Bearing an Imposed Cost of the Day: Refuting A Common Libertarian Critic

November 27, 2016 · by · in Uncategorized · Leave a comment

I’ve been waiting to debunk the cynical ideology created by Curt Doolittle, propertarianism.

Libertarianism is an ideology. Propertarianism is a philosophy containing a formal logic, resulting from scientific criticism, for the purpose of extending the common, natural, judge discovered law, in order to refute the left’s industrialization of lying via the combination of pseudoscience, the academy, the media, and the market demand for dependents by the state.

In other words, just as empiricism provided additional scope to rationalism, and rationalism additional scope to reason, Propertarianism provides additional scope to empirical science in order to allow us to criticize the left’s pseudoscience: Boaz, Marx, Freud, Cantor, Adorno, as well the middle class pseudo-rationalism: Mises, Rothbard, Hoppe et all, as well as the right’s pseudo-rationalism: Trotsky

An ideology functions, like literature, as to inspire individuals to action under democracy. A philosophy provides methods of decidability in order to achieve a desired state of affairs. A formal logic provides language for the testing (criticism) of relations for internal consistency (falsification).  A science provides a formal process for the elimination of error, bias, and deceit.

Each demographic requires an explanation in the terms that they can understand: Religion for the underclasses, ideology for the lower intellectual classes, philosophy for the middle intellectual classes, law for the upper middle intellectual classes, and science for the upper intellectual classes.  If for no other reason than their rates of learning determine the investment that they can afford to invest in learning anything – hence why the lower classes depend more on information from peers, and the upper more on personal investigation.

I’ll be hitting three main things that I think when refuted undermines propertarianism as whole, that is its methodology, ethics, and politics. The thing about social trust and the demand for the state, I’ve criticised that before multiple times (here and here). Now I’m pretty sure all of you guys have at least heard about propertarianism or maybe seen people constantly throwing  terms like “commons” or  “property-en-toto”. (the latter which I still don’t understand what it literally means. Property as a whole?). Now let me give you a bit of rundown on what propertarianism is and the guy who created it. According to Curt himself:

Propertarianism is a formal logic of morality, ethics and politics – and the necessary basis for a non-arbitrary, value-independent, universal, body of law. One in which any and all political orders can be constructed; and with which all questions of morality, ethics and politics are commensurable and all moral ethical and political propositions are decidable. Propertarianism supplies the missing logic – the logic of cooperation.

Now if you ask me, this movement is heading no where. Why? Because Curt and propertarians speak in very technical terms so it’s almost unintelligible for the average person to understand.

Well, of course, how many of the branches of mathematics, branches of the sciences, logics, and analytic philosophies are easy for the average person to understand? None. Right?

Why, if the entire libertarian movement can’t seem to grasp the relationship between the Darwinian revolution’s use of scientific criticism to determine survival of an argument, and the pre-Darwinian theological use of rational justification to determine conformity of an argument to scripture, then why would the members of the libertarian movement grasp the post-empirical use of operationalism (praxeology) for testing of  existential possibility, and the full accounting of costs (broken window fallacy).

Why would it be surprising that Mises discovered the technique of operationalism or intuitionism (tests of existential possibility) in economics, but because he didn’t understand what he had discovered, he created an anti-scientific pseudoscience dependent upon justification?  Why would Mises, from his cultural background in his region of the world, unlike Menger from his western neighbor’s culture, rely upon “Pilpul” in his desperate attempt to find a way to refute the Marxist pseudoscientists who had also used “Pilpul” under the name “Dialectical Materialism”?

So the average reader of your site by now can grasp, quite easily, entirely intuitively, the difference in structure and content of what I write and the structure and content of what you right. The difference is that they will probably have to go look up some of my terms, and maybe use wikipedia to understand some of my references.

But the point is this: trickle-down-ideas are produced by the higher intellectual classes for consumption of the lower intellectual classes, and restatement by the lower intellectual classes for use in rallying their members, and those directly beneath them.  It’s not just material inventions that work their way down from the upper class consumer to the lower class consumer over time: information is one of those products that trickles down through the market for arguments and ideas.

So now, lets continue:

You’ll never create a movement with such a complex ideology, it’s not appealing. But regardless, it doesn’t mean we should complete ignore it, so enjoy this criticism of  the so called “philosophy of truth telling”.

Well,  you have to study the law for years and pass the bar.  Since Propertarianism is an internally consistent (logical) and externally correspondent (empirical) and existentially possible (operational), and morally consistent (reciprocal), that defines its own scope (full accounting, limits, and parsimony), restatement of Law, then it shouldn’t be surprising that (a) it takes a lawyer’s IQ and effort to master it, and (b) a not insignificant amount of time, and (c) must be ‘simplified’ for consumption by the lower classes with new, simple, general rules, and (d) that simple general rules for average people must be defensible by scientific arguments for more advanced people.

I understand completely that some people adopt propertarianism at first because it simply ‘feels right somehow’ or ‘rings true’.  I understand that many of the people it ‘rings true’ to have progressed from classical liberals, to libertarians, to anarcho-capitalists, to neo-reactionaries, before they arrive at Propertarianism and they have enough of a basic understanding of the issues of ethics and politics for it to ‘ring true’.  And I understand that many people grasp the basic argument that “Truth is Enough”, and that revolution is our only solution.  And others grasp the historical and rational argument as an accurate reflection of human rational incentives. And a very few grasp the advances in the scientific method.  And fewer grasp the more advanced bits of epistemology. But I also understand it is not my job to write a ‘dummies guide’ to Propertarianism – and that it’s going to be the job of others. Others who are frankly more qualified to empathize with the common man.

Common men vote, and if inspired will revolt.  Intellectuals create excuses for all the classes to demand revolution, and bring it into being if them must.


It is a bore watching Curt speak (last insult, I just really don’t like how this guy writes and talks),

So you clearly haven’t listened to any professor of analytic philosophy discuss Gottlieb and Frege.  And you probably haven’t read Menger for that matter.  Because that’s how the discipline sounds.  We speak in a technical language.  Since I speak operationally I tend to be more understandable than the previous generation of analytic philosophers. But that isn’t saying much to the average person.

regardless I mustered to watch his video on Mises’ “pseudoscience” and but funny enough, he goes about saying how the methodology of logical positivism (Operationalism, Empiricism, and lnstrumentalism) is more “scientific” than Mises’ praxeology.

The first methodological position Curt endorses is Operationalism. This was a philosophy created by a physicist named Percy Bridgman and its essential tenant is that a question only has meaning if there’s a set of operations that can give us a definitive answer to it. Likewise, a concept has operational meaning if it’s described by a particular set of operations and its meaning is defined by that set of operations.[1] (If you don’t get it, he gives an example or just look one up; I’m not here to explain everything to you).


Actually I restate the entire movement: Operationalism in science, Intuitionism in Mathematics, Operationism in Psychology, Praxeology in Social Science, as errors under justificationism, but as necessary as forms of criticism (testing for survival) under Critical Rationalism: what we today call, the Philosophy of Science, or the Scientific Method.  Operationalism tests whether a cause and effect relationship is possible to be brought into existence by human actions as a means of avoiding the frailty of the human mind. Just as empiricism tests whether an human observation consistently corresponds with measurements as a means of avoiding the frailty of the human mind. Just as logic tests whether relations between sets are consistent as a means of avoiding the frailty of the human mind. Just as identity (categories) tests against existency, substitution and conflation  in our terms as a means of avoiding the frailty of the human mind.  

In moral norms you justify your actions as adhering to norms.  In the law you justify your actions as adhering to the law.  In theological terms, you justify your actions as adhering to scripture.  Because norms, the law, and scripture are all instances of man-made involuntary contracts for participation in the in-group (tribe, society or polity). They are the price of entry into the utility of group cooperation.

So unlike justification in adherence to contracts (excuse making against human rules) which accommodates human frailty, criticism in the discovery of truth (survival against dimensions of reality) asks us to perform due diligence against each dimension of reality: identity, logical, empirical, operational, reciprocal(moral), and scope (scale of action), and to warranty to one another we do not speak with error, bias, or deceit.

So the rest of your post that criticizes operationalism, criticizes Mises, Brouwer, Bridgman, and others for their failure to grasp that tests of existential possibility do not Justify a statement, they test only whether it survives the criticism of existential possibility by the consistent use of operational language as a barrier to errors of subjectivity and intent.  

In other words, you are criticizing them and not me. Why?  Because you had (and maybe still don’t have) an understanding of the great change in human thought that the transformation of human emphasis from the internal group contracts to the external world’s laws of nature when western man broke free of his dependence upon human scale, and expanded his ideas from beyond his kin and neighbors, to the entire planet of humans across all tribes and cultures, and to the microscopic universe, and the the macroscopic universe.

When we made that change, we required our thinking to change.  And justificationism is an artifact of the theological era of human scale, and criticism is the solution to the scientific era of post-human scale.

So we can cancel the following errors:

The logical positivists also added this to their philosophy as Wikipedia [2] states:

Logical positivists culled from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of language the verifiability principle or criterion of meaningfulness. As in Ernst Mach’s phenomenalism, whereby the mind can know only actual or potential sensory experience, verificationists took all sciences’ basic content to be only sensory experience. And some influence came from Percy Bridgman’s musings that others proclaimed as operationalism, whereby a physical theory is understood by what laboratory procedures scientists perform to test its predictions…

A scientific theory would be stated with its method of verification, whereby a logical calculus or empirical operation could verify its falsity or truth.

Its applicability to economics was pioneered by the New Keynesian economist, Paul Samuelson. He argued that a theory is meaningful if it can be empirically tested and that these theories only describe the empirical evidence; they don’t get any deeper than that.[3] This article by Sam Savage explains what that entails:

Utility theory, in all of its various renditions, characterized the consumer as an intentional and purposive economic agent; the individual was believed to be a certain way-have subjective preferences and/or a utility function-and while these characteristics could be used to predict certain observational behaviors of the agent, these preferences were not themselves given an operational definition and were thus not scientifically meaningful. One solution, and the one that the profession eventually settled on, was to use Samuelson’s revealed preference theory as a technique for uncovering these intentional preferences, but that was not Samuelson’s original project. His original argument was that since utility and related preference concepts were not operationally defined, they were not observational and thus had no place in scientific economics

Right now, if you are calling yourself both an Austrian and a Propertarian, stop because you’re a walking contradiction. Everyone knows that an uncompromising tenant of Austrian economics is methodological subjectivism.

Except you seem to not grasp that methodological subjectivism and praxeology are statements of operationalism: tests of existential possibility.  Right?  But do you understand that they just TEST whether statements CAN be true, they don’t tell us if our reasoning is EXCLUSIVELY true. In other words, there are often many rational roads to Rome (any decision). Nor does methodological individualism address the problem of full accounting (broken window fallacy or Opportunity Costs), and as such is an instance of cherry-picking (excuse making) if it doesn’t.

So you see, I am rescuing Menger’s Austrian Economics from Mises’ Ukrainian Economics. Just as I am rescuing Anglo Saxon Indo-european sovereignty, and the liberty that sovereign men grand to non-sovereign men, from Rothbard’s Ukrainian-Russian Separatist Libertinism (parasitism upon the commons).

So now let’s correct your statement:  “You are either an Austrian and a Propertarian demanding Sovereignty, or you are a Ukrainian-Russian Pretender to Austrianism and a Rothbardian Pretender to Liberty.”

Whether you’re Hayekian or Misesian, the explanation of economic phenomena lies with the subjective preferences and purposeful choices by individuals with the knowledge they have at hand.

And as a consequence all choice exists in a reality in which others with opposing propositions do the same, and within a body of manners, ethics, morals, norms, laws, traditions, which allow them to retaliate against you by a range of means that varies from counter-signals to ostracization from opportunity to punishment to expulsion, to death.  And it is THEY who determine your imposition of costs upon them – not you. Your belief or choice is irrelevant.  The purpose of law has been to standarize punishments across clan tribe and nation in order to prevent retaliation cycles, and therefore preserve the benefits of cooperation.  So, individualism can TEST whether an action is rational or not.  It allows us to DISPROVE a false statemetn of social science – including economics.  But it is not sufficient to account for all costs of any action and the consequential reactions. It does not demand from you a ‘full accounting’ of costs.  

So just as the NAP is a lie by half-truth because it does not specify against WHAT we may not aggress.  Methodological individualism is a lie because it is a half truth that does not ask us to fully account for the consequences of our actions.  

It is probably not obvious that as a group evolutionary strategy, the purpose of Misesian and Rothbardian Thought is to preserve Separatism by obtaining the benefits of participating in the market of a people without paying the costs of creating and maintaining that market.  One can seal through raiding (islamic expansion). One can steal through thievery (gypsies), or one can steal through free riding on the commons (separatists).  Or one can steal through disinformation (Marxists/Postmodernists). Human groups excel at doing anything other than PRODUCING.  Because the market is hard work.

Every Austrian; Mises, Hayek, Machlup, Rothbard, Lachmann, you name it opposes the use of operationalism in economic science and rightfully so. And I’m astonished how no one has critiqued Doolittle on this. Until now of course.

I know the people who are capable of it you know. 🙂 The reason they haven’t critiqued me is (a) I haven’t published and they won’t do so until then, which is their ethic. (b) because I haven’t published and my public work consists of thousands of 1000 word posts that document my progress over the years, they aren’t going to invest time in weeding through it,  (c) the people at MI are afraid of me because in no small part they know they are wrong. (d) because they know they are wrong they don’t want to grant me credibility (e) the alt right is a discrediting force and they can’t figure if I’m with the alt right or something else. (I’m not a member of the alt right).

That said, I have seen hoppe’s writing shift in response. Although i suspect it’s to do with the shift in the worldthat I’m also responding to more so than any influence on my part. We all swim in the same intellectual ocean.

Now back to the purpose of this essay; what is the problem with operationalism? It’s a part of what Hayek called “scientism”, that is social scientists trying to use the methods of the natural sciences. Scientism treats people like they’re insentient objects, no different from a tree or a rock, thereby neglecting a difference between the social and natural sciences.

But of course this not the case, the economy is an emerging, self organizing system, lead by multitudes of individuals making choosing between tradeoffs based off their subjective values by using market information such as prices. The economy is entirely the result of human actions, therefore it’s human action that economics is concern with. Rothbard[4] directly addressed operationalism in one of his essays saying that:


But the economy is NOT a self organizing system.  Else western high trust economies would be common place instead of unique.  Instead, every society has rigid manners, ethics, morals, norms, laws, traditions and institutions.  Why?  Because man is not moral, he is merely rational. He chooses the moral when its in his interests and the immoral when its in his interests, and he makes increasingly creative excuses for his immorality at every scale, the personal, the political, and the intellectual.  

So all human societies incrementally suppress whatever forms of parasitism that they can, by whatever means they can, in order to deny people choices other than the market for production of goods, services, and information.   And the fact that we have so much crime in the world is evidence that the market is NOT self organizing, but that it was an intentional construct of alliances of powerful families just as malls are the declining iteration of markets, just as big box retailers followed malls, and just as the internet is following big box retailers.   Markets are made by the organize application of violence to prevent the alternatives.  Yes markets are an incentive, but they are an incredible incentive for fraud, thievery, raiding, and war as well.   

The market is made. The networks of production distribution and trade within them self organize.  So this is another deception by suggestion – a half truth for consumption by useful idiots.

Human action, unlike the movement of stones, is motivated…

In physics, the facts of nature are given to us. They may be broken down into their simple elements in the laboratory and their movements observed. On the other hand, we do not know the laws explaining the movements of physical particles; they are unmotivated.

We must therefore seek causes by hypothecating general theories, and from these axioms be able to deduce not only the original facts, but other theories which can be directly tested by fact (the famous concept of “operational meaning”). As much as we may progress in the knowledge of the laws of physics, our knowledge is never absolute, since the laws may always be revised by more general laws and through further empirical testing

In economics, however, the conditions are almost reversed. Here we know the cause, for human action, unlike the movement of stones, is motivated. Therefore, we may build economics on the basis of axioms — such as the existence of human action and the logical implications of action — which are originally known as true.

From these axioms we can deduce step by step, therefore, laws which are also known as true.

Curt says:

So economics not only isn’t deducible from human action, it’s not. Because we have too many phenomena that we have discovered in economics that aren’t deducible, stickiness of prices wasn’t deducible. However, it’s explainable. You can make any observation you want in mathematics or physics, but unless you can demonstrate it operationally, you haven’t conducted an existence proof.

He is half right here and what I mean by that is that he’s right to assert analysis of economic phenomena should be empirical, but he’s wrong that all of economics should. Hayek [5]states that:


But I don’t say that right?  I say that it isn’t ONLY deducible from subjective analysis.  We can operationally construct by subjective analysis a theory and then empirically test it. We can empirically observe a phenomenon then subjectively attempt to construct it.  But if we do not do BOTH of them, then we have not tested either the constructed theory or the observed phenomenon.  So again, we see, that the Ukrainian-Russians rely upon a half truth while claiming it’s a whole truth.  And you will find that this technique which combines loading, framing, overloading, and Suggestion by half-truths, forcing you to substitute a moral completion of that truth, is an effort by the Ukrainan-Russians to create a moral hazard which can be later seized for profit, while claiming it’s an accident when really it was a hazard and you were intellectually (politically, financially) baited and trapped.  it is this technique that allows magicians to fool you, as well as Pilpul to fool you as well as most of the Cosmopolitan thought to fool you, whether a member of the Marxist working class, libertine merchant class, or neo-conservative martial class.

Hopefully by now I should have made some progress in rescuing you from their deception. It’s not your fault. it’s a very successful technique. It’s worked for thousands of years. 

From the fact that whenever we interpret human action as in any sense purposive or meaningful, whether we do so in ordinary life or for the purposes of the social sciences, we have to define both the objects of human activity and the different kinds of actions themselves, not in physical terms but in terms of the opinions or intentions of the acting persons, there follow some very important consequences; namely, nothing less than that we can, from the concepts of the objects, analytically conclude something about what the actions will be. If we define an object in terms of a person’s attitude toward it, it follows, of course, that the definition of the object implies a statement about the attitude of the person toward the thing. When we say that a person possesses food or money, or that he utters a word, we imply that he knows that the first can be eaten, that the second can be used to buy something with, and that the third can be understood — and perhaps many other things.

Further, Fritz Machlup [6] on the difference between the natural and social science is that:

‘man is both observer and subject of observer’… in the latter the facts, the data of observation, are themselves result of interpretations of human actions by human actors. And this imposes on the social sciences a requirement that does not exist in the natural sciences, that all types of action that are used… be ‘understandable’… in the sense that we could conceive of sensible men acting (sometimes at least) in the way postulated by the ideal type in question

Machlup adopts the principle of verstehen (subjective interpretation), but he argues that subjective experience must be taken into consideration but shouldn’t be infallible. In Popperian terms, it should be falsifiable, something Mises disagrees with. Further Machlup (and Hayek) goes against Mises once more by applying praxeology in a third person point of view rather than the first person view taken by Misesian-Rothbardians. This is third person, falsifiable approach is why the Hayekians empirically analyze economic phenomena.

So how is this at odds with Propertarianism? Let’s examine what Curt is saying more carefully. For one, he’s explicitly rejecting deductive reasoning, and secondly he’s endorsing verificationism. In the video, he endorses Bridgman’s operationalism saying in the mind of Bridgman:

There’s no harm in mathematics for using all these verbal contrivances because they actually represent provable, in most cases, provable operations

You simply misunderstand the difference between the words PROOF and TRUTH.  The vulgar language (common vernacular) doesn’t distinguish. But mathematicians construct proofs not truths.  

What is a proof?  A proof is a demonstration of possibility.  What is truthful? Your testimony that a statement corresponds to reality.  So you can construct a proof (test of internal consistency) and promise that your proof is true ( you will also find it will correspond to reality).  It’s not like truth is a trivial concept. It’s been debated for millennia. But platonism dies hard.

In the case of mathematics, platonism is everywhere. 

Curt likes to dance around the word verification but when we look at what Percy was arguing things become a lot more clear, from “On Scientific Method”[7]:

Actually it’s because justificationism, and verificationism, are moral and theological tests, not truth tests.  But hopefully I’ve made that point so far.   If not, lets state it clearly:

In science, the language of truth, all theories (descriptions) are forever hypothetical, and all recipes (sequences of operations that survive are true).  There are no non-reductio ‘true’ premises from which we can construct deductions.  There are only not-yet-false premises.  Egro, we can never claim something is true.  Instead we can only claim we have done due diligence against falsehoood: ignorance, error, bias, and deceit.

Let’s repeat that so it sticks in.

“…we can never claim something is true.  Instead we can only claim we have done due diligence against falsehoood: ignorance, error, bias, and deceit…”

Just as among numbers we find prime numbers (those that suit very specific conditions), among our theories we find some that are extremely difficult if not impossible to refute (contradict).  We call this special case of theories (unfortunately) “a priori”.  Among the a priori theories there are a very limited set that are sufficiently scope-complete that they survive use as premises for further deduction. The reason being that axiomatic (such as math and logic) systems are informationally complete, while reality, we are limited to theoretic systems (informationally incomplete), and in particular, reality of cooperating beings who can envision multiple possible futures, is forever incomplete.   

But the fallacy that apriori axiomatic statements from an informationally complete logic, from which we can state premises, and form deductions, can be applied to theoretic statements in an informationally incomplete science, is merely another use of suggestion by which to fool those who lack understanding of the differences in causal density of axiomatic and theoretic systems.

Pilpul is everywhere. Because humans are very easy to deceive with imprecise terms and suggestion.

So that is why, in your ‘sensibilities’ I sound obtuse or strange, becuase (a) I define my terms very precisely buy enumerating all related terms a series to prevent conflation and suggestion (b)

Why is Pilpul so useful?  Simple: how do we learn from one another?  We toss verbal symbols back and forth that activate memories that recreate experiences.  We ‘negotiate’ meaning.  But this means that all communication is constructed by means of suggestion.

What we do after we have conveyed MEANING, is we test it. We test it against our other memories. This sometimes returns “yes that makes sense’ and others “no that doesn’t match my experiences’.  This cycle repeats until we ether agree or one person abandons the effort.

So we depend upon suggestion to convey meaning.

Now, this process of conveying meaning, and then testing for correspondence matches the realtoinship between empirical observation and operational (subjective) criticism.

We do both.  And we have to.  The same applies to the inverse: we imagine things and then we go test them.

This is the relationshiop between empricism(observation/meaning) and criticism (testing) with justificationism a matter not of truth, but of contract. We ADHERE to contracts. We testify to TRUTH in about our understanding of reality.

Now if the answer to the problem is correct there must be some way of knowing and proving that it is correct–the very meaning of truth implies the possibility of checking or verification.

Doolittle’s methodology is that of logical positivists: operationalism, verficiationism, and inductive reasoning. And so from this, it is Curt who’s embracing a pseudoscience as logical positivism and Percy’s operationalism has been debunked by Karl Popper and has been completely disregarded in modern philosophy.

I think I have pretty thoroughly debunked this argument by now. I won’t repeat myself other than to say that Propertarianism’s Testimonialism IS AN EXTENSION OF CRITICAL RATIONALISM’S ADOPTION OF FALSIFICATION.

Popper debunked logical positivism by pointing out the problem of induction. In positivism verificationism relies on induction so for example, if a1=b,a2=b, a3=b, …. ax=b, then all a’s = b. It seems intuitively true. Put it another way, Popper said if a white swan exists therefore there exists an x such that x is a swan, and x is white. Induction takes this existential statement and turns it into a universal one by saying all swans are white. But obviously the existence of one non-white swan proves this theory wrong. And just to add insult to injury, since the heart of Positivism is the verification principle. If only statements that can be “verified” are “meaningful” and, therefore, true then verification principle, itself, can’t be verified.

And with this, the instrumentalism he also endorses is already debunked so we don’t need to get into that. But if you want click here for Popper’s critique of that.

Instrumentalism in the common sense is not as I use it: it refers to the fact that we use instruments both logical and physical to extend our perception and reduce the imperceptible to that which is perceptible and subjectively testable.  Again. Wiki is your friend sometimes, and your enemy others. I have been forced to ‘correct’ quite a few terms that we’ve inherited from the past. Not the least of which that most quote ‘numbers’ are in fact existentially possible only as functions.  But that’s another discussion altogether.

When subjected to the scrutiny of professional philosophers, however, Bridgman’s ideas were soon exposed as unsystematic and undeveloped, as he freely admitted himself. Moreover, it became evident that his ideas did not help logical positivists solve the key problems that they were struggling with. After the initial fascination, the standard positivist (and post-positivist) reaction to operationalism was disappointment, and operationalism was often seen as a failed philosophy that did not live up to its promises. [8]

Interviewed in the late 1970s, A J Ayer (a logical positivist) supposed that “the most important” defect [of logical positivism] “was that nearly all of it was false”. [9]

OK, so now we’ve debunked the first criticism. Lets move onto the second.

The Imposition of Costs

The foundation of Doolittle’s moral system is property en toto. Instead of formulating a normative demonstration of property through the NAP or utility axiom, he formulates descriptive arguments for its existence. Thusly his ethics are one in which societies are aware of the scope of acceptable behavior so that it produces a peaceful, high trust, low transaction cost “polity”.

I am not sure what you mean by ‘societies’ in this case. But you are already missing the point.

A) Consider this series:
(1) Natural law of cooperation and non retaliation: objective, decidable, case-independent, morality.  
(2) Normative Portfolios of manners, ethics, morals, traditions, that establish prescriptions for the avoidance of conflict and the generation of cooperation.
(3) Institutional laws, insured by force or ostracization, that consist of various contracts that may or may not be moral, but preserve group cooperation within the group evolutionary strategy.
(3) Contracts that were constructed within or across laws and Normative Portfolios insured by the ‘society’ by retaliation and prevention of retaliation cycles.
(4) Consensual agreements between individuals which are not enforcible by others.

and this series:

(1) Natural Law allows decidability independent of norms: they describe human behavior. 
(2) Normative portfolios establish general rules of cooperation but do not constrain clain retaliation.
(3) Institutional rules establish means of social retaliation in stead of clan retaliation.
(4) Contracts establish means of interpersonal retaliation according to institutional rules.
(5) Personal agreements that are not enforceable except by future exclusion of cooperation.

Propertarianism is a statement of Natural Law by which all disputes are decidable regardless of local norms.  (To understand decidability please see the foundation of mathematics and the axiom of choice. in mathematics information is not complete without context to provide scale – because the principle value of mathematics is achieved by scale independence. But without scale, precision is unknowable. So we must apply mathematics to reality in order to return to correspondence.  This creates the problem of decidability in math, and produces the reason for the concept of limits.
B) Property in toto allows us to fully account for costs to all capital in all civilizations.  Think of it as the chart of accounts for human behavior. So by fully accounting for all changes in property (capital) at all scales from the interpersonal to the international, we can preserve decidability – we do not lose information and open ourselves either to deceit by suggestion or deceit by cherry picking.

Demonstrated Property, or Property-en-Toto, refers to the property that humans demonstrate a propensity to retaliate against the imposition of costs upon.

The next fundamental concept of propertarianism is the “imposition of costs”, that is if society sees something as an imposing a cost then it is.

No. It says only that if values differ, it is still possible to decide disputes by analysis of the costs imposed.

Secondly, “property exists prior to cooperation… Property is not an absolute. The imposition of costs is. Property rights are constrained by the reality of temporal existence, and the prohibition on the imposition of costs upon others.”[10] Property serves to avoid conflict between individuals so that cooperation is cultivated instead. Something is demonstrated to be property when it’s being defended by individuals or groups.


At the time I was trying to write in concert with Buttler Schaeffer’s work, but I’ve abandoned that approach.  He states that property exists prior to cooperation, but that’s a terminological mistake – and I fell into it also.  So instead,  Possession exists prior to cooperation.  Property exists within cooperation.  And Property Rights exist under the protection of a third party insurer against whom we can claim an infringement.  As far as I know that series survives all criticism.

Thus, this entire definition allows for humanity to empirically, as opposed to normatively, discover exactly what we should consider to be property. [11]

Your confusing normative property and decidable property.  

For the purpose of producing a fully decidable natural law, we can define property empirically across all normative portfolios, rendering all disputes decidable.

I think what might be tripping you up is this concept: That the west was not first, but evolved faster than the other civilizations in all aspects of life, because the law could adapt faster, because it was more decidable, because it was more correspondent with reality, because westerners had invented what we call ‘truth’ today (correspondence), and benefitted from that normative tradition for the entirety of our existence.

So the closer one’s law is to natural law the greater the suppression of parasitism, the hither the trust, the higher the risk tolerance, the more economic, scientific, and intellectual velocity.

So I think you’re model of ‘selfishness’ (individualism) is a form of cherry picking. None of the thinkers say it was an exclusive good. Its a good because it produces cumulative effects as well as personal effects. That means its a “good” only so much as it externalizes no “bad”.

Again, just like in methodology Doolittle does not shy away from scientism when it comes to ethics. A blogger that goes by the alias reactionaryfuture says:

The issue is really one that Propertarianism and pretty much everything put forward under the wing of Propertarianism is basically Scientism of a really extreme kind

Well if you mean truth telling of an extreme kind I’ll agree with you. But until you can refute the need for all warranties of due diligence in order to claim a truth statement, and therefore be insulated from retaliation for the consequences of your utterances, I don’t think you have anything more to say. 😉 You don’t choose who retaliates against you and why, they do.  You don’t choose the standard units of measure, those who do the measuring do.  You don’t choose the law, those who practice it do.  

I am giving people moral and legal license (justification) to retaliate against people who do not warranty their statements in the commons (the market).  My belief is that this will be as profound an impact on the pseudosciences (the left), as empiricism was upon the church.

The law is a sufficient vehicle for suppression of murder, theft, and fraud against private, shareholder, and commons; and the involuntary warranty of products, goods, and now INFORMATION that is brought to market.

There is no need for ideology when we have natural law in defense of information.

Curt again tries to extend (the universally denounce) method of operationalism to ethics and runs into several important problems. For one thing, Doolittle categorizes says that the existence of right and wrong only exist in a polity that’s preserving voluntary cooperation and low transaction costs, ibid:

This is not talking about people. This is talking about liberal individuals within the social contract theory paradigm of liberalism. The idea that individuals within a society participate voluntarily is complete gibberish. At what point do I voluntarily co-operate? At birth? At conception? When? As for the idea that all society is merely in place for low transaction cost etc, this is a grand philosophical statement in which he is seemingly trying to say society operates for collective good via market jargon, but if you reject the social contract liberal individual, it is meaningless.

Secondly, propertarianism use of descriptive ethics means it doesn’t say what ethics should be just what they are.

Yes it does. It says that ethics merely exist, and that we can contactually bend them for our group evolutionary strategies. But that those who are more objectively ethical will produce greater rewards and therefore superior genetic, cultural, and economic competition.

This holds a boatload of problems because Doolittle wants to ensure that costs are minimized by not disrupting cultural norms. Things like slavery, which at a time in history was both a norm and imposed a tremendous social and economic cost on southerners in the US, could be morally okay.

Ok the rest of this is nonsense because I state just the opposite: that an immoral norm can be brought to court by anyone and overthrown by an appeal to natural law.  This is, after all, the original premise of the US constitution.  And the errors in the constitution were largely permitted to persist slavery.

Thirdly, if an injustice like slavery exists, how would one rectify it without going against cultural norms and imposing a cost on society? How does morality progress towards what is truly right or wrong? I don’t see that possible under Doolittle’s paradigm, anything goes as long as the majority agrees

But more importantly, he is just rehashing positivism with a different set of terms, I don’t need to go that much further with criticism because a lot of it we’ve already addressed. And because all this what is used to justify the need for a “commons“, this makes it already debunked.

So I think I have debunked all this pretty much and its beating a dead horse.

The Estates of the Realm


Now we get to the neofeudalist part of Propertarianism, that is the call for a “natural aristocracy”” .Propertarianism political theory employs an ancient system known as the Estates of the Realm, each class (commons/plebians, church, aristocrats) is considered an estate that constitutes a larger realm.Starting with aristocracy, to define them in the words of Doolittle:

[Aristocracy] means rule by meritocracy. So one is a member of the aristocracy as long as one joins the franchise and demonstrates his merit.

Now, that is different from saying ‘nobility‘. Aristocracy is not synonymous with nobility. Although some abuse the terms and confuse ‘aristocrat’ with ‘nobility’ this is merely an error.

If that’s the case, I’m totally supportive of society having one although a name change would be preferable. But for Instagram propertarians, aristocracy is more broadly defined. Many do not make a certain distinction between a natural (meritocratic) aristocracy versus a hereditary one, in fact many are self declared monarchists so it is hard to tell if they’re misreading Doolittle (or maybe Doolittle contradicts himself in a post I haven’t seen yet that could be the cause of this confusion). But even when they do, hereditary aristocracy is still never denounced.

Natural Law and Rule of Law.  Monarchy refers to private ownership of the institutions by which the market for the production of commons is conducted, just as mall ownership refers to the building in which the market for consumption is conducted.  there isn’t any difference except the scale of the territory and population.  The difference is that under natural law, that monarch is merely a judge of last resort. He has no POSITIVE power other than the use of his wealth to create moral (legal) commons, and the pulpit of his position to advocate moral (natural law) objectives for the people.   Hereditary incentives to accumulate rather than expropriate capital are superior to all alternatives.  Our problem today is that this market has a lot of room for innumerate an pseudoscientific fraud. Hence propertarianism.

If a market for commons exists, and it is limited to contracts under natural law, then de facto the most meritocratic will rule in the sense that they can influnece most which commons are produced.  But as they are limited by natural law, they cannot produce immoral commons. Our problem today is that this market has a lot of room for innumerate an pseudoscientific fraud. Hence propertarianism.

If a market for goods, services, and information exists, it is limited to contracts under natural law.  Our problem today is that this market has a lot of room for innumerate an pseudoscientific fraud. Hence propertarianism.

Take for instance Sebastian and Nick Martinez. Both have explicitly endorsed a natural aristocracy yet they’ve both explicitly praised the feudalist aristocrats and monarchs of the medieval ages. Even more absurdly Sebastian endorses a hereditary monarchy at the same time:

This parasitic activity in which people try to get rich off politics may be common practice in democratic systems, but not so under monarchy. In a hereditary monarchic system, you have someone ruling who has been educated and trained from birth to lead his country. By the propertarian definition of property (property en toto), which is anything that one can demonstrate a propensity to retaliate against the imposition of costs upon, the nation is the property of the king and he treats it as such. Not only is the king the best man for the job, but he has a vested interest in bettering the country.

(My criticism of Sebastian post can be read here and on a nobility of hereditary aristocrats/monarchs here)

Also from what Sebastian has told me (I haven’t found anything from Doolittle or other big propertarians that explain this), the house of lords is supposed to represent the nobility, the commons is for the middle class, and the proletariat, plebian class is under the jurisdiction of the church (or theonomy).

Ok, well now you’re just making sh-t up.  So this isn’t of any value.

In the fist section on operationalism you clearly didnt understand what I’ve been saying.

in the second section on property in toto you clearly didn’t understand.

And in this section you’re talking heresay folk tales, and fantasies that have nothing to do with what I’ve said.

So my advice is this: the real reason you don’t understand what I’m saying is that you’re afraid to expose your ignorance by asking, and afraid to lose your malinvestment in being a useful idiot for the Cosmopolitans. 

Easy solution:  be truthful. be honest.  just f–king ask.   Instead of polluting the informational commons and forcing me to spend an hour refuting you because you imposed a cost on my through statemetns made in ignorance.  Ok?


This strongly resembles pre revolutionary France, which of course is what lead to the revolution where 1/3 of the government was divided between the estates. Back in the day, the nobility and the monarch received their legitimacy from the church, the divine right of kings, this lead to a huge concentration of power in very small hands. The nobility would exchange land and donations to high ranking bishops in exchange for legitimacy. And because of this mutual relationship between people that constituted five percent of the population, they were able to veto any proposal that challenged them by the commons and impose their orders on them.

Eventually suppressing the voice of the majority will lead to conflict which is exactly what happened all across of Europe. Even in the UK where the estates system still exists, (except the aristocracy and church share the upper house of parliament, the house of lords) political power is practically in complete control of the house of commons. Both the monarch and even the upper house are just symbolic. In fact the house of commons has passed legislation without the approval of the house of lords. That’s why there’s debates of what should be done with them because they’re evidently useless. Even Sebastian himself admits this case:

Soon enough the American Revolution began in 1776 and ended in 1783 with the formation of the most successful constitutional republic the world had ever seen. This started a sort of chain reaction in western society. In 1815 there were 55 monarchies in Europe and 9 republics. By 2015 there 12 Monarchies, most of which have gone through massive democratic reform, and 35 republics.

But the solution to this (again according to Sebastian) is that each state governs themselves and doesn’t interfere with the other. If that’s the case, then there can be no natural aristocracy at all because social mobility would be nearly impossible. Why? Because if each estate is only governing their respective members, then that means they can do determine who can be one of their members. The aristocrats are obviously not gonna want their estate to expand because that would dilute their power, they’re gonna keep an oligarchy. And the king, who is the most successful aristocrat, yet importantly is also an inherited aristocrat, he’s going to make sure his family remains and power shun out competing factions. And this is not just intuitive, it’s been the historic case of centuries of monarchial-feudalism.

Also I find it a bit incoherent that an ideology based on logical positivism uses a Hegelian dialectic.


To summarize, most propertarians on Instagram probably don’t know what propertarianism is when they call themselves Austrians or Austropropertarians. It’s ideology that’s closer to Keynesianism than anything else because of it’s fallacy of treating economics as a natural science. It also why it has a pretty lousy set of ethics. And overall, propertarians obsession for aristocracy and monarchy and the lack of social mobility of their system really makes them a bunch of neo-feudalists.

Now I’ll give my ideology of libertarian existentialism will be a suitable alternative for libertarians. It actually is -surprisingly- very close to propertarianism on the surface (i.e., policy wise) but from a drastically different method. One that’s actually completely consistent with Austrian Economics. I already have the economics of libertarian existentialism done (read here) and political theory for it (here), I just need to develop an ethics (the one that was in the latter was only a political ethic not a personal one). I also will give an actually model for what a libertarian existentialist society would look like, sneak peak: it’ll have a meritocratic social class (natural aristocracy if you prefer) and also has a government controlled by strong elites, but there’s a lot more to it that I don’t want to spoil. So the next essay will be one on ethics, after that I’ll release a model government.

And also let’s be frank guys, how far do you think propertarianism will go when its filled with complex, confusing scientific jargon that not even its members understand and is associated with returning to medieval forms of government.

Works Cited

[1] Hands, D. Wade. Reflection without Rules: Economic Methodology and Contemporary Science Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. Print.

[2] “Logical Positivism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web.

[3] @redorbit. “On Operationalisms and Economics – Redorbit.” Redorbit. N.p., 17 Dec. 2004. Web.

[4] Rothbard, Murray. “A Note On Mathematical Economics.” Mises Institute. Mise Institute, n.d. Web

[5] Hayek, F. A., William Warren Bartley, and Bruce Caldwell. “The Facts of the Social Sciences.” The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The Market and Other Orders. N.p.: n.p., 2014. N. pag. Print.

[6] Machlup, Fritz. Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences. New York: Academic, 1978. Print.

[7] Bridgeman, Percy. “ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD by Percy W. Bridgman.” ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD by Percy W. Bridgman. N.p., n.d. Web.

[8] Chang, Hasok. “Operationalism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 16 July 2009. Web. 01

[9] “Logical Positivism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web.

[10] Fred. “Propertarianism as Explained by a Libertarian.” Medium. A Medium Corporation, 10 Feb. 2016. Web.

[11] Doolittle, Curt. “Property Is Not An Absolute. But The Imposition Of Costs Is.” Propertarianism. N.p., 07 Aug. 2015.


3 thoughts on “Bearing an Imposed Cost of the Day: Refuting A Common Libertarian Critic

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