Monday, January 2, 2017

The Basic Principles

It’s the start of a new year, so it seems like an appropriate time to review what the Spherical Model is. I’ve done the description of the model a number of times:

Condensed version here: The Political Sphere Is Round 
The whole website here:
In all of these we’re changing the language from a right/left dichotomy to a three-dimensional model. The hope is that, with old language out of the way, we can discuss the principles that lead to the best outcomes: freedom (instead of tyranny), prosperity (instead of poverty), and civilization (instead of savagery).

Rather than review what the model looks like, today we’ll cover the basic principles that lead to the best outcomes—upper northern hemisphere—in the three overlying spheres: political, economic, and social.

Go North on the Political Sphere

The Political Sphere
Government must be limited to its proper role: protecting life, liberty, and property. We can ask (and insist that our government officials ask and honor) a series of questions to test whether or not a policy fits within the freedom zone:

·         Is the policy being debated something that an individual has the right to do, and therefore has the right to delegate to his/her government?  For example, a person has the right to protect his own life and property. He can, therefore, combine resources with his neighbors and hire a government entity, such as a sheriff, to do that job for him. Similarly, the several states can combine to delegate the power of defending the nation to a national government entity. Conversely, a person does not have the right to take his neighbor’s excess grain production, for example, and bestow it on himself, because his neighbor was more prosperous in a particular season. He can, of course, ask his neighbor for charity, but he cannot coerce the neighbor to give. That would rightfully be considered theft. Therefore, the person cannot delegate the redistribution of wealth to the government to do for him.
·         Does the policy infringe in any way on the rights enumerated in the US Constitution Bill of Rights? Does the policy infringe on the free exercise of religion or try to establish a particular sect as a state religion? Is political speech hindered? Does the policy infringe on the right of citizens to bear arms? Does the policy constitute an illegal search or seizure? Does the policy deprive a person of life, liberty, or property when the person has not committed a crime for which that deprivation is the just sentence? Does the policy try to claim for government a power that was not specifically granted in the Constitution? etc. If the policy infringes on God-given rights, then government cannot take that power without usurping power from the people.
·         Is the idea being debated a proper role of government; i.e., some aspect of protection (including defense, protection from interstate crime, enabling international and interstate commerce, standardized weights and measures and currency, the judiciary that guarantees the protective laws), as enumerated in the Constitution? If not, then accepting the idea is outside the Constitution and south of the freedom zone.

Go North to the Prosperity Zone

The basic principle for economic prosperity is: the person who creates the wealth gets to decide how to spend it.
The Economic Sphere

The closer we get to that principle, the more prosperous the society.

Inequality of outcome is not a problem government should solve. In fact, protecting property is pretty much the only assignment of government related to the economy. We know from long experience that government interference in the economy, for whatever well-intentioned purpose, will cause negative consequences—usually the exact opposite of the stated goal of the interference.

Included in its job of safeguarding our wealth, government can be charged with coining/printing money. But whenever it prints/coins/creates money not representing actual created wealth, it devalues money, robbing earners of some portion of their wealth.

So, above all, we get prosperity in a free-enterprise society where government is limited to protecting property.

What do we do about the poor?

That is a combination of an economic question and a social question. “For ye have the poor always with you,” (Matthew 26:11). If we want to help one another, it has to be a free-will charitable gift—not a coercion of government. Government is incapable of charity; it is only an exertion of power, or coercion. So government needs to stay out of the issue of helping the poor.

If we live in a civilized society, we will care about one another. We will go through churches, organizations, and individuals to help those who need help.

There will always be a bottom 10% of earners. But the goal is to raise the standard of living so that even those lower earners have basic food and shelter, and, whenever possible, the opportunity to get out of poverty and become self-sufficient.

Respecting one another’s property rights, obeying laws, and honesty in business transactions are also necessary for economic prosperity, so the interrelationships of the spheres becomes evident. Political freedom from limited government, plus the self-government of civilized people set a background for economic prosperity.

So, economic prosperity comes when we have a free-market combined with philanthropy, and a government strictly limited to protecting property.

Go North to the Civilization Zone

The Social Sphere
In the Spherical Model, Civilization is more than a society where people write records, have a certain amount of technology, and live together in cities. It is a society free from savagery. Civilized people live peaceably among their neighbors, helping rather than taking advantage of one another, abiding by laws enacted to protect property and safety—with honesty and honor. Civilized people live in peace with other civilized people; countries and cultures coexist in appreciation, without fear.

As with the other spheres, where good people agree that freedom is better than tyranny, and prosperity is better than poverty, civilization is better than savagery. These are not close choices; they are clearly different.

A civilized society requires a critical mass of people who live a certain way.

·         A civilized society must be a religious society.
o   Not all religious societies are civilized (according to my definition), but every civilized society is a religious society. This absolutely does not mean state-sponsored religion or lack of religious freedom; in fact, the opposite is true. Freedom of religion is essential, and the flourishing of religion in general must be encouraged.
o   Rights come from God, not from government or some human grantor; so belief in God is the basis of freedom.
o   Individuals feel accountable to God in this life and the life to come, so they choose to self-govern.
·         The religious beliefs of the people must include honoring God, life, family, truth, and property (this is the summary of the Ten Commandments).
·         Because it perpetuates the civilization, family is the essential basic unit of civilization. There must be a critical mass of married mothers and fathers raising their own children to be civilized people.

So those are the basic principles of the Spherical Model.

If we can agree that we want freedom, prosperity, and civilization—as opposed to tyranny, poverty, and savagery—that’s a lot of agreement. And then we can move the conversation on to how we get those outcomes. I’ve proposed what I believe are the true principles. Most of what I write about here relates to how these principles are playing out in our world.

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