A Propertarian Description Of Causality

Causality, like all human concepts, is a product of the necessity of humans to act, in order to alter the course of events, so that they can consume the difference. Causal understanding is then bounded by human perceptive ability, processing power, in real time. And from this perspective, whether something is causally replicable on one end, or correlatively positive but causally uncertain at the other end, is only as relevant as the cost and risk of the actions necessary to achieve the outcome.

We often confuse truth in the abstract, with truth-for-action. Truth in the abstract is a metaphysical tautology. Truth-for-action is simply scientifically pragmatic. Evolution works by trial and error, and so do we.


Defining Libertarianism

On Hillsdale Natural Law Review, Tyler O’Neil suggests that many conservatives aren’t libertarians despite using the term. Because Kinsella posted about it being a bit sloppy, I thought I’d use it as an excuse to try and write something definitive.


“Libertarian Party” vs “Libertarian philosophy” vs “libertarian movement” vs “libertarian sentiments”

A) “Libertarian Party” : The name of a political party that makes use of Libertarian philosophy in its policy platform.

B) Uppercase “L”-Libertarian = Libertarian in the narrow sense: The self identifying name “Libertarian” has been appropriated by members of a the majority faction of the broader group of libertarians and requires total observance of the twin concepts of Property Rights and the Non Aggression Principle. This of necessity places a Libertarian as an advocate of either minimal state, private government, or anarcho-capitalist forms of creating a social order. And it specifically excludes Classical Liberals and Neo-classical Liberals for whom enforcement of norms is a necessary and beneficial defense of political shareholder property rights.

C) Lowercase “l”-libertarian: Libertarian in the broader sense: A movement consisting of multiple factions, employing a rationally articulated set of arguments, each of which include or exclude certain secondary properties in addition to the twin concepts of property rights and the non-aggression principle. Those additional properties consist of a)the scope of property, and b)the scope of the ethics of exchange, and c) the scope of institutions necessary to establish those property definitions, those normative ethics, as well as d) to provide a means for the resolution of disputes.

D) “libertarian sentiments” (Or “libertarian-like” affiliations): A general, abstract, sentimental preference in which political decisions err on the side of individual property rights, small government, and individual responsibility for making the best of one’s lot in life.
In colloquial language, ‘libertarian’ is a self-identifying synonym for anyone who uses anti-statist arguments which may include social, religious or martial conservatives. One can possess “libertarian sentiments” and not be either cognizant of, able to articulate, or self identify as an ideological “libertarian”. Classical liberals and neo-classical liberals possess ‘libertarian’ sentiments. They do not possess a fully articulated philosophical framework.

In technical terms the libertarian sentiments are used by that category of people with conservative classical liberal ideologies who have integrated libertarian commercial ideas into their conceptual framework as a means of combating encroaching statism and bureaucracy, but who have no material knowledge of libertarian philosophy, nor would they apply the libertarian constraints upon their ideology if they could articulate it.

Therefore “conservatives” possess libertarian sentiments, but do not subscribe to the social implications of “libertarian” philosophy. This is because ‘conservative classical liberals’ believe an entire suite of norms to be a form of ‘property’: an asset in which they are shareholders that is depreciated by a failure to observe and adhere to those norms. And political failure to enforce those norms constitutes an involuntary transfer of assets from them to others.


Two dominant traditions divide the “libertarian” movement roughly reflecting B and C above:

1) The Anarchic tradition specifically articulated by Rothbard in The Libertarian Manifesto, as well as the Ethics of Liberty. In contemporary parlance, “Libertarian” means unlimited adherence to Rothbard’s Manifesto’s single principle of non-aggression.

2) The Classical Liberal and “Hayekian” tradition. Hayek adopted the term “Libertarian” because the term “Liberal” had been appropriated by the left. Hayek sought to maintain and expand the classical liberal tradition under then name “Libertarian”. The classical liberals hold libertarian sentiments but are not libertarians. The current big-‘L’ Libertarian movement has so successfully dominated the political discourse that the neo classical liberals are only now beginning to form an ideology. Unfortunately, they have failed to understand Rothbard and Hoppe’s ethics well enough to articulate Neo Classical Liberalism in Propertarian terms. (A problem I am slowly trying to correct.)

In no small part, the two libertarian traditions reflect the religious and social strategies of the authors from each tradition, with the Christian authors maintaining the concept of a collective ‘corporation’ in which all citizens are shareholders, VS the Jewish diasporic religious and social strategy of creating a ‘kingdom of heaven’ independent of the norms and institutions necessary for land-holding. It is this difference between the martial landholding Christians and the diasporic capital holding Jews that gives each branch of the movement its preferences. And it is the inability of the two movements to find a compromise position that precludes current ‘libertarians’ from forming a sufficient political block with which to alter the political discourse by incorporating classical liberal, social, religious and martial conservatives who have unalterable landholding sentiments without which ‘community’ and ‘norms’ are impossible to conceive of.


1) Non-Aggression Principle (A negative which is often stated in its positive form: Voluntarism, meaning all exchanges of property are voluntary).

2) The institution of Private Property initiated by “homesteading”: acting to transform something not property into property, over which one has a monopoly of control. 3) By implication: All human rights can be reduced to property rights.   No human rights can exist where they cannot be expressed as property rights. It is an impossibility due to scarcity and incalculability under complexity.

II. VARIABLE INDIVIDUAL PROPERTIES (Limited to common properties)

1) symmetrical-knowledge ethics (classical liberals and christian authors), VS asymmetrical-knowledge ethics (anarchists and jewish authors) Rothbard and Block are asymmetrical advocates. Most classical liberals lack the knowledge of Rothbardian/Hoppian ethics necessary to articulate their values in Propertarian terms. However, the classical liberals as well as the Hayekians, both advocate symmetrical-knowledge ethics whether they articulate the ideas effectively or not. “in any exchange the seller has an ethical obligation to mitigate fraud from the asymmetry of knowledge”

2) Implied Warranty (classical liberal and Christian authors), VS expressly denied warranty (Anarchist and Jewish authors). Rothbard and Block deny warranty. Classical liberals imply warranty. Implied warranty is a derivation of 1, above. “in any exchange the seller must warrant his goods and services to prevent fraud by asymmetry of information.”

3) Prohibition against all involuntary external transfers (classical liberal and Christian authors), VS prohibition only against state involuntary transfers (anarchist and Jewish authors). “No exchange, action or inaction may cause involuntary transfers from others”.

1) Shareholder Property Forms (classical liberal and Christian authors) VS Prohibition on Shareholder Property Forms (anarchists and Jewish authors). Whether intentional or not, Rothbard all but places a ban on organizations with geographic monopolies on rule making. Block expressly advocates geographic rule making, although he only expresses it in individual rather than organizational terms.

2) Norms as Arbitrary VS Norms as Shareholder Property. Since norms require restraints from action (forgone opportunities), and property itself is a norm paid for by restraints from action (forgone opportunities), then all those who adhere to norms, ‘pay’ for them. Therefore norms within a geography are a form of shareholder property, and violations of norms are involuntary transfers (thefts) from norm-holders to norm-destroyers.

3) Preferred Institution: Classical Liberal State, Minimal State, Private Government or Anarchic “Religion”.

4) “Markets Evolved” and regulation is a form of theft VS “Markets Were Made” and regulations by shareholders or their representatives are an expression of property rights. In practical terms, this is a derivation of principles 1, 2 and 3 above, since regulation is an attempt to solve the problem of involuntary transfers, fraud due to asymmetry of information, and fraud due to external involuntary transfers.

5) Artificial Property VS No Artificial Property (Intellectual Property VS no intellectual property. ) In practical terms, this is a derivation of 8 above, since if markets were made their owners have a property right to create artificial forms of property – (because different portfolios of property types are artificial norms that vary from group to group.)


Beyond the points listed above, “libertarian” becomes arbitrary and loses its distinction from “Classical Liberalism” and “neo Classical Liberalism”, since any discussion of the state, government, or shareholder returns on shareholder investments is alien to big-L Libertarianism because they believe that it violates their concept of the non-aggression principle. (I argue otherwise but that’s a longer topic.) Hayek, Popper and Parsons all failed to develop an articulated ethical language capable of expressing the logic of classical liberal sentiments in a rational ethics. Rothbard did it. Hoppe nearly finished it. No one on the conservative bench has so far seen to adopt it, and the classical liberal and conservative movements are trapped in Kirkian moralistic reasoning. Which is useless against encroaching statism. (Hence why I’ve formed the Propertarian Institute.)

The term “Conservative” describes a reaction to the status quo. As does progressive. In the USA, the status quo is what remains of American classical liberalism. So conservatives are American Classical Liberals who cannot use the term, because ‘liberal’ has been appropriated by the left. They are classical liberals, who DO have libertarian sentiments, but are not Libertarians because they disagree with the Libertarian prohibition on shareholder-community, and denial of norms as property.

That is a “propertarian” analysis of the political spectrum. The fact that propertarian reasoning allows us to differentiate by concept of property rights rather than institutional ‘beliefs’ is just one illustration of the explanatory power of propertarian ethics.

Curt Doolittle


An Example Of Scientistic Hubris In Economics

“Ben Bernanke has said that he could not save Lehman because it would be have been in violation of the law. My response is that it is not his responsibility to enforce the law. It is his responsibility to safe guard the lives of millions of people. … When the Capitol Police haul him away in chains then his responsibility to prevent the Great Recession ends. Until that moment the choice not to act, is his choice alone. … The constitution is no shield.” – Karl Smith, Modled Behavior

Thus begins all violent ends.

Government consists of institutions. People have the institutions that they choose to. People deserve the consequences of those institutions. They learn from those consequences. People choose or choose not to alter institutions to prevent repeats of the past. People deserve the consequences of choosing or not choosing to alter those institutions. Political externalities are so vast, economic consequences are a trifle by comparison.

Politics is the exercise of power. Power is the ability to alter the probability of outcomes. It is the ability to transfer, or deny the transfer, of opportunities and rewards between groups.

Let’s see what this economist has done: 1- The scientistic fallacy. 2 -The fallacy of goodwill. 3- The false consensus bias. 4-Fallacy of collective terms. 5-The denial of externalities. 6- The fallacy of the short run.

So he errs. And in that error would open the door to far greater horrors than the one we suffer now.

The west is unique: it is the only social order that employs the competition between organizations with competing interests who must enact rules which are used by ordinary people who run institutions to conduct the affairs of the polis. It is a ‘game’ form of government for a ‘game’ marketplace. It is the only instance of that model to survive. and as a consequence it breaks the consanguineous bonds that determine the fate of all other civilizations.

So, Fix the laws. The rule of law is all we have. Without it, we cannot have a high trust society, and would quickly devolve into either india or south america.

Politics is more complex than economics. Political externalities have greater consequences than economic externalities.

And Scientistic hubris is legion.


It’s Not That I Value Free Markets In The Abstract.

Last night, a wonderfully intelligent Canadian I’ve recently met referred to me as a ‘free marketer’. Which in Canadian lingo is a synonym for Libertarian. (We clearly need a Mises chapter up here in eastern Canada.)

And, I’m fussing with writing a page the separates Propertarians from Anarcho Capitalists. If it was possible to regulate trade intelligently, I don’t have a problem with it per se. I have a problem with market regulation because its not possible to regulate it without causing harm. I don’t see regulation as an abstract ethical question, because I see markets as intentional not natural constructs. (Which I’ve addressed elsewhere.) I see it as a time-knowledge problem.

That’s a long way of stating that it’s kind of interesting to be referred to by a property of one’s classification, where the property is tangental to the classification. 🙂 I’d prefer to be called a conservative or libertarian. I want freedom on principle. The economy is just a tool.

Propertarian reasoning says that we cannot do certain things. It explains why we must do certain things. It allows us to do stupid things if we want to. It allows us to do beneficial things if we want to. We pay or gain the consequences either way.

Just like any other corporation.


What I Learned From Lew Rockwell

There are few worthy intellectuals outside of Sowell who are capable of, or have succeeded, in altering the conservative public rhetorical framework. Our think-tanks are largely efforts at consolidating political parties behind the language of moral sentiments — not adapting the political system, nor providing outlets or alternatives to the progressive temptation to manipulate the economy. Partly, that’s because ANY manipulation of the economy is a violation of conservative values. However, conservatives have demonstrated that they are not able to prevent progressive policies. They are arguably the victims of them. And the conservative sentiments are in danger of becoming the private religion of the white minority.

Understanding our conservative sentiments requires that we explore our pre-classical-liberal history and traditions, and the economic and social models that gave birth to them, and that we correct our interpretation of our aristocratic and monarchical past. In justifying the classical liberal conquest of the expanding state power, conservatives demonized the aristocracy and monarchy and its recent past, and embraced the religious norms of the time. Embracing religion was nothing more than use of available political power against the entrenched landed classes by the new middle class.

After Darwin undermined the church, the strategy of attacking aristocracy backfired. Conservatives had nothing to hold onto other than classical liberalism as a civic religion grounded in tradition – the religion of ‘freedom’. A religion that is outnumbered by masses desirous of redistribution, and public intellectuals who profit from selling the promise of it.

The conservatives had demonized the aristocratic political system, despite the fact that their entire society was based upon its social model – a model which they had no rationally articulated explanation of, and even less comparative understanding of their model versus that of others. The church and its religious language was merely a necessary allegorical verbal framework for social thought given the total absence of rationally articulated aristocratic philosophy. That allegorical language lacked the supporting economic information needed to understand its workings and its value. With the destruction of the church, Conservatives were left devoid of a language. The entirety of french and german cultures raised generations of philosophers attempting to reframe religious language in rational terms. They all failed.

Conservatives are still devoid of a rational language. They are trapped in the allegorical and sentimental era. They have demonized the aristocracy to the point where propaganda has been interpreted as received history. Yet most of that demonization is a matter of propaganda, not fact. Left only with the classical liberal religion of freedom, and the constitution and the american political institutions, the aristocratic order crumbled under the combined assault of Keynesian/Knightian economics, reformed socialism in the form of redistributive social democracy, and public intellectuals enabled by the profits the mass media could make selling the new religion of the state.

Russell Kirk and his generation failed to produce anything more than a restatement of conservative sentiments in moral post-religious language. The primarily jewish Libertarians took leadership, and produced economic arguments that by the 1980’s succeeded in gaining policy influence. And the anti-left is now split between the christian social conservatives, classical liberal christian conservatives, libertarian commercial christians and the judaic anarcho-capitalists.

Languages are necessary in order to articulate political preferences. Political preferences are the result of metaphysical value judgements. Value judgements are social strategies.

The Libertarians have developed a language for universal political speech. Unfortunately, that language is grounded in a moralistic assumption about the very nature, cause and necessity of ethics.

One brick at a time, one day at a time, I’m trying to reform the libertarian language into aristocratic language, so that conservative sentiments, values, and social strategy can be articulated in the public debate — so that we may conduct a battle of social models against encroaching totalitarianism brought about by Shumpeterian intellectuals.

It’s a yeoman’s labor. But Lew proved it can be done.


Karl Smith Is A Better Public Intellectual Than Paul Krugman

Today, Karl reminds us that he has been harping for a long time on the fact that we could borrow money very cheaply during the recession — actually, with negative real costs — and put it to use in the economy.

This post is another example of why Karl Smith is a better public intellectual than Paul Krugman, and why we need to get Karl a top ten news media publication vehicle. In the end, no matter how many insights Krugman has had in the field, he is an ideologue advancing a METHOD for intellectual, and personal reasons, not a practical intellectual seeking meaningful solutions to tactical problems. Krugman is the proverbial hammer looking for a rusty Keynesian, government-expanding, nail.

[callout]Please encourage informed people to read Karl’s work on Modeled Behavior. Karl is both an exceptional analyst, a moral public intellectual, and an accessible teacher.[/callout]

Karl Smith is the real thing: a public intellectual with potential to be the rarest of creatures: a statesman. A “skeptical empiricist” who is willing to employ a far wider toolset, constantly seeking innovative means of altering the economy.

The only thing Karl needs to do is incorporate the practical reality of the use of political systems as the pursuit of power by interest groups, who have permanent, irresolvable, mutually exclusive, conflicting goals, not only because of differences in group preferences, ability and resources, but because of the conflict between the conservative constrained vision of hubristic human nature, and the progressive unconstrained vision of egoistic human nature. And the conflict between the conservative desire to regulate birth rates among the lower classes and to accumulate capital, and the progressive desire to expand the birth rates of the lower classes, and distribute and consume capital. Politics is the pursuit of power. Political systems exist to resolve conflicts between groups who compete for power. The “Common Good” is an accidental byproduct of the political competition between groups who seek expansion of power, rents, status, and opportunity.

Karl, like most sentimental Progressives, (in contrast to his Smithian intellectual framework) believes that the future is uncertain and we can and must adapt to it. Conservatives believe that the scope of the kaleidic future can be narrowed if we ‘do no harm’ in the short term.

One cannot make meaningful economic policy in a democratic polity without treating political powers as materially meaningful weights which must be applied to any model, and an integral part of any consequential recommendation for political action.

Ignoring politics is unscientific. Plain and simple.

P06-Mastery · Uncategorized

An Propertarian Interpretation Of The Timeline Of Philosophy

The history of philosophy can be reduced to the five struggles:

1) First, between man’s primary desire to retreat into the limits of his senses in the face of evolving complexity, and his reluctant acknowledgement that he must learn and employ the tools of reason and calculation in order to extend those limited senses, despite the discomfort these unintuitive abstract tools subject him to.

2) Second, the conflict between his preference for the material ease of the division of labor and his emotional discomfort at the consequential alienation caused by post-tribal, post familial, and increasingly individualistic commercial society.

3) Third, between the comfort of historical norms and the precious status we each achieve by adhering to them, and the opportunity of economic, technical and organizational innovation that of necessity disrupts those norms.

4) Fourth, the need to develop justification of our system of norms such that we can resist or conquer the economic strategies, organizational strategies, and status signals embedded in competing systems of norms.”

5) And fifth, the most disturbing: between the masculine aristocratic inter-temporal instinct to concentrate capital and to constrain the breeding and consumption of the lower classes, and the feminine communal instinct to perpetuate her genes no matter how she has bred them, and her defensive posture of granting others the same opportunity, despite that it threatens us with Malthusian fragility, and eternal poverty.

These five conflicts define the history of philosophy as an attempt to justify existing norms, or an appeal to modify them so that we may adapt to the future or regress into the past.

The Real Class Struggle is not hierarchical, it’s vertical. The proletarians are simply the tools of each. There are only three forms of human persuasion and three forms of political persuasion:



      (warriors and politicians) Makers of Laws and Violence – the fast moving organizers.





Public Intellectual

      (priests, speakers and writers). The makers of moral arguments – the slow moving resistance.






    (tradesman, commerce and banking). The pragmatic actors of change.

The Philosophical Eras:

    • POST ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY 1970-> ( Abandonment of the transcendental program and complete reliance on natural sciences )
        1) Post Analytic Philosophy is pragmatic rather than transcendental: Post Analytic Philosophers attempt to solve real world problems.

2) Postanalytic philosophy makes use of the methods of analytic philosophy, but opposes its transcendental aspirations and its assumption that we’re engage in a process discovery rather than invention.

3) Postanalytic philosophy is also referred to as Postphilosophy: the notion that philosophy no longer serves its historical role in society, having been replaced by the natural sciences and the wide availability of literacy, media, and information.

1) I have very little confidence in the symbolic system outside of using very simple diagrams. And political philosophy, by its nature, requires that we use common language in an effort to make our ideas accessible to non specialists who can then proselytize our ideas to the common man. As such, I see symbolic systems as a convenient but self-defeating shorthand that serves only to inhibit us from achieving our goals.)

2) I believe the discipline of philosophy can add value to the post-analytical era, not just in ensuring the fitness of minds, but that philosophers must reorder causal categories using empirical information so that new useful narratives can be added to the political discourse in order to assist in the evolution of norms from those that are beneficial in and older technological and organizational state to those that will be more beneficial in the new technological and organizational state.

    • ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY 1900-1960 ( Incorporation of Natural Sciences, abandoning history, abandoning religion, abandoning norms, while retaining the transcendental program. )

The term “analytic philosophy” refers to a method of argument that emphasizes clarity – testable rather than normative statements. It uses:

        1) Formal Logic


        2) Linguistic Analysis


        3) Respect for the natural sciences.


        4) Specifically abandons the assumptions of Religious and Institutional ‘Norms’.

Analytic philosophy is identified with specific philosophical commitments (many of which are rejected by contemporary analytic philosophers), such as:

        1) The principle of Logical Positivism: that the object of philosophy is the logical clarification of our thinking. This may be contrasted with the traditional foundationalism, which considers philosophy as a special, elite science that investigates the fundamental reasons and principles of everything. As a result, many analytic philosophers have considered their work as a means of improving our interpretation of the evidence that we have obtained from the natural sciences.

2) The principle that the logical clarification of thoughts can only be achieved by analysis of the logical form of propositions, often using the formal grammar and symbolism of a logical system of notation. The logical form is a way of representing a proposition in similarity with all other propositions of the same type.

3) The rejection of heavily loaded and inarticulate philosophical systems in favor of attention to detail, exposing causal relations, using ordinary, clear language.

But practically speaking, the analytical program was an attempt to turn philosophy into a natural science, to retain philosophy’s historical public importance by pursuing the transcendental program. And it was a total failure outside of improving the philosophy of science.


Empiricists Adapt To Modernity


( Attempts To Retain Historical Norms In The Face Of The Agricultural and Industrial Revolution, Science and Darwin )
The Germans And The French Hold On To History, Hierarchy And Privilege.
France As The Most Backward Country In Europe
The Anti-Empirical French Moralists
The Bloody Revolution As Proof Of Failure
The Third Attempt At Germanic Expansion
The Marxist Religion As A Revolt Against Modernity


The Return Of Science
The Return Of Commercial Society In Italy
The Move Of Trade From The Mediterranean to the Atlantic
The Rise Of British Empirical Pragmatism
The Downfall Of Islamic Disruption Of Trade
The Scholastic’s React To The Conquistadors
The Printing Press And Germanic Craftsmanship
The The Second Attempt At Germanic Expansion

    • THE REVOLT AGAINST REASON AND MODERNITY 70AD->1400 ( Incorporation of Magianism – The Spread Of Ignorance From Augustine To William Of Ockham )

The Roman Problems Of Administering A Landed Empire Rather Than A Naval Empire
The Abrahamic Invasion and Conquest
The Surrender to Immigration and Over-expansion
The Justinian Oppression Of Northern Europe
The Augustinian Attempt At Assimilation.
The Plagues And The Shortage Of Coinage
The Jewish Revolt Against Reason
The Islamic Revolt Against Reason
The Hindu Revolt Against Reason
The Chinese Revolt Against Reason
The Arab Conquest of Mediterranean Trade

    • THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION II – RATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE – The First Commercial Society ( Greek Rationalism – The Emphasis On Human Actions – Empirical Pragmatism )
        “We Control Our Destiny”


        The Limits of Rational Pedagogy


      The Twin Rivers, The Nile, and The Agean
  • GREAT TRANSFORMATION I – THE AGRARIAN REVOLUTION AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS ( The Scriptural Religions – Uniting The Tribes – The Agrarian Era )
  • NATURAL RELIGION ( Rituals Staring With Sacrifice )

A Few Timelines Of Philosophy Elsewhere:
The Basic Philosophy Alternative To Wikipedia
The Thompson Wadsworth Philosophy Timeline
The Western Philosophy Movements Timeline
RIT’s Timeline of Major Philosophers
The HyperHistory Wall Chart
Peter von Stackelberg’s Comparative History Chart