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In museums, one can see the remains of barbarian type people. These ancient barbarians believed that the Human Form can be molded by Human tools consisting of rings, hooks, and cords. One said: “This child will never smell the perfume of a peace-pipe unless I stretch his nostrils.” Another said: “He will never be able to hear unless I draw his ear-lobes down to his shoulders.” A third said: “He will never see the sunshine unless I slant his eyes.” Another said: “He will never stand upright unless I bend his legs.” A fifth said: “He will never learn to think unless I flatten his skull.”
In stunned horror, we look at these artifacts and this sad condition of Human conceit and stupidity as to believe the Human Form was not natural and had to be improved or progressed using crude tools.
Today, there is another type of perversion, a type of abstract barbarism manifesting itself into a type of Neo-Barbarism. Those ancient barbarians did not believe the Human Form was natural. Today’s neo-barbarians do not believe the Social Form is natural. Like their predecessors, the neo-barbarians, these politicians who desire to rule over others, utilize tools to progress and uplift the Social Form. Instead of rings, hooks, cords, and pincers of their predecessors, they use tariffs, regulations, government schools, taxation, restrictions, and a host of pious moralizations.
These people see society as clay, and they see themselves as the potters. Or, in another fashion, they see society as a garden and they are the gardeners. Just as a gardener has his tools of scissors, rakes, knives, so too do politicians see the law, taxes, regulations as a way to ‘shape’ and ‘mold’ society.
This must be said: there are too many “great” men in the world- legislators, organizers, do- gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it.
They look upon people as Vancauson looked upon his automaton.
Let me use a historical example of Georgia (of all things!) to illustrate this issue. The following has been taken from the book called: “The Mainspring of Human Progress”
The early story of Georgia is the story of just one man. He was James Edward Oglethorpe, a most fascinating, intriguing, imaginative, and lovable personality. Indeed, it would put a strain on the thesaurus to find adjectives that would do him full justice. He was handsome, curly- haired, fastidiously clad, dashing, gallant, debonair, born to the aristocracy, a man of wealth, a fearless and distinguished soldier, an able strategist- and along with all this he was the most unselfish, generous, and noble-minded person to play an important role in colonizing America.
[skipping sections to get to the heart of the matter. The author continues how ‘great’ Oglethorpe was.]
A man of great energy and action, Oglethorpe worked day and night- making speeches, writing letters, and publishing tracts at his own expense. He also found time to keep himself posted on colonial affairs and was quite disturbed at the slipshod way in which the colonies were being run.
England’s foothold on the American continent was none too secure. Unfriendly Spain was strongly entrenched to the south, and the French were to the west and north. In order for England to hold her own against encroachment, there had to be a better coordination of defensive strategy.
It was Oglethorpe’s interest in this latter problem which led to a most ingenious and appealing plan- a plan that would not only provide broad opportunities for social reform, but would greatly strengthen the Empire from a military and economic standpoint. His comprehensive proposal added up about as follows:
- It was not only unjust, but it was also economically wasteful to keep people in prison for small debts. Why not set them up in the New World and at the same time provide a haven for the oppressed Protestants of Europe?
- There was a vast area of desirable land lying between the Altamaha and Savannahrivers, south of the Carolinas and north of Spanish Florida.
- Its latitudinal position corresponded to that of China, Persia, Palestine, and the Madeiras, upon whom England was dependent for such important products as silk, hemp, wine, oliveoil, spices, and drugs.
- With proper supervision, such things could doubtlessly be produced in the proposednew colony, thus making England independent of foreign sources.
- By concentrating on such products, the new colony would not in any way conflict withthe activities of other colonies.
- From a military standpoint, it would serve as a buffer between the Carolinas and Spanish Florida. To insure a strong army, special concessions would be made to soldiers- only able- bodied fighting men would be permitted to own land.
- In the interest of the common good, everything would be beneficently administered under a well-balanced plan. This would not only provide for the necessities of military regimentation,but it would also eliminate the disorders, maladjustments, and wastes of competition.
- The social aspects would also be carefully supervised. Slaves, rum, and RomanCatholics would be strictly prohibited.
- The new colony would be named for King George II; and it would be an honor and a credit to him- something to which he could point with pride as an example worthy of emulation by all the other colonies.
- First, last, and always, Georgia would be a strictly eleemosynary proposition. To avoid dissension and to insure adherence to the high objectives, no one would be allowed to vote.
Oglethorpe would look after everything personally, and his motto would be ‘Non Sibi, Sed Aliis’- Not for Self, but for Others.
This comprehensive proposal was accepted without argument. Not only was the charter granted, but also the English government departed from its usual policy and made a cash contribution of 10,000 pounds to help get things started. Oglethorpe put up some of his own money; and overwhelmed by his logic and persuasiveness, benevolent societies and right-thinking citizens made liberal donations.
With his carefully selected band of settlers, Oglethorpe came to the New World and founded the city of Savannah in the year 1733. From a military standpoint, the project was a success. With a handful of well-trained troops, Oglethorpe not only licked the invading Spaniards, but also took advantage of the opportunity to extend the border of Georgia considerably southward.
You can read about it in the history books, and it’s a most thrilling story. But as I said before, the historians are inclined to stress the war aspects and overlook the lessons that might be learned as bearing on the problems of peace and progress.
Reasons for Failure
In spite of his self-sacrifice and high motives, Oglethorpe’s venture was a miserable failure from an economic and sociological standpoint. He failed to recognize that military regimentation always works at cross-purposes to creative profess- that human initiative doesn’t operate according to the pattern of a beehive. And incidentally, he overlooked the fact that variations in climate and soil are not wholly dependent on latitude; that regardless of the needs of man-made empires, the Almighty never intended that Georgia should be a substitute for the Orient.
During 20 years of futile effort, the population never exceeded 6,000, and when it dwindled back down to around 500, Oglethorpe gave up in despair and returned to England.
A few years later, all the bans and prohibitions were lifted. The pendulum swung the other way. Things were thrown wide open. “Refugees” who had fled to the Carolinas came back and brought their friends with them, and there was an influx of new blood from Virginia- including the Cavalier Talbots. The last of the 13 colonies grew by leaps and bounds; and by the end of the century, its population had passed the 160,000 mark.
Oglethorpe’s effort to set up a Utopia was one of the more extreme attempts at regimentation; but it is typical, in many respects, of the type of thing that laid the groundwork for the [American] revolution that was to come.
One mystery has baffled observers of politics: why do many politicians, including those in the media, literally FAWN over dictators like Castro, find interest in butchers like Stalin, and even secretly “respect” demi-devils like Hitler? The answer is that these people (politicians and media) believe they ought to be in power to reshape and mold society as a potter does his clay. They admire these thugs because they admire power and the ability to shape. They will say, “Look at the wonders this person has done for their society!” as if the thug had uplifted their nation single handedly. These people ignore the killings this ‘leader’ does and how people are fleeing the nation in the first place (such as people fleeing Cuba rather than everyone fighting to get into Castro’s supposed ‘utopia’).
If the reader has the patience to grant me one more example, I shall make it worthwhile. Frederic Bastiat, trapped in 19th century France, grew tired of the constant revolutions his country kept entering. In a desperate attempt to change the minds of his countrymen on their path to the next revolution, he wrote in his infamous essay on “The State” that…
And it is this great chimera which the French nation, for example, placed in 1848, for the edification of the people, as a frontispiece to its Constitution. The following is the beginning of the preamble to this Constitution: –
“France has constituted itself a republic for the purpose of raising all the citizens to an ever- increasing degree of morality, enlightenment, and well-being.”
Thus it is France, or an abstraction, which is to raise the French to morality, well-being, &c. Is it not by yielding to this strange delusion that we are led to expect everything from an energy not our own? Is it not giving out that there is, independently of the French, a virtuous, enlightened, and rich being, which can and will bestow upon them its benefits? Is not this supposing, and certainly very gratuitously, that there are between France and the French – between the simple, abridged, and abstract denomination of all the individualities, and these individualities themselves – relations as of father to son, tutor to his pupil, professor to his scholar? I know it is often said, metaphorically, “The country is a tender mother.” But to show the inanity of such a constitutional proposition, it is only needed to show that it may be reversed, not only without inconvenience, but even with advantage. Would it be less exact to say:
“The French have constituted themselves a Republic to raise France to an ever-increasing degree of morality, enlightenment, and well being.”
Now, where is the value of an axiom where the subject and the attribute could change places without inconvenience? Everybody understands what is meant by this: “The mother will feed the child.” But it would be ridiculous to say, “The child will feed the mother.”
The Americans formed another idea of the relations of the citizens with the Government when they placed these simple words at the head of their constitution: –
“We, the people of the United States, for the purpose of forming a more perfect union, of establishing justice, of securing interior tranquility, of providing for our common defense, of increasing the general well-being, and of securing the benefits of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, decree,” &c.
Here there is no chimerical creation, no abstraction, from which the citizens may demand everything. They expect nothing except from themselves and their own energy.
If I may be permitted to criticize the first words of the French Constitution of 1848, I would remark, that what I complain of is something more than a mere metaphysical subtlety, as might seem at first sight.
I contend that this personification of Government has been, in past times, and will be hereafter, a fertile source of calamities and revolutions.
Bastiat’s complaint is that French Constitution was constructed as the source, the fountainhead, for all society. He points out that the Americans did not construct their government that way. As we know through history, French would have considerable more political upheaval (which probably continues still to this day) while the American political system still remains stable.
The first line of Thomas Paine’s essay, Common Sense, is: “Some people have so confused government and society as to think they are the same, but they are different and have different origins…” and his essay explores those differences. It is that essay that established the mindset of the American Revolution that the colonists could snap the political connections to England since they no longer saw society and politics (i.e. law) as one of the same.
Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
WHEN, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s GOD entitle them…
Jefferson and the signers certainly did not think the Law and Society were the same. Further down in the declaration, we read this:
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them, from Time to Time, of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our Connexions and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the Rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Again, we find Jefferson referring to the difference of law and society. In the above paragraph, the Declaration is referring to the British people as friends in society, but due to current legal conflict, at war.
When the U.S. Constitution was crafted, the emphasis was a Rule of Law as opposed to a Rule of One (Monarchy), Rule of Few (Oligarchy), or Rule of Many (Democracy). Madison and the rest placed the federal government into three branches within a series of checks and balances. The Law, the Constitution, would rule over those three branches.
What I am trying to point out is that the craftsmen of the U.S. Constitution did use Law as a tool, as a source of punishment and regulation, but instead of aiming it at society; they aimed it at the government itself. Hence, the Constitution permitted only the things the government could do (such as it could print money, it could do this, and it could do that). The Anti-Federalists thought this wasn’t enough and more checks needed to be put on the federal government. So the Bill of Rights was created. While the Constitution said what the government could do, the Bill of Rights expressed what the government could never do. And to show how much the American founders believed in society, in the Social Form of Mankind, the tenth amendment gave any other powers to the states and the rest allowed the Constitution to be amended by the people in the future (should the founders be wrong in checking the powers of government).
It is no mistake that the amendments in the Bill of Rights begin with, “There shall be no law…” No law means no law! When it comes to the First Amendment, “There shall be no law on the abridgement of the freedom of speech, of religion, etcetera…” the amendment is giving a commandment to the government. The Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the citizenry. You do not have the freedom of speech on someone else’s property. You do not have freedom of religion at, say, your parent’s house. Your employer, your mother, can restrict your speech. Knowing that something like the Bill of Rights applies to the government and not to society is the first lesson of Constitutional Law.
While France got swallowed up with the philosophies of Rousseau and other ‘classical political philosophers,’ France’s revolutions delivered her only to the Reign of Terror and, then, to Napoleon. Germany was delivered to its wars and, finally, to Hitler. Europe’s politicians tried to create a EU super-state, yet another quest for political utopia, but their goal was to use law to mold society rather than use law to fence in power mongers so society can mold itself (as the Americans had done). This is what I believe is the central political differences between the nineteenth century Old World and New World.
Some might ask, “What of slavery, Pook? What of other evil things written in law?” Bastiat remarked that, “The New World has two sorrowful inheritances: slavery and tariffs. Both will cause considerable strife and political undoing in the future.” Bastiat was correct as the US fell into a Civil War with the issues of slavery and tariffs as major issues. (There are disciples of Bastiat today. A House Leader to the House of Representatives would keep Bastiast’s book: “The Law” with him at all times. One economist has framed his entire career and sense of style and wit from Bastiat: his name is Walter Williams.)
The entire point of this massive post is to illustrate that Feminism is not new but old: it has the same skeleton and warped view of law that some “smart” person shall remold society in order to progress and uplift it. This is the reason why these sorts of people cheer and love judges applying the law to “progress” and “uplift” society. This is also why those same people would cheer the Supreme Court’s ruling of Kelo v. City of New London in which a city council can declare eminent domain to seize a person’s house if it is for development. After all, to these people, they believe a city council ought to “uplift” and “progress” a city by seizing people’s houses. Most Americans passionately disagree (which is why a court had to pass it, as it wasn’t done through the democratic process).
Feminism is the child of Rousseau type thinking. Who is a feminist? It is anyone, male or female, who believes that the law will progress society for females. They believe that society is an artificial creation and that the laws passed have “uplifted” all society.
Think of the Constitutional Amendment that banned drinking. This, too, was passed by the so- called progressives who thought the amendment would “progress” society. All it did was create the Mafia and bootleggers. So another amendment was passed which canceled out the ban-on- drinking amendment.
When you debate feminists, do not say how men don’t need them or anything. Rather, speak how the law, which has inflicted harm on the natural Social Form, has hurt society. They are under the impression that their feminist laws have progressed society. It is up to us to show the opposite. Once you create doubt in their minds that society is law, and that law, like a weapon, has wounded society, this is the seed that will grow to destroy Feminism politically.
Marriage has become that great fiction in which women endeavors to live off men. It has become an instrument of plunder with its divorce laws, child custody laws, and so on. Marriage is now a political institution in which people enter into. I say: “Abolish the marriage laws!” Rather than causing ‘anarchy,’ it will do the opposite: it will cause the pendulum to swing the other way. By abolishing marriage laws, matrimony becomes a social institution rather than a political institution. Rather than being artificial, marriage becomes natural and within harmony to Nature’s Social Form.
Women are not evil and American (or Western) women do not suck. Rather, it is women in America or in the West that is the problem. If you bring a foreign woman to America, she can easily fall prey to the corruption the marriage laws allow her. With such marriage laws, the wife can easily plunder and pillage her husband, steal his children, and move to another victim. By removing such laws, we remove the ability of one gender to harm another. This is helping society (for it is allowing the Social Form to be itself).
Feminism dies when people understand that society is natural, not artificial. Feminism dies when people realize that society cannot be progressed by law (just as the myth that law prevented female achievement in history).
John Locke, in his Two Treatises of Government, pinned his inspiration that society was natural due to the “natural interaction of the sexes” of marriage and within marriage. If marriage and the interaction of the sexes ceases to be seen as natural, but instead as political then everything in society becomes politicized.
A free society is a non-politicized society. A true marriage is not legal documents and certificates from a magistrate. Marriage is founded in natural society not artificial law.
In the museums of the future, we can only hope that those who attempted to mold the Social Form will be put side by side with their predecessors who attempted to mold the Human Form. We can only hope that our descendants will point to feminism as we, today, point to the ancient classical rulers and say: “Behold, for these were the barbarians.”