William T. Holmes
Unit of Price
Natural Versus Unnatural Selection
[This was written years before this web site was developed.] Generic terminology is used in lieu of customary terminology to elicit a different perspective of familiar occurrences and practices. Colloquial language, contractions, slang and possessives are avoided to facilitate accurate translations. Pronouns are avoided to avoid misinterpretation. Repetition is avoided to keep the article as concise as possible, so skimming it will leave the reader unsatisfied. Every sentence in every paragraph is significant.
Thanks to the physics of the Universe, the spontaneous self-organization of matter is common, and life seems inevitable even under remotely favorable conditions. The evolution of stars creates more complex elements from simple hydrogen. Atoms search for a minimum energy state by forming chemical bonds with each other, thereby organizing themselves into structures known as molecules.
Complex systems with an external energy source or sink will spontaneously self-organize. For example, when liquids are heated from below, the molecular mix becomes increasingly random and chaotic. Then suddenly these random molecules form perfect hexagonal cells (Bernard Instability). Similarly, when oil is cooled to a specific temperature, it forms hexagons.
Amino acids spontaneously self-organize from the molecules presumed present in the atmosphere of ancient Earth when stimulated with electrical energy simulating lightning. Meteor impacts provide the energy to produce similar results, and induce amino acids to spontaneously form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the ingredients of Earthly life as it is currently understood. The only significant constituent of life that has yet to be produced in a laboratory is the chromosome.
Surfaces churn with activity during crystal growth. Atoms migrate, meet and stick. They arrive and diffuse randomly, yet they often settle into patterns, forming lengthy strands, distinctively shaped islands, or arrays of steps, ledges, and terraces as a function of disposition rate and temperature. Similarly bacteria use chemical signals to motivate colonies to clump and disperse into intricate patterns as a function of the nutrients in their environment. Even lowly pond scum has been known to spontaneously self-organize into tendrils that reach from the surface to the bottom to retrieve solid nutrients whose weight strains the buoyancy of the algae colony.
The asymmetrical bonding of the atoms of many molecules from water to amino acids and proteins permit complex shapes that provide the structure of life. For example, the three-dimensional structure of the protein ff-helix allows the formation of coiled coils. Two linear polybipyridine ligands spontaneously organize into a double helix, the structure of chromosomes.
Chromosomes provide the genetic memory of life, yet tolerate mutations that may become persistent and propagate to the advantage of a species. Mutations may in fact not be random as demonstrated by bacteria subjected to various controlled conditions. Individual bacteria communicate with each other and with their environment through chemical signaling. Colonies of bacteria tend to form networks. The bacteria seem to be operating an internal genetic engineering system to cope with the new conditions, because immediate mutations arise in bacteria in direct response to their surroundings. The genomes of each bacterium effectively interact with each other and with what is around them (SCIENCE NEWS, VOL. 147, March 4, 1995, Bacterial Chatter, How patterns reveal clues about bacteria's chemical communication by Richard Lipkin).
Life forms continue to be discovered on Earth. In 1990, 25-200 nm scale spheroidal and ovoid shaped objects were discovered in calcite and aragonite rocks by Robert Folk during a high-magnification study of hot springs carbonates. When he found similar structures in calcite cements, native sulfur, sulfide materials and travertines in 1992 that resembled eubacterial Cocci, Bacilli, Streptococci and Staphylococc, he named them "nannobacteria," a term coined by Richard Y. Morita in 1998 to conform with geological usage, e.g., "nannoplankton." In 1993 they were found in dolomite and carbonate sediments and rocks, and suggested as the cause of clay mineral diagenesis. In 1994 they were blamed for the precipitation of clay minerals upon surface and subsurface sand grains. In 1995 nannobacteria were associated with the precipitation of opal–CT lepispheres, chalcedony and chert nodules. In 1996 the formation of oolites, hardground, aragonite cement, the mediation in the alteration of volcanic rocks to clay minerals and copper sulfide enrichment, and the relic biogenic activity in Martian meteorite ALH84001 were attributed to nannobacteria. In that same year 80% of commercial sterile fetal and newborn bovine sera were contaminated with nanobacteria, so much of the IPV Polio Vaccines and Human Immune Gamma Globulin and other vaccines made with such sera were likely contaminated. In 1997 nannobacteria were found in Triassic and Jurassic sandstones. In 1998 nanobacteria were discovered by Nobel Prize Nominees Dr. Neva Ciftcioglu, PhD and Olavi Kajander, MD, PhD as a contaminant in mammalian cell cultures. These "Nanobacterium sanguineum" protect themselves with a slime that calcifies and forms budding structures during replication, which led them to search for and find nanobacteria in kidney stones. In 1999 geologist, Philippa Uwins from the University of Queensland found such structures in sea-floor mineral samples, and termed them "nanobes," because she was hesitant to correlate them with bacteria. In 2004 nanobacteria were found in diseased human arteries and suggested as the cause of arterial plaques.
Nanobacteria (biological microbacteria), nannobacteria (geological microbacteria) or in general, nanobs range in size from 50 to 500 nm. The largest virus is 400 nm. The smallest virus is 20 nm. Viruses contain ribonucleic acid (RNA), but do not contain dirybonuclaic acid (DNA). They co-opt the reproductive machinery of cells. Bacteria are single-celled life forms that have their own reproductive machinery, including DNA assembled in chromosomes. The smallest accepted bacterium is the 300 nm Mycoplasma gentialium. Marine bacterium Pelagibacter ubique is 500 nm. Until the discovery of nanobes, it was thought to be the most abundant organism on earth. According to O. Kajander, University of Kuopio, Finland, the DNA of nanobes is very short. Perhaps nanobes will provide the "missing link" between chemistry and self-replicating life.
Clearly the ingredients of life and the mechanics for the structures of life were available on Earth for the native formation of life, however it may have been redundant or unnecessary. The larger building blocks of life like amino acids may have been brought to Earth on same comets that are thought to have brought much of the water to Earth. The resilience of spores to hostile environments on Earth makes the travel of spores through space plausible. The discovery of Martian meteors on Earth with internal structures that resemble those made by the nanobes found to be prevalent on Earth alludes to the possibility that Earth was seeded with life from Mars. Mars may have been seeded from elsewhere in the galaxy. Some have even postulated that nanobes are the dark matter of the universe.
Primitive life in the form of individual cells may be everywhere, but colonies of cells require a relatively static nutrient-rich environment, so colonies are less prevalent.
Just as a bacterial or algae colony is a collection of cells, so are the more complex life forms. The only difference is that the cells in the complex life forms differentiate into specialized colonies called organs that perform specific roles, like structure (bones and cartilage), environmental protection (skin or shell), nutrient and waste transport (blood), oxygen import and carbon dioxide export (lungs or gills), blood pump (heart), motive force (muscles), intercellular communication (nerves and hormones), organ coordination (brain or nerve stem), and so forth. These are macro versions of the micro systems and structures within a single cell.
The bag of specialized cells (epidermis) that protects the community of cells internal to it from the radiation and humidity variations of its environment has limits to its protective capacity. The bag has orifaces that allow gasses, liquids and solids to be imported from the environment for the chemical reactions of metabolism and gases, liquid and solid waste to be exported to its environment. These provide entry points for noxious chemicals, nematodes, bacteria, viruses, etcetera.
Some communities of cells produce excess thermal energy to keep the community from freezing. These exothermic communities use respiration to cool them, or they have an epidermis that has pores that allow water to evaporate from its surface to cool the community. They may have fur, feathers or layers of fat to insulate the community from the environment and help it retain its thermal energy. All of these temperature-regulating systems have their limits.
Consequently, communities of different cell types, like plants and animals are less prevalent than the colonies of single celled species that do not suffer the same constraints. The range of communities of cells is limited by latitude, altitude or depth, radiation, precipitation and prey. They must seek benign natural environments ... or alter their environment.
Earth is partitioned into set of essentially stable environments. A set of species comes to dominate each environment. With no significant change beyond the normal seasonal variation, there is no need for the species to change.
As a function of seasonal and regional or minor global disturbances, the boundaries of these environments fluxuate as if competing for territory. It is along the boundaries that the most diverse populations of species are found locked in a dynamic struggle for a habitat.
Instead, all these complex systems have somehow acquired the ability to bring order and chaos into a special kind of balance. This balance point —often called the edge of chaos— is were the components of a system never quite lock into place, and yet never quite dissolve into turbulence, either. The edge of chaos is where life has enough stability to sustain itself and enough creativity to deserve the name of life. The edge of chaos is where new ideas and innovative genotypes are forever nibbling away at the edges of the status quo, and where even the most entrenched old guard will eventually be overthrown.
Here is where gradual evolution might be expected to occur.
Evolution is more likely to occur when the stable environments are massively disturbed by volcanic eruptions or asteroid or comet impacts that have regional or global effects. The surviving species are suddenly no longer constrained by competing species. They are free to expand into hostile environments, but must adapt thereto. The need to adapt results in mutations.
Given the physics of the universe, there is no need to invoke a god or gods to explain the existence of life or its evolution. At most supreme beings can be credited with the physics of the universe.
See Santa Fe Institute for more.
At first glance, about the only thing that these questions have in common is that they all have the same answer: "Nobody knows." Some of them don't even seem like scientific issues at all. And yet, when you look a little closer, they actually have quite a lot in common. For example, every one of these questions refers to a system that is complex, in the sense that a great many independent agents are interacting with each other in a great many ways. Think of the quadrillions of chemically reacting proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids that make up a living cell, or the billions of interconnected neurons that make up the brain, or the millions of mutually interdependent individuals who make up a human society.
In every case, moreover, the very richness of these interactions allows the system as a whole to undergo spontaneous self-organization. Thus people trying to satisfy their material needs unconsciously organize themselves into an economy through myriad individual acts of buying and selling; it happens without anyone being in charge or consciously planning it. The genes in a developing embryo organize themselves in one way to make a liver cell and in another way to make a muscle cell. Flying birds adapt to the actions of their neighbors, unconsciously organizing themselves into a flock. Organisms constantly adapt to each other through evolution, thereby organizing themselves into an exquisitely tuned ecosystem. Atoms search for a minimum energy state by forming chemical bonds with each other, thereby organizing themselves into structures known as molecules. In every case, groups of agents seeking mutual accommodation and self-consistency somehow manage to transcend themselves, acquiring collective properties such as life, thought, and purpose that they might never have possessed individually.
Furthermore, these complex, self-organizing systems are adaptive, in that they don't just passively respond to events the way a rock might roll around in an earthquake. They actively try to turn whatever happens to their advantage. Thus, the human brain constantly organizes and reorganizes its billions of neural connections so as to learn from experience (sometimes, anyway). Species evolve for better survival in a changing environment—and so do corporations and industries. And the marketplace responds to changing tastes and lifestyles, immigration, technological developments, shifts in the price of raw materials, and a host of other factors.
Finally, every one of these complex, self-organizing, adaptive systems possesses a kind of dynamism that makes them qualitatively different from static objects such as computer chips or snowflakes, which are merely complicated. Complex systems are more spontaneous, more disorderly, more alive than that. At the same time, however, their peculiar dynamism is also a far cry from the weirdly unpredictable gyrations known as chaos. In the past two decades, chaos theory has shaken science to its foundations with the realization that very simple dynamical rules can give rise to extraordinarily intricate behavior; witness the endlessly detailed beauty of fractals, or the foaming turbulence of a river. And yet chaos by itself doesn't explain the structure, the coherence, the self-organizing cohesiveness of complex systems.
Instead, all these complex systems have somehow acquired the ability to bring order and chaos into a special kind of balance. This balance point— often called the edge of chaos—is were the components of a system never quite lock into place, and yet never quite dissolve into turbulence, either. The edge of chaos is where life has enough stability to sustain itself and enough creativity to deserve the name of life. The edge of chaos is where new ideas and innovative genotypes are forever nibbling away at the edges of the status quo, and where even the most entrenched old guard will eventually be overthrown. The edge of chaos is where centuries of slavery and segregation suddenly give way to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s; where seventy years of Soviet communism suddenly give way to political turmoil and ferment; where eons of evolutionary stability suddenly give way to wholesale species transformation. The edge of chaos is the constantly shifting battle zone between stagnation and anarchy, the one place where a complex system can be spontaneous, adaptive, and alive.
The purpose of all life on Earth is procreation. Be it by cell division or sexual reproduction, without procreation all life eventually ends. Given the dynamics of Earth and its environment, life forms with unlimited life spans would become extinct as a result of their inability to adapt to severe changes in their environment. The shorter the reproductive cycle and the more susceptible (or inclined) to mutation, the more adaptable is the species.
All the energies of all the higher species are devoted to surviving long enough to mature, mate and procreate. Some species are consumed for the benefit of their progeny or die immediately after procreation. Others persist to nurture and teach their young to improve their chances for survival to puberty and even parenthood. A few live in extended families in which non-alpha members or those past their reproductive prime help support the progeny of those indirectly related to project their many common genes into the future.
Single-celled species repeatedly divide to procreate.
The net life span of a colony of fungi, bacteria, algae and molds is much longer than the life span of each cell, which repeatedly divides to grow the colony, and eventually dies, but its genome is projected into the future by the remaining cells of the colony.
Similarly, the net life span of a community of cells is much longer than the life span of the cells that constitute the colonies of cells called organs. The cells voluntarily divide and die so that the genome of the community may be projected into the future as a germ cell that grows into a similar community of cells. Some of which are effectively the progeny of the cells of the parent community. The only genomes that are not projected into the future are those of the beneficial intestinal bacteria that help the colony digest what it ingests in exchange for food and shelter, and the various parasitic viruses, bacteria, nematodes, mites and other species that may infest the community.
The activities of living things may also be driven by their genomes.
Just as a bacterial or algae colony is a collection of cells, so are the more complex life forms. The only difference is that the cells in the complex life forms differentiate into organs to perform specialized roles, like structure (bones and cartilage), environmental protection (skin or shell), nutrient and waste transport (blood), oxygen import and carbon dioxide export (lungs or gills), blood pump (heart), motive force (muscles), intercellular communication (nerves and hormones), intercellular coordination (brain or nerve stem), and so forth. These are macro versions of the micro systems and structures within a single cell.
A cell is easily eaten, crushed or desiccated. As the member of a community of cells protected by skin or shell cells, it is more likely to survive and benefit from nutrient sources inaccessible to a single cell. Specializing and trading services has its advantages.
On the constantly changing planet called Earth in the constantly changing solar system of the Sun in the constantly changing galaxy of the Milky Way in its constantly changing Universe, life has adopted many forms and strategies to thrive in an environment and adapt to change, be it caused by the radiation variations of the Sun, the orbit or rotation of the Earth, the impacts of meteors, asteroids or comets, the movement of its continental plates or the volcanism the movement causes, the tug of its Moon, or the competition between and among life forms.
Competition assures the most efficient conversion of resources. Given that life and its resources are recycled stardust that may be decimated by an impact before they are eventually consumed by the Sun, life on Earth is finite. For the life of Earth to survive, it must migrate to other planets of other solar systems with sufficiently similar characteristics of Earth that they may be converted to alternate havens for Earthly life.
Thanks to extinctions and competition, life has evolved a form that can recognize and anticipate change, and devise strategies and tools to deal with it, including space travel and terra forming. This synergistic colony of symbiotic cells and bacteria called Human recognizes the interdependence of life forms external to itself and its dependence on them for the most efficient conversion of resources for its sustenance. Consequently, many "lower" life forms will likely survive the end of the Earth by being included in the migration of Humans to other planets.
Some Humans may make, trade for and keep property for anticipated future exchanges in anticipation of greater future value for the property. What is valued little now by other Humans is acquired and conserved in anticipation of exchanging it when it is more highly valued, and can be exchanged for more or more expensive products than might have otherwise been acquired.
By deferring gratification and conserving resources rather than consuming them, a greater return on investment may be had --or not if the prognostication is wrong. The Human who takes the risk benefits or loses according to its ability to anticipate the needs of other Humans.
Why should any Human risk months of tilling, planting, watering, fertilizing and weeding of crops, or risk everything to bring products to market or acquire products for future exchange if they are destroyed or stolen before any benefit is derived from the endeavor? Why should any Human invest in the future value of something, only to lose it to pests, fire or another Human? Why should one save rather than spend?
The answer lies in property rights and protection. When property rights are respected by all, there is no need for protection. Those who respect property rights and see unattended property will leave it be, because they know it is not their property, and reason it must be the property of someone else.
Life requires sustenance and protection from predators and weather in order to mature, mate and procreate.
All species secure property as the basic means of their survival, and hence, the survival of their progeny and their genetic heritage. Be it the momentary capture of a passing bacteria, the nutrients in soil, the dropping of leaves to discourage nearby seedlings or the scenting, posting or fencing of a territory, all species innately understand the concept of property and its importance for their survival. They all balance the size of their property with the cost and risk involved in patrolling and defending it to maximize their genetic success.
Soil for roots and seeds is the property of trees. Burrows and buildings are the property of their inhabitants. They provide protection from predators and destructive weather. Property provides prey. Property provides refuge for other property, like the invention, construction, storage and use of tools to improve productivity and protection. Property is both natural and essential for life.
Property can be anything from territory, tools, sperm, zygotes and excretions to ideas, skills and labor, and the products thereof. At the very least, every instance of every species is the property of itself. Hence, when the term property is used, it includes property owners. Rape is trespass. Murder is theft.
The properties of different species often overlap without conflict as each specializes in different harvests. Where the properties of the same species overlap, conflict occurs until the boundary is defined to the satisfaction of the most powerful property owner. Predator property boundaries are constantly adjusted as prey migrates the power of the pack changes.
The property of migratory species moves with them. From it are excluded threats and competition, particularly male competition. The stronger the dominant male, the larger the property.
The barbaric world of predator and prey is one in which predators not only ignore the property of prey, but consider prey within their territory to be their property. Practically every species is both prey and predator. Plankton and plants do not volunteer to be eaten, nor do their predators volunteer to be eaten by larger predators in the hierarchy of predation. Predators engage in trespass and theft.
One alternative to predation is the voluntary world of trade in which some species have learned the advantage of consensual trade versus the potential repercussions of predation. Some dissimilar species unconsciously trade products in mutually beneficial arrangements. For example, some plants trade nectar to bees in exchange for pollination. Others trade sap to ants for protection from plant eaters. Certain fish clean the gills and teeth of predators without harm in exchange for food. Certain birds eat pests and sound alarms in exchange for a safe haven.
Some members of a species specialize within their domain. Predators specialize in herding, digging, attacking, or the care or defense of property. Prey specialize as sentries, organizers and defenders. A subset of chimpanzees specialize in harvesting termites with sticks, but no species both specialize and trade as humans have learned to do.
Trade provides a benefit from excess production, namely the ability to get more property with less effort. By developing the skills and tools to make valued property like plumbs or plows with less labor than others, humans can produce in excess of their consumption of their product, and trade the excess for the valued results of the excess production of others. The net result is more sustenance and security for less labor for those who trade, which gives them the freedom to engage in leisure, learning, exploring, research and invention. Those who consume everything they produce seldom have such luxury.
Trade motivates specialization as individuals specialize to be more porductive and benefit from the trade of excess production. Specialization motivates trade as more products become available at ever-lower cost. Lower cost products leave more excess production to trade for additional products.
Humans can specialize as predators as well as producers, but most learn that cooperation is more profitable than confrontation.
Trade motivates the expansion and specialization of transportation as producers seek more markets for their products. Transportation motivates trade by making heretofore economically inaccessible products from geographically distant sources available to local markets. As transportation becomes more efficient, "foreign" producers with environmental or resource advantages can profitably sell to local markets for less than local producers can. Production effectively moves to where plums or plows can be produced most efficiently.
As production moves, economic voids are left behind. They may be quickly filled by other economic activity or persist until a local advantage is exploited to return economic vigor to the region. The skill and tool requirements of the new economic activity may differ from that of the former. Some humans may follow the jobs or find others elsewhere. Others will remain and adapt. It is disruptive and disconcerting for those adversely affected, but it is temporary, and all ultimately benefit from the lower prices derived from producing products as economically as possible.
Trade motivates competition for excess production. Competition motivates the invention of new products to displace existing products, or new ways to produce old products less expensively with less waste or with higher quality. Less costly or more durable products leave more excess production to exchange for additional products, including the new products. New products provide the incentive for more specialization or better skills or tools to produce more excess to afford the new products in addition to the old products. And so it goes in a spiral of wealth creation, where wealth is property, leisure, travel, education, or whatever an individual considers to be wealth at the moment.
Thanks to self-interest, specialization and trade, most Humans need not invent anything. They are inundated with new choices from which they select the products that will prevail. These choices are provided at no cost to them by other Humans acting in their own self-interest. These entrepreneurial Humans attempt to anticipate the needs of other Humans. They risk everything to develop products that might please consumers to the extent that a mutually beneficial exchange will occur.
As the human species takes specialization and the trade of its results to the extreme internationally, humans will not only maximize productivity and minimize waste, but will also become dependent on one another for their sustenance, parts, conveniences and comforts, which discourages predatory behavior like war, and eliminates the waste of defensive measures.
Even the making of simple products requires a degree of dependence and cooperation that few can comprehend or appreciate. For example, no one Human can know all that is required to make a pencil, yet thousands of Humans unknowingly cooperate in the pursuit of their own self interest to harvest the wood, form the wooden shaft, make the chemicals of the paint for the shaft, the form metal for the ferule and the rubber for the eraser, refine the lead and metal and rubber, transport the components to their final assembly area, mine the lead and metal and petroleum, make the mining, manufacturing and transportation equipment, etc. Only those involved in the final assembly know the end result. The rest are unaware to what use the results of their specialized knowledge and labor will be put, nor do they care. They simply trade their excess labor for the products that result from the excess production of others. This is the "invisible hand" popularized by John Locke.
There is no controlling agent. There are no orders from the pencil makers for carbon or brass from the miners or wood from the harvesters. There is only the communication of price as an indication of the relative demand for products.
Productivity and peace make it possible for many humans to be sustained in intellectual, scientific and engineering pursuits by those engaged in the production and transportation of food, clothing, shelter, material and tools.
Humans have specialized within their form and spontaneously self-organized the exchange of their excess production for that of other humans. That specialization of muscle, dexterity, skill and intellect, and the exchange of the products of its exercise create the wealth and leisure that enables some to contemplate such things as space travel and terra forming. The productivity derived from the specialization of farmers and miners and those who process and transport their goods frees other Humans to specialize as engineers who design new products and methods of fabrication and assembly. It frees manufacturers to employ those materials and methods. It frees scientists to refine the understanding of physics so that engineers may improve their designs. Farmers, miners, processors, transporters, manufacturers ... all benefit from the improved products of improved designs in the quest to anticipate and satisfy the whims of consumers. The ever-increasing specialization and productivity of Humans enables some Humans to become authors, philosophers ... and astronauts. This voluntary specialization and trade in the free market of ideas, labor and materials will ultimately enable life to transcend Earth.
When you look into the eyes of a farmer, clerk, policeman, waitress, trash collector, construction worker or passerby, you see someone who is contributing in ways large and small, overt and subtle to the sustenance of life on Earth and its continuation after Earth is no longer hospitable to life.
Price is what drives the invisible hand of John Lock. Price establishes the relative value of products. Price tells competitors in what and where to invest their excess labor.
From ideas and labor to minerals and commodities, all are amenable to being priced. Price varies directly with demand and inversely with supply. The more Humans are willing to exchange for one thing, the higher its price. If the needs or whims of Humans change to value the thing less, the lower its price will be relative to other things. If there are fewer of a thing than the quantity wanted by Humans, the higher its price. If less, the lower its price will be. Price constantly varies as the equilibrium between supply and demand varies. Consequently, price is a universal indicator of demand.
An increase in demand for pencils of a certain type will cause a price increase as inventory is depleted. That price increase will motivate manufactures to shift resources to make more pencils of that type. The depletion of the components and materials used to make that pencil will precipitate an increase in demand for them. The consequent increase in price will motivate everyone else involved in the process to satisfy the new demand, perhaps ultimately encouraging a prospector to find a new lead deposit or a chemist to invent a lead substitute.
Unit of Price
If two cows is the price for a plow, bartering will work if the plow maker wants cows, or knows someone who wants cows, and that someone produces the windows the plow maker wants. Housing and feeding two cows until a buyer is found who makes something the plow maker wants is problematic for the plow maker. Furthermore, it may require only one and a half cows to acquire that something. The plow maker must chose between losing the value of half a cow, or sustaining them until a product or service of value to the plow maker can be had for exactly one cow or exactly two cows. Barter frustrates trade.
In time humans discovered products that were valued by most other humans, and could be reliably traded for other products as they were needed. They were valued commodities that could be used as a medium of exchange. Excess production could then be represented by a more conveniently exchanged product.
These mediums of exchange were initially tool resources like obsidian for arrowheads, spear points and cutting tools, ornamental objects like beads or delicacies like spices. They were easily transported and their units were physically small enough to trade for inexpensive products, but obsidian could be subdivided into nothing smaller than the amount needed for a small arrowhead and remain valuable. Beads cannot be subdivided and retain their value. Both lost their value when broken. Spices may be lost to moisture, or just lost in the dirt if their container breaks.
The unit of price has evolved from cattle and grain to rare gems and malleable metals. All are commodities that could be used as a medium of exchange for other commodities, a unit of account of wealth and a lasting store of wealth. As such they are money. It was not until relatively rare metals were mined, refined and melted into consistent shapes of consistent purity, size, volume and weight that modern commodity money was invented.
Gold became the premier form of money for four reasons. One, like other commodities, fraud could be easily detected. Two, unlike grain, it is sufficiently rare that a small amount is equivalent to large amounts of other commodities, so it is relatively easy to transport and store. Three, unlike cattle, it does not degrade over time. Four, unlike gem stones, it is easily divisible into smaller units and aggregated into larger units without loss, ignoring the loss of thermal energy required to combine small units of gold into larger ones.
Unbeknownst to most of its users, gold also has a fifth beneficial characteristic. The time delay required to mine and mint new gold, or redefine existing coin to meet its demand as a medium of exchange in a growing economy discourages speculative growth and its consequent crash. New discoveries of gold fueled economic growth, but the time required to extract gold and convert it to coin, and the time for the new discoveries to be gradually exhausted avoided the boom and bust cycles caused by the use of paper money. If the demand for gold as a medium of exchange exceeds the mineral supply for an extended period, finer subdivisions of coin can be used to satisfy the demand for gold as a medium of exchange.
Better yet, eliminate coin and use grams of gold as the medium of exchange. The chance of forgery is no greater. Small pellets of gold may even discourage forgery, because is would no be economical to hide lead or depleted uranium in them. Drop some pellets in a container of water on a scale and their density or specific gravity will quickly identify light pellets with lead interiors and heavy pellets with depleted uranium interiors. Smash one with a hammer and it will shatter if it includes a ratio of depleted uranium and lead that simulates the density of gold.
More plentiful and degradable silver had been often used in addition to gold when those who wanted to pay their debts or its interest with cheaper money got their way. Such bi-metallic monetary systems introduced confusion and conflict as the relative availability of gold and silver changed and the purchasing power of silver was rendered different from that of gold. Gold and silver exchange rates were often politically established to the economic advantage of some over others.
Paper money is a commodity only as paper. It has no inherent value other than the paper on which it is printed. That is why it is called fiat money. It may represent a promise to exchange it for a specified amount of a commodity like gold or silver, but the promise can be easily broken, and has been broken many times, leaving the holder of fiat money a fraction of the purchasing power used to acquire the fiat money.
Although paper is easily counterfeited and destroyed by fire, governments love paper, because they can print as much as they want to conduct wars, and bribe States, businesses and voters. With fiat money, governments can inflate their way out of debt without resorting to a politically dangerous increase in taxes. Instead the theft is covert. The value of savings in the form of paper money and financial instruments denominated in paper money are depreciated by the inflation.
An ally of inflationary policies are those who have more debt than savings, like new owners of homes who have invested their savings as the down payment and on the investment.
There is no price for paper as money, so unlike commodity money, there is no way to know its real demand. By unknowingly or intentionally printing more than is needed by the economy, the paper of last year, which cost a certain amount of labor and materials, and purchased a certain amount of labor or products, subsequently purchases less. However, most loan agreements remain fixed in terms of the number of units, for example U.S. Dollars, not their value. Governments and homeowners pay their loans with cheaper money at the expense of those holding earlier paper. Those whose savings accounts are denominated in paper money or otherwise use it as a store of wealth lose, because more paper is required to purchase the same amount of labor or commodities than was exchanged to acquire the paper. Consequently, paper money encourages spending and credit, and discourages savings.
Paper money can be represented by an entry on a balance sheet or an entry in a field on a computer, so it need not be physically printed to increase its number. Discount rates, reserve requirements and other methods amplified by fractional reserve banking are used by central banks (government-granted monopoly banks) to increase the supply of fiat money without actually printing paper.
When Humans understand the evils of paper money, governments must enforce its acceptance as payment for debt and commodities with the threat of financial and physical punishment with "legal tender" statutes, like the U.S. federal government when the Federal Reserve Act was "passed" under dubious circumstances. All such statutes force good money (gold) to be replaced with bad money (paper). Such statutes should be repealed so consumers are free to determine what commodity will be used as a medium of exchange.
There is no "business cycle." Increases of money supply in excess of economic need cause abnormal speculation. Subsequent decreases of money supply below economic need are responsible for all macro-economic problems, like widespread recessions and depressions. Increases in money supply are usually followed by dramatic decreases, causing the boom and bust economic cycles inappropriately attributed to private enterprise. The Federal Reserve now admits that it caused the Great Depression of the U.S.A. with such a glut and famine cycle.
Local recessions blamed on resource destruction or exhaustion are caused by government restrictions on businesses or labor that encourage mercantilism and discourage change. Government interference in financial markets, like bank branch locations and reserve restrictions, restrict the flow of money to where it is most needed, extending local recessions.
Money supply affects the economy, which affects the fortunes of politicians, so political control of central banks is as dangerous as private control of central banks. The politically or economically powerful benefit from central banks at the expense of most Humans. All banking privileges and restrictions should be repealed so consumers can determine where, when and how money is supplied as well as what form it takes.
The return on the investment in property may be the anticipated exchange for more valued property or the emotional value of its possession. Only owners know the relative value of property to them. It is the height of arrogance for one Human to establish the value of property to another Human and accordingly influence purchase and protection decisions.
Humans naturally value their progeny above all else. Highly valued is property that maximizes mate attraction and progeny survival as independent Humans capable of viable reproduction. All else is of tertiary value.
Progeny are prized to the extent that they are irreplaceable. All other property may be sacrificed to insure the survival of progeny if the age or infirmity of the parents prevents the creation of replacement progeny. If replacements are possible, then the likelihood that parents may sacrifice themselves or the property, which sustains them in the defense of their progeny, decreases with their investment and the cost of defense, particularly if the progeny are dependent on their parents for sustenance and education.
Progeny on the verge of puberty are normally more valued than those newly born, but that may not be the case if the older sibling has genetic or other defects that decrease its likelihood of viability and reproduction or misrepresent the genetic heritage of the parents. If resources are limited, they may be diverted from one sibling to another as a function of their relative value as progeny. The less desirable sibling may be sold or given to others for nurturing, or others may be paid to sustain it, or it may be killed. The same rationale applies to the undesirable unborn. These are valuations and decisions that only parents can make and must be free to make if they are to fulfill their genetic responsibility.
If others are forced to sustain undesirable progeny, then the difficult economic decisions of its parents are forever postponed. Progeny that would otherwise be discarded will be maintained at the expense of desirable progeny to the detriment of the species.
This decision-making is not unique to Humans. Many species spontaneously abort or refuse to nurture genetically defective or otherwise unhealthy progeny. The less healthy progeny may be eaten to provide sustenance for the remainder, or all may be consumed by the adults so they may survive to breed again when conditions are more favorable for the survival of their progeny. Widespread failure to sacrifice the young under stressful conditions could result in the extinction of the species.
This decision-making applies to the aged as well as the young. Adults that have already spawned viable progeny must decide when they transition from being an asset to their progeny to being a burden. Under normal circumstances, adults will remove themselves from their family unit if the cost of recovering from illness exceeds their future value to their progeny. However, if other adults are forced to subsidize their recovery, no cost is too great.
If the subsidy is voluntarily provided through private insurance contracts, the decision-making responsibility shifts from the ill adults or their progeny to administrators who are invariably pressured to exceed the rules and pay for more costly treatments with less likelihood of useful life-extension. The pressure to alter the agreement may be amplified by demonizing mass media, or the changes may be imposed by government intervention.
To some extent administrators may disperse the high cost of extraordinary and possibly ineffective services for a few to previously low cost and effective services for the many to the detriment of all, but eventually the cost of the insurance increases. As the cost increases, it becomes unaffordable to more Humans who then clamor for more government intervention, which only exacerbates the situation.
At least with private contracts, Humans have the choice to terminate the contract and engage in another contract with a different insurance company for a different price. When government subsides health care, there is no choice. All are forced to pay and pay more and more in the unachievable quest to satiate the demands of adults who need not be concerned about the cost of their treatment to their progeny. Alternatively services are restricted by government administrators who decide who is to live and how well. The only option is to move to a different jurisdiction. In the event of world government, there is no option.
Shifting the cost of property repair or replacement from those who own the property to others encourages risk-taking behavior. Whether it is voluntarily ingesting, inhaling or injecting noxious food or chemicals, lack of exercise, spending rather than saving, engaging in or inadequately training or equipping self or progeny for dangerous activities, or constructing homes in areas threatened by surf, floods, fires, earthquakes, automobiles, aircraft or other likely damaging events, Humans will be less prudent if the cost of their errors is dispersed among others. When the cost of repair or replacement is disconnected from the act, which caused the damage, preventative measures are not valued.
The foregoing arguments apply to sustenance and security as well as health. Forcing others to pay for indolence or retirement will only encourage indolence and irresponsible financial behavior.
Property requires protection from predators. Antlers, tusks, noxious sprays, poisonous skin, tough skin, relative size, speed or agility discourages predators. Normally it is the defensive attributes or skills of an individual that discourages the predation of itself or its progeny. In some cases, it is the collective threat or confusion of a herd of animals, flock of birds or school of fish that protect individuals therein. In others it is just the large number of prey relative to the number and appetite of their predators that improves the odds of survival of a member of the prey species. Some species evolve or otherwise encourage the creation of defensive specialists, like soldier ants and police officers.
Humans will defend the progeny of others in expectation of reciprocity. Human adults will similarly defend other adults in their own self-interest. Just as the yawn of one Human induces sleep in all Humans in the vicinity so a group of Humans can synchronize their sleep, the self-interested defense of unrelated progeny and humans has been so consistently selected over so many generations that it is an inherent response of the species. It is genetic.
This response is prioritized by benefit and risk. An act is beneficial to the extent that it will improve the viability of genetic heritage, which is a function of genetic similarity and the likelihood of reciprocity. An act is risky to the extent that the viability of progeny is threatened directly or indirectly by the loss of a parent. From nuclear family to extended family, the likelihood of the response decreases as the likelihood of similar genes decreases. From friends to familiar faces to neighborhood unknowns to community unknowns to geographically distant unknowns, and from low to high population density, the likelihood of the response decreases as the likelihood of a reciprocal response decreases. From unlikely injury to assured death, the likelihood of the response decreases as the likelihood of property damage increases.
Humans spontaneously self-organize cooperative defense. Neighboring farmers, herders, fisherman, shopkeepers and homeowners will come to the aid of the attacked in their own self-interest in expectation of reciprocity. Those who fail to help their neighbors are assured no help when they are attacked.
This simple arrangement works until the participants are so numerous or so distant that the likelihood of reciprocity is nil. Then the natural response must be augmented with contracted responsibility.
Property defense requires strength, stamina, skills, tools and time, particularly when the tools available were swords, spears and shields. Property defense is another specialization. Investing in defense specialization detracts from production specialization, so many Humans find it more economical to exchange some of their excess production for property protection services rather than invest the time necessary to become a proficient property defender, and the time necessary to actually defend property by guarding it and chasing, injuring, killing or otherwise discourage property predators all day, every day.
When the property value or threat is low, the cost for one human to support one guard may not be practical. The productive capacity of some humans may be insufficient to sustain one defensive specialist. Consequently, productive humans often cooperate with other productive humans to support community guards. Just as larger, well-armed animals and herds thereof discourage predators more than the opposite, larger communities with well armed and more numerous police are more secure against property predators.
Conversely, the larger and more dispersed the community, and the fewer police per patron, the less likely a defensive specialist will be at the right place and time or arrive in time to discourage or even punish the predation of the property of a member of the community. This is particularly discouraging to patrons who witness the predation. Furthermore, predators my cooperate and mass to the extent that they overwhelm the available police, but the cost of enough police for all contingencies would exhaust the productive capacity of the community.
Given the historically recent availability of inexpensive and effective defense tools that require little training, the solution is a balanced investment. Everyone invests a little specialization in the defense required to operate a gun or similar device, and everyone invests some excess production in a number of highly skilled and well-equipped police. A patron can then act in the absence of police or until they arrive, and come to the aid of police should they face more numerous or better equipped predators than the police. This is the best model for property defense from individual or small groups of predators internal to the community.
Similarly, the small standing army backed by a militia as numerous as the populous became the most viable model for property defense from numerous predators external to the community. It remains the most viable model because a militia avoids a monopoly of power by the police force or military, and thereby discourages the abuse of police or military power.
Police power may be abused by police predating on the community or on neighboring communities. Prosecution will punish and discourage rogue police. The militia will discourage a predatory police force. For this reason, the tools of the militia must not be substantially inferior to those of the police.
The militia will likely not predate on neighboring communities, because Humans will not volunteer for a militia action unless their property is threatened, and they will not likely support offensive actions against neighboring communities or the Humans of distant lands, particularly if their property may be lost in the endeavor.
Ever eager to prove themselves and exercise their training, large standing armies and police organizations or elements thereof sometimes find a way to be used. They or their handlers may demonize a population or concoct some excuse to exercise force in a foreign land where there are few if any domestic witnesses to the mayhem they cause, so their exploits can be reported in the most favorable of terms. An army may be deployed only to distract the domestic population from domestic problems or politics. Similarly, domestic subpopulations will be demonized to justify the exercise of police force, but witnesses will be kept distant from the act and evidence will be destroyed so the act is reported favorably, as in the assault on the Branch Dividians near Waco, Texas, or the assault on Randy Weaver and his family and friend.
Another danger of permanent armies and police is the tendency of they or their handlers to exaggerate or pervert threats to justify more compensation, equipment or technology, or more constraints on the domestic population.
If response times are too long, or the predation is covert, predators may seize or destroy property, and leave before an adequate defense is mounted. Fraud is an example of covert predation. Consequently, assured retribution for predation is essential if predators are to be discouraged. Educating predators is like sticking a dog's nose in its warm defecation, scolding it and removing it to the proper place for excrement. For the education of a predator to be effective, the retribution must be swift enough for them to associate their act with its cost.
Finding the predator for property recovery or compensation in a timely manner requires special skills and diverts time from farming, herding, fishing, shop keeping and family, so it makes economic sense for those specialized in one endeavor to voluntarily exchange some of their excess production or other property acquired thereby for the services of those specialized in property recovery and compensation, like investigative, forensic science, search and capture specialists. It also makes sense to disperse the cost of those services throughout a community, and to recover the cost from captured predators.
Those who fail to contribute to the cost of recovery or compensation will bear the full cost of their own property recovery or retribution. "Free riders" are limited to one ride, and thereafter make themselves the targets of predators.
If a predator is not caught in the act, then there is the possibility capturing the wrong human. There is also the possibility of a conspiracy to frame a human as the predator. Consequently, compensation procedures must be instituted to insure that the innocent are not punished while the real predators or conspirators are not. A trial by twelve randomly selected peers refereed by a trial procedure specialist (judge) in which no evidence is denied has proved to be a viable method of determining the guilt or innocence of a human. The jurors, the victim or the survivors thereof and the accused should have the power to summon evidence and witnesses and the freedom to question witnesses, including those providing expert testimony.
In such an open court, the value of prosecution and defense specialists to the process is questionable. Historically they only add time and cost to the process. Only in the cases where the victim or a surviving family member is not available to act as the prosecutor, or the defendant is physically or mentally incapacitated would professional representation be justified. If the defendant is authorized a professional representative then the victim should have the option to have a professional representative, and vice versa.
Unfortunately, this option encourages anyone of means to declare themselves incompetent, so they can hire superior representatives to those of the opposition. To discourage this, both the prosecution and defense specialists should be supplied at community expense, and when possible randomly selected. All crime is property trespass, theft or damage, so there is no need for a myriad of prosecution and defense specialists.
If the defendant is found guilty, then the cost of the referee and any defense specialists are added to the compensation costs, and the community absorbs the cost of any prosecution specialist. If not guilty, then the cost of the prosecution specialist is born by the victim, and the community absorbs the costs of the referee and defense specialist.
If a unanimous jury determines guilt, then the determination of punishment is merely the sum of the capture, prosecution and property costs. The property value must be determined by the jury from between the high cost advanced by the victim or its survivors and justified with its evidence and rationale, and the low cost advanced by the predator and justified with its evidence and rationale.
The guilty must convert its property to compensation. If its existing property is inadequate, then the rate of compensation must also be determined by the jury as a function of the productive abilities of the guilty. If the past behavior of the guilty indicates it cannot be trusted to voluntarily compensate the costs, then the guilty must be incarcerated while it compensates, which adds the cost of incarceration to the compensation costs. Amenities and food must be purchased whether imprisoned or not. Failing to produce in excess of the compensation rate makes for an uncomfortable and potentially deadly existence. There is no free ride in prison.
This is a far more effective retribution than physical or mental punishment or incarceration without compensation requirements. It not only equates cause and effect for the guilty, but also requires that the guilty learn to produce in excess of its consumption, preparing the guilty for a non-predatory life after release.
The guilty should be free to acquire training and tools that will maximize its productivity, and thereby reduce the time it takes to complete the compensation. The training and tool costs are added to the compensation, so the guilty must determine whether the investment is worth the time.
If the guilty predates while voluntarily compensating, then it is incarcerated. If it predates while incarcerated, then it is promoted to a more secure incarceration facility of fixed capacity with equally viscous predators. Ultimately the repeat predator is promoted to the last facility in the hierarchy of incarceration facilities. When that facility reaches capacity, predator promotion results in execution.
Trespass is normally necessary for property theft or damage to occur. When trespass is considered to be a precursor to theft or damage, the act of trespass is an alarm that increases the opportunity for effective defense. Making predators aware that a trespass is considered an intent to thieve or damage, and that lethal force will likely be used to end a trespass can increase the value of that alarm.
To maximize the benefit of any defense investment, potential predators must be made aware of the likelihood and cost of retribution. They must know that innocents will not mistakenly be made to bear the cost of the guilty. Then potential predators can determine for themselves the cost versus benefit of predation. To this end, property owners may voluntarily contribute some of their property toward the dissemination of the consequences of predation to all potential predators by the most cost-effective media, be it occasional gunshots and dead wolves displayed along the perimeter of a ranch for canine predators, or articles in a newspaper for human predators.
Self-defense with the likelihood of help from neighbors or police, contracting investigative, forensic science, search and capture specialists, conducting public trials with the assumption of innocence until proof of guilt, and the publication of the retribution suffered by the guilty are the most efficient means of discouraging human predators while maximizing individual liberty and wealth.
All crime can be defined and prosecuted in terms of property and its representation.
The compensation for search and capture specialists can be a function of success and in the form of a bounty, where success is the capture of an uninjured suspect. Injuries deduct from the compensation. Death is a severe deduction.
Besides the obvious defense of property from trespass, theft and destruction by humans, there is a need to defend property from other species, like termites, ants, worms, rodents, coyotes, lions, tigers and bears, and from inanimate threats like solvents (water), chemical reactions (corrosion), radiation (solar), fire, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and meteor, asteroid and comet impacts. Each threat has a different destructive potential and likelihood. Each requires a different set of defensive skills and tools.
Volcanic eruptions can be predicted, and small lava flows can be diverted with enough water, but against pyroplastic explosions and flows there is no defense. Floods and hurricanes can be predicted and to some extent defended against with sand bags, plywood, etc., but they cannot be stopped or even diverted. The predictive lead-time for tornadoes and earthquakes and tidal waves or tsunamis is insufficient to mount a defense, and only marginally sufficient to find shelter. They too cannot be stopped. Some defensive specialists and tools, like those required for space object detection and deflection require huge communities to support them.
Becoming sufficiently knowledgeable to intelligently debate a defense issue requires an investment in specialization that detracts from productive specialization efforts. Becoming sufficiently knowledgeable of all the defense issues is a practical impossibility. This engenders another specialization: defense need, effectiveness and cost estimation.
Specialists may disagree, so within each community debates may rage about how much of what kind of defense is economically justified and how best to tax the community to pay for it. In large communities, affording everyone an opportunity to debate every defense issue is a practical impossibility. This engenders yet another specialty: representatives.
Property ownership must be documented and the documents maintained if disputes are to be avoided. The cost of this effort is usually justified with regard to land, because the boundaries of land must be known to avoid overlap and warn potential trespassers and they seldom change. Furthermore, the ownership of products is a function of where they reside. Unless there is a contract to the contrary, the barn, plow, well, house and its belongings are presumed to be the property of owner of the land. How far below or above the surface of the land ownership extends is another issue. So are rights to minerals in or on the land. This engenders yet another specialty: recorder
Communities may seek mutually beneficial cooperative arrangements with one another to defend against predator communities while maintaining a degree of autonomy. Negotiating and administrating such arrangements engenders still another specialty: bureaucrat.
Bureaucrats manage something called government, which is an organization of bureaucrats whose purpose is to record property ownership, and protect property with police, fire suppression and what other services property owners want. Since humans own themselves, this translates into the protecting life. Since property ownership would be meaningless without the freedom to do with property as its owner pleases, this responsibility to protect property also translates into protecting liberty.
Hence the revolutionary 1700 concept that government is instituted to protect the life, liberty and property of individuals, rather that instituted as the extension of a monarch to do with all property as the monarch pleases. This motive philosophy of the American Revolution is expressed in the Declaration of Independence as the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Since property ownership among other things is happiness, the phrase expands somewhat on the philosophy as it was normally discussed.
As larger threats materialize or are imagined, mutual defense and judicial system agreements may encompass communities so numerous and distant that representatives are elected from each to attend defense and justice related meetings. This concept of voting by way of representatives can be used to resolve issues involving multiple communities. This is an efficient means of communicating individual concerns as long as each representative returns to communicate the results of the meeting to their constituent community for a vote on any decisions to be made, and the same or another representative is elected to report the results of the vote to another meeting of communities where the votes are tallied. This allows the vote of each cognizant Human in each community to be counted.
If the majority vote of a community were counted as the vote of the entire community, then the minority vote is effectively disenfranchised, despite the fact that its inclusion at the meeting of communities might result in a contrary conclusion. The same is true if the representative were empowered to vote on behalf of the community.
While communications technology may facilitate a direct vote and eliminate the need for a second trip to a meeting of communities, a direct debate of all the Humans in all the communities would likely be too chaotic to be useful. Hierarchical representation and direct voting seem the optimum means of deciding multi-community issues.
As long as Humans are free to vote with their feet and move from neighborhood to neighborhood or from community to community with their property or its equivalent value intact, there is no need for a larger or more sophisticated organization, and certainly no need for a permanent organization let alone a permanent group of Humans to administer it. Acceptable procedures need only be defined and followed.
Ideally, only those who are rational and who study and debate an issue with others of contrary opinion should vote on that issue. Unfortunately, there is no way measure these criteria and so avoid arbitrary or politically motivated exclusion from voting. Age is a relatively easy threshold to measure. Tax obligations are another. Only those who pay as well as benefit from a tax should vote on the creation or increase of that tax.
Associations of Humans are created by entrepreneurs to produce products that they alone could not design, develop, produce, market, sell and support. The entrepreneurs invest their own resources or those of investors to pay for the diverse expertise and its intelligent and skillful application to bring products from conception to consumers so efficiently that the investors can be repaid and sufficient sales revenue remain as profit to justify the endeavor. Some employees may defer immediate compensation to the full value of their contribution in exchange for a fraction of the future value of the business. All of these voluntary value exchanges are motivated by self-interest in anticipation of profit.
Commercial associations grow to satisfy the demand for their products. They adapt to changing demands and environment by improving machines and training employees or replacing machines that cannot be modified and employees that cannot adapt new skills or do so in time for the need. They may evolve into entities entirely different from that of their genesis. Their size is naturally limited by interpersonal communications, which generally occurs when the management hierarchy exceeds seven levels. They may die when the vision of the company dies with the entrepreneur.
If commercial associations are regulated by government, permanent commercial associations must have a minimum viable size to justify the expense of complying with regulations, taxing their employees and collecting, manipulating, retaining and reporting data to the government. Many employees and other resources must be devoted to this unproductive activity. Its cost is passed to consumers as higher prices. Below that size, impermanent associations of independent contractors prevail, which limits the size and scope of their endeavors.
Were it not for such regulations and the tax incentives for health, retirement and other benefits, Humans would be free to negotiate custom contracts that would optimally motivate and utilize talent. Compensation could be by the hour, by the piece, by the invention or whatever and commercial associations of independent contractors would prevail throughout the size spectrum. Government regulation and taxation imposes a one-size-fits-all employer-employee relationship on all permanent commercial associations. This bifurcation of roles engenders an adversarial labor-versus-management relationship that promotes the discord that encourages the intervention of third parties like employee unions.
When Humans are free to negotiate the exchange of their labor and free to enter any labor or commercial market anywhere, even in competition with their previous employer, then there is no need for unions, particularly permanent ones.
Commercial associations must be free to negotiate compensation down as well as up as productivity, competition and the cost of materials change. Independent contractors who provide for their own health care and retirement are not as resistant to compensation reductions as employees are to wage reductions. This resistance is spawned by mandated health, retirement and other benefits that relieve employees of any responsibility for saving for such eventualities. Made financially irresponsible by government regulations, employees not only refuse to save in anticipation of income reductions, but also borrow for premature acquisitions and expenses. When incomes decline, they default on the loans and forfeit equity as well as property. To compensate for this resistance, governments produce more money than is needed as a medium of exchange for the economy to subtly reduce the wages of employees through inflation and avoid any resistance.
Regulations are often promoted by the vary associations that would be regulated in order to achieve a monopoly in their market that can never be entirely achieved in an unregulated marketplace. Standards that favor the product of one association over others and market entry restrictions like licenses, fees, zoning, import duties and quotas are some of the many ways government force is used by mercantile associations posing as commercial associations to force consumers to pay higher than market prices at the expense of their competitors and taxpayers. If the profits of one association is forcibly subsidized by taxpayers and consumers, there is no end to the clamor for subsidies.
Natural Versus Unnatural Selection
Humans must be held fully responsible for their actions and inactions if the species is to select for the best genes.
As the exposure to natural predators like lions, tigers, bears (oh my), poisonous snakes and insects, detrimental bacteria and viruses and bad weather is reduced, the Human species must rely more on artificial predators like automobiles trains, utility poles, electrical appliances, and the few remaining natural predators like cliffs and rivers to cull stupid genes from the species. Forcibly extracting resources from some humans to erect signs for and barriers to obvious threats or warn against every possible misuse of a product to protect others from their own stupidity is counterproductive. The result of unnatural selection is Stupid Genes.
Conversely, as population density and travel rapidity and frequency increase, the likelihood of a catastrophic contagion increases. Consequently, Humans must be held fully responsible for their property, including the infectious diseases they harbor and any damage their contagious cause if they are allowed to trespass the property of others.
When Humans conceal their genetics with cosmetic surgery, they unfavorably alter natural selection.
Humans are encumbered with a hierarchy of often-conflicting motivation that parallels the hierarchy of the Human brain. As life evolved on Earth form simple to complex forms, nervous systems evolved from simple stimulus-response networks to regulatory and cognitive systems. The more recent additions are layered on the earlier systems.
For example, the brain stem is only concerned with circulation and respiration. The next level is only concerned with satisfying basic needs like water, food, shelter, security and sexual activity. At this level there is no correlation between fornication and progeny. The only concern is insemination by any means.
While receptivity is not an issue at this level, attractiveness is. If there is a choice, the most genetically viable is usually the most attractive choice. Since genetic abnormalities often manifest themselves physically as asymmetry, distorted shape or movement, poor posture or an otherwise sickly appearance, attractiveness is largely an intuitive, i.e. rational but subconscious determination driven by genes.
This motivation is tempered by higher brain functions that can correlate fornication with consequences like pregnancy and progeny, and progeny with sustenance and security responsibilities and capabilities. In complex societies additional factors bear on attractiveness, like race, religion, family support, wealth, position, prestige and power, which often conflict with genetic instincts and consequentially cause cognitive discord and emotional distress.
If a prospective mate is not only genetically attractive, but also receptive, then the motivation to mate is enhanced with elevated emotions called love. If the genetic attractiveness is reciprocal, then the motivation to mate is further enhanced with elevated emotions called in-love.
The most common male strategy for progeny survival is to carefully select their mates and isolate them from other males to insure that it is their sperm that inseminates the female and not that of other males. They will contract for this exclusivity and remain with their mates to sustain and protect them throughout pregnancy, and employ them to help sustain and protect any progeny through maturation.
Another approach is to inseminate and abandon as many females as possible in the hope that their maternal instincts will motivate them to alone sustain and protect the progeny. If the cost of single-parenting is subsidized by forcing others to help the mothers, then this approach will dominate.
The ideal female strategy for progeny survival is to be inseminated by a genetically suitable male and have a male sustain and protect her and her progeny at least through puberty. The males need not be the same, but if the male providing sustenance discovers her progeny are not his, he may abandon her and them. Consequently, the most common approach is monogamy. Alternately, she may keep multiple males interested in the event her mate abandons her or otherwise ceases to provide and protect. If the cost of single-parenting is subsidized by forcing others to help, then there is no need to have a male for sustenance and protection.
Some Humans may be physically unable to have progeny. Others may choose not to have progeny, because they value their personal freedom over any direct genetic heritage. That of their siblings may suffice.
The legacy of their art, literature, buildings, discoveries, inventions or products may survive them for a time; a long time in the case of massive structures like the pyramids, but will eventually be lost to damage or remain behind when Humans migrate to other planets. Memories are even more fleeting.
The only legacy that can persist is that which successfully replicates itself.
Whether by direct assault as predators or indirect assault via government intermediaries, some Humans will always attempt to live at the expense of other Humans. They will use all manner of obfuscation, misdirection and subterfuge to convince their victims of the righteousness of the theft in the name of equality, national interest or other nonsense. All Humans must analyze the likely effects of any proposal given the nature of Humans, and determine if it is in their self-interest, that is, does it benefit their genetic heritage. Generally, anything that is voluntary is good, and anything that is involuntary is bad.
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