Friday, August 27, 2010

The Laws Of Industrialism

I'm really in awe of existence at this particular moment, hence the rare second posting of the day. I just came from my dentist's visit, and all the weird sensations in my mouth, coupled with trying to ascend into a special, rare place of consciousness, plus a still fattened lip, make me mellow enough to do it.

One of the things I was thinking of -- in addition to zeroing in on glimpses of God -- was the laws of industrialism. I sat there in the chair, being pushed, pulled, drilled, sprayed, and suctioned, biting down on a rubber mouth opener, my eyes closed, considering some of these laws.

I didn't have a paper to write them down. And the dentist and assistant occasionally engaged me in the important business of opening and closing my mouth on the hose, or breathing through my nose, so that was a distraction. But at those most special moments, the laws of industrialism were definitely on my mind.

Some of it I needed to fight back. Like if I felt any kind of discouragement. The thought kept coming to me that I might have the theories of supply and demand all wrong. Like I've said many times, I believe in keeping supply extremely high so we can keep prices dirt cheap. But the thought kept coming to me that we'll all eventually go bankrupt with that theory. So I fought back as much as I could, trying to make it into some kind of inviolable law that a high supply and mediocre demand are good.

For the most part -- and it seems like an amazing coincidence -- the laws appear to jibe with what I thought already. You might think that's indicative of wishful thinking, or slanting the facts to match a prejudice, or being entrenched in ideology. I actually prefer to think of it like this, that I myself am subject to and the result of certain laws of existence, so wouldn't it be natural that my mind would have an intuitive grasp on the laws as they really are? I know the argument against this: In that case how could anyone be wrong about anything? The answer against that would be: It's easy for people to be wrong because they're not zeroing in on that place; they don't have the focus. But I'm nagged with this potential reality: That my own thoughts could be skewed from truth to the extent that I too lose my focus. Like when the dental assistant puts a needle in and I can really feel it. Or when I'm choking on water. It's almost too much.

Other than the supply/demand correlation and what the actual law would be, I can give a couple other laws of industrialism:

1) The more producers, the higher the supply. This sounds deceptively simple. And I suppose it is.

2) The more buyers, the higher the demand. But demand can't be limitless, because there'd be no room on earth for limitless storage. The obvious exception is vats, which depend on empty space for half their mass. If you keep halving your mass, eventually you reach the vanishing point.

3) If every man had his own factory, no factory could be profitable. This one pains me, and I'm not sure I agree with it, since it's foundational to the Residential Industrial Movement that every man can have his own factory. But it popped in my head when the dentist told me, "Give me five more minutes," and I started thinking of finite quantities. If that's a law, I'd like to nudge it a bit. You could still have profitable factories if every man had his own in these two ways: a) If the man had a lot of children to work in it and a burly wife; 2) If the man had friends who neglected their own factories to work in his. And especially if they also brought burly wives.

As I was leaving the dentist's office, there was a supplier there who was saying he'd match the "sundries" price of another supplier "dollar for dollar." It tied in perfectly with my meditations on the laws of industrialism. Supply and demand. Driving the other supplier out of business by matching him, etc. All very shortsighted and selfish. I listened to him and wished I had the mouth hose back.

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