The beginning of the Free Capitalist Project is our core philosophy.
The Free Capitalist Philosophy
The cause of liberty rises or falls based upon the content of our ideas. Poor ideas lead to misery, violence, and failure while principled thinking leads to freedom, prosperity and happiness. In this regard, good ideas are not enough, because not all ideas are of equal importance, or of equal value. In order to successfully advance the cause of liberty (personally, socially or politically), and in order to to see the fruits of liberty, prosperity and peace in our own lives and in our communities, the first and most important step is for a person to begin (or in some cases re-start) the journey of purposefully taking a direct and deliberate interest and ownership in our own ideas, then refining our ideas to bring them into harmony with those fundamental truths (e.g. natural laws and self-evident principles) that govern the attainment of free, prosperous and peaceful society.
The Free Capitalist philosophy consists of 100 key ideas that are central to the cause of liberty and free society. The ideas are organized into a rational framework to make them easy to study, remember, and communicate. The framework is called the Liberty Core™ and these 100 ideas are the foundation of the Free Capitalist movement. Until an individual has a very personal paradigm shift for liberty – and reaches an awareness of these 100 ideas, he is walking too much in the dark to be significantly engaged and effective in the cause of liberty. Whether patriot, politician, businessman or student – or any other circumstance – an advocate for the cause of liberty is ultimately defined by the presence or absence of this paradigm shift. Free Capitalists do not advance this premise to offend, nor are we insensitive to the fact that there are a great many patriots, intellectuals, and thought leaders who have great insight, firm determination, critical life experience and in some instances powerful organizations. These are our friends. And to our friends we invite you to consider the Liberty Core™ and to experience this critical paradigm shift for yourself, your family and your community. These are the ideas and framework of a real, flesh and blood revolution to sanction and complete what America’s Founders started centuries ago – a revolution to complete the American experiment in self-government and free society.
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.
When I came across this statement many years ago – it stuck out to my mind, like a challenge. I began searching contemporary and historical records for these “primary truths” that sewed the common thread through America’s founding, and constituted what I ultimately learned several of America’s Founders (including most significantly, Thomas Jefferson) referred to as the critical set of Ancient Principles that governed the establishment of the United States.
In my study I learned that the majority of America’s key Founders had studied the great civilizations of the past and that they held to the idea that individuals and nations prospered according to the degree to which these same individuals and nations adhered to certain ancient truths. Our world today is sorely in need of a re-awakening to this sobering realization. In fact, this was the spirit of the Renaissance, the driving force during the Age of Reason and the personal compass for those prominent leaders in the American Revolution.
It took me several years to outline and refine the presentation of the 100 ideas detailed below. Starting in about 2002, and continuing through to the present day, as I discovered key ideas and core principles, I would both write them down and explore their implications by teaching what I was finding to others. At length I came to the task of organizing all my notes and my discoveries. In doing so , I postulated that I could consolidate all of my critical discoveries into a basic, easy to remember catalog or formula. This was no small undertaking. I started with what I termed the basic 13 Principles of Prosperity™. These were the foundation, ideas that could be discovered at the core of America’s revolution, ideas that motivated the Founders to make critical, course determinative changes in their own personal lives and in the early founding of our nation. These 13 Principles are the active governing rules or laws in all areas of a free society. On top of these 13 Principles, I outlined the rest of the Liberty Core, which includes 1 Choice, 2 Paradigms, 3 Core Values, 5 Pillars of Wealth, 7 Fundamentals of Free Society, and 11 Stages of a Productive Life. When I finished outlining these ideas, I realized I had experienced a critical, life defining paradigm shift. I also realized that this same paradigm shift was something that could unite other like-minded people in the cause of liberty.
The following is a summary of the Liberty Core™ framework:
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 paramount, the prime value of human life, or whether we will place some other value at the top. We each make this choice, intentionally or otherwise. The choice is determinative, and the cascading chain of consequences -unavoidable. In essence, this choice determines the life trajectory of both individuals and of nations. In its simplest form, the basic idea can be expressed as: all men are free to choose liberty and life, or captivity and death. While not all men immediately realize the choice they are making or its consequences – when they fail to choose wisely, all other natural laws and principles constantly reveal this to be the case, and as such, all of nature constantly teaches and instructs men, through actual experience, to bring them to an awareness of this one truth – sooner or later. 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” sentiments of such adherents. Thus, generally speaking, this one idea – that men are free to choose liberty – or not, is the most important choice anyone can make. Once a person deliberately chooses liberty, it opens a door to a new word view, a new way of thinking, acting, and living. This is the core, and the first step in the revolution.
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 mental lens or viewpoint (we sometimes refer to this as a person’s “de mente” (meaning the judgment, meaning, and decisions that come from one person’s mind – the term de mente literally means of or from the mind). This personal mental process forms our perspective on life – its events, happenings, facts, experiences, etc. and is how we come to understand any subject, feeling, thought, etc. This de mente process is how we form concepts, opinions and judgments. It constitutes our view of our individual selves, our day-to-day lives, our stories and narratives that we tell (to ourselves and to others) about who we are, what we like, what we value, what we’ve experienced, it also is the process by which we view, experience, and describe our relationships. Our individual thinking through this de mente process is how we make all of our choices – consciously and unconsciously. Importantly, all of our choices are derivatives of whether or not we have first chosen liberty. In consequence, we discover, embrace (or reject) and communicate meaning, through a de mente paradigm that reflects this choice.
In the beginning of life, we are not aware of liberty, and don’t have the mental faculty to choose it. As such, our first, natural paradigm, or de mente perspective – is one of scarcity. Scarcity is the view of life and the world as dangerous, unpredictable, and worrisome. Survival is our highest value, and fear is our natural reaction to unfamiliar or uncomfortable stimulus. There is no morality or rationality for infants, and the view of scarcity acknowledges no such concepts. Yet, as we grow and mature, we gain cognitive autonomy and in the process reach adulthood. As conscious adults we have had ample experience – both physical and mental – to learn (both deliberately and unconsciously) that the universe is not a place of chance, that there is a natural order and a natural force of universal laws governing the physical world surrounding us. From this order we begin to understand morality and rationality – and begin to employ reason over our sensations and emotions. We sometimes refer to this order and these laws as “de jure” truths and we refer to this physical world as the “de facto” world. It is within this context that maturing minds begin to face a rational choice between two paradigms. Opposed to the scarcity paradigm, is a perspective of abundance. Abundance is the view of life and the world as purposeful, rational, and full of opportunity. Liberty of our soul, and an acknowledgment of universal liberty is the highest value in the paradigm of abundance, where faith in the governing laws and principles of the universe instruct that some such truths are self-evident and moral primaries.
Once we have reached an adult state of consciousness every moment of our life and every expression of our will – is defined by whether or not we have chosen liberty. If we choose liberty, we strive to live in abundance, and we intentional develop and rationally refine our ideas – our de mente sphere of consciousness – in accordance with the principles (de jure) and laws that govern existence, and we persistently strive to rationally structure our values and make our choices from within this paradigm of abundance, striving to maximize life’s potential and opportunities. Yet, at every waking moment, the stark reality of mortality, and the inescapable needs we have, by nature, tempt us to retreat into our infantile past, to abandon our rational conscious efforts, and to embrace the paradigm of scarcity.
To put the matter simply, there are two possible word views that form our de mente understanding of reality; and the ever present choice is between scarcity and abundance. I sometimes call the scarcity view the Consumer Condition™ and the abundant view, the Producer Paradigm™.
3. Three Core Values. The world we live in today has a radically different notion of “government” than the world in the day of America’s founding. Consequently, people today casually make reference to “government” as the formal, institutional structures such as city, county, state or federal governments. 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 has devolved from the Founder’s ear and is destructive of liberty. Such a view derives from a paradigm heavily steeped in scarcity. On the other hand, Webster’s dictionary from 1828 lists the primary meaning of the term “government” as “control, [and] restraint” and illustrates the concept by declaring “men are apt to neglect the government of their temper and passions.” This is the result of an awake and aware consciousness, and a maturing mind recognizing that the de facto world is a place of order and natural law and that the exercise of our minds and our bodies self-evidently implicates certain questions of morality related to how we should interact with – and in – the world around us.
Thus, having chosen liberty, and striving to live in abundance, the rational man recognizes that he alone has control and responsibility of his thoughts and his actions – and this implicates the necessity of self-government. Self-government is the process of controlling one’s thoughts and one’s actions, and this suggests to the mind the essential value of self-reliance. The value of self-reliance and the process of self-government are the self-evident beginning point for those who have chosen liberty, because it is only upon one’s self and upon one’s own choices that a man or woman can rationally rely, having no surviving moral claim to the life or choices of another. When we are children, this is not the case. A child has a moral claim upon the life and choices of its parents. Because, a child, by right, is dependent upon his own mother and father – before any other source, because it was through their choice that he came into existence and it is by nature he is entirely physically and mentally dependent upon them and is unable to care for himself. As he grows into adulthood, this changes – as described above. Once he becomes an adult, he is faced with the rationalization that he is by nature required to provide for himself, and by right, entitled to self-government.
Secondarily, he realizes that the use of his time and talents and abilities is the manner and method of creating value – and that if he is to fulfill his wants as effectively and productively as possible – he must exchange with others. In this manner, the next value of economic independence and family government becomes his own. To maintain his own liberty, and to achieve his own happiness a rational man strives for the productive life, and this directly involves the establishment of his own household and his own family government.
Third, as an individual household has interaction and exchange with others, the necessity of negotiation, communication, reliance, contract, and social expectations come into play. Here the political value of freedom is suggested to the mind, and the notion of community government (from the smallest multi-family groups, through municipal and county governments, to state and national governments).
In summary, the three core value of a free man or free woman are self-reliance, economic independence and ultimate freedom and these correspond directly to traditionally liberal civics (meaning liberty based civics) and the proper role of government as self-government, family government, and community government. The cause 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 (or ownership) over is his or her own body and the physical space that his 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 begins most simply with the space one’s body occupies, and expands over any other space that a person controls. The second pillar, is the naturally occurring resource or resources derived from within, on or above the land. This begins with the air one breathes and exhales. But, it 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 nature, discovered and utilized by men. The third pillar has to do with commodities. The simplest description here has to do with man’s labor directed 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 on their values – as pertaining to these pillars. In fact, happiness has to do and generally derives from choosing and creating value, acting upon these values and as a result of these choices, and by applying principle and intention to the use of 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.™ Individuals are primary. By nature, humans however, are social beings. No person can be born into the world and survive without 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 individuals are the fundamental units of family and of all government). 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 control, occupy and constitute households and through this, 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 liberty that derive from family life and constitute the basic institutions of free society. These are:
1) Church/Religion. 2) School/Education. 3) Government/Civics. 4) Medical/Health. 5) Economy/Business. 6) Culture/Art. 7) Recreation/Play.
For most of the history of Western Civilization these seven fundamentals and their institutions have been referenced and emphasized based upon the seven corresponding days of the calendar week. Unfortunately, in modern time, the first and fundamental 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. The core of these institutions, in each case, is almost fully removed from the stewardship of home and family in our modern time. 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 the cause of liberty, or to build and complete the work of the American Revolution, without a sober acknowledgement of this tragedy and a strategic and rapid effort 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 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 parenthood 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 within 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 lay 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/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 Free Capitalist Radio. I’ve also embeded a link to SoundCloud where the full original lectures on these 13 Principles of Prosperity can be accessed.
We also teach the Liberty Core™ program through American Founders University, and have a full K-12 curriculum for children. We also have a detailed program of mentoring and personal development, community activism, legal defense and advocacy, policy advocacy and political involvement and entrepreneurship. All of this is to inform, educate and organize a group of people who desire to live free – not just in theory or sentiment, but in reality. We call our effort the Free Capitalist Project, and the formal organization of people involved, the American Liberty Society.™
If you’d like to learn more, if you’d like to be involved, and if you’d like to do more, then join with us.