Constructors and Destructors
Mankind can be divided into two camps, constructors and destructors. In the simplest terms, constructors get great pleasure from creating or saving that which they have created. Destructors get their highs out of destroying and/or consuming. These two camps often dislike each other.
In the beginning the Great Creator made the universe in which we live. The Big Bang is a relatively well confirmed scientific theory. Recently, scientists in Europe recently reported the likely discovery of the God Particle (Higgs Boson in the Large Hadron Collider). If one is a confirmed evolutionist, our universe evolved. The science substantiating this theory is less stellar. But for some reason it is believed that the world has reached a steady state and any changes henceforth are due to mankind screwing things up.
Unfortunately for that model, mankind seems bent on changing things. The constructors build things, dream of new things, make up games and things pleasurable. Constructors' nature is to enjoy not only the accomplishment but the process of accomplishing. Early on humans learned that family sustenance-life where people provided all of their own needs led to a very limited life style. This resulted in barter and later money to facilitate more complex trade between various constructors. Accumulation of money provided security and allowed people to purchase more than the necessities. As the constructors innovated, the list of necessities enlarged; trade increased leading to further advances.
Unfortunately, creation or evolution, whichever one believes in, led to not only constructors but also to destructors. Destructors are those who want what the constructors made without the work. They covet. They still experience the human need to create but too often their satisfaction comes from taking that which they did not build.
The British settlers in America were, for the most part, constructors. Their intention was to establish governments that encouraged constructors. An exception was the Pilgrims who established a communal society according to their contract. They nearly starved the first year as reported by William Bradford, governor and recorder. The second year they went to a capitalist system where each family owned their own produce. That led to a bounty that led to the first Thanksgiving in America. Maybe they read Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule. If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (NIV) In that settlement the destructors were few.
Later in the 1630s the Puritans settled the Massachusetts Colony. They built a significant colony of over 40,000 souls without a police force. Law was enforced by a few magistrates. Typically, a wife with a few children would pack up a wagon with produce and trundle off to Boston to sell at the markets. The travel often required an overnight trip with the wife camping along the road with little fear because she knew there were few destructors in the colony.
The US Constitution was based on the right of private property. John Adams noted that the Constitution was written for a religious people and was inadequate for any other. He meant there were few restraints and if the destructors were numerous the document would fail – many more restraints would be required. Today the destructors are seemingly ubiquitous. Covetousness is not considered sinful in many circles.
Socialism is founded on the principle that the total product from the effort of a society must be shared equally among all. This approach addresses covetousness by leveling the wealth rather than increasing it through rewarding the effort of the constructors. History teaches that institutionalizing destructors while diminishing constructors does not work. By allowing constructors to dominate America while frowning on destructors, America became the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. However, the 1930s saw the launch of socialism in the U. S. Prior to then, each town usually took care of its own indigent. Those who needed help were generally grateful and felt shame, particularly if they absolutely did not need help. When the Federal government took over this process, shame turned into entitlements (the word was invented in the 1940s).
Every lock, prison, security system and security fence is a drain on the nation’s economy. We might call the sum of their cost polluted GNP. The purpose of these devices is to protect the possessions of constructors from destructors. When the government legitimizes taking from constructors so to give to destructors, it penetrates any lock or law it chooses. The constructors have few remaining protections other than flight or fight.
One last thought: Socrates recognized that knowledge and virtue were inseparable. Perhaps the same can be said for ignorance and destruction.