The Dynamics of Equilibrium
by Hymanaeus Alpha
To erect the Temple of the Supernals there must be a foundation in fact. Failure to recognize this can result only in futility. It is the purpose of this paper to examine the present possibilities for the establishment of the Thelemic Order as a force; in order to do so we must first determine those potentialities and trends inherent in the present day world of economics. Economics encompasses in broad scope all those factors of mundane existence that form the foundation of any social structure. It is the essence of utility, as Magick is the essence of creative dreams. In our analysis we must take note of the two forms of economics – these are: the Economics of Scarcity, and the Economics of Abundance. All phenomena relating to the manner of living of a people may be referred to one of these as criterion. Any social system that evaluates its goods and services on a basis of human labor may be defined as operating under an Economy of Scarcity. The reason therefore: A human being at his best can only do work at the rate of one-tenth of a horsepower. To achieve this work rate he must consume, for an average population of young and old, about 2,300 kilogram-calories per person per day. Prior to the extensive use of fossil fuels his extraneous energy consumption was – fuel, approximately 400 kilogram-calories per capita per day (average for all climates) and one domestic animal for every five people, providing an additional 1,600 kilogram-calories per person per day. This was only about 2,000 kilogram-calories per capita per day of extraneous energy – or a total energy consumption of approximately 5,300 kilogram-calories per capita per day. This is important for one reason only – it is the root-basis of the entire economic structure upon which our social concepts are founded. Any social system that bases the distribution of its goods and services on a high order of energy conversion may be defined as operating under an Economy of Abundance. To distribute goods and services on the basis of energy conversion is to totally disregard the contribution of human labor to the industrial machine because, when dealing in the range of energy consumption at the rate of 150,000 to 200,000 kilogram-calories per capita per day and up, the value of an extra one-tenth of a horsepower one way or the other is lost in the decimal places. Once this situation is obtained there can only be one feasible method of distribution – and that is to acknowledge that each individual is entitled to his equitable share of the abundance. The state exists for the benefit of the citizen. This abundance is no niggardly thing but a flood of goods that can bury, smother, and overwhelm the ability of the individual to consume. Any attempt to determine the “worthiness” of a person to receive this abundance based upon his ability to work merely confuses the issue. If an individual is socially undesirable he is the responsibility of the sequence of Education, and certainly any citizen who is socially desirable is entitled to his equitable share of the wealth of the wealth of the nation. The present day trend is from Scarcity to Abundance. I say trend because an Economics of Abundance is not at the moment a fact; nor has it ever existed. This is not to say that isolated groups have not always enjoyed the abundance available – our cultural heritage could not have been carried on without it. This trickle of limited abundance to those of privilege, however, is not to be confused with the flood tide of abundance that is now potential – nor are the results of the one to be confused with the possibilities of the other. The above is of interest because it forms the basis for determining one half of our closed system – that foundation in mundane fact which best supports the Supernal Hierarchy. The other half of the equation is – in what manner will the Supernal Hierarchy best be able to reciprocate and enlighten the mundane. Speaking less dispassionately we might say – the soul of Man aspires in its innocence and purity unto the spirit of the Universe, and the Universal Sprit in turn reaches down a guiding hand to help it on the dark journey. In this respect our task is to determine those conditions of mundane existence best suited for the full development of each individual Will, and conversely how this Will may best be helped by the Gods of the Aeon. Once having determined the conditions necessary to fulfill such a hypothetical case, we may ascertain whether or not such conditions are apt to become manifest and, if so, when and where. The best support of the supernal by the mundane is a condition wherein it is a natural function for the mundane to do its Will in accord with supernal law. In order that this may be true it is therefore necessary that there exist a state of economics whose every impact upon the lives of those to whom it ministers will be of such a nature as to encourage them in the fulfillment of their basic Will. In other words a social structure so designed as to produce, and give every encouragement to, the maximum number of the best instruments possible. In analogy this may be compared to that technique of American industry known as the “straight line process.” This method of producing goods combines all of the operations necessary to process a product, from raw material to finished article, in one machine. The impetus is thus unidirectional and the method highly efficient. The comparison is, of course, merely superficial. The object is to indicate the harmony that it is possible to attain in any given process with correct design. The question of design in economics is important because of the effect any given economic system has on the thought trends of those who live in it. In primitive society we have the fist form of religion which is demon worship, or the placating of a malignant Nature. This has been brought to an advanced state of philosophy in the Oriental, and agrarian, nations. The emergence of the White School of Magick came only when the tools of agriculture had developed sufficiently to enable a limited abundance to be produced. There might still be evil spirits in Nature but at least there was something to be thankful for. The Yellow School has existed from the time it was realized that Man is merely another part of the universe – and should be regarded as such. It is dependent upon no particular set of economics because its adepts have removed themselves from the human mass. The White and the Black Schools, however, being products of mass consciousness, are directly affected by economic trends. Christianity is a case in point. This religion is based on the White doctrine – the transmuting of that which is base into that which is celestial, which should teach us that “Existence is pure joy” – a doctrine capable of popular support under certain ideal conditions.. It has been capable of being carried on as such, however, only by initiates. Once popularized it fell by necessity into the province of the prevailing economics of scarcity – and the unidirectional trend of scarcity is to take the joy out of existence. That which was necessary became that which was moral, that which was pure became that which was corrupt. On the other hand the unidirectional trend of abundance, as shown in those instances where a fairly large group has had access to a limited amount, is to make existence a joy. Once this root-cause is established firmly the emergence of the White doctrine becomes a natural function and the pure promptings of the soul are free to express themselves. Such a foundation in mundane fact would best support the Supernal Hierarchy. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” In determining those means by which the Supernals guide the mundane it is well to consider that symbology involved in the concept of the microcosm and the macrocosm. Each is thought to be a universe in itself – the smaller being a mirror of the larger and the larger being a magnification of the smaller. Both exist by the same laws – each is dependent on the other. Similarly the “Will” of the individual and the “Cosmos” of the universe – both abide within the laws of one nature. There is this difference, however, in degree – the Cosmos moves serenely on, unmolested by artificial interference; whereas an individual Will, being infinitely small in comparison, is subject to the tyranny of conflicting forces artificially created. Well has it been said that he word of Sin is Restriction”. Restriction of thought, restriction of speech, restriction of movement, restriction of worship, and that vast body of restrictions which are seldom thought of as such – the restrictions of dress, manners, habits – yes even unto which fork to use. These latter are small items – but strictly prescribed. And woe betide the mustang who does not conform. There is a very good reason for them – and it is tilting at windmills to try and change the ways of a people without removing the reason for those ways. Our ways, and the social concepts that we have inherited, are founded on the Economics of Scarcity. That is not an indictment, but merely a statement of fact. Knowing nothing but scarcity from the earliest days of primordial human thought, there was no other basis on which to found them. Instant: the institution of marriage in its many forms. There has been a good deal sincere, but misdirected talk advocating the loosening of the moral standard as we know it. There is a reason for that standard under an Economy of Scarcity – the dependence of the female upon the male for economic security. To qualify for that security must conform to, i.e., be restricted by, the prevalent social concepts – and those concepts were founded in the days when the only insurance available was man’s children. The man with the most stalwart sons more often survived in the struggle for existence. Observing this long term trend, and only those who survived could observe it, that which was necessary was found good and pronounced to be moral. And yet this talk is misdirected only in that it fails to apprehend the nature of the problem. Given a different basis of economy we will have different social concepts. This is strikingly illustrated when we consider the effect of an abundance upon the actions of a people. We begin with an entirely new basis – the distribution of goods and services on a high order of energy conversion. From this we derive that each individual has more of the necessities of life than he can possibly consume and – the leisure in which to enjoy them. The problem of education for living would be greatly enlarged. Competition for those industrial positions available, being the only means of achieving “success would be cut-throat. The female of the species, finding themselves economically independent, might decide to take drastic action in the line of marriage reform. On the other hand they might not. The point is that the reason for the restrictions of convention will have been removed. To keep this new found freedom on the high plane of “Love under will” and to prevent it from degenerating into “love under whimsy’ with the consequent impotence of satiety, may well be the supreme test by which the Law of Thelema will stand or fall. If we fail we will become decadent and follow the great nations of the past into oblivion. If we succeed, we will set a new high water mark for civilization. Leisure, freedom of thought, and the unlimited resources and facilities would give art, letters and the sciences, in all their forms, an unprecedented impetus removing, as it does, the limitations of human endeavor. Such action can have only one interpretation – it would give each individual every encouragement to follow his or her true Will. Under such a condition would the Supernal Hierarchy best be able to reciprocate and enlighten the mundane. “Love is the law, love under will.” Having determined that the foundation in mundane fact which best supports the Supernal Hierarchy, we must now determine if such a condition is within the realms of probability and, if so, when and where it may come about. To do so we must examine this “high order of energy conversion”, and how and where it has come about. The expansion of plant capacity in the industrial nations of the world tended to grow at a compound interest rate for many years after the Industrial Revolution. In the United States of North America this growth averaged out at approximately 7% per annum for long enough to give the impression that such expansion was normal for the course of events, and that is was “sound” business. As a matter of fact, it was sound business – while it lasted. Unfortunately, for the sound businessman, it is impossible for any physical quantity to increase indefinitely – and increase at a compound interest rate. It can only last for a few years at best. There must come an inflection point – a time when the expansion curve begins to level off – when plan capacity approaches the level of maximum market. In the United States this inflection point occurred in pig iron production about the year 1905; in railroad trackage about 1885; in railroad freight haulage about 1910; in automobile production, a “new” industry, about 1921; and in all energy about 1912. The other industrial nations followed a similar pattern. From an overall standpoint of energy in human history we may make these observations: From our beginning until 1745 Man lived by converting a few kilogram-calories of energy per capita per day. Following the introduction of better energy-conversion technique there was a experienced an industrial growth approximating the theoretical growth curve of a 7% compound interest rate per annum. This industrial growth curve has experienced the inevitable inflection point and is now leveling off. This is a perfectly natural physical phenomenon – but our inherited concepts of economic laws will give us little help in solving the problems it creates. To begin with it must be realized that such a situation has never before existed. Politics, religion, ideologies of all kinds have risen and fallen – but the rules of economic behavior have never changed. They couldn’t. There was only one common denominator for energy conversion – the human engine. This engine supplied at least 90% of all work performed. Now we have an exactly opposite situation. Extraneous energy performs at least 90% of all work performed. In other nations to a lesser degree according to their extent of energy degradation. This reversal of the economic structure has its consequence in the disruption of our ways of life. When both Labor and Capital are gainfully employed an industrial economy is sound. When neither Labor nor capital can be gainfully employed an industrial economy is unsound. From the beginning of industrial expansion to the inflection point an industrial economy is a vigorous, aggressive force. Once past the inflection point, however, it becomes senile even in the strength of its maturity. The reason for this is in the twofold undermining of both Capital and Labor. Labor is undermined through loss of purchasing power; Capital is undermined through loss of investment opportunity. The loss of purchasing power is brought about by that paradox of modern industry – the production of more goods for less labor. The man-hours of labor also follow the growth curve on industrial expansion – up to a certain point. That point is reached when the advance of technology has increased the efficiency of the industrial machine to such an extant that more jobs are eliminated than are created by continued plant expansion For American industry, man-hours of labor reached their peak about 1920. Prior to that date it was entirely correct to state that the creation of new industries and the expansion of old ones increased the annual hours of employment; subsequent to that date it is entirely incorrect to make the same statement. The loss of investment opportunity comes with a leveling off of the plant expansion growth curve. As the industrial machine reaches maturity less and less plants are built – thus reducing opportunity for new investment. The wage of capital is interest and capital, finding itself in competition for the dwindling amount of investment possible, must suffer a progressive lowering of its price. In the United States this was manifested by a lowering of the interest rate for new investment from upwards of 5% per annum in 1929 to a fraction of a percent per annum in 1940. Thus banks and insurance companies, with most of their assets liquid, endowed institutions and the vested interests in general, face bankruptcy through loss of income. It is the loss of purchasing power and the bankruptcy of capital that will make a change in operating technique imperative. The loss of purchasing power and the bankruptcy of capital are the direct causes of the modern industrial depression. We have had three depressions in the United States attributable to them. The dates are – 1908, 1921 and 1930. In measuring the amplitude of industrial shutdown we find that each depression has been approximately 30% more complete than the last. Our figures are these: the shutdown for 1908 was 38%; for 1921 it was 57%; for 1930 it was 79%. It is extremely doubtful if a closely integrated, high speed industrial machine such as ours can withstand the impact of the 98% shutdown predicted for the next depression by this trend – and yet that is exactly what we are facing in America. Our industrial plant was capable of supporting us, at full load factor, without enlargement in 1919 and we have been installing more efficient machinery ever since. During the present conflict we have been able to wage two wars successfully and at the same time turn out more production than any other nation on earth. We have been able to do this because of our superior energy-conversion technique – but where are we to find jobs for our returning armies? And where will we invest our capital when we already have enough plant to supply not only our own needs but those of our world markets? The answer is that it is not possible. Shortly after the close of the present war we will enter a final stage of economic crises – and we will carry the monetary systems of the rest of the world with us into depression. This will be the inevitable outcome of the present economic trends – unless we change our method of operating to conform to the technological operating requirements of a high energy civilization. The transition from an Economy of Scarcity to an Economy of Abundance can most easily be accomplished by a national referendum – in the United States. For it must never be forgotten that the United States of North America is the only nation on earth today whose rate of energy conversion can sustain an Economy of Abundance. The fact that we will have the decision forced upon us by the pressure of events only confirms the extent to which we have committed ourselves to the use of extraneous energy. Other nations may in time join us – but not until their rate of energy conversion per capita can support such an economy. This has attempted to give a scientifically measured evaluation of evolution in economics. That as a consequence of this evolution our concepts of right and wrong, moral and immoral, truth and untruth, will change is of utmost importance to us. Its primary importance is that we may understand and be able to control the universe in which we live. Its secondary importance is that we may be able to intelligently plan the future – for our immortality on earth is carried on through our children and their children’s children and it is only intelligent self interest to insure our own future welfare. The establishment of an Economy of Abundance will be that foundation in fact upon which we may build the Temple of the Supernals. This will not necessarily be an easy task – only the obstacles have been removed – the work of building remains to be done. We must bring the spark of enlightenment to the tinder of understanding – for with freedom of thought and action will come mental unrest. Religion will no longer suffice – living a life that encourages them at every step to do their own Will they will instinctively sense that they are a part of the concourse of heaven, that every man and every woman is a star. Our task will be to crystallize their thoughts into words, their words into actions, and their actions into that philosophy of life whose ultimate end is in the conquest of the frontiers of the mind. But enough of disinterested speculation – I proclaim the Era of Abundance in the Aeon of Horus, the Crown and Conquering Child! Let us gird ourselves for the struggle and go forth with good heart. The word of the Law is Thelema! – as handed down by the Supernals through the prophet of the Lovely Star at the Equinox of the Gods. “----------the long night wherein iniquity Against the self held sway has been replaced! Arise my children and awake – nor fear – The Aeon of the Crown’ed Child is here!” So let us to the joyous battle! Here is the fulfillment of the age old dream of human brotherhood. Here is the completion of the Great Work upon Earth. Here may all men come to the understanding of Light, Life, Love and Liberty. Hail and farewell – ye voyagers on the oceans of eternity.
Ab Origine Ad Finem
Some Notes on Energy
extraneous energy – energy external to the human body, i.e., derived from fossil fuels, hydro-electric power, etc.
energy conversion – the use for an engine to transform energy into work
energy degradation – the dissipation of energy as it does work; used in the sense that all engines convert energy from a higher to a lower order as they do work and in relation to their efficiency – thus the sum total of energy degraded in the manufacture and distribution of goods and services is the basis of determining our per capita consumption of extraneous energy.
distribution on basis of energy – issue of non-negotiable credits based on the per capita of energy degradation
full load factor – operation of plant on a 24 hour day basis with allowance for time spent on maintenance.
plant – industrial equipment
1745 – significant date in the history of energy conversion. It was at about this time that fossil fuels became of technological importance with the union of coal (roasted into coke) and iron in England.
the human engine – has a very low efficiency rating as an energy converter due to its continual degradation of energy even though no work is being done. A strong man, working a 10 hour day over a period of time, will seldom average more than 2,000,000 ft. lbs. of work per day, which is one-tenth of a horsepower. The heat-value equivalent of this is computed as follows: we know that 777.97 ft. lbs. of work will produce 1 British thermal unit of heat, which is equal to 0.25198 kilogram-calories. Our equation will then be
777.97 ft. lbs. = 0.25198 kilogram-calories 2,000,000 ft. lbs. x kilogram-calories
or x = 648.02 kilogram-calories of energy used for work. As it will necessitate at least 5000 kilogram-calories of food-energy to produce this work then our efficiency will be something like 12.96% – while working. It may be possible to achieve 25% efficiency but only for short intervals. From an overall standpoint of human efficiency in doing work we must add in the rest periods of the “strong man” and tack on the time of the young, the old, and all those who do not work so that actually the amount of energy converted per capita is very small indeed. On the other hand the energy requirements in the form of food remain with us at all times; which is one reason why a farmer and his sons rise early. Another consideration. One kilowatt-hour will do 2,655,180 ft. lbs. of work. It may be purchased, at industrial rates, for a few cents or less. It will do more work in an hour than a man can do in a day – which at a bare subsistence wage of 25 cents an hour would cost $2.50. Because of its cheapness it hastens the installation of more efficient machinery until the purchasing power can no longer be maintained. Because the purchasing power can no longer be maintained it hastens the installation of more efficient machinery in order that operating costs may be reduced and the manufacturer can meet competition. This could be termed a vicious circle except that the trend is unidirectional. And irreversible. And of rather obvious social consequence.
I wish to thank Ed Wormuth and wife for making this page possible.