Changing Identity: From American to English-American, to Diasporic Englishman

Sometime within the past six months, I have unconsciously ceased to consider myself an American, and begun to think of myself as an English American – or even just a diasporic Englishman. It wasn’t something I chose. It wasn’t a decision. It was the result of living through these interesting, and increasingly fractious times, while writing on political philosophy.

The English population of the States varied from around 50% to around 60% prior to 1800. Over time, due to the immigration needed to fill the Louisiana purchase to keep the west free from another French or English war, then due to the further westward expansion, that number has decreased to about 25% in 1980. And now, it’s declined to something between 9% and 12% — depending upon the various data we refer to. Demographically people of English decent are spread in a band from Maine to Oregon, predominantly along the 40th-46th parallel, with rural northeast, midwest, northern Rocky, and the north west the only places that they are more than 10% of the population.

(As of 2000AD. We do not have the 2010 data yet.)

Interestingly enough, if we look at the UK today, almost all the variation in IQ scores occurs within the ‘middle class’ or what we in the states would call the ‘upper middle class’. It’s dramatic enough that it skews the averages upward. There is a subset of the British people that represent the Northern European version of the Ashkenazim.

Will the decline of Anglos impact the national culture, or it’s legal system? We know that it takes about 10-15% of the population to hold an idea or value before it becomes part of the culture. It’s Pareto’s principle at work yet again: 1% figure out everything, 5% translate it, 10% prosthelytize it, and the rest follow them. If different groups ally together then ideas can be driven into the society’s norms simply by the process of ideological-flocking. Does that mean that Anglo values will, simply by demographic dilution, decline in influence within those norms? Perhaps, very slowly. It takes about two generations to change basic values, and four for them to fully disappear. And the English Americans aren’t alone. Our cousins the Germans are about equal in percentage and distribution across the country. The Irish and Italians had their impact. And now the Hispanic(Indians) join the Africans. The Asians and Hindus aren’t much of an influence yet. But it’s quite clear that those groups will come to dominate certain social classes and therefore have greater and less likelihood to influence the national culture. And if we look at our history, the Catholics achieved precisely what the protestants warned they would, and the Jews accomplished what the Catholics warned about, and now the Supreme court is a mix of Jewish and catholic, with english and germanic protestants noticeably absent. So significant change can occur in less than a century. Somehow I find that oddly fascinating. But the sentiment of collectivism in the catholics (who represent Europe’s lower classes) and the Jews, as well as that of the hispanics, will certainly express itself in institutional changes, as the germanic protestant culture and it’s calvinist roots are out bred and out immigrated, and those people become a minority.

This change from majority to minority is the origin of the Tea Party movement in the states and the BNP-related movements in the UK – white people are acting like a minority, and will soon lose all care and guilt over their advantages, or their colonialist history.

But what will change, and is changing rapidly, is the desire for whites, whether protestant or catholic, (or those under the self delusion that they’re neither), to demonstrate that they are acting fairly and justly by granting others special rights as a means of getting over ‘white guilt’. What guilt is a remnant of what one side sees as colonialism, and the other side sees as dragging humanity out of agrarian mysticism, ignorance and poverty. That period of ‘guilt’ is about to come to a permanent end. (( See Paul Gottfried’s work on Guilt. )) The protestants, and then the catholics, will hold no privileged position. No inherited advantage. We’ll want our own protections. And we’ll want revocation of those prior advantages that we gave away. (( Instead of simply systematically invalidating Jim Crowe Laws.))

Colonial guilt is especially vivid in the English. English people were effete, technocratic, and messianic as well as colonialist. And the best technologies that they distributed to those cultures was christianity, accounting, empiricism, medicine, and the common law. They surrendered their colonies fairly easily. And in 500 years they dragged civilization into the modern age – despite the attempts of French intellectuals, and Marxists to fight them off. The most illustrative statement about English ethics is a quote my Mao: “If India had been a French colony, Gandhi never would have been an old man”. And the state of British colonies versus french colonies is all the evidence needed to demonstrate the different cultural virtues.

We’re a tribal people. Brits today are tribal in general. Remarkably so. And classicist as well – which is where the tribalism comes from. The English are already a diasporic people. a minority that was once in control of vast continents. But unlike the other diasporic capitalist peoples: the Jews, Chinese, Hindus and Armenians, we have a deep seated love of the land that is buried in our mythology and our values. Without control of land we are permanently frustrated from expressing our ancient desire to work metal, bend nature, and demonstrate our political devotion and social status, by making the world – every inch of it – a work of art that is left behind us, as a record of our character.

So, my country has left me, and I have left it. The romantic attachment I had to the constitution, the bill of rights, the revolution, its ideology — and my fervent patriotism — left along with it. It’s been a long hard attack on the ‘White Protestant Nation’. But like water on a rock, it’s been successful – unfortunately, almost entirely through the evasion and dilution of the 14th amendment, and the democratization of the Senate. The constitution was an innovation, it was brilliant, but it wasn’t strong enough. The most interesting thing, is that this destruction was done largely by women – initially puritan women – who, in America, liberated by the industrial revolution, then later by the availability of consumer appliances, directed their anger at men, rather than the church — as they did in most countries. (Which is what explains the peculiarly inaffectionate businesslike relationship between men and women in the states, versus other western countries that so many foreigners seem to notice.)

Political pressure and rent-seeking from other groups under the ruse of equality — but in reality for the purpose of rent-seeking and access to status and political power — has succeeded in forming a normative and institutional prohibition against our forming a separatist identity as does everyone else. It is entirely acceptable to promote a jewish homeland. It is entirely acceptable to have a jewish defense league, or a La Raza, or a black national movement. Everyone else can be sectarian, but we are forbidden it. In Canada, the lowest caste with the least rights, is white males – by law. In England, bureaucrats starve pensioners but pay the bills of ‘asylum seekers’ — in one of the most perverse incentive schemes ever to create a privileged political class.

Now, if a people do not promote their country, their government, their institutions, and their way of life? What do they do? If their history is forbidden to them in their schools? If they are demonize? What do they do? The answer is consistent for all diasporic people: they form a predatory capitalist minority that works within the statute law, but profits from asymmetrical observation of all norms. Norms: habits, manners, ethics, morals — they take care of their own. Just as recent immigrants to the USA go through criminal, small business, and integrated phases.

We are members of a forbidden tribe. Our religion is forbidden. Our values are forbidden. Our meritocratic, individualist, aristocratic social system is forbidden. Our history is forbidden.

So, how do I feel about being a member of the Forbidden Tribe? I wish Mother England would open her doors to us, so that those of us who are still willing may return home to our live among our own. I am sorry that our ancestors waged a revolution in order to avoid paying for the french and indian war.

God Save The Queen. And may God save our English people.


If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité


A Counter To Complaints Against Indefinite Detention

My libertarian friends seem to be making a lot of noise about recent policy that allows the USA to conduct “indefinite detention” in its fight against terroris. And, despite my desire to circle the wagons whenever possible, I don’t have any problem with “Indefinite Detention”. Although, I’ll qualify that later on.

We have a long history in the west, of detaining prisoners of war for the duration of the war, and exempting them from punishment, and negotiating the terms of their exchange at the end of the war, in exchange for our prisoners, and other concessions. One of those concessions is that we hold the group we negotiate with accountable for the actions of the released prisoners.

Our tradition of holding prisoners, and the laws that surround it, is ancient. It had multiple purposes. It reduced the likelihood of violence against a soldier, which made men on both sides more willing to join the military and fight. It allowed for ransoms to be collected. And it allowed for more peaceable negotiations since the slaughter of prisoners tends to incite the opposition interminably.

So, I have no problem with indefinite detention. That is,assuming that Congress has declared war on a group, a state, or a concept.

In our secular legal system, we make the false assumption that an antagonist against whom we can declare war must be a state. But that’s not true. We conducted the crusades, not only because of the actions of the islamic states, not only because of their bloody violence against european property, but because of the INACTION of the islamic states in securing the safety of pilgrims to the holy land. (The bulgarians in particular.) So, one of the virtues of a state, is that a state can be held responsible for the actions of its citizens against those of foreign states. Otherwise a state is just an excuse for giving a haven to terrorists, thieves, pirates, brigands, drug dealers and all other despicable people.

But it’s not just the abstraction of a state we can old accountable. A state is just an idea, a territory, and a group of people. We can also hold a group, or idea accountable. We certainly held Communism accountable. And if we had been as vigorous as say, (general ww2) wanted us to, we might have saved 70 million chinese, and 20 million Russians from fratricide from starvation and murder at the hands of their own governments due to an absolutely insane economic ideology.

We can certainly hold groups accountable for their actions, regardless of their state or lack of one. We can certainly hold peoples accountable for their religious and cultural associates.

All that need justify “indefinite detention” is an act of congress that labels a group, a state, a people, or an idea or movement, the subject of a declaration of war.

If then people feel a terrible objection they can certainly move their congress, their senate and their president away from war against their own people. It is not citizenship in the abstract that protects an individual from acts of war by his own country. It is his subscription to it’s laws, and covenants, which are demonstrated by his words and actions. War is not a matter for law. Law is for the purpose of resolving conflicts within a state. War is for resolving conflicts outside of law. And if a country declares a group, an idea, a people, or a state the target of war, then individuals who conspire and associate with a group, promote an idea, belong to a people, or are citizens of a state, are no longer criminals, but combatants in a war, or traitors.

I don’t have any problem with “indefinite detention” of anyone against whom we declare war. I don’t understand why I should fear my government outlawing me for my ideas, associations, or actions. And, given the political power of my fellow Americans, I am not terribly concerned with outlawing the ideas, association or actions of others.

And, taken to the extreme, should my government declare war against me for some reason, then I am no longer prohibited from using my inventory of violence against that state. Because it is my violence that I give to the state to use on my behalf when I become a citizen. A state is nothing but claim to a territorial monopoly on violence. And should my state reject me, or outlaw me, then I no longer must restrain my violence. And I may use it to any moral end that I choose. Be it to overthrow that state, form another, or give my violence to some other state, some other group, in support of some other idea, so that either I, or others may use it on my behalf.

Indefinite detention is a meaningless objection by libertarians who are convicted pacifists rather than practical observers of human nature. However, any indefinite detention must be limited to those imprisoned under articles of war. They certainly have a right to military tribunal, but the only argument that must matter to the tribunal is whether they are part of the group, a member of a people, a state, an ideology against which we have made a declaration of war.

In our own legal system, the judiciary has determined that legal recourse post-hoc is a sufficient guarantee of liberty for the individual. While I disagree with their position because of the value of time and opportunity, and because it lets the judiciary act too slowly and irresponsibly, any argument that the due process of law is superior to the process of tribunals is at best a false equivalency, and at best an open deceit.

Indefinite detention is entirely acceptable as long as there is a declaration of war. In fact, it’s preferred.


The Arab Spring Demonstrates The Stability Of Monarchy

From Tyler Cowen – Arab Spring and the stability of monarchy

Victor Menaldo has a new paper:

This paper helps explain the variation in political turmoil observed in the MENA during the Arab Spring. The region’s monarchies have been largely spared of violence while the “republics” have not. A theory about how a monarchy’s political culture solves a ruler’s credible commitment problem explains why this has been the case. Using a panel dataset of the MENA countries (1950-2006), I show that monarchs are less likely than non-monarchs to experience political instability, a result that holds across several measures. They are also more likely to respect the rule of law and property rights, and grow their economies. Through the use of an instrumental variable that proxies for a legacy of tribalism, the time that has elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution weighted by Land Quality, I show that this result runs from monarchy to political stability. The results are also robust to alternative political explanations and country fixed effects.

Yes. Thus endeth the lesson given by Hans Herman Hoppe. 🙂

“The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.” – W. Bagehot. Bagehot then goes on to discuss what Bryan Caplan has more recently called “myth of the rational voter”. But the fact that government is complex and citizens are easily confused, misled or frustrated is not sufficient to answer the question of monarchy.

But the better answer, provided By Hoppe, is that elected officials always create a Tragedy of the Commons out of the society, its norms, its institutions and its economy – elected officials have every incentive to spend, to sell off, to destroy traditions, and to create factions so that they can profit from dispute resolution among them. A monarch has the opposite interest: he has every incentive to create an enduring nation for his people, so that he can persist his family heritage. And even better, since the monarchy — by its social status alone — creates at the very least, mating advantages, and at the very best, wealth and a place in history for family members, the family will happily commit regicide if the monarch acts against their interests. (And history is full of examples.) You can kill a monarch, but removing politicians is an exercise in futility. As soon as one is gone, another pops up in his stead.

Furthermore, I suggest that in a society where political power is unattainable, the only venue for status seeking is the market. And success in the market is good for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. Conversely, all political action is merely a distraction – a waste of time and effort in lost productivity an liesure because political power must both be pursued and defended against. All commercial action is a benefit to someone, somewhere.

[callout]”This paper argues that the [Arab Spring] region’s monarchs have been particularly well-suited to deter political unrest. Through the strategic use of constitutions, formal political institutions, Islamic principles, and informal norms, MENA monarchs have “invented” a political culture that has helped create a stable distributional arrangement and self-enforcing limits on executive authority. A monarchic political culture has promoted cohesion among regime insiders, such as ruling families and other political elites, and bolstered their stake in the regime. Moreover, this unique political culture has provided the region’s monarchs with legitimacy: regime outsiders have benefited from the positive externalities associated with secure property rights for the political elite—sustained economic growth and increased economic opportunities. This has helped monarchs consolidate their authority and foster political stability. Conversely, the region’s non-monarchs have relied on a divide-and-conquer strategy and terrorized potential opponents into submission, gutting their societies of rival institutions and creating layers of militias and secret police.” – Victor Menaldo, UW.[/callout]

The best and most stable form of government we have yet discovered, consists of a rigid constitution, under hereditary monarchy, where the monarch has limited power of veto, perhaps limited to dismissing the government, with an upper house having rigid criteria for membership, and whose responsibly is limited to ascent or veto, and a lower house from citizens who meet rigid criteria for membership not available to the upper house, and who alone can initiate bills, where both houses are appointed by lottocracy, and where there is no compensation for service, and where all administration is performed under contract by the private sector, by organizations and individuals capable of being hired and fired at will. All of which are balanced by an independent judiciary that administers the common law.

This system is a defense against the usurpation of the government, a defense against the natural corruption of bureaucracy, a defense against the fashion and passion of the public, a defense against the politicization and factionalization of society, a direction of competitive energies to the market and out of politics, and relegates reward for public service to that of social status. But best of all, society is socially bimodal, and having houses of government that represent their interests, and force a compromise provides a vent for stress, and a means of cooperating through compromise and exchange.

In this environment, public intellectuals must convince the society of a common good, not advance particular individuals in order to advance their ideas. Schumpeter is right: the competition for power in the modern state is between public intellectuals and entrepreneurs. When most people were farmers or small business owners, the entrepreneur could win. Today, only a fraction of our society actually participates in the market the way our ancestors did, and as such, public intellectuals (modern priesthood) have increased their power. The entrepreneurial culture has defended itself in every way possible. But there is no certitude that it can succeed.

I have no position as yet, as do my fellow libertarians, on sovereign currency (fiat money) versus private money. I recognize that fiat money gives us the ability to insure one another against the vicissitudes of nature, and I am uncomfortable with the appreciation in the value of private money created by public investment. But I am not yet settled on which of the alternatives is the most constructive.


The Second and Further Questions Of Politics

The first question of politics is ‘why do I not kill you and take your stuff?’ (Why should we form a cooperative order, versus a dictatorship)

The Second question of politics is ‘what are our property definitions, both communal and several?’ (how shall we break the world into actionable bits)

The second question of politics, is ‘what are our norms?’ (‘What is our shareholder agreement over the treatment of those property definitions?’)

The third question of politics is ‘how do we prevent corruption, fraud, theft and violence against several and communal property?’ (The privatization of public assets and the involuntary transfer of assets, against the terms of our shareholder agreement.)

The fourth question of politics is ‘how do we create institutions to resolve conflict over property and norms?’ ( How do we register citizenship, register property ownership, what requirements we place on individual behavior, and what is the manner of our judiciary for the resolution of disputes)

The fifth question of politics is ‘how do we suppress the numan desire for corruption?’

The sixth question of politics is ‘How shall we coordinate, choose and administer investments on the behalf of shareholders?’

The seventh question of politics is ‘how do we distribute the surplus from our investments to our shareholders should we have any?’


The First Question of Politics

I’ve said this many times, but given what I’ve read today, I’ll say it again:

Per Camus, the first question of philosophy is ‘Why don’t we commit suicide?’

That one question is one of philosophy’s most informative riddles.

But I have another riddle that adds just as much insight as Camus’ does to philosophy, into political philosophy:

That is: “Why don’t I just kill you and take your stuff?” ((Or “Why don’t I just kill you and prevent you from taking my stuff?”))

If you can answer that question, all those questions that follow become non-neutral. By which I mean, that arguments over property are not those which you can walk away from.

Political disputes are not conducted over matters of taste.

They are matters of property or we would not debate them.


Proudhon’s Crusoe Presents A False Moral Dilemma

In reference to What is Property? Dual Meanings from Punk Johnny Cash at Gonzo Times, where the author uses the artificial moral dilemma put forth by Proudhon, where a castaway arrives upon a Robinson Crusoe island and is left to die because there are not enough resources to keep two men alive.

Crusoe’s Single Man On An Island problem is a reductio argument. It is a false moral dilemma. It is an argument to extremes. Property is an argument to norms, not extremens.

In almost all most cases, an additional hand will dramatically increase production, so that the productivity of two is higher than the productivity of one. That’s why we have a division of labor. Because more hands make light work, we like increases in populations. because there is no way for any individual to know the limit of the land within some geography that is much more complex than a small island, the institution of property allows us to tell whether we can breed or not, based upon whether we can afford to support our offspring or not. That’s what property, money and prices do for us.

A more accurate example, is that there are many islands, and each island has evenly distributed spaces on it occupied by an individual. And that each increase in population means less space for others. If the land has a productive limit (all land does) then you have a maximum population. That is why there was an Irish Potato Famine. Irish land is capable of supporting one or two people per acre. Except that is, if you plant potatoes. So the peasants bred up to over a dozen people per acre, and when the blight arrived, they died in vast numbers because there was no substitute.

Property exists to regulate our behavior – including our breeding behavior. The fact that industrial productivity is so much higher, and the fact that our ability to capture and make use of hydrocarbons is so prolific, that we have been able to multiple the world population by six in over the past century, does not mask the reality, that we must at some point have productive land and resources, and a means by which we cooperate, plan and produce using the scarce resources at our disposal.

When someone breeds what they cannot support, they then steal by the most stealthy means possible, from everyone else who IS regulating their behavior. We already know that impulsivity among the less intelligent is an exceptional breeding strategy. That’s why the fertility of the proletariat tends to chase the productivity of the productive.

The only time that there is a conflict over property is when fertility exceeds productivity of the resources available. The real question is, why did the proletarian’s parents breed a child who could be kept off Crusoe’s island, when they were unable to provide for him? The only questions of property that arise are due to the excess of human population over the productivity of the technology at hand. Property is malthusian. At some point, on any bit of land, the productivity is no longer capable of supporting additional population without tradeoffs in deaths. Our vast population booms are due to increases in the productive technology that we make use of. Our impoverishment is due to a lack of property rights: that is, that those who breed but are unproductive, are stealing from those who breed but are productive.

In that sense, anti-propertarians are saying that the first right is the right to bring children into the world. Property, like money, and prices, is part of an information system by which we regulate our actions. And those societies that do not regulate them, are impoverished. Those societies that have poor property definitions, poor cultural contracts, and poor institutions for calculating the use of resources, remain poor.

That is the most likely reason why colder populations have higher IQ’s – the environment is more hostile to the fringe’s breeding.

What we have done since the beginning of the 20th century, is to subsidize overbreeding by the unproductive.

We have exchanged property rights which limit overpopulation for birthrights at the expense of property rights.

Why is it that it is acceptable to ask one set of people to do with less, so that others may breed? Why is that a moral position? Isn’t that the whole reason we have the problems of exploitation and over consumption that the left so often rails about?

Why is it immoral to require that people have the economic means of supporting children, before they can bear them? That’s the right question. Not whether we should respect property rights.


A Propertarian Analysis Of Your Bedroom Activities

John Quiggin of Crooked Timber writes another misguided criticism of libertarian methodology in Keeping the state out of your bedroom.

A standard theme in (propertarian) libertarian thinking is that personal freedom in matters such as choice of sexual partners goes naturally with economic freedom, defined as the lack of state interference with property rights. To summarise this in a slogan, “If you want to keep the state out of your bedroom, you should support keeping it out of your (and others) business as well”. But this is not only a false equivalence, it’s self-contradictory, as can be seen by example.

Suppose A rents a house from B, who requires, as a condition that no-one in class C (wrong race, religion, or gender) should share the bedroom with A. Suppose that A signs the lease, but decides that this contractual condition is an unreasonable violation of personal freedom, and decides to ignore it. B discovers this, and seeks the assistance (or at least the acquiesence) of the state in evicting A. On a propertarian/contractual view, B is in the right, and is entitle to call in the state into the bedroom in question.

And, this is the fundamental problem. Is it A’s bedroom or B’s? If we understand the phrase in its normal sense, no-one including a landlord, has the right to tell you what to do in your own bedroom. But, from a propertarian viewpoint, C’s ownership rights over the bedroom, derived from and ultimately enforced by, the state, trump all other considerations.

If you really want personal freedom, you can achieve it only by constraining property rights.


A propertarian would argue that A (renter) entered a contract with B (Owner), one of the terms of which was that no C (Undesirable) would cohabit access the property. And therefore it was a theft and fraud by A (renter) who tried to obtain a rental space at a discount through the use of deception.

A propertarian would argue that A(renter) should have and could have obtained an apartment elsewhere, and done so honestly, and either paid more for the privilege of having C (undesirables) on the property. (Or more likely lived in a lower caste area, or lower quality building.) Instead, A (renter) committed fraud and therefore theft, in order to obtain a better property or better caste area at a discount.

A propertarian would argue that the state is unnecessary, and that a private court (an insurance company for example) would serve the function as well as the state.

There are no vague moral statements in Propertarianism that act as a cover for involuntary transfer from one individual or group to another. The only moral statement is that all transfers should be voluntary. Although most libertarians still use the older terminology: The Non-Aggression Principle. (Which I find, well, unclear or maybe just imprecise.)

Propertarians follow from one to three criteria:

      1) All libertarians follow the set of transfers in any interaction, to determine whether the transfers are voluntary or involuntary. Typically the transfers include, and are limited to a) Risks, b) Opportunities, c) Property, and d) Status Signals. Although it isn’t intuitive that property, is a broad category that can include things like affections and information
      2) Some of us also determine whether a hazard is created that also creates an involuntary transfer of risk (property) from one to the other, (Block and Rothbard disagree. I am on the side of the Christian “Market” Ethic, and Rothbard and Block on the nomadic “Bazaar” ethic which I have addressed elsewhere as the christian difference in the necessity of holding land.)
      3) And some others of us, determine whether knowledge is symmetrical, and as such whether the contracts is honest or a fraudulent attempt at involuntary transfer. (Block and Rothbard disagree. I disagree with them. I am on the side of the Market ethic again, because it is more likely to avoid violence and fraud, and focus efforts on honest market competition in the interest of consumers. )

So we follow the transfers we let the evidence speak for itself. If there are involuntary transfers it’s bad (immoral) and if there are not it’s good (moral). And the entirety of the human experience can be analyzed and understood using propertarian methodology, using the one criteria of voluntary transfer.

We follow the transfers because all human behavior is economic. Even emotions. Emotions are reflections of changes in state of property (including opportunity). Emotions are just the animal’s way of informing us about what is happening to our property (that which we acted on in order to accumulate) – whether that property was obtained voluntarily or by theft, violence or fraud.

Your bedroom exists within whatever contract you’ve signed. If you own your property outright then you can do whatever you want in it, as long as it’s not visible or audible or evident to anyone else. If you obtain your SPACE (not property) conditionally, by a contract, then you don’t own it. And if you do something no one likes, then if it’s not in the contract, they cant add it later, they can only choose not to renew your lease.

This isn’t complicated. It’s basic. It’s easy. It also forces people who have impulsive or extraordinary behaviors to adhere to local norms, or seek areas with norms that appeal to them. And, for what it’s worth, people with impulsive behaviors are usually equally damaging to property, which is also an impulsive behavior.

That’s why lenders (owners) filter borrowers (renters): to protect themselves from unnecessary transfer of repair costs from lenders to borrowers.

So, quite the opposite of what John suggests, if you really want personal freedom, you can achieve it only by respecting property rights – which by definition means rejecting involuntary transfers, no matter whether they are contract violations, or violations of the contract you WOULD impose, if it were not that the state forced you to subsidize those people who are willing to violate contracts, or who are, because of impulsiveness, and high time preference, a high risk to your property, and consequential risk to those who have assisted you in collecting control over property by lending you money.

Property is universal to human societies, and must be, for an economy consisting of a division of labor to exist. Different societies determine who is a shareholder and what is a shareholder object and what is an individual object and all that lies in between, and those societies are usually prisoners of that Shareholder Agreement for good or bad. We call this Shareholder Agreement by the Archaic, and pre-propertarian name of ‘Cultural Values’. But that is what cultural values are: a Shareholder Agreement.


(From the backlog.)
(I have a backlog of something like a hundred postings to publish, and some are a bit long in the tooth, but I’m posting the useful ideas as part of the process of keeping record of what I write.)