My Articles

Political Philosophy... (cont.)
Click to go back to: Part 1

Some of my suggestions (many "Naturalistic") to improve our Govt: (Listed below are 10 major issues, and a half page discussion of each. The reader might first scan the 10 issue titles, and first focus on the few of most interest to him/her.)

  1.   Citizen Participation: Despite what people have heard, people should be encouraged to feel that politics is very important, and it has never been unethical or immoral for citizens to devote more than $1000 of their very valuable time and money to a candidate, whom they (after study) believe in. Billionaires have always found ways to do this, anyway. (I believe that incorrect notions arose, when the heads of fairly "common" interest groups suffered unnecessary panic attacks, out of fear that things might greatly improve or something. "But never fear!" Sadly, many people have little time, energy or resources remaining, as they try to take care of family and/or take time to prepare for work, go to and from work, work long hours, recover, and pay too much taxes. Also these people have many other draining essential tasks, red tape, and need for breaks. They can not devote as much time to politics, investigation, discussions, and relaxed contemplation as they wish to, to improve things).

    Perhaps we need strong Lobby Groups which work on behalf of the broad and real needs of reasonable citizens, not just some hypothesized "theoretical" needs of citizens. We need a sensitive branch of the Justice Department and Health Department that acts promptly and effectively on behalf of the obvious legitimate rights and needs of people (the victims), not just pretends to, while serving the victimizers. (The case of "slamming" was a good example, but there are many others.)

  2. Application of Naturalism, Conservatism, and Reason: Hippocrates advised health care providers to "do thy patient no harm." I believe he was endorsing an extremely important "Naturalistic" principle, which should lay a foundation for many political principles and practices. Naturalism incorporates much of Laotse's wisdom, also Paine's, Jefferson's, Chief Seattle's, and others. It also infers that we can often let nature be our guide. Hippocrates also said, "let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." (That was, of course, before the FDA, etc.).

    In my opinion, many conscientious organizations incorporate some good aspects of the above: the Libertarian-, the Natural Law-, and the Green- Parties, and probably some "wings" of others Parties. Also, there are, at present, many organizations proposing creative solutions, like Citizens for Health, the Lindesmith Center, Witness for Peace, Food First, and The Independent Institute, to name only a few, to consider. (These organizations can also provide huge amounts of information and other references to support the assertions I have made in this article, in my opinion.) In some cases, their ideas vary greatly. The readers are encouraged to study varying views, especially outside those views promoted by the Govt. This means outside the huge, powerful Govt bureaucracy, and the Economic Complexes. And outside some big bucks foundations and associates, i.e. outside all those, whose licenses, special benefits, and special well being, is dependent on "pleasing" the Govt.

  3.    Don't Subordinate your Own Experiences to COSMOPOLITANISM: Some words of caution, for you to consider, when you hear words like the World Bank, IMF, WTO, NAFTA, "Hague" Court, Globalization. And also wording like "FREE TRADE", and "there are no wars where free trade puts all countries on the same level playing field?" (i.e. Cosmopolitanism):

    I think that if we let "Natural philosophy" be our guide, we note this: Many varied, wonderful groups and cultures have developed, each with its precious wisdoms, partly because of great mountains, oceans, and varied climates, which have separated them. On the other hand, vast destruction has rapidly occurred when certain animals were accidentally brought from one continent to another, or where continents were suddenly linked by continental drift. Unfortunately, the cosmopolitanism which many advocate today, is much like that advocated during and after World War I, where a lot of promises were broken. At best, it is a superficial, rushed game of "heads I win, tails you loose." I can not write better on this subject than Dr. Sun Yat-sen did in his San Min Chu I lectures, and a "Joe Short" did when addressing why some "grandiose plans" bring "spectacular failure" to a people.

    Was the "Patient's Bill of Rights" plan, the "Brothers to the Rescue," and the "Slamming" that I discussed previously, also a part of the "Free Trade, Cosmopolitanism" mentality? Consider the Frank Church report describing Govt's assault, and extreme injury to citizens, who were innocently enjoying a break. Should we "buy" a social theocrat's "Cosmopolitan theory" that Govt needs to take more taxes, lest some citizens enjoy too long of "break," because the Govt uses its own idle time more humanely?

    ((Optional, a few more words about "idle time": The Govt, its puppeteers, and even theocrats, have often enjoyed great success by whipping up public fear or jealousy, regarding what certain people do with their "idle" time. They want H. D. Thoreau working steadily at various jobs, not wandering around ponds, observing, feeling, thinking, and "getting into trouble." They want actresses to just mind their own business in Hollywood, etc., pay taxes, and to keep their stupid mouths shut, not be thinking about things like "foreign policy," (better left to the govt "experts") or "getting into trouble." But consider what Mead said, and also this: Many of the greatest advances in history have been made by people breaking away from the standard businesses, jobs, and the govt "promoted pass times." A few more historical examples of departures from pre-envisioned "norms" are as follows: A plague caused Newton to suspend his University teaching and he returned home with little to do (but to invent what was his greatest work). Maxwell, somewhat similarly, declined an excellent University teaching offer, just to allow himself the freedom to think things out, in his own unhindered way. And Schrodinger, when young, used a tutor at home, instead of trying to get the equivalent at school. I think Maxwell did too. Were these unethical "head starts?" Should the govt over plan everything, and use taxes to level everything? (Except where it impedes the Govt.'s irresponsible tyrants, as discussed in the Frank Church reports? And except in cases where it negatively affects the super cunning, rich, and influential, which manipulate the politicians into the over planning and over leveling.) And lastly, let me add this: I have heard that one innovator made some "hi-tech" advances, while fiddling around in a garage, when he "ought to have been in school!" Although I don't know if that's really true, it seems more plausible than a single politician inventing the Internet.))

  4. Campaign Spending and "Reform": Are we really limited, regarding "campaign spending reform" to just two (horrible and ultimately unworkable) choices? Either we limit everyone's spending to some "reasonable" sum, say $1000 or so, per year on "politics," or alternately that anyone can spend an unlimited amount (i.e. a "billionaire" a billion)? In my opinion, Natural philosophy teaches us to note subtle, naturalistic differences and alternatives, and I think it offers us this advice: It is wise not to limit spending on "naturalistic forms" of communication, i.e. first class mail, speeches in "convention" centers, ads in newspapers and magazines. On the other hand, non-naturalistic "hi-tech" has made certain new communications available, that naturally requires careful, circumspect handling. (This new "hi-tech" has made possible a new type of subtle political bribery, i.e. "you listen to my political ad, and I'll give you an expensive super bowl, or the like entertainment, free and without your effort.") These new modes of communication are licensed to pass under public grounds (i.e. Cable TV), or through public airways (i.e. radio, TV). Thus, a "Naturalistic" approach justifies the concept of public rules, to prevent unbalanced spending in the latter cases. Perhaps instead of TV election ad spending, there could be some public TV presentation of positions, which even includes some "small" allocation of time to "small" parties, according to the "small" vote they have received in the previous election.

    (I realize that even "good" ideas and proposals are dependent on a little bit of Govt "good faith." If that is lacking, then alternately, all Govt regulation of radio/TV communications may as well be removed, and this sad dilemma often arises.) Although I have not worked out legal details, I sense that Companies and Organizations, "enjoying" limited liability or other "special standing," should not contribute to Radio/ TV political ads or to political parties. And that their short Radio/TV issue presentations, if allowed, should be limited to months before the election, and without naming candidates. And that the time allotted for all issue and political ads should be very limited in total, and especially so if not "time balanced" by other schools of thought, also presented.

  5. REGARDING TAXES: I think a "Naturalistic" approach teaches us this: Historically, government's chief legitimate role, and its justification for taxing, was to protect people's legitimately accumulated assets, not Govt's taking away the assets for itself. The more assets, the more area of protection required, and the greater the expenditure needed to protect it all. (A slight oversimplification, but I think good enough.) Therefore, if we ever establish a constructive, "good faith" government, I suggest that all present taxes be removed, and that there be levied a 0.3% tax, or less, on approximate assets. And that there also be a tax on polluting things, to discourage pollution. And I suggest that no one's assets be taxed until they are sufficient to truly provide them with an effective "safety net". I think, that in the year 2000, that would have meant exempting assets below about $100,000 from taxes.

    That, of course, strikes most readers as a very high (asset) "floor." But it only seems so, for this reason: For a 100 years, the Govt, its bureaucracy, and puppeteers have masterly conspired to increase taxes and increase their wasteful and damaging spending. Also to put out carefully calculated misinformation, mal-information, pro-hate propaganda, and cleverly timed and scheduled taxes, and "cute," glib words, to mislead us, in my opinion. (Why should anyone be taxed if they don't have large assets for Govt to protect?) And incidentally, my tax suggestions do include taxes on foundation assets. (With regret in a few cases, where I think the foundation is utterly superb).

    Miscellaneous remark: The subject of "Social Security," (reform, etc., how much to privatize, what guarantees if any, and details) is beyond the scope of this article. I think that the Govt is bound to exercise absolutely "full faith and credit" for what it takes from anyone for his/her "social security," including protecting against inflation. And of course, if a surgeon's procedure, etc., on a patient, results in a the patient's disability or further setback, the doctor should not act to delay a patient's benefits just because it would make the doctor's treatment look bad (which it was)! And other "horror stories."

  6. Patents, Copyrights, Intellectual Property, Business, and Economics: To some extent, Natural philosophy has already been wisely applied by others to these subjects. But it can be applied still much further, and hopefully implemented! It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss this in great details, but a few comments are as follows: If a company made a "disk" of a great music performance 30 years ago, they could have just printed on it that "any reproduction of it is illegal." And 30 years later, just declare, "sorry, it's permanently out of "print," "no future printing planned." But the company can still leave the old label, "no reproductions allowed" on it. In my opinion, that constitutes "restraining trade" of a viable product, and promotes cultural mediocrity, not progress. And should automatically result in the transfer of reproduction rights to others who will make it available again, for a payment of a simple, reasonable royalty fee per reproduction. (This argument applies similarly to some good drugs, and other products, when discontinued.)

    In fact, I believe that our entire patent and copyright system (or laws) acts against the "Constitution's intent." Perhaps it should be replaced by a technically competent and ethical team of judicial govt experts. They would award an amount (generally a very small percent of the product's sales proceeds) to its inventor, as follows: The "experts" would estimate how far the invention was "a head of its times," and how valuable it was regarding a "great breakthrough." They should realize that others will copy the general idea, with "variations," and call it their original too, which is not fully fair. A small wholesale or retail sales tax could finance the royalty awards or perhaps lump sum awards. (It is a kind of "pollution tax" on the intellectual dispersion of the inventor's original idea.) And I think some very small rewards should be made to people, who cause an increased use of a "non-patentable" "thing," by showing a great new usefulness and/or effectiveness associated with it. That sure beats the hatred, contempt, and envy, more often received as a reward.

    I think the most important principle to remember is that being a "copycat," is not immoral, and is very Naturalistic! ((I have always distrusted obstinate people who refuse to copy others' good ideas (or to admit they copied them when they did); I have always trusted those who copy others with thanks and proper accreditation.)) And I'm afraid that imitation really is the highest form of "flattery," even better than an insincere compliment. And that "seeing ones ideas imitated" will have to remain the main "reward" for the inventor. I think that the obtaining of "complete and just rewards," for the inventor, is just not feasible, using any patent or copyright system, especially the one "we" have today! And that the more the efforts to obtain such perfect justice, the more it will allude everyone, including the most deserving.

    I think that Buckminster Fuller was one of the first to grasp the problems. And also some thoughtful philanthropists and organizations who awarded their own "noble gratuities" to people who have contributed to science and health. I think that it is wise for "poor" countries to either ignore the "intellectual property" system, or to render unto it extremely little of the poor country's scant surpluses, until they achieve modest wealth. And not much even after that. I think that the Govts of "rich" nations should fully accommodate this without their usual dirty overt and covert behavior and tricks. (Of course, again, nearly all my above proposals are dependent on the Govt's having a little bit of good faith. Without that, all "intellectual property" protective systems should be scrapped, because they will just be a dirty farce, in practice, anyway. Taking this point further, many thinkers advocate limiting Govt's economic powers as much as feasible, so as to limit its appeal to narrow minded interests to win control of Govt for their own economic ends, and the harm resulting.)

  7. We need to Drastically Cut Down the Size of "our" Govt and its Budget.
    (I understand that the federal Govt collected for it spending about $20,000 per "working" person in year 2000. Does that seem reasonable for a country not in a major War?) The extremely great amounts of money the Govt has taken from us through high taxes, forfeiture, high estate taxes, and red tape, has almost all been USED despicably AGAINST OUR LEGITIMATE INTERESTS! Increased Govt size, power, and its irresponsibility, has interfered with our privacy, and our legitimate actions and choices; Govt has overthrown democratic governments abroad (such as in the Allende case) and sabotaged it here; Govt has lied about it, and covered up its actions, and govt continues to; similarly with "our" Govt's aid to those who kill and destroy innocent Indians and other indigenous peoples in South America; Govt has thrown deadly poisons into innocent peoples' drinks (as described in the Frank Church report), I think, for sport; Govt has intentionally persecuted (innocent) groups and gone after them like a SOB (as described in a non-erased presidential tape, presumably deemed less damaging by govt than most govt actions).

    Govt deliberately kept the few important non-erased tapes, and tape content, (and other important cause/effect evidence since 1957), as inconspicuous and quiet as possible, and hard to obtain. This was done, largely, to continue to obstruct justice, sabotage the judicial trial system, to block from considerations what should have also been considered, to make sure the environment was stilted, bigoted and prejudiced, to encourage future politician to be equally so, to try to punish the innocent, and to inflict excessive punishment upon the guilty. It was also done to work "corruption of the blood," and to pick jurists and brief jurists in a stilted way, and with stilted rules. And also to use stilted rules, so that the accused could be (in effect) tried many times for the same crime for which he/she was accused. (I feel that all the above and more should be said, even though I believe that in some of the trials, those found "guilty" were indeed "guilty" of something.)

    Govt has destroyed and tried to destroy very helpful, honest people (sometimes called "whistleblowers") for making the Govt look inefficient or worse, and tried to prevent them from receiving their just rewards. Similarly in the case of people just working for good Govt. Govt has mal-labeled its critics as dangerous "Govt bashers" and "Govt haters," rather than to admit that it, itself, has been the "giant conceited, arrogant, persecutor," and likely still is. Since the end of World War 2, in my opinion, "our" Govt has carried out many unjustified military provocations and interventions (i.e. small wars), in effect, momentarily easing the persecution of some groups "here," so that they could join in the persecutions abroad. (On the other hand, I think our Govt's great intervention in the Korean War was motivated by an understandable caring and concern. But the decision also involved a degree of stupidity, and the result was prolonged by Govt stupidity. Govt has given us the false impression that its staggeringly high taxes are working for us. But in the federal case, and in some state cases, the Govt is working extremely hard against our legitimate interests in almost every instance.

    I do admire the meritorious aspects of a few of America's more conscientious Presidents. They warned us, in their farewell speeches, to beware of the growing economic/political power and unhealthy alliances between Govt and various complexes, then, and in the changing future. I think they also hinted that their increasing age and declining vigor was preventing them from making more progress toward the limiting of that rising threat. In view of the great work, by many people in Gov't and serving under it, during WW2 and the Civil War, the Govt's despicable performance since l957 has been especially painful! ((Incidentally, a smaller, efficient government (like the extinction of the big Tyrannosaurus Dinosaur) is a "Naturalistic" idea.))

  8. Regarding "Over" Population: Due to the imperfections or misinterpretations of the Bible, or due to something, I think the following incorrect thinking has arisen: "Man, being so superior (and to a lesser extent women), should rule, dominate, boss around, and plunder all animals, plants, and the earth, to satisfy all human desires. Except that humans should avoid highly nutritious apples, or the like, lest humans begin to behave reasonably and with knowledge. Humans should be fruitful, multiply exceedingly and without limit, and not think about the result. God will unconditionally protect people's absolute right to do so, and for them to even force others to do so. And even if the latter is unfair, suffering is good, and God will forgive it, or the like, anyway".

    It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss this very important subject in detail. It is unfortunate that gross misbehavior by Western civilization has tended to compel some Eastern civilizations to over populate, out of defensive needs, or to be slow to address rapid population advances since then. Much prejudice, bigotry, and bullying, in many western countries, has been very costly to the "West" and to the world, and continues to be. These bad "mindsets" and actions have been promoted by many institutions, politicians, and people. And it did not stop after Roe vs. Wade. I believe that over population tends to cause increased pollution, a subject discussed earlier. And that this is not necessarily "curable" (merely) by good will, good efforts, and better production technology. I believe that over population has the potential to undermine much of the good benefits which good political and scientific progress could offer. And to change, drastically, the effective remedies, and the "face" of my simple proposals, for progress.

    However, one note of caution! "Figuratively speaking," eons ago, when "Cain killed Abel," even a population of "two" may have seemed too much for Cain. When the world's resources and legitimate needs were so much easier to balance (prior to Roe vs. Wade), the leaders threw away the best opportunities even then, by their stilted social behavior. The policies of the "rulers" were often motivated by bigotry and the desire for great, broad power and personal wealth. They were often autocratic, extremely against people's reasonable right to privacy, dictatorial, and theocratic.

    ((Optional: Incidentally, a debate over whether "human" life exists in the reproductive organs, the organ's DNA, in every human cell, the sperm or the egg after either has been produced, or in the egg at the moment of "fertilization" by the sperm, or some time later, etc., is to my mind this: Often, just an attempt to divert people from guarding against the growing, dangerous use of autocratic, political power! Nature gives people the sure knowledge to know when an infant enters the real atmosphere of this world, and disconnects from the other internal world. And society and people need not have a doctor's or theocrat's degree in obfuscation to understand that! (Perhaps that is also one lesson intended, when there was "breathed into Adam's nostrils, the breath of life." Caution, humans should go by their "CPR" training.) Miscellaneous Remark: Perhaps another lesson was intended when we read that the "forbidden fruit" was a special "delight to Eve's eyes." Since only primates have such special color sensitivity (to red, green, and blue), they had better use it to the maximum, because primates lost their ability to make vitamin C within their bodies, while evolving. And primates are just about the only animals without that capability. I think that the loss of one capability, with the gain of another, is not likely coincidental. Might the author(s) of the "Bible" somehow "sensed" something like that?))

  9. Govt.'s role in education should be limited to teaching the basics. The federal govt should have no educational role, and has proved it. Do you want a federal Govt to fire a teacher or a Surgeon General, who mentions the "cremasteric fascia" when teaching biology, anatomy, bones and muscles? (Also, see my concerns under point #7.) Do you want a federal government to teach kids a distorted version of history,social science and political science, full of "spins", that beautifies and whitewashes its own treacherous history after 1957, and some other periods? Do you think that thepresidents, of either major party, are interested in the public being educated and making informed decisions, when they carefully wait until after the November elections before issuing pardons? The "Fed" can't even evaluate itself properly! Do you want Govt to fund more "Institutes for Human Ecology" to poison innocent people intentionally, while they're not looking, and similar "Cosmopolitan" projects?

  10. Any minor party with many great ideas, such as reducing the size and extension of Govt, should keep the following "Naturalistic" notion in mind: A good doctor will not, in some cases, suddenly stop a patient from taking a pill, "cold turkey," which the patient has been taking 30 years, without a transitional substitute. Let's call the previous bad pill "pro-governmenterall." If doctors order such arbitrary and inhumane "abrupt stoppages," they will soon scare most of their potential clients away. Also, "reformists" should remember that certain things, such as the FDIC,arose for reasons. Many people, who just wanted their savings protected, lost all their money in certain savings institutions, during the depression. These "savors" werenot seeking "high speculative growth." I think that some of the leaders of those"savings" institutions behaved somewhat like the "greenmail" paying companies ofrecent times (i.e. rewarding their favorite "greenmailers" or their somewhat naggingfriends or themselves).

Addendum (9-15-2003)
Some historical remarks seems due regarding subject #5 above (i.e., my suggestion that taxation be based mainly on the value of one’s Assets which the government protects). I have recently read information indicating that Adam Smith, the famous economist, made a suggestion much like mine, above. Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a creative ‘Scottish’ and British economist, philosopher, and professor; and ventured into other things as well. He also associated with many leading thinkers of the age, and learned much from them.

Click to go to: Part 3
Click to go back to: Part 1
Carl R. Littmann

(Readers’ comments always welcome)
For my Email and address, see my Homepage