The productive people of this world are being abused. We all know it and we all complain about it. And most of the things we complain about (taxes, stupid laws, politicians and bureaucrats doing ridiculous things) are backed by large, powerful systems. That is why I chose “systemic abuse” for this article’s title.
The idea of a system being abusive by nature often bothers people in a deep and obscure way, but that characterization is true. If we try to blame “one bad actor,” we are lying and we know it.
I’m not going to waste time on the abuses of the current world systems. You must be aware of them, and you can get lists of complaints from many other sources.
Instead, I want to explain how we producers are really the controlling group in the world, even though most of us don’t know it. We as a group can end our abuse whenever we change our minds about it, and we as individuals can do a lot to bring that about.
But in order to face a life without abuse, each producer will have to do some serious soul searching and adjustment. That sounds strange, I know, but it is true. It will become clearer as we proceed.
Let me begin with this: You don’t have to be a superstar to count yourself among the producers. In fact, you don’t even need to have a job. What matters is that, given a choice, you would rather create than live off of the production of others.
If you feel good coming home from an honest day of work; if you like pointing at something and saying “I made that;” if you care about your work as a carpenter, trucker, housewife, nurse, welder, shopkeeper, clerk, farmer, rancher, engineer, or any of a hundred other professions, you are a producer.
This desire for production is in us from childhood and perhaps from birth. It is natural to beings who have the ability to perceive, to will, and to compare before/after results. Even infants get satisfaction from willing and succeeding. Buckminster Fuller said it well: Every child has an enormous drive to demonstrate competence.
With these being the essential characteristics of producers, it would seem natural for them to generally feel good about themselves and to be generally confident. You would expect them to be proud of being the source of all the products and wealth in the world.
This, however, is not what we see. Rather, we see producers who are morally timid, who shrink when someone accuses them of being offensive, who fear being envied. Most modern producers don’t feel they have full rights over their own lives. They believe it in measure, of course, but they also believe that other people (namely the operators of institutions) have a legitimate right to tell them how to drive, educate their children, spend their money, ingest substances, report their business dealings, and on and on and on.
As we’ve said a lot recently, this comes back to a perverse root assumption:
It is right for other people to order me around.
It is easy to see that so long as producers keep believing this, those who order them around will abuse them without end.
On the other hand, if the producers ever stop believing that their role in life is to be ordered around, the world changes in an instant – radically and dramatically for the better. The values of production, if ever dominant in the world or any section of it, generate not only prosperity, but morality.