[Editor: This is a chapter from Australianism (1954) by John Fisher.]
Arising from the failure to achieve an understanding of natural law, is a fantastic superincumbence of capital and bureaucratic works vastly in excess of real human needs. Specialists can plan centralised societies infinitely more wonderful and spectacular than our present cities, and can verify their plans with models and tests, but these plans should not be carried out unless they fill a real social need. Throughout history ignorant masses have built at random cities and assorted social encumbrances which do not necessarily reflect the reach of the human mind, but rather its propensity for straying. The excesses of centralised capitalism are owned by no one in particular, but reflect the aimlessness of everyone in general. A model railway can be more truly progressive than the full-sized thing, for not only could a person utilise the most advanced nuclear processes in extracting his materials from the soil, but he can exercise his artistic talents to an extent unapproached by orthodox engineers.
All the various institutions of industrial civilisation are likely to collapse because of the doubtful basis upon which they have grown. Governments, professions and organisations of every kind are susceptible to criticism in the light of natural law, which acts unaltered from before the birth of the world until after its destruction. The individual alone survives the rise and fall of countless institutions throughout history. The soul of man remains the unknown and permanent link with eternity.
If man had always acted in his own best interests by cultivating human wisdom, most capital works in existence to-day would never have been built and independent facilities for the individual would have been highly developed and universal. Jeeps and helicopters are examples of such facilities, neither of which require for their operation capital encumbrances with “slaves-attached.” If the complete chain of technical developments which has produced these machines is examined, quite apart from the economic cataclysms that have taken place simultaneously, it will be found that a single-minded pursuit of the ideal of individual independence could have produced the same result much sooner. Subservience to “finance” is a hangover of prehistoric superstition; it is a condition of the backward mind which obscures the fact that intelligence, co-operation and communications in that order of importance are the source of human progress.
A belief in the magical powers of paper when passed around in a circle, and of gold when shifted between various holes in the ground, obstructs the free co-operation that must precede the emancipation of the masses. The spread of human ingenuity will make the legal technicalities of “theatrical” money insuperable, and in any case the expansion of “hire-purchase” seems to assure that the suicide of the “means of exchange” will take place with a reasonable amount of decorum. Every human activity is easier to understand and promote when disentangled from monetary considerations and expressed in simple terms of increasing individual independence and scientific community ideals.
The mistaken subservience to finance and capital encumbrances sentences civilised society to stagnation, and consequently a nation such as America is largely centralised and rejects the advantages of decentralisation, such as short working hours, enhanced opportunities for adventure, etc.
Orthodox socialists advocate “nationalisation” of the means of “production, distribution and exchange,” thereby approving the abortive lies upon which civilisation has nearly destroyed itself. By acknowledging individual skill in utilising the soil’s fruits as the basis of all practical activity, intelligent folk can set in motion the co-operative revolution.
The following classification sets out the institutions of value to the individual in fashioning a new way of life:
THE NEW WORLD, BASED ON HUMANE IDEALS.
Relative Amounts of Work Needed ALL INDIVIDUAL NEEDS 80% Food, 3 meals per day, perishable Home, 1 per lifetime
Helicopter, l in five years
T.V. set „
Clothing } 3 per year, say
And so on
Durable .. .. .. .. .. 15% COMMUNITY NEEDS
Decentralised mass-production of basic commodities for local use.
Access to nature, plus medical, library, laboratory, workshop and communication facilities, that is, the means for both personal development (through diverse activity) and the world-wide conquest of knowledge.
Varied, free, secure, and constructive living, where individual independence and activity is fashionable, and where individual and community opinion directly controls the productive processes.
A stimulating brotherhood of man. Informed public opinion is effective in a humane community.
Ample leisure for study, adventure, and wide indulgence in arts, crafts, hobbies, music, painting, dramatics, ballet, sculpture, home-beautification, science, philosophy, literature, astronomy, etc.
Sufficient leisure for artists to acquire aesthetic sensibility to permit the pursuit of beauty, truth and goodness for their own sake.
All men masters of their own destinies. No taxation, parasites, or middle-men.
Plenty for all.
Widespread admiration of true individualism (not mere material manipulation).
These things alone are necessary for human progress.
Progressive scientific technique should indefinitely simplify production of these needs.
These things alone determine standards of living, culture and intellect, ends are non-materialistic and alone lead to human happiness.
Home-ownership and leisured, adventurous living could be an immediate reality to all wage-slaves if they welded their individual skills into a virile, co-operative community. The versatile small-holder can enjoy life immensely on less than the standard wage, but the infantile worship of money by politicians helps to perpetuate the moronic, trivial preoccupations of the hypnotised slaves of civilisation. Political and Trade Union opportunists are opposed to an enrichment of the life of the individual by a development of his faculties, and would prefer a continuation of the lunacies which enslave industrial civilisation. Measuring human betterment in terms of work or money only belittles people further as senseless attachments to the all-enslaving industrial machine. The “benefactors of mankind” would use a wage-lure to hustle into factories the hand that rocks the cradle of the future.
It should be the desire of all intelligent folk to reconstruct civilisation on the basis of individual security about the all-provident soil. When every person realises the importance of his three meals a day and wishes to completely master his own destiny, a co-operative, dynamic society will emerge such as has never been seen before in human history,
Money, toys, idols, excessive manipulation, and so on, are all harmless in themselves or when kept in the play section of human activity, but they should not be allowed to dominate thinking or take charge of affairs as they do to-day. Intelligence will permit an ordering of all activity so that community suffering is eliminated. The greatest good of the individual can only come when he seeks and cultivates the greatest good in the world around him and tries to understand it. Capitalism has developed on the false assumption that the greatest progress and happiness can be achieved by tearing at the other fellows’s throat in the pursuit of money, rather than by trying to understand and co-operate with him.
A story is told of two grocers in a small country town. Instead of unnecessarily duplicating their efforts they decided to combine their energies in the setting up of one modern premises. They so arranged the business that each enjoyed far more leisure than he did previously, thus permitting a more varied life and the cultivation of his faculties. Though they still jokingly “competed” in introducing new ideas to the business, they found that their more expansive way of life gave them the clear-sightedness to avoid wasteful duplication of effort. Their “competition” occurred in the right place — that is, in the development of new ideas.
Applied throughout all capitalistic economies, this principle reveals an enormous waste of effort. To permit an indefinite duplication of businesses does not necessarily render any or all of them more efficient, but involves human lives in a game of chance. There can never be too much “competition” or “duplication” in the realm of ideas, but discrimination should prevent them from burdening man with excessive social encumbrances.
Although professing belief in God, the civilised peoples, instead of seeking His understanding of nature, surrender their whole lives to a collection of parrot-cries, such as “competition,” “profit-motive,” “mass-production,” “democracy,” etc., which alone are supposed to produce an ideal society. No people to-day seek an enlightened mastery of their environment, yet they expect the democratic process to fruitfully direct a society composed of aimless, squabbling individuals. Historians will record sectarian Christianity as the religion which eased men’s consciences as they went about the mass-murder of each other in the name of the Prince of Peace. Most “civilised” people are in primitive competition with one another and use “democracy” to evade the responsibility for community suffering and world suicide.
The spokesmen of sectarian Christianity have for centuries chided the masses for their wide indulgence in childish games of chance, without encouraging the pursuit of ennobling, character-forming risks in adventure. They have overlooked the gambling, idolatrous basis upon which all Western civilisation is constructed. Together with pessimists and other advocates of negative, stifling abstention they merely denounce human frailties and seldom advocate social reconstruction or proclaim creative human happiness as something glorious, triumphant and all-powerful. The human tendency towards idolatry leads to God being mutilated into various celestial hierarchies, blithe spirits, and so on. People who are conditioned into worshipping and being exploited through such atheistic mechanisms need not forgo their beliefs, but those who wish to unify humanity, science and religion would advocate the worship of One God only, beneath the non-sectarian spire of the heavens. The spokesmen of sectarianism should spend more time preaching an expansive humanism and indulge in less witch hunting.
The human personality can only develop as a whole by pursuing a single goal in life. Whether this be wisdom, happiness, enlightenment, etc., is immaterial, so long as it leads to economic co-operation and creative tolerance. Immortality is not the negation of anything but rather the mastery of all life and existence. It is the sum of all virtue and the spiritual self-sufficiency such as is fostered by a mastery of the terrors faced in real adventure. The supreme personality is not loved for his abstinence, but for his revelling in the whole of life.
In the sphere of international relations, magic, money and brute force are the chief intellectual equipment of the people concerned who, far from striving for the social justice demanded by enlightened folk, remain wholly absorbed in the barbaric practices of their own communities. The customary approach is to fasten a label to each country and then direct either a fierce hatred or warm admiration towards it, according to the dictates of high finance. The possibility that three secure meals a day, plus creative freedom, may be the key to human happiness all over the world never presents itself to the warped minds of the gangsters who rule the various countries.
Permanent international stability will be achieved only when individuals cease being dependent upon primitive external stimulus for their spiritual development, and cultivate in themselves instead the mental resources which distinguish the expressive, clowning, masterful and placid personality. The new way of life will conquer the whole world by virtue of its irresistible justice, enriching human quality, real progressive energy and unequalled freedom.
Some people remark at the tremendous scientific advances made during war-time. This merely serves to emphasise the utterly unbelievable progress that will occur when all mankind unites, not in order to destroy life. but to co-operate with nature in its beautification.
Bursting with progressive energy, Hollywood is striving to make movies more realistic. Vigorous competition exists and various techniques have been studied closely, including the idea of surrounding the audience more completely with the story told on the screen. Since the official religion of civilisation is the accumulation of money, the aim in this case is to present a realistic life to the eyes of the dazed, helpless masses in return for their money. The final perfection in this striving for realism will be reached when the sons and daughters of Australia take possession of their country from shore to shore and convert it into one vast movie-set depicting a rich and human way of life, not for sale to someone, but for the participation and enjoyment of all.
The countless enslaved officials and spokesmen of profligate capitalism will, from force of habit, continue to express future progress in terms of more lunatic excesses of undisciplined extravagance than exist to-day. Cramped buildings will praise the glory of paper gods and the stupefying repetitions of capitalist instrumentalities will linger. The ordinary man must judge these matters for himself, however, if he wishes to fashion his environment better to meet his own individual needs. Increased centralisation means the increased belittlement of the individual, “economic expansion” means the continued free-reign of megalomaniacs who can only make economic activity more burdened with parasites and duplication than it is to-day, causing an even worse enslavement of mankind to the uncontrollable vagaries of an irrational machine.
Although trade with under-developed countries may expand temporararily, scientific developments will ultimately make the soil yield in abundance the needs of the individual, in return for little effort. All peoples might then travel freely about the world. It is important to distinguish between the free movement of merchandise and the free movement of knowledge and men about the world. Only the latter is essential to human progress. Certain capital works, such as railways, may continue to be built for such purposes as the utilisation of mineral resources, but these too will disappear with the rise of the enlightened individual.
John Fisher, Australianism, self-published: Harcourt Gardens (SA), , pages 16-21
fantastic = unbelievable, based upon fantasy, fanciful, imaginary, strange, unbelievable (distinct from the modern meaning of the word: brilliant, excellent, extremely good, great, marvellous)
insuperable = impossible to overcome (regarding an impossible difficulty, obstacle, or problem); incapable of being defeated, overcome, passed over, solved, or surmounted
Prince of Peace = Jesus Christ