September 12, 1970

Rule 1. The fundamental rule of human behavior is: Me first, Them last.
Rule 7. The use of force is necessary to maintain order in society.
Rule 8. The only way to produce resolute cooperation among people is the fear of a shared external threat.
Rule 15. Greed is more powerful than sharing in determining the distribution of the world's resources.

                         -- Charles Scamahorn

The fundamental rule of human behavior as given by Chuck Scamahorn, is: Me first, Them last. This however must be called the Extroverted form of the rule; the Introverted form may be stated as: Always act in your own best interest. Furthermore this is the Imperative form of the rule, in that it lays a command on the individual; the Objective form may be stated as: People always act in their own self-interest, all other things being equal.

However, by and large, people try to act, not in their own best interest, but in some pseudo-altruistic form of acting in someone else's best interest. Thus for example, I have striven to shake Chuck's exposition of this principle in what I perceive to be his own best interest, since I feel that it must be against his best interest to preach or practice such a degrading doctrine; this turns out to be frustrating to me in the extreme, since the objective form of the rule is certainly true, and the degradation which I perceive in raising it as a standard of behavior is subjective at best. Thus it becomes against my own best interest to attempt to act in what I perceive as Chuck's best interest, and according to the imperative form of the rule I should stop acting so as to frustrate myself. Counterpoisedly, I should promulgate my own system of values, or interpretation of human behavior, and seek its dominance over Chuck's.

Why is it a degrading doctrine? Because the extroverted form sets yourself against everyone else; even if the "Me" is interpreted broadly as applying to your group, becoming a "We", that is not inherent in the extroverted statement, and the obvious ordinary language meaning of You vs. Everyone else is the strongest image conjured by the statement. The introverted form sounds more reasonable, but ignores the fact that in many if not most or all cases your own best interest coincides with that of others, including those not in your own group the "We". The logical consequence of the extroverted form of the rule would seem to preclude the formation of any "We" anyway, since before any group has formed everyone else is "Them".

The next rule of human behavior may be stated as: Selfish traits are dominant, unselfish traits are recessive; this is actually merely a restatement of the objective form of Chuck's fundamental rule. Thus, according to this rule 8 fear is stronger than love in order to unite people in a common effort, and according to his rule 15 greed is more powerful than sharing in determining the distribution of worldly resources. This probably happens because fear is usually associated with physical survival (again, self-preservation follows from the fundamental rule) whereas love is like frosting on the cake, or colorful dyes in clothing and seldom is necessary to physical survival although one could argue that it is necessary to psychological survival. Another way of stating his second rule is: Expect the worse from your fellow man; and do not expect help unless another person's problems are the same as yours, and do not expect help even then since he will probably seek to keep the solution for himself. None of this, however can really be construed as showing that love cannot unite people in a common effort, but merely that love is usually weaker than fear. It might be worth pursuing to determine the conditions under which love can and does unite people, and the ways in which fear fails to bridge the gap between them.

This entire essay up to this point is really only evidence of the First Theorem of Human Behavior deduced from the First Axiom of the Universe: that the human mind can come to believe anything.

From the second rule, it also follows that force is necessary to maintain order (Chuck's rule 7) since cooperation, being an unselfish and therefore recessive trait, cannot be expected to occur naturally and therefore again it is to be expected that coercion will be required to get people to behave the way you want them to, although it could also be argued that cooperation is really in your own best interest and therefore selfish and dominant and to be expected.

Do I really believe any of this? I suppose that what really seems to me to be the case is that people always act mechanically, neither in their own best interest nor against their own best interest. This would explain why it is possible to believe both sides, that People act or should act selfishly or that People act or should act un~selfishly. Again it may be a better statement that, People always do what they want; this is of course based somewhat on conscious motivation and somewhat on unconscious motivation, but is not normally moved by consideration of self-interest anyway. Thus the objective form of Chuck's fundamental rule is probably false, or at least insufficient, to describe human behavior.

How about the Imperative form? It would seem unreasonable to argue that one should not always act in one's own best interest, but I would insist that recognition be made of the fact that your own best interest and that of others often coincides. The Extroverted form of the rule I reject for all the reasons given earlier; it is not ecological, and it acts to destroy the group.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)