Matt Mitchell
—“Curt, is there anything in particular that I said that goes against what you said? For markets to function there needs to be a particular order in the first place, right? Things can change in time, yes, though there are things that do not change or are unlikely to change. Forcing people to live one way or the other, doesn’t help in any way.”—

Curt Doolittle
Hmmm…. well, you know, I have a job right? And in my job I look for opportunities to encourage people to think ‘completely’. So to some degree I’m just ‘riffing’ off your post to get people to think.

But in the context of your post, you are implying steady state, homogeneity, and religious authority necessary to indoctrinate those beliefs – when people merely choose the beliefs that suit their circumstances.

So that I felt the need to do was to remind you and others, that we are not agrarians any longer. That the world of modern urbanity is much more like living as diasporic tribes floating between city-markets, trading our goods (skills, labor), and that we do not have the steady state, the homogeneity, or the ability to indoctrinate under these conditions, and as such we can only struggle to impose limits and exceptions (laws) in a jurisdiction, not ‘regularities’ (beliefs).

So I was reacting to a ‘libertarian smell’, and ‘false assumption’ smell to your argument.

Trade always existed. Cities were created by violence. Markets were created by violence. Trade routes were created by violence. More violence than the thieves could muster to prey upon them.

The truth is, we have to fight. And that’s all there is to it. So what is the social order that both allows us to fight and eliminates the need to fight?

Rule of law.

So yes, forcing people to live under increasing suppression of parasitism is unquestionably in all of history a ‘good’. It may in fact, be the good that produces the highest returns of all. Even more so than the division of labor. Because it is the first good that makes the division of labor possible.


Force, fire, water, air, and words, are good things put to good purpose. Or bad things put to bad purpose. They are not intrinsically good or bad.

“Code smell”, also known as bad smell, in computer programming code, refers to any symptom in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem. According to Martin Fowler, “a code smell is a surface indication that usually corresponds to a deeper problem in the system”.