This is a wonderful commentary on life, creativity and choices. I feel that I would like my life simpler, and also less dependent of others. I like to cook from scratch, the work is worth the effort. I like to grow some of my own food. I find amusement in simple things....yet I find myself becoming involved in the complexity of reducing effort.
Perhaps the activity of effort is something to be relished rather than avoided?
Hubbard Communications Office
Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
HCO Policy Letter of 8 October 1964
For some time in some quarters in Scientology we have had a
problem with regard to presentation.
Magazines are sometimes badly proofed, books are often shabbily
done, tapes are played to the public on Woolworth recorders, etc.
In some quarters we do very well, but in many we don't.
I have been looking this over for some time and have just
realized what it is all about.
We live in a machine world. The whole yap of TV and newspapers is
directed toward reducing effort. The primary goal of the
civilization in which we live, it seems, is to reduce all personal
effort to zero.
The less effort a being can confront, the more effect of effort
If you reduce a man's effort output to zero you will also
collapse his bank on him.
The modern trend of "don't do" accompanies the modern trend of an
increased percentage of the insane in the society.
The crazier a person is, the less he accomplishes or does.
So we live in a world which is oriented to drive men mad.
But, more pertinent to us, we suffer from the continuous bait-"do
it the easy way." "Do it in the way that will demand the least effort."
We see this in manufacturing particularly- the easiest way is the
cheapest way is the most profitable way.
So we get into a "do it the easy-way."
Well, that may apply to making spoons for profit, but it does not
apply to presentation.
The whole world of the arts is directly opposed to the philosophy
of the business man or manufacturer.
Art seeks to create an effect. An effect is not always created
the easy way. Indeed, the better effects are quite difficult to achieve.
One can fall into creating easy effects to such a degree that one
For instance, a dozen cakes are in competition at a county fair.
The one that wins is not the easiest cake to make. True, the cook
that made the winner may have some easy ways to short cut cake
baking. But the winning cook actually takes that extra bit of care
to make it all just right.
It isn't magic or luck that makes the professional. It's hard won
know-how carefully applied
A true professional may do things pretty easily from all
appearances, but he is actually taking care with each little bit
that it is just right.
The winner has it instinctively. The loser rarely even grasps the
concept of "do it right".
Artistic presentation always succeeds to the degree that it is
How easily it is done is entirely secondary.
To the world of presentation, of putting up mock ups, the only
guide is take the care necessary to do a good job.
To the world of the business man, the manufacturer, the primary
guide is "how can we do it easily".
These two philosophies clash.
We are taught daily in advertisements, by union leaders, by
socialists that DO IT WITH THE SMALLEST EFFORT is the greatest goal
in life. Do the least work for the most pay. Buy the automatic
machine that chews up the most clothes in the least time. Use the
roofing paper that goes on quickest and keeps out the least rain.
Vote for Jim X who will make all the world eat without working. Do
nothing yourself. Shove it off on the Mix Up Accounting Company-or
the man at the next desk.
That all this leads to total dependence on gadgets, total
enslavement to mounting economic puzzles, even to total enslavement
to a Commissar Krushtoad in the next generation is neglected
utterly. That less than two centuries ago we lived quite well and
built more strongly and were a lot saner without all these ads,
tools and commissars is never mentioned.
Man is solving himself to extinction. And all on the slogan
"Don't exert yourself".
It's gotten so bad that people are shrugging off all
responsibility for the state, for their friends, for anything and
everything. "Nothing has anything to do with anybody" is the
epitaph that nobody will take the trouble to write on the tombstone
of this civilization.
Now this is no rant against automation or gadgets or
self-sterilizing cat petters.
Use all the gadgets you can lay your hands on-if they really do
work in your hands and don't absorb all your time in earning their
price or repairing their faults.
No, my thought here is only this - keep you action level above
your gadget level.
Keep ahead of automation. Keep ahead of do-it-for-you. Don't
disenfranchise yourself by giving all your work away-to a machine,
to a fellow worker.
If you've got equipment do one of two things (a) Use it to
increase your production of effects or (b) Get rid of it.
But first and foremost realize that in presenting something, in
trying to put up mock ups, that the best way isn't always the easy
way. The best way is only the more effective way.
Work out first what effect you are trying to produce. Then when
you've got that all taped, only then consider the easiest way to do it. And never consider the
easier way at all if it is less effective.
Art takes that extra bit, that extra care, that bit more push for
it to be effective art.
There is no totally easy way to produce a desirable effect.
And the day you drop some of your ideas of the effect you want to
produce is the day you get a little older, a little weaker, a little less sane.
So don't buy the easy way. Buy only the effective way. If some of
its points can then be made easy, good. If not, do it the hard way.
And only if you realize this can you escape the gargantuan trap
of a society with the mass goal of "Nothing should ever be done by
anything but a machine or somebody else".
L. RON HUBBARD
Copyright (c) 1964 by L. Ron Hubbard
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED