Understanding August 1983
Among the many problems facing the American public today, the most serious is probably the skyrocketing national debt. In the midst of an economy struggling to recover from the worst recession in 50 years, we are told that we must continue to spend endless billions of dollars and man hours of profitless labor, to produce more and more deadly nuclear weapons, which we know we will never use, all because the Soviet Union continues to spend endless billions of rubles and hours of slave labor to produce more nuclear weapons which it knows it will never use, since both sides well know that if they did, they would also be totally destroyed!
This year alone, we are told, we will add from one hundred and eighty to two hundred billions of dollars to the national debt. There is no way in which we can ever pay this debt, we can only pass it on to our children along with other monuments to our folly. Unfortunately, there is no way in which our children can pay the debt either, but will spend their lives toiling just to pay the interest, and then pass the debt on to their children!
In writing editorials for the Understanding Newsletter, we have always attempted to maintain an open mind, and to examine both sides of every question. However, after having studied all available arguments in favor of continuing the nuclear arms race, the conclusion seems to be inescapable that something must have happened to the spirit of our forebears, when we so casually sacrifice our own children on the altar of our own convenience! Something is wrong with the spirit of America when we condemn our own children and their children, to lives of debt and possible financial chaos, simply because we ourselves are too lazy or too stupid to seek sane answers to our problems in international relationships!
SOCIETY Part 3.
In our last newsletter we discussed, very briefly, a few of the basic principles upon which any form of human society must be founded if it is to fill the human needs and desires that bring it into existence. Let us now consider a few of our present forms of society to determine how well they fill the requirements which we have enumerated.
The ideology that underlies a given social format is usually designated by the suffix ‘ism. We have observed the birth, the growth and the gradual or sudden decay of many of these isms. Some of them, such as Naziism and Fascism have brought terrible tragedy and destruction to whole nations and races of people before the ism itself perished. Others such as Socialism, Communism, Capitalism etc. are still with us, each claiming itself to be superior to all the rest, yet all lacking in some of the fundamentals of an ideal society.
One of the greatest social controversies in the world today, and one which threatens the peace, the security and perhaps the lives of a large percentage of the world population, is that which exists between the proponents of the system known as Communism, and the advocates of the system known as Capitalism. (In political terminology it is customary to refer to this controversy as being one between a ‘Totalitarian’ and a ‘Democratic’ form of government.) The principle difference between the two lies in the proportion of rights and privileges alloted to the individual, as opposed to those taken over by the government.
The theory of communism (not to be confused with the way it is actually practiced,) is that the real wealth of the country, including the land, the natural resources, the machines and tools of industry etc., are inherently the property of the ‘State’, and cannot be owned by any individual. It also maintains that the individual is only a relatively insignificant unit of the state and, since it is the state that is all important, the individual has no basic rights except those which may be assigned to him by the state. All goods and services are supposed to be shared equally by all, regardless of the quantity actually produced by each. (No state and no government has ever actually followed these principles, but even in theory, they violate most of the requirements of a viable and justifiable society.) In the first place, the individual has no voice in determining the number or the nature of the rights which he must surrender to the state. The result is an absolute dictatorship by those who come into power by declaring themselves to be the ‘State” or the representatives thereof. Originally, no incentive was offered for superior performance, but the Soviet Union has, for some time recognized
that only with incentives to excellence, can their system hope to keep up with others, and they are now creating such incentives, even though they are contrary to Communist doctrine.
While it is true that the overall standard of living in the Soviet Union has improved during the decades that have passed since the system was established, it has not improved nearly as much as it has in many societies in which the individual has more importance and more choice. In any event, it would require a great deal of improvement in the average person’s standard of living to compensate for the total loss of freedom, and Communism has never produced, nor is it likely to produce a sufficient degree of improvement to justify its format.
The very fact that the Soviet government must still employ concrete walls, barbed wire and armed guards, to prevent its citizens from fleeing the country, and its vaunted society, and the fact that many of its citizens do manage to escape in spite of the walls and the guards, risking their lives to do so, seems to speak for itself!
(To be continued.)
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
We regret being a bit late, but we are still recovering from a ghastly trip! We left here for Cal. at dawn, July 20th, by car, and arr’d about 9 p.m. (7/23/83) – 4 days later:! (It’s a 2 day drivel) Why? Because of 3 car breakdowns, plus 2 extra nights in motels as we waited for car repairs to be done. All this in 104º to 110º heat, esp. in Phoenix, and air conditioner not functioning.
Dr Fry did give the lecture on correct date, though a couple hours late. The people waited – bless them, for his arrival. On the afternoon of the following day, 7/24/83, the Understanding Board meeting was held, as required by law. Changes are sorely needed, & election of new officers. This is set for early October in Phoenix, Az.
We visited one of our very dearest members on Mon., July 25th, in L.A., for a most pleasant afternoon & lovely luncheon. Dr. Fry’s 75th birthday was July 19. Her birthday was the day before, & she was 84 & looks about 70, with a keen mind to mach. (Our oldest sharp Kid lives in Albuquerque. She’s 96 now.)
Dr. Fry’s son Bill accompanied us. Dr. Fry & I were married Aug. 22,1981, Bill flew from Cal. for our lovely wedding, so he is also, my son new & – we Do truly love each other.
At 5:30 a.m. July 26, Tues., we left for home & again arr’d 4 days . . later. No! No more car breakdowns – but we simply had to stop-over in a cool motel (twice) as driving without air conditioning in 104º to 109º is a ‘killer’. We could not take it anymore. We declare – here & now that never will we be in Cal., ever again, under such circumstances. The road does run both ways!! Any further meetings can be in New Mexico or Ariz., at a decent month.
I meant it when I stated that we are still getting over this trip! Never have we been so oppressed by heat – & left so drained & so limp. (NEVER AGAIN!)
Tomorrow we hope to get this out to all of you who are beloved members of our Understanding family’. Whatever would we do without every blessed one of you, ‘our dear helpers’? On Tues., Aug. 10th, we begin the move from one house to another &, Oh, – how I wish you were every one here to really help! Wonder how long it will be before we really FIND what we’ve packed in endless boxes??! I shall try to keep all Understanding papers, records etc., at my fingertips so I can supply you with due dates or whatever you may need.
The last two mornings have arrived with a refreshing touch of autumn & 65º, Heavenly! Autumn -(especially my month – Sept.) is such a glorious time of year & Oh, how anxious I am for it to arrive. I want it to be beautiful wherever you are, TOO.
So, – Until beautiful September, I shall leave you, but not before I send loving wishes to each of you.
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry
P.S. Don’t forget To Count
Recipe For Living
“Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell,
While other folks go hungry,
We’re eating very well.
With Home and Health and Happiness,
We shouldn’t want to fuss,
For by this stack of evidence,
God’s been very good to us!