Rebirth of Reason


Preparing for Capitalism
by Manfred F. Schieder

"If one upholds freedom, one must uphold man's individual rights; if one upholds man's individual rights, one must uphold his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness - which means: one must uphold a political system that guarantees and protects these rights - which means: the politico-economic system of capitalism. (From "Conservatism: An Obituary", by Ayn Rand)
The peaceful revolution in the eastern countries that took place at the end of the 80's and beginning of the 90's may have briefly confused the collectivists of all shades and colors, and particularly those of the Marcuse inspired '68 Generation, but, as the last 20 years showed, was totally unable to stop in any way the left-wing trend that engulfs the world nowadays and spreads its totalitarian "ideals" and aims with steadily increasing speed. More and more state intervention is not only sought after by practically all politicians but by the general world population as well. All the recent foregoing elections in the US as well as the increasingly totalitarian, all encompassing rules, of the European Union, the Islamist spread which wants to swallow the world, the reborn dictatorial directives in the former Soviet Union and most of the countries that belonged to it, the continued dictatorial rule in China, North Korea, Cuba and so many, many other countries, makes this more than evident. The world population is drowning in rampant collectivism and evidently enjoying the fact of surrendering each one's brain to government domination. And yet, evolution itself will condemn the human species to extinction if this trend continues, for the human species evolved as the only one having a mind capable to think and act individually, which turns us immediately into individuals where each one is committed to himself and, thus, obliged to act and, thus, survive, in a way totally opposed to the tribal behavior of the lower species. This is what nature naturally arranged and Ayn Rand proved beyond the slightest doubt in her writings while I myself, and far more humbly, as it corresponds, added my own analysis in my writing "Ayn Rand, I and the Universe", as published by "Rebirth of Reason".

Inevitably and in view of the above, the reader of this article will surely view it as being both out of place and out of time. However, and fortunately against all odds, against all chances, there are those who adhere to a liberal (in the European sense of the term) understanding of humanity and a clear knowledge of the correct way of procedure. Among these are principally the Objectivists. We know that the present all engulfing trend can, must and will be corrected if, as Ayn Rand herself stated, humanity wants to have a future. Thus, the remaining part of this article will turn around the first impression gained by the reader from the introductory bleak outlook of this writing, for it deals with the preparatory steps that must necessarily be taken if the defenders of liberty and, specifically, Objectivists will become ready for the time when the change and the chance for better times becomes more evident than times are now.

There can't really be any doubt that promoting the ideas of Objectivism and its social goal, the Capitalist (I always write this word with a capital C) system, is not just a deeply inspiring intellectual crusade but also a thoroughly important quest for new adherents, since this "War for the Minds", as I call it, is the only legitimate way to growingly expand the basis of a rational-political activity.

Objectivism, as the true foundation of personal freedom, stays aloof from any altruist-collectivist ideology that foots the attainment of its goals on the hellish propagation machinery of disinformation and libel, aimed to destroy the true foundation of Western culture, spread class hatred, discredit the technological progress of the industrialized countries and confuse the unguarded population by stigmatizing true friends as enemies. As soon as the collectivist engine of wreckage senses that it is loosing hold of its aims it immediately resorts to violence. Those who adhere to it loose no time to convince their intelligent opponents for they consider it more effective to threaten or even kill them. This is their typical way of behavior and this closes any argument, since through it they show their own intellectual incapacity and confirm Marx and his followers' devilish purpose of returning the human beings back to the state of beasts by rejecting the validity of reason and logic.

We know, of course, that a dead man is not a man convinced. Nor will the survivors of political purges ever be. They will merely take good care not to open their mouth ever again. Terror, as the Stalitlers of history have shown time and time again, is not a tool of conviction but an instrument used by tyrants to impose their dictatorships on slaves and by no means the proper device to establish a society of free men, a society where the rights of the individuals reign with sovereignty. Which brings me to the main theme of this writing: the conquest of the thinking minds and the practical application of Capitalism as the social environment par excellence.

Objectivists as well as further defenders of personal liberty have a tendency to believe, in view of the predominantly existing systems of total or partial collectivization, that the organization they promote lies so far in the future that none of those now living will ever see it. Hence, they play, so to speak, with the theme as a mere academic entertainment. This, however, is a mistake of enormous proportions that allows their opponents to rest on the assurance that it will remain so for all times to come.

How and when Capitalism will come to be applied cannot be predicted, but those adhering to the application of liberty as the social system they aim to obtain would do well to reconsider matters and remember that Lenin learned of the revolution of February 1917, which would launch him to the Kremlin, by reading the newspapers in Switzerland. The defenders of Capitalism should by all means avoid such a disconnection from the facts of reality.

The time when Capitalism will be established will arrive unavoidably. It's a fact of historical evolution. However, this does by far not mean that the time when it will come is preordained "in the stars". And, further on, are its promoters ready for that time? I dare to deny it and state my point by studying the course of activities any liberal (in the European sense of the term) minded intends to apply when he nowadays accepts any position within a given government. He might have the best intentions to apply his intellectual convictions, but he will fail, and fail miserably, even in the mere intention of applying them. For the government bureaucracy within which he is placed follows quite different "aims" and "ideals" than the ones he propounds and, thus, even his smallest intentions are drown within a sea of both theoretical and practical opposition. The British TV-sitcom "Yes Minister", aired some years ago, pointed this out already in a satirical and very accurate way.

Collectivists, who know perfectly well how easily each of the liberal's man purposes can be turned to nought, call such a "helping hand" to their side whenever they want to use him as a front to hide some new and gross deception they plan. They tell the unaware that their purposes are different from what they seem and offer him a haughty but ineffectual position where they can use his intellectual standing as a fašade to cover their malignant activities, while at the same time being able to render his public statements on ice. This allows them, in addition, to discredit the liberal minded as a turned-around collaborator once they have reached their own purposes through his use. Within the more dictatorially conducted countries, these uncomfortable members of society are most often physically eliminated. All this proves that any help a liberal may contribute to a collectivist government ends in uselessness and senselessness: his "contribution" will end in nothing for he will be stopped from applying his purposes by any means or, else, what he propounds will be disreputed by the negative results of his intentions. Thus, his days within the government will have only harmed the whole liberal edifice. His opponents will laugh him off, other liberals will spurn him and the wavering crowd will have reached the impression that liberalism is either useless or, else, that he has been bribed. Situations like these have more than once been recently shown within the largest of the formerly communist states after the apparent collapse of this collectivist system.

Hence: what can be done?

By no means must any of the many worldwide existing types of collectivism be copied nor must those whose purpose is the establishment of the new type of society act, as collectivists usually do to reach their purposes, like a wild steer on the loose in a glass-shop. The technique to be used by the defenders of Capitalism must be very different, since our purposes are different as well. Against collectivists, who are interested in reaching sheer power, which is an evident sign of despotism, liberals are interested in production, a sign of personal liberty and a constant move towards general well-being. Hence, whoever thinks that he can enter any compromise with the antagonist or copy a certain "technique" of his, commits a contradiction in terms.

A productive society can ONLY act within an environment that lacks any hampering or obstruction. Hence, since governments are the main opposition to such freedom of achievement, the dismantling of the government as it is known up to now should, thus, become the first and main political purpose of liberalism.

Now, whoever takes even just one instant of his time to study the tangle of laws, decrees, regulations, fidelity oaths and rules of behavior, will immediately notice that the total sum of the labyrinth was not established, through the millennia, to insure the freedom of the individual citizen but to protect government from him and insure its predominance and continuous enlargement.

Faced with this Leviathan is Objectivism's, as well as its political arm, liberalism's, direct purpose to turn government (notice that this means to rule, a premise that belongs to collectivism and, thus, immediately builds up as anathema for every defender of personal freedom) into a mere Administration of the Means of Defense of the Rights of the Individual, which narrowly circumscribes its sole activity: the courts of justice and their executive tools: the armed forces to defend the individual against possible foreign attacks and the police forces to insure that within the country where he lives, every productive and peaceful individual will have the guarantee to act in liberty and realize his own goals, secure to be protected against asocial persons or groups that pretend to loaf from his productive endeavors. Even within this limited sphere will the mentioned Administration lack any right to total exclusivity for it will have to face the competition that characterizes the free market: private security services, private courts of arbitration (such as those pertaining to specific areas, like international courts of appellation, etc.). To finance the Administration and its operation, taxes, presently another coercive requirement, will be replaced in a non-burdensome and, at the same time, very efficient way, by service fees such as the ones philosopher Ayn Rand mentions in her article "Government financing in a Free Society", and, among many other possibilities, insurance premiums, for precisely insurance companies are highly interested to support the security forces, as these are the ideal means to protect people as well as the products and services they insure. This will automatically integrate all security forces and the courts of justice themselves into the free market.

Dismantling the government first and establishing at the same time the Administration mentioned itself will be a very exacting work that requires highly trained personnel ready to act at the time the new type of society becomes established. In addition, this means that by the time the majority of the population has decided itself for the Capitalist system it will already be too late to start organizing the multitude of tasks to be performed to avoid any bumps on the road. The individuals that will take care of the work to be done (preferably those who at the present time are already imbibed in the Capitalist system) must, thus, be schooled much, much earlier, since there is a direct link between the elimination of, say, a certain State Department with all its dependencies and subdivisions or the privatization or even the closing of a given state "enterprise" and the practical implementation of the establishment of the new system, for what is here involved is the direct enactment of the organization and operation of a private enterprise for a political purpose and aim.

It's sad to recognize that up to now neither Objectivism nor any of the other liberal intellectual and political organizations that promote the establishment of the Capitalist system, have taken care to prepare themselves for the task in view. While these organizations carry out seminars and training courses to promote free enterprises, they have not, quite separately from the important work mentioned and already undertaken, placed their attention on what is described in this article. However, it is absolutely necessary to prepare already so-called "Managers of Political Enterprises", real entrepreneurs imbued and inbred with the Objectivist ideals and its goals who, in the areas of management, strategy, tactics, accounting, communications, etc. etc. can apply the liberal ideas at the snap of a finger within the practice required by a political administration attached to the very core of a society of free people.

We should not leave this matter uncommitted to the present worldwide situation, thinking that the time envisioned is far off, for the moment will arrive and arrive inevitably, even earlier than we can imagine. As I mention in chapter 7 of my writing "Ayn Rand, I and the Universe" ("The Refueling of our Power for Creation") published on the pages of "Rebirth of Reason", by the time the moment of change has been reached, a clearly defined situation of conflict will necessarily come up. By that time, Objectivists will have to be perfectly aware that a very violent opposition will face them. The old dinosaur, in its dying contortions, will lash out furiously. A type of society that existed for at least 4 million years will be finally coming to its end. It cannot be expected that it will clear the field without any ugly violence.

Moreover, as the envisioned political administrators of a liberal ideology emerge from the preparatory courses, they themselves will press for the immediate application of what they have learned. This in itself will speed up the time of change. In spite of this it may still be a difficult task, for, as science and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said, it is just as difficult to place a good invention on a drawing board, as it is to turn the resulting drawing into practical reality.

There is an additional reason to implement swiftly the practical application of the new system through the liberal political management, since if by that time liberalism doesn't count with the required amount of people trained to put the changes into practical use, the resulting vacuum will be immediately occupied by the established bureaucracy, which is completely collectivist minded.

Hence, preparing the new managers will be a task to be made in addition and parallel to the instruction courses that young students have chosen as their future work field and/or those already active in the management or operative level, which means that the knowledge obtained in the so called practical areas (engineering, accounting, industrial-, financial-, etc. management) can be incorporated and, thus, be part of the new political capacities that will be required within the new social system.

This opens up the possibility for an effective political action for those industrial leaders already ideologically attracted by the cause of personal liberty. They can supply both the financial help and the systemic organizational knowledge to methodically unite all that has up to now been written on the matter to then, and based on the huge store of wisdom collected, create teaching courses, worldwide knowledge exchanges (both on a personal and Internet contact levels), symposiums of interdisciplinary study, international conferences, stock taking of ideas formed and even "application games" to test the possible theoretical and practical questions that may come up during and after the establishment of the new social system, in a way somewhat similar to the tactical and strategic "war games" played within military academies.

All this preparatory sequence will provide an additional psychological effect: the confidence of having at hand the help of many individuals prepared to face the crucial instants during which the collectivist social system will be shed and the individualist system takes over. This will avoid every traumatic effect that might be felt by that part of the population generally unaware of big changes.

Once the system has been practically established, an ample basis for the decentralization and federalization of every given region will be available since, in a way similar to a private enterprise, incomes gathered by the new financial means to back the regional Administrations of the Means of Defense of the Rights of the Individual will remain in the area of collection, thus providing , quite separately and in addition to a real feeling of local independency, a close control of expenses and the security that no omnipresent and omnipotent Central Power can meddle with the benefits, decisions and/or problems related with the given area. Beyond this, it will activate the competitiveness of each region and motivate the inhabitants to greater productivity and thriftiness - a characteristic of liberal societies - for a rationally careful administration of incomes and expenses in relation with the conscious use of human and natural resources available or to be procured.

Ayn Rand provided the sustaining argument for what I described above in her major work "Atlas Shrugged": "The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a police officer, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man's deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his is."

This should trigger a deep and rigorous analysis of all details involved.

Objectivists envision as their aim a society where every initiation of acts of force and violence is banned, for this is the only kind of society where free, peaceful and productive individuals can dedicate their life to reach prosperity, well-being and happiness, and this is more than enough reason to start working for this goal as from right now!
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