Freedom and the advance of scienceOctober 28, 1980
Truth and insight are promoted, and thus science advances, when the individual is emphasized. Creative and productive (free) individuals advance as they find and understand truth. The challenge (“enemy”) of individuals is reality, hard truth, the way things are, the materials, weather, and laws of the earth and of the universe. As the individual better understands truth about the earth, himself, and the behavior of his fellow free men, he is able to advance. Thus, truth and scientific discovery flourish when free individuals prosper.
Authoritative groups, strong governments, dictators, etc., on the other hand, prosper only so long as they have the support of masses of people. This support is kept only so long as the masses believe the dogma or doctrine which justifies the existence of the power concentrated in the leader(s) of the group. Because such power tends to grow, the justifying dogma tends to bend and change to justify the increasing power. To promote this process, it is necessary to fabricate, to ignore reality, to assume incorrectly, to assert without cause, to appeal to hope, or to fear, rather than to reason, and, in so doing, wander further and further from the truth. It does not matter whether the justifying dogma is true, so long as the subject people believe it and continue to submit themselves to the power of the leader. So long as they do, the leader and the group survive, and the “doctrine” has achieved its purpose. This departure from the truth is all the easier if the doctrine harmonizes with the hopes and fears of the subject people.
After a period of time, however, truth is always victorious. The greater the deception involved in the accepted doctrine, the greater the number of people deceived, and the longer the period of deception, the greater will be the calamity which falls on the deceived people. War and famine are the typical expressions of such calamity. Truth does not change. Man ignores truth at his peril. When man attempts to bypass truth, he can postpone the ill effects of such action only at the expense and sacrifice of his fellow men and the wealth which they have accumulated while acting in harmony with the truth.
The challenge of the free individual is to discover truth. The challenge of the bureaucrat, dictator, president, etc., is to manipulate the minds of men, through ideas, so that they give him ever increasing power. The greater the scheme of deception, the greater will be his power. Thus the challenge of the bureaucrat is to concoct the greatest and most imaginative system of lies ever conceived by the mind of man.
The fruits of truth are peace, prosperity, freedom, and happiness. The fruits of the lie are war, famine, torture, and misery.
Postscript (October 29)
It is because survival and self-respect are basic needs, that free men seek truth, while parasitic men promote doctrine and dogma to maintain their position.
A foundation of truth requires an ever- changing perspective. Therefore, even a ruler who seeks truth, and comes to power to meet a need, will become unnecessary after a time, when the need is met or a danger is past. The genuine truth-seeker will recognize this, diminish his power, and adjust to meeting other needs of himself and other people.
But the parasitic power-seeker must concoct a dogma to preserve his position, because no ruler is so omniscient as to be able to meet all the ever-changing challenges which men face. Therefore the established parasite has the never-ending challenge of promoting the dogma so that his position continues to be accepted. As time moves on, it becomes necessary to take control of education so that the lie becomes more entrenched. This is why free education and a genuine search for truth flourish in free countries, while controlled education and the promotion of propaganda are the ear marks of parasitic governments.