The Signaling Properties Of Secular Democratic Humanism Versus Christian Aristocratic Egalitarianism


It is based upon false premises, and counter to observable fact.
It is no less mystical or absurd than an omniscient omnipotent, artificial deity.
It’s purpose is to accumulate power.

The equality of man, the relativity of values, the irrelevance of norms, the equality of cultures, the permanence that technical innovation will ‘save us’, and a dozen other mythos, attribute untrue properties to man and society, in an effort to cast the extended order of human cooperation and competition as an extended family.

Humans do not act in this way. Even practitioners of the religion do not act this way. If they did, they would tolerate the old religion. But they don’t. And, in fact, they only tolerate any religion with lower status signals than their religion.

And those free status signals are the ‘psychological device’ that provides the incentive for adopting the new democratic religion, rather than the old religion’s promise of life after death.

This is the technological innovation of democratic secular humanism: it has replaced false promise of afterlife, true status signals, true suppositions about human nature, and true economic principles, with false status signals, false suppositions about human nature, and false economic principles.

The net of this new religion has been the destruction of the nuclear family and a the slow regression away from the high trust society that the west built by local outbreeding over more than a thousand years.

Because trust in *kindness*, which is an emotionally loaded term for the human need for acceptance and positive status signals, is counterproductive to the economic requirement for trust in trade and contract. [IDEA: positive signals for mere existence versus positive signals for economic action.]

The innovation of the west that allowed it to create greater relative wealth at lower rates of corruption, and to tolerate higher risk and innovation, finally consumer credit, was the high trust society. And we can demonstrate empirically that increases in diversity of norms and culture, even race, cause accelerating decreases in trust. Our governmental conflict is just an expression of this difference.

It is NOT POSSIBLE to create a civic religion without status signals. Humans value status more than money. No civic religion will ever exist that does not. However, the question is, what actions do those signals produce in the real world? Let’s see:

[A]bsolute respect for the commons and private property, Competition, Individualism, the nuclear family, truth telling, adherence to contract, and conformity to commercial norms, were innovations adopted by the western cultures under manorialism (feudalism), as people sought to demonstrate that they were fit to rent land.

Males embraced chivalry because it allowed them to achieve status signals without fighting, and in turn, it allowed them to achieve status through service. Further it did not require extraordinary wealth to do services, as did fighting.

[T]hat it takes a long time to change signaling strategies once the capture of fossile fuels permits industrialization, therefore freeing the woman from the drudgery of the home and the man from teh drudgery of the field, and gives us enough free wealth and time to afford to educate our young is certainly good reason to extend property rights to women, and to extend political enfranchise to all consumers and laborers. This is true.

But the practical reality is our goods and services may be cheaper and the least of us we may live better than nobility of the past, but that does not change the reality that we are vastly unequal in temperament and ability, and most of us require extraordinary training and reinforcement by others to maintain the high trust society that we buit by accident was counter to intuition and behaviorally expensive to maintain. People universally demonstrate a preference for the benefits of material productivity. Always. Yet they long for the behavior of the tribe and family, despite universal and inescapable tribal poverty, and despite universal and inescapable low trust in family-dominated, in-breeding-in-extended family societies.

Be careful what you wish for. You’re getting it.

[P]rogressive ideology is a longing for a return to the tribe. It is cheap false status signals that produce negative economic consequences. Cultures are empirically demonstrable to be unequal, and democracy only works in the west because the west started out as aristocratic. Without western culture the west will be like every other barbaric low trust civilization on the planet.

Progressive ideology is to the west what christianity was to rome. There is no difference.

It is mysticism in different robes.



Property Rights are Themselves Property which Must be Acquired.

[P]roperty rights are a means of cooperation between peers. Every means of acquiring them, other than organized violence, is an insipid appeal, an act of fraud, an involuntary transfer, from those who pay the cost of property rights by the preparation for, and threat of violence, by those who would obtain property rights at a discount.

Enfranchisement was always how one earned property rights. Thats because they can’t be earned any other way.

The weak, the lazy, the deceitful, all want property rights at a discount. Now, one could argue, that it is possible to PAY people in some way, to extend to you property rights. To HIRE your property rights. And we might argue that, that is, in part, what we use taxes for – but only if I get property rights in return. If I don’t get them, then I’ve given up my violence – meaning my opportunity to use violence for self interest instead of property rights for self interest – for free. It’s theft.

Humor: Rothbard was a scam artist. 🙂


The Virtue Of Organized Violence

We can use organized violence to create government.
We can use organized violence to create property rights.
We can use organized violence to enforce property rights.
We can use organized violence to destroy property rights.
But you can have neither government nor property rights without violence.
The source of freedom is violence.
Violence is a virtue.


On Cultures as Competing Portfolios Of Property Rights

CULTURE noun ˈkəl-chər KUHL-chur

Middle English (denoting a cultivated piece of land): the noun from French culture or directly from Latin cultura ‘growing, cultivation’; the verb from obsolete French culturer or medieval Latin culturare, both based on Latin colere ‘tend, cultivate’ (see cultivate). In late Middle English the sense was ‘cultivation of the soil’ and from this (early 16th century), arose ‘cultivation (of the mind, faculties, or manners’); culture (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the early 19th century.


CULT (n.)
(1) 1610s, “worship,” also “a particular form of worship,” from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus “care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence,” originally “tended, cultivated,” pp. of colere “to till” (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning “devotion to a person or thing” is from 1829.

(2) Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Rawson]



(a) Webster: “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior learned and transmitted knowledge to succeeding generations.”

(b) Propertarianism: “a set of suppositions about the nature of man, and his preferred and necessary relation to others, and to nature. The myths that convey those relations, and attach positive and negative values to them. The property rights that codify and enforce those relations in daily life. The Gender Biases, Mating Rituals, Childrearing Rituals, Feast Rituals, Celebratory Rituals, Group Identity Signals such as dress, and learned food choice and preparation preferences. All of which can and must be learned and transmitted to succeeding generations, and which can and do survive transmission to succeeding generations.

2) : CULTURED Knowledge of or Mastery of, the cannon of the most well-crafted examples of History, Letters, and Arts, produced by members of that culture, which celebrate that culture, and demonstrating, and therefore, signaling, the Morals, ethics and manners, of those most well crafted examples.

3) SUBCULTURE (By Analogy), shortened to CULTURE by abbreviation, loading and analogy:
A set of STATUS SIGNALS – the competing suppositions, myths, values, property rights, rituals and signals, of a racial (Genetic inter-temporal relations), religious (normative inter-temporal relations), or social group (generational, class, geographic, or occupational relations);

4) BY ANALOGY: POPULAR CULTURE (by analogy): A cyclical preference for a) inexpensive status signals used to illustrate coming of age, b) inexpensive status signals used to demonstrate group membership in order to create opportunities for entertainment, association, occupation or mating created by the set of goods and services marketed to people who are coming of age, participating in mating and child-rearing as well as early career development.



[C]ultures consist of a set of myths and norms that determine the goals and limits of human action within each cultural group.. These myths and norms compose a ‘program’ consisting of a world-view about man’s relation to the universe, a series of myths, rituals and habits that reinforce that world view, and a set of property rights and obligations that by habituation rather than intent, survived generations of use in daily life and evolved to perpetuate that world view. While it is true that much cultural content is fungible, it is also true that much of it is not. That which is not, is what is unstated by the myths and traditions but which is a common assumption or implication throughout.

In earlier centuries, there were fewer means of incentive with which to direct people to either cooperate, or to do as some individual or group willed. This is because there are very few means of ‘coercing’ people to cooperate toward a given end:

    a) physical persuasion: threat of force, promise of not using force (armies, police, governments, gangs)
    b) moral persuasion: promise of inclusion or threat of ostracization from opportunity. (cults, religions and communities)
    c) remunerative persuasion : trading something in exchange for the cooperation of others. (the market, the wealthy.)

Early civilizations were split between the application of force, and the application of mysticism. Eventually, in large part, peoples everywhere in the world created organized means of violence for enforcing some system of property rights, even if they were the most corrupt possible. And religion usually formed a means of opposition to that violence, by determining the limits by which the population would consent to be governed – ie: institutional religion described the boundary of legitimacy, and formed a resistance movement. Wherever successful, the state then adopted that religious limitation and as often as possible took control of the religious institutions as well.


[C]ultures then, are defined by their different “portfolios” of property rights. The composition of, and distribution of those property rights, varies from culture to culture. In each culture, those rights are expressed as norms. Property rights themselves are a norm. Those property rights perpetuated by norms may be more or less beneficial than other portfolios of property rights.

But any idiot who thinks that (a) formal institutions don’t matter – such as libertarians or (b) that formal institutions are sufficient – such as progressives, will have history prove him wrong to the chagrin of the people who understand (c) that norms are a form of property – conservatives. Norms are a commons that we all pay for. The tax we pay for them with is forgone opportunity to consume them, and absorbing the risk that no others will absorb them too.

Aristocratic Egalitarian Culture (The West) prohibits not just fraud, theft and violence, but the more deceptive versions of fraud: profit from asymmetry of knowledge, and profit from involuntary transfer via externalities.

Market competition itself, is an involuntary transfer via externality from people outside of the exchange (competitors). This is why humans naturally object to it, and must be trained to respect and practice competition. But this externality provides instruction and incentive to all in the market, such that we all seek greater variety and lower cost of production. It produces beneficial ends. But it is non-trivial to create the norm of respecting and practicing competition. That’s why so few cultures did it.

[R]othbard was wrong. The market isn’t sufficient to maintain the norms against fraud theft and violence, and certainly not against externalities. The marginal impact of reputation in the market is lower than the marginal impact of fraud. That’s why only the west developed the high trust society – by out-breeding such that the entire nation to be an extended family – at least within it’s social classes. Without excessive out-breeding that destroyed the perception of extended family through common physical properties, and common normative behavior. In order to retain the sense of extended family, both physical properties and normative properties must be similiar enough that signaling is consisten within the group, and only class (selection quality) within the extended family differentiates between group members.

Trust. The extension of familial trust to all possible exchange partners, by prohibitions on externality and asymmetry, when backed by warranty, is the composition that creates the high – trust society. Only AFTER these informal institutions are enforced by formal institutions, even if only the formal institution of the common law, will trust develop. And with trust, the velocity of trade that makes extraordinary marginal wealth possible for a group, because that group is more competitive than other groups.


Competition Is The Only Sanctioned Involuntary Transfer

The ethics of competition. From another piece I’ve been writing.

“[C]ompetition” itself, as we use the term, is the normative sanction of external involuntary transfer by an artificial, counter-intuitive, set of rules we call the market, consisting of voluntary transfer of goods and services, by fully informed consensual exchange, and insured as fully informed and consensual by warranty, at the cost of opportunity and investment to other producers of similar goods, in an effort to coerce producers to innovate in their use of resources, to produce goods for all at lower price, or higher quality, in an effort to produce goods and services at the lowest cost and highest quality for all consumers participating in that set of normative rules that comprise that market, and which we in turn call ‘a society’.


Voluntary Transfer Is The Only Testable Ethical Principle


[T]he only test of any ethical statement is whether all transfers caused by any act, are voluntary transfers – including involuntary transfers of goods, actions and opportunity, and including both direct involuntary transfers by externality, asymmetry of knowledge, fraud, theft or violence (in that order), and including reverse involuntary transfers caused by impediment, free-riding, rent seeking, or privatization (in that order). There is no other test of any ethical statement. There isn’t. Period.

– Curt


The Honesty Of Violence


[A]ny attempt to state that rights are acquired other than by organized violence is an attempt to acquire them at a discount. In other words, it is an act of fraud. Any attempt at utilitarian justification then opens us to the utilitarianism of involuntary transfer, and undermines the entire libertarian argument that property rights are absolute.

– Curt Doolittle : “Taking liberty out of the ghetto, and back to the aristocracy, one day at a time.” 😉