TOS Blog: Daily Commentary from an Objectivist Perspective

A Few Words for Hugh Jackman from Richard Feynman

“The natural law,” says Hugh Jackman, “is that we should all have equal access, equal opportunity with the planet, but it seems the way we’ve divided it up politically or economically, that is not the case.”

It certainly is not the case that everyone has equal access or equal opportunity to the planet, or to the countless materials within it, or to the wealth that some have produced by mixing those materials with reason. Contrary to Jackman’s claim, however, this is not contrary to natural law; rather it is an instance of it.

Gold, diamonds, potash, and zinc are not located evenly across the globe. Beaches with palm trees are not everywhere, nor are mountains with spectacular views, or land good for farming, or lakes brimming with fish. The geography, geology, and raw materials of the earth vary from place to place. This is how the world is, and people have to deal with it as it is. That’s part of natural law: things are what they are and must act in accordance with their identities.

One consequence of natural law is that there can be no such thing as equal access to the earth or the things in, on, or around it. Animals with wings have disproportionate access to the sky; those living underwater have unparalleled access to ocean, lakes, and the like; and those able to hibernate get to sleep a lot more than others.

This is as true for people as it is for animals. People in Africa have access to ivory and diamonds. Those in Alaska have access to salmon and snow. Wherever one is on the globe, one has access to the materials that are there but not to those that are not.

And this is true not only of raw materials, but also of produced goods. Those who have created factories have factories; those who haven’t don’t. Those who have produced pesticides have them; those who haven’t don’t. Those who have established rights-respecting governments have freedom; those who haven’t don’t. Those who have earned millions of dollars rightfully own that wealth; those who haven’t don’t.

All of this is in accordance with natural law. And if Jackman and company can’t understand it or don’t like it, they should heed the advice of Richard Feynman:

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Image: Wikipedia Commons

Posted in: Business and Economics

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • Mike Kevitt

    “…things are what they are and must act in accordance with their identities.”  They DO act in accordance with their identities.  For people, this means, very exeedingly briefly, they act or don’t act by their own choice.  As for HOW they act, WHATEVER the situation, in all human action, NOTHING’s determined, starting with how or what one chooses, except by that one small part of nature which is the individual human consciousness.  But, an individual human consciousness is a physical part of nature.  And an individual DOES DETERMINE himself and his actions.  So, since humans and their respective individual consciousnesses are just as much a part of nature as stones, water, antelope, planets, stars, etc., all things are determined, some of it, including human consciousness, is determined by human consciousness, by choice.  All people are of a common identity: they DO choose.  From there determination and identity, by human choice and action, flies off in as many directions as there are people.  Once the action is taken, there it is, BY NECESSITY, unless changed by human action.  Likewise, nothing is necessary, except natural laws, such as gravity. Everything is subject to change, BY HUMAN ACTION by the how and what of choice, and with a potential limited only by human knowledge.  And natural laws are affected by each other; some can override others.  With enough knowledge, people can control that, or some of it.  Natural laws are nothing more than the effects of identity.  Learn, know, apply identity.  Control identity by natural law (invent).  Learn and understand natural law better (discover more about identity, for the sake of it, or to invent more).  What’s saying “we” can’t change identity or create new identity that never existed before?  But, careful, whoever might do it.  That might create a new natural law (although man-made) which might override others: something more stupendous than nuclear power.
          Now, human action (of individuals), by identity and law (natural, by redundancy), yields relationships.  So, what?  That depends on what a person (or group or mob of them) does.  If he, or it, committs initiatory force, then, “hell” with its choice, its action, its identity and LAW, its nature.  He, or it, stands to DIE at the hands of the intended victim, due to the intended victim’s own choice, the intended victim’s own self-chosen nature, to the destruction of all that of the initiator and of the initiator himself, or itself, PHYSICALLY, even if the intended victim is out of wack.  Nature (identity) is destroyed and a new identity (nature) takes its place, thus, new law.  If the intended victim is IN wack, then his chosen nature is of human life and of its requirements, but, he must objectify that nature as such, then he has a physical product, a piece of handwriting (screw computers) which expresses human law, expresses the individual’s needs in human relations, THAT IS, his goddamn lousy stinkin’ individual rights! which are considered so trivial in today’s culture by physical people you see every day, in public.   Those individual rights are NATURAL RIGHTS, they are INNATE or INHERENT within us, like an organ, such as a stomach, but, it’s a brain with the capacity of choice.  “We” only have to discover it.  The thing is, we’ve discovered it, ain’t we?  Ain’t we OBJECTIVIED it, in writing?, starting with Ayn Rand?  Just how much must we extend her thinking?, while THEY keep attacking us with guns?, camoflaged under crimininal documents legislated as “law”, put to us as THEIR “thinking”, under cover of the guise of due process?  LAW (individual rights) must be POWERED by brute physical force when needed.  THAT’S REASON, IN HUMAN RELATIONS.  That’s government in human relations.  When they, from cover of the guise of official positions, attack law, someone must, from within, TAKE THE LAW INTO HIS OWN HANDS and enforce it and re-establish the formalities of representative gvt. in due course!  What in “hell” was the U.S. revolution all about?Really?  Today, it can be done peacefully from within.  Tomorrow, maybe only by bloody, lethal force, from WITHOUT, and upon a criminal regime, not a gvt.
         This is all to say, Mr. So-and-so, if I don’t like it, and if you try forcing it on me, I’ll kick you out. You can “go to another existence”.  I’ll seize “this one”, and make it the way I want it: and you, others, and “nature” itself, be damned.  I’m nature, not “nature”.  Same with everybody.  We’ll deal with each other by choice.  If any criminal, or criminal regime tries to stop us, we, and I, will bust their heads, one by one, while they’re reaching for their weapons and armaments, and their “LAWS” and their cops, with our bare hands, even as they reach for their H- bombs, all power which they’ve proven themselves unworthy and without authority to wield.