A few days ago The Rainmaker published a discussion of a very short but interesting set of propositions by Sir Francis BAcon, politician, statesman, poet, author, philosopher and enthusiastic promoter of the scientific revolution. That post was inspired by our correspondendent Diana. As promised in that post our reactions will be provided to both Bacon's "Stumbling-Blocks to Truth," and Diana's points to ponder. Diana's material is highlighted in Bold, the original text of The Rainmaker's original post will appear in italics and today's text will look just like this.
As a thinking society, what can we learn about ourselves from assessing Sir Roger Bacon's 'Stumbling-Blocks to Truth?'
All The Rainmaker really knows about Roger Bacon is that he was a pretty amazing dude...The Rainmaker had never heard of these four stumbling-blocks to groking the truth. An Aside: "Grok" is a term from Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land," the first libertarian book The Rainmaker ever read (almost 40 years ago...ouch!) and the term "grok" means "to know completely." Obviously the definition of "grok" has been grossly simplified for brevity but any fundamentalist Heinlein fans will have to bear with this for now. It's still a great read after all these years.
Back on track: Here is what Peter's email for Diana said about Bacon's blocks in full: (The Rainmaker's comments are inserted into Diana's text in regular type.)
Four very significant stumbling-blocks (are) in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom and truth. (Circa 1214-1294)
1) submission to faulty and unworthy authority
The Rainmaker agrees that Sir Robert nailed the problem pretty concisely yet compreshesively and suspects that Machiavelli would consider #1 above to be an Oxymoron.
2) long-standing continuance of custom
The Rainmaker suspects that Hobbs would disagree the #2 is always an obstacle. The Rainmaker can almost anticipate George Wills column to refute this proposition.
3) popular prejudice and regard to the opinion of the unlearned
4) concealment of ones own ignorance while exhibiting wisdom"
The Rainmaker strongly suspects that Sir Roger Bacon would be glad he didn't live in the era of Congressional hearings, spin doctors and cable news networks as those pertain to items #3 and #4.
The Rainmaker is no philosopher but sees nothing to disagree with in the four statements. All four are indeed stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth.
The foregoing was obviously, at least to The Rainmaker Bacon's material. The following is from Diana by way of her spouse Peter P.
"We seek truth to analyze problems and to avoid making similar mistakes in the future yet in our politically charged world we find intellectual dihonesty and purposeful chaos.
We ask ourselves:
1) Are these stumbling-blocks to truth and wisdom being used against us?
Yes, and The Rainmaker believes they are being used with malice aforethought. Search for this website featuring the "Money as Debt" movie and invest 45 minutes, then let The Rainmaker know if you agree or disagree with this answer.
2) Who in government is telling us the truth?
Only those with their mouths shut who are not writing anything. Seriously The Rainmaker believes one can trust that government which is closest to home most and hold that government more accountable. The closer one gets to the center (a state capital or Washington) the less trustworthy and the less accountable the politician or bureaucrat.
3) Does the media use it's medium to keep us from obtaining the truth and wisdom?
The media is a medium of obfuscation, interest group propaganda, sensationalism and entertainment. The media will keep us from obtaining the truth only if we allow it to do that. In the Rainmaker's opinion we are each on our own hook when it comes to becoming informed and wise.
4) How are the candidates using deception to sway our thinking?
In every way they can conceive of in order to obtain their respective real objectives, which are almost universally applicable to any candidate for any office:
*To be elected;
*To grow (pick at least two) powerful, wealthy and famous at public expense;
*To maximize their personal perogative's and perks;
*To use their power to peddle influence in order to lavishly fund their reelection campaigns;
*To be reelected often at any cost, which usually means don't rock the boat and go along to get along;
*To conceal "their own ignorance," confusion, uncertainty and insecurities while exhibiting apparent "wisdom" that in reality is merely conventional wisdom;
*To maximise their own perceived power and privilege;
*To leave a "legacy" of honor purchased at the taxpayer's cost and the soldier's life, both spent as necessary to furthur the politicians self interest; and,
*To do the right thing for the country, its citizens and the world if it doesn't conflict with any of the preceeding objectives.
The Rainmaker believes that if asked, any politician will answer that his or her objective is the last one listed and further, that being masters of "Cognitive Dissonance" politicians and bureaucrats have usually convinced themselves that is in fact the case. However, it is the Rainmaker's opinion that the previous eight objectives are pretty much listed in the real world order of importance.
5) How did we get into this economic crise?
The Rainmaker believes the United State's monetary system is inherently dishonest. As the monetary system is the medium in which a society functions, when it is poluted it will eventually do to society what dirty water eventually does to a fish--kill it. There has never been a paper money, debt money system that has managed to survive 100 years. Ours is about 94 years old.
Therefore since the medium in which society functions is dishonest--no matter how well meaning and personally honest most people in a society might be and usually are in their day to day lives--the society itself is tainted. Periodic economic dislocations are probably inevitable in any society, but the dislocations experienced by a society function with dishonest money are more frequent, more severe and ultimately fatal. That is The Rainmaker's observation regarding Diana's final point.
The Rainmaker offers the following support of this observation. That support is in the form of three books.
The first is "Money and Debt" by Thomas Greco. It can be found at a website called "Reinventing Money" in the "library" on that site and can be downloaded for free (it's only a 65 pages). It comes in three parts (meaning separate pdf files).
The second is "Debt Virus" by Dr. Jacques Jaidaran M.D. and it can be found at most online booksellers. "Debt Virus" is excellent although longer and a more expensive option than "Money and Debt.
And if really ambitious, read "Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt," written by an English Nobel Prize winning physicist Frederick Soddy. It was written about 80 years ago and reads that way. But it is well worth the effort.
Just something to ponder...
Obviously The Rainmaker's hot button was pushed by Diana's material. Hopefully you will find some value in all of this. Even if it is only value equal to a dime, it is 30% more in terms of intrinsic worth than the paper and ink we call money. This is because a dime is actually worth more regardless of the denomination of the bill the paper and ink comprise. That's right the intrinsic value (the worth of each bill, be is $1.00 or $100.00) is about $0.07.