The Economy Of Freedom
We are all born free, so to speak, and able to use perception, memory, thought, action, force and violence to get whatever we want, if we choose to. Cooperation is not a necessity, at least for the strong. It is a compromise. It is a trade off. So lets look at the scope of actions human beings can take, and start from there, so that we can understand cooperation and freedom, and the compromises, costs and benefits that cooperation requires of us.
Scope Of Individual Human Action
If we eliminate the nearly infinite complexity that comes along with cooperation, we are left with only this scope of human actions.
- Coercion: Force, violence
Opposition: Avoidance, Escape, Force
Cost: Effort, Time, Risk
Perception and Calculation: Personal experience. Satisfaction of wants.
A.0) Thought (use of memory and perception)
A.1) Motion (Movement in time and space)
A.2) Consumption (food, water, air)
A.3) Transformation (transformation of resources – manipulation of the physical world)
A.4) Violence (for the purpose of competing for, or obtaining resources)
A.5) Mating (reproduction)
The Five Freedoms
Given the possible scope of human actions listed above, there are only five possible non-contradictory freedoms available to human beings. Non-contradictory means that they can be granted to others equally without coercing them.
- F.1) The Right To Life – without life, action is impossible
F.2) The Right To Cooperate – without cooperation we cannot concentrate efforts or divide our knowledge and labors
F.3) The Right Of Opposition – without which we cannot maintain the difference between cooperation and totalitarianism.
F.4) The Right To Property – without which we have no means of cooperation, perception and calculation
F.5) The Right Of Transit – without which we cannot cooperate given the scarcity of time and space. Two people cannot occupy the same space.
To grant these rights we only need to refrain from violence. In libertarian philosophy this is the principle of non-violence.
By refraining from violence we enforce cooperation. In other words, we coerce cooperation by depriving people of their natural ability to use violence. Furthermore, by depriving people of violence we make them more equal, by redistributing opportunities from the strong to the weak.
All other freedoms or rights, are derivatives of those five listed above. The remaining freedoms people commonly refer to are technologies of coercion for the purpose of cooperation, or of opposition for the purpose of competing with or avoiding the coercion.
To say that they are forms of coercion, is not to demean them. Many coercions are a proxy for violence. Property itself is a coercion.
We defend property. (talk about property and memory here)
there is a limit to cooperatino because of a limit to perception.
Imagine for a moment that you could know the wants and desires of all people on the planet at once, and you could also know, all the resources that could be put to use by each person, all the skills that could be put to use by each person, all the tools available to each person, all the relationships that each person has, and the geography that each person has access to. Imagine trying to organize it all. Now, imagine that each person is trying to at least maintain his or her respect, or status. And that all these people are of different ages, and of different