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20 Elements of Benign Materialism

Benign Materialism stands for a way of a thinking that is rooted in every day reality and is thus not clouded by secondary factors like politics, religion, etc. Their conventions have become more important then the goals they should serve. Therefore they have lost their usefulness.

In a world filled with more and more human beings day after day, minute after minute, second after second humanity will have to be efficient with all available resources. Either we fight over them, which already is a daily reality, or we share them responsibly. Benign Materialism stand for creating a honest playing field that will serve the majority without repressing the strengths of the individual. The individual represents creativity, the collective stability. If we will fail to integrate both these factors humanity will keep moving from one culling to the next while ever dwindling resources are fought over.

In such a future the principles of natural selection will no longer suffice. In our presents world only a very small minority gains from our systems of inflated inequality. They are kept in power by those who kid themselves into thinking they also belong to the so called elite but actually are not.

20 elementsA stable system, like nature before man became dominant, can afford to be wasteful in a Darwinian / capitalist way but an instable system, as the reality we live in represents, needs to use all its resources as effective as possible. Every single human life has the potential to be such a resource.

I have called the points below Elements because they reside between formulating what is needed and actual rules. They are meant to act as measuring tools for the implementation of a practical from of Benign Materialism. Thus one could see them as the Elements in a periodic table of basic insights. The sort of insights we need to build a better, sustainable world.

Human history is full of proof of how things could have been done better. If we keep ignoring the facts we will not survive.

It's time to grow up!

zero 1.  The physical world is our only measurable constant.
2.  Facts are facts. Denying them is perverting the truth. Each claim which is not sustained by hard facts is nothing more then propaganda.
3.  If one does not know the answer one does not yet know all the facts and vice versa. Perfect solutions will therefore seldom be obvious but best intermediate solutions can always be found if the resolve is there.

4.  Materialism is benign as long as it is used as a tool and does not become a goal in itself.
5.  Resources should be shared equally beyond the confines of ones own family, tribe, class, culture, country or continent.
6.  A solution that is not ecologically sustainable can only be intermediate. Otherwise it is just another part of the problem.
7.  Only cavemen will kill for more then pure survival and accumulate more then they can digest.

8.  There is not greater sin then mental laziness. Everybody caries an individual part of the responsibility! He / she who does not speak up against injustice helps to sustain it.
9.  With every talent comes the responsibility not to abuse it.
10.  Doing what is best for the collective will in the end also always honor the individual. Solidarity is no weakness. Nor is it a threat. It is not even a luxury. It's a basic key to our survival.

11.  Manual work is not inferior to mental work. Both are equal cornerstones of productivity.
12.  One should always be allowed to make the best of ones individual talents.
13.  To stimulate productivity individual hard work should be rewarded.
14.  Any environment in which social skills are placed above creativity and productivity will always become political and thus decadent.

15.  Every system can be abused for individual gain and thus will be in the end. Therefore no system is perfect. Nothing is set in stone.
16.  Unrestrained power, be it individual or group based, always leads to abuse.
17.  Secrecy lies at the core of all subdivision.
18.  People are not born with equal faculties. This should however never lead to abuse and predetermined inequality. Those who insist on inequality for its own sake are looking for a dishonest advantage.

 Personal wealth:
19.  Nobody shall individually own more then he or she needs to fulfill his / her personal needs and quest for happiness.
20.  The relationship between personal earnings and factual productivity should be closely guarded, as should be the difference between minimum and maximum personal wages.


Like in a real periodic table further Elements might have to be added later to avoid systematic loopholes. Complexity can however make a system susceptible to deformation and thus abuse. Do not allow the truth to become perverted.

Those who are interested in more details about how I came to my conclusions are invited to download “The Caveman Condition” on the WRITING page.

All rights reserved Marc Brassé