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Edmund Burke
© 2004, 2005, 2008

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Sure… Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of Islamic medievalism killed thousands in an attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - but it was only to prevent the triumph of ungodly, American evil.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of Christian fundamentalism are doggedly obstructing the march of MODERNITY, in America especially - but it is only to prevent the triumph of ungodly, liberal evil.      

Until the last two centuries of Secular Revolution put an end to it, instead of doing nothing the “good men” of Christianity would mercilessly punish anybody questioning their dogma - but it was only to prevent the triumph of ungodly, heretical evil.

Before the Secular Revolution, instead of doing nothing the “good men” of Aristocracy would persecute anyone challenging their right to rule - but it was only to ensure that the ungodly evil of civil dissent never triumphs over Divine Providence .

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of Religions and Aristocracies unrestrained by Secular Morality are hounding their critics to this day - but it is only to prevent the triumph of ungodly, evil MODERNITY.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of liberated Iraq are lashing out at friend and foe with the same medieval thoughtlessness - but it is only to prevent the triumph of ungodly, evil MODERNITY and its perfidious custom of CRITICAL THINKING.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of nazism killed millions - but it was only to prevent the triumph of evil conspiracy perpetrated against the Germanic race by Jews, communists and degenerate democracies.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of Japan’s theo-fascism invaded its Asian neighbors, killing millions with singular brutality – but it was only to prevent the triumph of evil Western imperialism and colonialism.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of communism had surpassed all others in depths of their criminality - but it was only to prevent the triumph of every evil enemy of the Working Class throughout the world.

Instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of socialism condemned millions to obsolescence - but it was only to prevent the triumph of evil, rapacious capitalism.

Today, from France to Japan, Norway to Australia, hundreds of millions of people across the world live in freedom and prosperity because ever since the Second World War - instead of doing nothing, the “good men” of the United States and Great Britain had laid their lives on a line to prevent the triumph of totalitarian evil… Let that never be misunderstood.

Why should the 18 th century form of Edmund Burke's fine dictum lend itself to so many incompatible, even contradictory interpretations?
Primarily, because it reflects his era's charming conceit of the “well born” rhetorically protecting the Lower Class from the evil inflicted by other “well born” - provided of course that the victims themselves remain subservient to their masters.
Still, as Language goes it’s a gem - though it must now be transcribed into an explanatory sequence better reflecting the historically prevailing causes and effects - 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn how to benefit from it. (Typical benefits; power, wealth, sinecure)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn how to justify that benefit. (Claiming to act in the name of God, Nation or Working Class, etc…to safeguard the best interests of the PEOPLE)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn how to eradicate any criticism of that justification. (Persecution, disappearances, imprisonment, torture, murder)


All that is neccessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn not to question it.

While those daring to question evil had throughout the ages been hailed as heroes and branded as villains, such assessments of “good” and “bad” are usually so arbitrary as to be immaterial.
All that matters is one’s inalienable right to question anything in the world - irrespective of how erroneous that questioning may appear to others - and protecting that right provides the sole moral underpinning for the Adjective of “good”.
Therefore, no claim of “good” is worth considering until the claimant first
guarantees others the freedom to contradict it - a timeless caveat Burke ignores.

Now there's a dichotomy… While Burke's advocacy of “doing something” stresses the importance of actions, our synthesis places its trust in Words. But wasn't the entire progress of humanity achieved only because “good men” had the guts to stand-up to evil and stake their lives - not debating skills, against it?
We've become human by virtue of Language - not actions. Further, why did those "good men" have to fight evil in the first place?
Because not enough Words - rather then actions, were freely available to prevent its emergence.

Part 1

Suppose that the Universe, Life and Language repeat themselves with no beginning or ending… If so, which of our everyday social instincts ought to dominate such a continuum?
Remarkably, it should be Edmund Burke's interventionist notion of “good”. Yet however action-based an intervention - the “good” of its mission would still eternally aim to protect the freedom of Language.


We'll proceed to generalizations at a later stage, but to prepare the ground let's reprise a few handy topics pursued in “Structure of Reality”.
First, Life's sentient awareness arises from the processes of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON. Those processes reveal Reality as being dual - in one form it leads exclusively to Descriptive outcomes of “same / different” and in the other, to Proportional “less / equal / more”.
Hence, to survive Life must correctly evaluate the following five constants of Reality -

“same / different”
“less / equal / more”  

Yet Life will universally entrust its fate to only one of them - the Descriptive Reality’s constant of “sameness” -
“What’s this situation SAME AS?” it’ll ask Memory. “It’s the SAME AS X” a reply will come, lightning-like…
“Great, therefore my current response will be the SAME AS all my previous responses to X”
Why? In whatever Universe, Life will go belly-up doing things it isn’t wholly familiar with and hence, those who play it safe inherit the future.

No experimentation, no bold moves, no new survival tricks – just plodding along on a Descriptive treadmill of “sameness”. But don’t sci-fi books tell us that Life is ultimately destined to reach for the stars?
Life’s advancement is never in peril but it happens only within Proportional Reality. Its “less / equal / more” universally diverges into the extremities of “least / less / equal / more / most”, with the “most” segment spearheading the Natural Selection.
So, while Life remains hard-wired for perpetually responding in the SAME manner to the SAME situation, repetitions of “sameness” occurring within the “most” segment surpass the degree of advancement the process ever achieves amongst the “least / less / equal / more /………” segments.
For it is here, at the “most” extremity of its sentient capabilities that Life is cautiously testing “different” variants of “sameness”, which – if it survives the experience, bring it a notch closer to the realm of LEARNING.
To conclude; by limiting its survival responses to the patterns of SAME AS, Life joins a worthy company - from quarks to galactic clusters and arguably the Universe itself, Reality is also embodied within the repetitive patterns of SAME AS.


 An interesting topic - the “how” and “how well” of survival…First, note that while the “how” is merely a method of getting by from one day to the next, the “how well” already implies the generic notion of “good”…
Why? Life that we see around us today - humanity included, is the product of every “good” result achieved by a long line of its genetic predecessors over more then a billion years of Natural Selection.
   It’s worth noting that generically, the “how” and the “how well” belong to two separate manifestations of Reality -    
The “how” is species-intrinsic… A crocodile shares the “sameness” of its survival method with the “remainder of crocodiles” just as a fly does with the “remainder of flies”…
The reason? Since the dawn of Life, members of the “same” species have had their physiologies constantly tested for compatibility with the “same” survival requirements of a given Environment - consequently becoming the mirror images of those requirements.
By contrast, “how well” an individual’s physiological “in-equality” is faring relative to the “remainder of own species” depends on a position along the “least / less / equal / more / most” divergence which Reality had per-chance allocated to that individual. As such, the “how”, the method, just follows in the footsteps of a last standing “how well” - the essence of Evolution.
To sum-up; the functional “differences” BETWEEN species are defined by Descriptive Reality and the functional “in-equalities” WITHIN species by the Proportional.


The processes of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON may take many forms…In EXPLANATORY COMPARISON segment of “Structure of Reality” we have explored the constancy of A = Bx, from its conceptual role in facilitating the first proto-human exchanges of possessions to serving as a cookie-cutter for all mathematical EQUATIONS in any possible Universe.
In its ONTOLOGICAL COMPARISON segment we’ve probed the essence of “non-existence” - a concept more fundamental then that of “existence” and which, if not satisfactorily resolved, will forever prevent us understanding the latter…
But top fun is the COMPARISON of IN-EQUALITIES - a process that through a prism of mutually negating Adjectives and Adverbs reflects the beautiful symmetry of Reality.
To observe this, let’s put some nominal physiological “in-equalities” under a spotlight -
While the Proportional constants of “least / less / equal / more / most” will neatly accommodate any five “un-equal” physiologies, what happens when their number runs into thousands, millions or billions? Their aggregate will diverge into the following, well-known structure of linear distribution -

 “s / equal / m”
“ess / equal / mor”
“t / less / equal / more / m”
“least / less / equal / more / most”

How so? Extremes of Nature are inversely Proportional to the frequency of their occurrence…
See it another way - since repetitive patterns of Reality constantly gravitate towards the “equal”, the SMALLEST DEVIATIONS from that “equal” happen MOST FREQUENTLY. Therefore, the “greater” any such deviation, the “less frequent” its occurrence…


One of the most fascinating constants of Language is the symmetry of its semantic divergence into the opposite extremes of “in-equality”…
But is it value-free, immune to having its central bulk of MOST FREQUENT occurrences influenced from either the “least” or the “most” direction of by the aspirations of our Social Existence? 
Take these contextual translations of the “least / less / equal / more / most” as our working examples –

“poorest / poorer / equal / richer / richest”
“silliest / silly / equal / smarter / smartest”
“ugliest / uglier / equal / prettier / prettiest”
“fattest / fatter / equal / slimmer / slimmest”
“”costliest / costlier / equal / cheaper / cheapest“
“worst / worse / equal / better / best”

As we see, the divergence of “in-equalities” in each of the above examples is symmetrical and whenever our self-interest is not at stake – we tend to throw these commonplace concepts back and forth like confetti.
But can you picture yourself stranded in the middle of pedestrian “equal” earnestly imploring the fate “Gosh, I really want to be sillier and poorer”?
Nope - your instincts will always tilt in the “smarter” and “richer” direction of social opportunities.
And indeed, spurred by our evolved capacity for mimicking the success of others, we do in many cases become “smarter” and “richer” as a result of getting an EDUCATION.
   Likewise, could you ever imagine a young woman staring at the mirror and cussing “Why can’t I be fatter and uglier?”
Again, women’s instinctive aspirations point in the opposite direction and a multi-billion dollar industry will expertly present them to potential partners as “slimmer” and “prettier”.
   How about buying a car? The salesman offers you a great deal for $99.000 -a near-new prestige vehicle with a 3-year warranty, driven only on Sundays by a wealthy old lady…

No doubt, all along you are preparing a strategy to force the price down for no end of bogus reasons – too many scratches, oil leaks, depreciation too high, squeaky transmission, whatever… You’re sure determined to drive a “better” bargain come hell or high water!
All of the sudden - just as you are about to counter with $60.000, a perverse urge to make the matters “worse” and “costlier” comes over you -
“Nope, I want this beauty instead – give you $120.000” you declare, grandly pointing at an almost worthless jalopy rusting behind the office. But does it ever happen? Only in “bad” dreams…

Since we all know that everybody wants what’s “good” rather then what’s “bad”, why state the obvious? Because behind it resides the most seminal issue of Social Existence – when conflicting interests are at stake, how are the “good” and “bad” to be determined, by whom and for whom?
Indeed, the JUSTIFICATIONS for resolving those matters in favor of some and not others had been in contention since the unprecedented SURPLUS of Agriculture entered our social equation around ten millennia ago. We'll come back to this crucial topic in more detail…


Edmund Burke’s dictum can be implemented on two levels - local or global, each beset with its own difficulties…
Arguably, the origin of “good men” charged specifically with intervening to prevent the triumph evil of at a local level traces from the Roman Republic, via various English Constabularies, through a unified British police force of the mid-19th century till the present - where each country has a police force of one sort or another.
However, with police forces outside the West largely abetting the triumph of evil rather then preventing it, let’s for a moment focus on Western law enforcement -
Say you’re a Western cop on $25 an hour, who, after weeks of diligent work has just arrested a person strongly suspected of being a career criminal.
   Inevitably, a lawyer turns-up… As your suspect smirks contemptuously,
the lawyer does what the lawyers do – but this time at $500 an hour!
Bearing in mind that each of you is a “good man” entrusted by your society with preventing the triumph of evil, why is one of you earning twenty times as much as the other?

There’s at least one temptation such a cynically distorted administration of the Law is placing before you every working day… What is it called?

Now to the global version of Mr. Burke’s call to arms – where the “good” of intervening is reflected not in how many crooks we’re sending to jail, but in the reasons for sending the best of us to a war…
Since here, the costs of intervening can multiply a thousand-fold, we'll take this journey at length, hoping to eventually arrive at a primeval spring from which our current instincts of “good” had been flowing through the eons now long behind us.


In a memorable 1953 film “Shane”, the “good” hero rides out of nowhere to save a “good” farming family from predations of a “bad”, land-grabbing cattle baron - the crux of Edmund Burke’s dictum. Note the constant moral interplay amongst three entities - 2 “good” and 1 “bad”. Pretty basic…

But things aren’t always that tidy… Around two and a half millennia ago, Diodotus – a Greek politician, had argued against collectively punishing the population of a rebellious city of Mytilene, despite that order having already been approved by the vote of Athenian Assembly. He prevailed and fast a boat conveyed the news of a reprieve to besieging Athenian force with only hours to spare – the incident itself commanding an anecdotal mention ever since…
   Now Diodotus clearly emerges here as “good” in a tripartite of 2 “good” and 1 “bad”, for against the will of his peers he had persevered to prevent the triumph of evil in a truly interventionist way. But who are the remaining 1“good” and 1“bad” parties?
They can be kaleidoscopic… After all, Mytilene had rebelled in cahoots with the “bad” state of Sparta – an archenemy of Athens. So, who can tell how dedicated to undermining Athens the “good” population of Mytilene might have been…
And if the Athenian Assembly had been “good” in rescinding its decision to collectively punish an entire population, why did it make that decision in the first place?

Consider a more recent example… Suppose that two criminals rob a bank - not unlike the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union dividing the bulk of Europe in 1939. As it happens in B-movies, one criminal then shoots the other in the back and grabs his share - the Nazis' treacherous 1941 invasion of the Soviets. Seething with vengeance, the wounded robber skulks away but by this time a policeman - the West, has already had part of a shoulder shot-off by that same aggressive criminal, i.e. the Nazi blitzkrieg of 1940.
Having already been attacked by a psychopath, the policeman decides to join forces with the other robber, who hence becomes “good” by default – the 1941 Grand Alliance between the West and the Soviet Union , resulting in $10 billion of aid to the latter.
   Now it gets wooly... By the time the pair overpowers the “bad” criminal in 1945, the “good” criminal collects an expanded share of the robbery – the whole of Eastern Europe, claims entire credit for winning that brawl, then denounces the policeman for being himself a criminal…
It gets woollier… Around 1990, after many decades of community pressure to mend his ways, the “good” criminal takes part-time lessons to become a certified bank guard. Flunks all exams – the Soviet Union collapses soon afterwards, setting Eastern Europe free.
Gets even woollier…Tutored by the policeman since 1945, the criminal who for decades personified the “worst” in this world – a genocide mindlessly conducted by the Nazis beyond any military justification, had by that time developed into a highly successful businessman, with the 1990 per capita GNP of West Germany being about double that of the Soviets.

As of now, community grapevine suggests the former “good” criminal is back at his old tricks, having merely reformed his operating methods – not his character.
If so, then what should we expect of the newly assertive Russia, apparently impatient to illuminate our dim Earth with its purported greatness? In short, trouble…
Unlike China – another worrisome customer that’s at least sparkling with manufacturing genius and had over the millennia made major contributions to progress, Russia has very little credit in a bank of History. And however true, the “We once could have killed you!” ruminations behind its obstinate grasping at global stewardship aren’t a substitute for that credit. A few key criteria –
First, ever since proto-humans began to compare the respective worth of their possessions – say, Food, Tools and Garments, a peoples’ intellectual quintessence had been embodied in the artifacts they were able to make…
“Made in Russia”? There is no demand for that country’s manufactures on the international marketplace – unless it is coming from a liquor wholesaler or an arms buyer.
Second, over the last two centuries of MODERNITY especially, a peoples’ intellectual quintessence has been revealed in the IDEAS which humanity at large could likewise adopt and benefit from…
And what was Russia’s contribution in this sphere? Communism – a well-intentioned form of social criminality that had only succeeded in stupefying both its victims and its perpetrators.
Third, a peoples’ intellectual quintessence is most faithfully reflected in the choices of migration. Had those searching for a better life been historically moving into Russia – or fleeing it?
   So, when those determined to make an impact on the world have only two options – brains or brawn, it won’t take a supercomputer to deduce which of these will underpin Russia’s ongoing recidivism.

What’s the point of this tale? The components performing Edmund Burke’s interventionist notion of “good” – the 2 “good” and 1 “bad”, rarely manifest themselves to us with the clarity our clarity-hungry interpretation of those concepts leads us to believe –
Our intuitive search for immediate meaningfulness of communication often compels us to see “good / bad” as “white / black” in situations where they are at best the shades of “gray”, becoming “white” or “black” only with the passage of time – sometimes over decades, sometimes generations…
For example, the “good” West has long been castigated for aligning itself – “gray”, with unsavory characters to contain “bad” communism. History nonetheless illustrates that once the nature of “good” and “bad” has been assessed over time, humanity had no reasons for concern when the “gray” component – strategic pragmatism, is serving in the army of “good”.

Part 2

Check out your body… You should have 1 “head”, 1 “torso”, 2 “arms” plus 2 “legs”, all equipped with most amazing functional capabilities. But how did we evolve into such largish, sophisticated entities?
   That story had begun over a billion years ago with the evolution of sexual reproduction. Whereas previously, Life just hobbled along on a Descriptive leg of “sameness” – genetic enclosure A would absorb the Environment’s biomass then replicate asexually into substantially “same” enclosure A’ – sexual reproduction allowed Life to sprint forward on two Descriptive legs of “same + different”, i.e. “male + female”…
And in a situation where genetic A + B becomes either A’B (male) or AB’ (female) capable of mating with some X’Y or XY’ to result in either; A’BX’Y, A’BXY’, AB’ X’Y or AB’ XY’, the total COMPLEXITY of continually emerging
genetic permutations soon becomes astronomical.
   So, next time you contemplate a heterosexual intercourse, don't forget the long line of Casanovas which for over a billion years had in exactly the same way compounded Life's physiological COMPLEXITY until it was able to perform the processes of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON – culminating in higher Life, proto-humans, Language and humanity…
Had it not been for their romantic efforts, there would probably be nothi
ng of sentient significance on Earth today – just insipid, asexually multiplying flotsam which occupied it over the preceding three and a half billion years.


The emergence of sexual reproduction had a corollary – the rise, about half a billion years ago, of SURPLUS-dependent Life –
   Imagine you became destitute one day; nowhere to live, no money, barely the clothes on your back… Perhaps “If I had only saved what I’ve spent on cigarettes…” would wistfully flash in your mind. Alas, be they matters great or small, the “If only…” is at best a lesson for the future.
So, you’ll battle on with what’s left… Call friends or relatives? No way, you don’t want them to see you in this situation. Quickly get a job, any job!
   Say six months later, after a sobering brush with indigence you are back in the saddle. The lesson? It wasn’t having your vulnerabilities exploited by all and sundry. No, that – you would conclude, was the inescapable effect of being caught with no financial SURPLUS to your name… Very “bad”! If so, then what in this context is “good”?
“Simple – the $3.000 I’ve just managed to save must remain in the bank and be used in most dire emergencies only!”
What has it got to do with Edmund Burke? Wave your precious three grand above your head in a busy street and you’ll quickly realize the importance of “good men” intervening to prevent the triumph of evil.

Assume that the muses of commerce had smiled kindly upon your attitude towards SURPLUS and a decade later, you’re the CEO of a major financial corporation… What’s changed? Certainly not the essentials –
   OK, so you’ve clawed your way onto the apex of a corporate pyramid – there’s a chauffeur-driven limo, experts snap into action at your command and your salary could feed hundreds of families per year… But while you’re tossing and turning at night, one searing amount – the “$61 million”, burns through your slumber hour after hour –
That’s the substance of the matter – the money you must find every week to cover the salaries, rent, taxes, health care, dividends, interest payments, litigation costs and all other running expenses of your vast outfit…
   Where does that money come from? Obviously, it should come from your company’s weekly operating profit. Except your records for the last quarter show an average “3.13 million” weekly loss and computer projections point to even worse results in the next… Before the year is out you are heading for some “200 million” in the red… How “bad” is that!?
   Not the end of the world. You’ve been there before – your bank will again extend a usual line of credit… But what was your mission statement to that corporation’s board when applying for the top job?
“Under my stewardship we will cease to be a corporate yo-yo that bounces between profit and loss” you would boast at the time, “I shall immediately start on building a strong operating SURPLUS of 5 billion dollars within the next five years – so when the next financial storm comes we’ll stay afloat, watch the others sink and salvage the best of what’s left!” Applause!!!
   Well, that commendable strategy won’t be coming to fruition, but here’s a chance to reach even greater heights –

Some half a billion years ago, you’re a multi-celled organism born of sexual reproduction. Your parents had long dissolved into watery inconsequence but here you are – gently swaying on the ripples of some primordial pond and trying to stay alive as long as possible for no particular reason.
   Hey, no more worries about having to provide salaries, rent, taxes, health care, dividends, interest payments, etc…? That’s not entirely correct…
Every week you must still find say, “0.61 calories” – your basal metabolic needs, with which to power the energy-hungry cells constituting your body. If you can’t – the electro-chemical workings within those cells will sputter along for while, then come to a permanent standstill …Kaput!   
And should your body start running at an energy loss, there’s no bank from which “20 calories” worth of biomass can be borrowed to fill the gap…No, now it is only you and your fickle Environment – sometimes it’s awash with precious biomass but often it just leaves you on a brink of starvation.
   How to overcome this insecurity?
While still continuing to function at a rate of “0.61 calories” per week, you could evolve a method of additionally storing say, extra “0.2 calories” upon your body when the pickings are plentiful…
The outcome? Whenever your Environment abounds with biomass, you function at a normal energy-consumption rate while stockpiling these extra calories as SURPLUS for future use.
Conversely - should biomass become scarce, you’ll still survive by feeding from your own reserves. Problem solved.
   Were you to re-visit that Environment in say, ten million years, you would find organisms incapable of SURPLUS-storage perishing all around, just as your descendants are becoming LARGER and more dominant in the overall scheme of Life.
Here, your physiology has trodden the first step on an evolutionary path which your alter-ego of half a billion years into the future might summarize in a corporate boardroom as; “I shall immediately start on building a strong operating SURPLUS of 5 billion dollars within the next five years – so when the next financial storm comes we’ll stay afloat, watch the others sink and salvage the best of what’s left!”

Would an expansion of Life’s functional repertoire into sex and SURPLUS have any bearing on Edmund Burke’s, or indeed any notion of “good”?
Sex is “good” for a generic reason - it guarantees the permanence of Life. And when one sees a child curled up in mother’s arms, what could be more natural then to wish it a “good” future…Here, it could added that FIDELITY usually provides couples with optimal lifetimes because of its sheer social efficiency and competitiveness, rather then ostensible morality.
In an interventionist sense, humanity has evolved “good” prohibitions – on incest, rape or pedophilia for example, along with the inequitable strictures still rife amidst Cultures untouched by MODERNITY. That’s about it…
Why not venture deeper into the subject? Because there’s a vast functional disparity between what sex and SURPLUS respectively contribute towards the continuum of Life.
In principle, Life can survive by mating once in a lifetime. But could it also survive by EATING once in a lifetime? That’s what endows SURPLUS with its utter supremacy in the affairs of Life.
   But not all is well in the Realm of SURPLUS – though it gave substance to bodily Life and to this day remains the sole guarantor our commercial and social probity, Life’s blind instinct for acquiring it has led to some odious distortions -


Suppose that the Universe, Life and Language repeat themselves with no beginning or ending… If so, which of our everyday social instinct ought to dominate the eternity of such repetition? Instead of – as before, continuing on with Edmund Burke’s interventionist notion of “good”, let us look in the eye of an evil that had made it necessary –

“Feed us - or else!”

As constant as Gravity shepherding the contents of a Universe, this canny instinct for surviving by the efforts of others is destined to permeate Social Existence of any linguistic Life within it.
Indeed, if Evolution ever found that 95% of a Language-based society could be made to labor from dawn to dusk to pamper the remaining 5%, it may have wryly applauded the latter on their breathtaking audacity…
Not that such impertinence would be imposed on its victims in so crude a manner. While letting everyone know that the “… or else!” sanction is still there, the opportunists realizing that creation of SURPLUS requires social tranquility, will quickly wrap their demands in a serene JUSTIFICATION -

“Feed us – it’s your sacred duty”

And universally, Language will rub into such JUSTIFICATIONS the marrow of Life dilemma - its perpetual struggle for continuity. That will be exploited in two ways -
First, the natural succession of parents creating an offspring who become parents creating an offspring, etc… demands of those parents much more then merely having a descendant. Natural Selection dictates that they must also provide it with every available advantage in its forthcoming struggle to survive and as Language develops, the social bluff of being “better born” will certainly smoothen the path ahead for the little ones…

The second form is more insidious… Take stock of Life at any point - which instinctive imperative would have driven it to survive right up to that stage?
“I shall survive as long as possible!” Any lesser commitment on the part of individual physiologies to prevail the “longest” gets caught out by Natural Selection and is permanently discarded into a genetic waste-basket…
Now what happens when Life urged by every fiber in its body to “survive as long as possible” evolves Language? Sooner or later an imaginative mind - maybe someone grieving over the death of a loved one, will conceptualize that mournful event as a mere artifice…
“No, only the body of my loved one has died”, the imagination will whisper soothingly, “but its soul shall survive as long as possible… forever!”
“Where does that soul go to?” the curious would later ask. “The Afterlife, that’s where – the ever-lasting Afterlife…”

Now the Aristocracy and Religion are not the constant embodiments of evil per se - far from it. Yet it is inevitable that universally, their “good” social roles will become perverted by the triumphant arrival of our old friend - the SURPLUS…
   Ever since mankind discovered the phenomenal SURPLUS of Agriculture ten millennia ago – where say in the case of maize a single grain can gross between 20000% and 40000% return per year, attention of the established elites had centered on controlling that mesmerizing bounty –
“We own this crop because we own this land! Why? Because our Deity has deemed us worthy of its special grace!” thundered the Aristocracies.
“We own this crop because we own this land! Why? Because it’s the will of our Deity and if you disobey, you’ll never enter the Afterlife”, the Religions echoed, if somewhat more subtly.
   And so, the “why / because” – two enthralling concepts without which no theories about the workings of the Universe would have been possible, had ten millennia ago foisted upon the bulk of humanity the JUSTIFICATION of an inherent social obligation; “Feed your Aristocracies and Religions – it’s your sacred duty””
Before long, cities built on the SURPLUS expropriated under that obligation would become great empires and armies never seen before would clash in the name of their leaders’ blindly followed JUSTIFICATIONS.
And once ruling over an emergent human Civilization becomes the ultimate prize, any objective, society-based appraisal of “good” threatens the affairs of “good men”…
Why, they are “good” - isn’t that what the JUSTIFICATIONS of their power had been proclaiming throughout the known world already?


Fast forward to the mid-18th century – ironically, the time of Edmund Burke. The Aristocracy and Religion are by now a vast, unstoppable juggernaut of despotism. Any fumbles made in enforcing the “Feed us - it’s your sacred duty” tradition had long been pitilessly corrected and its protagonists now own the world! 
And Language… If you glanced behind the opulent palaces and cathedrals, mosques and temples, you would find an evil dog reeking of persecution, imprisonment, torture and murder - ready to savage anyone daring to even whisper that its masters are other then “good men” deserving the utmost of praise and obedience…

Then came the Watt steam engine, 177O - the springboard of the Industrial Revolution, plus the American Declaration of Independence, 1776 and the French Revolution, 1789 - the seeds of the SECULAR REVOLUTION.
Combined, these account for the most important social breakthrough since the Athenians started to count votes around two and a half millennia ago -at last, humanity’s medieval embankments have been breached towards a new, long-heralded vista of MODERNITY…
   Not surprisingly, most Cultures wouldn’t at the time understand the merit of following a path charted entirely by the West. As a result, the world had split into incompatible parts - the Western Civilization industriously forging ahead and the rump of humanity that continually lags behind it in a wide range of capabilities and opportunities.
It must be acknowledged that by seizing on Western advances, Cultures of the East - most notably Japan, South Korea and ominously, China – have also made very substantial progress of late.
   So, what in the meantime happened to the once invincible potentates of Aristocracy and Religion?
Ever since the jointly owned evil dog of persecution, imprisonment, torture and murder got emblematically paid-off on a French guillotine, both have been chewing the fat of an enormous SURPLUS accumulated through the preceding centuries - while at the same time assiduously manipulating the nascent, temporal state to their best advantage -
The Aristocracy of the West now barely merits a shrug - its opportunities to benefit from skewed governance are fast coming to an end and the sooner its pompous freeloaders are invited to join the conventional workforce the better for all concerned.
As for Religion, the case for urging its practitioners to join the conventional workforce is even more compelling and the righteousness of such an act would have brought redemption to great many of naively misdirected but otherwise well-meaning lives.
But we shouldn’t hold our breath - selling the comforting daydreams of the “Afterlife” still offers so many state-sanctioned benefits that most “good men” of Western Religions will see little merit in earning their salvation the hard way.
   That still leaves matters unresolved, for although it is the right of adults to live in their own La-la-land, what right does anyone have to impose it on a life on some trusting 10 year-old?
It’s high time the West had realized that its so-called Religious Education isn’t there to teach kids about the factual phenomenon of various Religions having emerged throughout the millennia all over the world…
No, its aim is indoctrinating young, vulnerable minds into donating Money in twenty years time to a particular Religion - allowing the indoctrinators to survive in their insular, sectarian enclaves right until ripe old age.
   To summarize, let’s put the “Western Civilization derives its moral values from Christianity” parrot out of its misery -
If you want to see how Christian moral values worked in the past, observe closely the thuggish determination with which Religions still contemptuous of Secular Morality enforce their “Feed us - it’s your sacred duty” traditions amongst the medieval Cultures of the world.   
The point? The West only became what it is because some two centuries ago it had won a battle to free itself from precisely that kind of behavior.

As we are on the subject of social opportunism, let us peek at the current, indulgently named “sub-prime” crisis… Since “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn how to benefit from it”, we should ask not who are the losers – but cui bono?
AMERICA – a country that gave humanity the First Amendment, had stayed true to its precepts and remains our sole bulwark against the belligerence of totalitarianism still firmly entrenched across the world in a variety of vile incarnations…
Embarrassingly it is also a country whose political establishment hasn’t yet comprehended that the purpose of being elected is to protect the PEOPLE from the triumph of evil in the very way Edmund Burke envisages.
   Now the “sub-prime” mortgages are just a new twist to the old “There’s a sucker born every day” form of real-estate racketeering…Having banked the SURPLUS extracted from an underhanded deal, the racketeer bundles its toxic leftovers with thousands of other mortgages then discharges the lot into an international pond of greed, fear and ignorance. “Houston – we have a problem…”
   It is a duty of politicians everywhere to enact laws eradicating that kind of fraud at its grass-roots level and doing so in America was neither onerous intellectually nor – as some co-beneficiaries like to allege, would it have led to the collapse of its free enterprise system…
Why didn’t it happen? Come elections time, America’s VESTED INTERESTS make their political whores the usual offer “We’ll keep you in comfort and you just let us look after the interests of our fine, God-fearing citizens”

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough men learn not to question it

Part 3

Let’s spread a uniform layer of SURPLUS-oriented COMPLEXITY across the Environment and come back to it a hundred million years later… We would find that its functional “in-equalities” had diverged into specific SURVIVAL NICHES - becoming “different” species.
Since some genetic permutations only succeed at the cost of others, a hint of “good / bad” divergence appears to be in sight already. But could it lead Life into developing an interventionist INTENT? Let’s look at it in context of early Evolution -      


There’re over six billon people on Earth today, but why are we all still alive? A much-overlooked explanation - because we hadn’t been cannibalized by our parents -
However tongue-in-cheek such a thought, imagine trying to stay alive at the bottom of an ocean a hundred million years ago…
Say a dozen of your offspring dart merrily about, sheltering near your body at any sign of danger. But unlike your energetic brood, you hadn’t caught a prey for some days and can barely move. Actually, all that keeps you going is a SURPLUS of biomass your body has stored away from the meals long gone - and that reserve is now running low…
Nonetheless, there’s an instant solution to your problem, for the FOOD you need is right in front of your mouth! It’s your offspring, dummy - eat them and at least you might stay alive until something more substantial turns up.
  You won’t eat your own offspring, will you...
Why not? Because you - when an offspring, weren’t eaten by your parents, who themselves - when offspring, weren’t eaten by their parents, who when offspring weren’t eaten by their parents, and so and on across the previous hundreds of millions of years of Evolution…
But why should Natural Selection favor this instinctive RESTRAINT over its cannibalism-oriented alternative? Surely, eating your own offspring doesn’t necessarily spell the end of your species - just let some survive and they’ll energetically replenish the numbers. In fact, a few lower-end forms of Life are practicing it to this day…
Nature loves problem-solvers… Since Life feeding on other species solves a more difficult problem that can be solved by Life turning on its own kind, the former will universally displace the latter and that is how we’ve become what we are today...
Incidentally, Democracy triumphs over totalitarianism for a similar reason. And this has little to do with moral values - no, the freedom of expression it is founded on also happens to be an indispensable tool of problem solving.

Now back to E. Burke Esq. and his interventionist components of 2 “good” and 1 “bad”. Tentatively, they’re at hand already - parent A, parent B and offspring C. Here, borrowing on our contemporary mores one could already picture a “good” parent A intervening to save the “good” offspring C from being harmed by “bad” parent B… Familiar?
Trouble is that however true it rings in human context, it doesn’t conform to the mores of Evolution. Quite to the contrary - parents across the animal kingdom are extraordinarily protective of their offspring.
   Why? Nothing else works… The parents’ lack of absolute commitment to the welfare of offspring places that offspring at a competitive disadvantage relative to the rest of the species. And as the disadvantaged perish earlier, the inherited genetic traits responsible for their misfortune largely die away with them before they can be reproduced.
   Now what if “good” parents A and B intervene to save “good” offspring C from “bad” predator D? Here, although the parents would have exercised no choice in protecting an offspring, this classic scenario crystallizes Life’s INSTINCTIVE assessment of “good” and “bad” for all its future references.
But while it could now be argued that all interventionist “good” traces back to the parents instinctively protecting their young from predators, we still aren’t anywhere near its contemporary ideal.

Let’s visit our closest relatives and see if they’ve ever heard of Mr. Burke’s worthy sentiment -
   Imagine you’re the leader of a chimpanzee troop, deftly guiding it through the vagaries of survival. Many a prey had succumbed to your guile, many a predator were led astray… With a hefty paw and a matching growl you’ve also been adjudicating the feuds amongst your underlings longer then you care to remember. “Tough but FAIR” they’d would call you today.
   So, why are you a bit unsettled? For a long time, out of the corner of your eye you’ve been watching the goings-on in a rival troop across the creek. Nothing worth worrying about, except for one small oddity -
You have noticed a young chimp frequently staring towards you and each time it brought back a vague recollection of some nasty skirmish, the snap of a rival’s bones, the young one biting into your calf…You sense despair in the chimp’s demeanor, or is it HOPE - bah, nothing to do with you…
   So, what is it? It’s not that you’ve killed the father, depriving this chimp of the only protection from that troop’s ferocious cliques - it doesn’t count.
Maybe it is just beginning to dawn on you that what later happened to this orphan wouldn’t happen under your rule… The hounding, the beatings, the stealing of food you have witnessed - no, had they been yours, the ruffians responsible would fly through the dust in a lesson never to be forgotten.
And that orphan - a hunched wraith covered with scabs, continues to stare towards you.

Suppose that the Universe, Life and Language repeat themselves with no beginning or ending…
Yes, we’re back to key NOUNS of this chapter’s first paragraph; “Universe, Life and Language”. Having found no interventionist “good” amidst non-linguistic Life, can we identify its source either in Language, or at least in its precursor?
It is the precursor – specifically, the proto-human concept of FAIRNESS. And if that is a surprise, let’s compound it - it’s the proto-human concept of commercial FAIRNESS…
Are commerce and FAIRNESS now supposed to precede the development of Language itself - what’s the story?
Over two million years ago, the Stone Tools appeared and for the first time an artifact had found an additional, social role - the self-evident usefulness of a Tool could be transferred from one individual to another in exchange for “anything” of EQUAL VALUE.
   But why bother exchanging anything - our closest cousins don’t do it and they’re still pretty happy campers…
Primitive commerce seems at best a quirk of Nature – an odd breakthrough that had given the descendants of one proto-human group the wherewithal for marching further into the future then any other… At its heart reside two constants of Reality – one is structural, the other a universal coefficient of Social Existence -
The first – Life’s innate physiological “in-equalities”, is a given. The second waits for sentient Life observing the “things” within its Environment to see the benefit in correlating two concepts - the QUALITY of “something” and the QUANTITY of “something else” -
   It is axiomatic that no two individuals within a group ever make perfectly “equal” contributions to its welfare - be it providing the food, protecting the young, choosing the next camp, leading the group against enemies, etc…
Yet against Nature’s grain, those “in-equalities” can still be compensated for socially -
1. An individual who abounds with the QUALITY of one thing may demand an additional QUANTITY of another – an incentive.
2. An individual deficient in the QUALITY of one thing may be required to make up for it with a QUANTITY of another – an obligation.
A group adopting such basics of primitive commerce benefits in two ways -
First, the rise of a command structure needed to enforce those commercial incentives and obligations adds to that group’s organizational firepower.
Second, those confident of their talent and skills will now use that big stick to extract from their underlings the utmost of contribution - increasing that group’s output of “useful items and skills”, its GDP as it were.
The outcome? Proto-human groups governed by the discipline of primitive commerce must supplant the bands of laggards who meander through life with nothing compelling them to maximize the QUALITY and QUANTITY of their contribution to the common cause.
As can be seen, free enterprise – a system oozing with the Darwinian sense of commercial discipline, has been winning its skirmished against socialist indolence long, long ago…


An already familiar illustration has asked how many “x?” bananas “B” is a Stone Tool “A” worth? Is it “3 bananas”, is it “5” or maybe it’s “8”…
It can’t be worth all of them simultaneously anymore then a loaf of bread can be priced at “$3.75”, “$4.00”, “$4.25” and “$4.50” in a supermarket. Assuming that the price displayed happens to be “$4.50” - is that price FAIR when a shop down the road is selling exactly the same loaf for only “3.75”? “How come…”
However modern this question may seem, its essence – FAIRNESS, would  have exercised the proto-human mind ever since those exchanging “useful items and skills” began to sense that an outcome can sometimes favor the other party. And that doesn’t even depend on counting specific items, but a broad suspicion – not necessarily correct, of the same process having led to a more beneficial result elsewhere. “What’s going on in my case…”
   Imagine a procession of skills-dependent proto-human groups advancing onward since the dawn of Stone Tools – each striving to endure as a viable social unit. Which sentient structures would have helped a group to prevail the longest?
With those driven by the discipline of primitive commerce quickly surging ahead, it wouldn’t be the groups whose warriors go into battle still seething about being short-changed on some obtuse barter.
Rather, it would be the proto-humans who – while likewise strengthened by primitive commerce, had evolved an additional means for integrating their diverse capabilities, temperaments and ambitions to the highest degree of social COHESION. 
How? Simple - all they needed to do is memorize and repeat the signs and sounds already noted for reconciling their commercial quibbles in the past then pass that knowledge onto the young…LANGUAGE.
Thus, though it rules supreme today, Language couldn’t initially have been more then an adjunct to the already established exchanges of “useful items and skills” – a serendipitous by-product of proto-human efforts to improve the prospects of own group by improving its standard of FAIRNESS.

What is FAIRNESS? Generically, it’s an attempt to achieve EQUIVALENCE in the assessment of two reciprocally important social concepts - they may represent our emotions or ambitions, promises or favors, talents or skills, tangible items, etc…
Commercially, it characterizes a situation in which parties voluntarily agree that the benefits they derive by exchanging “something” for “something else” are EQUIVALENT.
Note now the symbiotic relationship between “something” and “something else” - a simple act of exchanging one for the other already engages all the critical five outcomes of CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON at the heart of Life’s sentient awareness - 

“same / different”
“less / equal / more”

First, no exchanges can be contemplated within Descriptive Reality unless “something same as A” is being offered for “something different to A” 
Why? Nobody in the immemorial run of Commerce had as yet managed to benefit from exchanging “A” for another “A”…
Second, as it becomes intuitively axiomatic that “something A” would only be exchanged for “something B” – say, a “fish” for “some tangerines”, the events swiftly move into the Proportional realm of “less / equal / more”…
And here, our archetypal instincts to get as much as possible for as little as possible inevitably raise their clever, argumentative heads -
   Yet as a rule, after the posturing, pleading and bluffing is over, FAIRNESS informs the participants that a “fish A” is the “equal” of “x Proportion of tangerines B” – not “less then x” or “more the x” – and both parties amble away with a grin, each assured that the benefits derived from that deal are indeed EQUIVALENT.
Simple enough, but lurking behind there’s an enigma that in any Universe shall preoccupy not only the primitives nervously trying to exchange their wares, but also the greatest minds ever to arise within it…
They’ll discover that “something” in Nature can likewise be EQUIVALENT to “something else”. What’s more, it will be found that “something A” must invariably be the EQUIVALENT of a “Proportion x of something else B” and that in their right combination, those EQUIVALENTS of A = Bx explain the workings of their Universe.
To sum-up - over maybe a million years now the brains of our proto-human then human ancestors had been marinated, pickled, stewed and seasoned in the social instinct for FAIRNESS. We are hard-wired for it as much as we are for its diligent side-kick - Language. And it is this instinct that had over the ages driven “good men” into “doing something to prevent the triumph of evil” in the way Edmund Burke had envisaged.
   But it is Language that targets evil and historically, its selections had not been all that impressive. Why did it fail?
Until around ten millennia ago, Language was merely ensuring FAIRNESS within the tribes of hunter-gatherers. Then - once Agriculture arrived, it had been dragooned into imposing and enforcing JUSTIFICATIONS that gave self-appointed “good men” the right to seize the bulk of its crops.
Once that swindle paid-off, Language became so committed to extolling the virtues of such “good men” and punishing any contrary views, that despite the millennia of tyrants culminating in the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao or Pol Pot, humanity ended-up without any “bad men” at all - only “good men” no longer semantically capable of understanding their own evil.

“No claim of “good” is worth considering until the claimant first guarantees others the freedom to contradict it


After meandering along many quirky paths, the time has come for rubber to hit the asphalt…Edmund Burke’s interventionist notion of “good” would surely have manifested itself on a grand scale at least once throughout the ages. If so, who were his “good men”?
All of Social Existence is ultimately COMPLEXITY expressing itself through Language. Consequently, the divergence of “in-equalities” inherent within the semantic heritage that every Culture passes onto its descendants must result in corresponding divergence amongst the Cultures themselves - with some inevitably becoming more successful then others.
The structure constantly representing that divergence is shown below, the contextual base of “worst / worse / equal / better / best” now substituting the standard, value-neutral base of “least / less / equal / more / most” - 

“e / equal / b”
“rse / equal / bet”
“st / worse / equal / better / be”

“worst / worse / equal / better / best”

Let’s simplify it… Since there is in Nature no law to ensure that “different” Cultures have to advance at “equal” rate of social progress over an “equal” period of time, a few must - by that default, always finish ahead of the pack.


How does one without a bias ascertain the contemporary standing of any Culture when touching that raw nerve almost invariably leads to polemics about racism, colonialism, imperialism, supposed achievements of the past civilizations, well-nurtured grievances of their descendants, etc…? There’s a short cut -   
Recall the previous examples of asymmetrical human intent - our constant, instinctive drive to pursue Life’s opportunities on the “………/ better / best” side of Proportional Reality. On a global scale, the success or otherwise of a Culture is collectively reflected in the extent of its peoples migration from one side of Proportional Reality to the other -
We don’t observe Americans or Canadians sneaking across the Rio Grande with bundles of their backs hoping for a “good” life south of the border, or the Westerners in general trying to improve their prospects in Africa, Latin America or Asia…
No, peoples of the world move in a uniformly opposite direction - towards the Western Civilization… From backwardness to MODERNITY, memorized dogmas to CRITICAL THINKING, oppression to freedom, impoverishment to affluence, pseudo-democracies to Democracy - always away from what is “bad” and towards what is “good” -
   The West prospering amidst a wasteland of other Cultures’ squandered opportunities - that’s the current state of humanity’s social progress, with all of the supposedly great achievements of supposedly great civilizations quickly biting the dust wherever searching for a better tomorrow happens to be at stake.
In this context, the West might one day greet its new denizens with a blunt request “Since your social values had already made the conditions in your own land so unbearable you had to leave it, please adopt our values - the social values responsible for the very well-being which no doubt attracted you over here”
As for those eyeing the West as an instant solution to their problems, they could be required to observe a common courtesy; “If you wish to enter our house, don’t do it through a hole in the basement but knock on the front door and ask whether you can come in”  
   Still, nothing in the above even remotely suggests that an interventionist “good” is globally imminent…
In the first example – the divergence into “least / less / equal / more / most” remains an entirely mechanistic part of Proportional Reality – applying as much to Language as to distributing say, a billion galactic clusters in their order of “smallest / small / equal / larger / largest”. No altruistic intervention can be contemplated here.
In the second - given that the source of “good” has now been established, shouldn’t the “good men” of the West liberate failed Cultures from the evil that’s causing their peoples to suffer?
A problem…Instead of being the cause of cultural failure, social evil is only its manifestation. And once the visible effect has been conquered, doesn’t it follow that the underlying cause - usually some self-righteous banalities ingrained into a Culture across centuries - must likewise be set right if the overall objective is to succeed? If so, at what price…   
Therefore “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” is still subject to “But can the cost of doing something be justified in all cases?


Now assigning to Mr. Burke's 18 th century maxim a modern, global role is valid because evil knows no borders. But just how viable had its modern, geo-politically romanticized version proved in the past?
   History doesn’t favor the modern interpretation. The “good men” who two millennia ago imposed Roman law throughout the then known world may
have shown the vanquished a glorious alternative to tribal primitivism, but was improving those societies their primary intention? No, it was conquest and plunder.

 The “good men” of Christianity may have given humanity its earliest notion of forgiveness, but was this important social innovation subsequently used with the primary intention of reconciling the post-Roman world?
No, the fights over control of its spellbinding message had not only divided that world but damned Europe to a millennium of war-ravaged, tyrannical darkness. 

The “good men” of Islam may have re-distributed wealth to the poorest in a society, but was implementing that important social innovation the primary intention behind their harsh attempts to subjugate other Cultures?
No, because it was enforced by fanaticism rather then reason, that almost contemporary ideal of shared equity became but a footnote to the resultant thousand years of obsession with triumph and vengeance.

The “good men” of the French Revolution may have given the potentates of Aristocracy and Religion a fine thump on the head, but was freeing Europe from its despotism and ignorance the primary intention of reckless military campaigns waged over the next generation?
No, the grandeur of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” quickly degenerated into continent-wide adventurism which - although later a great inspiration to the oppressed across the world, proved no longer relevant to that Revolution’s original, reformist goals.

Not unlike the Romans, the “good men” of the 19th century’s British Empire may have introduced competent civil administration far and wide, but was freeing their subjects from some prior injustice their primary intention?
No, the British overpowered then exploited them - seizing their opportunity before others could so in a less civilized manner.

The “good men” of communism may have entranced the Working Class with a brave vision of MODERNITY, but was transforming a backward world into well-educated, prosperous societies of equals the primary intention of their highly organized international activism?   
No, even when socializing the means of production had proven a historic blunder that prevented their societies from keeping up with the rest of the world, the communist elites still held onto their power and privileges with vicious dogmatism harking back to the days of the prior, feudal despots.

Indeed, if you look through the millennia, only one example of “good men” reaching successfully beyond their borders with the primary intention of preventing the triumph of evil - America’s intervention to deliver Europe from its fratricidal folly during the Second World War, shines brightly over a miasma of social wretchedness. Apart from that campaign and its epoch-shaping aftermath, there isn’t much else to celebrate.    
The cost? Hundreds of thousand of American dead and wounded - not the kind of sacrifice this country’s political establishment is likely to stomach again, regardless of the issues involved. And even if America’s resolve was to remain undiminished, the ever - increasing artificiality of its economy may before long sap its capacity for acting effectively.

Yet today, Cultures steeped in totalitarian contempt for human freedom are becoming wealthier, more assertive - almost defiant, just as the Americans haggle over the merit of global intervention and Europe ponders how many busloads of troops should be sent fight to from 9 to 5 – that’s assuming its soldiers don’t become too distressed by the sound of gunfire…
Had he lived today, Edmund Burke would probably take a pinch of snuff, and harrumph ”Children of the West are in for some interesting times!”



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