Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist
Personal belief systems matter. National belief systems matter. Personal belief systems grow and morph into cultural and economic systems. Traditions grow into policies and laws. Laws and policies require institutions to see to it that the systems function and move in perpetuity. Perpetuity is brought to a halt only when another set of personal beliefs grows and overrides the existing system of culture and economics.
That is why we have spent considerable time investigating the almost unbelievable potency of the economics of the interior. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. As a nation believes, so it becomes. Beliefs are important. Beliefs become nations.
The unlikely experiment of 1776, that began in Philadelphia at Independence Hall, really began at Runnymede, England, in 1215 with King John’s signing of the Magna Carta. But it all started as a personal belief system in the hearts and minds of a small group of people. I have personally stood there at Runnymede, along the river outside of London, where the signing took place eight hundred years ago. I have tried to imagine what this world would be like today had it not been for those two extraordinary events that took place, one at Runnymede and the other at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. But behind those unique events there existed a dedicated system of personal beliefs in the hearts of a handful of stalwart dreamers.
If your goal were to change a nation, your mission would be to first change the economics of the interior of a certain percentage of the citizens of that nation. If successful, you could eventually take control of that nation from the inside out; from the interior. The supreme advantage to your method would be that by your not electing to blow up everything by military force, you would not damage the infrastructure, treasuries, or production capabilities of the nation. You would simply inherit the new control position by sabotaging and altering the personal and national belief systems.
The participants of the 1776 experiment in America were amazingly unified in their economics of the interior. Their personal and national belief systems included the rule of law, personal and real property rights, constitutional liberty, and the individual right to pursue their own self- interests. They also relied on a justice system of jury trials, including habeas corpus, taxation measures imposed only if the citizens approved such by their own vote, fair elections, uncensored media, and, perhaps most importantly, the freedom to exercise free enterprise in a free market. They all agreed that the government should work for the people and not the people work for the government.
That experiment has resulted in generating more production, more industry, and more wealth than any other cultural and economic phenomenon in the history of the earth. It has also generated more benevolence and humanitarian aid to the rest of the world than any other cultural and economic experiment in history.
Following World War II, it became obvious that no other military power in the world could conquer the United States of America from the outside without mutual mass destruction of their own country. Control of the U.S. could only be achieved through the conquering and altering of the economics of the interior of the individual citizens, as well as the collective nation.
After the 1930s, the experience of the Great Depression gave the European Marxist socialists the chance to declare that the American system of democracy and free enterprise had failed. They predicted that it was only a matter of time until the people of America would reject capitalism and turn to the security and comfort of a collective and centralized system of economics and culture. Politicians, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, under the mentorship of socialist economist John Maynard Keynes of the UK, began testing the readiness of the American people for more and more dependence on the American government in exchange for more and more regulation and intrusion by the government. A highly surprising number of American citizens began to vote for personal subsidies and government aid in exchange for independence and free enterprise.
Let’s compare the changes that have been offered to today’s citizens in order to expedite the alteration in the economics of the interior of the voting individuals. We will use some of the principles adhered to by the participants of the 1776 experiment compared to concepts marketed to economic and cultural participants today:
Next Week: Benevolence
Research ideas from Dr. Jackson's new writing project on Cultural Economics)
© Dr. James W. Jackson
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Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."
As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson.