For one year now has been a permanent source of learning and knowledge. Not just from the brilliant articles published daily, the books and guides I can have access to, the interesting posts and comments made by interesting and honest people, but also for the fact that I get to meet new great people with terrific ideas and viewpoints.

It is great to learn! It was a friend, a friend with a long name: “Resource for your Source; FreeEach; Jack of All (Free) Traders…,” who recommended me the book “Precondition for Peace and Prosperity: Rational Anarchy” by Richard & Ernestine Perkins. The book was published in 1971 and is out of print now. I was able to get a used book from Amazon and I’m reading it. (I also have a PDF scanned version that Jack emailed to me). Highly recommended !!

While discussing about the nature of man I came across this passage in the book that I found not just interesting but fundamental. And I wanted to share it.

Cheers !!


“Man: Aggressor-Slave or Rational Being?”

“One of the common misconceptions we have encountered in our discussions with people on the nature of man, is the assumption that man is by nature, aggressive. Presumably this is to “explain” the fact that throughout the history of man, there have always been some men who acted aggressively. This reasoning, however, ignores the fact that similarly, there have always been many men who acted non-aggressively! Evidently many people have observed that primitive man engaged in tribal conflicts, and they observed modern man still engaging in warfare, and they conclude that man is by nature, aggressive.

Primitive man can be compared to man in his infancy; to man growing, learning, and expanding his knowledge. Man has no automatic knowledge of how he should act in order to survive. He must discover and learn this. Notice that an infant is wholly dependent; he kicks and screams at times, and has not yet acquired the knowledge that two plus two equals four. Can we conclude therefore, that man must continue to be wholly dependent; continue to kick and scream, continue to remain in ignorance, since during his infancy he acted that way? Even though man has, in the main, scarcely outgrown his primitive habit of conducting warfare, even though he has abandoned the club and replaced it with a “government”, it would be inconceivable to claim that aggression is the nature of man. Why? Because the facts prove otherwise.

How can we determine the essence of anything? The nature of an existent is that which makes it different from all other kinds of existents. Change or remove the nature of a thing and it no longer is the kind of thing which it formerly was; it becomes something else. The nature of an entity is identified by observing its essential characteristics; the one it is common to all and only such existents, and makes a thing the kind of thing which it is.

     Aggression is not the nature of man. It does not make a man human! Aggression makes a man anti-human. Many men act aggressively, but they do so by choice, not by nature. All men are capable of choosing non-aggression, but not all men are willing to do so. Also, a great many are forced to support (financially) the aggressive activities of governments.

     If, as some would lead us to believe, man was aggressive by nature, any attempt to curb his aggressiveness would be quite futile and senseless, because it would be an attempt to force man to act in contradiction to his nature. If man was aggressive by nature, then aggression should be fostered, not curbed, because all living entities survive by acting in accordance with their natures.

There is a unique nature that man does not share with any other kind of living entity. This nature is rationality. Man is a rational animal. Man arrives at rationality by a specific unique mental process. This mental process is called his reason.

Reason is the volitional action of the conceptual level of consciousness when it functions to identify fundamental cause, and its effects. If we ask “what is the reason for his behaviour?” we are attempting to determine the cause of his behaviour.

Rationality is the capacity (latent ability) of a being, to base his actions on his reason. Hence a human individual is a rational being. By “man” we mean individual human adults, male or female. In considering the definition of a human, one is considering an individual lifespan. Thus, even though a human infant is not yet able to exercise rationality, the essential characteristic which distinguishes him from a baby calf or infant monkey, is that individual capacity for rationality which is being developed.

There is a strict causal relationship between rationality and man’s survival. Remove man’s rationality entirely, and he would not survive as a human. Man’s rationality involves other distinguishing characteristics. It implies that man is a conceptual animal; he can integrate percepts into concepts and ideas; he can generate these ideas into actions and can project them by means of volitional consciousness.

Since earliest times it has been man’s rationality, however limited, that has ensured his survival. Primitive man engaged in many irrational types of conduct. He practiced cannibalism, which was aggression, and he also sacrificed himself in many ways – all of which threatened his survival. However, it is readily observable that even primitive man had to exercise some rationality in order to survive. Had he consistently practiced aggression or sacrifice, none of us would be here now, because the human species would have ceased to exist.

As man became more intelligent, he began discovering more and more natural laws and using them as guides to his conduct. By observing these laws of nature he was able to discover better ways of prolonging his existence and making it a more comfortable one. But the most important natural law has thus far eluded the majority of men.

Without the knowledge and observance of natural moral law, his knowledge of the other natural laws will not suffice to protect his survival. Because he has institutionalized aggression in the form of governments, he violates moral law   and mankind is brought closer to the brink of non-survival.”

Excerpt from:

“Preconditions for Peace and Prosperity” -by Richard & Ernestine Perkins.

Chapter III: “Man: Aggressor-Slave or Rational Being?”

(October 1971)