Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free will and morality

This is a tale of how the brightness of neuroscience is being misused by the dark side of Rationalism. Let me explain.

Rationalism, the reigning philosophy of the Enlightenment and the modern age, is a topic to which we will have to return. For the time being suffice it to say that, for all its strengths, there is a dark side to Rationalism. Its inherent weakness—its nemesis—is its tendency to linearity, reductionism, and imperialism.

Today I would like to make this case specifically in relation to the misuse of one tentative conclusion of neuroscience. Given time and need, I might be able to discuss concrete cases in many other sciences—such as biology in fisheries development or agribusiness and even physics at the service of nuclear power plants. The general case of course is economics, where all three forms of the decease are so rampant and blatant that they do not need to be restated.  

Rationalism explores everything possible that stands in its line of investigation, and many times it goes back and forth because it discovers new—even contradictory—explications of the phenomenon under investigation. While Rationalism is engaged in the noble pursuit of trying to ascertain the truth of any proposition, at times it does not realize that it has become blind to the reality of everything that surrounds its line of analysis. If we conceive of life as a sphere, we realize how Rationalism, by its method of analysis, can become naturally blinded to the richness of life.

This is not a set of hypothetical propositions. The mortal combat between the forces of life and death—good and evil—into which Rationalism is unavoidably and irresistibly locked becomes evident in the small example of its sorry fall at Compiègne, where, allying itself with the fury of French Revolutionaries, it justified bringing Carmelite nuns under the guillotine; the stated goal was to give the nuns freedom to leave the convent. In the large picture, we have seen this combat in the rationalizations of Communism and Fascism: Both the right and the left of the political spectrum equally fall victim to the rationalizations of Rationalism. The middle of the political spectrum does not eschew the trap either: We saw it in the American behavior in Vietnam, when a town was destroyed “to save the town”—for democracy!

Rationalism is not always consistent in recognizing all that it encounters on its line of investigation either. Due to the natural narrowness of human nature, some rationalists are liable to reduce their investigation to one point: their own point of view, their own position—no matter how wrong either by themselves or by others were they proved to be. That is the meaning of reductionism; that is the reduction of the line to one point.

Just consider that the head of a pin becomes blinding as you bring it closer and closer to the pupil of your eye. Evidently, the worst—and all too frequent—case of reductionism is that controlled by ideology. Then the minions come out of the woodwork to flood and confuse the discussion.

Let us meet the other half of our topic: the brightness of science. Whatever true science touches, it illuminates. We have been able to send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth, because of the prodigies of science—science married to technology.

If that is somewhat removed and remote science by now, let me extol the praise of the Internet. So long as its operations remain mostly free and democratic, this marvel is going to make our lives easier and richer in a myriad ways. I cannot imagine life without it; I can no longer live without it.

Lest these be seen as highfalutin cases, let me mention Clarence Birdseye’s development of the frozen food industry right here in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He extended the life of fresh fish and meat and vegetables. Thanks to his successful mixture of science and technology, today the whole world can have healthier and cheaper foods.

However, just because of its extraordinary power, science—as the privileged daughter of Rationalism—is often tempted and at times falls prey to misuse. The temptation is an old one: the desire to please power. Then science degenerates into any of the variegated forms of scientism. Upon careful consideration as we shall see in a moment, it appears that the fantastic tools of neuroscience, our newly discovered ability to look into the behavior of the brain, might be misused in a particularly important case.

Let us start at the beginning. The understanding of morality today is in a sorry state of confusion. The latest nail in the attempt to seal the casket of morality comes from a misuse of neuroscience. The attempt is one of the latest unexpected consequences of the urge to reduce everything to science, the urge to accept anything only when put under the microscope of scientific investigation.
In this state of mind, the dark side of Rationalism pretends “to elevate” morality to the status of science and expects morality to produce steady and immediate results. Rationalism fails to find such results; hence, it properly declares morality “unscientific,” and goes to the deep end of declaring morality worthless as a guide to action.

What is going on? Much of the discussion hinges on the confusion determined by the unwarranted leaning of Rationalism toward imperialism. As a counterbalance to reductionism, this type of corrupted science wants to cover the whole of life! To use Goya’s expression, this is a dream of reason that produces monsters.

True science always recognizes its limits: Science is the master of matter and energy; it knows nothing of matters of the spirit—unless we get into the esoteric world ofscience of the spirit.

Matter and energy behave in predictable patterns; spirit is free, creative, unpredictable.

No freedom; no morality. It is here that the issues of free will and morality are joined at the hip. It is here that some neuroscientists as well as some interpreters of neuroscience try to interject themselves into the discussion and allow themselves to build a wedge between consciousness and free will.

The 300 millisecond controversy. A modern cannonade from the assault brigade against morality and the virtues comes from the base of a discovery of neuroscience. For some, the understanding that there is such a thing as free will has been destroyed by the scientific discovery that there is a 300 ms delay between activity in the brain and our awareness of this activity.

The brain rules; the material brain rules. Free will does not exist. Case closed—at least in the more or less firm imagination of some people like Benjamin Libet, Susan Blackmore, and Sam Harris.

One moment of attention, please. I would like to repeat a number of well-known alternative explanations for this gap that, if singly or jointly, are finally and unquestionably proved valid will restore free will to its ancient glory (admittedly, an unlikely event since there are always people who like to go over well trodden ground to stir up old controversies).

  1.  Shoot first, ask questions later: Are we sure that our jungle instincts do not fire up the brain automatically so that our consciousness can become operative? I mean, as an action that is wholly automatic and systemic, which wholly avoids the post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, because of this) fallacy. In other words, are we sure that the reality is not the reverse, namely that our consciousness does give a stand-by order to the brain to start functioning ahead of its specific intervention?
  2. Another possibility. Are we sure that our consciousness does not give an ad hoc order to the brain that is physically imperceptible? In this case, the chain of actions might be this: a. consciousness gives a physically imperceptible order to the brain (an order, which would re-establish the primacy of the will); b. the brain obeys; c. consciousness visibly responds;
  3. Conversely, are we sure of the content of the automatic action of the brain? I mean, is the firing of the brain leading us to an action that is systematically either in agreement or disagreement with our will?
  4. Also, if there is such a thing are we sure of the direction of the automatic action of the brain? I mean, is the firing of the brain leading us to an action that is systematically either in agreement or disagreement with our will?
  5. Is the action taken by the brain immutable?
  6. Conversely again, can consciousness trump the automatic action of the brain?
  7. Remain within the world of physics. You start the engine of a car, and the engine takes more than 300 milliseconds to start moving the car. Equate engine with will, and you end up postulating the primacy of the will as against the automatic action (=moving) of the brain. Briefly put, is our consciousness simply too slow, sly, and sluggish (this certainly seems to be a good description of “my” consciousness); and, if it is, what does that mean?

Assume that all these and likely other objections are proven to be scientifically wrong, what then? Assume that neuroscience establishes—not just in a few persons, but in everyone on earth—the primacy of the brain, then what? Are we all going to behave like robots, whether or not willfully injected with some form of socially conforming drug? Are we all going to become zombies?

That is a distinctive possibility. However, I like to believe in the possibility of alternative outcomes. Once we are controlled by the brain, rather than free will, we will give some serious attention to the brain. Surely we cannot be so simplistic as to assume that the brain will make us all commit immoral acts—about which we shall rejoice and not feel culpable.

No, so long as we are left with a scintilla of intelligence—read brain redux—there is no such thing as a morally neutral action. No, there is no such thing as a psychologically neutral action. Vegans have accustomed us to believe in the pain inflicted to animals. I am in full agreement with them. In the age of brain-controlled actions, we will not be able to eschew pain; hence, we will not be able to eschew morality.

But I am an ultra vegan. I tell you, if you hurt a stock of wheat, the whole field of wheat feels pain.

And I have deep reasons to believe that through the equivalence of matter to energy and to spirit even if you consciously hurt a stone, the whole universe feels pain.


That is a whole area to explore: Will we ever integrate feelings and thoughts?


Re: Theology. I am not a theologian and I am not going to attempt to resolve the Pelagian controversy in a few strokes. I sympathize with the attachment that secular humanists have for the preeminence of free will in our human nature.

As a believer, I do not see the exercise of human free will as a necessary denial of God’s will; I see interdependence.

Thus, I am free to say no to God; and when I say yes, I do not destroy either the independence of my free will or the preeminence of God’s will. To understand it, is a process of discovery—at times a very hard process. God’s will is there for the asking; it is available every time to everyone everywhere.

Mr. Gorga would like to acknowledge the invaluable editorial assistance received from Peter J. Bearse and David S. Wise.

Carmine Gorga, a former Fulbright Scholar, is president of The Somist Institute, a research organization in Gloucester, Mass. Through The Economic Process, To My Polis, and numerous other publications in economic theory and policy, he has transformed economics from a linear to a relational discipline. Dr. Gorga blogs at and

Originally published at

A Fundamental Question to the Protest Movement Can these Possibly Be our 3 Demands?

Can these Possibly Be our 3 Demands?

  1. Give us our money back: Large corporations that are hoarding cash give us stockholders and bondholders our money back.

  1. Give us our money back: Federal Reserve System stop lending our money to financial corporations and lend it to us entrepreneurs, business people, and inventors.

  1. Give us our money back: Treasury Department and Federal Reserve System recover the money you gave to large corporations and give it back to us taxpayers.

Three brief notes on politics

First: These three demands have to be read in the historical context of the 2011 Iceland revolution carried out by Horður Torfason.

Second: These three demands will be carried into action only if The Center of the political spectrum will take hold of them: The Protest Movement has to become a Coalition of the Center!

Third: All too briefly, these three demands will be carried into action only if—in a coordinated or uncoordinated fashion—the People’s Congress will join forces with organizations run by Independents and the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party and the Greens and the majority of the Democrats and some Republicans, whose members will have to be approached, not as representatives of specific political parties, but, more fundamentally, as human beings and citizens of our nation.

I owe the last specification to the clear-mindedness of Gina McGill, who also provided inspiration for the formulation of these three demands.

Be Good out of the Goodness of the Virtues

Be good out of the goodness of the virtues, not out of the fickle goodness of the heart.

Be humble

Be good, but be humble. Do not boast within yourself or with others about how good you are. Remember that only God is good. We will never be able to be perfectly good; we can only try to be as good as we can.

Is God good?

Of course God is good. He, she, it cannot be otherwise, otherwise he would be an evil prankster, since all the cards are on his side: He knows the present and the past as well as the future.

But God is also just; he must be just, otherwise he would be either a fool or a buffoon.

Here follows a simple rule, be doubly humble: Do not judge God.

Be triply humble

In relation to yourself, be triply humble: You do not know God (and you will never know him, except through the goodness of your heart. God, as the mystics know, wants nothing else of you). You do not know the other person, toward whom you are expected to be good. And if you are really humble, you have to admit that you do not really know yourself either.

It is for all the uncertainties that surround our existence that we need the sustenance of the virtues—as we will see, all the virtues.

The virtues

The cardinal virtues, the virtues around which the whole of human life revolves, as the classical antiquity discovered, are prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. To the cardinal virtues we need to add the three intellectual virtues, namely wisdom, science, and understanding. The list is crowned by the three theological virtues, namely hope, faith, and, last but most, love.

There are no more virtues.

The confusion as to the number of the virtues arises from the inner structure of the virtues. Each virtue is a mountain peak; each virtue is surrounded by a well linked series of ascending and descending hills; but these are ancillary, supporting virtues (that descend into vices).

How can we be good?

It is really this simple to be good: We need to exercise all the virtues. The reward is immense. As St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out, “Virtue is the peak of power”. The deeper we respect the dictates of each virtue, the more powerful we feel and indeed we become. We are in control; we do not allow outside events or even other people to push us around.

The unity of the virtues

The unity of the virtues is such that one cannot truly exercise one virtue without assistance from them all. Pick a virtue, any virtue, and observe it in its depth. Adam Smith reduced the virtues to one, prudence. What happens when prudence is exercised by itself, as if it were the first and last word, as if it were an absolute?

Then you would have no answer to the question: How much prudence is necessary? The sky would be the limit; but then, as a consequence of exercising this virtue, you would foster greed. This is not a virtue, but a fall from a virtuous action.

To be prudent in the right measure, you need to be just. You cannot take everything for yourself; you need to give the other person his due.

There are many reasons to be just. Here is the most compelling one. You need to be just to assure for yourself a tranquil life. Injustice breeds revenge—you can stave off revenge for a while committing even greater injustice by protecting your unjust action with force and even violence. But this negative chain of protection is eventually going to be broken and you or your descendants are likely to pay dearly.

To be prudent in the right measure, you need to be assisted, not only by justice, but also by temperance. From greed you easily slide into hoarding, whereby you no longer hurt just yourself, but other human beings as well. As it can be easily demonstrated, from hoarding arise poverty, inflation, and lack of economic growth.

To be prudent in the right measure, you need to be assisted, not only by justice and by temperance. You also need courage. What does it mean to be brave? To be brave means many things. To be brave in the economic world, for instance, means making the right investment decision at the right time; it means investing billions of dollars without assurances of a safe return on the investment; it means hiring people who have limited experience, but tremendous potential. With brave “Just In Time” practices, Japanese firms achieved great savings and beat the competition worldwide.

It is easy to see that, to be prudent, one ultimately needs full assistance from the three intellectual virtues of knowledge, science and understanding as well.

The pivotal role of justice

One can go through the many necessary iterations of this chain of causation and discover always new, and perhaps unsuspected, wrinkles. Here I would like to focus on the pivotal role of justice in relation to prudence.

In order to be just, you need to be prudent and even brave. You especially need assistance from knowledge, science, and understanding. You need to know that the virtue of justice has been investigated to extraordinary depth from the ancient Greeks to the most modern of scholars. Just pick up any catalogue of publications in political science and you are likely to be buried under an avalanche of books extolling the advantages that even the most deficient system of political democracy has over any of its competitive autocratic systems. And why are the claims of political scientists mostly validated in the field? The fundamental reason is that democracy has explored the theoretical limits of political justice. The search for improvements in democratic practices has not ended and it will never end. For a large variety of reasons, I would like to recommend the work of my friend and colleague, Dr. Peter J. Bearse, for an exploration into the depths still to plumb for political justice. See especially his 2012 Amazon ebook titled A NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION: How "We the People" can truly "take back" our government. 

The abandonment of the economic justice project

Up to Adam Smith, it was well understood that political justice is empty without economic justice. The understanding of this indivisible union has been lost to civilization, and we see the destructive effects growing more dismal at every turn of the business cycle. The dismemberment of the body politic cannot be permitted to proceed any further. The economic justice project must be restored to its full splendor.

In order to recover the economic justice project, we need to call for assistance from knowledge, science, and understanding.

The knowledge of economic justice is well preserved in the annals of the economic history of the world. I have researched only a minute part of it, and what I have found is astoundingly encouraging. If we were to recover only a part of the experience, the modern world would be in much better shape. Start from Moses and end with the Islamic world of Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel laureate in economics. The rear guard fight against usury is fought in the Islamic world and fought intelligently through microfinancing and equity investments.

Nor is economic justice a set of scatter brain propositions. The whole structure of economic justice hangs around three fundamental principles of participative, distributive, and commutative justice. Since these principles are universal, meaning that they ought to be applied every time, everywhere, and in every case, we can succinctly say that economic justice constitutes a science.

And the science is neither cold nor stagnant. Once you add a touch of understanding to the entire structure, you realize that economic justice is the mirror image of the description of the economic process: The economic process is the integration of production of real wealth (= participative justice), distribution of ownership rights (= distributive justice), and consumption or exchange of financial instruments (= commutative justice).

The reason why the study of economic justice is essential is that it provides the rudder to economic policy.

A link to a higher order of understanding

Nor is the understanding of economic justice restricted to the understanding of the pedestrian world of economics alone. Once you insert the discussion into the issue of the indivisibility of the practice of the virtues, the recovery of the economic justice project through the integral application of all the virtues organically links us up with the world of hope, faith, and love.

You cannot have justice without the hope that the world of justice does indeed yield better fruits than the world of injustice. And the first fruit to hope for is peace. As Pope Paul V stressed in 1972, work for justice if you want peace.

But there is no assurance. There is no assurance, especially in the world of economics, especially in the modern world. So you must march forward hoping that peace will follow.

Peace will indeed follow if you have faith in the better instincts of human nature. If you do not keep this faith very much alive, human nature is such that “bad” people, the wicked people singled out in the bible, will overwhelm you. Even if their power is minuscule power, they can hoodwink the majority of the people and thus enslave you. There is a great deal of evidence, unfortunately, that the power of the wicked is far from slight.

So you need to persist among the worst odds, and if you keep faith in your heart you will eventually prevail. That has traditionally been the history of the world. Just look at the positive aspects of the French revolution; look at Gandhi; look at Martin Luther King. They won.

And you will surely win if you march with love in your heart, love especially for your enemies. Without love, all your efforts to be just, all your efforts to have hope, all your efforts to have faith will all be in vain.

Love wins all. Not in some distant future. Not in some after life. Love wins your heart now and gives you peace.

Did we lose our way along the way? Did we start talking about prudence and ended up talking about justice? No, not really. To be really, truly prudent, you truly, deeply have to love yourself—and the person next to you.

Mr. Gorga would like to acknowledge the invaluable editorial assistance received from Peter J. Bearse and David S. Wise.

Carmine Gorga, a former Fulbright Scholar, is president of The Somist Institute, a research organization in Gloucester, Mass. Through The Economic Process, To My Polis, and numerous other publications in economic theory and policy, he has transformed economics from a linear to a relational discipline. Dr. Gorga blogs at and

Be Good: Getting rid of interferences

“Be good, for goodness sake” admonishes a splendid Christmas carol. But that is not good enough. The confusion on moral issues is so deep and wide that simple admonitions are not good enough. In order to try to bring some clarity to the field, I will touch upon two issues. First, what does the injunction to be good mean? Second, how can we be good? The first issue is addressed here; the second in a next essay.

What does it mean to be good?

To be good is a consequence of exercising all the virtues. The virtuous man or woman is a good person. It is really that simple.

Yet, complications arise at every step of the way. What are the virtues? Adam Smith succeeded in reducing them to one: prudence, which dovetailed with his predilection for economic affairs and his penchant for reducing the entire economic problem to saving and not squandering one’s inherited fortune. He was, after all, the tutor of sons of rich landowners.

Others, like Benjamin Franklin (sorry to say, since he is one of the few heroes I still have), erred on the other side: He elongated the list of virtues to such an extent that only mish-mash is left.

We have not simply inherited a basic confusion about the classification of the virtues; we have lodged the confusion in very high places. Theologians and practitioners at every level of this discipline have found it easier to live with the dichotomy between God the Good and God the Just than to resolve it.

Who dares blame the various branches of philosophy and sociology for sporting a supercilious attitude toward the virtues—and for imbedding this attitude deeply into our daily life? “Who are you to talk about the virtues?” “I am Number One; therefore, I know it all; and no one dare tell me anything, especially anything about morality. My ethics are at least as good as yours, if not better. And do not tell me of absolute truths: There is no such thing. Only people who want to boss other people around believe in absolute truths. Did not Einstein tell us that everything is relative?”

To unpack this widespread attitude would take more than a few pages. But let us go as far as we can, taking up the last misconception first. Einstein was the master of relativity, not moral relativism. The two have nothing in common with each other.

Individualism of the “I am Number One syndrome” is the bane of our age. It is an unfounded assumption: We all live in a social context. And the social context requires that moral issues be clearly understood before they can be effectively practiced.

The elephant in the room is the assertion that there are no absolute truths, and we shall leave this well enough alone.

The fear that people who assert absolute truths tend to boss people around is a misconstruction of the social and historical reality: Absolute truths, once established and practiced, serve the interests of the many, because they put constraint upon the few.

Some implications of the separation of goodness from the virtues

Since these are too many and too complex considerations to be pursued, it is far easier to live in the state of confusion engendered by the separation of goodness from the virtues.

Yet, we have to be aware of the dangers lurking in our cultural condition. In its key function, this confusion leads us to believe that to exercise any of the virtues is a presumptuous act. It is commonly repeated that only people who are self-righteous believe they are virtuous; and since to be virtuous is an impossibility given the natural state of the human condition as self-conceited and sinful, we are all fallen people. Hence, the righteous person is soon accused of being a hypocrite.

Given this cultural overhang, who dares to pursue the virtues any longer?

To separate goodness from the virtues is the easy way out; but that does not solve any of the difficulties with which we are faced. Let us start again. Let us start from rock bottom.

The absoluteness of the virtuous action

The virtuous action is absolute. One action cannot be more virtuous than another virtuous action; one cannot be more virtuous than another person. Indeed, the virtuous man or woman does not invite comparisons; the virtuous person does not feel inferior to another person who might feel more virtuous. This is the bedrock on which we can attempt to reconstruct the value of the virtues. Here follow some of the basics.

Why goodness has to be guided by the virtues

The good person is insecure and always tries to do better. This is the classic case in which the better is the enemy of the good. The virtuous person knows that he cannot do better than he is doing; that he normally does the best he can.

The good person’s sense of self is shattered if he discovers or is discovered doing a less than honorable act; if he believes in the doctrine of incorrigibility of sin—as Father Merton magisterially demonstrated about this practice by the Nazis—he is liable to fall victim to malevolent people who will try to divert his actions to their advantage. The virtuous person shakes the sand off his sandals and proceeds along his way; he is ready to learn from his mistakes.

Goodness by itself invites comparisons. We thus, being somehow unaware, accept the self-deceit of goodness. We cannot tolerate being surpassed in anything, so we believe that we are always better than someone else.

The chain of these insecurities intertwined with self-conceits constitutes the slippery slope of goodness that inveigles us in a worrisome trend, a race to the bottom. The evidence of this race—involving, not the entire world, but most of the activities that are reported in the media and some literature—is so clearly part of our daily life that we tend to accept it as an inevitability and avert our eyes from it. Crimes become more and more heinous; description of these crimes is less and less inhibited; visualization of these crimes becomes more and more evident; sensationalism is rampant; cruelty and embarrassment are lionized; mediocrity is exalted in our culture.

And these are petty crimes that yet hold our attention and capture our imagination. Real serious crimes, crimes that affect the lives of billions of people, are taking place in the field of economics and finance. Thanks to the confusing status of mainstream economic theory, they are barely understood and discussed. Mostly they are taken like natural disasters, caused by impersonal laws of supply and demand, rather than consequences of purposeful human action.

Civilians mangled in warfare and forced mass migrations are just happenings; destruction of Indigenous People’s life is taken for granted; genocides are barely talked about.

The issue of the deceits of goodness is topped off by the dumbing down of the political discourse. This race from reality is a result of two vicious circles: the control of the political process by the media, and the control of the media and academia by economic libertines.

Why has this race to the bottom happened during the last four to five hundred years of history? Some time ago it hit me as a ton of bricks the realization that, deep inside, we not only believe we are good, but even believe we are better than others. Hence the push to the bottom, so, no matter how bad we are, we all believe we remain just a bit above every one else.

The disconnect between goodness and the virtues

There are serious, not clearly understood, consequences of the disconnect between goodness and the virtues. Goodness alone is not enough. Goodness unguided by the virtues easily leads us astray.

Starkly stated, the two conditions are not symmetric: to be virtuous is to be good; but to be good is not necessarily to be virtuous. The self-conceit of goodness is such that some of the most heinous crimes have been undertaken under the mistaken assumption that they were “good”. Did not French, German, and Russian revolutionaries assume that it was good to eradicate religiosity from the world? Did not Communist fanatics the world over justify the slaughter of millions in the vain hope of eradicating poverty from the face of the earth? Is not the genocide of any race pursued in the name of eventually reaching the purity of some false ideal? Are not some of the most dangerous scientific experiments pursued in the light of fabulous mirages at the end of a dark tunnel?

From the tragic to the everyday banality there is a small gap; but how many fall into it! The gap is opened by a cracked culture. The “good” person can easily fall prey to sharpies and in turn pursue unjust actions as well as advocate unjust policies. The world today is ruled by little else. It should be sufficient to mention each and any policy of forced redistribution of wealth. All good men and women advocate policies of redistribution of wealth—provided it is not their wealth—or much of their wealth—that is called to be redistributed.

The injustices of this prescription are so numerous that they can be clarified only by pointing out that the person who calls for redistribution of wealth plays God. The policy falls apart upon innumerable practical decisions: from whom to redistribute, to whom, how much, how often. The issues multiply as one investigates them. The proof of the pudding is that the policy of redistribution is never satisfactorily applied.

The biggest shortcoming of this policy is that it lulls the good person into self-satisfaction for his good advocacy and shifts the attention from the real problem, the problem of just distribution of wealth as it is being created.

This is an issue that I plan to investigate in an upcoming essay.

Mr. Gorga would like to acknowledge the invaluable editorial assistance received from Peter J. Bearse and David S. Wise.

Carmine Gorga, a former Fulbright Scholar, is president of The Somist Institute, a research organization in Gloucester, Mass. Through The Economic Process, To My Polis, and numerous other publications in economic theory and policy, he has transformed economics from a linear to a relational discipline. Dr. Gorga blogs at and

Originally published at