The Liberal Institute: 'Genius, Saint, and Monster'
The Liberal Institute

The Ideal Society

In general the principal focus and goal of society -- and of government too -- is the maximum possible greatness and happiness of its members. The great liberal theorist Jeremy Bentham called this grand disideratum "the greatest good of the greatest number." Thus all of today's formal socio-ecomomic systems, and all of our informal manners-and-morals systems, should be dedicated strictly and exclusively to this type of "ascent of man" and social eudaemonism.

Unfortunately for all, virtually everyone -- historically and currently -- interprets this great social ideal in a highly vulgar and democratic fashion. They view it as a call to arms for crude majoritarianism and a commandment to first benefit "the great unwashed." But this catering to the mob and "lowest common denominatorism" is a severe mistake and highly immoral.

As it happens the mob and massman is a fairly steady-state phenomenon which is hard to change or move, and exceptionally hard to improve and uplift. Not so the elite. Moreover in the overall balance of things these hoi polloi and "sheeple" aren't really all that important, and aren't even all that alive.

Thus a proper society (and government) is focused on the aristocracy. It devotes itself to carefully attending to, specifically nurturing, and absolutely cherishing the geniuses and the saints: all the dynamic and heroic among them. Or at least all those who have this potential. These are the ones who are most truly human and most truly alive. These are the ones who are most able to terribly suffer or wonderfully enjoy. Their pain or pleasure is ten or a hundred or a thousand times that of the massman. Therefore these supermen are the ones towards which the group and the state should mostly devote themselves and cater to.

And all of this is true even tho' such profoundly Superior Individuals might in most senses seem naturally strong and well able to well defend themselves against the broad general evils of Society and Father Reality. But their vulnerability and capacity for suffering is still great and therefore has to be given priority. Their supernatural capacity to be in agony or extasy, to experience pain and pleasure, must be taken into high consideration by a civilized society at all times. Otherwise that society simply isn't just or moral. Otherwise the collective and the masses of that society aren't properly concerned with happiness -- real and true happiness.

And when the greats of the world prosper, their triumphs, accomplishments, sensual delights, and spiritual joys "trickle down" to the rest of the world. These dynamos and heroes teach the whole planet -- and lead the ruckt and rabble -- by example. They show all of us how to be happy.

When Thomas Jefferson's "natural aristocrats" of mankind do and achieve great things, we all bask in their glory, and follow joyously in their footsteps. We all benefit deeply and directly from their ingenuity, innovation, and creative genius. This Glorious Elite has already given society farming and ranching, science and philosophy, industry and medicine, automobiles and television, computers and spaceships, penicillin and Viagra.

Their happiness is our happiness. We should love and treat them best.