Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘D’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence On Mailing List ‘D’

with Jonathan


VINEETO: I would like to check with you, if you still want your name on the website instead of Respondent No. 39 (as we had verbally agreed on the last day of your visit). If yes, can you please confirm this in writing so I can put it at the top of your correspondence page with Richard (for everyone to see that we only use people’s names with their permission).

JONATHAN: That’s fine. I’d prefer if [you] use my full first name which is Jonathan. Jonathan to Vineeto 13.8.2013


Jun 01 2015

Re: Moral cap and Authority

RESPONDENT No. 00: (...). Also, there’s definitely an eerie feeling like i’m being watched when I choose to be happy, a sense of anxiety, like I’m doing something naughty by being happy, which is the belief in an authority, and the fear of punishment. (Message № 194xx).

JONATHAN: You mention authority and the fear of punishment (...). I think that autonomy plays a big part in dismantling these things. Richard, in particular, was so adept at getting me to begin thinking for myself. It started towards the end of the first trip when he sat down and poked a hole in my superiority complex. And it continued to the very last night of the final trip when he talked about a peasant mentality. (...). (Message № 19410).

RESPONDENT No. 32: (...). Can you elaborate a bit more on that ‘peasant mentality’ which Richard discussed with you ? (Message № 194xx).

CLAUDIU: Oh I found the concept of the peasant mentality really awesome actuality. I hadn’t heard anybody else put it that way before. Let me try to formulate it properly. [...snip 254-word formulation...].

RICHARD: Yes, the better example is indeed [...snip example...].

To explain: [...snip 2479-word explanation plus examples...].

(I will append the bulk of ‘Article 20’ below my signature/sign-off so as to make it available on-line, hereafter, for those without a copy of ‘Richard’s Journal’).

Another example [...snip 370-word example plus explanation...].

P.S.: What follows is the bulk of ‘Article 20’ from ‘Richard’s Journal’. Incidentally, the ‘invisible social contract’ mentioned in the opening paragraph refers to the gist of Part Six of the book ‘Of The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right’ (‘Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique’; 1762) by Mr. Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Viz.: [...snip gist of ‘The Social Contract’...].

Article 20; The Survival Of The Community Depends Upon Its Absolute Selfishness. (pp. 141-146, ‘Richard’s Journal’, 2nd Ed. ©The Actual Freedom Trust 2004). [...snip appended bulk of article...].

JONATHAN: Thanks Richard, it was illuminating to have another read of article 20 again.

RICHARD: G’day Jon,

Whilst it is, of course, pleasing to know that having another read of a particular article from ‘Richard’s Journal’ was illuminating for you it has apparently escaped your notice, whilst doing so, that the topic under discussion is none other than the ‘peasant mentality’ you introduced to this forum (partly re-presented near the top of this page) such as to occasion another subscriber to enquire whether you could elaborate a bit more on that very subject (also partly re-presented near the top of this page).

Evidently your co-respondent’s report (partly re-presented at the top of this page) – of eerily feeling watched, when feeling happy, along with feeling anxious as if being happy is doing something naughty, which anxiety stems from a belief in an authority and the fear of punishment – had jogged your memory of Richard talking about ‘a peasant mentality’, on the very last night of your final trip, such as to occasion you to respond with that particular term (and not some other term already in usage) as being particularly fitted to that particular sequence of feelings, beliefs and fears described.

Of course, going by what you later wrote in Message № 19554 – which I will respond to in its chronological order – it might be that ‘a peasant mentality’ was not really a topic you thought worthy of elaborating on despite having introduced it.

I raise this ‘might be’ hypothesis because the following is how you finished-off that paragraph of yours to your co-respondent (partly re-presented near the top of this page).

Viz.:

• [Jonathan]: (...). There are so many things that Richard said, which I wasn’t even able to respond to because, to me, they were so far out in left field. But after many months, I find that he was just thinking for himself. And I can do that same thing. (Message № 19410).

Would it be impertinent of me to suggest that your ascription of that adverbial diminisher in your [quote] ‘he was *just* thinking for himself’ [emphasis added] explanatory note which, you add, you can do [quote] ‘that *same* thing’ [emphasis added] yourself, is an instance of your self-acknowledged ‘superiority complex’ in action?

(More on this much further below).

JONATHAN: I was able to relate to more of it [Article 20] this time around. I think the last time I read it, I was mainly just able to grasp that the community exists for the individual, which is an amazing insight because it’s 180 degrees from the accepted wisdom. As an example, one of our most famous presidents, JFK, said: ‘Don’t ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.’

RICHARD: Hmm ... it does appear that yet another read of Article 20 in ‘Richard’s Journal’ would be in order because chiastic rhetoric (the inversion of the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases) about unselfish USA citizens, as Mr. John Kennedy made popular with his version in his 1961 hortatory address, is not ‘180 degrees’ from what is conveyed in Article 20 but, rather, the obverse of similar rhetoric about selfish USA citizens.

By way of demonstration, here is the precise wording (of that example of the ‘accepted wisdom’ you provided):

• ‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country’.

And here is what ‘180 degrees’ from that example of the ‘accepted wisdom’ looks like:

• ‘Ask not what you can do for your country – ask what your country can do for you’.

Article 20 is not about either selfish or unselfish citizens of any nation (a.k.a. ‘country’). It is about what ensues where a flesh-and-blood body is actually selfless – where ‘selfless’ means sans any identity whatsoever (just as ‘penniless’ means sans any money whatsoever) – which is where the community no longer acts for ‘the good of the whole’ (inasmuch ‘the whole’ has vanished along with ‘the self’) and thus acts as it has been acting all along, in actuality, for the good of each and every flesh-and-blood body.

(Please note well that last part: the reason why the community acts for the good of each and every flesh-and-blood body, here in this actual world, is because that very community *is* each and every flesh-and-blood body/ each and every flesh-and-blood body *is* that very community).

Furthermore, by being actually selfless – which means a total absence of both selfishness and its antidotal unselfishness – an actual intimacy prevails (due to an utter absence of any separative identity whatsoever); with no separation whatsoever fellowship regard is automatically the default condition (whereby it is impossible to not like one’s fellow human being); with that involuntary fellowship regard of an actual intimacy operating, come-what-may, acting in a mutually beneficial way is the status-in-quo (the complete absence of any self-centricity whichsoever ensures equity and parity be paramount).

Perhaps a down-to-earth example will illustrate: the current directors of The Actual Freedom Trust, being actually selfless, act for the good of the community (that is, each and every flesh-and-blood body, in toto) by making freely available online the millions of words and writings on The Actual Freedom Trust web site so that not only will all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides, and so on and so forth, become bizarre artefacts of a dreadful past but also so that every man, woman and child (that is, the community, per singula) then selflessly living on this verdant and azure paradise called planet earth will be able to live a prosperous and fulfilling life.

Also, this may be an opportune moment to point out that the term ‘180 degrees’ has one application – and one application only – on The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... to wit: to be seeking spiritual freedom is to be going 180 degrees in the wrong direction (i.e., away from the physical), or to be going 180 degrees in the other direction (i.e., from where an actual freedom lies), or to be differing 180 degrees in practice (i.e., withdrawing from one’s senses versus coming to one’s senses).

For example:

May 04 2000

• [Co-Respondent]:  I was quite successful in my spiritual endeavours, but I found I didn’t want to distance myself from being here, being this body, being a physical being.

• [Richard]: Yea verily, ‘distance oneself’ is the appropriate term: all religiosity, spirituality, mysticality and metaphysicality is 180 degrees in the wrong direction ... it is unequivocally a massive dissociation. (../richard/generalcorrespondence/page09.htm#04May00).

*

July 19 2003

• [Co-Respondent]:  I have trouble in understanding the difference between the words ‘sense’ and ‘direction’ when comparing the AF method with spiritual ones.

• [Richard]: The oft-repeated ‘180 degrees in the other direction’ phrase simply means coming to one’s senses rather than going further away (withdrawing from the senses) from the world as-it-is than one already is ... everyone is already detached and to practise detachment is to be twice-removed from actuality. (../richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf25b.htm#19Jul03).

*

January 05 2006

• [Co-Respondent]:  Awareness is a factor in both [the actualism method and meditation practices], but what you do with that awareness is different in actualism, right?

• [Richard]: Yes ... it is, in fact, 180 degrees different as the actualism method is all about coming to one’s senses (both literally and metaphorically) whereas meditation practices are all about going away from same (both literally and metaphorically). (../richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf105.htm#05Jan06).

The main reason for pointing this out here is that, over the years, many more than just a few peoples have taken this context-specific ‘180 degrees’ term to have a general application – as in, ‘180 degrees opposite’, per se – whereas actualism/ actual freedom is the *third* alternative (to both materialism and spiritualism) and not merely the obverse of a normative.

JONATHAN: Even before my last trip, I had already caught on to how civilization isn’t demanding at all. I remember once saying to a guy. ‘Civilization is the gift that keeps on giving.’ He didn’t know what I was talking about but I did and it is fantastic to have such a grounded pov.

RICHARD: In view of the fact that, back then, you were ‘mainly just able to grasp’ something that is ‘an amazing insight’ and which is ‘180 degrees’ from what ‘one of our most famous presidents, JFK, said’ it is surely not all that surprising, upon a candid reappraisal, that he did not know what you were talking about, eh?

Moreover, it is not civilisation itself which ‘keeps on giving’ but the inventive outcome of the human creatures’ tool-making ability bequeathed, as a common heritage, to each succeeding generation over millennia by myriads of peoples whose names for the most part are forgotten – arcing all the way back to the first man to utilise a knobbly-branch as a club for game and the first woman to utilise a pointy-stick to dig for tuberous roots – whereby productive output, per capita, exceeds energetic input, per capita, such as to generate an excess for the general benefit/ for the common weal.

Golly, this is something I learned as a very young child at my then-father’s knee in the 1950’s – he had hired the owner of the very first bull-dozer to operate in the remote pioneer-farming district, which I was born and raised in, to excavate a large and deep pond for watering stock (known as a ‘farm dam’ locally) – when he informed me how one man on that machine could do in a day what a dozen men, with half-a-dozen teams of horses pulling hand-guided scoops, took a week or more to do.

(The topic of how the other eleven men, dispossessed of productive work, would henceforth ‘earn a living’ never came up, of course, as this was in the immediate post-WWII economic boom era which lasted until the early 1970’s economic crises).

JONATHAN: I also previously related slightly to the line about ‘self imposed iniquities that ail people who stubbornly resist [sic: wish] to remain denizens of the real world, fails to impinge on the blitheness and gaiety of one who lives the vast scheme of things.’ (pg 146) I related to it in that I saw how living in the vast scheme of things would be beneficial and saw that my stress was self-imposed. But you don’t write in the vast scheme of things; you write ‘lives the vast scheme of things.’ I find that interesting.

This time around I caught onto other things. Self-castigation only serves to crystalize ‘me’. pg 142. This is big for me at this time as I’m getting out of blaming myself and getting into being my own best friend. It will be interesting to sort out how self-castigation crystalizes yet being my own best friend doesn’t. Both take the self as a matter of fact even though it isn’t. It would seem that they would both crystalize. So I’ll have to pay attention and see if an answer comes to me. It’s probably not important anyway. Being my own best friend is so much more pleasant than the alternative that a theory as to why it works and self-castigation doesn’t isn’t necessary.

Going back to the 2nd paragraph and the line quoted from page 146, I find myself wanting to save people from their own ‘self-imposed iniquities’. I often imagine myself as a champion of common sense. And the feeling that such daydreams gives me is extremely pleasant. To be in a position where people are asking you questions or asking for your advice would feel great. And though I’d like that, I don’t want to do all that very demanding self promotion that community leaders have to do day in and day out. And even if I was in that position, I would be seen as a fraud unless I lived it myself. Moreover, if I was too bold I could easily put myself in physical danger.

RICHARD: ‘Tis just as well I did not have you advising me back in 1997 when feeling-being ‘Peter’ suggested I go public with my discovery, on-line, for all the world to potentially access – else these words would not be available for you to peruse and neither would actualism/ actual freedom have a world-wide footprint – as my tendency is to be so bold as to render being ‘as bold as brass’ to be but the faintest of hues on the boldness scale.

(Being arguably the most subversive man on the planet – for those who read with both eyes open – would surely make any feeling-being quail).

JONATHAN: You write on page 143. ‘Astonishingly, I find that social change is unnecessary; I can live freely in the community as-it-is.’ This is how I want to be. So far, it’s coming down to choosing to recognize what is best for this body and letting myself do that. Caring for this body as a true friend would do is my strategy going forward.

RICHARD: All the while you are engaging yourself in affectively-caring for that body you are parasitically inhabiting, as a true friend, despite its actuality being entirely invisible to you – via having had it coming down, so far, to choosing as your strategy going forward – you may be inclined to cast a glance over the context in which the above quote, which describes how you say you want to be, was advantageously couched (at the end of the now-snipped 370-word example, re-presented as such, towards the top of this page).

Viz.:

• [Richard]: ‘Which neatly brings me to the point of detailing these above examples: understanding the ‘whys and wherefores’ of peasant-mentality is not about effecting social change but being free of it in oneself. In the seventh paragraph of ‘Article 20’ (appended further below) I have highlighted the relevant sentence. Viz.:

• [Richard]: Astonishingly, I find that *social change is unnecessary*; I can live freely in the community as-it-is. [emphasis added].

In other words, one is then free to conform with the legal laws and observe the social protocols – to ‘go along with’, to ‘pay lip-service to’ – whilst no longer believing in them. ‘Tis a remarkable freedom in itself – with no need to rebel at all – as all rebellion stems, primarily, from that deeply-held primordial feeling of disfranchisement (and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth)’. (Message №19435).

Even resorting to closely examining that 136-word block of text through an extra-large magnifying glass fails to reveal where affectively-caring for the body one is parasitically inhabiting, as a true friend, features as one’s strategy going forward on this issue.

Indeed, what sits there instead, in plain view, is how understanding the ‘whys and wherefores’ of peasant-mentality, so as to be free of it in oneself, is a field-tested way to then being free to conform with the legal laws and observe the social protocols whilst no longer believing in them – with no need to rebel at all – as all rebellion stems, primarily, from that deeply-held primordial feeling of disfranchisement (a primeval feeling of being somehow disfranchised from just helping oneself to whatever was available, per favour the ‘free-range’ life-style of a hunter-gatherer, and, thereby, being subject to the arising of a peasant-mentality, via enforced-employment under the ‘property-rights’ way of life).

*

I have in mind to provide more personal-life details when I respond to your Message No. 19554, in its chronological order, as it is an area I have some degree of lived-experience in.

Regards,
Richard.

Jun 03 2015

Re: Moral cap and Authority

JONATHAN: I was miserable 5 years ago Richard and I’m very happy now.

RICHARD: G’day Jon,

Just a quick note (as it is out of my planned chronological order of responses), whilst here at Yahoo Groups posting my next email, to let you know how great it is to receive this kind of feed-back.

Quite probably you do not realise just how much those words are music to my ears.

Regards,
Richard.

Jun 05 2015

Re: Moral cap and Authority

RICHARD to Claudiu: Yes, the better example is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’). To explain: for a hunter-gatherer, the free-range life-style was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available. With the advent of the property-rights way of life, however, any such ‘helping oneself’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera. (...).

JONATHAN: Hi Richard, thanks for your input. Is it fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted?

RICHARD: G’day Jon,

No, it is not fair to say that because as a boy, a youth and as a young man, this particular individual writing these words would regularly ‘just help himself to what he wanted’ from the forests/ the woods and the pasturable-lands and the rivers/ the streams and oceanic-waters in and around the remote pioneer-farming district where this particular individual was born and raised, in the rural south-west of Australia.

And the term ‘remote pioneer-farming district’ is used advisedly because, although there had been some timber-cutters in that particular area in the 1890’s, the district did not attract a lot of settlers until a soldier-settlement scheme was established in the 1920’s whereby the state-government encouraged de-mobilised military personnel from ‘The Great War’, as it was known then, to take-up land-holdings there. Although, even so, the following decade’s ‘Great Depression’ held back a lot of development, which might have otherwise happened, and the main employers of hired hands then were timber-mills. As I was born in the late 1940’s (some 20-25 years later) there were still large amounts of forested land – virgin territory where, perhaps, no human had trod before (the hunter-gatherers from surrounding districts had a legend referring to it as being a ‘taboo’ area for them) – such that the intervening area between the northernmost boundary of the property, where I spent the first 16-17 years of my life, and the nearest settlement, some 30-odd miles nor-northwest as the crow flies, was uninhabited forestland still yet to even have roadways established through it.

A few details of my early life are already online.

Viz.:

• [Richard]: ‘I was born and raised on a dairy farm in the south-west of this country (my progenitors were pioneer settlers carving a farm by hand out of virgin forest and sowing grasslands for animal husbandry). (...). As both a boy and as a youth I personally used hand-held axes and cross-cut saws to help cut down the trees to make pasture land; I was involved in the fencing and ploughing and sowing and harvesting; I hunted game in the forest and helped raise domesticated animals; I tended the gardens and orchards and crops; I assisted in building sheds (barns) and outhouses from forest timber and learned improvisation from the ingenuity required in ‘making do’ with minimal commercial supplies. There was no plumbing; no sewage, no telephone and no electricity – I went to bed with a candle and to the outdoor latrine with a kerosene lamp – thus no computer, no television, no videos, no record players, no freezer, no electric kitchen gadgets and etcetera. (...). The pioneering lifestyle gave me a vast experience with animals – domesticated creatures such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, geese, ducks and chickens plus the wild species which include kangaroos, emus, foxes, rabbits, eagles, crows, magpies, pigeons and quail – quite a few of which I slaughtered, skinned and dressed with my own hands. Stalking game for the table made me keenly aware of feral behaviour and raising livestock for a living necessitated an eye for the detail of the creature’s daily practice (...)’. (http://an.actualfreedom.com.au/).

I would either shoot or trap that ‘game for the table’ – although trapping was preferable wherever possible as the cost of each bullet, for the somewhat antiquated rifle I used, was the same as the price of a full loaf of bread baked in the nearest township 20 kilometres away to the south – and freshly-killed kangaroo meat, rabbit, wild duck and pigeon (for instance) were oft-times a feature at meal-times.

An abundance of fresh-water lobsters frequented the waterways and (although the regular way of catching them was to dangle a piece of meat on a string into the water), upon having noticed one night how they came out from their underwater burrows to feed after dark, the easiest way to capture them was to go out into the forest to wherever there were shallow streams and, by shining a light into the water, simply reach in and pick them up by hand (just behind the head to avoid their claws). As a general rule, it would take about an hour or two to help myself to a four-gallon bucketful.

Another foodstuff to just help myself to were berries when in season – blackberries in particular were plentiful – as were mushrooms, both of the field and forest variety, which could be collected by the bucketful. Emu eggs, although not plentiful all year round, were an occasional item to gather, as were wild bee honey-combs as well. An oddity item to help myself to by the armfuls, in season, was a rather special wild-flower which grew in swampy areas and known locally as ‘Boronia’; once a year a buyer for a city-based perfume supplier would travel throughout the area purchasing prodigious amounts, for distillation, from whomever would go out and pick them for free.

The nearby southern ocean was a bountiful source for a range of seafood and my preferred way of helping myself was to go into the sea with a spear in hand (fashioned from a straight piece of sapling, about the length and thickness of a modern broom-handle, with a sharpened length of eight-gauge fencing wire attached for a spear-head, and an inch-wide section of circular rubber, cut from a discarded inner-tube, fastened at the other end for propellent force when held at full-stretch by the hand grasping the shaft) in order to be able to pick and choose particular fish. And, apart from all the fish, there were also crabs, crayfish (known as salt-water lobsters in the USA), octopus, and quite a variety of shellfish to help myself to.

Come to think of it, even today (if I wanted to) I could just pop open my bedroom window and drop out a line with a baited hook attached and help myself to any peckish fish swimming by or, for that matter, I could slide open one of the glass doors of my sitting-room and pass out a small netted cage on a rope, suitably baited with some attractive meat near the inner end of a funnelled entrance, so as to help myself to any crabs hungry enough to find their way in. Furthermore, there are oysters growing on the nearby rock-walled river-bank, uncovered twice a day at low tide, which remind me of my younger days when paddling a canoe from island to island, in the coral waters off the north-eastern seaboard of this country, where I would wander along a tide-exposed reef with nothing but a stubby flat-head screwdriver and enjoy oyster after oyster au-naturel.

Ahh, well ... I guess it is a case of being too fainéant, these days, to just help myself to foodstuffs like that.

JONATHAN: Even in the hunter-gatherer days, individuals and groups had to work quite strenuously to feed their bellies and protects themselves from danger.

RICHARD: The question of whether or not hunter-gatherers had to ‘work quite strenuously to feed their bellies’ is beside the point – the point being that they retained 100% of whatever such ‘work’ produced (in contrast to the archetypal 30% labour-cost component of the stereotypical business-model) – as is the question of whether or not they had to ‘quite strenuously ... protect themselves from danger’ also beside the point (the point being that, whatever else might be a ‘danger’, what they needed to ‘protect’ most, lest they be enslaved, was being able to retain that 100% return on their ‘work’).

Howsoever, even with it being beside the point, it is handy to know that when 1,030 people from Albion, comprising of 732 convicts, a contingent of marines, and a handful of other officers, first established a penal settlement in Terra Australis, on the 26th of January 1788, a dozen or so of the more literary-minded personnel amongst them recorded in journals their observations of the way in which the nomadic hunter-gatherers lived their lives, in and around the surrounding districts, with some of those journals being published shortly thereafter in book form – most of which are available to read online – and no impression of them having to ‘work quite strenuously to feed their bellies’ is conveyed in the half-dozen I have read.

Plus it is also worth mentioning – if only in order to diffuse the impression which modern-day labelling of that January 26th date as being ‘Invasion Day’ conveys – how those published journals record that the first confirmed instance of any of those 1,030 people being speared, and even then non-fatally, is some 20 months later on the 7th September 1790, with no retaliation being permitted, and the first confirmed fatal wounding was on the 13th December 1790 (whereupon retaliation was ordered on the 14th).

In other words, no such impression of those hunter-gatherers having to ‘quite strenuously ... protect themselves from danger’ is conveyed by those first-hand accounts from the very people who were there at the time.

Viz.:

www.manly.nsw.gov.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/The%20Spearing%20of%20Governor%20Phillip%20at%20Collins%20Cove.pdf

JONATHAN: And their gains were probably stolen by alpha males and more powerful groups as well as floods, drought and plague.

RICHARD: Just as a matter of interest – as this allegedly scientific term ‘alpha male’ has made an appearance on this forum before – are you aware that it is a 1930’s ‘Mills and Boon’ invention (albeit therein depicted as ‘Alpha Man’) which was co-opted by zoologists in the 1960’s and, in the 1990’s, by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists?

Viz.:

• alpha (c.1300, from L. alpha, from Gk. alpha, from Heb. or Phoen. aleph (...). Alpha male was in use by c.1960 among scientists studying animals; applied to humans in society from c.1992. (www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=alpha).

Now, Mr. Joseph McAleer, in his book, ‘Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon’ (OUP, 1999), explains that it was Mr. Charles Boon (1877-1943) who – after the death of Mr. Gerald Mills in 1928 (the co-founder of ‘Mills and Boon’ in 1908) – set down what he called ‘the Alphaman’ as one of the ‘ground rules’, for his authors, when he reshaped the company in 1930.

Viz.:

• [Mr. Joseph McAleer]: ‘Although the modern Mills & Boon romance, tied to a specific formula, did not yet exist in the 1930s, it is apparent that Charles Boon did set down a few ground rules for his authors. Some have survived, and were passed down through the years in the firm by two names: ‘Lubbock’s Law’ and ‘the Alphaman’. Both still have an impact today. (...). The ‘Alphaman’ was based on what [his son] Alan Boon referred to as a ‘law of nature’: that the female of any species will be most intensely attracted to the strongest male of the species, or the Alpha’. (pages 149-150).

To sum up the story so far (because this is so funny it is hilarious): when Mr. Charles Boon reshaped the ‘Mills and Boon’ company – two years after the death of its co-founder (who had held the company to a more mainstream line since 1908) – he set down some ground rules for his authors to follow, one of which, ‘the Alphaman’, survived through the decades, even after his death in 1943, such as to still have an impact today. His son, who took over the ‘Mills and Boon’ company in 1944, spoke of his father’s ‘Alphaman’ as being based on what he referred to as a ‘law of nature’ in that ‘the female of any species will be most intensely attracted to the strongest male of the species, or the Alpha’.

Note that none of this stems from or is based upon any scientific studies but, rather on what a 53-year old British male publisher set down, for his authors to follow, after his mainstream business partner died. The unmitigated success of ‘Mills and Boon’, amongst the mostly-female readers during the thirties, the forties, the fifties, the sixties (and on down to the present-day), attests to Mr. Charles Boon having picked a winner with his ‘Alphaman’ concept (the company had nearly gone broke in the latter years of the 1908-1928 period when Mr. Gerald Mills set the company policies).

Now, according to the ‘Online Etymology Dictionary’ quote further above, the term ‘Alpha male’ was in use by circa 1960 ‘among scientists studying animals’ (i.e., zoologists) and was applied to humans in society from circa 1992 (i.e., by evolutionary psychologists, so-named in 1973 & popularised in 1992, and sociobiologists, so-named in 1975).

However, starting back in the sixties and seventies, feminists (such as Ms. Germaine Greer) joined in the public discourse on the ‘Alphaman’/ ‘Alpha Male’ concept and public support of ‘Mills and Boon’ gradually became more and more muted. After 1992, more and more Romance authors began to move away from the ‘Alpha Hero’ model.

Ms. Laura Vivanco picks up the narrative, at this point, in an online article she published in 2010 titled, ‘The Evolution of the Alpha Male’, in which she delves into the historical origins of the term. It is a long read, with many links to follow, but its essence is as follows.

Viz.:

• [Ms. Laura Vivanco]: ‘An earlier date for the adoption of the term ‘alpha’ (whether in the form ‘Alphaman’, ‘alpha male’ or ‘alpha hero’) to describe a particular type of romance hero would not invalidate [Heather] Schell’s facts about the spread of the term in the US around the time of the publication of ‘Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women’ [a 1992 volume of essays by romance writers which was edited by Ms. Jayne Ann Krentz], nor its definition in that context. The Boons’ version(s) of the Alphaman, based on their belief that the ‘laws of nature’ which apply to many species of animals also apply to humans, may have differed from the alpha males created by romance authors who, Schell suggests, were influenced by evolutionary psychology, as evidenced by their references to ‘cave days’ and ‘the ancestral hunter’ in descriptions of the alpha hero. On the other hand, even if they weren’t aware of [Charles] Boon’s term for him, it seems impossible that US authors could have remained unaware of the Mills & Boon ‘Alphaman’ as a character type, since Harlequin had been publishing romances edited in the UK by Mills & Boon for some considerable time before the publication of ‘Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women’. Schell’s focus on evolutionary psychology as the unmentioned source of the ‘alpha’ hero, and her assumption that he emerged in response to feminist criticism of the genre, leads her to conclude that: ‘once the battle with academic feminism was over, there simply was not as much need for the facts about sexual strategies. Even as the animal behaviour model gained ascendancy in American popular culture, the Alpha Hero’s star began to fade within the romance writing community’. (...)’. (http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/evolution-of-alpha-male.html).

So, there you have it. The next time you are tempted to use the term ‘Alpha Male’ just lie back and think of ... um ... ‘Mills and Boon’.

*

In regards to the second part of that portion of your ‘probably’ speculation – that the hunter-gatherer’s ‘gains’ were probably stolen by ‘more powerful groups’ – it completely overlooks the fact that those ‘gains’ of hunter-gatherers are, by the very action of being either hunted or gathered on the spot, of a consume-now-or-go-to-waste nature (i.e., sufficient unto the day thereof).

Besides which it is all beside the point, anyway (the point being, whether stolen or not, a particular day’s ‘gains’ were obtained by the hunter-gatherers via, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available).

As the remainder of your ‘probably’ speculation (viz.: ‘...as well as floods, drought and plague’) has strayed so far from your query it is helpful to re-present it here:

• [Jonathan]: ‘Is it fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted’? [endquote].

Given that the land-mass referred to as ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ before it was discovered, explored, and mapped by Caucasians, starting circa 1606, is notorious for being prone to periodic droughts and floods then the very fact that nomadic hunter-gatherers roamed over virtually the entire country, surviving for tens of thousands of years by, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available, demonstrates that neither floods nor drought are evidence that it is ‘fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted’.

As for ‘plagues’: in April 1789, just over fifteen months after that penal settlement was established in Terra Australis, a smallpox plague began to affect the nomadic hunter-gatherers in and around the surrounding districts (despite none of the 1,030 Caucasians being infected with the disease since having left Albion) and by May 1789 an estimated 50-70% had perished. Many years later, as explorers mapped further inland, it became more and more evident (via smallpox scars observed on survivors in the 1830’s for example) that almost all of the nomadic hunter-gatherers on the continent had been affected by smallpox, between the late 1790’s and the late 1820’s, with various estimates of 10-50% having perished.

Obviously then, the evidence that somewhere between 50-90% survived (and kept on living their hunter-gatherer lifestyle all the while) demonstrates that plagues are not a reason why it is ‘fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted’, either.

JONATHAN: With that in mind, it would seem that the atavistic harboring of a deep primordial feeling of being somehow disenfranchised developed right along with the evolution of the species from early primate to man.

RICHARD: No, it would not seem that at all (else you are proposing that the ‘property-rights’ way of life – where just helping oneself to whatever is available is theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera – began ‘right along with the evolution of the species from early primate to man’).

JONATHAN: As opposed to having developed after warlords appropriated the land and produce.

RICHARD: You do realise, do you not, that the period between when (1) ‘the evolution of the species from early primate to man’ occurred and when (2) ‘warlords appropriated the land and produce’ is measured in the millions of years?

JONATHAN: Another question: Is it fair to say that the feeling of being disenfranchised (and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth) is baseless?

RICHARD: No, it is not fair to say that because all of your propositions and speculations presented above, which have led you to this conclusion (albeit presented as a query), are either invalid or beside the point.

JONATHAN: No one is disenfranchised (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) in part because no one has ever had it (the strong have always had power over the weak but were in turn subject to up-and-coming adversaries as well as injury and illness) ...

RICHARD: Your ‘because no one has ever had it’ assertion is flatly contradicted by the published reports of how the nomadic hunter-gatherers of ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ – reports about how both those on the mainland and those on ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ (who were markedly different in height, physique, physiognomy, hair type, weapons and tools) – lived their lives inasmuch they survived for tens of thousands of years by, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available.

JONATHAN: ... but mostly because one can chose to not ignore what life and the universe actually is.

RICHARD: Hmm ... when spelled out in full what you have ended up saying is that no-one is disfranchised from, basically, just helping oneself to whatever is available because, mostly, one can choose to not ignore what life and the universe actually is.

Surely it must be obvious that this flesh-and-blood body – despite the identity in residence all those years ago having chosen to ‘not ignore what life and the universe actually is’ – cannot, basically, just help itself to whatever is available as that would be theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera.

Ha ... back to the drawing board, Jon.

Regards,
Richard.


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