Law’s Perverse Incentives

[R]ule of law, given a homogenous and therefore universal definition of property rights, constitutes a central authority. Just as mathematical operations constitute a central authority. Just as the scientific method constitutes a central authority. 

Humans must make judgements. A central authority can be reduced to judgements and decidability requires humans to make decisions.  If we articulate a sufficiently calculable rule of law, they only need determine the truth or falsehood of human testimony, and all questions are decidable.

The problem in constructing rule of law is too often to protect the credibility of the state, so that it does not miscarry justice.  Instead, if we focus on the incentive for truth telling.

1) Universal standing (ability to sue), universal vulnerability.
2) Warranty of for one’s truth telling.
3) Restitution plus costs, for truth telling.
4) Triple damages plus costs for not truth telling.
5) Ten times damages for immoral (illegal) directives. No limit of liability. No immunity in the chain of command. All employees personally insured, and all personally accountable. 

Truth telling matters. Right now lying does not increase risk. And so the law is currently constructed to provide perverse incentives.

We all err. We need not lie.

Core · Uncategorized

The Evolution of Cooperation

1) Acquisitiveness: To survive and reproduce, humans must acquire and inventory many categories of resources, and evolved to demonstrate constant acquisitiveness of those resources.

2) Property: The scope of those things they act upon, or choose not to act upon, in anticipation of obtaining as inventory (a store of value), constitute their demonstrated definition of property-en-toto.* (See Butler Schaeffer) “That which and organism defends.”

3) Value: Human emotions evolved to reflect changes in state of property-en-toto.* As such nearly all emotions can be expressed in terms of reactions to property. (imposed costs here, pre-moral, but also pre-cooperation, and only defense and retaliation, not cooperation)

4) Non-Conflict: That which humans act to obtain without imposition upon in-group members they evolved to intuit as their property, and demonstrate this intuition by defense of their inventory, and by their punishment of transgressors.

5) Cooperative Production: That which humans act in concert with one another to produce. (Important take-away is that the purpose of cooperation is material and reproductive production.)

6) Moral (cooperative) Intuitions(instincts): Moral intuitions reflect prohibitions on free riding by members with whom one cooperates in production and reproduction. (This is where free riding enters.)

7) Distribution of Intuitions by Reproductive Strategy: Moral intuitions vary in intensity to suit one’s reproductive strategy. This intensity and distribution of moral intuition varies between males and females, as well as between classes and between groups.

8) Variation By Family Structure: Moral rules reflect prohibitions on free riding given the structure of the family in relation to the necessary and available structure of production.

9) Resolution of Disputes: Property rights were developed in law as the positive enumeration in contractual form, of those moral rules which any polity (corporation) agrees to enforce with the promise of violence for the purpose of restitution or punishment. Conversely, any possible property rights not expressed, the community (corporation) is unwilling to adjudicate, restore or punish, or has not yet discovered the need to construct.

10) Instrumentation: Property rights are necessary for the instrumental measurement of moral prohibitions because of the unobservability of changes in human emotional states, and our inability to determine truth from falsehood. And as such we require an observable proxy for evidence of changes in state.

11) Family: As a general rule, as the division of knowledge and labor increases, so must the atomicity of property rights, and as a consequence, the size of the family must decline {Consanguineous, Punaluan, Pairing (Serial Marriage), Hetaeristic, Traditional, Stem, Nuclear, Absolute Nuclear}.

12) Transaction Costs: As the division of labor increases, relationships increase in distance from kin, increase in anonymity, decrease common interest, and the incentive to seize opportunities rather than adhere to agreements increases. This decrease creates the problem of trust, which increases costs of insuring any agreement is fulfilled, and decreases the overall number of possible agreements and the number of participants in any structure of production.

13) Trust (ethics in production): As a general rule, for the size of the family to decrease, and division of labor to increase in multi-part *complexity* then trust must increase, and trust can only increase with expansion of property rights to include prohibitions on unethical actions. Mere ostracization, boycotting and reputation are insufficient to preserve agreements (contracts).

14) Moral Competition (ethics in political production): (morals property rights, cheating) As a general rule, the scope of moral prohibitions expressed as property rights, must increase to limit demand for authority. 15) Demand for Authority: As a general rule, if a delay in the production of property rights evolves, then demand for authority will fill the vacuum with some form of authority to either suppress retaliation (conflict) or to prevent circumstances leading to conflict, or both.

Core · Uncategorized

Moral Foundations as Property Rights

(a central concept of Propertarianism)

[O]f Haidt’s evolutionary origins of moral intuitions, three can be expressed as individual property rights:

    1. Care/harm for others, protecting them from harm. (The asset of life and body.)
    2. Proportionality/cheating, Justice, treating others in proportion to their actions. (The asset of goods.)
    3. Liberty/Oppression, characterizes judgments in terms of whether subjects are tyrannized. (The asset of time, opportunity.)

And three others can be expressed as community property rights covering social capital. Which obviously enough, have been, and continue to be, mirrored in corporate shareholder agreements.

    4. In-Group Loyalty/In-Group Betrayal to/of your group, family, nation, polity.
    5. Respect/Authority/Subversion for tradition and legitimate authority.
    6. Purity/Sanctity/Degradation/Disgust, avoiding disgusting things, foods, actions.

It should be noted that the male reproductive strategy among chimpanzees as well as humans evolved to kill off males in opposing groups and collect females. And that females evolved to place greater emphasis on children and females than the (fungible) tribe.

As such the distribution of moral intuitions varies in intensity between the feminine (1-3) and the masculine (4-6). This difference in moral intuitions roughly reflects the voting pattern we have seen since the enfranchisement of women into the electorate: an increase in the use of political violence to produce an increase in the female reproductive strategy (individual dysgenic reproduction) and a decrease in the male reproductive strategy (tribal eugenic reproduction).

When I first read a paper by Jonathan Haidt, years ago now, I immediately understood the implication.  Just as the ten commandments are reducible to “There is but one law: property, and thou shalt not steal”, all our moral rules can be reduced to one: “thou shalt not steal directly or indirectly, by action or inaction.”  These rules are genetic in origin.  They are necessary and immutable.


Propertarian Class Theory

Weapon of Coercion (influence)
Product of Coercion

Suppress Disorder..Organize Production..Resistance...Goods


Humans are capable of only three means of coercion: violence, payment and gossip. Every society produces specialists (elites) in the three means of coercion, violence, payment and gossip, and one non-coercive group: producers. The size of each group varies and the power varies. But because of the limited choices available for coercion, this law of social orders exists of necessity everywhere at all points in time

Masculine Aristocratic Eugenic vs Female Gossip(priestly) Dysgenic.

I should probably alter this chart so that it operates on three axis to show how aristocrats, oligarchs and priests/academics/public-intellectuals seek rents.

I have been working on this for years and there appears to be no compromise to maintaining the balance of these powers. Anglos had the correct model. The greeks and romans did. We simply lacked the technology (communication and data storage) to extend enfranchisement, and the lower classes were too disgusting (hedonistic and fertile) to include in the power structure.

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Economic Rents create lost opportunities for exchange. A cost.  They grant a privilege whose results are incalculable (unavailable because profit and loss are externalized) and therefore unmeasurable (comparable with other investments) and invisible (they are forgotten and never rise again), instead of creating a calculable, measurable, investment and return for the polity.

Unfortunately, democracy – majority rule – forces us to create these lost opportunities to exchange rents and privileges which are incalculable.

Furthermore, the pooling of taxes into general funds,  rather than charging fees for services, for the payments of debts, and collecting returns on investments, create opportunities for rents. It is this system of rents that we systemically MUST construct under democracy. Democracy does not let us do otherwise.

Worse, it is this system of rents, that allows the predatory and parasitic rent-seeking bureaucracy to exist, and expand like a cancer uncontrollably.

Conversely, if we enforced (a) a universal requirement for operational calculability, (b)universal standing for the prosecution of rent seeking, (c) and the negotiation of contracts, rather than the competition for rents in order to obtain power necessary to issue laws (commands), then it is impossible to seek rents. And even if rents are somehow obtained, impossible to hold them.

Yet enforcing (a)(b)(c) does not require that we abandon the construction of commons. Only that we abandon the rentiers. So while it was necessary to centralize rents in order to extinguish family, guild and tribal rents, it is now equally necessary to ban rents permanently.

All that is required is contracts instead of laws, universal standing, and operational calculability.

6.1-Ideologies · Core · Uncategorized

Neo-Reaction in a Nutshell: We Are Ruled By A Theocracy – An Evil One.

(worth repeating)

[T]he central proposition of neo-reaction is that the enlightenment was dangerously optimistic about humans, human nature, and the state; and that as a consequence, society is just as religious as ever it was, with an official state religion of progressivism: the promise of an aristocracy of everyone. It is another “good-news” religion, telling us what we wish to hear, but about this world instead of the next.

Instead of the church teaching supernatural analogy, we have academia, public intellectuals and the state all preaching the new religion of progressivism. And this new religion, is an evil religion: pseudoscientific rather than supernatural, irrational rather than logical, dishonest rather than allegorical, consumptive and destructive rather than accumulative, dysgenic rather than evolutionary, and suicidal rather than exceptional.

And so, western philosophy didn’t go wrong four years ago, or ten years ago, or eighty years ago – but it went fundamentally and terribly wrong over three centuries ago, with the enlightenment.

We had already evolved the best form of government yet devised: a market for production of private goods and services, and a house for each of the classes to produce common goods and services we cannot produce in the market alone.

And our only significant error was to fail to grasp that the church: the representative of the common people, served as one of those houses of government, and should not have been separate from the other two: the long term interests of the martial land owners, the medium term interests of entrepreneurial banking, production and trade. Instead, we handed the aristocracy and commerce to the new church: the academy and its priesthood the public intellectuals. America is ruled by a theocracy.

The central problem of any post-hunter-gatherer society, engaged in production, is to ensure that the fecundity of the unproductive does not eradicate the increases in productivity of the creative – but that those increases are accumulated as a competitive advantage against the fecundity of not only our own relations, but of those who would replace us. Otherwise all innovation is translated into population expansion rather than advancement. Northern european civilization succeeded faster than all others, in no small part because it concentrated reproduction in its upper classes, not in expanding the burden of its lower classes.

Neo-reaction then, is an articulate and accurate criticism of the enlightenment and its evidentiary failure culminating in the late 20th century – including the rejection of the ideology by the adoption of totalitarian consumer capitalism everywhere other than the west. Propertarianism, including Aristocratic Egalitarianism, Testimonial Truth and Operationalism provide the logical and institutional solution to the problem of cooperation among competing interests we call ‘politics’, that the Enlightenment, and Neo-Reaction did not.