- On Debate
Well, I’m in the middle of the Monetarist-Neoclassical-Austrian spectrum and I agree with the Monetarists and objects to the Keynesians.
The unstated argument here is that:
1) The American people do not trust their government. All spending is suspect. And they would rather suffer in order to starve the beast than gain relief by feeding it. This isn’t going to change any time soon. Demographics guarantee it. Tilting at windmills is a waste of time.
2) The monetarists failed to make their case with the public. If the monetarists DID make their case with the public by stating that they would in no way expand the government, the public would have endorsed it. I blame this failure entirely on the monetarist public intellectuals who allied with the Keynesians instead of the Neo-classicals (improve industry) and Austrians (improve human capital) with whom most Americans are more sentimentally aligned – puritan ethics prevail..
3) The public is justifiably angry at the financial sector as well as the government. Galbraith, myself, and to some abstract degree Arnold Kling, recommended that bypassing the financial sector entirely and paying down consumer debts was a radical idea, but would have won the hearts and minds of the citizenry, as well as avoiding worldwide price recalculation within the Patterns of Sustainable Specialization and Trade, which is the result of the shock to people’s ability to forecast and plan. (I dont think anyone appreciates the value of Kling’s arguments as adding another tool to the neoclassical inventory.) This was a better solution than the Keynesian OR Monetarist solutions. And it would have astronomically cheaper.
Keynesian spending only works if people trust the government and people only trust the government in small culturally and ethnically homogenous nation states. Monetarists SHOULD be politically neutral, but by allying with Keynesians they become untenable with the public. By allying with Neo-classicals and Austrians Monetarists can become politically neutral, and the public will accept their recommendations.
The importance of this concept is significant – not only for monetarists, but for the country as a whole. Perhaps for the world.
Bryan Caplan writes
1. The vast majority of research on the [returns on higher] education – including IVs, RTCs, etc. – does not empirically distinguish between human capital and signaling. The better papers explicitly admit this.
2. Students spend a lot of time learning subjects irrelevant to almost all occupations (except, of course, teaching those very same irrelevant subjects).
3. Teachers often claim that they’re “teaching their students how to think,” but this goes against a hundred years of educational psychology’s Transfer of Learning literature.
4. When education researchers measure actual learning, it’s modest on average, and often zero. And yet employers still pay a big premium to e.g. college students who’ve learned little or nothing. The same goes for the return to college quality. It doesn’t seem to improve learning, but it substantially improves income.
5. There is a growing empirical literature using the El-SD (employer learning – statistical discrimination) approach to measure the effect of signaling. It usually finds moderate signaling, at least for non-college grads. It looks like you have to finish college to quickly get employers to reward you for measurable pre-existing skills.
6. The sheepskin literature finds large effects of merely finishing degrees. They eventually fade out, but it takes 15-25 years. This isn’t iron-clad evidence for signaling (what would be?), but it’s strongly supportive.
My book will also argue that ability bias is a much bigger problem than the David Card consensus will admit, and that the positive externalities of education are overrated. So the social return to education turns out to be quite low. In terms of policy implications, I’m going to argue for large cuts in government spending on education, and a lot more vocational education on the German model.
We are not paid for our knowledge. We are paid for the rate at which we assimilate and adapt to information and circumstances. We are paid to quickly and inexpensively solve problems in dynamic economy.
Universities successfully filter for those people able to assimilate and adapt to information and circumstances. People who pass the filter are more likely to adapt to the shock of entering the work force and quickly learn the nuances of both organizations and business processes.
Since IQ is largely an expression of the RATE someone is capable of learning, the data should show that universities essentially sort by IQ. And it appears to show just that.
I am not convinced (and I think you’ve come to the same conclusion) that people learn anything of value in university other than work discipline. (Sowell has been saying this for years.)
It also appears that people eventually sort by IQ in the work force regardless of their education. So, it would seem that an education is a means of temporarily increasing your earning capacity at the median, and a way of shortening your access to income at the top. But at the bottom higher education’s a waste of time, and a burdensome debt.
Americans try to educate everyone to join the upper middle class, and it’s a waste of effort and produces an incompetent working class. instead, we should, as the Germans do, focus on creating a superior working class, because the upper 20% will succeed as long as we don’t impede them too much.
As you’ve stated elsewhere, and as the economic evidence shows, the German model is a superior education system, and perhaps the Finnish model is the best primary school system. For certain, boys should start school later than girls. and should be physically active despite the risk of ‘being boys’.
At a dinner conversation last night, someone seeded the discussion with a common parlor-game question. Although it isn’t a complicated topic, I thought it would serve as an example of how to translate archaic moral speech into contemporary language by applying propertarian reasoning. Now, I’ve shortened it a bit, and probably done a disservice by doing so, but otherwise it would take ten pages to get to the conclusion.
QUESTION: “WHAT IS EVIL?”
1) Analyze the Question: The question itself is misleading – the phrasing is a parlor trick. It takes advantage of the victim’s susceptibility to historical and moral Framing: the victim naturally desires to answer the question as stated even though the use of the generic verb ‘is’ frames the answer. Many Victorian parlor tricks posed false moral dilemmas as a means of providing entertainment. This question is constructed in that same manner. The question should instead be phrased as either “Define Evil” or more thoroughly “Given that we use the term evil in a variety of contexts what does the term mean in those contexts – i.e.: subjective analysis. Given the set of meanings in those contexts, are any or all of those meanings impossible or self-contradictory? i.e.: objective analysis. And of what remains, can such a thing as evil exist?”
2) Explore Evolutionary History: What can we learn from the evolution of the term?
There is a term we call “Evil”.
The term has an etymology – a history – a time at which it was invented.
The meaning of the term was originally political – to denote ‘a competing way of life against our interests’.
The term was then expanded by analogy to address individual actions.
The term was then anthropomorphically expanded by analogy to cover random (natural) events.
The term was then applied as a criticism of monotheistic divinity in order to illustrate a self contradiction.
The term is now – post Darwin and under democratic secular socialism– becoming loaded and archaic.
Like most things, understanding something’s history tells us far more than understanding its current state.
3) Collect All Possible Examples: What are all the examples we can think of, or find that refer to the term in context? Both in-group (culture) and out-group?
Answer: Murder. Sibling murder. Killing an ant. Undermining institutions. Creating a moral hazard. Selling an immoral product. Plotting terrorism. What about the DC sniper versus the top military sniper? The list is long, and I’m not going to be creative here, other that to suggest that any inventory of examples we create has to be fairly large, and cover the individual, institutional, local political, cultural-political, and geo-political spectrums if this exercise will have any value.
4) Determine Population Dimension: Does the term apply to individuals or groups or both?
Answer: Both. From our examples, it applies to both individuals and groups of both actors and victims.
5) Determine Time Dimension: What about different economic eras? Are ‘evil and immoral’ considered to be different under hunter-gathering, agrarian, manorial, industrial, urban technological eras?
Answer: yes. Markedly so. Hunter gatherer, agrarian, industrial, and urban ethics are markedly different.
6) Separate Actions from Actors from Consequences: What is the difference between an evil person and an evil action, or an evil semi-autonomous process (a virus, or a viral meme)?
Answer: A person is evil with intention and repetition. An action produces evil results regardless of intention, and is evil only by analogy. A process produces evil results but is only evil by analogy.
7) Separate Subjective from Objective: Emotions – how do emotions play into determining ill mannered, unethical, immoral and evil actions, individuals and groups??
a) Emotions are descriptions of changes in state of perception of an individual’s assets. Moreover, they are reactions to descriptions of changes in state of capital. (Yes, really.) Nothing more. Given the differences in knowledge and experience (and intelligence) emotions are subjective descriptions of the perception of each individual’s inventory.
b) Empathy is an ability to imitate the express of the change in state of other individuals. It is pre-verbal communication of changes in property (capital).
8) Narrow the definition until it is exclusive: What can we learn by determining what is not considered ‘Evil’, or which is covered by other terms?
What ‘bad actions’ are not classified as evil?
Answer? Accidents. And errors that are not repeated.
9) Determine Limits Of The Cases: What is the difference between ill mannered, unethical, immoral, and evil actions? Are displays of bad manners evil? Is someone unethical classifiable as evil? Is someone immoral classifiable as evil? Aren’t unethical and immoral lower bars than evil? Why?
Answer: because we are all unethical and immoral at times, but evil we tend to think of ‘evil’ as repetitive systemic and intentional.
But let’s look at this carefully: lets say we have a diamond ring dealer that preys upon the dreams of the poor by selling them low-downpayment engagement rings at very high interest rates. (This example is from real life.) Then when they default on the payments he reposesses the ring, pulls the diamond for resale and melts it down. What about the mortgage broker who sold all those mortgages before the crash to people who couldn’t afford them? What about the marxist who, despite the evidence of near genocidal consequences, still advocates marxism? What about the christian scientist who prays rather than takes a child to the hospital? What about the mother who advocates avoiding shots for her children? What is the difference between stealing water, and poisoning a well?
10) Further Refine into a spectrum: What is unique to ‘Evil’ that is not unique to ill-mannered, unethical, and immoral actions?
Answer: Knowledge (intent), Destruction, and Frequency (repetition).
Ignorance is pervasive, so a single instance that one learns from is not evil, but accidental. Repetitive actions can no longer be made in ignorance.
11) Identify Remaining Causal Dimensions: Are any of the properties we have discovered possible to express in consolidated form as a continuum?
Yes, the following continuum can be composed from the discussion:
a) ACTORS: Individual->Group->ExtraGroup->”Nature”
b) VICTIMS: Individual->group->Humanity->Life->Universe
c) KNOWLEDGE: Accidental/Made_In_Ignorance->Intentional/Made_With_Knowledge->Systemic/Habitual/Made_Without_Intent
e) FREQUENCY: OneTime->Repetitive->Pervasive
12) Graph Dimensions: Is it possible to graph these continuum in order to show their dependence upon one another (taking into consideration that more than three dimensions is difficult for humans to comprehend.)
Answer: Yes. We can create six or eight before they become repetitive.
[Graph any two axis, and then attempt to add third, then repeat permutations until all are covered.]
What do these graphs tell us about objective evil? And about evil by analogy?
a) To the actor(s), knowledge is the only relevant criteria for determining whether he is objectively evil or not.
b) To the victim, capital is only relevant if a transfer or destruction of capital is created. Meaning that there is a standard that must be met in order to qualify as ‘evil’.
c) To the victim, the actor’s knowledge is only relevant if frequency is repetitive and the actor is a group or individual.
Therefore, the necessary and sufficient definition of the term ‘Evil’ consists of repetitive transfer or destruction of capital.
(NOTE: This definition applies to the divinity argument as well, since by definition, the divine is all powerful and eternal and therefore repetitive.)
P.1) ‘Evil’ is an archaic term that refers to the repetitive and therefore willful or systemic destruction of capital – individual or social, by individuals, groups, or ‘nature’. Conversely, ‘Good’ is an archaic term that refers to the repetitive and therefore willful or systemic accumulation of capital – individual or social, by individuals groups or ‘nature’.
P.2) ‘Immoral’ is a term that refers to anonymous involuntary transfers of capital because of informational asymmetry. Conversely, ‘Moral’ is a term that refers to refraining from conducting anonymous involuntary transfers of capital due to informational asymmetry.
P.3) ‘Unethical’ is a term that refers to non-anonymous involuntary transfers of capital because of informational asymmetry. Conversely, ‘Ethical’ is a term that refers to refraining from non-anonymous involuntary transfers of capital because of informational asymmetry.
P.4) ‘Ill-mannered’ is a term that refers to the non-anonymous failure to contribute to normative capital – privatization (theft) of social capital stored in norms. Conversely, ‘well-mannered’ is a term that refers to the non-anonymous contribution to normative capital by habitual demonstration of adherence to norms.
a) ‘Capital’ consists of life, body, several property, communal (shareholder) property, informal institutions (morals, ethics, manners, myths), formal institutions (laws, government).
b) ‘Transfers’ consists of the movement capital from one set of one or more people to another set of one or more people.
c) The normative composition of capital, property, and institutions varies from social group to social group.
d) The primary purpose of ‘manners’ is ‘Signaling’. (i.e.: class status and demonstrated fitness to the group for the purpose of mate selection and association, and pedagogy through imitation.)
NOTE: I am unsure whether ‘capital’ in these contexts also includes opportunities. I think that ‘opportunities’ may be forced expressly outside of all ethical systems that allow for competition (research and development). Any ethical system that did not allow for competition would not survive contact with those that do. In this sense, it is possible to have ‘bad’ ethical systems and ‘good’ ethical systems depending upon one’s time preference.
1) I believe it will not be possible to define Good and Evil, Moral, and Immoral, Ethical, and Unethical, or well-mannered, and Ill-mannered, by any other form of demarcation that would not be answered by this set of propositions.
‘Evil’ is an archaic term that is heavily loaded with mystical connotations– primarily because it has been politically loaded by the consumer class’ public intellectuals in their desire to undermine the social and political status of the church so that they could obtaining status through control of the public dialog. (Which in itself is an economic and political process.)
Evil exists as an objective political and economic classification of human actions and effects. Groups can be classified as evil, and individuals can be classified as evil, if they take actions that produce outcomes that systemically or repeatedly transfer or destroy capital. Abstract entities (nature, god) an be classified as evil by analogy because they destroy capital. Ideas can be classified as evil, and abstract processes can be classified by analogy as evil if they produce outcomes that systematically or repeatedly transfer or destroy capital.
i.e. Marxism is evil. It may be the ultimate evil that man has yet discovered, since it destroys the institutions that make cooperation in a division of labor possible. Its arguable either way whether, as Nietzsche stated, that the most evil person in history is Zoroaster. And from both an eastern and western perspective, if not Zoroaster, then at least Abraham is a candidate for the most evil person in history. But the monotheistic religions pale compared to the deadliness of Marxism.
Sometime within the past six months, I have unconsciously ceased to consider myself an American, and begun to think of myself as an English American – or even just a diasporic Englishman. It wasn’t something I chose. It wasn’t a decision. It was the result of living through these interesting, and increasingly fractious times, while writing on political philosophy.
The English population of the States varied from around 50% to around 60% prior to 1800. Over time, due to the immigration needed to fill the Louisiana purchase to keep the west free from another French or English war, then due to the further westward expansion, that number has decreased to about 25% in 1980. And now, it’s declined to something between 9% and 12% — depending upon the various data we refer to. Demographically people of English decent are spread in a band from Maine to Oregon, predominantly along the 40th-46th parallel, with rural northeast, midwest, northern Rocky, and the north west the only places that they are more than 10% of the population.
Interestingly enough, if we look at the UK today, almost all the variation in IQ scores occurs within the ‘middle class’ or what we in the states would call the ‘upper middle class’. It’s dramatic enough that it skews the averages upward. There is a subset of the British people that represent the Northern European version of the Ashkenazim.
Will the decline of Anglos impact the national culture, or it’s legal system? We know that it takes about 10-15% of the population to hold an idea or value before it becomes part of the culture. It’s Pareto’s principle at work yet again: 1% figure out everything, 5% translate it, 10% prosthelytize it, and the rest follow them. If different groups ally together then ideas can be driven into the society’s norms simply by the process of ideological-flocking. Does that mean that Anglo values will, simply by demographic dilution, decline in influence within those norms? Perhaps, very slowly. It takes about two generations to change basic values, and four for them to fully disappear. And the English Americans aren’t alone. Our cousins the Germans are about equal in percentage and distribution across the country. The Irish and Italians had their impact. And now the Hispanic(Indians) join the Africans. The Asians and Hindus aren’t much of an influence yet. But it’s quite clear that those groups will come to dominate certain social classes and therefore have greater and less likelihood to influence the national culture. And if we look at our history, the Catholics achieved precisely what the protestants warned they would, and the Jews accomplished what the Catholics warned about, and now the Supreme court is a mix of Jewish and catholic, with english and germanic protestants noticeably absent. So significant change can occur in less than a century. Somehow I find that oddly fascinating. But the sentiment of collectivism in the catholics (who represent Europe’s lower classes) and the Jews, as well as that of the hispanics, will certainly express itself in institutional changes, as the germanic protestant culture and it’s calvinist roots are out bred and out immigrated, and those people become a minority.
This change from majority to minority is the origin of the Tea Party movement in the states and the BNP-related movements in the UK – white people are acting like a minority, and will soon lose all care and guilt over their advantages, or their colonialist history.
THE END OF GUILT
But what will change, and is changing rapidly, is the desire for whites, whether protestant or catholic, (or those under the self delusion that they’re neither), to demonstrate that they are acting fairly and justly by granting others special rights as a means of getting over ‘white guilt’. What guilt is a remnant of what one side sees as colonialism, and the other side sees as dragging humanity out of agrarian mysticism, ignorance and poverty. That period of ‘guilt’ is about to come to a permanent end.1 The protestants, and then the catholics, will hold no privileged position. No inherited advantage. We’ll want our own protections. And we’ll want revocation of those prior advantages that we gave away.2
Colonial guilt is especially vivid in the English. English people were effete, technocratic, and messianic as well as colonialist. And the best technologies that they distributed to those cultures was christianity, accounting, empiricism, medicine, and the common law. They surrendered their colonies fairly easily. And in 500 years they dragged civilization into the modern age – despite the attempts of French intellectuals, and Marxists to fight them off. The most illustrative statement about English ethics is a quote my Mao: “If India had been a French colony, Gandhi never would have been an old man”. And the state of British colonies versus french colonies is all the evidence needed to demonstrate the different cultural virtues.
We’re a tribal people. Brits today are tribal in general. Remarkably so. And classicist as well – which is where the tribalism comes from. The English are already a diasporic people. a minority that was once in control of vast continents. But unlike the other diasporic capitalist peoples: the Jews, Chinese, Hindus and Armenians, we have a deep seated love of the land that is buried in our mythology and our values. Without control of land we are permanently frustrated from expressing our ancient desire to work metal, bend nature, and demonstrate our political devotion and social status, by making the world – every inch of it – a work of art that is left behind us, as a record of our character.
RETURN TO TRIBALISM
So, my country has left me, and I have left it. The romantic attachment I had to the constitution, the bill of rights, the revolution, its ideology — and my fervent patriotism — left along with it. It’s been a long hard attack on the ‘White Protestant Nation’. But like water on a rock, it’s been successful – unfortunately, almost entirely through the evasion and dilution of the 14th amendment, and the democratization of the Senate. The constitution was an innovation, it was brilliant, but it wasn’t strong enough. The most interesting thing, is that this destruction was done largely by women – initially puritan women – who, in America, liberated by the industrial revolution, then later by the availability of consumer appliances, directed their anger at men, rather than the church — as they did in most countries. (Which is what explains the peculiarly inaffectionate businesslike relationship between men and women in the states, versus other western countries that so many foreigners seem to notice.)
THE FORBIDDEN TRIBE
Political pressure and rent-seeking from other groups under the ruse of equality — but in reality for the purpose of rent-seeking and access to status and political power — has succeeded in forming a normative and institutional prohibition against our forming a separatist identity as does everyone else. It is entirely acceptable to promote a jewish homeland. It is entirely acceptable to have a jewish defense league, or a La Raza, or a black national movement. Everyone else can be sectarian, but we are forbidden it. In Canada, the lowest caste with the least rights, is white males – by law. In England, bureaucrats starve pensioners but pay the bills of ‘asylum seekers’ — in one of the most perverse incentive schemes ever to create a privileged political class.
Now, if a people do not promote their country, their government, their institutions, and their way of life? What do they do? If their history is forbidden to them in their schools? If they are demonize? What do they do? The answer is consistent for all diasporic people: they form a predatory capitalist minority that works within the statute law, but profits from asymmetrical observation of all norms. Norms: habits, manners, ethics, morals — they take care of their own. Just as recent immigrants to the USA go through criminal, small business, and integrated phases.
We are members of a forbidden tribe. Our religion is forbidden. Our values are forbidden. Our meritocratic, individualist, aristocratic social system is forbidden. Our history is forbidden.
So, how do I feel about being a member of the Forbidden Tribe? I wish Mother England would open her doors to us, so that those of us who are still willing may return home to our live among our own. I am sorry that our ancestors waged a revolution in order to avoid paying for the french and indian war.
God Save The Queen. And may God save our English people.
(EDIT FOUND THIS)
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité
My libertarian friends seem to be making a lot of noise about recent policy that allows the USA to conduct “indefinite detention” in its fight against terroris. And, despite my desire to circle the wagons whenever possible, I don’t have any problem with “Indefinite Detention”. Although, I’ll qualify that later on.
We have a long history in the west, of detaining prisoners of war for the duration of the war, and exempting them from punishment, and negotiating the terms of their exchange at the end of the war, in exchange for our prisoners, and other concessions. One of those concessions is that we hold the group we negotiate with accountable for the actions of the released prisoners.
Our tradition of holding prisoners, and the laws that surround it, is ancient. It had multiple purposes. It reduced the likelihood of violence against a soldier, which made men on both sides more willing to join the military and fight. It allowed for ransoms to be collected. And it allowed for more peaceable negotiations since the slaughter of prisoners tends to incite the opposition interminably.
So, I have no problem with indefinite detention. That is,assuming that Congress has declared war on a group, a state, or a concept.
In our secular legal system, we make the false assumption that an antagonist against whom we can declare war must be a state. But that’s not true. We conducted the crusades, not only because of the actions of the islamic states, not only because of their bloody violence against european property, but because of the INACTION of the islamic states in securing the safety of pilgrims to the holy land. (The bulgarians in particular.) So, one of the virtues of a state, is that a state can be held responsible for the actions of its citizens against those of foreign states. Otherwise a state is just an excuse for giving a haven to terrorists, thieves, pirates, brigands, drug dealers and all other despicable people.
But it’s not just the abstraction of a state we can old accountable. A state is just an idea, a territory, and a group of people. We can also hold a group, or idea accountable. We certainly held Communism accountable. And if we had been as vigorous as say, (general ww2) wanted us to, we might have saved 70 million chinese, and 20 million Russians from fratricide from starvation and murder at the hands of their own governments due to an absolutely insane economic ideology.
We can certainly hold groups accountable for their actions, regardless of their state or lack of one. We can certainly hold peoples accountable for their religious and cultural associates.
All that need justify “indefinite detention” is an act of congress that labels a group, a state, a people, or an idea or movement, the subject of a declaration of war.
If then people feel a terrible objection they can certainly move their congress, their senate and their president away from war against their own people. It is not citizenship in the abstract that protects an individual from acts of war by his own country. It is his subscription to it’s laws, and covenants, which are demonstrated by his words and actions. War is not a matter for law. Law is for the purpose of resolving conflicts within a state. War is for resolving conflicts outside of law. And if a country declares a group, an idea, a people, or a state the target of war, then individuals who conspire and associate with a group, promote an idea, belong to a people, or are citizens of a state, are no longer criminals, but combatants in a war, or traitors.
I don’t have any problem with “indefinite detention” of anyone against whom we declare war. I don’t understand why I should fear my government outlawing me for my ideas, associations, or actions. And, given the political power of my fellow Americans, I am not terribly concerned with outlawing the ideas, association or actions of others.
And, taken to the extreme, should my government declare war against me for some reason, then I am no longer prohibited from using my inventory of violence against that state. Because it is my violence that I give to the state to use on my behalf when I become a citizen. A state is nothing but claim to a territorial monopoly on violence. And should my state reject me, or outlaw me, then I no longer must restrain my violence. And I may use it to any moral end that I choose. Be it to overthrow that state, form another, or give my violence to some other state, some other group, in support of some other idea, so that either I, or others may use it on my behalf.
Indefinite detention is a meaningless objection by libertarians who are convicted pacifists rather than practical observers of human nature. However, any indefinite detention must be limited to those imprisoned under articles of war. They certainly have a right to military tribunal, but the only argument that must matter to the tribunal is whether they are part of the group, a member of a people, a state, an ideology against which we have made a declaration of war.
In our own legal system, the judiciary has determined that legal recourse post-hoc is a sufficient guarantee of liberty for the individual. While I disagree with their position because of the value of time and opportunity, and because it lets the judiciary act too slowly and irresponsibly, any argument that the due process of law is superior to the process of tribunals is at best a false equivalency, and at best an open deceit.
Indefinite detention is entirely acceptable as long as there is a declaration of war. In fact, it’s preferred.
From Tyler Cowen – Arab Spring and the stability of monarchy
Victor Menaldo has a new paper:
This paper helps explain the variation in political turmoil observed in the MENA during the Arab Spring. The region’s monarchies have been largely spared of violence while the “republics” have not. A theory about how a monarchy’s political culture solves a ruler’s credible commitment problem explains why this has been the case. Using a panel dataset of the MENA countries (1950-2006), I show that monarchs are less likely than non-monarchs to experience political instability, a result that holds across several measures. They are also more likely to respect the rule of law and property rights, and grow their economies. Through the use of an instrumental variable that proxies for a legacy of tribalism, the time that has elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution weighted by Land Quality, I show that this result runs from monarchy to political stability. The results are also robust to alternative political explanations and country fixed effects.
Yes. Thus endeth the lesson given by Hans Herman Hoppe. :)
“The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.” – W. Bagehot. Bagehot then goes on to discuss what Bryan Caplan has more recently called “myth of the rational voter”. But the fact that government is complex and citizens are easily confused, misled or frustrated is not sufficient to answer the question of monarchy.
But the better answer, provided By Hoppe, is that elected officials always create a Tragedy of the Commons out of the society, its norms, its institutions and its economy – elected officials have every incentive to spend, to sell off, to destroy traditions, and to create factions so that they can profit from dispute resolution among them. A monarch has the opposite interest: he has every incentive to create an enduring nation for his people, so that he can persist his family heritage. And even better, since the monarchy — by its social status alone — creates at the very least, mating advantages, and at the very best, wealth and a place in history for family members, the family will happily commit regicide if the monarch acts against their interests. (And history is full of examples.) You can kill a monarch, but removing politicians is an exercise in futility. As soon as one is gone, another pops up in his stead.
Furthermore, I suggest that in a society where political power is unattainable, the only venue for status seeking is the market. And success in the market is good for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. Conversely, all political action is merely a distraction – a waste of time and effort in lost productivity an liesure because political power must both be pursued and defended against. All commercial action is a benefit to someone, somewhere.
The best and most stable form of government we have yet discovered, consists of a rigid constitution, under hereditary monarchy, where the monarch has limited power of veto, perhaps limited to dismissing the government, with an upper house having rigid criteria for membership, and whose responsibly is limited to ascent or veto, and a lower house from citizens who meet rigid criteria for membership not available to the upper house, and who alone can initiate bills, where both houses are appointed by lottocracy, and where there is no compensation for service, and where all administration is performed under contract by the private sector, by organizations and individuals capable of being hired and fired at will. All of which are balanced by an independent judiciary that administers the common law.
This system is a defense against the usurpation of the government, a defense against the natural corruption of bureaucracy, a defense against the fashion and passion of the public, a defense against the politicization and factionalization of society, a direction of competitive energies to the market and out of politics, and relegates reward for public service to that of social status. But best of all, society is socially bimodal, and having houses of government that represent their interests, and force a compromise provides a vent for stress, and a means of cooperating through compromise and exchange.
In this environment, public intellectuals must convince the society of a common good, not advance particular individuals in order to advance their ideas. Schumpeter is right: the competition for power in the modern state is between public intellectuals and entrepreneurs. When most people were farmers or small business owners, the entrepreneur could win. Today, only a fraction of our society actually participates in the market the way our ancestors did, and as such, public intellectuals (modern priesthood) have increased their power. The entrepreneurial culture has defended itself in every way possible. But there is no certitude that it can succeed.
I have no position as yet, as do my fellow libertarians, on sovereign currency (fiat money) versus private money. I recognize that fiat money gives us the ability to insure one another against the vicissitudes of nature, and I am uncomfortable with the appreciation in the value of private money created by public investment. But I am not yet settled on which of the alternatives is the most constructive.
The first question of politics is ‘why do I not kill you and take your stuff?’ (Why should we form a cooperative order, versus a dictatorship)
The Second question of politics is ‘what are our property definitions, both communal and several?’ (how shall we break the world into actionable bits)
The second question of politics, is ‘what are our norms?’ (‘What is our shareholder agreement over the treatment of those property definitions?’)
The third question of politics is ‘how do we prevent corruption, fraud, theft and violence against several and communal property?’ (The privatization of public assets and the involuntary transfer of assets, against the terms of our shareholder agreement.)
The fourth question of politics is ‘how do we create institutions to resolve conflict over property and norms?’ ( How do we register citizenship, register property ownership, what requirements we place on individual behavior, and what is the manner of our judiciary for the resolution of disputes)
The fifth question of politics is ‘how do we suppress the numan desire for corruption?’
The sixth question of politics is ‘How shall we coordinate, choose and administer investments on the behalf of shareholders?’
The seventh question of politics is ‘how do we distribute the surplus from our investments to our shareholders should we have any?’
I’ve said this many times, but given what I’ve read today, I’ll say it again:
Per Camus, the first question of philosophy is ‘Why don’t we commit suicide?’
That one question is one of philosophy’s most informative riddles.
But I have another riddle that adds just as much insight as Camus’ does to philosophy, into political philosophy:
That is: “Why don’t I just kill you and take your stuff?”1
If you can answer that question, all those questions that follow become non-neutral. By which I mean, that arguments over property are not those which you can walk away from.
Political disputes are not conducted over matters of taste.
They are matters of property or we would not debate them.
- Or “Why don’t I just kill you and prevent you from taking my stuff?” [↩]
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.
Kinsella’s Criticism of Locke, and My Explanation of Locke’s Reasonable Mistake, and What To Do About It.
74 days ago
Liberty Isn't Inherent. It's unnatural. We create it with Organized Violence.
78 days ago
Propertarian Definition: REVOLUTION
78 days ago
Giving Rorty Another Try
78 days ago
An Skeleton Argument In Defense Of Rorty From Hoppe
78 days ago
A Propertarian Definition of Ruthless
78 days ago
The Self Deception Of The Enlightenment View Of Man
78 days ago
On Rent Seeking
78 days ago
- Kinsella’s Criticism of Locke, and My Explanation of Locke’s Reasonable Mistake, and What To Do About It.