- On Debate
There are three means of coercing groups of people with institutions
1) Force, or the threat of force
A person has a VIOLENCE INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way when it has been made known to him that failure to do so will result in some form of physical aggression being directed at him by other members of the collectivity in the form of inflicting pain or physical harm on him or his loved ones, depriving him of his freedom of movement, or perhaps confiscating or destroying his treasured possessions.
2) Remuneration or payment
A person has a REMUNERATIVE INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way if it has been made known to him that doing so will result in some form of material reward he will not otherwise receive. If he behaves as desired, he will receive some specified amount of a valuable good or service (or money with which he can purchase whatever he wishes) in exchange.
3) Moral claims (collective goods)
A person has a MORAL INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way when he has been taught to believe that it is the “right” or “proper” or “admirable” thing to do. If he behaves as others expect him to, he may expect the approval or even the admiration of the other members of the collectivity and enjoy an enhanced sense of acceptance or self-esteem. If he behaves improperly, he may expect verbal expressions of condemnation, scorn, ridicule or even ostracism from the collectivity, and he may experience unpleasant feelings of guilt, shame or self-condemnation.
And a persuasive argument can consist of one or more of these strategies, often in great complexity.
People give priority one or more different weighted combinations, or perhaps ‘chordic’ representations of these strategies. They do so out of habit, and class inclination, just as they follow religious and class sentiments due to their upbringing.
People who belong to institutions have different capacities for adopting these strategies. Force requires discipline and long Time Bias. Remuneration requires cunning and invention. Moral claims require loyalty to consensus, and absorption of, and therefore payment of, opportunity costs. Different social classes have different time biases and consist of people with different time preferences, requiring different types of discipline under different social and economic conditions. ie: it is easier to have a long time preference if one is genetically disposed to better impulse control, and lives in greater security. It is easier to have a short time preference if one is more persuaded by impulses, less disciplined, and in an environment of scarcity.
The social classes are organized by intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to absorb content in real time, to learn abstractions in time, and to permute those abstractions in application to problems in real time. Intelligence regresses toward the mean over generations. THerefore class membership is an indicator of the likelihood of class mobility, and upper class position is difficult to maintain. While we use the word ‘middle class’, and most people in the west live middle class lifestyles, the middle class means possessing disposable income and participating in the market. Therefore the majority of citizens are in the upper proletariat and lower middle classes, which we call the working, white collar working and craftsman classes.
There are different costs to these institutions: Force is extremely expensive. Creating non-corruption, and order (some network of property definitions and their means of transfer). Property is a term for a scarce good that must used, consumed or transformed in the process of production, even if that process is human sustenance. Remunerative institutions require the complex task of concentrating capital then maintaining it in a constantly changing kaleidic and competitive environment. Moral claims require constant advocacy, verbal skill, maintenance of numerous relationships, and constant payment of opportunity costs.
The Social classes have different access to each of these forms of coercion. Those in the institutional class, or upper class, have access to force in the form of policy and law. Those in the capitalist class, or middle, have access to capital : money, and market institutions.
In each strategy people form elites, and organizations for utilizing those strategies. The elites create philosophical frameworks. Each of these frameworks consists of moral claims, and institutional means of perpetuating those claims, and the social benefits of adopting those claims.
Each of these institutions is open to corruption, which is the privatization of opportunity and reward, for personal consumption at group expense. Corruption is fraud.
Each of these strategies, their organizations, institutionas and elites compete against other strategies, organizations and elites, and each attempts to use it’s organization for discounts against other organizations.
This competition is analogous to the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, if more complicated: each group can sucessfully compete against one another under most circumstances, but can defeat and be defeated by some other combination of forces.
The human mind is comfortable with identity and causality. It can with practice, understand a one dimensional causal spectrum. It can, with effort, understand two dimensions of cuasality. It can with more effort understand three dimensions of a causal spectrum.
Human emotions for example, consist of probably no more than three stimuli: dominance, pleasure and activiation. And that all human emotions, in their seemingly infinite varieity can be described as using these three axis of stimuli. Likewise, human social behavior consists of three different forms of coercion, in some combination, and this leads set of axis leads to seemingly infinite variety.
But it only seems infinite. At it’s base, there are only three forms of social organization.These three forms can be combined, as they are in the majority of the population in some manner or another. Or they can be used as one of three specializtions, each of which attempts to play rock, paper, scissors, with the other two.
Seattle, WA, United States
I am an independent theorist of Political Economy in the Conservative Libertarian tradition. And as a methodological Propertarian I attempt to complete the work of Rothbard and Hoppe by suggesting post-democratic political solutions for heterogeneous polities.
"De Philosophia Aristocratia"
Anglo Conservatism is the remnant of the European Aristocratic Manorial system and the Classical Liberal philosophy of the Enlightenment, combined with our ancient tribal instincts for group persistence and land-holding. It currently consists as a set of sentiments rather than as an articulated rational philosophy. And without that rational articulation, conservatives lack the ability to create and promote a plan that is a positive and rhetorically defensible alternative to the hazards of accidental bureaucracy and purposeful socialism.
This lack of an articulated philosophy leaves conservatives vulnerable in the public debate with Schumpeterian public intellectuals whose advantage in both volume of production, and simplicity of argument poses a nearly insurmountable challenge.
Libertarianism by contrast, is a rational philosophy of an articulate but permanent minority. It is based upon a solid, rational and critical methodology, even if it is flawed in its initial assumption: the principle of non-violence.
Unfortunately the Rothbardian Anarchist movement has appropriated the term "Libertarian", and left Classical Liberals and Conservatives alienated from the only system of thought with which they need to articulate their political sentiments in rational and empirical rather than moralistic and sentimental form.
By repairing the flaws in Libertarian philosophy we can use its methodology to provide a rhetorical solution for conservatives - a language which in turn may become an articulated philosophical body of argument and advocacy for the frustrated conservative majority.
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- Kinsella’s Criticism of Locke, and My Explanation of Locke’s Reasonable Mistake, and What To Do About It.