Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design


Ethics is the description of the basic principles of behavior of people in culture - principles that operate, not ideals that are proclaimed. Objectivist ethics tells it like it is, without the discomfort of praise or condemnation, but with a holistic approach toward Evaluation and Diagnosis. However, a touch of subjective rage and bitterness might be allowed to enliven the mind and heart.

Evaluation of a culture describes its growth and complexity, its objective value - the blossoming of a richer socio-cultural life. Diagnosis describes the conflicts between the minor system being studied and the major system which supports it - the conflict between self and society.

In modern abstract culture a large segment of the population lumps itself into a group called the `middle class' or, from classic times, the `bourgeoisie'. This group gets the attention of the media, and therefore is a dominant image in this mind of society. It manages the society, does the white collar work, gets most of the consumer goods, spends most of the money.

This lump of middle class, call it the lumpen bourgeoisie, manifests the compulsion to the abstract life, CAL. As the proponents and practitioners of middle class values, they are the vanguard of modern abstract culture, MAC. Historically, it derives from the warrior class, and has been called the mercenary army of occupation, MAO, p.244. Like any culture or subculture, it has a life of its own, with operating ethical principles, the Ethics of the Lumpen Bourgeoisie, ELBY, all up left on the D chart:

  1. Avoid all activities that produce or create: The Taboo Of Productivity, TOP.
  2. Select actions that have maximum intensification, activities that express power over nature and others, regardless of damage to society or ecosystem: Triumph of the Will, TW.
  3. Prefer activities which are most expensive, cost the most money: The Principle of Upward Status Seeking, PUSS.
  4. Avoid awareness of the broader meanings and deeper empathies; choose violence over sentiment: the Cult Of Meaninglessness, COM.
  5. Make ever stricter and more complicated rules, leading to massive employment of enforcers and rapid expansion of prisons: the Principle Of Punishment, POP.

These rules emulate metascientific principles: From the basic false-focus, FF and there-and-then, TT that narrows and fixates our mental model; the basic dilemma of the structure of complex systems exhibiting the Dissociation of the Minor System; this DMS in the human system - the triumph of the will, TW; and its social manifestation, the compulsion to the abstract life, CAL, resulting in the growth of modern abstract culture, MAC.

The typical home is an ideal example, ideal in the correct sense of that word referring to the idea of maximum abstraction rather than the reality of organic value. The typical ELBY home is a pathetic parody of a farm compelled by TOP: a house surrounded by a little crop field. The field of grain is miniaturized to a lawn of grass. The lawn is attended like a miniature farm, with careful tending, borders, chemical aids and even miniature farm machinery.

Yard work is often done by the lower classes, though many ELBYs regress to mowing their own lawn, perhaps expressing a longing or a mockery of productive labor. Not only is the grass mowed to planar abstraction and the weeds diminished toward monoculture, but the shrubs are often cut to abstract geometric shapes, like human heads, as if Euclid himself had set the pattern.

In many neighborhoods, any variation is denounced as a threat to the abstract order and is often illegal. The homeowner is scorned for having Communist ivy or a vegetable garden. Clothes lines (Wind Assisted Solar Powered, WASP, driers) are usually illegal. If a Third World family, or the domestic underclass here, had such an ample plot and such sumptuous supplies and capital equipment, they would compulsively grow a plot of rice and beans, if they could get away with it, a counter TOP. But they may not - it's against the zoning, building and other codes and would surely bring down the wrath of the law and the ELBYs.

The suburban home fails as a miniature farm. The very abstraction of it exudes a slurby isolation and emptiness. It is understandable that these ELBYs would regress one step further to indulge in the hunter-gatherer mode of the golf course, p.317, 318 in PASTIMES.

Martha *Stewart is a leading ELBy, a Vanguard Of the Bourgeoisie, VOB. Transcending her PUSSy riches, she uses manure fertilizer and mixes her own salad dressing. Those burdened with and excess of GE wealth would do well to heed her blend of down home and high style.

Skiing is an elegant ELBY indulgence. It uses a maximum money and fossil fuel - definitely a PUSS, and provides an i exciting, perhaps risky experience elaborately designed to mimic life itself, a TW. Those ELBYs who begin to feel the guilt, the `normative conflict' inherent ELBY values, may switch to cross-country skiing, a slight counter COM.

The world of work is a crucial area of concern. PUSS pushes those jobs that actually produce or create toward lower status and pay than ELBY jobs, as explained in WORK, p.284.

Another ELBY ethic is the parking meter and the more generalized parking meter syndrome, pms. Parking meters hassle people and increase their anxiety, they POP. It helps separate good people from bad people who get caught or worse yet, vandalize the meters. It creates jobs building, installing and repairing the meters, maintaining them, giving parking tickets, collecting and enforcing fines. And, most perfectly, it does not create parking places. It makes the money go round, but barely impacts the parking problem. RIDlys will rationalize that it helps the shopkeepers by preventing `bad people' from hogging the spot all day.

The city of Albany, California, though surrounded by San Francisco Bay area cities, survives without parking meters, a counter POP. People from all over the world drive there to observe and to park.[ Confirmed as of 11/1/94, by a city enactment in 1990.]

Competing for the top spot among pms's is the income tax system. According to the government's own study, it costs the payee about $.67 extra in accounting costs for every $1. paid to the IRS. It requires thousands of people, millions of dollars, billions of person-hours, yet does not collect enough to pay interest on the national debt. Being complicated and arbitrary, it extorts many intimidated people to overpay their taxes. We expect a class action suit to compensate the citizenry for great damage to their mental health. The income tax amendment #23 could be repealed and replaced with ecotax, and those thousands of displaced CGMs assisted in finding honest work.

The professions form the apex and the nucleus of ELBY. The POPping criminal professions, including the civil law, exemplify pms, but on a much more PUSSy lucrative scale. By sketching a D CHART OF PROFESSIONS, estimate various examples of pms as they contribute to the quality of people's lives. See NOTES ON THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE LAW, NOTATL, p.321.

Meanwhile, keep in mind the principle of the great subconscious life, GSL. Be aware that what people say they think they feel is often mere rationalization of their behavior, p.7. The operational role of behavior can best be disclosed by looking at what's happening, a psychoanalytical task.

Alas, we are all ELBYs, more or less. The drive toward the parasitic, alienated, exploitative, wasteful, power-oriented, self-centered compulsion to the abstract life is blossoming all over the world, BigMAC. Counter trends constantly arise, many making feeble waves and dying on the beaches of BigMAC. We shall see whether these healing trends can save a sick culture, at least to postpone the deluge of our CULTURE OF OMNICIDE, p.322.

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