How To Present Mises and Rand in the Context of the 20th Century?

I would present it (as I do) as a last ditch desperate  attempt to reach the enlightenment utopia embodied in both cosmopolitan middle  class universalism, and anglo puritanical middle class universalism. But that both movements were failures and had to be, because universalism and equality are merely utilitarian merchant philosophies of self interest made possible by temporary economic advantage….

It is cheaper to believe everyone is your friend rather than your competitor. It’s not only the europeans who have converted the cost of defense to consumption – it’s all of western civilization.

Writing up presentation on Mises, Rand and the 20th Century. In a very un-Rand thing to do, crowd source, what points would you stress? If you‘re at all familiar with me you will know where I‘d go in this, but where would you go?
– Peter Boettke

Only Landed People Create Monuments and Art


California. A very desirable geography. The best other than France. In both cases the geography is a natural resource exploitable by the state.

As I said to Ron Manners: natural resources make you a slave because States must defend them. Diasporic peoples avoid these high costs at the expense of permanent insecurity. The golden mean (happy median) is Liberty – prevention of the state while also holding land.

Only landed people create monuments and art.   And Europe is a vast, open air museum. 

Exorcising Guilt Over Cultural Criticism

You know I feel guilty criticizing culture after culture – other than the germans – even though I am more critical of my own people’s universalist stupidity than I am of anyone else’s behavior. The only thing that continues to strike me and drive my bias is the economic technical and artistic results that a bunch of cattle-raiders produced by accident of telling the truth out of martial need, and then greedily protecting their well earned sovereignty by a division of responsibility and fear of authority instead of falling into the ‘civilization trap’ of ‘efficient organization’ that is anything but efficient.

Germans mostly get it right, but invented a new way to lie. Anglos really did get it wrong, but did it without lying. I won’t mention the french and the jews for obvious reasons. The Chinese do what works for them, although breaking up china would be the best thing that ever happened to the world – Mao was wrong. And breaking up India is the only way to fix corruption.
The only thing scale does is allow you to conduct war.

Reversing the Warfare State by converting to small countries with nuclear weapons solves a lot of problems.

Language Evolved To Negotiate – It Wasn’t Suitable for Truth Telling (Science)


If language evolved for us to negotiate with, then it’s no wonder that it is so unsuitable for use as an internal language to understand truth with – to think with.

Language wasn’t invented to lie with. But it was invented to negotiate with.  


Propertarianism Doesn’t Require Cunning – Just Effort and Honesty

Propertarian reasoning is a formal logic. Once you understand it, it isn’t like dodgy philosophy or dishonest mysticism: you don’t really need to be very cunning.

Either some proposition is constructable out of human operations on property or it isn’t.

Once you know the four categories of property that humans demonstrate and the different reproductive strategies we demonstrate, and the different group evolutionary strategies we demonstrate, you can pretty much explain all human political activity.

And this is different from the physical sciences in the sense that we don’t know the first principles of the universe, but we do know the first principles of man: acquire, defend, cooperate, divide labor, develop information systems for extending cooperation – and justify our reproductive strategies constantly for the purpose of negotiating our cooperation.

Man is simple it turns out.

Freedom is Wasted On Those Seeking Consumption

Guest Post by James Louis LaSalle

–“The founding fathers knew that freedom is wasted on those who are not pursuing virtue. They envisioned America, not as a hedonist utopia, but as a place where one was free to pursue a virtuous life. The French, on the other hand, began their revolution as a revolution our modern progressives would love to implement now: they executed all the priests and clergy they could get their hands on, burned churches, slaughtered the upper classes, erected a statue to “Reason”, and created an a theocratic tyranny of relativism, that suffered no dissent. They descended into such a sustained orgy of violence and destruction, that the only thing that could stop it was the military dictatorship of Napoleon.”–

The founding fathers did not understand virtue as excellences: production, rather than consumption: transforming the world for the betterment of man.

Becoming gods.

Eli: Women’s Sufferage

Guest Post by Eli Harman

Men and women are different, with different priorities, values, motivations, interests, and reproductive strategies (on average.)

The family is a compromise between male and female reproductive strategies. It isn’t what either men or women would choose if they had their druthers. (Men would build harems and women would be promiscuous and enlist the aid of the tribe to support their offspring.) But it’s the best either can achieve in compromise with the other.

Now, democracy, as a structure of government can *only* function as a means of selecting priorities among parties with interests that are aligned (that’s why it works so well for corporations, because shareholders interests are perfectly aligned towards maximization of profit.) Democracy and voting can never ever, never ever, never ever, reconcile conflicting interests. In the case of genuine conflict, it can only determine which interests are to prevail at the expense of which others.
When it was one family, one vote, democracy worked better, because the conflict between male and female reproductive strategies was resolved within the family, and it never rose to the level of politics.

Families could use democracy to cooperate with one another on shared interests (although this was not without some conflict already.)

But when women were enfranchised, and permitted to vote independently from men, this completely unbalanced things. Now the essential conflict between male and female could rise to the level of politics.

And in this arena, women posses the advantage. In the first place, women are 51% of the electorate, so they possess a simple majority. in the second place, women tend to be more similar, and men more variable, so we might expect women to form a more cohesive voting block. Third, in addition to their own numbers, women can always count on the support of at least some men.

This has a lot of consequences which it would take a while to explain even in part so I’ll let you follow the logic from there.
But it does not bode well for western civilization. Female dominated societies are always conquered and subjugated by male dominated ones.

Eli Harman.

We Took The  Family For Granted

We spend all this time, text and talk on the individual, women, government and economy. But we took the structure of reproduction for granted.

We compete, using 1) the structure of group competition, 2) the structure of reproduction, 3) structure of pedagogy, 4) structure of production, and 5) structure of commons.

Liberalism has been nothing more than an exercise in hedonistic consumption at the expense of the civilization that made that consumption possible. We destroyed the family. And with it, our civilization.

It’s solvable. But it’s going to require blood and treasure to do it.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

Johannes Meixner :
There is no better way of productively reproducing than the nuclear family with two partners both merging assets together, and not separating until the offspring is at least adult (death is preferable).

Curt Doolittle:
Yep. Exclusive of formal institutions that is true. Although I could argue that a 2M-person homogenous-polity closed to immigration, with a great deal of government-as-insurer, and without marriage could work if savings were enforced on all parties in greatly expanded version of the Singaporean or Galveston models.

Johannes Meixner:
…well if you enjoy risk transfers beyond the top level required to offset moral hazard, you can choose to do that.

My “Bosses” in the Evolution of Propertarianism


You know, it’s funny, but Propertarianism is no longer a solo effort. I have a manager, an editor, and multiple advisors, helpful critics, and in some cases, people who are better than I am at USING propertarianism. And it feels a little bit like I’m an engineer on a project trying to create infrastructure.

You *are* creating infrastructure, Curt – for sure! Intellectual and moral infrastructure!  — Davin Eastley

Criticism: Tech As Belief In New Gods

The only energy technology that we are going to use and depend upon is nuclear, helped by water, and as a minor contributor – solar, because it’s the only source of energy strategically tolerable to depend upon. 

And while teenage boys like to fantasize about star trek technology, adult men only spend vast amounts of money on strategically defensible assets. – That’s Just How It Is. 

The way you get to be in charge of money is because people put you in charge of money, and people put you in charge of money largely because they trust what you will do with it. And that means the use of loss aversion, and opportunity cost to make decisions. And expensive, failure-prone, strategically indefensible, and therefore vulnerability-inducing assets are pretty unintelligent investments.

We will explore space when we develop both an extremely light craft big enough for humans to trundle around in, AND an engine capable of efficient conversion of energy to velocity, at constant acceleration of one G or greater. We already have cheap means of flying stuff into orbit. That’s why there is so much in low orbit already. But there appears to be less free ‘stuff’ in space to convert into energy along the way so we are going to have to act like primitive ships and move from mass-port to mass-port, and spending more time traveling because we cannot carry the mass with us to convert into energy.

It is possible that we will discover or invent the interstellar equivalent of hydrocarbons (a very dense store of energy for newtonian scale), but as yet we don’t know of such a thing even though from what precious little we understand about the universe, such a thing should be possible in theory even if in practice we cannot find a means of constructing it.