Ethics: The Proper Foundation of Politics
Politics is the branch of philosophy which deals with such issues as the proper forms of legal, governmental and economic systems, and related issues. It overlaps with and builds upon many of the same issues as the subject of ethics, in that it is concerned with proper (or ethical) and improper (or unethical) modes of interaction between individuals, although it is often particularly concerned with organizations of individuals such as exist withing business, government, etc., and the representatives and agents of such organizations.
Ethics is (or should be) the foundation of any sound political or social system. In Scionics (as laid out in 1.6 ETHICS) the most fundamental ethical principle is the non-aggression principle, embodied in the colloquial expression, “Live and let live.” This may be expressed more technically as the recognition that one's most fundamental social right is the right of freedom and self-determination and that one's most fundamental social duty is the duty to refrain from infringing upon the freedom and self-determination of others. This specifically means that no individual or group of individuals may ethically initiate force, fraud or coercion against another.
Scionism: Empiricorational Libertarian Minarchism
Libertarianism is any political philosophy which holds the non-aggression principle, i.e., freedom from force, fraud, or coercion, as a fundamental principle. Among those who identify as libertarians, however, there has been wide disagreement about exactly how to structure society in order to maximize freedom and minimize initiatory aggression. This had lead to the creation of a distinction between (1) right libertarianism, or libertarian capitalism, which (in brief) advocates private ownership of the means of production, and (2) left libertarianism, or libertarian socialism, which (also in brief) advocates collective ownership of the means of production.
Freedom from coercion necessarily entails freedom from external rule. The complete freedom from external rule is anarchy, while the reduction of external rule to some necessary minimum is minarchy. Different libertarians (whether right or left libertarians) differ in their opinions as to whether external rule can or should be completely eliminated, and thus would classify themselves as either libertarian anarchists or libertarian minarchists.
The concept of anarchy is often negatively associated with a condition of lawless, leaderless social chaos. In 1840, however, the term was used in a positive sense by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his treatise “What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government,” refer to an orderly social system in the absence of government. Here are a few quotes from Proudhon in “What is Property,” regarding anarchy:
“ANARCHY,—the absence of a master, of a sovereign…”
“As man seeks justice in equality, so society seeks order in anarchy.”
“Politics is the science of liberty. The government of man by man (under whatever name it be disguised) is oppression. Society finds its highest perfection in the union of order with anarchy.”
Small groups can and often do work together without a formal leadership, by simple consensus; anyone who has ever worked within a small group, without formal leadership, has therefore already experienced small scale anarchy. On a larger scales, however, and certainly at a national scale, some minimal system is required in order to coordinate social efforts, protect rights, and generally maintain stability. It must be stressed, however, that this must be kept to an absolute minimum, and must be kept as absolutely free from coercion as is possible. Furthermore, any minarchists systems which are put in place must not simply impose arbitrary coercive elements upon society, but must serve to actually reduce the overall coercive forces within society. Such systems can only be justified if they result in less coercion than the equivalent anarchist system.
This chapter contains a provisional blueprint for creating an orderly, free, and prosperous society based upon empiricorational libertarian minarchism, or Scionism. Scionism is the empiricorational integration of (1) the empiricorationalism of Scionics itself, (2) the non-coercion which is fundamental to libertarianism in general, (3) the market dynamics, profit motive, and economic competition of capitalism, and (4) the egalitarian sentiments, social ownership, and the desire for all members of society to flourish of socialism. Methods for establishing and structuring Scionistic society, complete with a non-coercive Minarchy which truly serves and is controlled by the consensus of the people, as well as non-coercive means for funding its operation, and much more, will be described. Scionism, as described herein, may well be the best possible future of humanity.
“That Government Is Best Which Governs Least”
As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, the most fundamental social ethical principle is this non-aggression principle. All other rights and duties spring from the non-aggression principle and must be consistent with it; likewise, all proper political, legal, economic and related systems and structures must be consistent with the non-aggression principle. Even government itself has no ethical right to violate this principle, and in fact has the duty to abide by it. This ideal of governmental restraint was very eloquently embodied (although not explicitly expressed in terms of the non-aggression principle) in the very first paragraph of Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay, Resistance to Civil Government (later renamed and now popularly known as Civil Disobedience):
I heartily accept the motto, – “That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, – “That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
The above paragraph touches upon three very important points, namely: (1) the desirability of absolutely minimal government; (2) the need to prepare individuals before absolutely minimal government can be realized; and (3) the fact that government should be viewed only as an expedient. Each of these points will now be examined in greater detail.
Absolutely Minimal Government – Non-Coercion
Thoreau's starts by expressing the idea that less government is better than more, and that no government at all is best of all. This follows directly from the non-aggression, “Live and let live” principle. Remember that this principle holds that no individual or group of individuals may initiate force, fraud or coercion against another. In light of this, it is unethical for any government (or its agents) to forcibly or coercively tax individuals or to forcibly or coercively draft individuals into military service. It is unethical for any government (or its agents) to criminalize, prosecute, and impose fine or jail for victimless activities. It is unethical for any government (or its agents) to devalue the life-savings of individuals on a grand scale by means of reserve banking economics. It is unethical for “representative” elected politicians to fraudulently represent their motives, allegiances and intentions to those voters and individuals whom they are supposed to represent. This list can be continued ad infinitum and ad nauseam.
The fact that governments and their agents perpetrate an endless litany of such injustices indicates that they are operating under the principle that individuals and their interests are in some sense subordinate to the purposes or interests of governments and their agents; this is the exact opposite of the proper and ethical function of government. The only ethical purpose of government and its agents is to serve the interests of individuals, through enforcement of the non-aggression principle. An ethically-formed government would be created precisely for the purpose of creating social conditions free of force, fraud and coercion; there would be no sense in simply exchanging one threat of aggression with another.
Governments have no ethical claim on an individual's life, time, or property; in other words, governments cannot ethically “own” an individual, either in whole or in part. It would be much more accurate to assert that it is individuals which should ethically “own” their government. The very purpose of any ethically constituted and administered government is to enforce the non-aggression principle for the benefit of individuals. In practice, however, just the opposite has historically been the case. Monarchs have claimed dominion over the life and property of their subjects, due to “divine right.” Elected politicians have demanded obedience and taxes due to “the will of the people.” Whatever justification is given, however, only you have ethical claim upon your life, your labor, and your property. You own yourself.
Social contract theory is the idea that individuals each voluntarily give up some of their rights or freedoms in return for social stability and the protection of those rights or freedoms which they have retained. It holds that the limited relinquishment of certain rights and limited obedience to some external authority ultimately results in a greater value (typically conceived of as a greater general happiness and well-being) than would result from retaining full individual sovereignty.
In actual practice there is not simply one social contract which applies equally to all individuals wherever they may live. Each nation – even each individual state, province, municipality, etc. – is governed by its own laws, which differ from place to place. These laws act as the social contract for the area under their jurisdiction and, inasmuch as they differ from place to place, so too the social contract differs from place to place.
It would be an ethical violation to bind any individual to any contract to which he or she has not consented, and of course none of us has ever actually given consent to the social contracts by which we are supposedly bound. It is often argued or assumed that individuals give their “tacit consent” to the social contract of a geographical area by simply living within it. This is fallacious argument, however. After all, even if one lives in a country which has little or no legal restrictions to leaving, it is often extraordinarily difficult to relocate to a different country. There are problems of language barriers, finding a means of supporting oneself, the considerable time and expense of relocating to another country, the immigration laws of the new country, and so on. It is thus not at all true that one has freely given one's consent (whether tacit or otherwise) to whatever social contract governs one's location; wherever one goes, one is bound by coercive laws, under the guise of “social contract.”
The extent to which one is coercively forced into the acceptance of this or that social contract is the extent to which the social contract is immoral. A less coercive government is less immoral – or more ethical – than a more coercive government; by the same reasoning, the most ethical of all governments would be a completely non-coercive government, i.e., no government at all.
The Preparation of Individuals – Internalization of Non-Coercion
While it is clearly unethical to bind anyone to a social contract (or any other contract, for that matter) to which they have not consented, it is also quite difficult for most individuals to conceive of a viable alternative non-governmental means for creating and maintaining a stable society. This difficulty is largely due to the fact that the government-run social systems which have existed for millennia have consistently conditioned individuals (particularly those who were in the “ruled” as opposed to the “ruling” class) to feel that the only solution is essentially something somewhat similar to whatever the current government-run social system already is. Most individuals are unable to break out of this conditioning, and are therefore unable to imagine anything significantly different from the type of government or social contract with which they are already familiar. They may, of course, think that the solution is to vote out or otherwise remove the current politicians, political parties, rulers, and so on, and replace them with someone or something “better.” They may think that the solution is to tweak the way that government deals with this or that issue, whether it be taxation, education, housing, healthcare, policing, or whatever. None of this, however, ever involves changing the underlying coercive and unethical nature of the existing model of social contracts and governmental rule.
In order to effect real change and create a society as free as possible from governmental rule, it is necessary for individuals to “think outside the box” in order to conceive of viable solutions for living in a society without some form of externally imposed and coercive rule from above. Individuals, if they are empiricorationally oriented, are quite capable of orderly self-organization without external coercion, and with far better results than those achieved through hierarchical force, fraud, or coercion.
Individuals often remain trapped in the paradigm of “rulers and ruled” due, in no small part, to the influence of mysticism. Individuals can often be ruled, controlled, and exploited by others through the manipulation of their mysticisms, via social conditioning, with very little or no need for actual physical force.
This mysticism-promoting social conditioning is both effected on individuals and reflected by individuals in various ways; once one has been infected by mysticism, one tends to transmit mysticism to others. A common form of this social conditioning is to attack the very value of empiricorationalism itself, and instead to promote the false “value” of some mystical approach (such as faith, superstition, etc.) to “truth.” Also common are attacks upon the concept of self-authority, instead replacing it with a knee-jerk obedience to and reliance upon some external “higher” authority, whether human or “divine” in nature. This combined attack on both empiricorationality and self-authority forms the foundation of mysticism-promoting conditioning. Such attacks have been employed by the upper echelons of human hierarchical control systems for literally millennia.
The reach of mysticism goes far beyond this foundation, however. The more impaired one’s faculties for empiricorational thought and self-authority are, the more that one's mind becomes concerned with mysticisms and trivialities rather than matters of real-world importance. Thus it is that most people are deeply concerned with such “pseudo-important” (and actually completely trivial) diversionary issues and events as: celebrity gossip and worship; social one-upmanship; sporting events and athletes; fashion; mindless, knee-jerk jingoistic “patriotism;” contra-reality and nonsensical religions, with their equally contra-reality and nonsensical rules, theologies, services, and the like; mindless (and often mystically-oriented) television shows, movies, and music; mind-numbing newscasts which themselves are often filled with trivialities and misinformation; and so on.
Thus it is that the media can produce a constant barrage of mindless television shows for a mindless audience, which are constantly interrupted by mindless advertising, enticing them to perpetually live beyond their means while enriching those who disseminate the mindless entertainment and marketing. Thus it is that religions can infiltrate themselves into the very core of the mystic, making the unreal and illogical feel real and sensible, creating and manipulating feelings of guilt, insinuating themselves into the most intimate aspects of the mystic's romantic and sexual life, directing the mystic to attend weekly (or more frequent) brain-washing propaganda sessions and even to make financial donations to the perpetrators of the propaganda. Thus it is that the masses have come to accept their “duty” to pay the taxes which fund the police which so often abuse the very citizens who pay their salaries, and to fund the soldiers who believe they are fighting and killing to protect “freedom,” while actually serving the financial interests of global banking cartels who manufacture international conflict for their own self-enrichment. Thus it is that the government perpetrates the forcible mandatory substandard education of children – an education often just good enough for most children to go on to become mindless workers and consumers, and to be indoctrinated by whatever versions of mysticism and propaganda the state finds most useful for its own purposes.
All of these things are designed to support individuals at the top some sort of hierarchy, and often these hierarchies are designed to mutually reinforce one another. It is no wonder, then, that mystical individuals (and hardly anyone, for that matter) cannot see any real alternative to hierarchical rule. They see hierarchical government as necessary for the organization and stability of society. And the truth is that, as mystics, they are essentially correct! Mystics do need this external control, because of their impaired faculties for the empiricorational thinking required for true self-authority and self-rule. In order to have a society of absolutely minimal government it is necessary for individuals to be as free of mysticism as possible.
A Scion is the opposite of a mystic. Scions abandon mysticism and consistently adhere to self-honesty, thereby consistently extracting maximum hedonic value from every situation. A strict adherence to self-honesty is absolutely necessary if one is to abandon all forms of mysticism and to gain and maintain an iron-clad grasp on reason and reality.
A society of Scions would be a society of individuals who each recognize their own sovereignty, and also that of those around them. A society of Scions would each work for their own self interest, inherently rejecting any “higher” authority, while also recognizing that they could never place themselves as a “higher” authority over anyone else. Such a society could never have hierarchical power structures, except in perhaps the rarest of situations, and only if absolutely necessary. Under all normal circumstances, however, power would be shared equally, by equals, in a horizontal (rather than vertical) power structure. Scions would compete in those arenas where competition is proper, and would cooperate in those arenas where cooperation is proper. A truly free society must be a society of Scions.
Government is an Expedient – Establishment of Non-Coercion
At the time of this writing, humanity is not a society of Scions, but a society largely composed of mystics, conditioned from babyhood into an almost mindless, knee-jerk acceptance of and reliance upon external authority. It would be impossible to somehow immediately abandon the current systems of hierarchical rule and then leave individuals to “sink or swim:” mystics dependent upon rule by external authority and would be essentially helpless. Massive chaos would ensue, and ultimately gangs of thugs would form and force their rule upon everyone else, thus creating new power structures generally far more oppressive and brutal than those currently in existence.
This does not mean that government cannot ultimately be reduced to its very bare minimum, and even eliminated altogether, but it does mean that this must proceed in a controlled and intelligent manner. Before the minimization of hierarchical rule is complete, Scions must peacefully work towards the elimination of mysticism and the reduction of governmental control.
One of the most powerful and effective things which Scions can do is to create quasi-independent Scionistic communities. These communities will immediately allow them to live as freely as possible, and will also serve as examples of successful non-hierarchical social organization to the world at large. Furthermore, by experimenting with non-hierarchical social organization across multiple communities, ever-more innovative and effective solutions to the unique challenges of such communities will be developed, and the viability and superiority of non-hierarchical social organization will be empirically demonstrated to all.
Outside of such communities, and until such time as the world at large is prepared for non-hierarchical social organization, it would be prudent to adopt a more measured, incremental approach to reducing the hierarchical nature of society. Government would remain the expedient which it is, as a temporary means for ensuring social stability. Work can be done to ensure that such governmental and social structures as do exist become less hierarchical, coercive, and exploitative over time. The more that mysticism is eliminated, and the more that Scions develop ever-more effective non-hierarchical organizational systems which can be readily exported to society at large, the less will this expedient be required, until it can finally be eliminated.
Scionism Establishes Rule by Philosophy
Scions neither seek nor recognize external authority, nor do they attempt to establish themselves as an authority over anyone else. They do not willingly allow themselves to be exploited, nor do they attempt to exploit anyone else. There would be very little need for hierarchical social structures in a society of Scions, and very little need for rulers or subjects, masters or slaves, lords or serfs, or any other system which structurally sets individuals higher or lower to one another.
In Plato's Republic, the concept of the philosopher king was introduced. This is the idea that philosophers should become rulers, or that the rulers should become philosophers, in the belief that rule by a wisdom-loving ruler would be a component of an optimum society. In the millennia since the Republic, however there has been such a distinct dearth of such rulers that it seems that such a system must be either inherently very difficult to establish, or unstable once established, or both.
It is now a well-established (but far too little known and understood) fact that positions of power (whether in government, business, or elsewhere) are far overly populated by psychopathic and sociopathic individuals, compared to the general population. They are attracted to such positions (because they enjoy having power over others) and have little or no qualms about (and may actually enjoy) doing unethical or hurtful things to others to gain such positions. These dynamics would make it very difficult for a benevolent ruler (whether a philosopher or not) to gain or retain such a position.
Scionism would replace rule by a philosopher king (or rule by anyone else, for that matter) with rule by philosophy itself. Because a society of Scions would be non-hierarchical, and because each Scion would be guided in their own actions by Scionics Philosophy, a Scionistic society would be guided by Scionics Philosophy itself, through the agency of each individual Scion. Every Scion would be a philosopher king with complete sovereignty over themselves. There would be no single point of failure, because the empiricorationality and non-aggression inherent in Scionics Philosophy would be generally understood, accepted, and practiced by the individual members of society itself, without needing to be imposed by external coercion.
A society of Scions will not spontaneously spring into existence, however. A Scionistic society would require a Scionistic educational system. When all citizens are educated to embrace empiricorationalism and the ideal of non-coercion, a society of Scions is the natural result.
A properly educated populace is absolutely vital to achieving a free, self-directed, and well-run society. Individuals are far more prepared and able to individually govern themselves and to collectively govern their society when they are well-informed and actually understand the issues which affect them; a proper education provides the foundation for this. Education should therefore be aimed, not merely at making students into “good workers,” but into truly informed and empiricorational thinkers, with a well-developed understanding of both their own individual personal issues and those of society at large. This will give them the tools to make the best choices in their own lives, and also to become valuable participants in the functioning of the larger society around them.
There is a real potential for abuse and exploitation whenever the education of a population is controlled by an organization which has interests which may be contrary to those of the people. This potential is acutely dangerous when that organization actually stands to materially gain from the exploitation of the population's, time, money, loyalty, obedience and so on. This is often the case then when the education of a population is controlled by a state or religion.
The obvious solution is to take education out of the hands of any institution which would benefit from such exploitation, and from the promulgation of propagandized, mystical, or non-empiricorational teachings. In a non-hierarchical Scionistic community it is the individuals in the community itself which determine the proper education of its members; specifically, they would determine, by consensus, the requirements of a proper Scionistic education.
All forms of educational “propaganda” would be eliminated from the curriculum. This would include the elimination of such things as daily “pledges of allegiance” to flags, nations, monarchs, or the like, as a child could not be expected to examine or understand such pledges, and that to which allegiance is being pledged, in anything approaching a truly critical, informed manner. The mindless rote repetition of such pledges, it must be acknowledged, serves to rob the child – and the future adult – of their own informed self-determination regarding their relationship to, and opinion of, the things to which allegiance is being pledged.
Propaganda driven education would not exist withing a Scionistic curriculum. Students would be taught about propaganda, however, making them aware of all of the various forms of propaganda which are so prevalent in society, so that it could be more easily identified when encountered.
Along the same lines, the facts and history which students are presented with should be accurate and in no way “white washed” to present some “idealized” version of reality or events; all of the “history is written by the victor” should be eliminated, and simple truth should be presented. For example, in those countries of the New World which owe their “discovery” to Christopher Columbus, his absolutely reprehensible treatment of the natives should be honestly acknowledged. In the United States, as another example, the treatment of Native Americans and of slavery should also be dealt with frankly. All forms of prejudice against anyone due to such completely inconsequential factors as race, gender identity, or the like, should be identified for what they are: destructive irrationalities. Historical (and current) social imbalances and exploitations should be identified. Monarchies should be presented as they truly are: a system which places one person or family above all others, and which usurps undeserved power, prestige and money from the nations over which they victimize. This list could go on forever, but the essence is that students should have a firm and reality based grasp of the realities of injustice and inequity in order that they may better identify and avoid it in their current society.
For the same reasons that other forms of propaganda should not be taught or indoctrinated to children, neither should mystical, non-reality-based religious beliefs. Even beyond that, when it is necessary to teach something factual and those facts are in blatant contradiction to some religious belief or other, it should be explicitly taught that it is the religious beliefs which are contrary to reality. (A good example would be the disparity between Biblical creationism versus the scientific theory of natural selection.) Furthermore, it is entirely appropriate to identify religions as the false, mystical mythologies which they are in the context of teaching philosophy, history, science, and so on. (It should be noted that most religious adherents are almost completely ignorant and misinformed about the actual histories of their own religions, despite their religions occupying such a supposedly central and important place in their lives.)
One subject which should be taught to children (and from a very young age) which is not currently taught to them is philosophy. The teachings of empiricorational philosophy (along with science) will have the effect of “inoculating” the child against all forms of mysticism, and also of creating a rational and reality based world view. Such a world view would have much the same role as religion in terms of providing the child with both a moral and an explanatory framework for operating in and understanding reality – except that in the case the framework would be firmly based in reality rather than in mysticisms and superstition.
It is not possible to know or specify all the characteristics of the curriculum of a Scionistic education in advance, but the above gives a few general ideas of the ways in which such curricula would be different from traditional curricula. Furthermore, because a well-educated populace would be of such fundamental importance to the success of a Scionistic society, and because it would be in the mutual interest of each individual Scion that their society succeeds, there would be a natural general social pressure to continually advance the educational level of society. This would drive innovation with regard to the educational methods themselves.
Education requires course materials, teachers, and a place education to take place. This traditionally took the form of textbooks, teachers, and classrooms, and all of the expenses associated with them. It is now possible, however, to provide text books and certain other course materials electronically, via the Internet. Textbooks can even be made open source, community edited by experts in the field covered, and provided for free. Teachers also do not need to be physically present, but can interact electronically via text, voice or video. All of this removes the necessity for physical classrooms and schools, as student could very easily an efficiently receive their materials and instructions electronically at home. A high-quality education could be obtained by such means at essentially zero cost, assuming one already has a suitable computer and Internet connection. (In fact, it would not strictly be necessary for a student to even live within the geographical bounds of an established Scionistic community in order to receive a superior Scionistic education.)
Even with such innovations, there would still be some minimal costs associated with establishing and running such an educational system. Due to the non-coercive nature of a Scionistic society, taxation would not be a viable means for raising these funds. Instead, these minimal costs would be paid by the students (or their parents) themselves. In those cases where someone was simply unable or unwilling to pay, a charitable organization could assist. It is also possible that community fund-raisers (perhaps held by the students and their parents) would be sufficient to pay the cost in part or even in full, making the actual cost to the student zero. If the consensus of the population decreed that some or all of the cost of education be paid by the Minarchy (the Scionistic equivalent of a non-coercive government) then it would provide the funds, which would be acquired by the non-coercive methods which will be described in later sections of this chapter.
Worker and Housing Co-ops
Scions, being well-educated and having internalized the non-aggression principle, would be very aware of any situation in which they were being exploited, and also of any situation in which they were exploiting others. They would therefore naturally tend to organize themselves in a more egalitarian and non-exploitative ways. Business enterprises would therefore very commonly be structured as co-operative enterprises, with the businesses (the means of production) being collectively owned by the workers themselves, rather than by only one or a small number of persons. Such worker co-ops would demolish the typical imbalanced and hierarchical power dynamic of employer and employee, replacing it with a vastly more egalitarian and mutually beneficial arrangement in which each worker was also an owner.
We could imagine a situation in which some enterprises functioned as traditional capitalistic businesses and others functioned as worker co-ops. We could also imagine cases where two enterprises, one capitalistic and one co-operative, were in competition with each other. One thing they would be competing for would be workers. Since each worker in the co-operative enterprise would also be an owner, receiving their full share of the profits (instead of having a rather significant portion going to pay non-working investors, board members, etc.) it would be much more financially attractive to work for the co-op than the capitalistic enterprise. Furthermore, since workers in a worker co-op would directly share in the profits of the enterprise rather than earning a fixed wage, they would be more likely to actually care about their work and productivity, and that of the enterprise in general, far more than traditional employees.
Since the capitalistic enterprise would be competing with the worker co-op for employees, this would force the capitalistic enterprise to pay its workers more, improve working conditions and benefits, and the like. Thus it is that even just the existence of worker co-ops would serve to help improve conditions for workers in the capitalistic endeavor.
There would also be competition for customers. A society of Scions, having internalized the non-aggression principle and having a natural aversion to any form of exploitative power imbalance, would be more likely (all else being equal) to choose to buy products from egalitarian worker co-ops rather then traditional capitalistic enterprises. (It is easy to imagine Co-Op Made being emblazoned upon goods produced by co-ops, and even a general campaign to Look for the Co-Op Label.) This would increase the profits of the co-ops, and decrease the profits of the capitalistic endeavors. Over time, in a society of Scions, more and more enterprises would become organized on co-operative rather than capitalistic principles – all without ever needing to enforce this arrangement via any sort of coercion, but simply as a result of the very market forces which are so highly touted by capitalists!
This co-operative dynamic could also spread to many other aspects of life. Housing, for instance, is currently absurdly expensive. Think about the cost of purchasing or renting a home. A modest house or condominium unity typically requires a very large down payment, after which it takes 30 years to pay off. During the whole time one is paying the mortgage, and even once it has been paid off, the house and property continue to be coercively taxed in perpetuity, even though all it is doing is passively existing to serve as a place to reside. Renting a home or apartment is also extremely expensive, typically costing at least a quarter of a person’s total income.
Much preferable would be a co-operative housing model, in which a large number of people jointly own a large piece of property, on which they jointly assist one another in creating comfortable housing for themselves. In essence, rather than purchasing one’s home outright, one would actually be purchasing a share in the co-op, which one could sell upon moving elsewhere. This would not be a system of tenants and landlords; instead, each inhabitant would be a shareholder in the co-op, with an equal say in the running of the property with everyone else. Housing, maintenance, and any other expenses for the inhabitants would be paid at cost, without markup. Assuming that the co-op initially took out a loan (essentially a mortgage) to purchase the property, then once the loan has been paid, the costs would be limited only to maintenance, repairs, and improvements. (Utilities would also need to be paid, but that is a separate issue.) Furthermore, in a truly coercion-free society, there would be no governmental imposition of a property tax. All of this would eliminate both the hierarchical power imbalance between landlord and tenant as well as that between property-owner and taxman.
Social Consensus: Voting and Representation
Politics has been discussed, up to this point, in a largely abstract and philosophical fashion. This was essential, in order to present the non-coercive conceptual philosophical foundation which underlies Scionism. We’ve also discussed systems of education, business and housing, again without really delving into the specifics of the Scionistic political structure, i.e., the Minarchy. This is because most of our lives are not spent on politics, but on the business of living which happens largely at home, at work, or at school. Most of the time we do not (and should not even have to) think about the political system we live within. This system should be non-coercive and benign, and even benevolent, but it should generally be in the background of well-functioning society.
That being said, the political system we live within is a factor in our lives. This is most evident for most people when the system fails them, or thwarts them in some way. So, having shown how most of our non-political life could proceed within a society of Scions, it is now time to begin presenting concrete real-world systems and solutions for the political aspects of life which would be implemented within the framework of a Scionistic society. This will start with the most basic requirement of collective self government: the establishment of social consensus.
The establishment of consensus within small groups can often accomplished informally. As groups become larger, however, it often becomes necessary to employ more formal means; the most obvious solution is some form of voting.
One of the simplest methods of voting is first past the post voting. In this method, voters can only vote on one option, and the option which receives the greatest number of votes wins. While this option has the benefit of being extremely simple to understand, and while it works fine in cases where only two options exists, it also has a number of disadvantages in cases where more than two options exist. This often fails to accurately reflect the views of voters, because tactical considerations often call for voting for the option which one does not favor most but which seems to have a better chance of winning in order to keep some other other worse option from winning. Thus in first past the post voting voters often find themselves forced to (1) either “throw away” their vote on the unlikely winner that they really prefer, thereby essentially letting everyone else actually determine the winner, or (2) voting for whichever of the two most likely winners that they dislike the least.
One very simple improvement would be a type of ranked voting or preferential voting where each voter listed their preferences in order from first to last. There are a number of ways these votes could then be counted. Among the more simple of these is the Borda Count method, in which ballots are counted by assigning a point value to each place in each voter's ranking of the options (with a higher ranking having a higher point value) and the option with the largest number of points overall is elected.
Even better than the Borda Count method, but just as simple and easy to understand, is range voting. Range voting is just as simple as the Borda Count method, while also having the advantage of being even more reflective of voter's preferences. In range voting, voters simply rate their level of approval for each of the options within some range from minimum to maximum; it could be from zero to ten, with ten being the best, but a range from zero to one hundred might be better, as it would allow a more precise expression of preference. Regardless of the range used, however, the scores each option receives are simply added just as in the Borda Count method. The option which receives the highest total score wins, the second highest scoring option comes in second, and so on.
There are actually a large number of voting methods, and it is very easy to improve upon first past the post voting in ways which are much more reflective of voter sentiments; the Borda Count method and range voting, as described above, are two simple solutions for doing just that. Scionistic societies could employ or experiment with these or whatever voting methods they choose for the establishment of consensus.
It should also be mentioned that voting does not have to be done in person, at some public place of voting. We live in a world of electronic communication, encryption, and blockchain. It would actually be quite trivial to vote electronically via blockchain, and have the results calculated automatically, in a completely transparent and unmanipulable manner.
It would be difficult for every member of society to be expected to directly vote upon every issue. Most people simply don't have the time to study the all the issues, as they have their own lives to focus on. This is why representative government was invented in the first place: in order to allow people to vote for specific individuals whom they trust to represent their interests and values. These Representatives would then be responsible for studying and voting upon various social issues in the place of the voters they represent.
Representative government is a prime example of Thoreau's “expedient of government,” and it is one which needs to be improved upon even more than voting itself. Campaign promises have become almost synonymous with political lies, because once a politician is voted into office they usually have less incentive to keep their promises than they did to make them in the first place. It's often more politically expedient for them to ignore their promises, and to work instead to consolidate their own power. This very often results in voters not getting the type of legislation they collectively desire, and should be unacceptable to all freedom-loving people.
The solution for this problem with representation is liquid democracy or liquid voting. In this system, the voters elect Representatives, much as they do now (but hopefully with a better voting system, such as range voting). The Representative’s would be equal to the number of individuals they represent. The crucial difference, however, would be that on each individual vote any citizen could choose to rescind their representation by the Representatives, and directly cast their own vote on the issue.
As an example, let's imagine that Representative Smith represents 1000 voters. When Smith votes on an issue in the Minarchist Council, her vote has a weight of 1000, directly representing those 1000 voters. You voted for Smith, and are generally happy with her judgment on most issues, but today she voted against something which you very strongly favored; you now wish to rescind her representation of you for that vote, and cast your own vote in favor of the issue. You now have a certain pre-established time after the Minarchist Council vote to do so. (Except in the case of emergencies, this time period should be sufficiently long to allow everyone the chance to hear about the vote results in the Minarchist Council, and then cast their own vote, should they so choose. In many cases a week should be fine.) If you and 99 other voters decided to now vote in favor of the issue, Representative Smith's vote against the issue now only has a weight of 900, whereas you and the other 99 have now cast 100 votes for the issue. Depending upon the votes cast by the other Representatives (and how many of their constituents have rescinded their representation) this may have swung the vote in favor of the issue. In any event, you (and anyone else who wished to) were able to directly vote on this (and any other) issue which you felt very strongly about.
Representative legislature may well remain an expedient which can never be completely eliminated. Even if that is the case, however, improved voting methods and liquid democracy can serve as an extraordinarily powerful check on the harms and abuses of misrepresentation. In fact, if the citizenry is well educated and actually interested in the governance of their society (as they should be) then this system would actually eliminate any attempted misrepresentation, by allowing the citizenry to represent themselves at any time.
The Operation of the Minarchy
Legislation: The Minarchist Council and the Philosophical Court
The foundational principle of Scionics ethics may be colloquially expressed as “Live and let live.” This may also be expressed more technically and precisely as “the fundamental ethical right of the individual is the right of freedom and self-determination, and the fundamental ethical duty of the individual is the duty to refrain from interference with the freedom and self-determination of others.” This is embodied in the non-aggression principle: to refrain from initiatory fraud, force or coercion.
The only legitimate function of the Scionistic Minarchy would be to enforce the non-violation of the non-aggression principle. The Minarchy itself would operate in a strictly non-coercive manner, except in those instances in which it was acting in response to some instance of the violation of crime. In a Scionistic society crime would be strictly held to be violations of the non-aggression principle which would be serious enough to warrant some sort of intervention intended to deter, punish, or seek restitution.
Crime, defined as a violation of the non-aggression principle, cannot exist in the absence of a victim. A “victimless crime,” i.e., a crime in the absence of some form of aggression against another, is by definition not possible. Any action undertaken voluntarily by all individuals concerned, provided no initiatory fraud, force or coercion against another exists, cannot be considered to be criminal. Recreation drugs use, adult consensual sexual acts, gambling, and all other victimless acts cannot ethically be considered or treated as crimes.
Because the criminalization of drug is so widespread throughout the world, a bit more should be said about that. There can be no crime without a victim. To criminalize the voluntary use of any drug is completely unethical. It creates criminals out of productive members of society who have harmed absolutely no one, and fines and even imprisons them, in addition to giving them criminal records. This affects not only them but also their children, spouses, and so on. It also creates a completely artificial manufactured “need” for more police, more jails, and so on, as well as the obvious economic cost of meeting that “need.” The immense economic and social burden of a bloated criminal justice system, bent on the enforcement of nonsensical drug laws, would be completely eliminated in a Scionistic society.
This is not meant to imply that the Scionics Institute advocates the recreational use of drugs, and particularly not in an addictive habitual manner. Such usage tends to reduce one's capacity for clear, empiricorational thought. Furthermore, recreational drugs often have some neurochemical mechanism for producing “good” feelings in the brain – feelings of euphoria, happiness, release from pain or stress, and the like – which are typically the primary reason for their use. The downside of this is that one's neurochemistry often rather quickly becomes habituated to the presence of the drug, thereby requiring the user to take higher and higher doses to achieve the desired effect. Once such habituation has taken place (sometimes very quickly, depending upon the drug and the individual) the absence of the drug becomes very unpleasant; this requires the user to take the drug just to feel somewhat “normal.” The cessation of certain drugs causes not only very unpleasant but also very dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Thus it is that ultimately the “highs” aren't worth the “lows,” but once one is hooked on some drug it can be extraordinarily difficult to quit. (It should be noted that it can be quite difficult to effectively engage in meditative practices, or even simply experience a general sense of well-being or equanimity, when one's neurology and psychology are affected in this way.)
Of course, despite any possible hazards, it should always remain the sole prerogative of the individual as to whether or not to use any drug. Furthermore, some drugs are much less prone to misuse or abuse than others, and some may even have distinct positive aspects associated with careful, controlled use. In a Scionistic society, the common misinformation and scare tactics typically surrounding drugs and their use, propagated by coercive governments in the name of the “war on drugs” (which is actually a war on freedom) would be abandoned in favor of accurate reality-based information regarding drugs, their effects, and positive and negative modes of use.
Most human beings do not normally victimize others or violate the non-aggression principle. A mentally and emotionally healthy person tends to be a good person, in general naturally following the principle of “live and let live,” and eschewing violence, theft, and other forms of unethical behavior. Of course, even some people who are normally good may do something unethical or wrong, especially if a particularly easy or tempting opportunity presents itself. For example, if banks worked on the honor system, allowing individuals to simply walk into the vault to deposit or withdraw money themselves, trusting individuals to record their own balance and never to withdraw more than they deposited, then even otherwise very good people would sometimes succumb to the temptation to take advantage of the situation and take more than what was theirs. This reality is the the reason behind the expression “locks keep out the honest people.”
Thus it is that the prevention of crime starts with simple common-sense non-coercive precautions: putting locks on doors, keeping valuables locked up, and so on. It also helps to have a social framework in which mental and emotional health are promoted, as violations of non-aggression are often committed by mentally ill or emotionally disturbed individuals. There are many factors which can contribute to mental and emotional health. A warm, loving, stable and supportive home environment is vital, particularly when this environment is also one which promotes empiricorationality. This is further enhanced when society itself, outside the home, is also oriented around empiricorationality and the ethical principle of non-aggression. Proper education, with an emphasis on empiricorational philosophy, the non-aggression principle, and the rejection of mysticism, can contribute to this. Also valuable (but largely unrecognized and undervalued) would be certain specific meditative practices which have been demonstrated to increase one's mental and emotional well-being, happiness, and equanimity.
One of the most substantive things which can be done to reduce crime is to reduce poverty. Due to the particular non-hierarchical structure of a Scionistic society (which will be discussed in greater depth later in this chapter) it would be in the mutual interest of each Scion that the others around them prosper, creating a natural social progression towards ever-increasing prosperity for society as a whole. Such general prosperity would naturally be associated with a drastic reduction in crime, and also a general increase in a sense of well-being and happiness.
While the above measures would serve to dramatically reduce the occurrence of crime, there would still be some incidence of crime. There must therefore be some means for dealing with such crimes as do occur, and to provide mechanisms for:
actually specifying those things which are to be deemed criminal;
apprehension of criminals and suspected criminals;
a procedure for determining guilt or innocence of a crime;
a means for providing restitution, if possible, in circumstances which warrant it;
some form of punishment, which is only to be used judiciously as a deterrent, and never as some form of excessive revenge.
The earlier section, Social Consensus: Voting and Representation, outlined methods for casting votes, selecting representation, and for ensuring that such representation actually reflected the will of the people, far superior to anything in general use today. Such methods would ensure that the laws which were made actually reflected the broad will and interests of the people, and not the narrow interests of lobbyists and wealthy campaign donors. When the laws are actually sanctioned by the people, especially when the people are Scions, the coercive element of these laws is naturally minimized.
In order to ensure that laws weren’t passed which would violate the non-aggression principle, each law passed by the Minarchist Council would be required to be reviewed and ratified by a Philosophical Court, consisting of multiple Philosophical Judges. Those laws which the Philosophical Court found to be consistent with Scionics Philosophy and the non-aggression principle would then be ratified, and those which were found to be inconsistent with them would not be ratified. The Philosophical Court would also explain its reasoning for either ratifying or not ratifying and laws, and would also present the dissenting opinion, if any existed.
The total number of members of the Philosophical Court should be established at some odd number to avoid tied votes; thirteen might be an appropriate number. Each Representative on the Minarchist Council would have the opportunity to nominate a prospective Scionics Judge, perhaps relying upon a list of suggested nominees provided by the Scionics Court. (Just as in the case of other votes in the Minarchist Council, the voters could rescind their representation by their Representative, and instead each submit a nomination themselves. If this resulted in some nominee other than the one nominated by their Representative receiving the most nominations, then it would be counted as if their Representative had nominated that nominee instead.)
Once the nomination period was over, the community at large would vote to determine which nominee would fill the vacancy on the Philosophical Court. A Philosophical Judge’s position on the Court would be for life, unless the Judge chose to step down, or was voted out of their position by at least two-thirds of the other Judges on the Court. (If there were 12 other Judges, 13 in total, this would require 8 votes.) One Philosophical Judge would be elected, by vote of the Philosophical Court itself, as Chief Philosophical Judge. This person would serve until such time as at least two-thirds of the Philosophical Court voted to choose a new Chief Philosophical Judge. The Court would then vote to determine the new Chief Philosophical Judge.
Law Enforcement: The Peace Force and Justice Courts
The enforcement of laws obviously requires police, or some analogous law enforcement organization. This organization would be sanctioned in their use of force and coercion, but only in a retaliatory fashion, and only against those who have (or who are reasonably suspected of having) committed some specific crime. In other words, the police would only be using force in response to violations against the non-aggression principle. Because their only purpose would be to deal with violations against the general peace of the non-aggression principle, a more apt term for them than “police” would be “Peace Force,” stressing that their purpose would be to be a force for peace.
Scionistic societies would be intentionally designed so as to eliminate all unnecessary hierarchical social structures. This is counter the the typical power imbalance inherent in the traditional relationship between the police and the public. There is also commonly a rather strong “us versus them” attitude among traditional police organizations. There are many reasons for this, but there is a very simple solution to eliminate this attitude. Rather than being assembled as an insular and exclusive coterie of full-time paid enforcers, separated from the public by a “thin blue line,” a Scionistic Peace Force would be much more “porous,” so that it would never see itself as distinct, separate, and (especially not) at odds with the public at large.
While hierarchical structures are eschewed in Scionistic society, some degree of specialization will always be necessary, and different individuals will always have different interests, skills, and the like; the Peace Force would be no different. The largest, but least specialized segment of the Peace Force would be volunteers from the public at large. All adult members of a Scionistic community would have the opportunity to obtain Peace Force training, should they so choose. This could even be part of normal schooling, with more in depth training taken as elective courses. In other words, the public would be trained to maintain the peace among themselves, like healthy, empiricorational, and civilized human beings, without resorting to some external militarized organization for this purpose. If there were a crime being committed (an actual violation of the non-aggression principle) every individual would have the ability to signal the wider community for help, and most of the community would be trained to do just that. When such a community call was sent out, it would be up to each individual to the general population to either respond or not, as they choose.
There could also be a smaller body consisting of either paid or volunteer individuals, some of whom would be either on call or on duty at any time and who would respond to all calls for assistance. These individuals would receive regular training sessions to keep their knowledge and skills current. They could also receive somewhat more extensive training than the general public, although these training sessions should be open to public attendance and possibly even participation.
Finally, there would also be those Peace Officers with specialized skills. These would be the most highly trained individuals, with various skills in such things as administration, detective work, SWAT operations, mental health issues, and the like. These jobs could be their primary occupation, depending upon the demand for these skills, and the supply of individuals possessing them and wanting to make this their occupation. It would probably be the case, however, that the demand or need for law enforcement in general would be rather low in a Scionistic community, due to the rarity of crime within them. If demand were high enough for law enforcement, however, the community could raise money to pay for those non-volunteer paid Peace Officers which were deemed necessary.
Once a suspected criminal has been apprehended they would need to be tried in a Justice Court (presided on by Justice Judges) to determine guilt or innocence, and any sentence. The position of Justice Judges would be filled by nomination by the Philosophical Court, and then by liquid vote of the Minarchist Council. These nominations could be submitted, at the discretion of the Philosophical Court, either (1) on an up-down basis, where the subsequent vote would simply be whether to vote for or against the nominee, or (2) on a multiple-choice basis, where range voting would be used to determine which nominee(s) would be selected for the available position(s). The normal term of office for a Justice Judge would be 2 years, after which there would be an up-down liquid vote in the Minarchist Council to determine if the term would be extended for an additional 2 years. The Philosophical Court, however, choose to terminate any Justice Judge’s service at any time, by majority vote.
Juries must not be filled by the coercive “summoning” of individuals to involuntarily fill the position, but by some voluntary means. Since all crimes in a Scionistic society would be real crimes (violations of non-aggression) rather than victimless crimes, the general population would have a much greater interest in seeing that these crimes are properly adjudicated. The court would send invitations (rather than summonses) for jury duty out to the general population, with those who choose to serve then serving, again provided that they were approved by both the plaintiff and defense. There could be some financial incentive for serving on a jury, or it could simply be a voluntary service to the community.
Funding the Minarchy
All activities of the Minarchy must proceed in a non-coercive manner, never violating the non-aggression principle. The only time that coercive force would be allowed is in response to violation of the non-aggression principle. While the Minarchy would generally be much smaller in scope than traditional governments, some funds would still be required for its operation. Thus any funds required for the operation of the Minarchy must also be procured in a non-coercive manner. It would need to have ethical, non-coercive methods for the funding of its operations and services.
One method could be to simply for the Minarchy to create its own money. While this does have the disadvantage of causing inflation, it also has the very distinct advantage of being a very simple and direct solution. If this money is created in a controlled manner, under the control of the people (via the liquid democracy of the Minarchist Council) inflation could be kept to a minimum, and financial abuses could be essentially non-existent. Furthermore, this would be far superior to the current system prevalent around the world, whereby new money is created via fractional reserve banking and the lending of money to governments by the global banking cartel, which must then be paid back with interest by taxation. (See the next section in this chapter, Money and Banking.)
The Minarchy could also directly operate certain utilities or businesses, thus minimizing the need for the creation of new money which drives inflation. Utilities tend to be monopolistic within the geographic region they serve by their very nature, so Minarchy-run electrical or water distribution, for example, wouldn’t really compete with or harm any other business. It could also run other types of businesses, such as stores or transportation or housing services. There would be nothing stopping other entities from competing with the Minarchy in these endeavors, although the Minarchy would almost always have the advantage due to its ability to create money. This could serve to dissuade others from entering into businesses which would directly compete with those of the Minarchy. It should be noted, however, that it would not be the goal of the Minarchy (or of the citizens who ultimately control the Minarchy) to put people out of business, or to dissuade them from starting businesses in general. The businesses run by the Minarchy would generally be limited to those areas (such as utilities) where competition would not exist anyway, or those areas (such as very affordable and low-profit housing) which would be beneficial to people.
The above merely provides suggestions for various possible ways in which the Minarchy could procure its necessary funding by non-coercive means. Whether or not the Minarchy actually ran utilities or businesses would ultimately be determined by the people themselves, because it is the people who control the Minarchy, not the Minarchy which controls the people.
Money and Banking
Part 1: A Brief History of Money
Governments have historically claimed and exercised power over many aspects of the economy. They create the currency, regulate banking and financial institutions, and impose taxation. This absolute monopoly upon such vital aspects of the economic system has proven to be a true breeding ground for corruption, abuse and exploitation. To understand how Scionism would dispense with all of this, and what would be implemented in its place, it is first necessary to understand the full scope of, and methodology behind, the current government-run financial system.
To begin with, there is the actual currency itself. Before such currency existed, people simply traded goods and services by barter. Barter is sufficient for very simple societies, but it does have certain inherent limitations. There is the difficulty of having to carry around a bunch of items for trade, rather than the relative ease of simply carrying currency. There is the problem that the particular items which one owns or happens to be carrying around will not be desired for trade with those with whom one wants to barter. There is also the problem that there is not one universal standard by which to value and compare all items.
One of the earliest solutions for this was to use some precious metal such as gold as a sort of universal medium of exchange. Each item for sale could then simply be equated with a certain weight of gold. Each item could then be valued in terms of that one thing – gold – and the different values of various items could then be compared according to this single standard. Other metals of varying rarity could also be used, such as silver, copper, nickel and iron, by setting a certain weight of each of these less-rare metals to be equal in value to a certain smaller weight of the more-rare gold. This made it possible for an individual to simply carry around relatively small weights of various metals, sufficient for most ordinary, day-to-day purchases.
The use of precious metals as a medium of exchange was much more efficient than direct barter, but even this had its problems. One problem was related to the scales which were used to weigh the metals: different scales could indicate two different weights for the same piece of metal, resulting in all sorts of conflicts and disagreements between people. Furthermore, it would often happen that the pieces of metal which one had on hand could not be combined in such a way as to equal the exact value required to make some purchase, creating a need to cut the pieces of metal into even smaller pieces – an inconvenient task.
This lead to a further innovation: the sizing of pieces of metals into standard weights and values. Governments seized upon this innovation, and began to issue standardized coins made of these metals. Since the coins were all of standard weights and values, there was no longer any need to weigh them. Now commerce could take place even more fluidly than before – except that other problems soon arose. Individuals soon realized that they could shave bits of metal from the coins, and combine those bits to make new counterfeit coins of their own; this is called “coin clipping.” The clipped coins thus each contained less metal than they should have, as typically did the counterfeit coins. Even the state engaged in essentially the same process, although on a much larger scale. Over time they would substitute the rare metals in their coins for less-rare alloys or metals, while “declaring” that the new (essentially cheaper) coins were worth the same as the older coins, thus “debasing” the currency. In some cases they dispensed with metal currency altogether, in favor of paper currency. All of these factors serve to increase the available money supply (debased though the supply may be) to create inflation and to decrease the general confidence in the actual value of the money.
In the modern world, this is just what exists: our coins are made of metals which are worth far less by weight than their own face values, and our paper currency, which was initially “backed” by gold or silver, is now fiat money, backed by nothing physical at all. By simply printing more and more currency, which governments do all the time, the amount of currency in circulation is increased and the result is inflation: a rise in the prices of items across the board and the corresponding decrease in the real value of the hard-earned savings of each individual.
While all of the above should rightfully make one angry – after all, it is completely unethical for governments to continually debase the money supply, causing inflation, increased prices and decreased buying power – it is easy to understand how we arrived at our current situation: from barter, on through precious metals and coins, through gold-backed printed currency, and finally the printing of paper fiat money unbacked by anything of physical value at all. It was a simple combination of the need or desire for ever more efficient financial transactions, coupled with the unchecked power of the state (whether in the form of monarchs, politicians, or anything else) and its desire to increase its own wealth, and willingness to do so at the expense of its citizens.
(The story doesn't end there, however it does get more complex, and it is not really necessary to understand this extra complexity to understand that any economic system in which the money supply can simply be manipulated by one or more entities – whether it be a monarch, the government, or whatever – at the expense of others is ultimately unsustainable and doomed to fail. If the reader would like to skip over this extra complexity and simply begin reading about the Scionistic solutions to these and other problems with the world monetary system currently in place, one may simply skip ahead to Part 3: The Scionistic Future of Money. If, however, one would like to delve into the complex and insidious world of privately owned national central banks, and their system of “fractional reserve banking,” the intrepid reader is urged to push forward right into Part 2: The Current Hijacking of Money. The reward will be a much deeper understanding of the world economic system and a much deeper insight into the evil grip which a small banking cartel has on the world; sadly, such things are almost never taught anywhere, and hardly anyone is even aware of them at all.)
Part 2: The Current Hijacking of Money
The way that money is created in much of the modern world is very different than it was for most of human history. We live in an age of privately controlled central national banking, a system which (once one understands it) simply defies all common sense whatsoever. This system, as will be explained, is bad for the state and bad for the citizens – but really, really, REALLY good for a relatively small group of bankers. This system is world-wide, and this small group of bankers has the entire global economy – which really means all the people of the earth, and not only those alive today, but even unborn future generations – essentially held hostage within its evil grip, through the “monetization of debt” and the manipulation of inflation and deflation. To understand this system, one first must understand the concept of “fractional reserve banking,” which is another way in which the effective money supply can be debased and inflated (and confidence in it thereby decreased) besides those already mentioned in Part 1: A Brief History of Money.
It is not always practical or even safe for one to carry all of one's money around, or even to store it in one's own home, so people typically deposit their money in a bank. In the days when gold was used as a means of exchange one would often store one's gold for safekeeping with a goldsmith. The goldsmith would issue the depositor of the gold a note – essentially a form of I Owe You – which the depositor could later redeem with the goldsmith in return for the gold itself. These notes eventually became a sort of de facto currency in their own right, as the holders of the notes knew they could be redeemed at will for the actual gold which the notes represented. In more modern times this came to be called “fractional reserve banking,” because the amounts on deposit represented only a fraction of the value of the notes issued, as we will now see.
This system worked fine until the goldsmiths realized that, in general, most depositors will simply leave most of their gold on deposit most of the time. It would be very rare for so many depositors to want to withdraw so much of their gold at the same time as to actually deplete the amount actually kept on hand with the goldsmith. This lead the goldsmiths to begin to issue more in terms of notes than the actual value of the gold they had on deposit; in other words, they only held in reserve a fraction of the amount of gold for which they had issued notes. Unlike the direct printing, debasing or counterfeiting of currency itself, this was a different sort of fraud which also served to debase and inflate the effective supply of money. This fraud would be discovered at such times as the general confidence in the goldsmith's notes began to fail and there was a run on the goldsmith: people would begin to attempt to redeem their notes en masse, and would quickly find that there was not enough gold to back their notes.
While it was illegal for goldsmiths to engage in this fraudulent practice in their time (and rightfully so) this is very similar to the way banking is done throughout the world today: in the modern world, fractional reserve banking is done with legal sanction, and enormously benefits a relatively small banking cartel while being enormously bad for both the state and its citizens. To understand how the modern system came to be requires looking back into history again.
England was in debt in the late seventeenth century; in addition, its navy at the time very badly needed to be rebuilt. King William III lacked the necessary money or even the credit for the rebuilding of the navy. Since there was no other source of funding, and the King himself could not raise the necessary capital by obtaining a loan due to his poor credit at the time, on July 27th, 1694, the Bank of England was created to fulfill this purpose. The Bank of England (originally called the “Governor and Company of the Bank of England”) was not actually a part of the government, but was created as a private, limited liability corporation. This private corporation was chartered to raise a loan of £1,200,000 in gold for King William, to be paid back to the bank at 8% interest. It was additionally allowed to accept deposits (in addition to the initial £1,200,000 in gold) for which the depositors would receive bank notes and also be paid 4% interest. (Thus the amount received by the bank in interest from the King would be double the amount paid out in interest to the depositors.) The bank notes would be used as a form of currency (in other words, they would circulate as money) and would be redeemable at the bank for gold. Due to fractional reserve banking, however, it was only necessary to actually keep a small fraction of the total value of the deposits in reserve in gold.
This scheme essentially turned the government's debt into money; this is known as the “monetization of debt.” One very important aspect of the monetization of debt is that the more debt that England incurred, the greater the profit made by the privately owned Bank of England! In other words, it was actually in the interests of the bank's stockholders to promote government spending, and since the greatest government expenditures take place in times of war, it would be in their interest to promote war. (As such private national banks began to consolidate their power, this is just what they did, as shall be shown later.)
The creation of money, through the monetization of debt and fractional reserve banking, implemented by private banks masquerading behind a governmental façade, as described above, is hardly talked about or understood by the general population, although this information is available to everyone. In truth, it is not money, but the general ignorance of the common man, which is the greatest asset to the banking cartel which has hijacked the world's economy. Thanks to this general ignorance, combined with the incredible wealth and power generated by this scheme, almost every nation in the world is now under the control of similarly structured, privately owned central banks. They all engage in fractional reserve banking and the monetization of debt, all under the control of the international banking cartel.
The monetization of debt essentially makes wage slaves of us all, as the payment of this debt is always put on the backs of innocent citizens through taxation. In the United States, the private national bank, under the control of the same international banking cartel, is called the “Federal Reserve Bank.” This name, however, is a ruse: it is not really “federal” and it has no “reserves.” It was started in 1913, the very same year as the I.R.S. – the Internal Revenue Service, whose very function is to collect taxes to pay the debt to the Federal Reserve. Like the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve is both unnecessary and even harmful to the government and the citizens, and without the Federal Reserve there would literally be no need at all for the I.R.S. at all!
It should be noted that there were actually three private national central banks prior to the 1913 inception of the Federal Reserve: in brief, these were the Bank of North America (chartered 1781, operated as the central bank from 1782-1791) the First Bank of the United States (1791-1811) and the Second Bank of the United States (1816-1836). These were all operated in much the same manner as the Federal Reserve, and by essentially the same international banking cartel. It was also this cartel who used its vast financial and political influence to push for the creation of these central banks in the first place. They were each relatively short-lived because the people and politicians came to understand the needlessness and the very danger of such banks. This gives one hope that the same fate will ultimately befall the current Federal Reserve.
It is also particularly illuminating to understand that the United States had no central bank of any sort at all during the 77-year period between 1836 to 1913. The abolition of the hidden economic slavery of the the nation to these central banks, combined with the abolition of the much more visible and direct form of slavery practiced in the southern states upon the end of the Civil War (1861-1865) saw the greatest period of economic expansion in American history. Slavery, in any form, direct or indirect, is never as productive as freedom, except for the slave-owners. There can be no slavery of any sort in a non-hierarchical Scionistic society.
This is not to say that there was no economic hardship even during the economic boom from 1836 to 1913; then again, the same can be said of the economy under the various central banks, who often manufacture economic crises of various sorts as opportunities to further fleece the general public. The central banks themselves, with their monetization of debt and their manipulation of economic cycles of bust and boom, creates incalculable drain upon the economies of nations and their people. Furthermore, because the international banking cartel profits from the debt of nations, they wield their vast global financial and political power to create policies and situations which put every nation possible into debt. This evil cartel knows that the greatest method for creating national debts is to pit nation against nation in military conflict, so they work to do just that, albeit in places far from where they themselves actually live. Soldiers go off to fight and die, and nations of people work themselves into a patriotic frenzy to support the war effort, never realizing that the real enemy is hardly ever the nation they are fighting, but the very cartel which controls the purse-strings of the world.
In today's world it is more relevant to discuss the modern operation of the Federal Reserve, rather than the historical operation of the Bank of England; other privately owned central banks around the world today operate according to very similar principles. When the government of the United States needs to raise money, it has essentially two options: it can raise taxes, or it can simply print money. Both options are coercive and unethical, but that tends not to be a great consideration, since government itself is coercive and unethical. The first option, raising taxes, is politically unpopular with taxpayers because of its very direct and overt nature; politicians therefore tend to try to avoid this option. The second option, printing more money, is a more covert and indirect way of fleecing the public and therefore less likely to adversely affect voting behavior; politicians therefore tend to prefer this option. The second option, however, doesn’t really eliminate the need to raise taxes, but it does push those taxes into the future, when it may be some other politician who has to deal with the issue.
Simply printing more money has the adverse effect of creating inflation: increasing the money supply, raising prices, and lowering the purchasing power of one's savings. In reality, however, the government does not just simply print money; instead, in defiance of all logic, it has delegated that power to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve, a private bank controlled by an international cartel of bankers, therefore has the power to print money “out of thin air,” backed by absolutely nothing at all – not gold, not silver, and not anything else. (By the way, if the reader hasn't already noticed this: take a quick look at the front of any US bill of any denomination, and you will see that the words “Federal Reserve Note” are right on top.)
Let's imagine that the government wants a billion dollars. The government essentially borrows this money from the Federal Reserve. To be even more precise, the government will sell a billion dollars worth of treasury bonds to the Federal Reserve, which the Federal Reserve pays for by simply having the money printed – again, “out of thin air,” and backed by absolutely nothing. The government pays interest to the bearer of a treasury bond (which in this case is the Federal Reserve) and returns the principle at maturity. To put it simply, the Federal Reserve loans money (which it printed out of nothing) to the government, and the government pays back the loan with interest.
It is very important to realize, however, that as long as this system remains in place the government can never pay off its debt to the Federal Reserve. This is because the payment of the interest would require more money than the Federal Reserve has loaned the government in the first place, and ultimately that money would also have to come from the Federal Reserve! In this way, the entire nation and even future generations will forever be in debt to the Federal Reserve.
As if this weren't enough, there is also fractional reserve banking which is done on the local level. Every bank in the United States operates according to Federal Reserve regulations; these regulations permit fractional reserve banking. This means that banks are only required to keep a fraction of the amount of the money that they loan out in reserve at the bank. To understand how this is another method of creating money “out of thin air,” and for drastically inflating the money supply, imagine a situation where the required fractional reserve is 10%. Someone deposits $1000 in a bank; the bank then can and does issue a loan to someone else for $900. This person then spends the loan, and the receiver of this money then deposits it in some other bank. This bank can and does then issue a loan to someone else for $810. In this way the original $1000 can be “multiplied” many times. (It can be calculate that this maximum this $1000 can be multiplied to would be $10,000, although the real amount will typically be less.)
It may seem that nothing is actually being “multiplied” in the above example, and that what is actually happening is that the money is simply being moved around from person to person and bank to bank. In reality, however, there is another factor at work. Only about 3% or so of the “money” in the economy is in the form of actual paper “cash.” The rest is in various forms of “non-cash:” electronic records, checks, etc. When a bank gives out a loan, they are typically not handing actual paper cash to the borrower, but issuing credit in some form of “non-cash,” and this is the form which the money “created” by fractional reserve banking takes.
Isn't it ironic that the dollars in your wallet, the Federal Reserve notes, are imprinted with the words, “In God We Trust?” Is this an attempt to prop up the public's perception of the soundness of the monetary system, by invoking the supernatural? Unfortunately, the truth is that the whole system is so flawed and actually so evil that it has much more in common with something diabolical rather than anything supposedly divine.
Part 3: The Scionistic Future of Money
Any system which allows the money supply to be manipulated by one or more entities (a monarch, government, banking cartel, or whatever) without control, at the expense of everyone else, is coercive and unethical. Any system which is vulnerable to “coin clipping,” the debasement of metals, counterfeiting, inflation, miscalibrated scales, or fractional reserve lending, is fatally flawed and therefore unsuitable for use.
The ideal medium of exchange for a Scionistic society would need to be free of all of the above problems. In addition, there should be a means whereby transactions could be conducted globally by electronic means, ideally without the need for any sort of “middleman” such as a banker or other financial institution. All of this is necessary if the medium of exchange is to be accepted voluntarily and widely, in the absence of some government coercively forcing its use and acceptance.
One obvious and very promising candidate for such a medium of exchange is some form of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency may be thought of as something like a form of electronic cash, or even more precisely, like electronic gold. While cryptocurrency is like modern fiat money in that it is not backed by gold, silver, or any other rare commodity, there are some very important differences. Unlike fiat money, it cannot simply be created at will by one entity at the expense of others. It also can be made strictly limited in supply, so that only a certain amount can ever be produced, or so that there is a strict limit on the rate at which new supply is created; in this way its value comes from both its rarity and the willingness of individuals to accept it as a medium of exchange, much like precious metals like gold and silver.
The first cryptocurrency ever created was Bitcoin, but there are a number of others as well. In terms of a cryptocurrency for a Scionistic society, however, it would probably be best to create a new cryptocurrency custom made for the purpose. This would allow the Minarchy, at the direction of the people, to create or destroy the currency as needed. One important difference between traditional government currencies and the Minarchist cryptocurrency of a Scionistic society would be that no third party, including any bank or the Minarchy itself, would be required to give permission to send money to anyone else, anywhere in the world. In a Scionistic society freedom and privacy, including financial freedom and privacy, would be considered essentially sacred rights.
Intellectual Property, Licensing, and Certifications
Scionics, like libertarianism in general, of any ilk, recognizes the non-aggression principle as the foundational ethical principle. This means, among other things, that it would be unethical to forcibly impose either capitalistic or socialistic systems upon anyone. If someone has the means and desire to establish and maintain a capitalistic endeavor, it would be unethical to interfere with this by force. At the same time, if individuals have the means and desire to collectively establish and maintain a socialistic endeavor, it would also be unethical to interfere with this by force.
It might seem, on the face of it, that such a hands off approach would tend to explicitly favor a laissez-faire, free-market capitalist approach (with all of the abuses, imbalances, and exploitations which inevitably ensue) but this is not really the case. This is because, while it would be unethical to use force to interfere with either capitalistic or socialistic endeavors, it would also be unethical to use force to support them. As will now be shown, capitalistic ventures are often supported by various types of coercive governmental legislation; eliminating such coercive governmental support would also remove many unnatural advantages they currently have.
Intellectual property laws, for example, coercively enforce artificially created monopolies, and serve as an unnatural impediment to competition and innovation. In a Scionistic society there would therefore be no patent laws or protections; if someone invented a thing, or a certain way of doing a thing, there would be nothing to prevent anyone else from making or doing the same thing. A company could try to maintain trade secrets, but there would be no law to enforce such secrecy.
Trademarks and copyright, however, would have some legal force behind them. Trademarks are used to identify a company or business, and in that sense they function much in the same way that a signature is used to identify the product of a human being. The violation of a trademark would therefore be treated analogously to forging a person’s signature, or as a type of fraud, whereby there is an attempt to pass off something as though it was produced by a different company. This would be considered a crime in a Scionistic society, just as it is normally considered to be so today.
Copyrights are used to protect creative works of literature, art, music, or education. Copyrights would be enforced, but differently than they currently are. The copying and selling of a copyrighted work would be considered illegal, but the copying and free distribution would not, provided that such freely distributed copies were clearly marked as such; if any changes were made to the original work, clear notice of these changes would also have to be given. This would essentially allow individuals to decide for themselves if they feel that the work is of sufficient value that it is worth paying for in order to support the efforts of the creator. This is another reason why trademarks would have a valid function: to identify the actual source of a product or creation.
Live performances of copyrighted works, including paid performances, would be permitted, providing notice is given that the work was originally created by someone else. If any changes were made to the original work, notice must be made of those changes as well. In this way, there is no misrepresentation of the original creator or their work.
The governmental monopoly on all sorts of professional licensing (such as doctors, lawyers, various trades, etc.,) and approval processes (such as foods, pharmaceuticals, medical treatments, etc.,) would be eliminated. This would be replaced by independent, non-governmental organizations, whose pronouncements would not have the force of law behind them, but the power of reputation; these pronouncements would be available to all, but they would not be coercively enforced, but could be heeded or ignored by individuals as they see fit.
Healthcare in government-run societies tends to be an extremely regulated industry. While this is ostensibly done to protect the public from ineffective or harmful medical practitioners and treatments, it can and often does also serve to slow innovation and dramatically increase medical expenses. In essence, it often protects and promotes the interests of large, wealthy medical, pharmaceutical, and other healthcare businesses, at the expense of sick individuals in need of treatment.
Pharmaceutical companies make absolutely enormous profits when they are able to create and patent a drug. The patent gives them an exclusive license to manufacture and market the drug for a number of years and this allows them to charge much higher prices for the drug due to the monopoly they have on its sale. In order to create such drugs in the first place, they will often experiment with some known naturally occurring treatment or cure, to identify and isolate the molecular components which have the beneficial effects. Since these components were originally found in nature, they are unable to be patented. To get around this, however, the pharmaceutical company will then make minor changes or tweaks in the molecular structure so that the new structure is something not actually found in nature. This then allows them to patent the drug, and obtain their exclusive, competition-free license.
It is worth noting that such drugs were originally referred to as “patent medicine,” and that creating such artificial “patent medicine” (rather than “natural medicine”) is the true business of pharmaceutical companies. The primary motivation for modifying a naturally occurring substance is not necessarily for the purpose of actually improving the efficacy of the substance for the treatment of a medical condition, but merely to gain an exclusive patent to market the drug. The resulting treatment may actually be less effective and have more negative side-effects than the original naturally occurring treatment, and it will certainly be far more expensive.
When a pharmaceutical company creates a new drug, it is submitted to a government agency for approval for medical use. (In the USA this agency is the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration.) This is an extremely expensive process, but one which pays off handsomely once the substance in question is approved. The natural substances which are modified to create pharmaceuticals, however, are never submitted, because their approval would create an inexpensive competitive alternative to the pharmaceuticals. (The drug companies certainly don't want to pay for FDA approval for an inexpensive and often superior alternative to their own patent medicine!) In the United States, only those drugs which are approved by the FDA are legally permitted to be prescribed within government-run medical programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and prescribing such drugs outside of such government-run programs puts doctors at risk of losing their licenses to practice.
This system has developed because pharmaceutical companies spend an enormous amount of money on government lobbying, and also make direct payments to the FDA in order to have their drugs evaluated. In other words, the politicians which make the laws regulating this industry, and the agencies which are ostensibly tasked with protecting and promoting public health, instead often serve to benefit pharmaceutical companies, at the expense of the health of individuals.
The inefficiencies and injustices in government regulated healthcare is not limited to pharmaceuticals, but include such things as the education and licensing of medical professionals, the licensing of healthcare facilities, and all sorts of other issues. The root cause of all of these is the very fact of coercive government regulation itself.
The Scionistic approach to healthcare would be very different, of course. There would be no patent-protected drugs, as there would be no patent protections withing a Scionistic society. This is not to say that a drug company could not attempt to keep certain “trade secrets” regarding the formulation and manufacture of its drugs; on the other hand, there would be nothing to stop other companies from attempting to reverse-engineer the drugs produced by another company. There would also be nothing to stop medical practitioners from prescribing effective and completely natural substances and treatments; in fact, these might often be preferred.
In the absence of the need for government approval for various drugs, there would be a need and a market for independent assessors to determine the safety and efficacy of different treatments. It is worth noting that the same would be true of medical practitioners, healthcare facilities and the like: they would also be evaluated by independent assessors. Individuals would be able to examine these assessments and then judge for themselves whether or not a particular medical practitioner met their needs.
The ultimate result of all of this is that in a Scionistic society there would be increased pharmaceutical and medical innovation, greater availability of superior and less expensive natural treatments, more economic competition among drug companies and therefore lower drug prices, and so on. The cost and availability of healthcare in general would come down drastically – without the stifling influence of coercive government regulations.
There are various methods by which healthcare could be financed and provided. Healthcare facilities could be run on a co-operative basis, essentially as humanitarian not-for-profit enterprises, but still providing a very income for the worker-owners. It could also be run as a sort of community co-op, with the entire community essentially owning and running it together. Almost equivalently, it could also be run by the Minarchy, which is itself run by the community. Depending upon the type of system which community consensus decrees, patients could be responsible for the payment of their own healthcare, or this could be a cost which is paid directly by the Minarchy, or some combination of the two (perhaps with patients making a small co-payment, but the Minarchy paying most of the cost). Regardless of who paid, however, the actual cost of healthcare in a Scionistic society, for the reasons outlined in the preceding paragraphs, would be far lower than exist currently.
Love and Marriage
We should all be free to love others as we see fit, provided that this does not involve coercion or exploitation. Whom one is romantically attracted to, and whom one chooses to love, is a matter which touches upon one’s most deep-seated psychosexual drives, desires, and values. To persecute someone for their attractions and choices, or to declare these to be wrong, sinful, or forbidden, is a truly ugly violation of the non-aggression principle. Because these types of attacks target such core aspects of a person, they serve to belittle and frustrate them in the pursuit of their happiness, and to make them feel ashamed and wrong for things about themselves which they cannot change, which are central to their own sense of fulfillment, and which harm absolutely no one.
To accept the non-aggression principle, colloquially expressed as “Live and let live,” is to accept the natural differences between people. Scions allow others to freely be themselves. A Scionistic society does not persecute or suppress the differences among people, but allows them to express their innermost selves with utmost dignity and pride.
It is a violation of the non-aggression principle to oppose the ability of individuals to join their lives in the committed and loving union of marriage on the basis of such factors (which are irrelevant to anyone outside the marriage) as gender, race, religion, or the like. A Scionistic society would have no such barriers to marriage: love is love.
There is a difference between marriage as a legal issue, and marriage as a religious issue. These two types of marriage are traditionally most often entered into together, so that one’s legal marriage license would initiate one’s legal marriage at the same time as one’s religious matrimonial ceremony. This is not always the case, however. Some people only get married legally, never having a religious ceremony, and other only get married in a religious service, never obtaining the legal licensing. Whatever one chooses to do regarding religious matrimonial services, however, actually has no bearing upon one’s legal marriage status. It is only the legal marriage which would involve the Minarchy.
The Minarchy would not grant marriage licenses. This is because entering into such a relationship is not something which would require permission from the Minarchy or anyone else: it is a matter to be decided and acted upon by those choosing to get married, according to their own will. Nor can the Minarchy or anyone else bestow marriage status upon anyone: people become married to one another by simply entering into an agreement to be married.
It may be necessary, however, to register this agreement with the Minarchy as an efficient means for recording the agreement with a central agency, who could then be queried, if needed, to ascertain the marital status of anyone in question. This registration, however, is not permission; it is simply a means for creating a readily available public record of a marriage agreement.
Marriage agreements could be standard, or they could vary greatly depending upon the wishes of those involved. They could explicitly stipulate things such as the specific responsibilities of each partner, or the way property would be divided in the event of a divorce, or any number of other things. The specifics of these agreements would be at the sole discretion of the partners in the marriage.
Divorce would also be essentially as simple as marriage. When at least one partner has determined that they wish to dissolve the marriage, the marriage would be dissolved and the partners would be divorced. They would not need to receive permission from anyone to become divorced: divorce is the state of no longer agreeing to live in matrimonial union, and to force people to continue to remain in that state against their will would clearly be coercive. Once again, however, registration of the dissolution of the marriage with the Minarchy would be useful as a means for creating a readily available public record of the end of the marriage.
Reproduction, Abortion, and Children
Children come into being completely defenseless and dependent, not as a result of their own volition, but as a result of the choices of others. They are the responsibility of those who created them. It is an initiation of force to bring a defenseless child into the world, and then to neglect its needs. The active abuse of a child is also an obvious initiation of force, which is exacerbated by the very helplessness of the victim. Thus the neglect or abuse of a child are criminal acts.
Having a child is a huge responsibility. One is typically almost completely responsible for a child for about two decades, which can take a huge toll on one’s time, money, and other resources. While raising a child can be extremely rewarding, it can obviously also be extremely demanding. For those who do not wish to take on this enormous responsibility, it is best to simply avoid pregnancy altogether, whether by abstinence or some form of contraception.
For most people, however, abstinence is neither a desirable nor a realistic life-long option. Contraception, even when practiced properly, may not always be 100% reliable; furthermore, it is often difficult, in practice, to effectively employ effective contraception methods during when under the influence of powerful eagerness which so often characterizes sexual acts, despite the best of intentions and planning. To put it simply, unplanned pregnancies are a common occurrence, even when precautions against it are taken.
In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, the parents need to made the critical decision of whether or not they are willing and capable of fully committing to the care of a child for about the next two decades of their lives. If they decide that they are, then they must live that commitment to the best of their ability. If they decide that they are not, however, then they must decide whether to give up the child for adoption when it is born, or to have an abortion.
Scionics is against initiatory force. A natural question, then, is whether aborting a pregnancy is an act of initiatory force. To answer that question requires understanding the nature of a fetus.
The hallmark of a human being is conceptual thought. This is the essential thing which distinguishes human beings from all other animals. The ability for conceptualization is what gives us each personhood. Personhood involves many things, such as our own identification of ourselves as unique individuals, our plans for the future, our conceptual understanding of the world we live in, our value system, and much more. The death of a conceptually-capable human being involves the destruction of that personhood, and all that this entails; it also involves the understanding by the person of exactly what they are losing. The death of an animal, however, is somewhat different. It may still be very sad and regrettable, particularly when the animal in question is a beloved pet; something is lost, certainly, but this something is not a personhood.
The death of a fetus also does not involve the actual destruction of a personhood; at most, it is the destruction of a potential personhood. It would be wrong to force the parents, who certainly do possess fully developed human personhoods, to commit decades of their lives to raising a child, in order to avoid the termination of something which does not yet possess anything like a human personhood. In balance, the termination of the non-personhood of a fetus is fetus is far less coercive and harmful to actual personhood that it would be to force the parents to commit decades of their lives to something as demanding and all-encompassing as the raising of a child; the qualities of their experience of their actual personhoods could well be irrevocably harmed.
This is not to say that one should intentionally and irresponsibility engage in sexual practices which are ultimately likely to result in pregnancy, if one is not prepared to raise a child. One should avoid getting pregnant under such circumstances, but if a pregnancy does occur, the choice of whether or not to abort a pregnancy is an intensely personal (and possibly very difficult) one. No one outside of the parents should have any influence upon this decision at all. Furthermore, this decision is much more intimately and directly connected with the mother, as it is she who would be required to carry the fetus to term and to give birth. Any decisions with regard to one’s own body are the sole right and responsibility of that person; hence it is always the mother who has the ultimate prerogative over such decisions regarding a pregnancy. No one ethically has any right to force a woman to give birth, including the other parent, the Minarchy, or anyone else.
The Establishment of Scionistic Communities
The socioeconomic systems espoused by Scionism would be far superior to those which currently exist almost anywhere in the world. The Scionistic way of life should be available to all who wish it, and yet there are various significant barriers to its adoption.
There are powerful political and economic interests which benefit from maintaining the status quo and keeping the current coercive, exploitative systems in place. There is also the resistance to almost any sort of change which is all too often exhibited by the common person, even in the face of rather obvious and enormous benefits of Scionism, simply because of their reluctance to think outside the conceptual frameworks to which they have been indoctrinated. A further difficulty is due to the sheer size of the global and national political and economic systems, such that there is a tremendous amount of sociopolitical inertia which must be overcome to make even the smallest changes.
In light of the above, consideration should initially be given to the creation of small experimental “pockets” of Scionistic politico-economic independence and optimization, which would exist as distinct separate communities in parallel with the larger non-Scionistic society. In this way a start can at least be made by creating a number of smaller communities in which Scions can implement and experience Scionism. These communities may serve as inspirational examples to others and become the impetus for positive Scionistic changes within the larger society.
There is a long history of various groups of people establishing communities of their own, so that they may live according to their own values, conscience, and beliefs. Many of the settlers in the colonies of what is now the United States of America came here specifically because they wanted to live according to their particular religious beliefs and were persecuted those beliefs and practices in their countries of origin. To this day a few Anabaptist sects (the Amish and Mennonites are probably the most well-known) still have rather large communities within the United States, and live in a fashion which sets them apart from others. There are also a wide variety of monasteries and similar religious communities of all types, all over the world.
As has been stated throughout this writing, the Scionics Institute rejects all forms of mysticism. It should not be at all surprising, then, that during the early decades of the development of Scionics, essentially all forms of religious beliefs and practices were perfunctorily rejected, due to their inherently mystical, non-rational and non-reality basis. Two developments within Scionics, however, ultimately forced a very subtle but important modification to this otherwise strictly non-religious stance.
One of these involved the integration of various Scionics concepts which were eventually laid out in a separate document, Matheism and Psychonics: The Ultimate Foundation and Cause of Existence. This document put forth a view which is distinct from either mystical theism or simplistic atheism, called “matheism.” Matheism posits that the ultimate foundation and cause of existence is the universal and ontologically necessary truths of mathematics. It also makes the critical distinction between mind and consciousness, and explains why a plenum of consciousness (not mind) necessarily arises from mathematics itself. This consciousness (again, not mind) operating according to its own mathematical and hedonic nature, is the source and foundation of physics and hence the cosmos itself. There are subtle but important similarities and differences between this mathematically-grounded plenum of consciousness and the personal god concept found in many religions; these are the source of the subtle but important similarities differences between matheism and both theism and atheism.
The other development which modified the strictly non-religious stance of the Scionics Institute came from a survey of a great number of world’s religions. As might be expected, essentially all of them were rejected as fundamentally and irreconcilably mystical. There was one, however, which was found to contain a core subset of non-mystical and reality-based beliefs and practices which were completely compatible with reality and Scionics. This “religion,” in fact, is actually held by some as not truly being a religion in the usual sense of the word, but instead is considered to be a philosophy or simply an approach to living. This “religion-which-is-not-a-religion” is Buddhism, when it is stripped of all mysticism and its reality-based essence is laid bare. It should be noted that such removal of mysticism simply cannot be productively applied to most other religions. Christianity, for example, relies upon its Christ-centered mysticisms, and is meaningless once these are stripped away; the same would be true for Judaism and Moses or Abraham, or Islam and Mohamed. In the case of Buddhism, however, all mystical notions surrounding Gautama Buddha, karma, reincarnation, and all other mysticisms, can be removed, and a rational and reality-based core of powerful meditative techniques (the efficacy of which neuroscience has conclusively demonstrated) as well as certain valuable and profound insights and understandings regarding the human condition would still remain.
Once these Buddhist-derived non-mystical practices and concepts were identified, they were quickly integrated into the body of Scionics, under the simple principle of embracing and integrating the widest possible array of non-mystical concepts. At this point, the Scionics Institute began to legitimately question whether Scionics should properly be identified as a philosophy or a religion. After all, matheism straddles and shares some of the conceptual territory of both theism and atheism, while remaining somewhat distinct from either. Furthermore, the non-mystical core of Buddhism, identified and integrated by Scionics, informs much of traditional Buddhism as it has been practiced throughout the world, while itself remaining free of all of the mystical superstitions which have also traditionally surrounded it. The Scionics Institute had come to realize that it was treading on somewhat new territory, and that the usual traditional distinctions between the religious and the secular do not apply here. Is a non-mystical religion really a religion, or is it a philosophy? Is a philosophy, informed by non-mystical religious practices and concepts, still a philosophy, or is it a religion? Or is it neither, or both, or something else? This also called into question the role of the Scionics Institute itself: would it continue to be, strictly speaking, a philosophical think tank as originally conceived, or had it become something of a religious organization?
To resolve this issue, the Scionics Institute decided it would be best to operate in a dual capacity: on the one hand it would continue, just as it always had, with its task of integrating reason- and reality-based knowledge, and on the other it would also found a separate “Scio-Buddhist” organization, for the purpose of promoting the practice of the non-mystical Buddhist-derived practices, in the recognition that many individuals find value in the positive social reinforcement of shared (and in this case, non-mystical) religious community. Scio-Buddhism represents the natural reason- and reality-based evolution of of Buddhism, entailing (like Scionics) the rejection of all mysticism, and the practice of non-mystical meditative disciplines.
The Scionics Institute, then, while continuing to operate essentially as it always had, also came to serve as the independent research, publishing and policy arm of the Scio-Buddhism. To clarify, while the Scionics Institute is an arm of the “Church of Scio-Buddhism” the Church does not direct the activities of the Institute in any way; to the contrary, it is the Scionics Institute which sets policy for the Church. In fact, if the Scionics Institute were to develop or discover new information, contradictory to any currently established Church Doctrine, the Church would be bound to modify its Doctrine accordingly. The Church of Scio-Buddhism will, in this way, continue to maintain an iron-clad grip and adherence to the most accurate reason- and reality-based information available – making it unlike essentially all other churches which cling to their mystical, unreal doctrines, despite mountains of contradictory evidence.
The Church of Scio-Buddhism is tasked with helping as many people as possible to elevate or expand their mode of conscious relation from driven, to loving, to observational, to unitary. One simple way of doing this is to publish information describing effective methods for achieving this. (This is already a part of the ongoing efforts of the Scionics Institute and the Church of Scio-Buddhism.) An even more effective way is to coach people on these methods directly in person. Perhaps most effective of all, however, would be to create communities where individuals could actually live and work, in an environment .(1) carefully designed to promote the elevation or expansion of consciousness, (2) free from coercion and exploitation, and (3) free to pursue the exploration and development of their own personal potential. The creation of such communities is among the highest goals of the Church of Scio-Buddhism.
The Scio-Buddhist monastic communities are to be called “Priories of Scion.” This is another humorous reference to the same 1956 French fraternal organization, the “Priory of Sion,” which served as the source of the pseudonym “Prior Chyren,” which was applied to the Founder of Scionics.
Each Priory of Scion will be open to two specific types of people: (1) anyone who simply wants to live a secular Scionistic lifestyle (as has been described in this chapter) and (2) those who also wish to devote themselves to Scio-Buddhist practice. Non-coercion is such a central tenet of Scionics that there would be absolutely no requirement to practice Scio-Buddhism even within a Scio-Buddhist Priory. Not only would such a thing be counter to Scionics ethics, but it would also be counter to the elevation of conscious relation. The practice of Scio-Buddhism would always be completely unforced and voluntary.
For those choosing to live secular lives, they would simply live, work, and play as citizens within a Scionistic community. They would participate in the function of the Minarchy, guiding its actions by community consensus. Those who would choose to live as Scio-Buddhists would also enjoy life as Scionistic citizens, and would participate equally in the functioning of the Minarchy, just the same as any secular Scionist. The essential difference would be that, for Scio-Buddhists, every activity would be engaged in exclusively as an act of uncoerced Scio-Buddhist worship or practice, involving a constant here-and-now focus designed to elevate their mode of conscious relation.
The very first step in establishing any Priory of Scion would be to acquire a very large property, suitable for a large community. The Church would purchase and own the property, but would give control over its use to the Minarchy, in compliance with Scionistic principles. The Minarchy, in turn, would be directly controlled by those who will be living in the Priory, again, in compliance with Scionistic principles. The money for the initial purchase could be either donated or lent to the Church by those desiring to help establish the Priory. In the case that this money is lent, it could be paid back in either or both of two ways, depending upon the specific agreement with the Church, once the Priory is operational: (1) it could be simply be paid back as direct cash repayments over time, or (2) the loan could be treated as an advance payment for various goods or services within the Priory.
As just one example of how the second case could work, the loan could (for example) be treated as an advance payment for a share in a housing co-op within the Priory. Since co-op shares would normally be paid for over time, much like a very low-cost mortgage, this would mean that the lender would already own their share, and therefore not be required to make any further payments. They would simply be able to live in their housing for free at this point, since they had already paid for it in advance.
The physical layout and design of each Priory would differ, depending upon their size, location, geographical features, and a host of other factors. If a Priory were to be established within a dense city, then in that case it might be most appropriate to purchase a large building for the purpose, with various sections being allocated as common areas, apartment units, etc. If a Priory were to be established on a large undeveloped piece of land, however, then it would make more sense to construct a number of smaller buildings, spread out over the property.
Despite the great differences among various Priories, however, there should be certain commonalities. Every Priory should be made to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Among the very best models for this that many people are familiar with would be found in the various Disney parks and resorts around the world. They should be kept clean and well maintained. Colors and architectural styles should be carefully selected. Pedestrian areas should be kept separate from vehicular traffic. Trash collection and other unsightly things should be kept in “backstage” areas as much as possible.
Cryonics and the Incalculable Preciousness of Life
The Church of Scio-Buddhism has another mission, perhaps even more sacred than the establishment of Priories, but connected to it. Unlike the vast majority of religions, Scio-Buddhism does not have a mystical belief in an imaginary afterlife. This makes actual human life all the more precious, and the preservation of individual personhoods all the more critical. Towards this end, the Church of Scio-Buddhism aims at establishing a cryonics facility within each Priory, where deceased individual can be preserved until the technology arrives which would enable them to be revived.
These cryonics facilities would be operated by the Church, and the Church would charge for this sacred service. These fees would be kept as low as possible. Cryonic preservation would be available to anyone, whether they are residents of the Priory or not. Other religions make empty promises about some sort of life after death. Scio-Buddhism intends to actually deliver life after death, without the empty promises..
This chapter went beyond simply describing methods for optimizing sociopolitical systems in abstract philosophical terms, but provided provisional plans for such optimization in the establishment of a Scionistic political reality. Scionics politics, as embodied in Scionism and the non-aggression principle, provides a means for actually living a life where one truly has maximum freedom to pursue one’s happiness and fulfillment, in a community of others who are doing the same.