The sailors were restless on the deck and in their cabins. Drills had been completed for the day and there was ample time to worry in silence. Suddenly the loudspeakers blared out “We have received our orders. We are going to war.” An adrenalin rush surged through the troops; men sprang to their feet and cheered. They were ready! This was production for use: they would use their training. Awareness of what they would be doing had been conditioned out of them. That is why military bodies induct people around age nineteen when they can be trained to kill on command. Sadly, that machine is not unbuilt; it is used.
In a different movie the electric chair was described as production for use. In theory, threat of barbaric means of execution would reduce crime. That result did not follow but building the equipment did assure that it would be used.
The principle applies equally to nuclear weapons. Although they were conceived as only a threat, building them assured that they would be used. As a threat of ultimate force, they were theoretically a sufficient deterrent to end warfare. Trusting the theory would have meant using them to vaporize an uninhabited island and allowing Japanese leaders to understand the implications. The fact that the weapons were used against two densely populated cities indicates that production leads beyond threat to deadly use.
In all three cases, to be effective as deterrence the mechanisms had to exist. Building them proved to be production for use: killing, not just deterrence. Production invites implementation.
This is a happiness blog which functions to instate living goals to replace morbid examples like the above. Recall article 33 “We go where we look,” describing my cure for smoking. It is effected by completely shutting down any attention given to the unhappy habit and replacing that with the joy of constructive actions. There is neither guilt nor deprivation. There is replacement. The whole of this blog is my substitute for negative thinking. Instead of studying bad things to make them less bad, we occupy ourselves with good.
The key is to clarify what we want. Once motivated by right reasons, we naturally turn our production toward right uses. We are not typically choosing between international diplomacy and warfare. We are faced with mundane options of varying practical value. Human activity in general is guided by utility; we choose to produce what we are going to consume. We avoid producing something useless and we make use of something already produced.
Simple challenges can launch us on the happiness path. Choosing steps like the following will be more encouraging than a morality lecture.
- Collaborate; share the load and the rewards. Competition wastes energy. Article 41: Success at the expense of others is obscenity.
- Being for others replaces selfish profit motive. Bring somebody with you and you arrive, too.
- Produce quality and durability. Shoddy workmanship undermines economic security.
- Be creative. Layoffs brought on by automation and streamlining free up workers for more interesting tasks.
- Be occupied at something constructive. Independent of market vagaries, responsible production bestows meaning and earns a place at the table of consumption.
- See that every person is used, and none is left out of the rewards. That is prerequisite to peace.
I apologize for the gory opening and hope I will not vent in that way again. Nevertheless, the dark side serves as a foil for the happy society we are building.