On Novice Empire: Laymon Flack
It is a philosophical look at human society and how we interact with one another. In one section I use corporations as an example of how a created entity becomes greater than its creator and how this is or can be detrimental to humanity and our environment. In another I section I deal with freewill and how the creation of Adam in the bible is the only reason for freewill, which goes against John Lockes argument. In total there are 7 sections which culminate to the idea that being human is the solution or being human is the problem and this is the human dilemma
In this world there are many different variables that control our actions, movements and often allow or not allow us to proceed as humans within a society controlled by laws created by a single few. Within the pages of this essay you will read what the author states are the reasons for some constrictions that hamper us from working as people or humans as one unit rather than as I’s or We’s and why at times both of these mindsets fail. He will define many terms related to the government, law enforcement agencies and those that are responsible for them and he will quote several men like John Locke and Rousseau to bring home his points. As you the reader reads what I have shared from his essay you the reader will have to decide on whether you agree or disagree with his viewpoints as he delivers an essay titled On Novice Empire which explains in his words why we are still a country beginning to learn and why the word Novice he feels still applies. Discussions about corporations, capitalism, government spending, definitions that define how our checks and balances systems work and don’t work and the book goes into various phases of why we as humans need to focus and go in a different direction if we are to succeed.
Our government was created with a checks and balances system to prevent our government from abusing its power by way of “oppressing its citizens and served as the evolutionary step in politics.” The author expands this by explaining the rationale behind the Magna Carta, Thomas Payne’s interpretation of the constitution and the idea of separation but equal branches of government holding power which he states is truly “faricial.” He continues by stating that the power is not in the hands of the people it is concentrated or wielded by the few elected officials not by the one sovereign as he relates about monarchies. He elaborates on this on pages 13- 16 and you the reader decide what you think of his thoughts as he moves to a lengthy and interesting discussion on Capitalism. The author defines this term as “ the means by which the world’s economy ie the free market operates and exists in modern society.”
He continues to say that America is the breeding ground for young capitalist grooming. At the heart of his argument is the liberty to do what one wants but are you really afford that? The rest of the part of this essay focuses on the design of our system which states that the pursuit of happiness if limited in size and cope, therefore the need to spread democracy and capitalism throughout the world. He continues with an interesting section dealing with the corporation which has the where with all and capability to accomplish great feats of ingenuity by using finances and vast influences. The corporation is states is not used but misused. They mismanaged and misused by the same people who foster the ideal of a smaller government and the privatization of many of the public services provided to use by our government. He continues with more thoughts on this topic and the idea of transfer of power from one leviathan to another. The remainder of this part of the essay focuses on the point of separate but equal branches of government and the purpose of checks and balance of each other with the primary purpose to deter widespread corruption and to not allow or prevent one person from wielding absolute power over a whole society or nation. He goes on to describe this in relation to the crown and then the definition of a king. A king is king by divine right and he dates it back to Hammurabi and much more.
Interesting point about our knowledge of the laws and whether we even know anything about them adding in the children should learn about these laws in reading, math, science, writing and other subjects in school or perhaps I think a course in citizenship in all grades might enlighten younger people. The author elaborates on various penalties for breaking the law continues if you were to ask a judge, lawyer or police officer how many laws there are that govern us he doubts that they would even know and the specific number eludes them. He therefore, surmises that if the exact number of laws is not know it can be assumed or deduced that the content of these laws are also unknown. He elaborates by taking a closer look at the jobs of all three and their interpretation of the law. The lawyer is first and is defined as the legal practitioner. He continues to elaborate by focusing on the defendant who is the accused and presumed innocent however, if you really think about it they would not be presumed innocent if someone did not accuse the person of a crime. Their freedoms curtailed or taken away and in custody until the justice system deems that person fit to return to society and of course is able to post bail. They have to follow the rules and guidelines set out by a judge at the bail hearing which might restrict their freedoms even more. Now, let’s go to the judge presiding over the case and learn more about this person. Remember this is not a baseball field and the field is not exactly even. No sane person he states will willingly walk into a court of law on their own accord. The author also states that an intelligent person when told he/she is the defendant and accused of a crime like murder, and not question why this person is even accused in the first place. Therefore, the author makes a strong point in reiterating the statement, “presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The author continues by describing the role of the prosecutor and the lawyer in the courtroom and how they present arguments created to make sure the defendant who is no longer considered a person and is a victim of cruel punishment while the state decides whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. The remainder of the chapter focuses on different facets of the court system and a fact that I found interesting is the sentencing table the judge uses to determine the required sentencing. The table is comprised of a vertical column as the author states numbered from one to 43 and this is fro the offense level of the crime. There is horizontal line labeled with roman numerals from one to six stating the criminal history category, where criminal points are added up. He continues to explain the cross section of these rows and columns and where they meet how they determine the sentencing. The remainder of the chapter focuses on exactly what a judge can do and how the jury comes into play in a trial. Once again comparing it to the corporation the author hopes readers realize it is giving life to by humans that wield power over the human being. The remainder of the section focuses on the justice system, how it works and takes time from the convicted person under the false pretense that is giving time when it sentences the convicted person. He discusses social control and the error in Rousseau’s work in respect to the Lawgiver which is explained in detail in the remainder of the section including terms such as heavenly social contract, reference to Adam and the Garden of Eden and the creation of man and our relationship to God. The book brings up many issues that many would not think about including the definition of collectivism and whether some believe in it and way others do not. Stating once again the productions is for use and not for profit is in practice and proven to be flawed when implemented. Adding that it is due in part to those who claim as he stated and I quote, “ divine right as well as those who claim the right to be lawgivers who are in the positions to implement the proper practice of collectivism.” Adding to this statement he adds that it is implemented to their advantage, a form of collectivism that is reroutes the profits from production, in use and monetary gain, back he says to themselves which would neglect the whole of the people in production is meant in other words for simply because the “I” is the architect of such production while he adds the “We” is the means by which the production is done. He elaborates by stating that this can be translated as individualism by the way of “I” without “We”, not before “We”, no just “I” without any “We,” eliminating the collective for what the “I” see as their just and deserved gain. He completes the section or this essay with a thought provoking statements dealing with how one man plus one woman equals one child and goes on to state at the end of section 5 that therefore 2 separate wholes is therefore in itself in conflict unto itself upon creation or in other words either begin human is being the problem or is being human the solution. Interesting!
Finally, he concludes in parts 6 and 7 which a long discussion about socialization, Darwinism, and how this all relates within the final pages of part 6 to why all empires have been novice, the extra step of this currency, this capital as fair exchange. To learn more about his views on this read section six of the essay. Section 7 deals with how we experience time and the last page he leaves us with an interesting thought or quote: the rails steers the train: Humanity must not be afraid to stop the train, adjust the direction of the rails, and lay new tracks. Interesting considering we are about to have an elections and our country just might find itself laying their tracks in many new directions with a leader we hope that will make us stronger and better. An interesting essay where you the reader will decide what you agree with and what you do not. Interesting and quite thought provoking and at times you might say controversial. The essay would be great for a group discussion to find out what different people get from reading this essay and what their insights might be.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine