He would never cease to accuse capitalists of expropriating unto themselves as profit the value created by labor and thereby making themselves rich and richer and keeping workers in a payday-to-payday fix and poor and poorer. The Constitution, the Common Law and the statutory law have been created, decided and perpetuated by men who approved capital's advantage and labor's exploitation on the ground that there is equal opportunity for everyone to exploit others and to thereby become rich.
But there is no equal opportunity among unequals. Is the American Dream equally available to the black son of a broken home in Hoboken, who, desperate to relieve the daily boredom of nothing, turns to drugs, as it is to the scion of a wealthy family, who enters Princeton and leaves with a law degree to become a member of a Wall Street law firm?
Second, he would commit his life to the fundamentals that can be inferred from a reading of the evolutionary history of life. He would never leave the land and enter the city, never leave the natural, agrarian environment for the artificial or man-made, urban environment, where he would either become the object of exploitation or a subject that exploits, either a slave or a slave-holder. He would abide by Tolstoy's first condition of earthly happiness: "Man's union with nature should not be infringed -- that is to say, that he should live under the open sky, in the light of the sun and in fresh air, in contact with earth, with vegetation, and with animals." He would do work. In Tolstoy's words: "In the first place voluntary work which one is fond of, and secondly physical work which gives one an appetite and sound, restful sleep." And he would have a family and die naturally at home surrounded with the members of his family.
He would consider himself to be an animal, to be related to all life, to have had his origin billions of years ago at the same place and time that all life had it origin. Thus, he would revere all life and do his best to protect it and conserve it. He would do so because of his understanding that the well-being of all other life conduces to his well-being and all others like him.
He would belong to no religion whose creed included the supernatural or miracles or exclusiveness. He would avoid institutionalized religions, particularly those that promised a hereafter with a heaven for believers and a hell for non-believers. The origin of his morality would be his conscience, the voice of nature, and the words of the ancients. He would worship, if it all, nature and whatever god or gods conceived it and created it, if any.
Finally, he would rise above tribalism. He would see himself as related to all the people everywhere in the world and would not pledge himself to the narrow, nationalistic notion that his people, right or wrong, are worthy of his sacrifice on their behalf. But he would refuse to support them if he deemed them to be in the wrong. And he would support all others who followed conscience and reason instead of allegiance and emotion.
This Christian nation seems unaware of its religious heritage. Its Teacher said blessed are the meek, merciful, the peacemakers and those who hunger for righteousness. But its leaders are prideful, powerful, merciless, bellicose and those who thirst for power and profit. Is the meaning of being human the former, or the latter?
Mann is a lawyer who lives in Hinton.