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R.W. Grant

Aerospace engineer, entrepreneur, author of Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine (1963), an epic satirical poem about the attack on free markets, and of The Incredible Bread Machine (1999, Fox and Wilkes) a book which fully explores the ideas in the poem.

Book by R.W. Grant
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The Incredible Bread Machine : A Study of Capitalism, Freedom, & the State
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Hi-diddle-diddle, the Radical Middle; T'was such a charming scene, As right or wrong we sailed along Half-way in-between.

from his poem "The Radical Middle"
The words which hold you in our thrall Are "Public Interest"; "Good of All"! Your fetters not by us are wound; Bewitched, you are by "duty" bound! ... Oh, what a stew we will create While you pay homage to the State! So, stir the pot and share the blame; We're all the Keepers of the Flame!

from his poem "Keepers of the Flame"
Perhaps the real guardian of civilized behavior is not the political state at all, but the enlightened self-interest of the marketplace.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
...the resort to force will corrupt even the noblest aims. From the French Revolution to Auschwitz, and from the Gulags to the killing fields of Cambodia, well-meaning intellectuals with "a plan" have always been in the vanguard. Some of the greatest evils in history have been committed not by people who set out to do evil, but by people who set out to do good - by force.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
... one is drawn to the conclusion that majority rule is a false god; that the goal of free people should not be majority rule at all but self-rule, not political action but individual action, not the 'public interest' but private interest.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
... the labor union is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It served its legitimate historical purpose, but history is now passing it by. Just as well. The labor union is a zero-sum institution whose gains are generally at someone else's expense - and those someones are very often the poor.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
If you need what others earn, No longer need you steal it! Government now does the job, And people hardly feel it!

1963 - from Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine
Men such as J.P. Morgan, Vanderbilt, Hill, Carnegie and Rockefeller, were genuine builders to whom the nation owes an immense debt. Although many today agree with [author of the anti-capitalist tract The Robber Barons, Matthew] Josephson that all of it was 'fearful sabotage practiced by capital upon the energy and intelligence of human society,' the fact remains that the millions these men earned would not compare to the value of what they left behind.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
The proper concern of government is not compassion, but liberty. When government, in the name of 'compassion,' initiates force against the individual, it has become the agent of despotism.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Many intellectuals despise capitalism ... not because it is undemocratic, but precisely because it is democratic: Capitalism responds to the inelegant tastes of the marketplace rather than to the more 'progressive' judgements of its resentful critics. In the process it places economic power in the hands of crass business people who, in the activist's opinion, are less enlightened, less intelligent, less well-educated and less worthy than he is.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
The real power of the state does not lie in its guns or jail cells but in the confused willingness of individuals to subordinate their legitimate rights to some alleged 'greater good.' And when this sanction is withdrawn, the state is in trouble.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Microsoft and Intel, two of the latest targets of [antitrust actions of the U.S. Justice Department], are ... trying to fight the battle exclusively on terms defined by the government. But when the law is whatever the bureaucrat says it is, even innocence will be no defense, for the regulation will simply be shifted and reinterpreted to describe whatever the accused did do. The better defense would be to challenge the validity and constitutionality of rules which are designed not to protect rights, but merely to further the amorphous goals of ideology: 'fairness,' 'the level playing field,' etc. Perhaps the challenge would not succeed but it would beat losing by default.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Conservatives rail against the 'bad' art of [photographer Robert] Mapplethorpe or [performance artist Karen] Finley, and the debate quickly degenerates into a food fight over artistic taste. But the issue here is not bad art versus good art; the real issue is whether the individual should be compelled to support any art.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
... the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the political left is moral intimidation derived from the unchallenged assumptions of altruism. ... As long as people accept the idea that self-interest is 'greed,' and that virtue rests only in service to 'others,' demagogues of the left (or the right) will be more than happy to see that 'virtue' prevails.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
There are better ways to run things. ... The political state is in its twilight. It has served its limited historical purpose. As [author of The Art of Community, Spencer H.] MacCallum put it, government is merely the 'unstable transition' between the society of kinship and the society of contract. The next plateau in social evolution - if we can achieve it - is a society based not on political force but on the voluntary alternatives of the marketplace. And this, finally, is what a free society is all about.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
... the doctrine of self-sacrifice is no longer in the ivory tower - it has entered the political arena, and the philosophical 'thou ought' has finally become the legislated 'thou must.' What was previously only a 'moral obligation' has now become a 'duty.' Every tyranny in history has been based on some variation of the altruist theme. Under Stalin and Lenin it was the duty of the individual to serve the Proletariat. Under Hitler it was the Fatherland. Under Mussolini it was The State. The altruist ideal of service to some 'greater good' is the cornerstone of tyranny.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes