Capitalistic Era

THE immortal work done by Descartes, Newton and Leibnitz was to discover powerful methods for mathematics-the only fit language for expressing the laws of nature.

Human Engineering will be the science by which the great social problems will be solved. For the first time since the first day of man, humanity will really understand its own nature and status; and will learn to direct scientifically the living and the non-living forces for construction, avoiding unnecessary destruction and waste.

It may seem strange but it is true that the time-binding exponential powers, called humans, do not die-their bodies die but their achievements live forever-a permanent source of power. All of our precious possessions-science, acquired by experience, accumulated wealth in all fields of life-are kinetic and potential use-values created and left by by-gone generations; they are humanity's treasures produced mainly in the past, and conserved for our use, by that peculiar function or power of man for the binding of time. That the natural trend of life and the progress of the development of this treasury is so often checked, turned from its natural course, or set back, is due to ignorance of human nature, to metaphysical speculation and sophistry. Those who, with or without intention, keep the rate of humanity's mental advancement down to that of an arithmetic progression are the real enemies of society; for they keep the life-regulating "sciences" and institutions far behind the gallop of life itself. The consequence is periodic social violence-wars and revolutions.

Let us carry the analysis of potential and kinetic use-values a little further. All potential use-values left to us by the dead are temporal and differ in utility. Many potential use-values are found in museums and have very limited value to-day in practical life. On the other hand some roads or waterways built by the ancients have use-value to-day; and an almost endless list of modern potential use-values have or will have use-values for a long time to come, such as buildings, improved lands, railroad tracks, certain machines or tools; the use-value of some such items of material wealth will last for more than one generation. Kinetic use-values are permanent in their character, for, though they may become antiquated, they yet serve as the foundation for the developments that supersede them, and so they continue to live in that to which they lead.

I would draw attention at this point to one of the most important kinetic and potential use-values produced by humanity-the invention of the steam engine. Through this invention, humanity has been able to avail itself, not only of the living fruits of dead men's toil, but also of the inconceivably vast amounts of solar energy and time bound up in the growth of vegetable life and conserved for use in the form of coal and other fuels of vegetable origin. This invention has revolutionized our life in countless directions. To be brief, I will analyse only the most salient effects. Human Engineering has never existed except in the most embryonic form. In remote antiquity the conception and knowledge of natural law was wholly absent or exceedingly vague. Before the invention of the steam engine, people depended mainly upon human powers-that is, upon "living powers"-the powers of living men, and the living fruits of the labor of the dead. Even then there were manifold complications.

The invention of the steam engine released for human use a new power of tremendous magnitude-the stored-up power of solar energy and ages of time. But we must not fail to note carefully that we to-day are enabled to use this immense new power of bound-up solar energy and time by a human invention, a product of the dead.

The full significance of the last statement requires reflection. The now dead inventor of the steam engine could not have produced his ingenious invention except by using the living powers of other dead men-except by using the material and spiritual or mental wealth created by those who had gone before. In the inventor's intellectual equipment there was actively present the kinetic use-value of "bound-up-time," enabling him to discover the laws of heat, water, and steam; and he employed both the potential and kinetic use-values of mechanical instruments, methods of work, and scientific knowledge of his time and generation-use-values of wealth created by the genius and toil of by-gone generations. This invention was not produced, let us say 6000 years ago, because civilization was not then sufficiently advanced: mathematically considered, the production of this great use-value had to await all the accumulated work of six thousand years of human ingenuity and human labor. So, if we choose, the steam engine may be considered a kinetic use-value in which the factor of time is equal to something like 6000 years, or let us say roughly 200 generations.

It is obvious that, in one life time, even a genius of the highest order' could not, in aboriginal conditions, have invented and built a steam engine, when everything, even iron, was unknown. Of course if the same inventor could have had a life of several thousands of years and could have consecutively followed up all the processes, unhampered by the prejudices of those days, and been able to make all of these inventions by himself, he would represent in himself all the progress of civilization.

By this illustration we see the profound meaning of the words the living powers of the dead; we see the grave importance in human life of the factor TIME; we behold the significance of the time-binding capacity of man. The steam engine is to be seen anew, as in the main the accumulated production of dead-men's work. The life of one generation is short, and were it not for our human capacity to inherit the material and spiritual fruit of dead men's toil, to augment it a little in the brief span of our own lives, and to transmit it to posterity, the process of civilization would not be possible and our present estate would be that of aboriginal man. Civilization is a creature, its creator is the time-binding power of man. Animals have it not, because they belong to a lower type or dimension of life.

Sophistry avails nothing here; a child, left in the woods, would be and remain a savage, matching his wits with gorillas. He becomes a civilized man only by the accumulation of, and acquaintance with dead men's work; for then and only then can he start where the preceding generation left off. This capacity is peculiar to men; the fact can not be repeated too often.

It is untrue to say that A started his life aided exclusively by the achievements of (say) his father, for his father's achievements depended on the achievements of his immediate predecessors; and so on all the way back through the life of humanity. This fact, of supreme ethical importance, applies to all of us; none of us may speak or act as if the material or spiritual wealth we have were produced by us; for, if we be not stupid, we must see that what we call our wealth, our civilization, everything we use or enjoy, is in the main the product of the labor of men now dead, some of them slaves, some of them "owners" of slaves. The metal spoon or the knife which we use daily is a product of the work of many generations, including those who discovered the metal and the use of it, and the utility of the spoon.

And here arises a most important question: Since the wealth of the world is in the main the free gift of the past-the fruit of the labor of the dead- to whom does it of right belong? The question can not be evaded. Is the existing monopoly of the great inherited treasures produced by dead men's toil a normal and natural evolution?

Or is it an artificial status imposed by the few upon the many ? Such is the crux of the modern controversy.

It is generally known that the invention of the steam engine and other combustion engines which release sun-Power for mechanical use, has revolutionized the economic system; for the building of engines in the scale of modern needs, it is necessary to concentrate a great number of living men in one place, to build factories, to set up machines used in producing the engines, and all this requires the use of vast amounts of money. That is why this era is called the capitalistic era. But it is necessary to stop here and analyse the factors of value in the engine to be made and in the money used for the purpose of making use of the stored-up energies of the sun. We have found that the major part of the engine and all factors connected with its production are the combined power of dead men's labor. We have found that wealth or capital and its symbol, money, are also, in the main, the bound-up power of dead men's labor; so that the only way to obtain the benefit in the release of sun-power, is by using the product of the toil of the dead. It is further obvious that only the men or organizations that are able to concentrate the largest amounts of money, representing the work of the dead, can have the fullest use of the stored-up energies of time and the ancient sun. Thus the monopoly of the stored-up energies of the sun arises from monopolizing the accumulated fruits of dead men's toil. These problems will, in the future, be the concern of the science and art of Human Engineering.

Let us glance briefly at the problems from another angle. The power developed in the combustion of one pound of coal is theoretically equal to 11,580,000 foot pounds. But by our imperfect methods of utilization, not more than 1,500,000 foot pounds are made available. This is about the amount of physical power exerted by a man of ordinary strength during a day's work. Hence 300 pounds of coal will represent the labor of a man for a year. The current production of coal in the world is about 500,000,000 tons (1906). If we suppose that only half of this coal goes for mechanical use, this will give us approximately the number as 1,600,000,000 man-powers that are producers but not consumers.

Let us take a still broader view of resources; we have approximately 1,600,000,000 living human beings ( all censuses available between 1902 and 1906); a wealth of approximately $357,000,000,000 (Social Progress, 1906, page 221) which in our analysis is dead men's work; and sun-power equal, in work, to the work of our whole living population, or equal to 1,600,000,000 sun man-powers. Taking, for simplicity's sake, $35.70 as the average living expenses per annum for each one of the world's population, we will have:

(1) 1,600,000,000 living men.

(2) 10,000,000,000 living man-powers of the dead.

(3) 1,600,000,000 sun man-powers.

Such classification needs a reflection: man is intrinsically an increasing exponential power and always produces two use-values-the potential and the kinetic. All living men have in some degree this type of power; they are able to direct and use basic powers.

So we see that this world is really populated today by three different populations, all of them dynamic and active: to wit, 1,600,000,000 living men; 10,000,000,000 riving man-powers of the dead; 1,600,000,000 sun man-powers.

Thus it is obvious beyond any argument, that this additional producing but not consuming population, has been produced mainly by the work of all our past generations. It is said "mainly" because, if we were the first generation, we would be just aboriginal savages having nothing and progressing very slowly. The reason why we progress very rapidly, in this stage of civilization, is explained very clearly by the mathematical law of a geometrical progression, with an ever increasing number of terms, the magnitude of the terms increasing more rapidly all the time.*

This fact is the reason why the old unscientific and artificial social system requires and must undergo profound transformation. Human progress, in many directions, is so far advanced that social institutions can not much longer continue to lag so far behind. Static ethics, static jurisprudence, static economics, and the rest must become dynamic; if they do not continue to progress peacefully in accordance with the law of the progress of science, they will be forced by violent readjustments' recurring with ever increasing frequency.

Here we have a problem of very high importance and enormous magnitude. To serve 1,600,000,000 living men, we have 11,600,000,000 dead man-powers and all the sun man-powers-SEVEN SERVANTS TO EACH LIVING MAN. WOMAN AND CHILD included. It looks like the millennium. It would be so if we but used all this power in a constructive way' eliminating waste and controversy and all those factors which hamper production and progress. The present economic system does not realize even the beginning of the magnitude of this truth and the tremendous results which are to be achieved through the adjustment of it. The problem will be solved by Human Engineering, for this will establish the right understanding of values and will show how to manage world problems scientifically; it will give a scientific foundation to Political Economy and transform so-called "scientific shop management" into genuine "scientific world management."**

There is a chasm between "Capital" and "Labor," but nature does not know "Capital" or "Labor" at all. Nature knows only matter, energy, "space," "time," potential and kinetic use-values, forces in all their direct and indirect expression, the energies of living men, living powers of dead men, and the bound-up powers of Time and the ancient Sun. Nature made man an increasing exponential function of time, a time-binder, a power able to transform and direct basic powers. Sometimes we hypocritically like to delude ourselves, if our delusions are agreeable- and profitable. We call human work "manual labor" and we pretend that we need the laborer for his muscular service, but when we thus speak, we are thoughtless, stupid, or insincere. What we look for in the worker is his control of his muscles; mechanical work is or can be replaced almost entirely by machinery. What we will never be able to replace by machinery is a Man, because man belongs to the level of a dimension above machinery. Engine-power, sun man-power, and capital-mainly the work of the dead-are inanimate; they become productive only when quickened by the time-binding energies of living men and women. Then only are the results proportional to the ever growing magnitude of exponential power. In nature's economy the time-binders are the intelligent forces. There is none else known to us, and from the engineer's point of view, Edison and the simplest laborer, Smith or Jones, are basically the same; their powers or capacities are exponential, and, though differing in degree, are the same in kind. This may seem optimistic but all engineers are optimists. They deal only with fact and truth. If they make mistakes, if their bridges break down, then, no matter how clever their sophistry, they are adjudged criminal. Like severity must be made the rule and practice toward all those who control the institutions and great affairs of human society. Periodical break-downs must be prevented. The engineers of human society must be held responsible, as the bridge engineer is held to-day.

Things are often simpler than they appear at the first glance. There may be fire and plenty of coal in a stove, yet no heat; the fire does not burn well; an engineer will remove the natural causes of obstruction of the natural process; even such a simple thing as the removal of ashes may solve the problem. It seems simple enough. The truth is often clear and simple, if only it be not obscured and complicated by sophistry.

"Capitalistic" reasoning and "Socialistic" reasoning-Nature does not know such things. Nature has only one "reasoning" in all its functions. Our falsifying of nature's laws makes the controversy. Socialism exists as an ism because Capitalism exists as an ism; the clash is only an expression of the eternal law of action and reaction.

We are living in a world of wealth, a world enriched by many generations of dead men's toil; between the lust of the one to keep and the lust of others to get, there is little to choose; such contentions of lust against lust are sub-human-animalistic; such ethics is zoological ethics-the righteousness of tooth and claw; below the human dimensions of life, utterly unworthy of the creative energy-the time-binding capacity-of humanity. Socialism feels keenly and sees dimly that human affairs are not conducted in conformity with natural laws. Capitalism neither sees it nor keenly feels it. Neither the one nor the other stops to investigate natural laws-nature's laws-laws of human nature-scientifically. They both of them use the same speculative methods in their arguments, and there can be no issue. Against one old-fashioned, speculative argument, there is always a speculative answer. They both speak about the truth, but their methods can not find the truth nor their language express it. They speak of "justice," "right" and so forth, not knowing that their conceptions of those terms are based on a wrong understanding of values. There is one and but one remedy, and that remedy consists in applying scientific method to the study of the subject. Sound reasoning, once introduced, will overrun humanity as the fields turn green in the spring; it will eliminate the waste of energy in controversies; it will attract all forces toward construction and the exploitation of nature for the common weal.

There are capitalists and capitalists; there are socialists and socialists. Among the capitalists there are those who want wealth-mainly the fruit of dead men's toil-for themselves. Among the socialists there are those-the orthodox socialists-who seek to disperse it. The former do not perceive that the product of the labor of the dead is itself dead if not quickened by the energies of living men. The orthodox socialists do not perceive the tremendous benefits that accrue to mankind from the accumulation of wealth, if rightly used.

Whether we be capitalists or socialists or neither, we must learn that to prey upon the treasury left by the dead is to live, not the life of a human being, but that of a ghoul. Legalistic title-documentary ownership-does not alter the fact. Neither does lust for the same.

When we have acquired the just conception of what a human being is we shall get away from the Roman conception according to which a human being is instrumentum vocale; an animal, instrumentum sermivocale; and a tool, instrumentum mutum. To regard human beings as tools-as instruments-for the use of other human beings is not only unscientific but it is repugnant, stupid and short sighted. Tools are made by man but have not the autonomy of their maker-they have not man's time-binding capacity for initiation, for self-direction, and self-improvement. In their own nature, tools, instruments, machines belong to a dimension far lower than that of man.

Talk of dimensions or dimensionality is by no means theoretical rubbish. The right understanding of dimensions is of life-and-death importance in practical life. The intermixing of dimensions leads to wrong conclusions in our thought and wrong conclusions lead to disasters.

Consider the classes of life as representing three dimensions (as explained in an earlier chapter), then human production belongs essentially to the human or as I call it the third dimension. With the base of (say) 5, we produce in the third dimension a result of 125 units, and so when humans are paid but 25 units in accordance with the standards of the second dimension (that of animals), humanity is deprived of the benefit of 100 units of produced wealth. That is an illustration of what a part dimensions play in practical life. The reflective reader may analyse for himself what effect these same rules would have, if expressed and applied in the human "time-binding" dimension, time being the supreme test. The following table gives the visual shock:

1st Dimension 2nd Dimension 3rd Dimension

5 25 125

10 100 1,000

100 10,000 1,000,000

1,000 1,000,000 1,000,000,000

This explains why the intermixing of dimensions is the source of tremendous evil.

Who can now assert that the problem of dimensions is one only of theory? It is not even a question of limitation of mind' but it becomes a question of limitation of eyesight, not to be able to see the overwhelming differences between the laws of development of the first, second, and the third dimension.

Dollars, or pounds sterling, or other units of money follow the same rules: the strength and in fact the source of power of modern capitalism, is found in just this difference in dimensions-in the difference between what is given and what is taken, in the difference between what is earned and what is "made." The problem of dimensions is, therefore, a key which unlocks the secrets of the power of capitalism and opens the door to a new civilization where the understanding of dimensions will establish order out of the chaos.

We have seen that kinetic and potential use-values, produced mainly by the dead, are bound up in wealth, which is measured and symbolized by money. This being true, it is obvious that money is a measure and symbol of power, of work done, of bound-up time.

The space-binding animal standard of miscivilization has brought us to an impasse-a blind alley- for the simple physical reason that there is no more space to "bind." Practically all the habitable lands, and practically all the natural resources, are already divided among private legalistic owners. What hope is there for the ever increasing population?

But we have these 1,600,000,000 living men; 10,000,000,000 living man-powers of the dead; and 1,600,000,000 sun man-powers: that is indeed a tremendous power to PRODUCE WEALTH FOR ALL, IF WISELY DIRECTED, but to-day it is ignorantly and shamefully misdirected, because human beings are not treated in accordance with their nature as the time-binding class of life.

Much more is to be gained in exploiting nature aimfully, all the time, with a full mobilization of our living, dead, and sun-powers, than by exploiting man all the time and nature occasionally. Selfishness and ignorance-is it these that prevent full mobilization of the producing powers of the world?

Such as contribute most to human progress and human enlightenment-men like Gutenberg, Copernicus, Newton, Leibnitz, Watts, Franklin, Mendeleieff, Pasteur, Sklodowska-Curie, Edison, Steinmetz, Loeb, Dewey, Keyser, Whitehead, Russell, Poincaré, William Benjamin Smith, Gibbs, Einstein, and many others-consume no more bread than the simplest of their fellow mortals. Indeed such men are often in want. How many a genius has perished inarticulate because unable to stand the strain of social conditions where animal standards prevail and "survival of the fittest" means, not survival of the "fittest in time-binding capacity," but survival of the strongest in ruthlessness and guile-in space-binding competition!

Wealth is produced by those who work with hand or brain and by no others. The great mass of the wealth of the world has been thus produced by generations that have gone. We know that the greatest wealth producers-immeasurably the greatest-have been and are scientific men, discoverers and inventors. If an invention, in the course of a few years after it is made, must become public property, then the wealth produced by the use of the invention should also become public property in the course of a like period of years after it is thus produced. Against this proposition no sophistry can avail.

One of the greatest powers of modern times is the Press; it commands the resources of space and time; it affects in a thousand subtle ways the form of our thoughts. It controls the exchange of news throughout the world. Unfortunately the press is often controlled by exploiters of the "living powers of the dead," and so what is presented as news is frequently so limited, colored and distorted by selfish interests as to be falsehood in the guise of truth. Honest, independent papers are frequently starved by selfish conspirators and forced to close down. Thus the press, which is itself the product in the main of dead men's toil, is made a means for the deception and exploitation of the living. Indeed the bitter words of Voltaire seem to be too true: "Since God created man in his own image, how often has man endeavored to render similar service to God." Those who want to use such "God-like" powers to rule the world are modern Neros, who in their wickedness and folly fancy themselves divine. To deceive, and through deception, to exploit, rob and subjugate living men and women' and to do it by prostituting the living powers created by the dead, is the work, I will not say of men, but of mad men, greedy, ignorant and blind. What is the remedy? Revolution? Revolution is also mad. - The only remedy is enlightenment-knowledge, knowledge of nature, knowledge of human nature, scientific education, science applied to all the affairs of man-the science and art of Human Engineering.


* Of course, the geometric progression does not represent precisely the law of human progression; it is here employed because it is familiar and serves, better perhaps than any other simple mathematical means, to show roughly how human progress goes on. The essential elements of a progression are the first term P and the ratio R and the number of the terms T; in the human progression PR1, PR2, PR3, . . . PRT, P is the starting status of the first generation, R is the peculiar capacity of humans to bind time and is a free gift and law of nature, which it would be folly not to recognize and accept as such, T is time, or number of generations. It is obvious that the magnitude, PRT, is entirely dependent on the magnitudes of PR, and T. The existence of R and T is independent of humans, R being a law of nature, T a gift of nature, P the starting status of the initial generation. With P = 0 or R = 0 THERE WOULD BE NO PROGRESS or progression at all; each term in the case of human progression is mainly dependent upon the time and the work done by the dead. The existence of R and T is entirely beyond human control. Humans can control only the MAGNITUDE of those elements by education. Here comes the tremendous responsibility of education. It is not necessary to use much imagination to see that if humanity had always been rightly educated, science would have long ago discovered the natural forces and laws essential to human welfare, and human misery would today be relatively small.

** See Appendix III.