Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free Enterprise Has The Power To Create Joy

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.  I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.  It is my personal approach that creates the climate.  It is my daily mood that makes the weather.  I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

What free enterprise words are these:  "I am the decisive element."

That says it all!

That defines what freedom, and individual liberty, and endowed rights, and economic self interest, and personal leadership, and individual development, and free-market capitalism, and private property are all about!

Private property?  Yes, we are our own private property.  We improve ourselves, maintain ourselves, we add and subtract value, and grow or diminish ourselves!

And Goethe arrived at that point and found that "frightening conclusion" to play a huge part in his personal success or failure.

Thus it is with free enterprise.  We can be our own best asset or our own worst enemy.  To the extent that we improve (by ourselves and with the help of others) our domain, or our product, or our service, or our abilities, we add value and assets.

When humans are interested in something they tweak it!  I tweak my blogs from time to time.  I tweak my website often, almost daily!  The people who create and manage the apps on our phones are continually offering updates!

That is what free markets do.  And they do it automatically.  There is no overlord directing the ebbs and flows of businesses large and small.  The "Invisible Hand" of the free marketplace is on autopilot, and each of its biggest and smallest parts are doing their own things in response to its direction.

So, as Goethe suggests, knowing is important, but different than applying.  Both must be done.

Wanting and willing to do is not enough; we must be willing to do.

And the power of free enterprise rests within us.

So, let us go!  Leave us to do! 
Let those who are the most knowing get to the successful applying!
Let those who are the most willing and get to the successful doing!

Let those who are the most desirous to experience joy be successful in creating it!

Goethe's conclusion is that we need to realize who we are and then apply ourselves.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Free Enterprise Suggests The Pursuit Of Happiness

“Create all the happiness you are able to create; remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you, will invite you, to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains.” 

Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832)

This is a person of optimism!

This is the optimism that comes with free enterprise!

In a free enterprise setting one is pursuing what one does best, what one wants to do, what makes one happiest.

Yes, there is risk involved. 
Yes, there is hard work involved.
Yes, there is the up and down of the business cycle.

But one is working for, wait for it - oneself!

One is working out of self interest!  

And as such, one is working for the benefit of others.  The free enterprise entrepreneur is trying to satisfy demand and need.  The free enterprise entrepreneur is trying to find a niche to fill, just the right niche, and fill it in a way it has previously not been.  Or with products that are newer or better.  

Whatever the demand is and whatever the niche is, free enterprise entrepreneurs create happiness for themselves and others, and remove misery from themselves and others, all while adding to the pleasure of others and diminishing something of their pains!

How do you feel when you purchase your first of a hot new product?  For instance, have your traded your "old phone" for a "smart phone?"  How did it make you feel to own and become a part of a new trend?

How do you feel when you do something for the first time?  Have you Skyped (see how that new noun is also used as a verb?) and if so, what did your first feel like?

And notice, the new things, the trendy things, the niche things that have filled a demand for you have contributed to your happiness and pleasure?  An entrepreneur somewhere, actually many, many of them, had innovative ideas that they put into practice and created that for you.  And since they have improved and improved it!

Their creation happened out of self interest (they want to improve their lives too) and you have participated in their ideas out of self interest (you ant to improve your life too).

And all of this happens outside the purview of gubment demand, gubment laws, gubment regulation and gubment windfall profit.  The gubment gets involved later.  The demands, and laws, and regulation and taxes happen AFTER THE FREE-MARKET CREATION.  Gubment sees the trend and sticks its nose into the tent first, following that nose with more and more of its body to the point that the free enterprise entrepreneur has to go about finding ways around the demands, the laws, the regulations and the taxes to keep from getting forced out of his own tent.

The gubment intervention works to stifle.  The gubment intervention makes the market less free.

Happiness is stultified, misery is imposed, pleasure is decreased and pain is not diminished.  Everyone has to work harder.  Surely this is opposite the principles suggested by Bentham.

And so, as we pursue free enterprise and our self interests, we do so for our benefit and the benefit of others.  

Free enterprise suggests the pursuit of happiness.  
We Americans feel that is an endowed and protected guarantee.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Free Enterprise Demands Liberty

"Indeed liberty is the divine source of all human happiness.  To possess, in security, the effects of our industry, is the most powerful and reasonable incitement to be industrious: And to be able to provide for our children, and to leave them all that we have, is the best motive to beget them.  But where property is precarious, labor will languish.  The privileges of thinking, saying and doing what we please, and of growing rich as we can, without any other restriction, than that by all this we hurt not the public, nor one another, are the glorious privileges of liberty; and its effects, to live in freedom, plenty, and safety."

            Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis
          Cato "the Younger" (95 BC – 45 BC)

Would Cato not have fit in with the "new" ideas proposed by the Founding Fathers as regards the divine endowment of liberty, individual rights, freedoms from tyranny, and the precious gift of private property and free enterprise?

Certainly Cato was read and understood by the Founding Fathers, who were very versed in history and historical perspective as they designed the society they bequeathed to us.

It is said that Cato had a long-time feud with Julius Caesar, and was known for his moral integrity, his refusal to accept bribes and his extreme dislike for the corruption so rife in his era.  Apparently he had the same distaste, and desire to avoid, tyranny as did the Founders of the United States.

Cato craved industriousness.  He certainly understood the obligation of a former generation providing for and raising up the next.  He equated work and labor with riches, felt the cultural values of individuality should be passed on, and pushed for the freedoms of personal expression that did not hurt another or impose themselves in effect.

Individual freedom, industriousness and labor, private property, personal safety and cultural security are all embodied in the idea of free enterprise and free-market economic activity.  

Cato despised the impositions and pretensions of the dictator Julius Caesar.  He preferred to defend the Republic and embody the ideas of moral standards and incorruptible virtue.  In the end he took his own life, unwilling to live in a society that did not incorporate his Stoicism and republican values.  He would have fully understood the Patrick Henry statement that if he could not have liberty he preferred death.

Liberty is, as Cato said, "the divine course of all human happiness."

Free enterprise demands liberty.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Exceptionalism Of Freedom Is Not Understood By Dictators

 "The state is no organism capable of bringing either moral or material improvements to the populace, but merely a vehicle of power for men and party and power."

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

If gubment isn't a vehicle of power, what is?

Therefore, such power would attract what types of people, those who would "lead" a gubment?

Power is not what defines the "exceptionalism" of America. 
Power is not what defines the "exceptionalism" of the Founding Fathers.
Power is not what defines the "exceptionalism" of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The "exceptionalism" of our great country, and the philosophies behind its establishment, is not that we as Americans are more exceptional than other peoples, or our country more exceptional than other countries.

The "exceptionalism" of the United States of America lies in the idea that the individual reigns - freedoms endowed to the individual; rights endowed to the individual; abilities to act and not to be acted upon by a tyrannical gubment or dictator endowed to the individual; a free-enterprise approach endowed to business philosophy that allows businesses to serve their constituencies and grow.

Indeed, the "exceptionalism" of the United States of America is that its gubment is limited by a set of rules designed to control its behavior and protect the individual, and the rights endowed to these individuals by their Creator.  Those rules, and those limitations, are encased in the U. S. Constitution.

And the great precedent for the leaders of this "exceptional" realm was set by none other than George Washington.  His greatness in this regard was recognized then and is still recognized now.  And while perhaps recognized by, it is not understood and would not be approved by the doctrine we now call Machiavellianism. 

And it was recognized by Washington’s contemporary leader and his greatest adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do with his presidency after  winning independence from his dictatorship. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

Incredulous, the monarch retorted, “If he does that he will be the greatest man in the world.”

I suggest that Machiavelli's most recognized work, The Prince, would not have advised that move to Mr. Washington.  It would have advised Washington the consolidation of his power, advised his personal decisions as to what groups in, and parts of the "organism" of, his gubment be fed and nourished (or eliminated), and advised his personal management of the "organism's" growth.

The Prince would not have suggested a precedent that limited the future contributions of the leaders who would follow.
The Prince would have suggested a precedent of slash and burn of political opposition.
The Prince would have suggested a precedent that "the people" (whom it would not have referred to as "the people") be controlled with high taxes, freebies, increasingly-crushing regulations of its behavior in personal life and the market place, and any other way(s) necessary to grow the organism.
The Prince would have advised unlimited, instead of limited, and ever-growing bureaucracy.

The "organism of gubment" is not, as Machiavelli suggests, capable of doing most things for the population that the population cannot do for itself - as he says, "its moral and material improvements."

The "organism of gubment" is instead LIMITED by such words as "form," "establish," "insure," "provide," "promote," and "secure."  See and read the Preamble to the Constitution, which enumerates these LIMITATIONS in only 52 words.  And then the definitions are laid out, and SIMPLY!

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Fifty two words Niccolo Machiavelli might never have understood.

The exceptionalism of freedom is not understood by dictators.