From the May 2006 Idaho Observer:
Phase III: Civilization Engineering
by Hari Heath
Phase I, the long and arduous task of informing and re-educating the somnolent masses, extricating them from their well-programmed paradigm and shattering the matrix of their delusions of benevolent fascism is what this and many other independent media projects are about. Foolishly perhaps, we have been engaging our common enemy, with print, broadcast and video media in the quest for truth, justice and the American way. We may be winning.
An expansive revolution of truth-tellers across the spectrum has gained much ground and experience, especially in the last decade. Outrage at the conduct of world affairs has spawned a growing activism that is maturing in its methods and focus. The lethargic masses remain a challenge, but the conduct of our adversaries aids our cause.
The measure of our success is the dwindling esteem of the prevaricating lackeys in the mainstream media and the growing dishonor of those in the political realms, whose main function seems to be the abortion of truth, justice and liberty.
This is not anything new. One only needs to read Albert Nock and his century old, Our Enemy the State, or Thomas Jefferson's work, The Declaration of Independence, to realize what a long and arduous project it is to achieve justice and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
The "movement" towards liberty is almost entirely focused on the "waking up America" concept-a necessary first step.
But truth-telling is not enough. Liberty and justice require active enforcement mechanisms-if such principles are to prevail. We may "wake up America," but then what? The people have no effective enforcement mechanisms and, further, the enemies within America have a substantial oppression network to suppress those who would curtail their treasonous trepidations.
History hath shown that such a condition of treasonous oppression is not a perpetual state. Eventually the stand-off between the people and their oppressors results in one or more of the following scenarios:
1. The masses rise up in violent revolution, forcing the oppressor regime from power;
2. A coup replaces the oppressor regime;
3. The infrastructure of the oppressor's regime begins to decline until it reaches a state of rapid decay and eventual collapse.
Under scenarios one and three, the "force" of government is gone and the people will likely start "government" anew, which may or may not be to their liking. Under scenario two, the "force" of government is replaced, which may or may not be to the people's liking.
At this present time, within the "liberty movement," there is almost no discussion or planning of implementing effective "Phase II" enforcement mechanisms to remove and punish the criminals who are operating our "government." It will require a substantial contingent of "the people," pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the arduous struggle for liberty. We are not there yet.
The important and necessary Phase II mechanisms will be left here for other, further discussions. Our world is precipitously close to having all three of the above scenarios play out to one degree or another. The point of this article is to discuss Phase III, how to start "government" anew, laying its foundations on such form as is most likely to effectuate our liberty and happiness:
Dennis Riness, an engineer by profession, has produced a most interesting DVD/syllabus educational package entitled "Civilization Engineering." His syllabus is meant to complement the three DVDs which cover Riness' Power Point presentation of this subject. The insert to his syllabus states, "...this is not your standard, technically flawless Hollywood production. Unlike the standard Hollywood production-technical perfection with mediocre to rotten content-this is a mediocre technical production with a revolutionary content. My hope is that you will focus on the content."
Riness makes a radical departure from those who would "return to the Constitution," reconstitute "God's" law, the common law, natural law or some other previously failed contrivance on which to base society. This engineered approach assesses the structural failures of previous and current "civilizations," and brings together in one package, numerous ideas that are likely to result in Riness' goal: A durable civilization that works.
Some highlights from his concept include:
• The only reason civilizations fail is that they institutionalize coercion.
• We have confused community and government-they are not the same. They are as different as the brakes and motor of a car.
• The source of failure of all civilizations is the misguided actions of well intended, good people who have wrong ideas and misplaced allegiances.
• Durable means able to change and withstand shocks, but is not a static property.
• Freedom, justice, community and government are products, when done correctly.
• Finding the "glue" components of a civilization and correctly instituting them produce a durable civilization.
Riness uses the analogy of monkeys being trapped by putting bananas in a large, heavy small-mouthed jar. They can't remove their hand from the mouth of the jar with the banana in their hand and they won't let go of the banana. The three intellectual currents-or bananas-that are holding us back today are Judeo-Christian theology, Communism and the Natural Law.
His basic theory is a stable, durable civilization can be built only upon the sovereignty of the individual. Not sacrificed for, or seized, but built. Riness states the hallmark of a durable civilization is that all departments of community and government operate on a voluntary, fee-for-service basis. His pivotal premise is: The worst idea in history is that coercion is necessary to build a civilization that works.
Riness' conceptualization of civilization engineering at this point is the result of about 40 years of study. He acknowledges his personal pantheon of contributors to the concept as:
• Ayn Rand for her view of the sovereignty of the individual;
• Isabel Patterson, author of The God of the Machine, who began the concept behind civilization engineering, especially the separation of community and government;
• Ludwig von Mises for his Austrian economics and the subjective value theory;
• Andrew Galambos, literally a rocket scientist who started the Free Enterprise Institute and created the clearinghouse concept;
• Spencer Heath and Spencer MacCallum, for their work on what community is and its potential;
• E. C. Riegel, for his work on Private Enterprise Money;
• Gordon W. Smith, Jr., who redesigned government to operate on a voluntary, fee- for-service basis; and
• L. Ron Hubbard for his concept of a "game" and the admin scale of administration technology.
Riness gives honorable mention to the founding fathers, but in "realpolitic" they institutionalized slavery, the ultimate coercion. He states the "We the People" of the preamble is a collective "we"-not the necessary recognition of the sovereignty of the individual; failure to correctly place the sovereignty of the individual manifests the fatal flaw: Institutionalized coercion. The second flaw of the founders was the failure to separate the institutions of community and government.
Success of the United States
Riness attributes the success of the United States to two factors:
1. We had no "Ancien Regime," like the French did-a parasitic class of aristocrats who were only 2 percent of the population but owned 50 percent of the property and lived off the feudal tribute paid by the lower classes. These noblemen and priests were removed by guillotine during the French Revolution. No entrenched class or parasitic bureaucracy of influence existed in the New World during the American Revolution. But we have it now-everybody who is on a pension, works for the government or has expectations of entitlement. We will have to get rid of them and it will not be easy. As Denis Dederot, a leading philosopher during the French Revolution said, "Man will never be free until the last King is strangled with the entrails of the last Priest."
2. Westward expansion on the frontier provided an escape from institutionalized coercion and a grand economic prize. We have no room for any such expansion now. The completion of the American Revolution will be all the more difficult because these two factors are working against us this time.
Riness updates Dederot with: "Man will never be free until the last politician is strangled with the entrails of the last bureaucrat."
Two working Ideas:
Stop coercing; Separate community and government-they are as different as the brakes and the motor of a car and do not provide the same functions.
The Glue of a Civilization:
The "glue" of a civilization is the essential components that hold a society together and without any one of them, it would not long survive. Riness lists his "glue" as:
Common written language
Freedom, Justice, Community and government will be discussed later. Money and Clearinghouse are not discussed in any depth by Riness in his DVDs. He says they are specialized forms of community. He includes common written language as a glue, and yet argues against its necessity, citing Switzerland as an example with four official languages.
Govern: to conduct the affairs of a country; to rule with authority; to control, influence, or restrain are common dictionary definitions. Even Ayn Rand takes a stab at it: "A government is an institution that holds exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area."
Control, influence, restraint and enforcement are the commonly defined attributes of government. No longer are the Founders ideas of instituting government for the people's equal protection and benefit or to secure the blessings of liberty part of the common definitions. Riness explains our present reality:
"Every law of so-called government is backed up by the death penalty. If you ignore it, they eventually send out the cops, and if you try to resist them, out come the guns, and if need be, they blow you away; they kill you; that's called the death penalty when they kill you. Every law, on every level, is backed up by the death penalty. Make no mistake, if you don't know that yet, you have homework to do."
Cities, counties, states, the United States and even the United Nations all use laws backed up by the death penalty. Here to protect?
Riness' government in Civilization Engineering operates only on a voluntary, subscriptive, fee-for-service basis: "If you cannot change government as easily, as conveniently and as inconsequentially as you chose brands of toothpaste, you do not live in freedom. That is precisely where we have to go."
Under the present system, "I govern me" is not allowed. The premise is that we all need to be controlled, not protected, by some external agency. Coercion is assumed. The worst idea in history is at work.
Choosing someone else to govern us is called self-government. If they aren't governing me correctly, I get someone else? I'm not fit to govern myself, but if I get elected, I'm fit to govern you?
"Do you want to be taxed and regulated to death by the Democrats? Or do you want to be taxed and regulated to death by the Republicans? It's a free country, you get to choose," said Andrew Galambos.
We have been trying to build a workable civilization with nonsense ideas. It is not working.
What is real?
Civilization Engineering is a technology and requires an underlying science. Science starts with determining what is real and how it works. Riness dissects the differences between real people and fictions such as corporate bodies, government, crimes against "society" and rights. He re-awards Time Magazine's Person of the Century to Karl Marx as the most deeply imbedded and influential person in our present time and illuminates our present relationship with the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto.
He also assails the concept of rights, Natural Rights and Natural Law, all of which falter when the presumption is broken that some great protector of these sacred rights is poised ready to defend them. No such agency exists in nature to protect "rights." This is one of his many examples of the Deus ex Machina, the machine of the gods, a construct, which both anciently and figuratively renders a larger-than-life appearance to the components of our belief systems.
Another Deus ex Machina is "The Rule of Law," which Ayn Rand defines as, "a complex legal system, based on objectively valid principles, is required to make a society free and to keep it free-a system that does not depend on the motives, the moral character or the intentions of any given official; a system that leaves no opportunity, no legal loophole for the development of tyranny."
Riness departs from her notion and says she is proposing a system of law that isn't run by people; you can't escape the rule of men.
Riness exposes numerous Dei ex Machina that people have used to build flawed civilizations. He brings forward the concept of the Intentional Sciences: All things that exhibit the irreducible phenomenon of Intention. "We are Intentional beings in a Matter body. Intention is not an emergent property of Matter, contrary to what the Reductionist would say. We are spiritual entities having a physical experience."
The Three Postulates
Riness discusses some of the conceptual limitations of present-day science and offers "The Three Postulates of Intentional Science:"
First: All men/women live to pursue happiness.
Second: All men/women live to pursue Justice.
Third: Voluntary interaction is unstoppable.
"All postulates are expressions of the phenomenon of "intention." Civilization engineers rely on these three postulates when structuring a company, a justice system or a civilization," said Riness.
Riness describes the First Postulate: "'Pursuit of Happiness' means one is always striving to move higher on one's value hierarchy, which means satisfying as many higher values as possible while giving up as few lower values as possible. Ideally we would satisfy every value without giving up any. But our wants are greater than our capacities and we are forced to give up some of our values in order to satisfy the rest.
"When two individuals engage in voluntary exchange both individuals move higher on their respective value hierarchies. This situation is only possible if the two individuals rank the values exchanged in opposite order on their respective value hierarchies. Voluntary exchange is the correct concept of serving your fellow man.
"The Principle of Least Action...manifests as each individual in a voluntary exchange seeking the most for the least: The buyer would rather have paid less, the seller would rather have gotten more, but they come to terms voluntarily and make the exchange. In the extreme, we would all like to have infinite pay for zero work, which is by itself amoral. It is when we begin to satisfy this urge through coercion that all the troubles of human affairs begin.
"The First Postulate expresses intention exhibited by all living systems. An adjunct to this phenomenon is observable: When a particular value is satisfied, the Intention ceases on that value and the next value is pursued. It is like an automatic, 'thermostatic' action within the personality. When the value is realized, the Intention goes away on that value. At the core, this explains why coercive things run so poorly and inefficiently. Because they are held in place by coercion, inefficient operations persist [the value is never realized] and this make the practitioners into parasites. Parasites have no incentive to produce and serve their fellow man because they have achieved their goal of a steady paycheck and benefits just by showing up and going through the motions of producing.
"Want motivation? Then you must structure the system so that you impinge on the value hierarchy of those involved-get tied into the person's First Postulate. Measured Exchange is this principle of placing everyone at risk: If you produce you get paid; if you don't produce you don't get paid. All small entrepreneurs are naturally on this system...publicly traded Corporate America [and government] is not managed on an at- risk basis and this alone accounts for their inefficiency and political nature. Their inefficiency has nothing to do with size."
The element of his "Second Postulate," Justice, is defined as "the condition when the rules of the game are the same for all players." This simple definition illuminates the basis for the lack of justice in our current "justice" system.
"Absolute Immunity" shields the primary players in our modern judicial realms. They also write their own rules and keep or break them at their pleasure, without any effective accountability or recourse. Law enforcement officers are afforded an unlegislated "qualified immunity" and their perjury is routinely ignored or encouraged. Plea bargains are fundamentally conviction by coercion. Accept a lesser negative value, to avoid worse from a system which does not have the same rules for all players.
Many are incarcerated for "willful failure to file" tax forms, but no one in the IRS has been incarcerated for "willful failure" to show the American People what law requires them to file tax forms.
Citizens are imprisoned for voluntary use of relatively harmless recreational drugs, but large pharmaceutical corporations are granted manufacturing authority, liability protection and coerced, compulsory markets for their products, even when they are proven to have devastating effects.
The list of inequities in our present "game" is so long that justice, per its simple definition, does not exist in America.
Voluntary interaction is unstoppable
Drugs, gambling, prostitution, owning firearms and abortion are examples of voluntary interaction that is unstoppable. Attempting to violate the Third Postulate with prohibition and the War on Drugs or Guns has produced organized crime, Mafia, police corruption and gangs, all of which are combining to bring about a police state.
"Plunder is a drug and overwhelms even the strongest personalities. This is why the parasites will not let go, even in the face of a collapsing civilization. This is why it is going to be so difficult to get out of our current situation with its institutionalized coercion. Half the population is living directly or indirectly on plunder and will greatly resist anything that would force them to let go of their plunder and go learn how to truly serve their fellow man on a voluntary basis in the marketplace," Riness explained.
Ayn Rand made the following distinction between the administration of physical force and coercion: "Coercion is the initiation of physical force or fraud. Using physical force to defend oneself or retaliate against coercion may be violence, but it is not coercion."
Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil's Dictionary, adds: "The four kinds of homicide are felonious, excusable, justifiable and praiseworthy."
Riness defines freedom as, "The societal condition when all interactions are voluntary."
He proposes: The One Commandment-"Stop Coercing!" What constitutes coercion will rest on the subjective value hierarchies of the individuals involved.
Using a double zero line diagram, Riness demonstrates how "plus-plus" exchanges move each party up on their respective value hierarchies. This is symbiotic interaction on a voluntary basis. Plus-minus interactions are when one party moves up and one moves down on their respective value hierarchies. He states, "This is parasitic interaction and is always coercive."
Minus-minus is when both parties move down, which never occurs knowingly. Riness says, "All plus-minus interactions eventually end in a minus-minus since the parasite never knows when to quit and eventually kills off the host thus destroying his meal ticket and thus himself."
Community as a game
L. Ron Hubbard's definition is that a "game" consists of freedoms, barriers and a purpose. The inherent danger of community is agreeing to some restrictions-"barriers"-and thus giving up part of your sovereignty, but not giving up all of your sovereignty. We have never figured out how to do this and thus we have created "runaway" communities that just grow like cancers until they consume the citizens. More specifically, the parasite class overwhelms the host class.
The inherent advantage of community, people living in close proximity, is the division in labor that is made possible. Living remotely, like Robinson Crusoe or a pioneer family, requires that one or a few people must do everything. In a community, the efficiency of specialization and the economy of scale, potentially become a benefit.
Two aspects of community
The two aspects of community are collective action (serving a common purpose) and managing externalities. Collective action can include roads, power, water, sewer, public transportation, parks and common areas, and environmental management. Community can incorporate a place such as a city or neighborhood, but it may also be a monetary system, an educational or other institution. It may be just a simple infrastructure or it may include other collective activities that people may choose to participate in.
Community is the proactive institution and government is the reactive institution when they are separated and done correctly. The role of community is to bring us together for a common purpose, which could just be living in close proximity. The role of government is to keep the community managers in check and prevent them from commandeering our lives.
Managing externalities is done by erecting barriers or restrictions on certain actions of the members of a community. Externalities are those unintended consequences of living in close proximity. Riness provides several examples of community restrictions and diagrams a grid of public and private areas. He brings forward the Third Postulate that voluntary interaction is unstoppable and suggests that permitting voluntary action behind closed doors will be the least expensive and most successful approach. Things become an externality when they impinge on another sufficiently to require community management.
Maintaining a clear distinction of what is public and what is private will lead to a successful community. Community control of the private areas leads down the path of coercion and a dysfunctional civilization.
Riness uses the example of a hotel to describe the errors of our current compulsive, coercive civilization. When we check into a hotel, are we required to turn over 40 percent of our income, mortgage the rest, allow our education and retirement to be commandeered and all the other mandates of coercive government? No! We just want a room. Riness says we should treat community the same way.
Triangulating the System
Riness' engineered system triangulates between the Game Maker (community leader or manager), the Game Keeper (government referee) and the Game Player (community member). The Game Maker provides the product of the community infrastructure, manages the externalities, collects rents and has the power of eminent domain-at a price of two or three times market value. You can fight City Hall under this system because City Hall is the game Maker, not the Game Keeper.
A Bill of Rights placing limits on the community managers/Game Maker protects the citizen/Game Player with:
Rules that are the same for all tenants-Justice;
No educational system, public welfare system or established religion funded by community "rents"-those systems may exist privately, on a voluntary basis. There are no restrictions on trade, religion, speech or the press.
Riness' portrayal of the Game Keeper/government function is not entirely clear. He doesn't specifically lay out its operational scope, as a government, but he does suggest an entity that is a composite of an insurance policy against the several forms of coercion, an abbreviated trial process, bounty hunters, a snitch fund and public executioners. Essentially, his government's function is to use extremely coercive techniques, against coercers, after it is proven that they committed coercion.
Riness presents the idea of essentially privatizing, on a voluntary basis, many of the societal functions that are now in the domain of regulatory agencies or organizations which enjoy a public monopoly. Food and drugs could be certified by private entities with their own standards. The public may voluntarily choose to pay slightly more for a certified product.
Organizations like the AMA may regulate its members according to whatever standards it chooses. The monopolistic license it now enjoys would be gone, with the public free to choose whatever level of accreditation and type of healthcare provider they want. Coercion by mandatory membership in a monopoly and the exclusion of alternatives would no longer be a public/private policy.
Instead of labor unions and employers being the source of health-care, retirement, and pensions, a stand-alone organization could provide the same services for life. Employers would only pay you for your work, so any benefits you personally choose to pay for, stay with you, regardless of any changes in employment.
Riness has a monetary system engineered, but he doesn't detail it in the DVDs. It is an extensive project which he leaves for another time. He briefly describes it as a system which provides protection to the customer against inflation/deflation, contractual oblivion and affords privacy. The money managers are protected against counterfeit and fraud. The syllabus hints at a debit-type non-commodity monetary system. Until he reveals the details we can only guess as to its merits and construction.
The Clearinghouse Riness proposes is a combination patent office, collector of royalties for innovators and, in Riness' version of Andrew Galambos' Clearinghouse, it functions as a University, archiving and passing knowledge to the next generation. A small royalty would go to innovators and other revenue from innovations would support further research. Universities would be funded this way without the support of tax dollars.
Riness concludes with a summary of the six "glue" components of a durable situation: Freedom, Justice, Community, Government, Money and the Clearinghouse. Freedom comes from a symbiosis and that is the only thing that is stable and durable. He emphasizes that we must learn to interact symbiotically with the environment in order that we and the environment survive and prosper together. "This is our mandate from the dawn of Creation: we must attain symbiosis in all things or we perish," he says.
Plans A through G
Riness has plans to implement civilization engineering. They include starting the American Revolution Party, forming a private enterprise monetary system, establishing a profit-seeking K-12 school to compete with the state-run boondoggle and implement Ergonomics of the Mind technology, establish a new community using the hotel writ large philosophy, form a benevolent and protective fraternal organization to provide lifetime financial services to its members, create a legal defense organization to protect against legal abuses of the state, and form a real estate development company to improve building technology and showcase Admin Scale and Measured Exchange technologies.
Civilization Engineering is a concise, yet informationally-dense package of substantial and innovative material. Riness suggests that you view the DVDs, read the syllabus and review the DVDs and reread the syllabus, as many times as it takes, until you are able to read the Glossary of Civilization Engineering with total comprehension. You will then be a Civilization Engineer, "in command of the intellectual leverage promised."
The concepts in Civilization Engineering are revolutionary and awe-inspiring, but there are a few things that raise some questions-very few, considering the scale of Riness' proposal.
How do we erect barriers or restrictions in a community where freedom is "the societal condition where all interactions are voluntary?
Will a Game Maker/Game Keeper collusion eventually occur similar to what has happened in our current legislative, executive and judicial branches? The pretense of checks and balances remains, but effectively, we are in a condition of the government against the people, with no effective recourse. Will the new "Game" really change anything?
The criminal element has always been part of humanity. In my view, Riness' plan to manage crime is more idealistic than practical, considering the scale of the problem.
An even greater challenge is how to deal with the mass of humanity that has been stupefied by the various form of programming in current society and would be incapable of understanding the material on the DVDs, no matter how many times they watched it. What do we do with them?
Riness proposes a legislative function within the community that appears to be an ad hoc council composed of whoever shows up and decides whatever for whomever. Such is the evil bane of democracy. The sovereignty of the individual is always compromised by unfettered democracy. It is often the failing point of civilizations.
Child rearing is a process of well-directed coercion. It must be. The little tykes would not survive to adulthood without being coerced away from the perils of their immature adventures. How can a parent not coerce and raise responsible, respectful children-the kind of people needed in an engineered civilization? If a child grows up with coercion, how will they learn to live without it as an adult?
And finally, How many of us are really ready to shed the shackles (and plunder benefits) of the coercive state to live in freedom and justice?
Civilization Engineering is a very adequate first-run "mediocre technical production" to promote the concept. It could use some technical improvements for mass appeal, but its "revolutionary content" is well worth the price of admission. It is the best collection of workable ideas that has been assembled in recent times.
The Three DVD set with syllabus is available for $20.00 plus $10.00 shipping from
Glue Publications, LLC
PO Box 2926,
Seal Beach, CA 90740
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