In all my reading, one of the most simple, yet profound ideas I discovered was that principles (or certain natural laws or rules) govern how and why things happen in all of life. This truth is well accepted in the fields of physical science, but unfortunately less so in other areas of study. Alexander Hamilton put it best in 1778, in Federalist #31:
In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths or first principles upon which all subsequent reasonings must depend. These contain an internal evidence, which antecedent to all reflection or combination commands the assent of the mind . . . and [are] so obvious in themselves, and so agreeable to the natural and unsophisticated dictates of common sense, that they challenge the assent of a sound and unbiased mind, with a degree of force and conviction almost equally irresistible.
Enlightened by the ideas flowing from this one fundamental truth I began searching the historical records for what several of America’s Founders (including most significantly, Thomas Jefferson) referred to as the Ancient Principles. I knew that the large majority of America’s key Founders had studied the great civilizations of the past and that they had realized that individuals and nations prospered according to the degree to which they adhered to certain ancient truths. This is the spirit of the Renaissance, the driving force during the Age of Reason and the personal compass for those prominent revolutionaries of the Enlightenment. So, upon coming to this realization, I set out to make a list and catalog for myself, the most important, fundamental ideas that influenced the Founders and the great succeeds of their revolution. This was no small undertaking. Over several years, I identified forty-two ideas that, if studied and applied, necessarily and radically change a person’s mind, and thus a person’s life.
Interestingly, as I worked on refining the list, I noticed that these forty-two ideas seemed to fall naturally into a prime number pattern that I decided to call the Prime Pattern of Life & Liberty.
In sum, these are the idea.
1. One Choice.™ All men and women have one critical choice in life. The choice is whether or not we will accept liberty (and its attendant free will and agency consequences) as the prime value of human life, or whether we will place some other value at the top of our personal value hierarchy. We each make this choice, intentionally or otherwise. It boils down, in its essence, to the basic idea that all men are free to choose liberty and life, or captivity and death. Significantly, it is impossible to choose liberty and life in ignorance, which gives great social popularity to the variety of alternative value systems – all of which ultimately result in captivity and death, contrary to all the well-wishing and “do good” feelings of such adherents. This, generally speaking, is the most important question any adult man or women can make. Once a person chooses liberty, it opens a door to a new word view, a new way of thinking, acting, and living overall. I call this the “One Choice.”
2. Two Paradigms. Once a person chooses liberty, a new responsibility and stewardship rests upon his or her shoulders. With liberty as our chosen and acknowledged prime value, all life experiences are filtered through our “de mente” lens of perspective and understanding with the constant derrivative choice, in virtual all life circumstances in everyday living, in how we find meaning, through either a paradigm of abundance and production or the myriad alternative views of scarcity and consumerism. Determining what our circumstances and life experiences “mean” to us, at any given moment, and our perspective on the world, the people around us, and the moment to moment decisions of daily living are either consciously and delibertly the result of our purposeful choice to see and choose an interpretation of abundance, or the conscious or unconscious choice to see and choose scarcity. To put the matter more simply, there are two possible word views that form our “de mente” understanding of Truth; and the ever present choice is between abundance and scarcity. I sometimes call the abundant view, the Producer Paradigm™ and the scarcity view, the Consumer Condition ™.
3. Three Forms of Government. The world we live in today has a radically different notion of “government” than the world in the day of the American Revolution. Consequently, people today casually make reference to government as the formal, institutional structures such as city, county, state or federal government. In fact, the dominant definition of the term “government” in modern dictionaries is “the governing body of a nation, state or community.” However, this idea is destructive of liberty. Webster’s 1828 dictionary lists the primary meaning of the term as “Control, restraint. Men are apt to neglect the government of their temper and passions.” One of the critical principles I discovered in my personal quest for understanding – and specifically related to the future of liberty in America and abroad, is that it is a more correct framework to deliberately focus on government in three distinct forms. First, self-government. Second, family government. Third, community government. In simple terms, the principle of liberty (and the bedrock principles of “self-government” generally), requires first that men govern themselves individually and take direct and conscious responsibility for the whole “government of our conduct.” Second, as Webster explained in 1828, government of family is the next critical implementation of the concept, “Children are often ruined by a neglect of government in parents.” The same is true not for just children, but for our society today. Third, once self-government is valued and administered first by each individual, then by each family, it is necessary to focus on “the system of polity” in a community or state which “form the fundamental rules and principles by which a [community], nation or state is governed.” As Webster later observed in his 1866 dictionary, government is first and foremost having to do with “Direction; regulation; rule; guidance, as of one’s own actions.” This is primary. Family government, then becomes the first institution of government, and community government the follows suit. Or, to put the matter directly, as the individual and family are governed, so grows and spreads community government. When individual and family governments are failing, it is futile and destructive to glibly focus on trying to solve the myriad of individual, family and social ills by the deceptive and false lure of compensating through city, county, state and federal governments.
5. Five Pillars.™ All value in life can be categorized as either human life value, or property value. All property value is subjective. The first “property” any human being has true stewardship over is his or her own body and the physical space that the body occupies. This is the point of interaction between the abstract human life values and all other property values. In order, from least abstract to most abstract, all men and women are made, by nature, stewards over five pillars of wealth. The first pillar, and least abstract, is land – and this beings most simply with the space one’s body occupies, and expands over any other space that a person controls whether through contract or force. The second pillar, is the naturally occurring resource or resources derived from within, on or above land. The most simply notion begins with the air one breathes and exhales. But, this extends further into more typically valued resources such as gold, silver, gems, ores, etc. The second pillar results from the acts and/or actions of men. The third pillar has to do with commodities. The simplest description here has to do with man’s labor direct at land or resources. The fourth pillar has to do with contracts and agreements. The fifth pillar has to do with intellectual property. The pursuit of happiness, as referenced in the Declaration of Happiness, has to do with men and women acting as pertaining to these pillars. In fact, happiness has to do and generally derives from creating value, using these pillars – combined with a person’s human life value. This formula constitutes a model for understanding and managing human action or human economy and exchange. These five pillars also form the basis of all “capital” and the subject of the statement that under “capitalism” all “property” is privately owned and goods and serves related thereto exchanged and traded based upon free exchange, or in other words, a man’s right to freely determine what he values and what he prefers, at any given time in any circumstance. Without these five pillars and at least a basic understanding of how men and women employ and expend their human life value(s) within this framework, free society is impossible.
7. Seven Fundamentals of Family.™ Individuals are primary. By nature, humans however, are social beings. No person can be born into the world and survive without the care and protection from others. Similarly, man – through the application of his mind, and the exercise of his human life value(s) – exchanges with other men to increase his satisfaction and happiness. In fact, it is impossible for any man or women to fulfill the measure of his or her creation without a basic level of sociality. The simplest expression of this is procreation. As such, family is the fundamental unit of society (while individual safe the fundamental units of family). Family, therefore, is the first institution of free society. Like individuals, families are formed, made, strengthened and protected and can also be abused, destroyed, weakened and enslaved. The destiny of any family is determined primarily by the choices of the individual members of that family. Families, then, also make up and compose communities and the destiny of any community is determined primarily by the status of family units within that community. Free society, and its most visible institutions are all subject to these basic truths and the health and well-being of a free society, is almost solely determined by the health and well-being of its small communities, and therefore the family units within those communities. As such, free society and societies’ free institutions are a direct outgrowth of family life. In this light, there are seven fundamentals of family, as an institution. 1) Church/Religion. 2) School/Education. 3) Economy/Business. 4) Government/Civics. 5) Medical/Health. 6) Recreation/Exercise and play. 7) Culture/Art. Unfortunately, in modern time, the institution of home and family has been broadly eroded to the point that most homes and families do not constitute or function at a level anything close to the standard of liberty and free society. We have been largely trained, taught and educated to outsource and/or abdicate each of these seven fundamentals, and the pattern is expanding. Religion, education, business, civics, health, exercise and the arts are almost all removed from the stewardship of home and family. Further, more and more individuals are looking to community government, rather than family government and individual self-government for solutions to life problems in each of these areas. There can be no successful campaign to restore or to advance liberty, or to build and complete the work of the American Revolution, both in the United States and abroad, without a sober acknowledgement of this tragedy and a strategic and rapid approach to rectify the problem with properly informed individuals and properly structured and organized families. No new mayor, councilman, state legislator, governor, senator or president (in any combination or group) can stop the growing tyranny in the United States of America – or beyond. Neither legislation nor judicial ruling can change the course. The only solution is found in putting first things first, as described in these ideas, and if we hope to avoid the growing tragedy and consequence of the further erosion of these fundamentals of family and all the attendant ills and destruction, we must work immediately and deliberately to re-enthrone the home and family, starting with these Seven Fundamentals.
11. Eleven Stages of Productive Life. From the time of life’s conception, through infancy, adolescence, adulthood and parent-hood all fee men and women accept different but essential degrees of stewardship in the cause of liberty and self-government. As such, the application of these ideas, and principles, varies depending on life circumstance. In our strategy to advance the cause of liberty, we divide these areas of life stewardship into eleven stages of productive life. Within these stages, those who are working with me in the larger Free Capitalist Project, organize around these stages, and young people and old people alike find common interest, the ability to specialize and focus, and maximize our potential at bringing about the successful moral revolution to sanction and complete the work begun in America’s founding generation to spread the idea and reality of “American Liberty” across the globe.
13. The Thirteen Principles of Prosperity. The above model, and all of these related ideas can best be circumscribed into a comprehensive personal philosophy, agenda, and way of living – by breaking this framework down into 13 fundamental principles of prosperity, peace and happiness. In short, at the heart of what I’ve identified in my studies is a basic outline of thirteen ideas and principles that lie at the core foundation for any individual who desires the path of personal, family and community development leading towards a free, prosperous and happy life. I call them the 13 Principles of Prosperity™.
- Principle #1 – God is the Author of Prosperity
- Principle #2 – Faith Begins with Self-Interest
- Principle #3 – Agency implies Stewardship
- Principle #4 – Perspective Determines Action
- Principle #5 – People Are Assets
- Principle #6 – Human Life Value is the Source and Creator of All Property Value
- Principle #7 – Dollars Follow Value
- Principle #8 – Exchange Creates Wealth
- Principle #9 – Profit is the Tool of Validation
- Principle #10 – Productivity is the Standard
- Principle #11 – Force Destroys Freedom and Prosperity
- Principle #12 – Collective Action has no Unique Moral Authority
- Principle #13 – Personal Liberty Requires Private Property
Over time I’ll add a short summary to briefly expand upon each principle. Those interested in learning more about these 13 Principles of Prosperity and our deliberate campaign and strategy to carry out this moral revolution, are encouraged and invited to “subscribe” to FreeCapitalist.com. We teach a core program through American Founders University, and have a full K-12 curriculum for families who have children that are home schooled, or who desire to supplement their child’s private or government school education. We also have a detailed program of personal development, community activism, legal defense and advocacy, policy advocacy and political involvement. If you’d like to learn more, if you’d like to be involved, if you’d like to learn more (and more importantly – do more) then subscribe to FreeCapitalist.com using the “Join or Die” link in the top right column of this page.
C. Rick Koerber
President, FreeCapitalist Project™
CEO, Producer Revolution™