PRIVILEGE (DISCOUNTS ON OPPORTUNITY COSTS) AS INFORMATION
—Hayek’s point about distributed knowledge applies to more than just economic issues. It also applies to social issues.—-
While, as I’ve written before, I agree with the general argument that women sense some things and men others (and progressives, libertarians and conservatives different things as well) I have a more complete theory of the inter-temporal division of perception, cognition, knowledge and labor (and one that eliminates equality, and monopoly decision making), there is a minor error in the logic of the first paragraph, and that is that it is irrelevant that we understand others – it is only relevant that we conduct exchanges with them.
Because their reaction to their senses are not accurate or ‘true’ in any meaningful sense other than as a reflection of the individual’s reproductive strategy – any more than any of the rest of our senses are all that accurate – they themselves are fragments.
This single insight is the principle cause of why democracy does not work, and the market does. The market allows us to cooperate on multitudinous means even if on disparate ends, with our successes and failures informing both us and others.
Whereas a monopoly government prevents us from learning anything of value, and the institutionalization of foolish policy by unexpriable law, and the accretion of bureaucratic self interests, prevents adaptation outside of catastrophic chains of failure.
In fact, monopoly government (monopoly production of commons by majority rule) promotes failure because it is precisely failed policy that permits the greatest rent seeking for all involved.
It is not that we should prohibit government (as Hayek warns) but that we should prohibit monopoly government. It is not that we should prevent taxation, it is that we should allocate our dividends from the commons we live in to the production of commons we prefer, and not to commons we do not.
As, furthermore, so called ‘privilege’ is precious information. It is information that informs you whose behavior you should imitate in order to gain discounts on opportunity costs. Privilege is as necessary to the human information system as is status, property rights, rule of law, money and interest.
Privilege, if it exists, is an inter-temporal store of value that informs others as to the behaviors that they should imitate in order to obtain a discount on opportunities. Manners and language are advertisements for one’s worthiness to engage in increasingly complex inter-temporal risks and returns.
Those who accumulate such behaviors obtain opportunity at the lowest discounts. Those that fail to adapt, and ask others to ’empathize’ with them, are seeking discounts without bearing the cost of adaptation.
In other words, they’re free riders participating in an act of fraud.
–“I don’t see how we can maximize our own exchanges in a given society if we don’t understand anyone in said society.”–
I think you are caught up on a bit of language, and overlooking the epistemological argument I am making about the difference between seeking to impose a monopoly by law and justifying it, and seeking to develop many voluntary contracts while preventing theft.
We only learn the truth of anyone’s opinions by what they are willing to exchange. In other words, demonstrated preferences are truthful but articulated preferences are merely negotiating positions.
Understanding is a means of negotiating, not a means of establishing a monopoly definition of ‘good’ or ‘right’.