'Therefore the proper organization of society must be that of free individuals.' - By Isabel Paterson

Posted by ProjectC 
'Therefore the proper organization of society must be that of free individuals. And their equality is posited on the plain fact that the qualities and attributes of a human being are ultimately not subject to measure at all; a man equals a spiritual entity.'

<blockquote>'The Society of Status claimed to derive its moral sanction from the family, extended by analogy in political organization; but this hypothesis ignores the prime fact that everyone in due course becomes adult. In such extension the feudal pattern became fictitious; outside of domestic affairs it did not and could not correspond to the facts, either in respect of blood relationship or simple seniority. It resolved into the rule of the few over the many, by the arbitrary convention of descent through "old" families. In nature, one family cannot be "older" than another. Age is personal. But maturity, the condition of being adult, is equality within its definition. By this conclusion, the few can have no hereditary claim to command the many.

On the other hand, this is a mathematical order applied only to chronology. It describes men as equals when they have reached a given span of years, the presumed period of maturation. Outside of that single classification, it has no positive or intrinsic significance.* The Greeks were never able to validate their hypothesis for democracy because it is a materialistic concept, and materialism will not admit human equality, nor any other principle of human association. Materialism must regard mankind as simply an animal species whose behavior is predicated and determined by instinct and expedience. On those grounds, there are no rights and no moral questions; whatever happens must happen, and whatever must happen does happen. But even if this dead-end in materialistic determinism is ignored, and equality sought in respect of phenomena, it cannot be found in human beings, regarded as "higher" animals or as objects in nature. Strict materialism must finally deny that a human being is an entity; it resolves him into a lump of plasmic material "conditioned" to various "responses" or "reactions." In materialistic terms, psychology becomes a branch of physiology, behaviorism. Then if the responses (attributes or qualities) are compared, one man may be demonstrably stronger than another, or gifted with some ability (music, art, or whatever) which another lacks or exhibits in less degree at a given time; but there is no general equation for the diverse endowments, even if they could be fully discovered. The only definition of equality by measure is that of Euclid: things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This calls for a fixed objective standard, a perfect typical man, embodying quantitatively all human attributes in absolute scale and proportion as a norm, and with an unimaginable common denominator by which such qualities would be translatable into number for points which could be added together. Thus men as they are could be estimated by comparison and each one assigned a rating. (The Platonic theory of archetypes, or the Ideal, was an unsuccessful attempt to get around this difficulty.)

But the American axiom asserted political equality as a corollary of the inalienable right of every man to liberty. Democracy was inadmissible because it must deny that right and lapse into despotism, as it has always done. It does so abstractly, by its own logical contradiction; and in practice because logic is a statement of sequence. It is not liberty and equality that are incompatible, but liberty and democracy.

The distinction is that between a principle and a process; the confusion arises from an unwarrantable identification of a negative proposition with a positive. It is falsely assumed that when the claim of the few to command the many is refuted, the converse claim of the many to command the individual is proved. This is quite untenable except in strictly materialistic terms; and in those terms, right must be ruled out altogether. Right as a concept is necessarily opposed to force; otherwise the word is meaningless.

Liberty is a truly natural condition; for life itself is possible to a human being only by virtue of his capacity for independent action. If any living creature is subjected to absolute restraint, it dies. Human life is of an order transcending the deterministic necessity of physics; man exists by rational volition, free will. Hence the rational and natural terms of human association are those of voluntary agreement, not command.

Therefore the proper organization of society must be that of free individuals. And their equality is posited on the plain fact that the qualities and attributes of a human being are ultimately not subject to measure at all; a man equals a spiritual entity.

But democracy is a collective term; it describes the aggregate as a whole, and assumes that the right and authority reside in the whole, though derived from the adult condition of the individuals comprised. Then it must be supposed that at an unknown moment by an unknown sanction and for no reason whatever such right and authority was irrevocably transferred from the individuals to a group which is nothing but a numerical sum, or particles merged into mass. The authority then is not in any part, nor is any part of it in any part of the mass. Thus democracy resolves into pure process, and even the process is fictitious, for individuals cannot actually merge, though a group can exercise the function of mass for a given purpose at a given time, by inaction, a negative. The fictitious process imagined as operating in democracy is of a physical and mathematical and on-moral order, beginning with an arbitrary number delimited by accident of residence or descent.

But if the authority resides in the collective whole, it is evident that with the disagreement of even one person, the whole is no longer existent or operative; in which case no general action whatever could be legitimately undertaken.

The prime presumption has vanished. In practice then democracy must abandon its own pretended entity of the collective whole, and rely upon majority. But majority is only a part; thus majority rule implies inconceivably that the part is greater than the whole. Furthermore, even majority is not always obtainable; only a plurality may favor a given course of action; in which case one minority must command several other minorities which if added together are greater in number or weight. Such is the inherent contradiction in the theory of democracy. In any event, personal liberty is wiped out at the very beginning, with the theoretic transition from particles to mass or from the unit to the sum. Slavery of a minority, or of "foreigners," is quite consistent with majority rule.**

But in reason, if one man has no right to command all other men—the expedient of despotism—neither has he any right to command even one other man; nor yet have ten men, or a million, the right to command even one other man, for ten times nothing is nothing, and a million times nothing is nothing.'
- Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine, page 119, 120, 121, 122

* Equality in itself signifies nothing, implies no values; two zeros are equal. Liberty attaches value to it. The argument that conscription is right because it is applied equally would justify torture if applied equally. This argument has been carried further by a pseudo-liberal: "The voluntary system sounds well. In practise it is a moral horror . . . since no one can tell by looking at a young man whether he is doing essential war work, or is married or has children, or is perhaps not in good health. The voluntary system is not voluntary. It is in practise the worst form of compulsion . . . excellently designed to make young men unhappy." Then slavery is not slavery, because the world is peopled with moral imbeciles, all equally terrified of the casual glance of a stranger.

** The modern cliche, "This is a democracy, I am the government," is nonsensical. Even as an agency, the government is a formal organization with an authorized personnel, of which the private citizen is not a member. When several persons employ an umpire, they are distinctively not the umpire, although he holds that office by their agreement.