Infinitude of the Private Person--The Case for the Equality of Human Worth

The Third, non-physical sector of Human Existence, discovered by Dewey Larson1, enables us to distinguish between a physical and a non-physical world of human worth.

Your physical worth, like your performance and your longevity, is finite. This is your market worth, which exists only in relation to the global market, a finite whole of nothing but a diversity of commodity values.

The standard for expressing your worth in the market today is the money you own, earn, borrow, and save. Because everyone's market worth is finite, even the richest person's financial wealth is less than the total finite market value of the global market of commodities. Finite arithmetic applied to this finite whole leads to this finite result.

When the United States of America began in 1776, the institution of human slavery was prevalent, and an accepted institution of the existing anti-democratic enterprise economy. Neither the new country, except for the Declaration of Independence, nor any other human community, appeared to aim at making the Earth safe for democracy. The institution of human slavery brought in its wake an unproved postulate that private persons are inherently created finite and unequal in human worth. This happened when slave owners reduced their neighbors to the status of commodities, exchanging them for money capital, the measure only of the finite worth of capital goods. That humankind is a whole of only finite human worth, however, cannot be proven true without identifying the one among the dead, the living, and yet to be born, found to be of supreme maximum finite human worth by the consensus of all men and women. The postulate of finite arithmetic, applied to mankind, has never been verified that every private person is worth less than the whole of humankind.

In the U.S.A. enterprise economy, we are told that everyone is paid what he or she is inherently worth. The use of an unequal distribution of monetary income among our people, say among women and men, is defended on the unproved ground that private persons are presumably finite and unequal in human worth. Finite arithmetic and the commodity money for estimating finite values and worth of commodities do not server to count inherent human worth, if and when human worth is not finite. When slave owners bought their human slaves for finite sums of money, they did not prove that the inherent human worth of the private person is finite. They showed only that slave owners knew not how to count infinite wholes. Nor do free enterprises.

Adam Smith reported in 1776, "The great affair, we always find, is to get money. When that is obtained, there is no difficulty in making any subsequent purchase. In consequence of its being the measure of value, we estimate that of all other commodities by the quantity they exchange for.

"We say of a rich man that he is worth a great deal and of a poor man that he is worth very little money... To grow rich is to get money, and wealth and money, in short, are in common language, considered in every respect synonymous."2

Thus, in 1776, An Inquiry into The Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations reported that the United States of America followed the rest of human society on Earth by taking for granted that private persons are created finite and unequal in human worth, kings with divine rights, masters with money rights, slaves, chattels, commoners, rich and poor. This purely political economic conception of mankind left out of account the existence of the Third Sector of non-physical inherent human worth in the people, as distinguished from government administrators.

But in 1776 a great composition appeared in the United States of America, which skillfully refuted the alleged finiteness of inherent human worth of the private person and affirmed the truth is evident that all women and men are created infinite, independent and inherently equal in human worth. This great work of political art was inspired by the American Revolution. It originally had the apt title: "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in general Congress assembled." Then and there the author gave our country its name, the name we continue to go by. The author also discovered something of the greatest consequence to the future of humankind in the physical world: he learned how to count the infinitude of the whole inherent, non-physical human worth of ethical humankind.

Some of this Declaration is herewith reproduced so that the reader may better understand the intelligence and evidence he provided to support his affirmation of the truth that women and men are created equal in worth.

Here is how the John Adams copy of: "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in general Congress assembled"3 begins: "When in the Course of human Events it becomes necessary for a People to advance from that subordination, in which they have hitherto remained and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the equal and independent Station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes that impel them to the Change.

"We hold these Truths to be Self-evident; that all Men are created equal and independent; that from that equal Creation they derive Rights inherent and unalienable; among which are the Preservation of Life, and Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; that to Secure these Ends, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed; that whenever, any form of Government, Shall become destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or 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..."

Let us at once examine whether the author of this remarkable communication can make good his claim that evidence finds the proposition 'all men are created equal and independent' true? Equal in what respect? Not in all respects, certainly! Not in any physical respect, since in each such respect all of us are finite and unequal! Perhaps in some non-physical, infinite human respect? May mankind be found to be a non-physical whole of infinite human worth, dignity, independence and honor? With no known contemporary to instruct him, the author of the Declaration taught himself the appropriate transfinite arithmetic for counting this infinite whole. Georg Cantor4, a century later, used a similar arithmetical strategy to learn how to count the infinite whole set of counting numbers by equating the whole to a proper part, in this case, the set of the even counting numbers. If the set of counting numbers were, in fact, a finite whole, it would be impermissible to seek a part of the whole equal to the whole to count the whole, since the fundamental postulate of finite wholes is that every part of any finite whole is always less than the whole and only the sum of the parts can equal the whole.

If the non-physical set of counting numbers can constitute itself an infinite, rather than a finite whole, what is to prevent the members of mankind from constituting ourselves an infinite, rather than a finite, whole of inherent human worth? Nothing, provided I learn how to count infinite wholes in much the same way our ancestors over tens of thousands of years learned to count finite wholes, according to Thomas Paine5, author of the original draft of the above Declaration.

In his own mind, Paine first had to identify the proper parts of the infinite non-physical whole of human worth. How to find a part with which to count the whole? Paine evidently asked the right question that enabled him to reach his reasonably satisfactory answer: In which part of the infinite whole of humankind is the infinitude of the whole manifested? Infinitude is manifested in the non-physical Third Sector of the Private Person. Each is a whole world of human worth in herself or in himself. A Private Woman is not worth less than the whole of humankind, since the whole is not a finite whole. Each Private Woman is equal in human worth to the whole of humankind. Since entities equal to the same entity are equal to each other, all women and men are created infinite, independent and inherently equal in human worth.

We should speak to the many who have been taught that Thomas Jefferson, not Thomas Paine, composed the original draft of the Declaration of Independence. It is true the Mr. Jefferson5 had a big part producing the final official version of the Declaration. To begin with, he made a copy of the original draft in his own handwriting. He did so as a duly elected member of the Second Continental Congress and a duly appointed member of a Committee of Five to produce the Declaration of Independence. After making his copy of the original draft, one of his initial responses to it was to cross out the word "Self evident" and substitute the phrase "sacred and undeniable." Eventually, "self evident" was restored. Mr. Jefferson was the one who substituted "endowed by their Creator" for "From that equal Creation."

What Makes the Human Universe an Infinite Whole?

Neither the material, nor the cosmic sectors, the finite physical sectors of human existence, but instead, the non-physical natural ethical sector, inhabited by humankind beyond space and time, confers infinitude on our universe. This non-physical sector is not simply visible, audible, nor tangible. It includes the meanings of words and numbers, but not the words, themselves, nor numerals. Humankind, as a whole, does learn about the being of our non-physical sector of existence by virtue of our native ability to create and reproduce adequate physical entities to represent non-physical entities essential to our well-being, meanings by words, numbers by numerals.

Humankind, as a whole and in its proper parts, the private woman and the private man, can and do participate in the infinitude of ultimate human worth only by way of our inhabiting our non-physical sector or realm of the human universe. This is the realm of meanings, including discourse, number, arithmetic, truth, moral values, beauty, humor, science, art, philosophy, and ethics of the human spirit.

The proper parts of the infinite whole of humankind are ourselves, ethical men and ethical women. Persons are the most precious of all human wealth. The proper parts of the whole of humankind are not any of the physical parts of the human organism, not human hands, not legs, not hearts, not brains, neither human bodies, nor even the biological control units that are designed to govern the temporary survival of human bodies. The proper parts of the infinite whole of humankind are our spaceless and timeless non-physical selves, our human spirits, if you like.

Man is Not Prior to Woman

It does us well to remember that during our country's historical efforts to live up to its best commitments and promises, unavoidable mistakes have been made that have been paid for by the sacrifice and serious waste of the country's most precious wealth: the common people. Some conspicuous examples have been our Civil War, to test whether the U.S.A., conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that men and women are created equal, can long endure during the previous century, and our participation in the First World War and the Second World War during the twentieth century to end war and make the world safe for democracy. An incredible mistake was made fostering the policy that women should have no income or less income of their own than men. Women were expected to receive income only by way of their fathers, their brothers or husbands. Probably our country's most shameful mistake has been, from the beginning, legally denying and withholding the potential of more than half our population, American women, white, black, red, brown, and yellow, from remunerated public and private enterprise. This was not simply in flagrant violation of the commitment of the Declaration to equality of inherent human worth of men and women as proper parts of the infinite whole of humankind. It was buttressed by the lie that women, when making human babies, are not as economically productive as men making guns and atomic bombs.

During July, 1848, American women and men organized the Seneca Falls Congress and Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions7, challenging the exclusively male legislators, judges and Presidents to practice what the Declaration of 1776 professed. This was a beginning; the ending has not yet been resolved.

Without the kind of support President Abraham Lincoln gave the Declaration of 1776, neither the Declaration nor the United States of America would have a bright future: "If this country cannot be saved without giving up the principle... (of the Declaration of Independence), I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it."8

Another person who fought for the Declaration at least as hard as Mr. Lincoln was the author of its original draft, Thomas Paine. Here, in the original draft3 is Mr. Paine's indictment of King George for promoting the slave trade in America: "He has waged cruel War against human Nature violating its most Sacred Right of Life and Liberty in the Persons of a distant People who never offended him, captivating and carrying them to Slavery in another Hemisphere, or to miserable Death in their Transportation thither. This piratical Warfare, the opprobrium of Infidel Powers is the Warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain.

"He has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative Attempt to prohibit or to restrain an execrable Commerce, determined to keep open a market where Men Should be bought and sold, and that this Assemblage of Horrors might want no Fact of Distinguished Die.

"He is now exciting these very People to rise in Arms among us, and to purchase that Liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the People upon whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former Crimes committed against the Liberties of one People, with Crimes which he urges them to commit against the Lives of another."

These paragraphs of the original draft were deleted from the printed copy by the Second Continental Congress. They are among the reasons Ms. Abigail Adams chided her husband, Mr. John Adams. Ms. Adams had access to a copy of the original draft when she received a copy of the finished, printed version of the Declaration. She wrote under the date of July 14, 1776 to her husband, "By yesterday's post I received two letters dated 3d and 4th of July... I cannot but be sorry that some of the most manly sentiments in the Declaration have been expunged from the printed copy."9

John Adams had this to say about Thomas Paine's part in the Revolution: "History is to ascribe the Revolution to Thomas Paine."10

George Washington supported Mr. Paine: "Your presence may remind Congress of your past services to this country, and if it is in my power to impress them, command my best exertions with freedom, as they will be rendered cheerfully, by one who entertains a lively sense of the importance of your works."11

Thomas Jefferson was a friend of Thomas Paine: "That you may long live to continue your useful labors, and to reap the reward of the thankfulness of nations is my sincere prayer."12

A more recent person to volunteer an evaluation of the splendid work of Thomas Paine has been Mr. Thomas Edison, like Paine, an inventor: "We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American Liberty possible. Where Washington performed, Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of the one in the field were matched by the other with his pen. I consider Thomas Paine our greatest political thinker.

"Paine practiced what he preached and some day will be recognized as one of the clearest of thinkers."13

Sources of the Human Equality Doctrine

One of the main sources through which Thomas Paine first became interested in learning about the human equality idea, so far as we can tell, was the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Mr. Paine, like Shakespeare, was a thoughtful, interested and careful student of the Bible. He particularly examined the life and deeds of the historical person, Jesus Josephson and in his work report, The Age of Reason,14 Mr. Paine had this to say about Jesus: "That such a person as Jesus Christ existed, and that he was crucified, which was the mode of execution of that day, are historical relations strictly within the limits of probability. He preached most excellent morality and the equality of man; but he preached also against the corruptions and avarice of the Jewish priests, and this brought upon him the hatred and vengeance of the whole order of priesthood.

"The accusation which those priests brought against him was that of sedition and conspiracy against the Roman government, to which the Jews then were subject and tributary; and it is not improbable that the Roman government might have some secret apprehensions of the effect of his doctrine, as well as the Jewish priests; neither is it improbable that Jesus Christ had in contemplation the delivery of the Jewish nation from the bondage of the Romans."

Before Jesus was crucified, he was sold like a slave by Judas, a former follower, for money to the chief priests of the temple, who paid Judas 30 pieces of silver, the current, finite market price for a cheap slave.

The attitude of Thomas Paine toward Jesus Christ was not that of King George III. Mr. Paine regarded Jesus as a strong ally in the continuing struggle against human slavery. George III tried to use Jesus as his ally to make unethical practices like slave trading and slave owning look good. The King flouted the religious truth that, since a slave is not worth less than the whole of humankind, his or her human rights are equal to those of George.

The Bible reports that Jesus replied to those who said he blasphemed by making himself God that the Bible reports that they are Gods too. Read John 10:30-39: "The Jews again took up stones that they might stone him. Jesus answered them, 'Many goods work (sic) have I shown you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?' The Jews answered him, 'For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because, being a man, thou makest thyself God.' Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your Law, "I said, Ye are gods?" If he called gods them to whom the word of God was spoken, and the Scripture cannot be evaded, say ye of him whom the Father hath hallowed and sent into the world, "Thou blasphemist," because I said, "I am the Son of God?" If I do not the works of the Father, believe me not; but if I do them, though ye believe not myself, believe the works, that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father.' They sought therefore again to apprehend him, and he went forth out of their hand.

Capital is not Prior to Labor

The postulate of the American individual enterprise system that the private person has no inherent non-physical human worth, but only physical or market worth, implies that all men and women are created entirely finite and unequal ultimately in human worth. A further consequence is that the measure of the finite exchange values of commodities, the commodity money, is good enough to measure and distinguish the value of diverse human capacities and their relative human worth. It follows then that the equitable division of income among men and women allegedly will be dependably taken care of by the institution and natural laws of the free and slave market.

In practice, the economy functions on the premise that capital is prior to, and independent of, labor. Labor is only the fruit of capital and could never exist, if capital had not first existed. Capital is the superior of labor and deserves much higher consideration.

Our country should practice that it professes and has professed concerning the equality of human worth among men and women. If we do not discontinue the practice of paying them less or no income, pretending that women are unproductive or less productive than men, then the men of the country will discover that "nature does not pay any attention to the dictum that 'All men are created equal'."16

Our country's most able leaders have not supported the idea of the priority of capital to labor.

Abraham Lincoln8 has, as usual, been unequivocal: "The working men are the basis of all government, for the plain reason that they are the more numerous."

Again Lincoln: "Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never exist if labor had not first existed. labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration."

Dwight D. Eisenhower: "[The Declaration] acknowledged that man has a soul, and for that reason is equal to every other man, and that is the cornerstone of what we call the American System."17

Thomas Jefferson: "The foundation on which all our constitutions are build is the natural equality of man."18


  1. Larson, Dewey B., Beyond Space and Time (North Pacific Publishers, Portland, OR, 1995).
  2. Smith, Adam, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (The Great Books, Encyclopedia Britannica, University of Chicago, 1952).
  3. Boyd, Julian P., The Declaration of Independence, The Evolution of the Text (Library of Congress, 1943; also published by Princeton University).
  4. Cantor, Georg, Contributions to the founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers, translated by P. Jourdain (Open Court, Chicago, 1915).
  5. Lewis, Joseph, Thomas Paine, Author of the Delcaration of Independence (Freethought Press, 1947).
  6. Chinard, Gilbert, Thomas Jefferson, (Apostle of Americanism, 1929, 1957).
  7. Stanton, E.C., Anthony, S.B., Gage, M.J., History of Women Suffrage (1848).
  8. Treasury of Presidential Quotations, Compiled and Edited by Caroline Thomas Hamburger (1964).
  9. Adams, Abigail, quoted in Joseph Lewis, ibid., p. 134.
  10. Adams, John, quoted in Joseph Lewis, ibid., front page.
  11. Washington, George, quoted in Joseph Lewis, ibid., front page.
  12. Jefferson, Thomas, quoted in Joseph Lewis, ibid., front page.
  13. Edison, Thomas Alva, quoted in Joseph Lewis, ibid., back page.
  14. Paine, Thomas, Age of Reason, Vol. I, Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, edited by Phillip S. Foner (The Citadel Press, 1969).
  15. Christ, Jesus, Holy Bible (Catholic), John 10:31-39 (Hawthorne Books, NY, 1958).
  16. Larson, Dewey B., The Road to Full Employment (North Pacific Publishers, 1976).
  17. Eisenhower, Dwight W., quoted in Treasury of Presidential Quotations, ibid.
  18. Jefferson, Thomas, quoted in the Treasury of Presidential Quotations, ibid.

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