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

HAND OF GOD, HOG, Malicious Metaphysics of Free Enterprise

"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." "...he intends only his own gain, and is...led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention."
—Adam *Smith, "...The *Wealth of Nations", Book III, 1773 EB:20 p691

That famous pioneer economist, Adam *Smith (the elder, not Mr. Schremp on PBS `Adam Smith's Money World'), articulated the new anti-ideology a few centuries ago: If the individual pursues his own narrow interest, the economy and society as a whole benefits through the mechanisms of the market place, as if by an invisible hand, the Hand Of God, HOG.

The spirit of HOG surely goes back to the beginnings of human history. The zoologists describe such relationships even among our primate cousins not yet able to speak. The earliest human cultures may have verbalized an ideology long before it was written. In those good old days, what we call politics, religion, poetry and science were inseparable as one system. They still are, except that the abstractness of modern culture dissociates it, and obliges us to discuss in this analytic mode.

We can imagine the ebb and flow from contracted to expanded cultures over the aeons of time. Whether ancient cultures were high A harmonious or high D adversarial can barely be discerned from the bashed heads found by the archaeologists.

Feudal theocracies of Medieval Europe had elaborate ideologies with conformist cliches, all maintained by scheming clerics and bored scribes. The verbal loyalties they demanded spoiled verbal discourse, except for a few such as Machiavelli, who told it like it was.[ Niccolo Bernardo *Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian statesman and political philosopher, famous for his classic, THE PRINCE, acknowledging the importance of craft, deceit and fear, as operating principles behind the usual righteous rhetoric. This ideological dissociation is to the left on the D chart, p. ?.]

Gradually, craftsmen and travelling traders gained influence and power. They became businessmen, financiers and entrepreneurs. The birth of the machine-age gave humankind greater dominion over the earth, including more profits. The new business class gradually displaced the feudal lords and clergy. They and their revisionist theologians developed an anti-ideology to combat the degraded ideas of the old regime.[ See the classic book from the nineteen twenties, *RELIGION AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM by Richard Henry *Tawney, 1882-1962, English historian born in Calcutta.]

The economy, the polity and the entire culture was gradually freed from the control of the feudal lords and their church. The old regime's responsibility for the management and control of the community was more or less tempered by its obligation to do well by the community, a noblesse oblige. The new elite evaded such responsibilities, relying instead on the new impersonal market mechanisms. Human's were thereby relieved of the awesome responsibility to the community. According to their new faith, pursuing one's own narrow personal interests was magically transformed by God to the greater good. This schizophrenic dissociation of action from responsibility persists to the present day as the dominant ideology of the Global Economy.

The dissociation of the incorporeal corporation from the flow of human life and culture is analogous to the virtual reality dissociation of modern abstract culture, and the dissociation of the psychotic ego from reality and the body. Call it a Politico-Economic Psychosis, PEP. Like any minor system, it has lots of PEP, high i up left on the D chart.

Relying on the Hand Of God is a tragic and demonic denial of human responsibility and the connectedness of all things. Dissociating one's response-ability from cultural consequences, one's action from its broader impacts, one's consumption from the supporting ecosystem, is a psychotic dissociation. Believing that the Hand Of God, or the Magic Of the Marketplace, makes human selfish interests benign is a psychotic myth. Asserting that human culture benefits from this economic Hand Of God transforms the field of economics into a quasi-religious cult. Taking this HOGs credo as the foundation of a national economy and world culture is omnicidal insanity.

The subconscious script is a thinly masked assertion of the triumph of the will (TW, p.59), the subjugation of those in inferior positions, a justification for the WARRIOR ETHIC, WE, (p.242).

One might as well argue that individuals trapped in this system are not personally so degraded nor so insane, but merely trying to make a living, as described in ICE p.236, 241 and CGM p 248. Perhaps some successful people make decisions on the basis of greed and power, but the majority on the ant hill of enterprise are just doing their jobs. Their lurking awareness that the system is going to hell is denied and repressed. Most welcome the solace of rationalizing that the hand of God handles all that. The resulting poverty of life is a small price to pay for the comfort of security, the freedom from obligation, and occasional superiority over the less fortunate. Their suffering is assuaged by elaborate TV, nice cars, an occasional dinning out, and golf.

Greed is often praised as the motive power of progress. This seems an inadequate and invalid explanation of the motives of the real human beings who get things done. There seems to be an inherent conflict between being absorbed in the job of creation, construction, manifestation versus the fulfillment of greed. Greed connotes a distancing of the self from the task and an undercurrent of power over others and over nature, the warrior's mode. It's unlikely that the mind can do both well, especially not at the same time.

The conflict between the producer and the warrior is basic. The mind plays a trick by abstracting itself from the task and denying the deep involvement in work, as if to assuage the primitive ego and conform to the cliche of the day. In spite of the compulsion to the abstract life, CAL, in all its forms from Advertising to education to entertainment, people love to love what they are doing, but rarely admit it.

That great icon of the free world, the corporation, is the foundation that dissociates human beings from the supporting culture and ecosystem. `Limited liability' is its basis. The corporation is too vast and complex to be considered as just a business entity - that would be a false-focus. The managers are obliged to maximize their profits lest someone else take their position. The shareholders demand profits and threaten to sell their shares. The basic engine is institutional, not personal.

The public relations and advertising staff, usually the most brilliant of the organization, reach into the minds and hearts of the populace, successfully enticing them not only to buy their shampoo but to orient their lives according to the status images paraded before them. Should the hucksters miss this opportunity to grasp and impel the culture toward these values, some other ad company would get their account.

The lobbyists must finance and direct the legislators to enhance the tax and regulatory environment. The legislators must respond to the lobbyists, coordinating the various interests, dividing up the pie, keeping a loyalty broader than the individual firms toward the broader class interest of the constituencies who elect them (the campaign contributors, not the voters). Legislator's loyalty is broader that the particular contributor. It goes to the class and supports a broader pork barrel system.

The voter's minds are mushed by media manipulation, especially with the steady decline of interpersonal support. The workers who manufacture cigarettes, pollute the ecosystem, and despoil the culture, cling to their jobs precariously over the abyss of unemployment. The educators successfully alienate their charges from real work, relentlessly compelling them toward the abstract life, depriving them of the implicit satisfaction of loving the world, driving them toward explicit rewards through test-passing. Enduring this the pupils wallow in apathy and rage at such stupidification.

If only Adam Smith would have let God off the hook, the culture might have progressed organically toward a good life for all in a sustainable economy, a culture appropriate to the His children. Forgive him, he did not understand the implications of what he was doing, nor the malice at its roots.

Instead of being guided by the mindless malicious HOG, the economy could have been delicately directed and gently persuaded with devices such as ecotaxes p275. Market mechanisms could gently internalize the brutally externalized costs and gently steer toward a sustainable ecosystem and a healthy culture. Human beings could easily be lead into wholesome communities, enticed with subtle opportunities for interpersonal communications and real relationships. The ancient extended family and tribal relationships that enabled and supported the evolution of the human mind could be reconstructed, an easy task with modern technology and architecture.

< SUSTAINABILITY, It's Easy Chapters   Essays WORK, D-A Analysis of Jobs and Work >
Copyright © 2021 Earl Williamson. All rights reserved. Feedback Last updated Monday, April 9, 2018 05:43 UTC