Deciphering The Struggle


Deciphering the Struggle explains, in foundational terms, our interactions within a collective society and the perceived need for government. The following presents to the reader a “College Level” understanding of why competition, inequality, and social strife, NATURALLY exist. This body of work is to be our starting point for critically thinking about our American System of Government and all government in general.     


By definition, for this purpose:

1.       TIME - is a “nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future.”

2.       ENERGY – is, for lack of a better definition, “the capacity to do work.” Energy, specifically Human Energy, is well served by this definition in the context of understanding the political (and economic) interactions of individuals, though the definition is somewhat lacking.

Firstly, this presentation posits that the real currency we deal in is not money – nor resources, nor services, for that matter… The real currency is Time/Energy.  To further define the concept beyond the above, Time is an individually finite resource which we are all constantly trying to conserve while growing what we have been already allotted. Energy, in applying the first law of Thermodynamics, can neither be created nor destroyed; only stored or transferred, and therefore demands constant action and vigilance in acquiring, keeping, and trading this commodity. In short, We spend our Time trading in Energy.    

To you and I, the amount of time we have been allotted (at least on this plane of conscious reality) is that of our lifespan.  In other words: “The portion of the infinite linear span of time that you and I are consciously aware of and/or participating within.”  From conception to death; this is our allotted time. Additionally, in the process of living, you and I must acquire, maintain, and expend energy. From conception to death we are a product of energy. As such, as stated, “We spend our time trading in energy.”

The Axioms:

In context, as we further our understanding of why we have Government (and its perceived necessity), we must include the following facts:


1.       Rational individuals have a will to live. And,

2.       Rational individuals strive to better their quality of life – or, at least, to maintain the quality of life they have already obtained. And,

3.       We, collectively, are a species that shares the exact same fundamental governing characteristic of all other species: The individual drive to procreate for the perpetuation of the species.

[Axioms 1 & 2 primarily govern our “Economic Policies”, while 3 primarily governs our “Social Policies”]

Axiom number one, inherent in all rational human beings, is the individual’s “will to live”. In order to do so, there are base, specific, needs – not “wants,” but physiological, metabolic, needs – which must be met in sufficient quantities, to fulfill this common goal. Without exception, these are:

1.       Air

2.       Water

3.       Food/Nutrition, and,    

4.       Protection from the effects of nature (e.g. extreme cold, heat, unsanitary conditions, hostile competition), including the need to sleep.

The second axiom listed is tied to the first. It is where one’s attention turns from merely living, to living well. It is where our needs evolve to “wants”. Both the needs and the wants, in the perceived environment of “finite (or scarce) quantities”, breed economic competition between individuals. Governments are created due to this competition.

Though not included in the Axioms above, it can be stated that Freedom is a desire of all rational individuals. The problem with including this as an axiom is the paradoxical “truth” that (within a collective society) rational individuals, also, choose “law and order” over no law or order.  Law and order, by their very definition, inhibit one’s freedom – thus, the paradox.  Human beings (and animals in general) do not possess the internal ability to survive without – at the very least – the base necessities noted above. As such, those essential resources are variables of which one needs to constantly acquire and/or maintain. The “maintained resources” are better known as “property.” Law and order allow a set of common standards (or policies – note the Policy Process below) for determining who, what, when, where, and how one acquires and keeps their property (or “resources”).  In this fashion, strong “property rights” become the goal of rational individuals as much as freedom.


Different from one another, but universally tied together, politics and government are identified as follows:

1.       POLITICS- Is the process of (re)allocating scarce resources.

2.       GOVERNMENT- Is the institutions and officials that carryout politics on a local, state, or national level.

Individuals, acting through authoritative institutions, carry out the process of determining where the society’s controlled resources are to be directed.  Those resources include food, water, and shelter, as well as a myriad of other finite things deemed to be of use and/or value.

The process of carrying out the determination of “who gets what” (a less gaudy, way of defining Politics), follows the same – universal – 5 steps in order, no matter the size or structure of the government responsible for carrying out the process. The Policy Process is broken down as follows:

                The Steps of the Political Process:

1.       Build Policy (by identifying an issue or need necessitating resource allocation)

2.       Formulate (consider the impact, resources, recipients/providers in creating allocation plan)  

3.       Adopt (solidify the policy of who, what, when, where, and how, regarding specific allocation)

4.       Implement (carryout the policy as adopted)

5.       Evaluate (review the effectiveness of the policy in terms of addressing the need identified)

Different structures of governments (e.g. Dictatorships, Military Juntas, Monarchies, Constitutional Republics, et al) may carry out the five steps with differing parameters, but if it is a “Government” then it carries out those exact 5 steps, in that exact order, without exception.       

Given that governments are empowered to determine who gets water, or food, or shelter – which are quintessential to living – one might grasp why controlling (if possible) one’s government is a dire objective – Fore if one lacks control of their access to food, water, and shelter, then one is never truly in control of their life.

With these Axioms in mind, in the context of Politics and Government, consider the following familiar historical position of American Governance: 

… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …

Within the Declaration of Independence’s “Declaration of Why Government’s Exist” (which establishes the premise as to limits and powers of our American governments), Thomas Jefferson’s inclusion of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are reflective both of the Axioms above and the quasi-axiom of Freedom.

Broken down, as already stated, the individual’s allotment of time is synonymous to their lifespan, or, “Life”. As previously noted, Axiom 1 addresses the common “will to live” (or to retain one’s life), and, therefore, establishes the need for a structured government that allows access and acquisition of the identified base resources (or property) necessary to live. The quasi-axiom of Freedom (or “Liberty) is also identified as a desired trait to be protected by government. As for the “Pursuit of Happiness, Axiom number two covers the “pursuit” to make better (or to maintain) one’s quality of life. In other words, the “quality” of one’s life is the measurement of one’s “happiness”. 

To Jefferson and the Founding Fathers (and inherently adopted as a foundational fact of American Governance), Governments are created (and allowed) by individuals, specifically, to protect the individual’s “Life and Liberty – especially the Liberty to Pursue Happiness”, which in inherent in all humans the minute they are conceived. 

Back to Time/Energy:

To the collective, time is infinite.  To the individual, time is fleeting.  In the end, time governs all.  

The section above pertaining to “Politics and Government” generally limits itself to the resources in the context of Maslow’s base needs (from Abraham Maslow’s 1943 scholarly work – identified in the Axiom’s section prior, as Air, water… etc).  Most, if not all, Political Scientists adhere to these common underlying parameters to establishing/perpetuating governments to carry out the role of mitigating the competitions of man for those base needs.

Relatively common in Political Science instruction is the equating of the symbol “$”to those base resources and other perceivably “finite” goods and services. $ doesn’t equal money, $ equals the potential trade for resources.  In other words, a dollar bill – the physical rectangular piece of intricately inked cotton/linen/paper – is, as an object, no more valuable or usable than a common sheet of copy paper… maybe less so, however, it could be traded for something that is valuable. In other words, we do not value a dollar bill for its “utility value” (what one can do with the dollar) but its “intrinsic value” (what one perceives they can trade, or buy, with the dollar). Today, our U.S. currency is “Fiat” currency. Fiat currency has value because the government says (given that one has faith in what the government declares) it has value.  Understanding these connections and distinctions are necessary in competently forming policies regarding maximum/minimum wage laws, taxes, resource allocation, and the like, and deciphering the true necessity for such policies.

To reiterate, rather than thinking of money as valuable, or even money representing resources, a better, normative, understanding of the “true currency” for which individuals compete, is  to equate “$” as “Human Energy”.  And, along with Human Energy, one must always remember that we are all, individually, bound by a finite amount of Time. OR: “How much time and energy one must exert to provide the goods or services for trade.”  This is even a clearer, more foundational, mode of thinking about our interactions in a collective society as living organisms, and government’s role in the control, not of resources, but of Time/Energy.


Simply by living one exerts energy. The fuel of the body – its nutrients consumed – is denoted as “calories”. Animals/humans metabolically turn what is consumed into calories, and then burn those calories in the process of thinking, and moving, and sleeping, and eating, and breathing, and WORKING.  As an example, a 200lb man will burn 2000 calories a day, simply by living. If that man doesn’t replace those calories, he will no longer be a 200lb man, he will first lose weight. And, if he fails to replace those calories in sufficient amounts regularly, he will eventually die. In short, his lifespan will have been ended. He will be out of Time. 

To pull it all together:

1.       Energy is necessary to live.

2.       Energy in captured via consumption of resources.

3.       Living (and work) expends energy.

4.       Living, or lifespan, is one’s measurement of time.

5.       Individuals seek to protect their lifespan/time.

6.       As such, Money/Currency ($) is best accepted as a representation of Time & Energy.


1.       Freedom is having control over ones Time & Energy.

2.       Government policies directly impact the Time & Energy of the governed.

3.       Individuals who do not control their government do not have control of their Time & Energy.

4.        Therefore, individuals who do not control their government are not truly free.


The annuals of classic psychology are filled with Freudian concepts of why animals do as they do. According to Sigmund Freud (the famed Austrian Neurologist who died in 1939) and others (including Maslow), Sex is a physiological neednot a “want” but a “need”. In other words, Sex drives our actions as a base motivator, not unlike the quest for nutrition/Energy. The difference, of course, is that one’s “Time” will not be directly ended for lack of sex, as it would for lack of food or water.

Recall, “We, collectively, are a species that shares the exact same fundamental governing characteristic of all other species: The drive to procreate for the perpetuation of the species.”

None of us knows, exactly, why we are here, what came before, or what comes next. However, one thing is abundantly clear: Life begets life.

One should assume that life – like space and time – is a dimensional concept necessary for reality. Without slipping too far into the realm of theoretical physics and/or philosophy, let us simply take as a truth that life must exist. And, as such, the only true goal of living things, collectively, is to perpetuate life. Therefore: Rational “Societies” seek to procreate.

This statement, as fact, is not without controversy. To posit that “rational societies seek to procreate” may be construed to mean that it is “irrational for individuals to NOT want to procreate.” One must consider the statement in the context of individual motivations versus collective motivations. However, current political controversies aside, this axiom’s inclusion is necessary in fully understanding the difference between liberal doctrine and conservative doctrine, and to round out the accepted role of government in building both economic and social policy. And, in terms of policy, the drive to procreate does foment competition and thereby adds content to our goal of “deciphering the struggle.”

Regardless, and rightfully so in properly understanding the human struggle, one must accept that sex (the perpetuation of life) is as fundamental to our being as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. As such, governments are generally empowered to protect this fundamental goal, which, in turn, gives us the foray into Social Policy.

(To Be Continued)



On a separate piece of paper,

1.) Summarize the information you’ve been given thus far in your own words. Include each of these following Sections: TIME/ENERGY, THE AXIOMS, POLITICS & GOVERNMENT, BACK TO TIME/ENERGY, & THE THIRD AXIOM.

Title your summaries with the “Section” titles and write (in complete sentences/150 words or so) what you believe are the base points of those sections beneath those titles.


2.) Answer the following questions:

            A. How much time do YOU have?

            B. How much food, water, and sleep do YOU need?   

C. What do you believe to be the effects of accepting the “Third Axiom” upon one’s Political Leanings?

Title your answers with the questions above, and write (in complete sentences/100-200 words or so) your answers below the titles.  

Due next class.