Q&A with author Jonathan Neville on The Rule of Equity
Q: Explain the title, The Rule of Equity.
A: It's a double meaning. First, the common law that we inherited from England included both the law and equity. Judges could apply rules of equity to do the right thing when strict application of the law would not resolve a matter or would lead to injustice. Certainly the history of the way the United States has treated American Indians is replete with injustice, so the rule of equity would mean a different approach.
Second, we've all heard the restatement of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules. Equity in the modern world is equivalent to gold in this sense. The U.S. is a debtor nation; eventually those holding the debt--the equity holders--are going to rule.
Q: Do you see this happening in the real world?
A: There's no question that the current financial policies of the United States, in combination (if not controlled by) the Fed, are unsustainable. The federal government has borrowed trillions of dollars to prop up a weak economy. None of the so-called "investments" made by the Obama administration, for example, have made it more likely, or even more possible, to repay this debt. So you tell me how this will get resolved.
Q: So is the book prophetic?
A: Not at all. It's a plausible scenario, one I think is likely in one version or another. In fact, the book depicts one of the most positive outcomes imaginable. I like to think it's the ideal outcome, actually.
Q: Why Native Americans?
A: Because they have much to teach us. Even after centuries of oppression, they remain confident in who they are and generous to one another--as well as to outsiders. Their reputation as environmental stewards might be a little romanticized, but that's okay, as long as we can perpetuate the ideal and have it permeate our culture.
Q: You include a lot of history. Do you really think there's been a coverup?
A: Don't you?
Q: It's difficult to believe so many scientists would intentionally cover up all this evidence.
A: That's a perennial problem with science, isn't it? There is a tendency to dismiss evidence that contradicts the "consensus" in many fields. I hope this book generates enough public interest that scientists will take another look. I've been told there are many papers written that have yet to be published because the authors fear retribution or ridicule from their peers. Maybe now these can come to light and we'll see what the evidence actually tells us.
Q: What difference does it make, though? It's history.
A: The truth always makes a difference. Maybe we can't resurrect the genomes that produced the giants, for example. But maybe we can. Maybe we can't restore the knowledge the ancient Native Americans had--the esoteric knowledge that caused them to create these sophisticated mounds and fortifications--but maybe we can.
Q: What's next for Tom Madison?
A: He's got quite a few surprising adventures yet.