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National Longevity (2011)

 

There was a widespread scholarly interest in sociopolitical topics between 1850 and 1950 and at least three men created works now considered masterpieces— and much in agreement with one another. Frederic Bastiat, a Frenchman1, Franz Oppenheimer, a German2, and Albert J. Nock, an American3, revealed universal governmental maxims as well as pertinent axiomatic truths of human nature while explaining and clarifying the unavoidable effects of these things on the longevity of nations.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the collective efforts of these men, it is generally accepted that all forms of wealth known to man have their genesis in the application of labor and capital to natural resources. Oppenheimer says that when human needs and desires are satisfied by producing wealth in this fashion, and subsequently exchanged with wealth similarly produced by others, the economic means, have been employed.

Also he says there is only one other way in which needs and desires can be satisfied—by seizing and consuming the wealth of others. Employing this second method outside of the law is known as plunder but the legally sanctioned seizure and consumption of the efforts and wealth of others, legalized plunder, is known as the political means.

Since human nature dictates satisfying needs and desires with the least possible effort, citizens of all nations eventually gravitate toward political means—and actively seek acceptance into its organization. It is the organization of the political means which Nock calls the State and which always becomes any dominating national force.

Consequently in the words of Bastiat: "...it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds." Wow! Anything sounding creepily familiar?

Nock says the organization of the political means, the State, by its very nature primarily facilitates the removal of wealth from one set of pockets while placing it into another. Today's multinational conglomerates, many militarily mega-monied, fund those candidates for public office who will legislatively attend to corporate interests assuring their interests will always trump competing interests in any matter of consequence.

Again from Bastiat: "All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder. But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws." Therein exists a fatal catch 22.

The American organization of political means is an extremely wealthy amalgam of public and private power characterized by pagan moralities, perennially intensifying raison d'etat, and little or no incentive to stop the entrenched, lucrative, fatal tendency to plunder instead of work. And there is no significant altruistic presence to be found.

Solzhenitsyn suggested that in order to survive: "We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society... we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life..."4 or selfishly perish amid the greed, militarism, pollution, and intellectual squalor which have chaperoned us to this very point of human history—perhaps to some brink of extinction foreseen by clairvoyant Maya practicing primitive, inferior forms of non-Wall-Street-based astronomy.

 

Endnotes:

1Frederic Bastiat. 1850. "The Law". Foundation for Economic Education. Last retrieved February 04, 2016 (http://fee.org/files/doclib/20121116_thelaw.pdf).
2Franz Oppenheimer. 1808. "Der Staat". Free Life Editions. Last retrieved February 04, 2016 (http://franz-oppenheimer.de/state0.htm).
3Albert J. Nock. 1935. "Our Enemy, the State". Hallberg Press Corporation.
4Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn. 1978. "A World Split Apart: Commencement Address Delivered At Harvard University". Last retrieved February 04, 2016 (http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/SolzhenitsynHarvard.php).

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