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Tags: politics | analysis

Political Analysis Clearer With My Periodic Table of Human Associations

a grid showing the table
Prof. Paul F. deLespinasse's Periodic Table of Human Associations (Photo courtesy of Prof. deLespinasse)

Paul F. deLespinasse By Thursday, 16 June 2022 01:04 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Right?

Wrong! Inventing the mousetrap is only half the battle. The other half is marketing it, requiring skills that inventors may not have.

The main result of my own research is a general theory of human associations, summarized concisely in a two-dimensional "periodic table." (To see this table, click here  or see above.)

Aided by its perspective, I have written a college textbook (1981), several other books, and hundreds of short commentaries.

My diagram is an obvious analogy to Dmitri Mendeleev's 1869 periodic table of the chemical elements, which initiated revolutionary progress in chemistry by putting order and system into understanding of experiments. Chemists had known that their field was a conceptual mess and, therefore, receptive.

Conceptual confusion in political and legal analysis is not so obvious. But here are examples of how my periodic table can clarify political analysis.

Mendeleev's diagram predicted elements which were later discovered or synthesized. Likewise, mine suggested a previously unrecognized type of association, in which government acts as a trustee for its entire population. The Alaskan oil dividend since 1982 is an example, but was anticipated by my periodic table in the 1970s.

The table reveals that "laws" as found in the Constitution has two different meanings, explaining why courts can't find a coherent single standard for evaluating their constitutionality. My table reserves the word "law" for one of these meanings — a general rule of action enforceable by sanctions.

A simple example: anybody who drives while drunk shall be fined $1,000.

The other meaning is labeled "bylaws" in my periodic table. Bylaws are enforced with withdrawn inducements instead of sanctions. They state the terms on which government will enter into voluntary associations.

Civil servants are in a voluntary employment association with the government, and the Hatch Act provides that if they engage in partisan political activity they will be fired — a withdrawal of inducements.

"Law" also has a third meaning, in which government imposes sanctions on arbitrarily selected people rather than on the basis of a genuine law. This only restricts some people, creating favored classes — a class society, as it were!

Example: Jews not wearing a yellow star shall be imprisoned.

These pseudolaws, imposed by government-as-bandit, occupy their own location in the periodic table.

The distinction between laws and pseudolaws clarifies debates about civil disobedience. Critics object that civil disobedience breeds disrespect for law. But civil disobedience to pseudolaws obviously needn't breed disrespect for laws.

Karl Marx thought a classless society would be reached by revolution. For Marx, the state is merely a mechanism by which a ruling class exploits a subjected class. After the revolution and a transitional period the state would "wither away."

The periodic table indicates that a classless society can be achieved by gradual reforms, wiping out government-as-bandit, eliminating its pseudolaws.

The periodic table also illuminates government's origin and development. Government originally is a protection racket, where racketeers kill everyone resisting demands for protection money. Initially there are only pseudolaws, inflicting sanctions arbitrarily.

Prolonged intelligent resistance gradually forces the racketeers to impose sanctions only on people who violate general rules of action — genuine laws. Fundamental political progress, still incomplete, consists of moving from pseudolaws to laws.

As a final example, my periodic table explains why government can be legitimate. The table depicts three kinds of involuntary associations, one of which is government. Remember, genuine laws applying to everyone, the essence of government, create involuntary associations by threatening violators with sanctions.

All involuntary associations are bad, but they are not equally bad. A world without any such associations is impossible. In the absence of government, private-involuntary associations (like robbery) would proliferate.

Although fundamentally an involuntary association, government is less intolerable than the alternatives.

But to be most tolerable, government-as-bandit must be suppressed, one way or another.

For a six minute video in which I discuss the origin of the periodic table, click here.

Paul F. deLespinasse is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Computer Science at Adrian College. Read Professor Paul F. deLespinasse's Reports — More Here.

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Invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Right?Wrong! Inventing the mousetrap is only half the battle. The other half is marketing it, requiring skills that inventors may not have.
politics, analysis
Thursday, 16 June 2022 01:04 PM
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