“Refer to Captain Smith” (EP.235)

Structure a society that demands equality under the law, along with personal responsibility. Read. Listen. Subscribe. Recruit. Act.


The “Reader’s Digest” used to be in every home and waiting room in America. The stories, humor and features were widely popular, and often passed along. All of the stories were said to be true; here is one from yesteryear about a Captain Smith during WWII.

The good Captain was working away in the bowels of the Pentagon, handling vital war-related paperwork. He always  arrived on time at his department, but he never finished until hours after everyone else had gone home. This happened everyday for over a year. He noticed that another Captain always finished early, and finally approached the lucky one asking, “How do you do it? You leave two hours early every day, and I work about two hours of unpaid overtime.” The response was, “I just take the harder work and mark it, ‘Refer to Captain Smith’. In a department this big, there has to be a Captain Smith.” 

Dodges like this used to be called goldbricking or passing the buck. When individuals do it, that is what it is still labeled. When groups do it, the label changes.

That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode. 


The Captain who was sloughing off the work to Smith, let’s call him John Nemer, drew the same pay, worked in the same office and went home early every day, having “finished” his work. Giving a first name to Captain Smith, Ron Smith went home two hours late–four hours later than Nemer–everyday. And we can make a couple of observations about both Smith and Nemer from just this brief story:

  • Smith.
    • A hard worker, who never complained.
    • He clearly saw his contribution to his country and the war effort as valuable.
    • Willing to work harder than the entire office without slacking.
  • Nemer.
    • Lazy, and without much of a conscience.
    • Thought that cheating was okay if you got away with it.
    • Was casual at best about his responsibility to his country and the war.
    • Had no concern at all about the poor SOB who was doing the hard parts of his job.

This is more than just a short story with a quick point. So, Will, how does this apply to us today? 

John Nemer was clearly not a believer in one of the core Revolution 2.0™ philosophies, i.e., we are all 100% responsible for everything in our lives. Ron Smith was.

And it goes much further than that. Captain Nemer knew full well that he was passing his responsibilities along to a Captain Smith. And when asked, he was shameless in admitting what he had gotten away with. You can almost hear the pleased tone in his voice when he explained what he was doing. And we can but wonder how the real Cpt. Smith reacted. 

Do you know a John Nemer? Do you sometimes feel like Ron  Smith? “Yes” for me on both. Do you know some groups and political movements who remind you of Nemer?

There is a lot of talk about inequality in our society, with the core point being that if things are unequal, they are unfair. And if there is unfairness, there is a victim, and therefore a victimizer. The end point in this thought train is that the victimizer owes the victim, and this debt is usually structured in a way that the victim stays a victim, and generations of victims are created in the process. 

This victim seeking thought progression ignores two key truths:

  1. We must structure a society that demands equality under the law, but does not require equality of results and
  2. We are all 100% personally responsible for our own lives and levels of success and happiness.

Somewhere along the line, these two truths were bastardized and have become:

  1. We are all the same, regardless of race, gender, etc., and we should all be guaranteed very nearly the same results and
  2. Personal responsibility is a dog whistle for racism.

Captain Smith would agree with the first two truths. 

Captain Nemer would love–and promote–the bastardized versions.

Let’s hear Capt. Smith put it in Revolution 2.0™’s language. “Part of the miracle of 1776, pulled off by a then nondescript group of nobodies from a tiny, backwater British colony, was the correct observation that our rights to ‘…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ come from our Creator, not from monarchs or elected governments. Those rights, which are not the subject of this podcast, are everyone’s responsibility. God granted those rights, and we must have each other’s back to defend them. 

The so-called rights that are today’s subject matter are the right to taxpayer-paid housing, education, healthcare, etc. And the etcetera is getting more etcetera all the time. Remembering that with every right comes an equal or greater responsibility, today’s key question is whether benefits like housing, healthcare, food and education should be granted at no cost to the user, or should reasonable access be guaranteed to these products and services?  Free or reasonable access is the question.

Today’s Key Point: Today’s question ties nicely to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the question, ’Am I my brother’s keeper?’ is a ringing, unequivocal ‘Yes.’ There is no other answer.”

By following these two principles, there will be no victims and no victimizers, we will all be equal under the law, we will all treat each other as equals, and we will all help each other to succeed. Using our strengths to shore up each other’s weaknesses. And using our love for each other as Brothers to fix everything else. 


As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.

If you liked today’s podcast, other podcasts or the revolution2-0.org site itself, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™.

Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
Will Luden
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One Response

  1. Ken Rice Reply

    Well, Will – although “goldbricking” has likely reduced since yesteryear around WWII due to our country’s maintained faiths and parental guidance’s, such must still be addressed by those in high political and spiritual office and be reminded by those like you! So keep it up!

    Capt. Smith (oops, Capt. Rice)

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