I am borrowing the title of Somerset Maugham’s memoirs for a catalog of some conclusions I have reached on matters of general public interest. The thought processes behind these conclusions are long and complex and I will endeavor to explain them in any instance for which a reader desires an explanation. Stated here are the simplest forms of the results of those processes. They will, I know, be controversial, but please bear in mind that these ideas are works in process, and I will expand and modify them from time to time. I offer them in no particular order of subject matter or importance, for your interest, your bemusement, and your comments.
1.The concept of god is meaningless, and the conceptual god is the single greatest obstacle to the achievement of spiritual truth. That said, I believe that everyone possesses a soul, a spark of the animating force in the universe that gives rise to life. Given that, every individual, and the race as a whole, has a spiritual destiny. I believe the closest that any religious thinker has come to describing this destiny and the means to attain it is the Buddha.
2.Human personality does survive bodily death, but only for a short time in proportion to the degree of spiritual advancement achieved during life.
3.Abortion is a great moral wrong.
4.Government is the greatest enemy of personal liberty and as such must be limited in size and restrained in power as far as possible. The U.S. Government, as it currently exists, increasingly threatens our freedom, and must be reduced in size and influence in our lives radically. If this cannot be done – if it has grown too large to be reined in – then a second American Revolution is necessary to preserve individual liberty.
5.U.S. Senators should be limited to two six-year terms, and members of the House of Representative, to five two-year terms.
6.Anyone who commits a murder with special circumstances should be put to death. Such convictions should be subject to no more than two appeals, and the time taken by those appeals should be no more than five years. Evil exists, and it is possible for a human being to behave with such evil that he or she forfeits the right to live among us.
7.The United States tax code should be eliminated and replaced with a flat tax (both individual and corporate) of no more than fifteen percent per annum.
8.The United States is gradually becoming a Western-European style socialist democracy in which personal liberty and individual initiative are being replaced with collective welfare and dependency on government. If this process continues to its conclusion, this nation will have ceased to be as it was founded and as precedent generations of Americans have known it. And the last, best hope for the survival of individual liberty in the world will have been traded for comfort, “fairness” and low-risk mediocrity.
9.Public education, and the left-wing agenda which has infused it, are destroying the intellectual, political and cultural life of the nation.
10.Marketing is devouring the arts.
11.In the near future of this country there will be, essentially, two classes of citizens: those who have fostered their own individual intellects, characters and souls through hard work, education, initiative, creativity and ambition, and those who have not. The first class will be quite small and will be increasingly isolated from the much larger remainder who, since their numbers will so outstrip the others, will be at war with them (through jealousy and resentment of their achievements and prosperity), and will eventually drag them down through the corruption and manipulation of the political process. We are seeing this taking place right now.
12.Children must be raised to be rugged individualists if this nation is to survive.
13.There are no excuses for failure or bad behavior, either in one’s own life or in the life of society. For too long in this country we have sought to rationalize and excuse the failure and bad behavior of classes of people, and the result has been a general degradation of our society.
14.Every individual is responsible for his or her own success or failure regardless of circumstances. It is simply not possible to shift responsibility for one’s failings onto others.
15.Love is the measure of all things. How we love and are loved tells everything about who we are.
16.Animals cannot be said to have rights, except the right not to be abused. Rather, humans have responsibilities with regard to all living creatures. How one treats animals is an index of the condition of one’s soul.
17.It is wrong to kill animals for food, except in times of desperation.
18.Every human being should have the right to live the life he or she chooses with dignity and without interference from outside. Identity is the private property of everyone.
19.Humans are bi-sexual by nature; sexual orientation is largely a matter of cultural prejudice.
20.Death is not the end of life, but rather, a return to the essence of life.
21.We should protect our personal liberty as though our lives depend on it, because they do. We must resist the allure of dependence on government and submission to it.
22.Music is the highest form of art, and poetry, being the closest to music, is the highest form of literature.
23.Liberalism is a charming romantic prejudice of youth, and all youths should embrace it. However, with age comes wisdom, and wisdom, by its nature, is conservative.
24.The Roman Catholic Church is a conspiracy against the innocence of children.
25. Love survives death. It has to.