Reductio Libertarianism As An Effort To Export Costs (ie: Theft)

In yet another debate with crooks masquerading as libertarians.

I ask “Define Moral.”

Bob replies “Moral = “Absence of coercion. Immoral = Presence of coercion (force or fraud).”

Then he teases me a bit for my usually turgid analytical analysis: “What’s your definition, Curt? We assume it’s gotta be a pretty complex definition or it’s not particularly impressive, correct?”

To which I reply: “Yes, you have the correct definition for interpersonal relations. However, the same method of analysis applies to shareholder relations. The problem lies in the process of decision making for transfers of assets, which are determined by the shareholder agreement. ie: “constitution”, whether discreet and written, or traditional and structured, or traditional and unstructured. Moral crimes include crimes against shareholder assets. ie: transfers that are possible because of increasing degrees of ignorance, and therefore without interpersonal coercion. Such transfers are not only possible, but easy and invisible, by the act of transferring opportunity costs:

“For example, imagine an island where having a child that you cannot support, and therefore must rely upon charity to feed, is an immoral crime. It is a forcible transfer of wealth, because the shareholder agreement forbids allowing a person or child to starve — and therefore the parent, by having a child, forced other shareholders to pay for the support of that child, otherwise the other shareholders would break the agreement themselves. This is an involuntary transfer.

Humans organize. Organizations consist of shareholders. Shareholders have responsibilities to avoid transfers. Any Propertarian analysis must include shareholder agreements and shareholder properties, because people do in fact create and live by those shareholder methods and processes. To ignore such organizations is unscientific. Or, worse, an immoral attempt to privatize opportunities, or externalize costs onto others. :)

“So I would state it like this (or as a graph):

  1. There are three forms of coercion:
      1) Violence against a person or property,
      2) Fraud,
      3) Opportunity Deprivation (ie:Ostracization or non-cooperation: deprivation of opportunity) We call this ‘moral’ coercion.
  2. There is only one form of ‘manipulation’ of another person’s actions, which is both voluntary and symmetrical1, and that is voluntary Trade (Exchange).
  3. People join organizations in order to increase their opportunities, and decrease their costs of opportunities.
  4. Membership in organizations requires Individuals pay direct costs, such as actions and payments, as well as indirect costs, such as forgoing opportunities for gratification, or choosing a less gratifying alternative in order to adhere to specific moral coercions, because it is these moral self-deprivations that forbid the privatization of other people’s forgone opportunity costs.
  5. People join multiple organizations. They do so by paying the direct costs and opportunity costs prescribed in the ‘shareholder agreement’.
  6. Some organizational requirements conflict with other organizational requirements, therefore people ‘cheat’ on their membership costs in order to obtain additional opportunities at a discount
  7. Therefore Interpersonal Moral Action = Absence of coercion.” But since people join organizations in order to increase their opportunities, and decrease their costs of opportunities, this is an insufficient definition for all exchanges.
  8. Therefore Shareholder Moral Action = Absence of Coercion + Absence of Externalization of Costs + Absence of Privatization of Opportunities. This is a sufficient definition for environments where organizations are present.
  9. All moral human actions consist of one or more actions, using zero or more objects, and zero or more interpersonal exchanges, which occur under zero to many shareholder agreements, where the individual does not use any of the three forms of coercion, and does not externalize costs onto other shareholders, or privatize opportunities unto one’s self, or transfer opportunities to others.


Consequently:

  1. The institution of property itself is a form of coercion. Of sacrificing opportunity costs according to a social contract. Therefore we cannot have property to transfer without the costs paid for self deprivation of opportunity – that’s without even considering the necessity for collective defense.
  2. Narrowly Defining morality only as Interpersonal Moral actions is an attempt at appropriation, that is THEFT, by FRAUDULENT MEANS of the vast opportunity costs paid by all members of an organization, both past and present.
  3. Non-conformity is a form of either expensive research programs, or theft, or forcible redistribution — depending upon whether the objective is to increase production (moral), or to conduct a transfer (immoral)
  4. Humans conduct conflicts between their different organizations using these opportunity cost differences embodied in their different social contracts, to which we apply the terms “culture”. Wars can be conducted by direct violence, or economic competition, or by thefts of cultural opportunity costs. This is why religious cults, and class wars, and immigration can succeed in obtaining power. They steal opportunity costs.

“Is that OK? Because it’s right you know….. :)”


  1. I use the term ‘symmetrical’ where most would use ‘equitable’, only because I am somewhat concerned about the loaded content of the word ‘equitable’ which is both imprecise and emotionally loaded for my purposes .  


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