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Praising Cain: Change the world forever by learning to love your life the way you actually live it . . .

Imagine this: You are the High Priest of a nomadic tribe following a herd of foraging sheep. When the tribe needs food, a beast is slain and the meat is shared equally. The political structure is hierarchical, but even the Chieftain is governed by the unchanging traditions of the tribe.

One year the herd wanders toward the seacoast. You encamp a short walk away from a trading post built by a sea-faring civilization.

For the first time in their lives, your tribesmen discover a way of life different from their own. The traders live indoors, sleeping on beds! Their diet consists of more than meat and foraged nuts. They eat grain, fruit and fish, flavoring their water with delectable nectars.

Wealth is not shared. Villagers trade with each other to get what they need — and each family owns its own land! Disputes are resolved by reasoned conciliation, not by fiat. Even so, each family seems to own more weapons than your whole tribe combined.

Anyone can introduce a new tool, technique or idea at any time — upending the whole civilization if it comes to that — and not only is this not forbidden, it is avidly sought!

This is horrifying to you as High Priest, but your horror is nothing compared to the apoplexy of the Chieftain. As he watches tribesmen disappearing into the village one by one, he turns to you for a solution.

Now you understand the story of Cain and Abel.

Cain made a sacrifice of grain, Abel of meat, and the meat — the wealth of the herders — was pleasing to the god of the tribe. Why does Cain slay Abel in the story? To scare the tribesmen back into the herd.

The Greeks found a better way to live, spreading it with capitalistic abandon. Those who abhorred the Greek way of life crafted their mythologies to portray Hellenism as evil.

Would you like to change the world, forever, for the good, one mind at a time? Here’s how:

If you live in Cain’s world, stop pretending to live in Abel’s.

If your life depends on capitalism, private property and free trade, stop pretending to admire collectivism. If you thrive by continuous innovation, stop enshrining tradition. If you govern your behavior by reason and conciliation, stop praising vengeance and retribution. If you want to live free from coercion by other people, stop pushing other people around by force.

You know your way of life is better. Dare to share that secret with the victims of Abel. You are wrong to let Abel’s High Priests make you feel guilty about your wealth, but you are also wrong to hoard this civilization — this incomparable gift from Cain — to yourself. Innocents the world over are starving — in terror, in squalor — because you don’t have the courage to say that Abel was evil and Cain was good.

Make that one small change in your life, and the rest will come of its own…

____________

This is my entry in Gaping Void’s: Change the World, 500 Words at a Time essay contest. Five hundreds words on the nose, which is not easy for me. Even so, changing the world may prove to be the harder job…

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14 comments

14 Comments so far

  1. Richard Riccelli December 2nd, 2006 6:43 pm

    35 words:

    I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that I am endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  2. REBlogGirl December 3rd, 2006 4:08 am

    Wow, Greg, where were you when I was writing my college thesis? Well said. Having had the opportunity to live in the former Soviet Union as communism was coming to an end in the late 80’s, I truly know the value of capitalism, freedom and choice. We have amazing opportunities available to us in America and those of us that have been blessed for our hard work have a grave responsibility to share our knowledge base to help improve the lives of others. A hand up is always better than a hand out. It seperates the wheat from the chaf- those willing to work from those that would prefer to live on the dole system.

  3. David Losh December 3rd, 2006 5:32 pm

    And if the villagers follow the tribesmen?
    There is a saying in Islam that only Allah owns the land. It’s interesting to me that when I asked an Amerindian about some houses that were vacant he told me to take one to live in; no one owns the land.
    We are all here at the pleasure of God. We have nothing, but what we surround ourselves with. Americans, in particular Anglo Saxon Americans, have the weird idea that some how God has given them priveledge. Some how the fact that they crossed an ocean to claim land gave them the right to keep it.
    There is nothing sacred about taking by force no matter what you believe. Americans need to wake up and realize they are not gods to dictate to a world rhat does not have our resources to exploit. We are a fat, lazy, and stupid society who pick up gold from the street then tell the entire world how great our way of life is. Duh!!!

  4. Kelly December 3rd, 2006 5:34 pm

    A housing report from the Arizona Republic. “New numbers are in on the fallout from the investor home-buying spree in metropolitan Phoenix. As many as 40 percent of the contracts on all the new homes in the Valley during 2005 and early this year have fallen through. That translates to 25,000 spec homes, according to a new survey from housing analyst RL Brown.”

    What a shame. They’re hiring at Burger King!

  5. Greg Swann December 3rd, 2006 7:10 pm

    > We are a fat, lazy, and stupid society

    Wow… Thank you. I could not have paid for a better demonstration of the venomous hatred Abel feels for Cain.

  6. Greg Swann December 3rd, 2006 7:11 pm

    > Having had the opportunity to live in the former Soviet Union as communism was coming to an end in the late 80’s, I truly know the value of capitalism, freedom and choice.

    I would love to hear about this. If you’re in Phoenix some time, speak up and we’ll take you out to dinner.

  7. Bill Williams December 4th, 2006 6:42 am

    Interesting piece Greg, and I enjoyed it. Another strong idea, presented in a well written article. I think you’ve missed the entire point of the Cain and Abel story though. Had you left that specific reference out, and based your point on some other story, it would have been much stronger. The Cain and Abel story had absolutely nothing to do with the struggle between capitalism and collectivism, or any other great lifestyle/belief system conflict. It is plainly and simply a lesson about how one approaches the God of the Bible. In the Bible story, Cain gave us nothing.

  8. Greg Swann December 4th, 2006 1:25 pm

    > The Cain and Abel story had absolutely nothing to do with the struggle between capitalism and collectivism, or any other great lifestyle/belief system conflict. It is plainly and simply a lesson about how one approaches the God of the Bible. In the Bible story, Cain gave us nothing.

    No, this is incorrect factually. The story of Cain and Abel is common in mythologies throughout the Near and Middle East. The oldest cognate version we know of is Sumerian. In that rendering the merchant farmer was the hero — because the Sumerians were merchant farmers. In the Old Testament version of the story, the merchant farmer was portrayed as being evil for the reason I named, because the Jews and later the Christians and Muslims were in intense competition with Hellenism for the hearts and minds of the people of their respective territories and epochs.

    This continues to the present day. The Islamo-Fascist Jihad is an anti-Hellenic counter-revolution — but so is Marxist Socialism. Greek and Roman culture were themselves hypocritical compromises between Cain’s world (reason, egoism, individualism, capitalism) and Abel’s world (faith, altruism, collectivism, socialism), but they were the first cultures comprehensively to free the human mind — the sole source of wealth — from the constraints of traditionalism, tribalism and authoritarianism.

    In paleo-anthropological terms, this is, arguably, the story of humanity. Not the individual versus the mob, the story of Socrates that we tell all the time, but, rather, the inextinguishable human mind under the onslaught of every human culture except Hellenism.

    In any case, the short essay is 500 words. The longer version, which I’m saving for my retirement, may require five-hundred-thousand words…

  9. the nar December 4th, 2006 4:02 pm

    This from the same dick who picked a fight with housingpanic and used “masturbate” on a professional website?

    Get help

  10. Stephen McCarthy December 5th, 2006 7:53 pm

    I have been thinking of starting a re blog but I am concerned about taking on the challenge.

    The time commitment it must take for you to produce this volume of writing. You absolutely have an undeniable talent to string words together.

    But I assume you put food on the table by being a real estate agent. How do you find the time to write at this pace and take care of your clients???!!!!!

    Am I wrong to think I should leave blogging to you and your friends? I think I should just link into your content somehow and let you run the show.

    Great web site/blog. You all have made me think of my business from many new perspectives. Thank you.

  11. Blogger Spotlight; Greg Swann January 16th, 2008 3:04 am

    […] experience and extrospective observation that my way of living is a move in the right direction. We’ve spent the entire course of human history cursing rationality and enshrining animality. This has not had happy consequences. I am not a missionary, but the fundamental nature of […]

  12. […] experience and extrospective observation that my way of living is a move in the right direction. We’ve spent the entire course of human history cursing rationality and enshrining animality. This has not had happy consequences. I am not a missionary, but the fundamental nature of […]

  13. […] As I announced the other day, we’ll be doing a one-day BloodhoundBlog Unchained event in Orlando during the NAR Convention in early November. We don’t know the when and the where yet, but the what is fully-established. We’d love to see you down there to help us raise some Cain. […]

  14. […] be used as underhanded moral leverage on otherwise happy, productive people. In another context, I wrote about the tragic contradictions that arise because the children of Cain are unwilling to den…: If you live in Cain’s world, stop pretending to live in […]