HUMAN SUCCESS PROGRAMS
Earlier this year Bill Gates, founder of a computer software company became the richest man in the country. His company develops what might be called "computer success programs" - software that makes computers more successful.
Among other factors, what made it possible for Bill Gates to become a billionaire is the degree to which his company's programs increase the value of a computer. With these programs a computer produces better results, thus has more value. Bill Gates has probably increased the value of computers by hundreds of billions of dollars. That is the main reason why he is a billionaire.
Humans, like computers, run on programs. Some programs work and produce desirable results and could be called "human success programs." Others don't work very well and produce undesirable results. I call them "human failure programs."
I strongly suspect that individual power tends to be an important factor in human success programs, while individual powerlessness tends to characterize human failure programs. The computer itself tends to be a human success program - when properly used, it greatly increases individual power. The programs of Bill Gates's company multiply the individual power of computer users.
I believe the potential for human success programs vastly outstrips that for computer success programs. Buckminster Fuller, the famous inventor and futurist, calculated that, given the resources we have on planet Earth, every man, woman, and child should be a millionaire many times over. I believe that certain human success programs, if generally known and acted upon, would result in humans generally being vastly healthier, happier, and wealthier.
The difference between where we are as a society, and where we could be, represents an enormous potential. Let me, rather arbitrarily, put a value on the U.S. and its people of $100 trillion. And let me, equally arbitrarily, "guesstimate" that if we had a free-enterprise U.S., that value would increase to $300 trillion (300 million people times $1 million each). The difference is $200 trillion.
Now, suppose a group of people could shift the U.S. some way towards free enterprise, say to the extent that "U.S. value" increases to $200 trillion, that is, a shift of $100 trillion. Suppose further that the group of "shifters" could do their "shifting" in a manner that is sufficiently profitable for them to earn 1% of the shift, that is $1 trillion.
That indicates the potential earnings for any individual or group who can develop and implement the human success programs that shift the U.S. towards free enterprise.
By "free enterprise" I mean voluntary capitalism - an economic system characterized by private ownership of property and voluntary exchange. Free enterprise or voluntary capitalism is by far the most potent human success program I know of.
But how do we shift America towards free enterprise? Well, Archimedes said, "Give me a long enough lever and single-handed I will move the world." But where do we find such a lever? The lever I propose is individual human power - the most potent power on Earth. Individual human power, developed and applied, is the ultimate human success program. How that lever will be developed and implemented is the subject of the rest of this book.
GOVERNMENT AS A HUMAN PROGRAM
The most pervasive program in society is called "government." Obviously, government is an attempted human success program. In the broadest sense, the purpose of government should be to help make humans successful.
"Government" can be regarded as a program in individual human brains. Whatever is being done in the name of government is done by individual human beings. And they do what they do because they have a program in the brain called "government.". If this is so, then in order to improve government we need to improve the programs in individual brains.
It is very easy to change the programs in a computer, once better programs have been developed. You simply place a diskette containing the improved programs in the disk drive, press a few buttons and voila! - the computer has a new set of programs and now operates more successfully.
With humans it is not quite that easy. We love our programs - sometimes even if they are disastrous failure programs.
During the past 30 years the standard of living of middle-class America has dropped precipitously. Thirty years ago the husband brought in enough money for the whole family to live comfortably. Today, with both husband and wife working, many struggle to pay the bills. Can this disastrous decline be attributed to the economically disastrous practices of the US Federal Government, amply supported by State Governments and the voters?
Psychologists tell us that since World War II the incidence of personal depression in the US has increased tenfold. Could this be related to the rampant expansion of statism?
Compulsory state education is a government program. It is probably the most destructive human failure program ever devised- as indicated in Chapter Three.
Now let us consider "crime management" as a government program. What if government itself is a criminal, essentially in the crime business? Would it aim to expand or contract its business?
In Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438, 485 (1928), Justice
Louis Brandeis said:
"Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy... "
According to the latest FBI statistics, as reported in The Arizona Republic of August 30, 1992, violent crime in the U.S. reached a record total last year of 758 for each 100,000 inhabitants - up 4 percent from 1990, 24 percent since 1987, and 33 percent since 1982.
If the purpose of government is to help humans be more successful, then its "crime management" program can only be a human failure program.
HUMAN SUCCESS PROGRAMS
The greater the potential value of a human success program, the more different it is from current programs, the more resistance it tends to provoke, the more "cognitive dissonance." Human success programs tend to be difficult to implement.
One of the most powerful human success programs is called "nothing." Smoking is an example of a human failure program. What do you replace it with? Nothing. Just stop smoking. Unfortunately, easier said than done.
The basic mechanism for changing from a human failure program to a human success program is:
Magna Carta was a human success program. It is a charter of liberties signed in 1215 by King John of England. It included trial by jury and jury nullification. It greatly increased individual power.
Common law - law that developed spontaneously out of customs that were found to work in practice - is a human success program. Common law tends to safeguard individual power.
The Declaration of Independence was a human success program. It greatly increased individual power. The Bill of Rights is a human success program to the extent that it prevents government from destroying individual power.
Henry Ford's Model-T was a human success program. It put America on wheels. It gave us mobility. It greatly increased personal power. Henry Ford became the richest man in America.
The personal computer is a human success program. It increases personal power.
Voluntary capitalism is a human success program. It increases individual power phenomenally. Let me repeat my "basic principles for civilization" as a proposed human success program:
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR CIVILIZATION
The potential of our opportunity exceeds that which Bill Gates utilized to become a billionaire. And personal power is the lever that will bridge the gap between what is and what should be.