Friday, January 4, 2013

#18.1 Gleanings from the John Galt speech - Part 1

The famous John Galt address was written by Ayn Rand (1905-1982) and appeared in her novel, Atlas Shrugged (1957). She put these words into the mouth of one of her most enigmatic characters, the arch individualist (as if that is such a bad thing), John Galt. To my thinking, from the first time I read these words, while still in my early 20's, they could have been, probably were, autobiographical. They certainly represent a coherent philosophy, one which it will be our business in these posts to uncover.

John Galt's speech is more than 60 pages long, therefore this is going to be a series, since one blog post encompassing this speech would be entirely too much to chew on. It will of course be necessary to try and keep the themes in this series grouped together around the few key concepts that emerge.

We are not in any way going to side with or align ourselves in some lock step manner with Objectivism, Ayn Rand or anything else. We are looking for the facts and the truth, wherever they may be found. Since this speech came up in the Peace Revolution podcasts, I considered it worth further investigation, critique and for relevance to the establishing of (the or an) VEN. John Galt's words will be in blue, mine in black. John Galt begins with this simple statement,

For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who does not sacrifice his love or his values. 

No matter who one is, no matter how humble, apart from whatever we have been taught, can we love our lives and not be willing to sacrifice our love of our lives or our values? Do we know what we will not give up or give away? Can we define it?

I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world, and if you wish to know why you are perishing-you who dread knowledge-I am the man who will now tell you.

The you in this sentence is not the you of the previous sentence. In the former, the people in the streets as well as those in high places had heard of John Galt and wondered who he could be. That may have been as it was back in 1957. Of course, these days they'd know who all the John Galts are and where they are, etc. so the same literary trick Rand used back then, wouldn't work today. The you in the present sentence is addressed to the overlords, the masters of the present world system. What John Galt did of course, he and his friends, was to bring the world economy to a screeching halt. What he means by deprived you of victims can well refer to everyone who is in the grip of the present world system; the money issued on principles running counter to the creation of value, etc. The rest of the yous are everyone, who are perishing and dread knowledge.

You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning.

A moral crisis affecting decisions based on right vs. wrong, hoping that words had no meaning. Starting from first principles, we accept identity; things are, they cannot be otherwise stated as not without the result being meaningless.

You have cried that man’s sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded.

This sounds most like the irrational whining of environmentalists or those hyping the CO2 climate change hoax, but it applies quite well to statists in general and certain kinds of elitists in particular.

Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster.

A sacrifice is giving up something of value, usually of tremendous value, for nothing tangible in return; a sacrifice for some higher purpose, whether it really is or not. A theme that will be emphasized in this series is that sacrifice of this kind is usually foolish and unavailing even of the causes for which it is sought.

In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty.

Again the you here can broadly apply to the people in the street or those who would be their rulers. Sacrifices are listed:

Justice to mercy – letting the guilty get off scot free for whatever merciful reason having nothing whatever to do with the crime. This is especially true of those guilty of financial crimes, but is increasingly true of all crimes against life, liberty and property, the basic rights of each human being.

Independence to unity – this sacrifice was typified in Lincoln's war (known by most today as the American Civil War) but it applies in thousands of different ways. The calls for unity only benefit those who would sit on top and direct those levels below them, it actually serves no other purpose. There is a broader discussion we could have concerning how one chooses one's friends, generally those who agree with us on most issues are more likely to earn our friendship, those who disagree with us on most things we accept as true are not likely to remain friends for very long. The desire to make everyone conform to some unifying concept or conception of the world is the basis for all ideology; the political splitting up of a group of people, for political and usually economic purposes as well. We recognize the need for people to group together for mutual support, as in a Value Unit exchange network (VEN), but without respect for independence of mind or will, the group itself will become weak and prone to being swayed by a clever propagandist, charismatic demagogue or sociopathic despot. 

You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good.

The you here is plainly aimed at the political, social and economic leadership. The evils were those points the Communist Manifesto were supposed to right. The world John Galt might be referencing is a world where nothing but the state (and of course those elitists behind the state) have any power.

Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I-I am the man who has granted you your wish.

The enemies of a collectivist order were the individual human being's rights to life, liberty and property, all sacrificed to the needs of the state and usually unspoken, the desires of its masters operating the levers of state power from behind the scenes. We are not going forward accepting the usual horrendous nonsense that any state stands alone without the power of some force behind it, which we may just go right ahead and describe as Mystery Babylon, that which was, was not, and is again, as it travels on its way to perdition, at the very least, the scrapheap of history.

Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have deprived your world of man’s mind.

Again the your in the first sentence applies to those who would claim to run society and those who support their efforts. The key word in the first sentence is ideal. An ideal is something that is supposed to be perfect, that hence does not exist in the real world. Idealism, is the most dangerous philosophy on earth, based in irrationality and is the fundamental breeding ground of ideology. Any thinking human being should become aware of the many ways in which idealism has ruined our lives and our world. Look around you, idealism is still doing its dreadful work. By depriving the world of the mind of man, John Galt is suggesting as anyone with any real knowledge knows full well, that all the great improvements and innovations in the world are creations of the free minds of free men and women working according to their own needs and desires as individualists, as independents. When a political or social order stops this activity, it makes everything in that society stop and results in a sterile and ultimately genocidal environment for most people, a giant concentration camp or reservation.

Men do not live by the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those who do. The mind is impotent, you say? I have withdrawn those whose mind isn’t. There are values higher than the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those for whom there aren’t.

I'm suggesting we do the same in today's world, just say no and walk out of the present system. Those who are protecting the elites, who really deserve no protection, should join us and just say no and walk out on them. They aren't worthy of protection as most have innocent blood on their hands. Want their crimes to be attributed as yours too?  There is such a thing as Misprision of Felony, check it out.

While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem-I beat you to it, I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp. I showed them the way to live by another morality-mine. It is mine that they chose to follow.

We will be getting into more of John Galt's code of morality as we proceed and doubtless, we will be cherry-picking to some extent, because even as good as Rand was at understanding rational frames of reference and argument, she held a few fallacies that we will lay bare. But the people John Galt references who have been withdrawn from the collectivist system are those who had real talent, who were capable of inventing things, who knew about farming and how best to grow the best crops, raise the best animals, etc. Those who actually know how to work and run things are Galt's people. 

It's worth noting who these people are by the labels given; justice, independence, reason, wealth and self esteem. Don't jump to any ready made conclusions. These people belong to no set political party or ideology. Justice is really easy to grasp, most people know injustice when they see it whether it takes the form of the Taliban cutting off a woman's head for using makeup or someone being stopped for an insignificant traffic violation. Independence is also easy to spot as most these days are dependent on something or someone, so the truly independent stick out. Reason becomes impossible as one is forced to accept irrational bases for common philosophy. All statists rely on something irrational; devotion to a controlling state power, so in effect, sorry Mr. Still and others, your ideas are irrational. There is no such thing as issuance of state currency or any other money “in the public interest.” All such “public interests” are essentially local and derive their meaning from local application. The broader that focus becomes, the less that interest can possibly be public. I recommend to anyone who doubts this to study how public works benefited special interests, whether those public works ever accomplished anything or in some cases were ever even completed.

Wealth is the least well understood by the majority, and that too is likely by design. Wealth, as we have said, is simply and only that which produces income. Though we habitually speak of a commonwealth, in fact all wealth must be essentially private, so that it may be properly directed by the individual owners of that wealth, who have the most to gain or lose by failure of its productivity. Public wealth, managed by a group, is never efficient and usually falls prey to whoever can control the group. Public corporations that are said to be wealthy and bestow income on their shareholders in the form of dividends or capital appreciation of their stock (and wow is that ever a fiction) are likewise excluded from our discussion concerning (the or an) VEN, because the natural and rational linkages between ownership, management, responsibility, etc. and wealth are all broken. An absentee owner has less reason to be concerned than someone who must rely on the produce of their wealth.

If one has self-esteem to any noticeable degree in this society they are held to be arrogant or stigmatized for holding themselves up above “the masses” (as if they were breaking some moral law which in fact doesn't exist), who are supposed to be given self-esteem as if it were available in pill form (another pharmaceutical dream / nightmare). Real self-esteem is based on what one knows from experience and has proven to themselves countless times from practice. People in a collectivist scheme are not expected to gain anything like this, they are expected to become dependent on state sanctioned authorities, who don't have to explain their theories or themselves to anybody, who are in most cases deemed above the law (another great fallacy of the modern world).

What most people have become aware of however is how wealth has been destroyed, or more than likely stolen from those who were producing by those who cannot produce anything themselves. The aim of these looters (in UN Agenda 21 parlance, the “stakeholders”), no matter how rich they are in granted state currency (all from private central banks at interest of course) is to REDUCE productivity, while proclaiming the value of their paper assets to more unwary people with too much money to burn, as a scheme that intends on creating the illusion of value through imposed scarcity of goods and services produced. Please let that thought sink in. These billionaires one hears about, but whose names few people know, have managed to acquire their tremendous riches and supposed wealth without producing anything! They do not strictly speaking belong in John Galt's definition of the wealthy. 

Happiness to duty. This will be perhaps the last card that falls as people would like to hold onto their illusions, that their states and nations really matter, when all the collectivist forces have been arrayed in a centuries long process to destroy them and replace them with some new world collectivist order that knows no borders, no barriers to its encroachment, etc.

The you in the following refers directly to statists and collectivists wherever they are at whatever socio-economic level.

All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. Do not cry that it is our duty to serve you. We do not recognize such duty. Do not cry that you need us. We do not consider need a claim. Do not cry that you own us. You don’t. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.

... and of course the women of the mind as well. In fact what will happen, is already happening and is a direct result of the combination of looting of wealth and empowerment of the state; there will be less for everyone, except those at the top who produce nothing. They intend it this way because George Carlin was right, they do not care about you. Get rid of that idea too; the powers that be, who make all the rules and set in place FORCE to compel obedience, do not care about you, they do not care about the environment, about the earth, about anything but themselves.

We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.

If someone ever tries to make you feel guilty about something you do not feel guilty about, the best course is to turn from that person, shun them, have nothing more to do with them. That is your right. I am one who has and would sever ties over such dangerous follies. No one is guilty for driving a car, even a large one, for eating more than someone in a less well run society can or would, for living in a better house than someone who doesn't, etc. Those who suppose that some state or other can rectify matters, make them “fair” etc. is an enemy to the human race, since “fairness” as they define it, is an irrational conception backed up by the use of FORCE to impose it on all.

There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practised for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality-the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

For the most part, we are living in that world right now. Just look around you.

We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

Therefore those who can, and that number shall be growing, will drop out of collectivist society. Those who remain will behave as they did in places like the former Soviet Union, pretend to work and pretend to be paid. Nothing of any value will be produced until the whole society tends to resemble a huge concentration camp where everything becomes dismal, grey and depressing (which will give the pharmaceuticals the market they want to place more people on drugs they can't get off of without becoming psychotics). In two or three generations of this, human population will be drastically reduced. They wont bother cleaning up the planet, they'll let nature take care of that. That's the overall plan of things like UN Agenda 21, etc.

Are you now crying: No, this was not what you wanted? A mindless world of ruins was not your goal? You did not want us to leave you? You moral cannibals, I know that you’ve always known what it was that you wanted. But your game is up, because now we know it, too.

No, they are not crying now. They believe themselves to be at the top of their game, kings of the heap. The heap of what? Of the garbage dump they helped produce to replace that which was of real value that was produced by those who put their minds, hearts and souls into it? We'll come to the “intellectual property” issue in a future paper. It will explain much. [Now, particularly with the break between myself and Laurence Gilbert, this issue will be far more important.]

Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality,

- insert here, statism, collectivism, private central bank monopolies over money and credit, public corporations with limited liabilities, fractional reserve banking, usury of all kinds, which supports a war making power just as it did in ancient Babylon, and you have in essence their code of morality.

you have cried that your code had been broken, that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required. You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. Your victims took the blame and struggled on, with your curses as reward for their martyrdom-while you went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good?-by what standard?

Whether this be “the noble lie” or something like the UN Agenda 21, it matters not. All collectivist logic boils down to similar idealisms; those who support their new world order or its enemies.

You wanted to know John Galt’s identity. I am the man who has asked that question.

His question was, how good was / is the collectivist social and economic morality? It's a LIE for one thing and is also based on frauds that mask the essential intent; to steal and ruin that which does not by natural right belong to them, so that they can set up a “fair” system, “fair” in their own eyes, since they have arrogated to themselves the position of being unassailable authorities on the subject. Now, who is arrogant?

Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame. It is your moral code that’s through, this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality-you who have never known any-but to discover it.

The actual truth being that the collectivists did not believe in a rational morality at all, that anything per se could be good or bad, since they threw out reasoning from first principles and allowed irrationality to parade itself around as a genuine philosophy, one that they accepted although it was not, at inception anything but a means to uphold the dubious rights of a ruling elite to call the shots on everyone else, “the masses” to be looked down upon and herded like cattle for their own good, which was really for the good of the ruling elites, who I thus remind you all out there are “the useless eaters.”

You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social.

We are going to maintain that matters of right and wrong are in fact rational and no morality (including business ethics) having any meaning needs rely on irrational philosophy (which includes ALL mysticism) or some claim to what is good for society, the earth the ecosystem, the biosphere, or any of that. We will be on guard against all arguments from authority as essentially bogus. We will know the truth and this knowledge shall set us all free.

You have been taught that morality is a code of behaviour imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God’s purpose or your neighbour’s welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure.

Parenthetically, we have good reason to believe that while there may have been real encounters between deities and people in past ages, that it is highly likely that these encounters were misinterpreted, misrepresented and that no constituted authority whatsoever can adequately claim that they even have understood the intended messages of these encounters correctly. What happens when you get to the other side and realize that all that you thought was really something else? Who knows? It's irrational speculation perhaps, but anything held onto simply because it has long been believed, by tradition or some other set of fables, deserves to be immediately suspect.

Your pleasure, you have been taught, is to be found in immorality, your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further your life, but to drain it.

This gets a little complicated but it is essentially this: Real immorality is doing that which is literally wrong in any sense. Since real morality has a rational basis on acceptance of identity as a fundamental principle; that which is, actually is, then we have mentioned here that someone taught that pleasure was to be had in doing that which is rationally wrong. How is that possible? Look around you, you see it everywhere. On closer examination, all that is supposed to be pleasurable that falls into the irrationality of deliberately doing something wrong, is shown for exactly what it is; a stupid or unfortunate action that is ultimately wasteful or ruinous of one's life, liberty or property. We may get into this more in a different paper.

For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors-between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.

We in the Value Unit / VEN camp are going to say this too; your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.

Both sides agreed that morality demands the surrender of your self-interest and of your mind, that the moral and the practical are opposites, that morality is not the province of reason, but the province of faith and FORCE. Both sides agreed that no rational morality is possible, that there is no right or wrong in reason-that in reason there’s no reason to be moral.

In contradiction to statists and collectivists, as well as mystics, we are taking John Galt's (Ayn Rand's) message as a given; a true morality is always rational and one can indeed find great pleasure in pursuing a moral life, once clearly understood.

Whatever else they fought about, it was against man’s mind that all your moralists have stood united. It was man’s mind that all their schemes and systems were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life.

Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch-or build a cyclotron-without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.

But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call ‘human nature,’ the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival-so that for you, who are a human being, the question ‘to be or not to be’ is the question ‘to’ think or not to think.’

It's axiomatic that those who are reading this are by definition thinkers. Oh yes, your thinking may have been tarnished by years of public education or the just as bad private equivalents, but at least you read. Those of you who use the translate function on this webpage and read my words in your own language are thinkers. It's time to think our way out of the mess the ruling elites have placed us in. The next sections provide a starting place for many relevant considerations.

A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behaviour. He needs a code of values to guide his actions. 

We are not assuming anything like a mystical code of values or a social code of values dictated by someone who claims special knowledge from outside the system of general human affairs. 

‘Value’ is that which one acts to gain and keep, ‘virtue’ is the action by which one gains and keeps it.

Wealth then is not an evil but an essential. Since it is normal, natural and rational to want to acquire something that produces a livelihood, an income, the acquisition of appropriate wealth to one's needs is a real value. Notice that virtue, that which cannot help but be good in the strict moral sense, is the appropriate action that is under normal circumstances not hindered by nature, or by irrational FORCES; church or state. We should everywhere and always be mindful of our unique virtues and apply them to action in the acquisition of value.

Value’ presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? ‘Value’ presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.

Values must relate directly to fundamental alternatives; life or death.

There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence-and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not; it depends on a specific course of action.

Right there, the poisonous notion of “unconditional love” should see its demise in the mind of any thinking, rational human being. Nothing that is alive and living can be unconditional at all. Those who have blithely (without critical thought) accepted this notion are under the sway of idealists, who know nothing, nor care anything about truth, believing truth to be relative. What then is the obvious contradiction between “unconditional love” preached by those who only accept a “relative truth”?

Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and-self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it dies; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept of ‘Value’ possible. It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.

There are those out there, who have decided that they can't believe in anything greater than themselves, so they will believe in the earth as a living entity that is capable of having a life and of losing it to good or evil actions by ... guess who? mankind. Once they have accepted this nonsense, they then can entrust some new priesthood “science” with the task of settling moral issues based on another “higher power” than basic human reasoning. We have heard of this long enough. We will simply not accept it, not today, not next week, not next year, NEVER!

A plant must feed itself in order to live; the sunlight, the water, the chemicals it needs are the values its nature has set it to pursue; its life is the standard of value directing its actions. But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.

An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer.

There is a fallacy here. I wonder if anyone else caught it? Rand (John Galt) is assuming that they know everything there is to know about animal volitional consciousness, when of course they do not. One cannot in fact infer that plants are incapable of feeling distress or pain, and the same of course can be said for animals. Mankind on the other hand is all too keenly aware of what makes it feel good and what makes it feel bad, and these are not in categories of deliberate actions to find pleasure in that which is morally wrong. Before leaving this topic, there is likewise no rational basis for any authority representing the supposed rights of plants or animals, as presently exists. Since no one can know and more importantly since these authorities frequently represent the entrenched statist or collectivist interests and are paid by the “stakeholders” from behind their Mystery Babylon curtain, they are ALL invalid and the rules we are suggesting for a rational morality apply to them as well; have no more dealings with them.

Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. 

This does not mean that we require a sanctioned or sanctified group to tell us what to do either. 

Are you prattling about an instinct of self-preservation? An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An ‘instinct’ is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man’s desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love of life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer-and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.

One of the soundest proofs for God, or some higher authority, rests on this consideration; that mankind has survived its own follies this long without going extinct. In fact we don't know precisely or for certain that there weren't a few close calls in the past.

A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and to destroy his mind.

Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice-and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man-by choice; he has to hold his life as a value-by choice: he has to learn to sustain it-by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues-by choice.

A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.

So far, we have encountered some concepts that are actually pretty old, but are new to most; that value is rational and based on human life. That a rational morality upholds rational values and a rational immorality denies them and is basically a system of death. We'll continue this conversation in the next post in this series.

David Burton 

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