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“The proposal of any new law or regulation….comes from an order of men who….have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Today’s world is soaked with anti-reason and anti-mind sentiments that delude the individual into thinking that knowledge is unattainable, cause and effect is an illusion, and rational thought is impossible.  Our Universities are fraught with such sentiments, while our media asserts the voice of the people without first asking their opinion. Popular sentiment is a manufactured product wrought from the furnaces of apathy and ignorance and places the individual within the dungeons of serfdom. Simply stated, then, the purpose of kapitalcon is the pursuit and dissemination of an alternative view of American society, particularly the roles the government and media play in the collapse of the middle class, the fragmentation of our education system, and the diminution of our civil liberties.

The principles upon which I think, act, and live are Liberty and Individualism, Productivity, Social Sustainability, Judgment, and Truth.  We think of theses principles as we should.  They are the bedrock of any lasting society and culture. Yet, it is the acceptance of these principles, not as portrayed by the media and government, but as they exist based on principles grounded in reality that I examine in kapitalcon.

Liberty and Individualism are not mutually exclusive. The former necessitates the latter. That is, liberty is a product of individualism.   The rights assigned us in the Constitution of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness cannot be broken apart and parceled off piecemeal within the halls of Congress.  For if we are denied happiness, how can the abstract concept of liberty manifest itself in our daily lives?  If we are denied liberty, how are we free to sustain our own existence as we see fit?  These are not rhetorical questions.  Rather, they are absolutes that cannot be bent or broken. The individual mind is the building block of any social structure, and it is upon this preeminent principle that I write this blog.  Freedom of thought, freedom to question, freedom to discuss, and most importantly, freedom to disagree is the bedrock of a vibrant democracy.

Ayn Rand defines Productivity as the act of self-preservation.  The ability to think precedes action, and the ability to act determines not just our nature, but our very survival.  She states:

The virtue of Productiveness is the recognition of the fact that productive work is the process by which man’s mind sustains his life, the process that sets man free of the necessity to adjust himself to his background, as all animals do, and gives him the power to adjust his background to himself. Productive work is the road of man’s unlimited achievement and calls upon the highest attributes of his character: his creative ability, his ambitiousness, his self-assertiveness, his refusal to bear uncontested disasters, his dedication to the goal of reshaping the earth in the image of his values. “Productive work” does not mean the unfocused performance of the motions of some job. It means the consciously chosen pursuit of a productive career, in any line of rational endeavor, great or modest, on any level of ability. It is not the degree of a man’s ability nor the scale of his work that is ethically relevant here, but the fullest and most purposeful use of his mind.

“The Objectivist Ethics,” in The Virtue of Selfishness. (p. 29).

Without thought, man must depend upon those he looks to for the answers to questions only he may ask for himself.  In other words, he must look to a mind outside of his own, with interests often contrary to his own.  Thus, Productiveness becomes a necessary precondition of the individual and his liberty.

Social Sustainability is the necessity to continue existing as a functioning social organism and to responsibly direct change.  John Ikerd defines sustainability as development that reconciles the needs of today with those of future generations (Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense, 45).  Thus, sustainability encompasses questions of intergenerational equity as well as economic growth.  However, it first necessitates the conceptual awareness of the individual as an active participant in the growth process.  It is this concept that places the individual within the framework of democracy and social responsibility in a way that neither displaces the individual’s place as the preeminent building block, nor allows any fragmentation of healthy social and cultural ties that serve to direct the inertia of future movements.  In short, this translates into the adage that what we do now affects our future.  To strike this balance is the goal of all democracies, because it preserves liberty and individualism while promoting democratic change. To accept change when it is healthy, to resist it when it is destructive, and to direct it when it is necessary is the fundamental aspect of democratic government by the people.

The ability to Judge a situation or an individual based on the events and/or actions surrounding it is not being “judgmental” in the negative sense.  Rather, it is precisely those events and/or actions surrounding a situation and all individuals in it that furnishes the context by which we judge.  If we refuse to engage in this for fear of public scorn, we forfeit our most basic right as human beings, the right to think.  For more on this idea, see my post, “Judgment, Democracy, and Liberty.” Whether it be questions of government, economics, media, or debate over political doctrine, the bottom line is to utilize our Judgment to expose Truth.  Yet, this presupposes a distinction I believe is far overlooked in the mainstream media and much of academia today, one of fact versus truth.  My first exposure to this distinction came from Orwell’s 1984, whereby information was controlled to the extent that events were rendered fact by their mere assertion and the truth concealed by omission.  In such instances as they occur today, fact supplants truth, rendering a conceptual transformation and displacement of reality, whereby truth becomes mere propaganda.  I do not concede to such practices, nor do I condone the misinformation that characterizes our society’s primary channels of communication.  Rather, because Judgment necessitates the free flow of information, I view misinformation as an impediment on my right to judge and to formulate the opinions from which I base my actions and my livelihood.

These are the beliefs from which I conduct my research.  Moreover, the purpose of this blog is multifaceted in that while my primary purpose is to question the status quo, I must do so within the vista of my own continuously developing philosophy.  So in addition to my regular posts, I will also incorporate pieces whereby I question my own conceptions of reality.  Most importantly, it is not my purpose to push my beliefs onto another, but only to expose another to my beliefs.  It is my sincerest hope to contribute to this growing dialogue and to inspire people to seek their own answers to today’s problems of a diminishing middle class, a weakening education system, and a gradual erosion of civil liberties.

I hope to reach a multitude of audiences with kapitalcon, from the casual reader to the professional. The incorporation of collaboration throughout my blog is important to me.  If you at any time want to leave comments on anything I have said please feel free, and I will strive to respond to them as quickly as time allows.

Thank you for reading kapitalcon, and keep striving for the truth that keeps democracy within our grasp.

Jeremiah Dow


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