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Steering Libertarian Criticism Away From Socialism to Postmodernism, and The Completion Of The Anarchic Research Program

[I] am trying to steer some of libertarian criticism away from socialism onto Postmodernism. And that’s partly why I spend so much time on the “Dark Enlightenment” and their attempt to dethrone universalism. The question is, if we dethrone universalism and admit our differences, then moral ends and therefore moral statements will be likewise different. And as such we would need institutions that did not depend upon moral or ideological homogeneity, but that still assisted us in cooperating on means, even if we possess different ends.

All current political models were developed under ‘national’ homogeneity. Or like Chinese, forcible homogeneity in order to simply allow their political system to function. yet, we evolved the market to assist us in cooperating on means, even if we have complex or opposing ends.

Given that the market functions by forcing all undesirable involuntary transfers (violence, theft, fraud, and free riding) be converted into desirable involuntary transfers via competition. And given that the investment in and development of commons cannot possibly be constructed via competition in the market because competition is an undesirable involuntary transfer in the context of a commons, then government is necessary in order to assist us in producing commons.

However, how do we create government that cooperates as does the market, without involuntary transfer via competition? The European princedom model was in fact, little more than corporatist city states – because city states were in fact, private corporations. Thats where they came from. But acknowledging this fact casts doubt on the legitimacy of liberty. So we avoid it.

I think I have solved this problem.

If I HAVE done it, then for all intents and purposes, the Anarchic Research Program started by Rothbard will be complete:
1) Rothbards rule of the homogenous by homogenous morals (anarchic religion)
2) Hoppe’s rule of the homogenous by competing institutions (anarchic nation state)
3) My rule by of the heterogeneous by heterogeneous institutions (anarchic federation)

There is no other combination that we yet know of that cannot be satisfied by these three solutions.

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A Defense and Criticism of The Class Philosophy We Call ‘Libertarianism’

[A]ll philosophy is class philosophy. All philosophies give precedence to one class or another. Libertarianism is a class philosophy as well.

A CLASS PHILOSOPHY

    (a) Just as socialism suggests that all are better off if we give primacy to the objective of equality, and political power to the lower classes;
    (b) just as postmodernism suggests that we will all be better off if we give primacy to equality and political power to the academic and public intellectual classes;
    (c) just as classical liberalism suggests that we will be better off if we give primacy to the institution of the family to conduct the family as a business without the interference of the state, and give power to family property owners;
    (d) libertarianism suggests that we will be better off if we give primacy to individuals who pursue commercial innovation, and political power to the rule of law (contracts) that allow this innovation to persist unfettered.

AN ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY
Libertarianism is an economic philosophy that states that:

    (a) we all demonstrate a preference for having our own choices;
    (b) that wealth makes possible our choices;
    (c) that wealth is the product of innovation (creating inequalities which we then pay to equilibrate.)

A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Libertarianism as a political philosophy that states that:

    (a) all monopolies are bad because people cannot use competition to constrain the bad behavior of people in monopolies;
    (b) all bureaucracies are bad because people in bureaucracies pursue the interest of the bureaucracy at the expense of those it purports to serve
    (c) government is a monopoly and a bureaucracy that pursues its interests at the expense of those who do ‘real work’ of innovating, producing, risking.

BRANCHES OF LIBERTARIANISM

    CLASSICAL LIBERALISM Or the cult of the constitution, and minimum government, that the country was founded upon, and evolved into, as the Hamiltonian model.

    MINIMAL STATE LIBERTARIANISM The Jeffersonian model.

    ANARCHISM, or anarcho capitalism (a branch of libertarianism) is a RESEARCH PROGRAM that seeks to find solutions to political problems without the use of the monopolistic bureaucratic state. Libertarian writers have done a thorough job of solving all but one or two very large problems (I think I may have solved those remaning issues in my work but I am not yet certain.)

    ROTHBARDIAN Libertarianism, which is prominent on the web, was designed to be an ideological religion based upon rigorously defended philosophy combining jewish ethics of resistance (the ghetto) with christian legal and moral arguments (natural law) as a means of resisting both socialism and postmodernism. As and ideology he reduced that philosophy to very simple moral principles that can function as an ideology (generating emotion) rather than as an institutional prescription (generating arguments.) This is because Rothbard and his generation understood that the communists had produced a significant literature but could not win the hearts and minds of ordinary voters unless this philosophy was reduced to policy (the ten planks) and ideology (simple, repeatable, emotionally moralistic statements that would incite people to talk and act in support of those ideas. So Rothbardian libertarianism is an ideological philosophy not a prescription for institutional solutions to the problems of politics.

LIBERTARIANISM IS AN ARGUMENT AGAINST MONOPOLY AND BUREAUCRACY – NOT SOCIAL GOODS

Libertarianism is not an argument against ‘government’. It is an argument against monopoly and bureaucracy which hinder individual innovation and competition, and the creating of ‘differences’ (inequalities) which we then seek to eliminate.

Libertarianism is not a prohibition on government. IT IS A PROHIBITION ON A MONOPOLY BUREAUCRACY that we call the STATE, that is able to issue COMMANDS under the guise of LAWS, because it maintains a monopoly on the use of violence to enforce those commands, because that state is isolated from competition, and as such, can pursue the interests of the bureaucracy, or become a tool of special interests that likewise desire monopoly privileges, at the expense of the citizenry.

THE POWER OF LIKE-MINDED COMMUNITIES EVEN IF THEIR POWER IS BASED SOLEY ON THEIR VALUE AS CONSUMERS

Libertarianism allows us to form our own communities with our own rules and norms, in a balance of power between communities with similar interests. These communities will then compete with one another for population, talent, and services. And people can choose which community to belong to. In this model there is no ‘state’. There are just collections of people who form contractual alliances. Just as we make voluntary commercial organizations, we can make voluntary civic organizations.

Consumers are very important. Without consumers and credit it is impossible for commercial organizations to make money, and without the ability to make money there is no ability for people to organize into groups. The lower classes are consumers, and quite honestly, produce very little of value other than their consumption. Lower classes in the libertarian model will either exchange adoption to norms for redistributions in wealthy communities, or organize into their own organizations and charge fees for access to their consumers, which can then be redistributed, thereby minimizing profit.

COOPERATING ON MEANS EVEN IF WE HAVE DIFFERENT ENDS: BY EXCHANGES IN THE MARKET AND IN GOVERNMENT

The market for competition lets us compete toward different ends and preferences, even if we cooperate on means of achieving them. Monopoly government forces us to compete in government in a win-lose battle for control of the monopoly bureaucracy. Humans have been cooperating in the market on means, despite having disparate ends, for millennia There is no reason that we cannot take this insight as far as possible.

MORALITY AND COMPETITION
The market allows us to compete upon ends while cooperating upon means. However, competition is morally objectionable to human beings inside the family group, village or tribe. We license and encourage competition, because it produces positive results: a virtuous cycle. We tolerate only one form of immorality: competition. Every other form of involuntary transfer: violence, theft, fraud, omission, externalization, free riding, rent seeking and privatization, systemic corruption, systemic procedural involuntary transfer and warfare – we have constrained or outlawed.

We can, in the market, use boycott to deprive organizations of wealth. But it is not always a strong lever. We can use the courts to protect us from violence, theft, fraud and omission if we do not surrender our right to sue.

We can use government to protect us from unnecessary competition, free riding and privatization of the commons. when we invest in commons.

We can use the state ‘bank’ as an insurer of last resort.

We can use multiple houses of government, where we have them, to negotiate exchanges between the classes where market exchange is not possible or creation of commons is not possible, because of the asymmetry of reward of investment in various commons’.

But we can only use market and government to cooperate on means of achieving disparate ends, if government is not open to corruttion. And government is open to corruption if it can make laws rather than conttracts. Only the courts can find or discover laws. The government if not corrupt, can only negotiate contracts impossible to negotiate in the market.

This emphasis on contracts relies upon the morality of exchange, rather than the immorality of majority rule, or arbitrary command in pursuit of some artificial common ‘good’.

ANY OTHER SOLUTION MEANS YOU’RE A THIEF

That is, unless your desire is to STEAL rather than EXCHANGE. And you are most likely to want to STEAL rather than exchange if government provides a systematic means of stealing from others. And that’s what government does. It provides a systematic means of stealing. THe common law and property rights provide a systematic means of exchanging instead of stealing.

ON THE NECESSARY, ADVANTAGEOUS, AND LUXURY FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT

A) NECESSARY PROPERTIES
The NECESSARY properties of of a government are:

    1) provide a means of resolving differences without the use of violence (ie: to create a monopoly of violence within a geography.)
    2) To provide a means of resolving differences requires a definition of property rights.
    3) To prohibit alternative definitions of property rights from being imposed by force, theft or fraud, (or immigration.)
    4) To provide a means of investing in commons (human and physical infrastructure) by prohibiting free-riding, privatization, and competition when investing in commons.

These are the minimum properties of a government.

B) ADVANTAGEOUS PROPERTIES
In addition to these properties, it may also be possible for a group of people to afford to also have government engage in the following:

    5) To provide a means of cooperation between classes where privatization, free riding, rent seeking and competition prevent cooperation between classes.
    6) To reduce both transaction costs and fraud by implementing weights, measures and currency.
    7) To perform as an insurer of last resort against catastrophes.

These are advantageous properties of government.

C) PROPERTIES THAT ARE LUXURIES
In addition to these properties, it may be possible for a group of people to afford to also have the government engage in the following LUXURIES:

    8) Redistribution of all kinds, both in services, and in direct payments.
    9) Inter-temporal redistribution from young to old, rather than saving and lending from old to young. (But this is very fragile.)

These are LUXURIES that can be provided by some governments under rare circumstances in exceptional periods of time, where malthusian and group selection problems have been temporarily held at bay by technological innovation.

The government is not the source of the ‘good things’. The courts, under the common law and property rights is the source of ‘good things’. The government has destroyed the common law, the rule of law, and crated both corporatism and socialism. And we now suffer between two factions that try to control the government for corporatist or socialist means.

RESERVATIONS ABOUT LIBERTARIANISM

THE ANCIENT SOURCE OF LIBERTY AND THE DESIRE FOR LIBERTARIANISM

White males (the european, or perhaps germanic, race) seek status under the ancient indo-european proscription for heroism via competition. The west is unique for having produced this philosophy of aristocratic egalitarianism – inclusion in equalitarian leadership, and therefore obtaining the reward of property rights, by demonstrated heroism. And the high trust society of the west is the result of aristocratic egalitarianism (heroic achievement, demonstrated excellence, virtue). For most of history, and pre-history, males could achieve this only through combat. With the advent of manorialism, males could demonstrate their fitness through hard work. With the advent of chivalry males could demonstrate their heroic status by charitable service. With the advent of consumer capitalism, males could demonstrate their heroic fitness in commerce. Heroic achievemnet grants access to mates (we have a lof of data on this now that confirms this fact – to the point where we know how many dollars in income per inch of height under 5’10” you must earn to gain the same quality of attractive woman…. Really.) Women are as shallow about status as men are about physical attraction – and the data is the data. As such, white males are intuitively attracted to libertarianism if they see in libertarianism a means of pursuing traditional signals for mating, social status, and wealth. That libertarianism is a rigorous philospohy equalled in detail only by Marxism, and is articulated in economic language and analytical philosophy. It is accessible only to those people with both incentive to learn it, and the ability to understand it. This is why libertarianism is a minority white male philosophy. It is an aristocratic philosophy and difficult to access. Other cultures lack both the mythology and cultural values for heroism and egalitarianism Which is why other cultures also cannot produce the high trust society. And without the high trust society, the wealth necessary for redistribution (charity) is impossible to achieve at scale.

RESERVATIONS ABOUT LIBERTARIANISM

    1) DISCOUNT-DRIVEN PACIFISM. The first reservation that I have about libertarianism is that unlike classical liberalism (conservatism) and socialism, libertarians are pacifist and unwilling to use violence to establish their social order – and as such it is impossible to put into place. Theft is powerful motivation, and profitable to use in pursuit of political power, and theft is antithetical to Libertarians. Socialism is by definition kleptocracy, and wither you conquer as Rome or as Washington DC, conquest by theft, backed by threat of violence is more successful and profitable than pacifism. (If India had been a French colony, Ghandi would not have been an old man.)

    2) LIBERTY IS A DESIRE OF THE MINORITY. The second reservation I have about libertarianism is that all philosophies are class philosophies, and that classes are of different sizes. The indo europeans from the Kurgan’s onward were technology using pastoral conquerors and brought aristocratic egalitarianism with them by the use of force. Aristocratic philosophy generates wealth, but also makes visible our differences. And when those differences in value are visible, people who are in the bottom half of society, or who gain their status through less meritocratic means, feel left behind and ‘unequal’. For these reasons I think libertarianism is a minority movement and despite having found solutions to every political problem that we know of, we cannot both create inovation and differences while preserving equality This is logically impossible. The only solution is to ‘buy’ the compliance of the lower classes through redistribution.

    3) LACK OF ORGANIZATION. The third reservation I have about libertarianism is the discord its less sophisticated advocates create by creating confusion between state, government, court and market.

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Propertarian Analysis Is The Analysis Of Spectra, Not Of Nouns – We Did Learn Something From Supply vs Demand Curves. :)

(From FB)

Curt, what is your opinion about the relation between knowledge and information?

Francesco,

I am very skeptical of these definitions. For example, 1) Deduction, Induction and Abduction all describe the process of deduction but with decreasingly available information. 2) Knowledge, Information, Data, and Phenomena, likewise describe only our decreasing confidence in any theory’s or set of theories’ correspondence with the tools of observation available to us. The 3) correspondence between theory and Information that is necessary for personal action, that which is necessary for political action (coercion), and that which meets the standard of logical truth, is likewise a spectrum.

And I see any point on those spectra as semi arbitrary unless applicable to a given question. And I see arguments to ‘truth’ often illogical in application for this reason, due to the methodological vanity of the speaker.

But I am working hard right now to solve this problem, so that I can pull libertarian theory out of the french rationalism that Rothbard buried it in, into the anglo empirical from whence it came.

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The Problem Of Competence – The Value Of Critical Rationalism : Skeptical Empiricism, Or What We Call ‘Science’.

[T]hose who try to master fields usually end up with the Socratic opinion that ‘I don’t know anything (for certain)’. We have simply collected large sets of examples that we know do not work.

But this knowledge informs us.

If we cannot know much of anything, then why would we create a political system that depends upon our presumption of knowledge?

I’m trying to create a political model that facilitates the presumption that we know nothing, and that people will remain desperately imperfect with fragile virtues, rather than assumes that we know anything at all, and can create a system, or people who are indeed virtuous.

The scientific method, under critical rationalism bothers me a bit, and I’d like to be sure that Skeptical Empiricism isn’t an improvement on it. But in the balance between science and reason, science appears to win hands down. In the battle between critical rationalism and positivism, critical rationalism wins hands down.

Despite the Krugman-DeLong Liberal fantasy that the quantitative measures are in deed measures of what they assume, rather than the noise created as England and America have violently imposed anglo universalism under ‘free trade’ around the world.

This is particularly troubling because free trade benefits the most advanced technologist. It is not ‘fair’, it simply produces a virtuous cycle. But it is not a natural cycle, and it’s only possible to enforce as long as anglo culture and institutions are supported by anglo-american (cum Roman) military power.

This cannot be sustainable – on purely demographic grounds.

[S]o Keynesian noise is not signal. It is just a selection bias that favors Leftist Dunning Kruegerists like Krugman, DeLong, Stiglitz and Thoma.

At least, that’s my working hypothesis.

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The Rate Of Technological Change Determines The Value Of Different Models Of The State

[T]he totalitarian system, whether it’s the military or the communist system, is very useful for doing very simple things: fighting wars, imposing education, imposing some system of property rights, and building infrastructure. These are processes of execution, not of invention, research and development in consumer goods. But the totalitarian system cannot improve affairs when there is no understanding of what it must to to approve affairs. The totalitarian system cannot administrate what it does not understand, and it can only understand what is simple and preexisting.

The individualist system is superior for invention. It improves affairs. It is scientific not ideological, because science is simply trial and error. For this reason the individualist model is superior when you do not know what to do, because the resource which we call technological knowledge, has been exploited into applications that are beyond the grasp of any group of individuals.

If your civilization ‘falls behind’ or becomes ‘calcified by bureaucracy’ then totalitarianism (or revolution) are useful tools for fixing it. But individualism will always out-innovate totalitarianism because it places no prior (input based) constraint on the individual actors in the population.

We tend to think in terms of a mixed economy in which the state should focus on execution while the private sector focuses on invention. But our government is not constructed to facilitate this behavior. Its incentives are as Hoppe has shown, to consume cultural, civic, and resource capital as fast as possible in order to maintain power.

This doesn’t mean it’s not POSSIBLE to create a mixed government. It’s just not possible to do so under representative democratic republicanism in a heterogeneous polity where each generation possesses the illusion of their own genius, instead of possessing the wisdom that they are members of a cycle reacting to a chain of prior cycles, and that their preferences, beliefs and attitudes, are predictable.

It’s the technology that isn’t predictable.

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Legal Equality is Necessary, Economic Equality is Unattainable, and Genetic Equality is Undesirable – Your Genes Matter

(Legal Equality is Necessary, Economic Equality is Unattainable, and Genetic Equality is Undesirable – Your Genes Matter)

A friend posted an interestingly common white lament, that provides an excellent jumping off point for criticizing postmodern values.

 Lee: I am in the top 1% economic class of the world. This is due purely to an accident of birth and nothing more. …  Whatever intelligence or resolve I may have is due to the genetic lottery. … But these genetic endowments do not mean that I have been randomly placed in the economic hierarchy by the greedy powers that be. My limited intelligence and conscientiousness is actually worth something to my employer.

Jeorg: Unless conscientiousness is also genetic.

Lee: Yes… It is likely that we have some control. Setting an alarm clock requires forethought …

François-René: “is genetic” and “we have some control” are not mutually incompatible. At all.

 

[W]e have many genetic predispositions that we override. We do this through incentives via habits, traditions, myths, norms, laws and institutions. But there is a very great difference between redirection, avoidance and suppression through incentives and changing or eliminating genetic dispositions.

The statement that you have no right to advantage because of the accident of your birth, is logically interesting because its the down side of western individualist thought.

You cannot exist without your familial relations.

[pullquote]You are a reflection of a long sequence of choices.[/pullquote]

Does it make sense to you that humans can instinctively identify those traits and reward them?

Does it make sense that the evolutionary consequences of not doing so would be detrimental? Even suicidal for a species?

It is important in disputes that law treat us equally because it is necessary for the preservation of suppressing violence by forcing all competition into voluntary exchange. Otherwise the institution cannot provide the incentive to suppress our instincts and redirect our efforts.

But [pullquote] the western illusion that those values necessary to create incentives for us as an individual economic unit can insulate us from our family, and clan, and the necessary operation of our reproductive evolutionary system is a postmodernist, socialist fiction that assumes economic and legal equality can be extended to genetic equality[/pullquote] – contrary to all evidence and reason.

The rawlsian veil of ignorance is a complex rhetorical device for the neurolinguistic programming of the masses precisely to confuse them into the illusion of biological equality and to divorce the individual from his ancestry so that his loyalties are to the state and rather than to his familial genetic heritage.

The blank slate, likewise is a device for the same purpose. So are diversity and open immigration.

Other civilizations do not make this error. Ours is in numeric decline partly because of it.

So no you are not an individual comparable to other individuals except to the blindfolded statue of justice under the law and the gavel.

Socially you are the representation of a sequence of choices embeded in genes and are the recipient of more opportunities for influence and reproduction because of it.

And dysgenia, and even extinction would of necessity occur if humans acted otherwise.

We are in a constant battle against the evolutionary red queen, and against reproductions regression toward the mean. The only solution is assortive mating and the concentration of influence, opportunity, capital and reproduction behind such genes.

[O]ne more thing.

Time preference, and ‘frustration budget’ are genetically determined.

IQ is significantly heritable (it’s complex though), and social classes are organized almost entirely by IQ.

Variation in social classes is determined by time preference, frustration budget, or what we tend to call the discipline-impulsiviness spectrum.

Variation in the social classes is also determined by attractiveness: symmetry, height, thickness of skin, clarity of skin, and a variety of other factors that suggest genetic fitness.
Economic classes vary from social classes because under consumer capitalism, a Watkins or Crick does not produce as many paying customers as the designer of velcro, or fast, consistent, cheeseburgers.

Economic outliers are determined by lottery.

But that is not to discount the value of lottery. If the lottery reward does not exist, then there is no motivation for high risk.

So yes, discipline and looks matter in society because they matter to our genes, and they matter to humanity as a species.

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Diedre McCloskey’s Close On The European Miracle – Just Close

She’s close. McCloskey’s close.

It’s actually, that MORAL ARGUMENTS by public intellectuals, changed the in-group instinctual bias AGAINST competition, from an immoral and unethical practice to a moral and ethical virtue because it became clear that despite our instincts, and despite the immorality of competition, it produces a virtuous cycle. THis change in moral codes, despite being contradictory to our instincts, succeeded. For that bias tot work however, requires the nuclear family and the individual to form the productive social unit, rather than the family, extended family, village or tribe.

Cities, where people could go to seek opportunities, generated wealth from trade, and the movement of people from the moral structure of the farm, to the new moral structure of the city, allowed increasing numbers of people exit the moral constraints of the extended family, village and tribe and participate as individual economic units in the cities.

The reason that this new morality became accepted varied from country to country. But in large part it was made possible by the growing middle class, and a change in policy. In Europe this policy was demonstrated by Ricardo and Smith, and less directly by Hume. The colonies, which were entirely mercantile and lacking nobility, provided a vehicle for creating new forms of ‘nobility’ and therefore purely meritocratic status signals.

Governments, eager to increase tax revenue, altered legislation and policy to support this trend (some of it bad, like breaking the common law’s prohibition on pollution). The middle class, who had adopted this new counter-intuitive moral code, slowly accumulated enough political power economically and therefore politically displace the landed aristocracy. In the case of the USA, there never was such an aristocracy and church – at least not one that survived the revolution. In england it merely meant expansion of power of the house of commons. In France it meant the murder of the entire aristocratic class, and the end of french contribution to civilization. In germany it produced. first a reaction to its conquest by napoleon. and second, a reactionary movement, as a defense against future napoleon’s by uniting the german people. Germany found cultural balance in unity where france had failed and unleashed the terrors and where england had bent itself into even more rigid classes to accommodate that rise.

This process, (as I argue in my upcoming book), allowed us to force all involuntary transfers in society INTO THE MARKET FOR COMPETITION and out law all other forms of involuntary transfer. THis arrangement was generally limited to the family. But since the family was reduced to the NUCLEAR family in europe, this by definition meant that pretty much all of society except for children was bound by the prohibition against all involuntary transfers except by competition in he market.

This is the singular most important advancement in human moral systems since the Silver and Golden Rules were articulated: Do nothing to others you would not want done to you, and if possible, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

[pullquote]There is no name for the moral principle of forcing all involuntary transfers into the market for competition.[/pullquote] We could argue that it is the copper or platinum rule. But that would be trite. And I have no particular instinct for naming it other than, the rule of the moral exclusivity of competition.

Anyway. That’s one part of what I’m working on.

QUOTE:
“According to McCloskey, our modern world was not the product of new markets and innovations, but rather the result of shifting opinions about them. During this time, talk of private property, commerce, and even the bourgeoisie itself radically altered, becoming far more approving and flying in the face of prejudices several millennia old. The wealth of nations, then, didn’t grow so dramatically because of economic factors: it grew because rhetoric about markets and free enterprise finally became enthusiastic and encouraging of their inherent dignity.”