sector has become the focus of our economic policy. Wall street versus Main street if you will.

The legal services sector is there to allow self interested people to come to agreements that benefit both parties. It is imperative that when people do business they trust each other. That is impossible without verifiable contracts and standards holding all participants to their word. These important factors in facilitating business cannot be overstated. Sadly, the legal system has bent over backwards to undermine this very noble calling and pervert it to serving lawyers, at the expense of everyone else. Today, contracts are only as good as the lawyers who break them on some absurd technicality, the primary role of attorneys is to bankrupt businesses for huge profits, drive up the cost of doing business by a continual threat of frivolous lawsuits, and keep new possibly disruptive products from the marketplace to protect older less efficient ones who have political favor.

The liver is supposed to filter toxins from the blood. As long as it does it’s work the body is healthy, but when the liver becomes distended and cancerous, it ceases to filter toxins. Instead it adds to the toxin load in the body. In that case the liver has ceased being a facilitator of bodily health and instead has become a drag on the body’s ability to function. The financial services and legal service sectors have become like a cancerous liver and kidney. They don’t perform their function in our economy, like a cancerous liver and kidney cease to filter blood, they only serve themselves. In both cases, a cancerous liver/kidney and perverted financial/legal sector, the body eventually dies… and so does the economy. Until the cancer is removed, allowing them to return to their correct function, the body becomes more and more diseased, and the same is true with the economy.

The proof is in the out sized compensation of those in the legal and financial sectors. The wages of the lawyer far exceeds that of the entrepreneur. The bonuses of the “banksters” is exponentially more than the those who create wealth. From this small example we can see that the lion’s share of profits today, flows to those who are supposed to facilitate business, from those who actually do business. The huge percentage of the total economy of these two sectors, that are supposed to be facilitators, is proof they have outgrown their place and, like cancer, have become a threat to the very existence of our economy. Since everyone wants the most profit possible for their actions, it is clear that the extraordinary wages in the financial sector and legal profession, come at cost to the rest of the economy, imply that those sectors have more than their fair share of power, political and economic, because if they didn’t those profits would be instead kept by those who create things and provide other services.

The result is that our economy, the world over, has become dysfunctional. The financial services sector now only serves itself, at cost to the rest of the economy, it doesn’t fund small business start ups or CAPEX, because taking printed fiat money and investing that money in government bonds is more profitable, moreover, it earns the favor of the political elite. This drives up the cost, and pushes down the return, on those bonds. Lawyers get rich by finding ways to break contracts, drive up legal expenses, suing firms and individuals and otherwise undermining the economy. These two sectors have become cancer in the most alarming sense. Most people understand this, at least subconsciously, and hope it will solve itself, but cancer never spontaneously heals, it only grows. If we don’t cut the cancer out with legal and financial reforms, and prevent it’s recurrence… the cancer will eventually kill our economy.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Solving Ukraine’s Problems

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, Ukraine’s situation is rapidly deteriorating, impoverishing it’s citizens and pushing the breakaway areas with war and the threat of war. What a sad state of affairs for people who, because of their geologic location, have taken it on the chin over and over. The political system is broken beyond repair with whomever is in power crushing any opposition at will. There is no effective protections for freedom of speech, assembly or conscience. The people of Ukraine deserve much better. Every nation on the planet could learn a thing or two, how not to run a country, from Ukraine’s example. There are answers to the thorny problems Ukraine faces, but unfortunately, real solution are being ignored for war and arbitrary power.

Ukraine’s history is one of invasion, violence and tyranny. From the dawn of history Ukraine has been invaded by empire makers. The Mongol invasions were particularly hard on the people, with whole cities raised to the ground, every man woman and child killed, even the dogs, cats and livestock! Tamerlane slaughtered the Ukrainian people with the glee of a demon. When the Soviet union controlled Ukraine, Stalin stole the food the Ukrainians had grown themselves, selling it on the world market, starving to death millions of human beings! The poor Ukrainian people have suffered for centuries under the heavy hand of sadistic invaders and despots. It is past time for those sturdy people to have a measure of freedom and prosperity.

President Petro Pososhenco continues in the footsteps of the man he deposed. Instead of ushering in an era of peace and prosperity he has turned to war and autocracy. While it is only human to want revenge for grievances suffered, when a politician does it, the lot of the whole people is lowered. Today the Ukrainian central bank is broke with all of Ukraine’s gold stolen. The war with separatists sporadically flaring up, and now with US lethal aid going to Ukraine, the likelihood of a shooting war with Russia becomes a real possibility. Crimea is lost to Russia, for now, and the Eastern cities are in the hands of separatists, which would be a blow to any sovereign nation. Sadly, Ukraine is used to blows, and is likely punch drunk.

A better option, in my humble opinion, would be to sign a peace accord granting the breakaway areas autonomy, as long as they don’t formally become part of Russia. This would stop the bleeding, both of human blood and economic red ink. War is never a good option especially when there is an alternative. Of course it take two for peace and only one for war, with the Russian Ruble in free fall, the Russian people looking at hyper inflation and the Russian economy collapsing, war becomes more probable, since war is a traditional way to make patriots of starving people. Nothing rallies a people like a rip snorting war. Granting the breakaway areas autonomy would take the possibility of outright war off the table.

The next thing Ukraine should do is get their political house in order. To that end, I have advocated for all nations, including Ukraine, a NUMA or Fourth Branch. It would chain the lawmakers to their own laws and Constitutional limits. Of course the Fourth Branch option would require a Constitutional rewrite. If done right such a rewrite would have many beneficial effects. The US Constitution should be the basis of any new Ukrainian Constitution… with the addition of a NUMA. A Constitution that strictly limits the role, scope and power of government, would allow the free market to do it’s thing. For a better explanation see an excerpt from my last blog here.

If these two things were done Ukraine’s economy would start flourishing. The Ukrainian people are smart, hard working and risk takers, all of which are essential to a rapidly growing economy. Until the war is ended, and the government retreats to it’s rightful role, the Ukrainian economy cannot possibly get on solid footing. If the economy of Ukraine becomes dynamic, the gross domestic product per person would skyrocket, or in other words, the Ukrainian people would see prosperity they could have only dreamed of before. Once that happens the breakaway areas will almost certainly petition the Ukrainian government to allow them back in. Self interest trumps all other considerations. Ukraine could slowly rebuild itself without the exigencies and ruin that protracted wars always bring on. This would be a peace and prosperity based solution to the fundamental problems of Ukraine. Wise leaders would take the path of peace and prosperity, while foolish ones, war and poverty… Let’s pray the leaders of Ukraine are wise and not foolish.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

What is a Well Educated Human Being?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, our children’s education is the most important factor in sustaining our civilization as a highly efficient, prosperous, healthy and free society, with a growing standard of living. We all agree that these are the attributes of the civilization we want to live in and want for our children. The only way to have and to maintain such a place is by keeping people moral, hard working and informed. Ignorant people can be easily tricked into giving up their liberty, immoral people will rot their culture from within, and lazy people will let society crumble for lack of the energy to speak up. This suggests that education has more facets than merely reading, writing and arithmetic, a truly educated person is self interested rightly understood. Sadly we have ignored this monumental responsibility and allowed our schools to become absurd caricatures of what they are supposed to be. The proof is in the results.

Youths who graduate College and high school have no work ethic. Ask any employer and they will tell you it is much easier to get a foreigner to work than an American kid. Something in our culture and education must have ruined our children’s work ethic. Our parents had a very good work ethic, which shows the destruction of the American work ethic is recent, and throughout US history there has been a strong Protestant work ethic, showing the problem is not native to the American culture. That is the dirty little secret of why the Chamber of commerce wants immigration at all costs – to get some hard workers.

Any and every market system requires a measure of trustworthiness in the people that engage in it. This is not taught in our schools but is perhaps the most critical factor in a functioning market system. Moral people are easier to do business with, so it can be said that virtue facilitates economics, since education is to allow people to engage in the market system, part of a well rounded education has to include ethics. It can be said, the more moral a people are the better their economy will do, and it also follows, the more prosperity there will be. That should be pretty obvious. With every generation people become less trustworthy which is proven by the need for lawyers in every human interaction possible.

Logic is something that is critically absent in our culture today. The whole foundation of the Enlightenment, is the eschewing of authority for logical argument, but today logical argument has given way to emotional rhetoric and calls to authority, more than ever! Everyone who graduates high school should have at least an understanding of logical thinking. Teaching how to think is inculcating logic; teaching what to think is indoctrination.

A society’s likely prosperity could be measured by the percentage of people who are moral, knowledgeable and hard working, against those who are lazy, vile and ignorant. I would also argue the longevity of that civilization, level of crime and violence, as well as the basic well being of a society… could be similarly measured. Therefore, it is in all of our best interests to insure young people get a good education, so they become well rounded, moral, hard working and learned citizens.

To be self interested, rightly understood, is to understand that one’s own interests are tangled up in the interests of the State, their employer, their employer’s customers, the grocer, the street sweeper etc… The interests of all of us are entangled in such a way, that a bad done to someone we don’t even know could do harm to our way of life, and so it is in our interests to protect other people’s interests. Part of being educated is teaching children to become self interested rightly understood, ie, moral, hard working and well read as well as wise.

Education is more than being able to count, read and put down a comprehensible sentence, it is to grow a child into a moral, hard working and knowledgeable adult, who can engage in the market system and bring value to any endeavor they set themselves to. The advancement of humanity would be much faster and scientific progress would proceed quicker if our schools were turning out well educated students. Sadly, the quality of the education in the State monopoly school system is dropping even faster than the cost is rising.

Sincerely,

John Pepin