Edited by Frederick Mann
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997 Build Freedom Holdings ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This is the fourth in our series of "Millionaire" reports. The first report dealt mainly with the Most Basic Wealth Principle: Produce more than you consume. The second was primarily devoted to clearing away certain Money Myths and learning the Infinite Bootstrap Principle. The third dealt mainly with Dr. Jeffrey Lant's analysis of "Millionaire" Methodologies and with what you need to know about the danger of a Currency Collapse and what you can do about it.
First, this report provides a wealth case study in the form of J. Paul Getty, written by Craig Green. As you read his wealth secrets, observe how he applied the principle, "produce more than you consume"; observe how he applied various aspects of the Infinite Bootstrap Principle; observe how he made decisions.
Second, Gerry Spence - probably the most competent trial lawyer in America - tells us some important things about freedom and government bureaucrats.
Third, Frederick Mann conducts an imaginary interview with J. Paul Getty, mainly to explore his political ideas, particularly as they relate to building wealth.
Finally, Frederick Mann tells us how some of the free-enterprise entrepreneurs who join the vanguard in applying this information will become the "Freedom Billionaires" of the next few decades.
THE WEALTH SECRETS OF J. PAUL GETTY
by Craig Green
Copyright © 1995 - ZENO Press
J. Paul Getty was one of the most successful businessmen in history. His business experience started in the Oklahoma oil fields in 1914. As an independent wildcatter, he learned early on that small, hungry start-up enterprises could compete effectively with established business giants. Eventually, Getty Oil Company became one of those giants, but Getty never lost his independent spirit.
In the early years, he worked as his own geologist, legal advisor, drilling superintendent, explosives expert and roughneck. He learned that big companies were often sloppy in their operations, and their salaried employees did not apply the same effort as his independent associates. [Editor: Note that this phenomenon is even more pronounced among government bureaucrats.]
The wildcatters had to be flexible, adaptable and versatile in order to survive. The big companies hired armies of expensive consultants and administrative personnel, housing them in expensive offices. The wildcatters used mud splattered cars as their offices. They relied on their own judgments and experience gained from many years of hard-fought battles in the oil fields.
After a series of successful oil strikes in his early years, Getty became a millionaire at age 24. He tried to retire, but got restless. Getting back into the oil business again, he turned his million into a billion - and more. Ultimately, Getty became the world's richest man.
Getty Writes About His Success Secrets
In 1960, Playboy magazine asked Getty to write a series of articles about his life and wealth. His whole approach to this series was not How To Get Rich, but How To Be Rich. He realized that being rich means discharging the responsibilities that come with wealth, including making the world a better place.
While Getty was deciding what to do with his first million, his father said, "You've got to use your money to create, operate and build businesses. Your wealth represents potential jobs for countless others - and it can produce wealth and a better life for a great many people as well as yourself."
So Getty got back into the oil business. At the depths of the Great Depression after the 1929 stock market crash, he bought stock in the Tide Water Associated Oil Company - and thus began the second phase of his meteoric rise to becoming the wealthiest man in the world. His attitude about this historic stock purchase is revealed in the following quote:
"In business, as in politics, it is never easy to go against the beliefs and attitudes held by the majority. The businessman who moves counter to the tide of prevailing opinion must expect to be obstructed, derided and damned." With this simple statement, Getty outlined the courage and commitment of successful entrepreneurs.
This report presents the following rules, principles and characteristics for obtaining, keeping and using wealth according to J. Paul Getty:
The information in this article was obtained from the book, "How To Be Rich," by J. Paul Getty, originally published by Playboy Press in 1965. It was based on a compilation of articles which had previously appeared in Playboy magazine in the early 1960s.
Getty's Wealth Secrets
As you might expect, people often asked Getty how to get rich, and he received as many as 3,000 letters each month for money, advice, secret tips, and even marriage proposals. About 70 percent of his mail included requests for money. While Getty said the main ingredient in wealth accumulation is hard work, he realized it must be smart - based on goals and well-thought out plans. In his book, "How To Be Rich," Getty outlined the success rules upon which his entire career was based:
1. "Almost without exception, there is only one way to make a great deal of money in the business world - and that is in one's own business. The man who wants to go into business for himself should choose a field which he knows and understands. Obviously, he can't know everything there is to know from the very beginning, but he should not start until he has acquired a good, solid working knowledge of the business."
2. "The businessman should never lose sight of the central aim of all business - to produce more and better goods or provide more and better services to more people at lower cost."
3. "A sense of thrift is essential for success in business. The businessman must discipline himself to practice economy wherever possible, in his personal life as well as his business affairs. [Editor: "produce more than you consume."] 'Make your money first - then think about spending it,' is the best of all possible credos for the man who wants to succeed.' [Editor: This is the opposite of the fallacy Mr. Penn identified in Special Report #TL13B: The Millionaire's Secret (II): "you have to spend money to make money." Mr. Getty is saying that before you can spend money you have to make it.]
4. "Legitimate opportunities for expansion should never be ignored or overlooked. On the other hand, the businessman must always be on his guard against the temptation to over extend or launch expansion programs blindly, without sufficient justification and planning. Forced growth can be fatal to any business, new or old."
5. "A businessman must run his own business. He cannot expect his employees to think or do as well as he can. If they could, they would not be his employees. When 'The Boss' delegates authority or responsibility, he must maintain close and constant supervision over the subordinates entrusted with it."
6. "The businessman must be constantly alert for new ways to improve his products and services and increase his production and sales. He should also use prosperous periods to find the ways by which techniques may be improved and costs lowered. It is only human for people to give little thought to economies when business is booming. That, however, is just the time when the businessman has the mental elbow room to examine his operations calmly and objectively and thus effect important savings without sacrificing quality or efficiency. Many businessmen wait for lean periods to do these things and, as a result, often hit the panic button and slash costs in the wrong places."
7. "A businessman must be willing to take risks - to risk his own capital and to lose his credit and risk borrowed money as well when, in his considered opinion, the risks are justified. But borrowed money must always be promptly repaid. Nothing will write finis to a career faster than a bad credit rating."
8. "A businessman must constantly seek new horizons and untapped or under-exploited markets. As I've already said at some length, most of the world is eager to buy American products and know-how; today's shrewd businessman looks to foreign markets."
9. "Nothing builds confidence and volume faster or better than a reputation for standing behind one's work or products. Guarantees should always be honored - and in doubtful cases, the decision should always be in the customer's favor. A generous service policy should also be maintained. The firm that is known to be completely reliable will have little difficulty filling its order books and keeping them filled."
10. "No matter how many millions an individual amasses, if he is in business he must always consider his wealth as a means for improving living conditions everywhere. He must remember that he has responsibilities toward his associates, employees, stockholders, and the public."
"Do you want to make a million? Believe me, you can - if you are able to recognize the limitless opportunities and potentials around you and will apply these rules and work hard. For today's alert, ambitious and able young men, all that glitters truly can be gold."
[Editor: A key ingredient to becoming a successful entrepreneur involves not only sorting through the limitless opportunities and recognizing which ones are the most promising, it also involves the recognition and organization of patterns and relationships that others haven't found, and that others might perceive as useful. Most of the VALUE CREATION that occurs in successful entrepreneurship arises from structuring (creating) new relationships between existing people, ideas, and things.
An example of this is music composition. When playing the piano there are only so many musical notes in the world that can be composed into a musical piece. Anyone can tap randomly on keys, but it takes a special ability to compose a musical piece that others perceive as valuable. The notes that Mozart used to create his greatest masterpiece are the same notes that can be hit by anyone tapping randomly on a piano. The magic in Mozart's music was not from the creation of new notes, but from the way those notes were structured (organized). This same principle of creative organization applies to most people, ideas, and things.]
The Millionaire Mentality
Getty defined the "Millionaire Mentality" as "that vitally aware state of mind which harnesses all of an individual's skills and intelligence to the tasks and goals of his business." He described four kinds of men:
1. Executives who work for themselves. That is, they own and operate their own businesses. They want to be independent, and they accept the responsibility of being their own boss.
2. Those who work for others, but want to achieve the very best success for their companies. They are the best corporate executives and top commissioned salesmen men working for others, but dedicated to superior achievement.
3. Those who work for others and avoid taking risks such as the first two categories. People in this category are good, loyal, conscientious workers, but prefer the security of a steady job to the risks of owning their own business or running a company.
4. The last category of workers consists of those who put in their time and hope to collect a pension. They have no interest whatsoever in their company's profits, but only in their own paychecks. They don't seem to realize the two are connected.
The risk-takers in categories #1 and #2 are the ones who are successful at business. They generally display initiative, dedication and conscientious cost control needed to make a business profitable and long lasting.
Most people think of work as a stressful thing, necessary to make money, but otherwise a negative, oppressive experience. True entrepreneurs are quite different, however. They have an excitement about their work, which probably comes from the fact that they love what they do first, and the money only comes later as a natural result. And when you like what you do, it's not stress; it's fun. And stimulating. Rather than run you down, it charges you up.
[Editor: The average person's work mentality is typically very negative and is expressed in sayings such as "work sucks," "working for the weekend," and "blue Monday." Compare this type of mentality to the "millionaire mentality" of loving one's work. How likely is the person with an "average worker" mentality likely to succeed? In Special Report #TL13F: The Millionaire's Secret (VI) we shall see that the "average worker" mentality is an example of "psychological reversal," while the "millionaire mentality" is an example of strong "psychological alignment."] Getty said, "The truly great giants and geniuses of American business habitually worked 16- and 18-hour days - often seven days a week, and seldom took vacations. As a result, most of them lived to a ripe old age."
As examples of this observation, Getty pointed out that Andrew Mellon lived to be 82, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford lived to be 84, George L. Hartford and Samuel K. Kress lived to be 92, and John D. Rockefeller lived to be 98. These outstanding examples of super-wealthy and super-accomplished entrepreneurs demonstrate the folly of the idea that the stress of work harms your good health. In reality, the difference is quality of work rather than quantity. If your work is rewarding and exciting, it enhances your health. On the other hand, if your work is dull and monotonous, it can be stressful and detrimental to your health.
If you really like what you are doing, and would do it even if you didn't get paid, then working hard at such an activity is not a draining experience, but actually stimulating. Sitting on a beach can be stressful for some entrepreneurs, since they are not doing what they find exciting and enjoyable. On the contrary, those who hate their jobs certainly receive a lot of stress from them. It is very much an individual thing.
Five Characteristics of Successful Executives
Getty defined business management as: "directing human activities." This doesn't mean bullying people into conforming to management's directives, but rather motivating and exciting employees to take an active interest in their company's future. After all, their company's future is their future as long as they work there. Getty presented five characteristics of successful executives:
1. "Example is the best means to instruct or inspire others. The man who shows them as well as tells them is the one who gets the most of his subordinates."
2. "A good executive accepts full responsibility for the actions of the people under him. If called before his superiors because something has gone wrong in his department or office, he accepts full personal blame, for the fault is his for having exercised poor supervision."
3 . "The best leader never asks anyone under him to do anything he is unable - or unwilling - to do himself."
4. "The man in charge must be fair but firm with his subordinates, showing concern for their needs and doing all he can to meet their reasonable requests. He treats his juniors with patience, understanding and respect and backs them to the hilt. On the other hand, he does not pamper them, and always bears in mind that familiarity breeds contempt."
5. "There is one seemingly small - but actually very important - point that all executives should remember. Praise should always be given in public, criticism should always be delivered in private. Employees who have done a good job should be told so in front of their fellows; this raises morale all around. Employees who have done something wrong should be told in private: otherwise, they will be humiliated and morale will drop."
Good and Bad Work Habits
Getty used the example of his own smoking to illustrate the destructive nature of following old patterns of behavior blindly. Once in a Paris hotel, Getty woke up in the middle of the night wanting a cigarette, but was out. He put on his clothes, and was going to walk ten blocks in a rainstorm to get a pack of cigarettes at 2:00 a.m., when he looked at himself in the mirror and realized how silly the whole thing was. He was struck by how his own freedom was being compromised by his blind obedience to a bad habit. [Editor: This is a perfect example of the destructiveness of blind obedience to a habit, otherwise known as unconscious decision-making, which is a key obstacle that prevents many people from becoming successful entrepreneurs. See Special Special Report #TL13E: The Millionaire's Secret (V) for more information on conscious decision-making.] Of course, his smoking was a bad habit, but Getty also discussed the four positive habits that he thought were indispensable: optimism, promptness, thrift and relaxation.
Optimism provides the spark and enthusiasm executives need to achieve their goals. It gives them the courage to buy when prices are low, and to expand their businesses when others are cutting back. This should not be confused with wishful thinking, however. Getty realized that business decisions must be based on calm, reasoned analysis of facts; not wild speculative fantasies.
Promptness will help the executive achieve his goals by eliminating wasted time, satisfying customers, and otherwise keeping one's promises. This habit is necessary to build constructive relationships and strong businesses.
Thrift is necessary to fully recognize opportunities that come from cutting costs. This allows businesses to increase profits and to be competitive in difficult market situations. In a recession, it is critical.
Relaxation to Getty meant keeping one's mind receptive and responsive - always ready to see and take advantage of new opportunities. Also, this allows one to see and deal with problems. Remaining calm under stress is a characteristic that successful, seasoned executives develop through years of experience. Understanding the benefits of this can help one strive for it.
Another tip of Getty's involved a habit of taking a break just before making big decisions. By taking a few minutes to sit down at a restaurant and have a cup of coffee, go for a walk, or just silent meditation, you have an opportunity to weigh all the details of the decision without distractions and pressure. This can be a lifesaver when you would otherwise be pressured into making a bad or rushed decision.
When Things Go Wrong For The Businessman
How do businessmen react when they get into trouble? Getty thought this was one of the most revealing aspects of the successful businessman. Spectacularly successful businessmen usually develop the ability to turn adverse situations into profitable opportunities. Getty distinguished between several kinds of people, and how they deal with adverse situations:
1. There are those who just let things happen, and essentially do nothing. They are at the mercy of others and the circumstances they find themselves in. Getty compares this non response to the rabbit hypnotized by a car's headlights. He just sits there, waiting to be run over. They don't respond to events because they simply do not understand what is happening, and don't know how to fight back.
2. A second response is those who surrender to events because they are afraid to act. Unlike the first kind, they know what is going on, but lack the courage to do anything about it.
3. A third response is an excited, hysterical approach. This comes from extreme fear, but instead of being passive, they strike back at anything, without any thought to what caused the situation. They almost always blame circumstances or others for their problems, without taking any personal responsibility for their own contribution. They complain about "impossible odds" and "rotten breaks," but refuse to look at the situation objectively.
4. There are those businessmen who work at solving problems. They fight good, tenacious fights when things go wrong, and usually work toward a solution rather than finding blame in others. However, they lack initiative and imagination, and usually do only the minimum amount of work to patch the immediate problem.
5. Finally, there are the real leaders. They are imaginative, aggressive individuals who attack problems with a vengeance. They are not satisfied until the problem is not only corrected, but the system is changed to prevent the problem from recurring. They don't always win, but they fight each fight to their utmost abilities. They are able to accept actual losses and move on, but they don't give up as easily as the others.
Turning major setbacks into victories is a hallmark of successful businessmen. They don't just look for the easy way out, or immediately cut their losses. They counterattack when it can gain something, and become defensive when necessary to preserve a larger goal than the immediate one.
Essentially, what Getty was saying here is that failure, dealt with objectively and aggressively, can often lead to success. It contains opportunities that most people don't see, not even seasoned veteran businessmen. It takes a special kind of insight, courage and commitment to turn negative situations into positive ones. This is what so many business giants have done.
[Editor: The ability to turn negative situations into positive situations is not only a key success principle which creates positive energy in a business organization, but it's also a perfect example of how successful entrepreneurs form new relationships between particular people, ideas, and things. This is essentially creating a positive structure (relationship) where there was once a negative one. For example, New Paradigm Enterprises has turned the negative (to say the least!) situation between government bureaucrats and individuals into a positive one because we profit from, and show others how to profit from selling freedom from the government bureaucrats. So what was once a negative situation (bureaucratic harassment) is now a positive situation (selling freedom for profit).]
Six Rules For Solving Problems
Getty realized that the ability to solve difficult problems was often the difference between those who succeed and those who fail. Here are his six rules for solving problems:
1. No matter what happens, don't panic. You can't think or act effectively if you are in a state of hysteria.
2. When things go wrong, pull back for a while - to get your bearings, take a breather, or just to calmly analyze the situation.
3. Sacrifice unimportant things. When critical decisions must be made, concentrate on only those important things which will result in success. This often means giving up those things that are not as important.
4. Carefully review all important factors. All available resources and every possible course of action must be thoroughly considered.
5. Develop countermoves - effective responses to situations that might develop. Considering your available resources and realistic expectations, develop alternative plans to be implemented when other things go wrong. Try to anticipate all possible combinations of things that can go wrong, and prepare plans to deal with them.
How To Do The "Impossible"
Getty said: "All top businessmen I know have made their biggest strides up the success ladder because they were able to see the possible in what others rejected or ignored as impossible. And, ...they managed to avoid taking large steps backward because they generally were able to recognize the impossible and give it a wide berth."
By asking himself the following questions, the businessman can generally determine whether an undertaking is possible or impossible:
1. "What - precisely and in detail - is the situation, proposition or issue under consideration?"
2. "What is at stake - what are the costs, what are the minimum and maximum the company stands to gain or lose?"
3. "Are there any precedents and, if so; can they be considered valid and applicable in this instance?"
4. "What do other parties - buyers and sellers, brokers, competitors, customers, etc., stand to gain or lose either way?"
5. "What are the known obstacles and difficulties the company faces if it goes ahead and precisely how can they be overcome?"
6. "What other difficulties are likely to arise - and if they do, what resources are available and what steps may be taken to cope with them?"
7. "Are all the facts known - could there be any additional, hidden, pitfalls?"
8. "How long will it take to accomplish the objectives or goals in question if it is decided to proceed?"
9. "Would the company stand to gain more by devoting equal time and effort to something else?"
10. "Are the personnel who would be responsible for handling the matter fully qualified and dependable?"
After answering these questions thoroughly, the businessman is much better able to make a decision about whether to proceed. Attempting to answer each of these questions honestly and completely should allow the businessman to reach a more informed, intelligent decision in the matter.
[Editor: A fundamental principle seems to underlie Getty's idea of how to do the impossible: To carefully, consciously, consider every aspect of the situation. That is, (A) Carefully means to use a good decision process, (B) Consciously means to make decisions that are not automatic, and (C) Consider means to question or examine.]
Ten Questions To Ask When Evaluating A Stock Purchase
Getty first bought Tide Water Associated Oil Company stock in 1932 at $2.12 per share. By 1937, Tide Water stock was worth $20.83 per share. Much of his rise from millionaire to billionaire status was the result of his shrewd stock market investments during the Great Depression.
Getty's philosophy about investing in stocks can be summed up in a single quote: "Sound stocks, purchased for investment when their prices are low and held for the long pull, are very likely to produce high profits through dividends and increases in value." Getty believed no one should ever buy a stock without knowing as much as possible about the company issuing it.
Getty suggests asking yourself ten questions when evaluating a company in which you are considering buying stock:
1. "What is the company's history: Is it a solid and reputable firm, and does it have able, efficient and seasoned management?"
2. "Is the company producing or dealing in goods or services for which there will be a continuing demand in the foreseeable future?"
3. "Is the company in a field that is not dangerously overcrowded, and is it in a good competitive position?"
4. "Are company policies and operations farsighted and aggressive without calling for unjustified and dangerous over expansion?"
5. "Will the corporate balance sheet stand up under the close scrutiny of a critical and impartial auditor?"
6. "Does the corporation have a satisfactory earnings record?"
7. "Have reasonable dividends been paid regularly to stockholders? If dividend payments were missed, were there good and sufficient reasons?"
8. "Is the company well within safe limits insofar as both long- and short-term borrowing are concerned?"
9. "Has the price of the stock moved up and down over the past few years without violently wide and apparently inexplicable fluctuations?"
10. "Does the per-share value of the company's net realizable assets exceed the stock exchange value of a common-stock share at the time the investor contemplates buying?"
Real Estate Investment Secrets
Getty not only made a lot of money in oil and shrewd stock buying, he also made considerable money in real estate. For example, while vacationing in Mexico in 1940, Getty met a tourist who said he had seen "the world's most beautiful beach." After hanging onto a truck through 15 miles of jungle to reach it, Getty realized the man was absolutely right. So, he bought several hundred acres of the undeveloped beach, without any access, utilities or other service, and built Hotel Pierre Marques on Revolcadero Beach. It was a success, and confirmed Getty's judgment, even though those around him said it would be impossible.
Most real estate deals don't involve wild jungle areas where there are no improvements. Here are Getty's secrets for investing in real estate in more conventional areas:
1. "Make a thorough study of the real estate market and its prospects in your area before you buy. Naturally, you should seek to buy when prices are low, and the indications are that prices will rise. Always take into consideration such factors as the rate of population increase and the general prospects for business in the area. There is no quicker way to lose money in real estate than by investing it in property located in declining areas."
2. "Know or learn as much as possible about every aspect of the particular use to which you intend putting the property you wish to buy."
3. Deal only through licensed and reputable real estate brokers. Beware the fast-talking, high pressure salesman who promises everything verbally. He is probably a fly-by-night who doesn't much care what he sells you or anyone else."
4. "If you buy a property with a view to improving it or building on it, be certain that you have adequate capital or are able to obtain adequate financing to complete the project."
5. "If at all possible, always obtain at least one impartial, third-party appraisal of any property before you buy it."
6. "If buying a building of any kind, ...have it inspected carefully by qualified and disinterested architects or builders before entering into any building commitments. If buying an existing income property such as an apartment house, have the owners books checked by a disinterested accountant. If the owner of the building or the income property balks at such inspections, look out."
7. "Shop around wisely and cautiously. Unless you run across an irresistible bargain you must snap up immediately, take your time about making up your mind. Don't allow yourself to be stampeded into paying any deposits or binders until you're absolutely certain you've found the property you want."
8. "Make certain you have the best available legal advice before signing any agreements, contracts or other documents. To avoid misunderstanding, it's always best to have an attorney translate "whereas-" studded fine print clauses into coherent everyday English. Even seasoned real estate investors sometimes fail to have this done - and the ensuing squabbles between buyers and sellers usually wind up in courtrooms."
9. "Always insure the title to any property you buy. Even the most meticulous title search may fail to turn up all the pertinent facts about the legal history of a property. The cost of title insurance is negligible. The expense of fighting a lawsuit over a clouded title can be staggering - as many real estate investors, I among them, have discovered to their regret."
10. "Once you've bought your property, treat it as a long term investment, not as a short-term speculation. You'll find that - 99 times out of a hundred - you'll make much greater profits that way. In fact, if you wish to make money in real estate, always think in terms of investing and never in terms of speculating."
Ideas, Principles and Conclusions of the World's Richest Man
In my opinion, this is the most important part of this report, because it ties together everything you've read up until now. It is placed at the end, because many readers probably wouldn't appreciate it until seeing the various wealth, management and investment secrets revealed thus far in this report. But if you really want to understand and feel Getty's lofty and successful business mind, I think you must understand his ideas, principles and conclusions about mankind and the world in which he lived. They will be as timeless 100 years from now as they were when he formulated them.
Rather than write ongoing commentary, I will simply offer several direct quotes from Mr. Getty, on a variety of subjects that reveal his inner thoughts and philosophy:
"I consider myself neither a prophet nor pundit, economist nor political scientist. I speak simply as a practical, working businessman."
"Competition - foreign or otherwise - exists to be met and bested. Competition - the stiffer and more vigorous the better - is the stimulus, the very basis, of the free-enterprise system. Without competition, business would stagnate."
"...I gradually learned that when their personal interests were involved, these economic illiterates suddenly became as shrewd as the most successful financier."
[Editor: Getty was aware of the importance of both competition and cooperation in business as described in Special Report #TL13B: The Millionaire's Secret (II).]
"It's more important for the man with The Millionaire Mentality to be able to think small than to think big - in the sense that he gives meticulous attention to even the smallest details and misses no opportunity to reduce costs in his own or his employer's business."
"Yet another of the blunders of young businessmen and executives is their constantly increasing tendency to over specialize. The young man who understands all aspects and phases of business is a rare bird these days."
"If you have a business, make sure you're the one who's running it."
"I have observed a contemporary American phenomenon which is disturbing, deplorable and truly dangerous. I'm referring to the growing reluctance of Americans to criticize, and their increasing tendency to condemn those who, in ever dwindling numbers, will still voice dissent, dissatisfaction and criticism."
"Very often it remains for the dissenter to point out that which is wrong. He is a skeptic who doubts, questions and probes - and hence is more likely to recognize lacks, weaknesses and abuses than are his complacent neighbors. The dissenter is also more alert and sensitive to the winds of impending change. He is thus frequently a prophet of the inevitable, who cries for action or change while there is yet time to take action and make changes voluntarily."
"I am, at heart, an anarchist.... My evanescent anarchistic tendencies are purely classical. I use the word anarchist in the sense in which it was understood by the ancient Greeks. They, of course, accepted the anarchist as a fairly respectable - if somewhat vehement - opponent of government encroachment on the individual's rights to think and act freely. It is in this sense that I glimpse myself as an anarchist - regretting the growth of government and the ever-increasing trend toward regulation and, worst of all, standardization of human activity."
[Editor: If Getty felt this way about government bureaucrats back in 1960, imagine what he would think of them now! Government bureaucrats love conformity because it dehumanizes individuals and relegates them to numbers, which are easier to control.]
"Today, the inherent nature of government in an increasingly complex civilization creates strong pressures toward systemization and standardization, which, in turn, serves to create vast bureaucratic complexes. In government (as in overgrown big-business corporations that have assumed government-style management practices) the attempt to establish rigid procedures for the most minute activities tends to guarantee imposition of a structured conformity."
"Originally 13 rather loosely federated states dedicated to the proposition that all government should be held to a minimum and individual liberty kept at a maximum, the United States has changed greatly since the Declaration of Independence was signed. Modern America is a country with national, state and local governments that are infinitely more powerful than was ever envisioned by our founding fathers. Today, the hand of government can be felt - regulating, prescribing, proscribing and standardizing - in almost every area of human activity."
"Many businessmen who complain most about government's bureaucratic meddling are lost in bureaucratic labyrinths of their own making. Far too many wallow in organizational charts, administrative directives and quintuplicated memoranda, worrying more about doing their paperwork than about doing business."
"Individuals help accelerate the trend toward a programmed social and economic system by their complacent, almost bovine, acceptance of it all."
"The man who wants to be an individualist, call his life his own and retain considerable freedom of will and action should be alert to those courses of action which might lead him unwittingly into the trap of standardization."
"There is, however, hope for any person who wants to remain an individual. He can assert himself and refuse to conform. He'll be on his own, that's true, but... there will be no limits to what he can achieve."
[Editor: Note that "refusal to conform" is disobedience - the first step toward "real consciousness" as described in Special Report #TL13E: The Millionaire's Secret (V). Just as Getty holds the individual in the highest regard, it is Build Freedom's vision that individuals maximize their potential. My observations, based on my own development during the past 30 years, and my experiences with people in general, led me to believe that the vast majority of people operate at a level of around 1% of their potential.]
"In my opinion, no one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or 'get rich' in business by being a conformist... He must be very much of an individualist who can think and act independently. He must be an original, imaginative, resourceful and entirely self-reliant entrepreneur. If I may be permitted the analogy, he must be the creative artist rather than merely an artisan of business."
"I find it disheartening that so many young businessmen today conform blindly and rigidly to patterns they believe some nebulous majority has decreed are prerequisites for approval by society and for success in business... The majority is by no means omniscient just because it is the majority. In fact, I've found that the line which divides majority opinion from mass hysteria is often so fine as to be virtually invisible. This holds true in business as it does in any other aspect of human activity."
"The truly successful businessman is essentially a dissenter, a rebel who is seldom if ever satisfied with the status quo. He creates his success and wealth by constantly seeking - and often finding - new and better ways to do and make things." [Editor: A key element to finding new and better ways of doing things is to develop the ability to look at things from many perspectives - an important key to business success, as well as for the advancement of humanity.]
"It isn't a very long step from a conformist society to a regimented society."
"In business, the mystique of conformity is sapping the dynamic individualism that is the most precious quality an executive or businessman can possibly possess."
"The men who make their marks in commerce, industry and finance are the ones with freewheeling imaginations and strong, highly individualistic personalities."
"These economic freethinkers are the individuals who create new businesses and revitalize and expand old ones."
"The resourceful and aggressive man who wants to get rich will find the field wide open, provided he is willing to heed and act upon his imagination, relying on his own abilities and judgment rather than conforming to patterns and practices established by others."
"To be truly rich, regardless of his fortune or lack of it, a man must live by his own values."
"I have known entirely too many people who spend their lives trying to be what others want them to be and doing what others expect them to do... Seeking to conform to those patterns, they dissolve into grotesque, blurred mirror images as they obliterate their individuality to imitate others."
"I am a stubborn advocate of enlightened free-enterprise Capitalism and the last person in the world to question anyone's fundamental right to achieve financial success. ...On the other hand, I firmly believe that an individual who seeks financial success should be motivated by much more than merely a desire to amass a personal fortune."
"I do not measure success in terms of dollars and cents. I measure it in terms of the jobs and the productivity of my labors and my wealth invested and reinvested as capital in my various business enterprises - have made possible."
"Each individual has to establish his own standards of values, and ...these are largely subjective. They are based on what the individual considers most important to him and what he is willing to give for a certain thing or in order to achieve a certain aim."
"It has always been my contention that an individual who can be relied upon to be himself and to be honest unto himself can be relied upon in every other way. He places value - not a price - on himself and his principles. And that, in the final analysis, is the measure of anyone's sense of values - and of the true worth of any man."
Getty tells a story about acquiring a company and meeting the first time with its board of directors. He purposely proposed a disastrous, silly plan, which would almost certainly lead the company into bankruptcy. Only three of the company's nine officers had the courage to tell him the truth - the others were essentially "yes" men, which is all too common in American business today. To make a long story short, he retained the three courageous officers and let the others go.
This story reminds me of my own military experience. Many of the majors and colonels I knew were petty, conformist "yes" men. They knew the bureaucratic system well enough to know how to exploit it to get ahead without taking risks. This allowed them to reach comfortable heights such as the rank at which most officers retire. But General officers were another matter.
I only knew two or three Generals, and so perhaps my experience is not based on sufficient information to draw valid conclusions. But I was always struck with the superior intelligence and remarkably, tolerance of the Generals I knew. They wanted to know important things; not petty procedures. I remember one time when I was teaching an evening class for officers in which I was in civilian clothes. A General officer arrived at the airport, and immediately came to my class to see our operation. I answered all the General's questions, and he never questioned my appearance (which was standard procedure for our evening classes). He was satisfied with my answers, and was only concerned with important things. The next day, I got word from my commanding officer that a major in my class had complained about my dress, "because it was disrespectful to the General." This is the kind of mentality with which entrepreneurs constantly have to deal.
Deep down inside, entrepreneurs enjoy a quiet confidence, a happiness, a feeling of satisfaction that those afraid of risk will never feel. And J. Paul Getty was one of the best.
This article was prepared by:
ZENO Press, PO Box 170, Sedalia, CO 80135
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to business and freedom. Write for a free catalog to
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"Life is Commerce"
- a truckdriver friend
FROM FREEDOM TO SLAVERY:
THE REBIRTH OF TYRANNY IN AMERICA
by Gerry Spence
Copyright © 1993 by Gerry Spence. All rights reserved.
[This is an excerpt from a remarkable book by Gerry Spence called "From Freedom To Slavery: The Rebirth Of Tyranny In America."]
Randy Weaver's wife was dead, shot through the head while she clutched her child to her breast. His son was shot, twice. First they shot the child's arm, probably destroyed the arm. The child cried out. Then, as the boy was running they shot him in the back. Randy Weaver himself had been shot and wounded and Kevin Harris, a kid the Weavers had all but adopted was dying of a chest wound. The blood hadn't cooled on Ruby Hill before the national media announced that I had taken the defense of Randy Weaver. Then all hell broke loose. My sister wrote me decrying my defense of this "racist." There were letters to the editors in several papers that expressed their disappointment that I would lend my services to a person with Weaver's beliefs. And I received a letter from my close friend Alan Hirschfield, the former chairman of chief executive officer of Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, imploring me to withdraw. He Wrote:
"After much thought I decided to write this letter to you. It represents a very profound concern on my part regarding your decision to represent Randy Weaver. While I applaud and fully understand your motives in taking such a case, I nonetheless find this individual defense troubling. It is so because of the respectability and credibility your involvement imparts to a cause which I find despicable.
The Aryan Nation, The Brotherhood, and the Order are all groups dedicated to only one premise - hatred of the unlike by the like. They deny the Holocaust and preach the gospel of ethnic debasement and racist supremacy. They are societal malcontents and misfits who espouse nothing worthwhile. It is the beliefs of these groups that Mr. Weaver represents."
Mr. Hirschfield went on to argue that my involvement would lend dignity to an illicit and repugnant movement:
"This is not Huey Newton and the Black Panthers fighting 200 years of prejudice and second class citizenship, nor even the PLO seeking a homeland by terrorist methods. While I abhor terrorism of any kind I do understand its politics. Not so with the philosophy of the groups Mr. Weaver stands for.
The issues involved are reminiscent of the recent national uproar over the Warner Brothers recording made by a rap singer Ice T which advocates killing cops. Other tracks on the CD were virulently anti-semitic and homophobic. The right of Ice T to publicly record these songs was not the issue. What was troublesome to myself and others was the role of Warner Bros. in disseminating his message in the name of preserving their "creative integrity." I gave an interview on this subject and suggested that at least in business there was a line to be drawn between unbridled creative freedom and corporate responsibility. In Warner's case they could have chosen not to distribute this record (it still would have found a distributor), instead they trumpeted the creative freedom argument and by lending their world renowned prestige to the issue they imparted to Ice T and his message a legitimacy wholly undeserved, and in doing so made the recording a national hit in contrast to his previous mediocre results.
My premise, therefore, is not the right of Weaver or anyone else to the best possible defense but rather the message sent out when the finest trial lawyer in America undertakes that defense, simply to make that point. The message, I believe, will embolden those espousing the cause Weaver represents and encourage other mindless haters to join up. The resultant media attention will provide a platform previously never enjoyed by these people.
I clearly know this is not your intent in defending Mr. Weaver but I believe... there is a time when a person of your extraordinary talent and commitment, and knowing full well the notoriety that comes with your representation, perhaps demurs, rather than allow your prominent and respected persona to add legitimacy and notoriety to a sick and twisted philosophy.
As you know I am not a religious person... but I am keenly conscious of my heritage and the endless persecution Jews throughout the world have suffered. There is in my mind no worse group of people than those involved here who espouse both hatred and violence against Jews, blacks and other minorities without any purpose other than the hatred itself. They don't seek a homeland, they don't propose alternatives and they don't want a solution other than the one Hitler sought. As a result of your involvement these same people will be given a greatly expanded voice at this trial.
It is because of this that I write and ask you to reconsider your decision to involve yourself in this case. I do so out of total respect and personal affection for you. And, of course, whatever your decision you will always have the same respect and the same affection from me.
Your friend, Alan J Hirschfield."
The next morning I delivered the following letter by carrier to Mr. Hirschfield:
"I cherish your letter. It reminds me once again of our friendship, for only friends can speak and hear each other in matters so deeply a part of the soul. And your letter reminds me as well, as we must all be reminded, of the unspeakable pain every Jew has suffered from the horrors of the Holocaust. No better evidence of our friendship could be shown than your intense caring concerning what I do and what I stand for.
I met Randy Weaver in jail on the evening of his surrender. His eyes had no light in them. He was unshaven and dirty. He was naked except for yellow plastic prison coveralls, and he was cold. His small feet were clad in rubber prison sandals. In the stark setting of the prison conference room he seemed diminutive and fragile. He had spent 11 days and nights in a standoff against the government and he had lost. His wife was dead. His son was dead. His friend was near death. Weaver himself had been wounded. He had lost his freedom. He had lost it all. And now he stood face to face with a stranger who towered over him and whose words were not words of comfort. When I spoke, you, Alan, were on my mind.
"My name is Gerry Spence," I began. "I'm the lawyer you've been told about. Before we begin to talk I want you to understand that I do not share any of your political or religious beliefs. Many of my dearest friends are Jews. My daughter is married to a Jew. My sister is married to a black man. She has adopted a black child. I deplore what the Nazis stand for. If I defend you I will not defend your political beliefs or your religious beliefs, but your right as an American citizen to a fair trial." His quiet answer was, "That is all I ask." Then I motioned him to a red plastic chair and I took a similar one. And as the guards marched by and from time to time peered in, he told his story.
Alan, you are a good and fair man. That I know. Were it otherwise we would not be such friends. Yet it is your pain I hear most clearly - exacerbated, I know, by the fact that your friend should represent your enemy. Yet what drew me to this case was my own pain. Let me tell you the facts.
Randy Weaver's principal crime against the government had been his failure to appear in court on a charge of possessing illegal firearms. [Editor: His failure to appear may have been due to having been given a notice with an incorrect date - possibly deliberately - by government officials.] The first crime was not his. He had been entrapped - intentionally, systematically, patiently, purposefully entrapped - by a federal agent who solicited him to cut off, contrary to Federal law, the barrels of a couple of shotguns. [Editor: the barrels were cut about half an inch shorter than the law allows.] Randy Weaver never owned an illegal weapon in his life. He was not engaged in the manufacture of illegal weapons. The idea of selling an illegal firearm had never entered his mind until the government agent suggested it and encouraged him to act illegally. The government knew he needed the money. He is as poor as an empty cupboard. He had three daughters, a son and a wife to support. He lived in a small house in the woods without electricity or running water. Although he is a small, frail man, with tiny, delicate hands who probably weighs no more than a hundred and twenty pounds, he made an honest living by chopping firewood and by seasonal work as a logger.
This man is wrong, his beliefs are wrong. His relationship to mankind is wrong. He was perhaps legally wrong when he failed to appear and defend himself in court. But the first wrong was not his. Nor was the first wrong the government's. The first wrong was ours.
In this country we embrace the myth that we are still a democracy when we know that we are not a democracy, that we are not free, that the government does not serve us but subjugates us. Although we give lip service to the notion of freedom, we know the government is no longer the servant of the people but, at last has become the people's master. We have stood by like timid sheep while the wolf killed, first the weak, then the strays, then those on the outer edges of the flock, until at last the entire flock belonged to the wolf. We did not care about the weak or about the strays, they were not a part of the flock. We did not care about those on the outer edges. They had chosen to be there. But as the wolf worked its way towards the center of the flock we discovered that we were now on the outer edges. Now we must look the wolf squarely in the eye. That we did not do so when the first of us was ripped and torn and eaten was the first wrong. It was our wrong.
That none of us felt responsible for having lost our freedom has been a part of an insidious progression. In the beginning the attention of the flock was directed not to the marauding wolf but to our own deviant members within the flock. We rejoiced as the wolf destroyed them for they were our enemies. We were told that the weak lay under the rocks while we faced the blizzards to rustle our food, and we did not care when the wolf took them. We argued that they deserved it. When one of our flock faced the wolf alone it was always eaten. Each of us was afraid of the wolf, but as a flock we were not afraid. Indeed the wolf cleansed the herd by destroying the weak and dismembering the aberrant element within. As time went by, strangely, the herd felt more secure under the rule of the wolf. It believed that by belonging to this wolf it would remain safe from all the other wolves. But we were eaten just the same.
No one knows better than children of the Holocaust how the lessons of history must never be forgotten. Yet Americans, whose battle cry was once, "Give me liberty or give me death," have sat placidly by as a new king was crowned. In America a new king was crowned by the shrug of our shoulders when our neighbors were wrongfully seized. A new king was crowned when we capitulated to a regime that is no longer sensitive to people, but to non-people - to corporations, to money and to power. The new king was crowned when we turned our heads as the new king was crowned as we turned our heads as the poor and the forgotten and the damned were rendered mute and defenseless, not because they were evil but because, in the scheme of our lives, they seemed unimportant, not because they were essentially dangerous but because they were essentially powerless. The new king was crowned when we cheered the government on as it prosecuted the progeny of our ghettos and filled our prisons with black men whose first crime was that they were born in the ghettos. We cheered the new king on as it diluted our right to be secure in our homes against unlawful searches and to be secure in the courts against unlawful evidence. We cheered the new king on because we were told that our sacred rights were but "loopholes" but which our enemies: the murderers and rapists and thieves and drug dealers, escaped. We were told that those who fought for our rights, the lawyers, were worse than the thieves who stole from us in the night, that our juries were irresponsible and ignorant and ought not to be trusted. We watched with barely more than a mumble as the legal system that once protected us became populated with judges who were appointed by the new king. At last the new king was crowned when we forgot the lessons of history, that when the rights of our enemies have been wrested from them, we have lost our own rights as well, for the same rights serve both citizen and criminal.
When Randy Weaver failed to appear in court because he had lost his trust in the government we witnessed the fruit of our crime. The government indeed had no intent to protect his rights. The government had but one purpose, as it remains today, the disengagement of this citizen from society. Those who suffered and died in the Holocaust must have exquisitely understood such illicit motivations of power.
I have said that I was attracted to the case out of my own pain. Let me tell you the facts: a crack team of trained government marksmen sneaked on to Randy Weaver's small isolated acreage on a reconnaissance mission preparatory to a contemplated arrest. They wore camouflage suits and were heavily armed. They gave Randy no warning of their coming. They came without a warrant. They never identified themselves.
The Weavers owned three dogs, two small crossbred collie mutts and a yellow lab, a big pup a little over a year old whose most potent weapon was his tail with which he could beat a full grown man to death. The dog, Striker, was a close member of the Weaver family. Not only was he the companion of the children, but in winter he pulled the family sled to haul their water supply from the spring below. When the dogs discovered the intruders they raised a ruckus, and Randy his friend Kevin, and Randy's 14 year old son Sam, grabbed their guns and followed the dogs to investigate.
When the government agents were confronted with the barking dog, they did what men who have been taught to kill do. They shot Striker. The boy, barely larger than a 10 year old child, heard the dog's yelp, saw the dog fall dead, and as a 14 year old might, he returned the fire. Then the government agents shot the child in the arm. He turned and ran, the arm flopping, and when he did, the officers, still unidentified as such, shot the child in the back and killed him.
Kevin Harris witnessed the shooting of the dog. Then he saw Sam being shot as the boy turned and ran. To Kevin there was no alternative. He knew if he ran these intruders, whoever they were, would kill him as well. In defense of himself he raised his rifle and shot in the direction of the officer who had shot and killed the boy. Then while the agents were in disarray, Kevin retreated to the Weaver cabin.
In the meantime Randy Weaver had been off in another direction and had only heard the shooting, the dog's yelp and the gunfire that followed. Randy hollered for his son and shot his shotgun into the air to attract the boy.
"Come on home Sam. Come home."
Over and over again he called.
Finally he heard the boy call back "I'm comin', Dad." Those were the last words he ever heard from his son.
Later that same day, Randy, Kevin, and Vicki Weaver, Randy's wife went down to where the boy lay and carried his body back to an outbuilding near the cabin. There they removed the child's clothing and bathed his wounds and prepared the body. The next evening Weaver's oldest daughter, Sarah, sixteen, Kevin, and Randy went back to the shed to have a last look at Sam. When they did, government snipers opened fire. Randy was hit in the shoulder. The three turned and ran for the house where Vicki, with her 10 month old baby in her arms stood holding the door open. As the three entered the house Vicki was shot and slowly fell to her knees, her head resting on the floor like one kneeling in prayer. Randy ran up and took the baby that she clutched, and then he lifted his wife's head. Half her face was blown away.
Kevin was also hit. Huge areas of muscle in his arm were blown out, and his lung was punctured in several places. Randy and his 16-year old daughter stretched the dead mother on the floor of the cabin and covered he with a blanket where she remained for over 8 days as the siege progressed.
By this time there were officers by the score, troops, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, radios, televisions, robots, and untold armaments surrounding the little house. I will not burden you with the misery and horror the family suffered in this standoff. I will tell you that finally Bo Gritz, Randy's former commander in the special forces, came to help in the negotiations. Gritz told Randy that if he would surrender, Gritz would guarantee him a fair trial, and before the negotiations were ended, Randy came to the belief that I would represent him. Although Gritz had contacted me before I had spoke to Randy, I had only agreed to talk to Randy. But the accuracy of what was said between Gritz and me and what was heard by Randy somehow got lost in the horror, and Randy's belief that I would represent him if he surrendered was in part, his motivation for finally submitting to arrest.
And so my friend Alan, you can now understand the pain I feel in this case. It is pain that comes from the realization that we have permitted a government to act in our name and in our behalf in a criminal fashion. It is the pain of watching the government as it now attempts to lie about its criminal complicity in this affair and to cover its crimes by charging Randy with crimes he did not commit, including murder. It is the pain of seeing an innocent woman with a child in her arms murdered and innocent children subjected to these atrocities. Indeed, as a human being I feel Randy's irrepressible pain and horror and grief.
I also feel your pain, my friend. Yet I know that in the end, if you were the judge at the trial of Adolph Eichmann, you would have insisted that he not have ordinary council, but the best council. In the same way, if you were the judge in Randy's case, and you had a choice, I have no doubt that despite your own pain you might well have appointed me to defend him. In the end you must know that the Holocaust must never stand for part justice, or average justice, but for the most noble of ideals - that even the enemies of the Jews themselves must receive the best justice the system can provide. If it were otherwise the meaning of the Holocaust would be accordingly besmirched.
Alan, I agree with your arguments. They are proper and they are true. I agree that my defense of Randy Weaver may attach a legitimacy and dignity to his politics and religion. But it may, as well, stand for the proposition that there are those who don't condone this kind of criminal action by our government. I view the defense of Randy Waver's case as an opportunity to address a more vital issue, one that transcends a white separatist movement or notions of the supremacy of one race over another, for the ultimate enemy of any people is not the angry hate groups that fester within, but a government itself that has lost its respect for the individual. The ultimate enemy of democracy is not the drug dealer or the crooked politician or the crazed skinhead. The ultimate enemy is the new king that has become so powerful it can murder its own citizens with impunity. To the same extent that Randy Weaver cannot find justice in this country, we too will be deprived of justice. At last, my defense of Randy Weaver is a defense of every Jew and every Gentile, for every black and every gay who loves freedom and deplores tyranny.
Although I understand that it will be easy for my defense of Randy Weaver to be confused with an endorsement of the politics of the Aryan Nation, my challenge will be to demonstrate that we can still be a nation where the rights of the individual, despite his race, color, religion, remain supreme. If this be not so, then we are all lost. If this is not so, it is because we have forgotten the lessons of our histories - the history of the American Revolution as well as the history of the Holocaust.
And so my friend Alan, If I were to withdraw from the defense of Randy Weaver as you request, I would be required to abandon my belief that this system has any remaining virtue. I would be more at fault than the federal government that has murdered these people, for I have not been trained to murder but to defend. I would be less of a man than my client who had the courage of his convictions. I would lose all respect for myself. I would be unable to any longer be your friend, for friendship must always have its foundation in respect. Therefore as my friend, I ask that you not require this of me. I ask instead for your prayers, your understanding and your continued love.
As ever, Gerry Spence, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
[From Freedom To Slavery: The Rebirth Of Tyranny In America by Gerry Spence - $10.95 - St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave, New York, NY, 10010, USA.]
I highly recommend Gerry Spence's From Freedom to Slavery. Study it to expand your understanding of freedom. Buy it for your family, friends, and associates - so they may also learn more about freedom.
I also highly recommend two other Gerry Spence books:
Gerry Spence is almost certainly the most competent trial lawyer in America. He is also a great thinker and philosopher with the courage to speak his mind.
IMAGINARY INTERVIEW WITH J. PAUL GETTY
by Frederick Mann
Mann: Good morning, Mr. Getty it's an honor to meet you and I'm most grateful to you for granting this interview and sharing your valuable time with me.
Getty: You're welcome.
Mann: Mr. Getty, from reading your published writings I have a pretty good idea why you became so wealthy, but I would like to find out more about your political ideas.
Getty: I don't care much for politics, except insofar as government bureaucrats weaken or destroy the business climate and the economy. You see, the government bureaucrats are taxing and regulating the economy to death. They are major destroyers of wealth. If you understand why and how they destroy wealth, you'll also understand better how to create wealth.
Mann: How do they destroy wealth?
Getty: In all my companies I always emphasize that we need to maximize useful production and cut expenses to the bone - this way we produce more than we consume - we create surpluses - this is how wealth is created.
Mann: Are you suggesting that government doesn't provide useful products and services?
Getty: Consumers would gladly pay for government products or services they value? Government bureaucrats force people to pay through taxes, because they know most of what they do is of no value.
Mann: But what about the police? If there were no taxes, there wouldn't be any police!
Getty: Why are there more security guards in America than police? Because the police don't do their job very well.
Mann: Are you opposed to all taxes?
Getty: Yes! Tax is theft. There's no way around that. If two men form a gang and they decide to take their neighbor's money by force, that's robbery. If twenty men do the same, it's still robbery. And if a million men form a gang, calling themselves government, and take the money of others by force, it's still robbery, but they call it taxes or "you have to pay your fair share!"
Mann: This seems like an extreme view?
Getty: Yes! So extreme that even the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with it: "To lay with one hand the power of government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it on favored individuals... is none the less robbery because it was done under the forms of law and is called taxation." Loan Association v. Topeka, 20 Wall (87 U.S.) 664.
Getty: Yes. There was a time in America when the general population realized that taxes were destructive. In another U.S. Supreme Court case Chief Justice John Marshall said: "... [F]or the power to tax is the power to destroy." McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat 316.
Mann: Why are taxes destructive?
Getty: There are a number of reasons. The most important is that taxation is based on an underlying assumption that some people have a claim against the production of others. This is a profoundly destructive assumption. It means that some people have a right to take the production of others by force. The only assumption that is more destructive is that some people have a claim on the life of another. A society based on such principles is really barbaric. It's because of such built-in - but generally unexamined - assumptions that there is so much theft, robbery, and murder in the world.
Mann: But if there's no taxation, how will government bureaucrats get money?
Getty: Like everyone else! - they can work for it! Earn it! They could provide useful products and services that people would gladly pay for!
Mann: But what about the poor?
Getty: In general, government welfare programs create more dependency than anything else. If taxes were eliminated, much more money would be available for charity. Helping the poor would be much more competently handled by private individuals and charities.
Mann: OK. I can see that. Let's go on to the topic of inflation...
Getty: Inflation is certainly one of the most misunderstood subjects - particularly by economists. You need to understand that inflation is a form of theft - hidden theft or tax. It's a way to take some of your money out of your pocket without you being any the wiser. Suppose at the beginning of the year you had $100 in your pocket. At the end of the year you still have that same $100 bill. But in the meantime, prices have gone up on average 5%. Now your $100 bill can only buy $95 dollars worth of goods, at the prices of a year ago. Effectively, $5 has been stolen from you, but you don't notice it because you still have the same $100 bill.
Mann: But who is the thief and how does he steal from you?
Getty: The thieves are the bankers and government bureaucrats who control the issue of currency. In earlier centuries the theft was perpetrated by shaving off some of the coin and using the extra silver or gold to make more coins. Another method was to reduce the silver or gold content of coins by adding base metals such as copper, zinc, and tin. With modern paper currencies it's essentially the same procedure, just more sophisticated. Government bureaucrats print an excess of banknotes to pay for their deficit spending. This debases or reduces the purchasing power of the bills in everyone's pocket. Of course, in a democracy people always demand more handouts than the government has money to pay.
Mann: I take it you don't believe in democracy?
Getty: Good heavens, no! Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what they're going to have for lunch. The foundation assumption of democracy is that the majority should impose their will on society through force, coercion, or violence. This is a profoundly destructive assumption. Never forget that the first product of Germany's first democracy was Adolph Hitler!
Mann: But surely nothing like that could happen in America?
Getty: Don't be so sure! What about the Civil War? In any case, America was never supposed to be a democracy; it's a republic. Actually, the American tradition is that individuals are free and sovereign and senior to government. So we find the California Constitution saying in Article I, Section : "All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."
Mann: It says, "free and independent," not "free and sovereign."
Getty: It should say, "sovereign." That's the American tradition. Let me quote another U.S. Supreme Court case: "Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to the law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while some sovereign powers [the power and right to use force in defense] are delegated to the agencies of the government, Sovereignty itself remains with the People, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts... For the very idea that one man may be compelled to hold any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere whim of another, seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of slavery itself." Yick Wo v. Hopkins, Sheriff 188 U.S. 356.
Mann: Do you have any other basis for claiming that individuals are sovereign?
Getty: Yes. The U.S. Constitution guarantees trial by jury, which means the jury judges both fact and law. Congress may pass a law, and the president may sign it, but the jury is senior and can nullify the law by saying, "Not guilty; it's a bad or unconstitutional law!" That's why Thomas Jefferson said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to its constitution."
Mann: Yes, I've heard of the campaign to restore the proper functions of the jury...
Getty: There's another very important U.S. Supreme Court case that reflects individual sovereignty: "The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no such duty [to submit his books and papers for an examination] to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land [common law] long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights." Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 at 47 (1905).
Mann: Now I'm beginning to understand why you admit to being an anarchist. But, surely, you're not an advocate of lawlessness, chaos, disorder, violence, throwing bombs, etc.?
Getty: (Chuckle!) No! No! "Anarchist" literally means "without a ruler." I'm a philosophical anarchist. I accept no ruler over me and I rule over nobody. Anarchists like myself are the most peaceful people on earth. We believe in spontaneous order and cooperation.
Mann: But do you then believe there should be no government bureaucrats whatsoever?
Getty: It really takes only two sentences to demolish all the arguments for government bureaucrats!
Mann: Surely you're kidding?
Getty: Not at all. Do you agree that government bureaucrats are people?
Mann: Yes, that's obvious.
Getty: OK, so when people say, "Government bureaucrats are necessary to do something," what they're really saying is, "People are necessary to do something."
Mann: (After a long pause) But... but... government bureaucrats must maintain law and order and defend us against external enemies...
Getty: Allright. Have you ever been to a police station or military barracks?
Getty: Well, what did you see?
Mann: I don't see how this is relevant, but I have seen policemen and soldiers and their offices and equipment.
Getty: If you visit any government office, police station, etc., you'll see the work is being done by people - individual human beings. If law and order is being maintained or we're being protected from external enemies, it's being done by people - individual human beings.
Mann: But if we don't have government bureaucrats, there'll be chaos and disorder!
Getty: I've asked many people to make me a list of all the problems they think we'd have in the absence of government bureaucrats. Invariably their lists consist of problems we now suffer from. So I reply that if we have government bureaucrats, we'll have all the problems on your list and more!
Mann: Surely, if we didn't have government bureaucrats, all these problems would be even more severe and some would be totally out of control?
Getty: Only human individuals can solve the problems. In general, government bureaucrats don't solve problems. They create worse problems and then they increase taxes to throw more money at the problems, making them even worse!
Mann: But surely, there are certain things, like national defense, that only government bureaucrats can provide?
Getty: National defense is provided by individual human beings. The fact that these individuals call themselves government doesn't provide them with magical powers to do what ordinary individuals can't do.
Mann: But people have to be organized in the form of government to provide things like national defense.
Getty: Government bureaucrats don't have any special powers to organize themselves better than other people. In fact, I have a theory that as soon as human beings call themselves government - or organize themselves as government - it's as if a reverse magic wand is waved. I call the phenomenon "faecal alchemy" - as soon as a government bureaucrat touches anything, it turns to BS!
Mann: (After protracted laughing) Some philosophers claim that force is necessary to maintain an orderly society; that it wouldn't work if everyone took the law into their own hands, and that there must be government bureaucrats who are granted a monopoly on the use of force.
Getty: Now we're getting down to the nitty gritty! George Washington said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." Many people repeat this quote like parrots, but they all seem to miss the main point: "Government is not reason... it is force." You see, force or violence is a substitute for thought or reason. In general, government bureaucrats can't think or reason very well, so they use force or violence to impose their will.
Mann: (After a pause) But there are so many violent criminals; someone must use force to restrain them.
Getty: Children are forced into government schools, from which most emerge severely lacking in thinking skills. Because they can't think, they resort to violence. Part of the answer is to get the government bureaucrats out of education - and out of everything else for that matter!
Mann: So you think we can have society without violence?
Getty: There will probably always be violence. But we don't need government bureaucrats to initiate violence against the innocent. Of course, there are times when violence becomes necessary in self-defense, but this doesn't happen very often. In any case, if you think violence needs to be initiated to impose your will, then I have a test for you: are you willing to personally initiate that violence yourself? For example, if you think your neighbor should be taxed, are you willing to take your gun, go to your neighbor, demand that he pay, and shoot him if he refuses?
Mann: (After a pause) No. I don't think so.
Getty: Government enables people to perpetrate violence by proxy in a cowardly fashion. They appoint government bureaucrats to perpetrate their dirty violence for them, so they don't even have to think about it - they shut it out of their consciousness.
Mann: I bet not many people realize that...
Getty: Let's get back to the economics of government and how it affects wealth. In general, government bureaucrats compulsively consume more than they produce; hence destroy value. Government is possible because some people produce more than they consume. Government is possible because so many people support it because of their state of mind. Government bureaucrats live as parasites off the surplus created by those who produce more than they consume. Government bureaucrats collect part of the surplus by force (theft euphemistically called "taxes" or "paying your fair share") and use it to create problems they claim only they can solve - thus perpetuating this destructive mechanism. In his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
"There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.
The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; 'I, the state, am the people.'
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.
I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies - and whatever it has, it has stolen.
Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false.
Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!
Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!
... It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences - this cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.
It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!
Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called - life."
Mann: You learned that entire passage by heart?
Getty: Yes, it encapsulates the essence of government better than anything else I've come across.
Mann: If the system is really so evil, how could government bureaucrats work in it without being ashamed of themselves?
Getty: I believe that deep down most government bureaucrats are good people. But they've been brainwashed like everybody else. Mostly, they're blind to the evil they do and the destructive consequences they bring about.
Mann: But if the system is so evil, why don't people wise up to it and change it?
Getty: Like I said, people have been brainwashed to accept the system as a "given." But there's another factor: guilt. Most parents lay "guilt-trips" on their kids at an early age: "Don't be selfish!"; "You must share your toys with the neighbors' boys!"; and so forth.
Mann: Mr. Getty, did you become the richest man in the world through selfishness?
Getty: As Ayn Rand said, "Selfishness is a virtue." To me, selfishness means doing the best for myself; and because I don't live on a deserted island, it is in my selfish interest to also do the best for my family, my friends, my business associates, my shareholders, my employees, and the environment - and society in general. I believe rational selfishness has a great deal to do with accumulating wealth and using that wealth to improve society.
Mann: Most people would disagree with you.
Getty: Underlying the "selfishness guilt-trip" is that most destructive assumption that some people have a claim on the production or property of others. This is really a formula for slavery - a formula for savagery! Until people clean up their basic assumptions, we'll continue to have a somewhat savage society.
Mann: Thank you Mr. Getty. I think this is a good point at which to conclude the interview. You've been most gracious and given me a great deal of food for thought. Thank you again.
Getty: You're most welcome.
[Editor: These freedom issues, and many more, are covered in Harry Browne's superb book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.]
HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS
AND MAKE A FORTUNE IN THE PROCESS!
by Frederick Mann
The power of government bureaucrats depends on the support they receive from their victims. In general, people support the bureaucrats because they don't know any better; that is to say, out of ignorance.
Once you realize that you can take immediate and effective steps to withdraw your support, you also begin paving the way to create your own wealth. The information contained in these "Millionaire" reports gives you huge competitive advantages in the marketplace. Some of the free-enterprise entrepreneurs who form the vanguard in applying and spreading this knowledge have already become millionaires. Those who take the lead will become the "Freedom Billionaires" of the next few decades, just as Getty made his fortune during the Depression.
"But, where do I start?" you may ask. It's different for each individual. You may have to do more studying. You may have to do some introspection to discover your "secret dream." Then you may have to re-read all these reports and as you proceed, constantly ask yourself, "How can I apply this information to achieve my dream?"
As a starting point, you may also want to participate in and promote one or more of our business-opportunity programs.
A general principle is that every problem is also an opportunity for creative and resourceful individuals who invent and implement solutions...
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