In the context of intellectual history, the argument against socialism was framed as the viability of the “socialist mode of production”.

The central argument against socialism is the impossibility of that mode of production on two points: calculation and incentives – with the debate only over the relative importance of each.

Second, it is non-logical to disconnect the notion of production from economy. Because that is the function of an economy: production, distribution and exchange, in patterns of sustainable specialization and trade. An economy is a means of production. Otherwise the term has no rational meaning.

Third -and this is important – socialist, postmodern and totalitarian humanist dogma is constructed in obscurant language by intent for the purpose of deception.

So by stating economic concepts in operational language, as is required by the canons of science, we illustrate the difference between belief and action, and between the irrational and the rational, and between the impossible and the possible.

The socialist method or mode of production is impossible both logically and demonstrably.

The vague term ‘economic system’ is a form of deception.

The capitalist means of production is possible because both the incentives to do what we do not wish to do, and the means of calculating how to do so, are available to us; such that by doing what we may not wish to do, we do what we are capable of doing, and by doing so satisfy the wants of others, such that we may finally satisfy our own wants.

The socialist means of production is not possible. It is impossible because neither the means of calculation, nor the incentive to do what we do not desire to, exists in that method of production.

Marxism is the biggest organized systemic set of lies since the invention of scriptural monotheism. It is the most murderous religion ever created by man – by replacing mystical allegory with verbal obscurantism and pseudoscience.

If you cannot explain an economic argument in operational language you are either engaged in ignorance or deception or perpetuating deception out of ignorance.

 

(I wanted to thank Jason Maher for very intelligent comments. But also to respond to criticisms, and perhaps to fill a few gaps.)

This post is part of a discussion on Argumentation Ethics.

1) In that thread, my purpose was to illustrate that neither AE, nor performative contradiction, are causal arguments. However, since both correctly assume self ownership is a necessity, then that the single assumption is sufficient to deduce all of the institutional solutions that Hoppe addressed in his work. It’s weak causal argumentative support, but it demonstrates internal consistency. And, in both logic and mathematics, whenever we construct a proof, we require internal consistency. Internal consistency does not determine external correspondence. And external correspondence is the only test of ‘truth’. But his arguments are internally consistent, and that’s something that doesn’t happen very often in ethics.

2) The rest of my post (and most of my work) is designed to articulate the universally DESCRIPTIVE ETHICS demonstrated by man, and to argue how, given such a descriptive ethics, liberty can be achieved as a system of NORMATIVE ETHICS.

3) The reason this construction is necessary is to correct the FAILURE of libertarian arguments to gain political support – or even to constrain the state. Or more simply: if we have better rational and economic arguments, then why do conservatives succeed in resisting the state, but libertarians fail to resist the state?

The answer is that humans vote and act, morally, not rationally. (And it’s necessary for them to do so for many reasons, not the least of which is limited cognitive ability in real time, combined with fragmentary knowledge and living in an environment surrounded by others who are engaged in limited theft and violence, but pervasive deception, fraud, obscurantism, free riding, rent seeking and conspiracy.

So the purpose of my work is to attempt to correct libertarian ethics such that the failed effort to gain popular support can either be corrected by improvements to libertarian ethics such that they are preferable to a political majority, or to alter the libertarian strategy such that we abandon both the attempt to obtain a political majority (or even an effective resistance), and attempt a separate solution.

The various means which I’ve attempted to suggest are too long for this forum.

NOW, TO JASON’S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTS

–”An interesting conceptual division of methods to nick what belongs to someone else. Mr. Doolittle’s principle argument is the the Non Aggression Principle can only deal with #1 and part of #4, but is completely powerless against #2 and #3. Specifically, he speaks of the NAP lacking a mechanism for dealing with classes 2 and 3, and even encourages them…”–

You are correct. Yes.

–””Private property is contrary [to] the female reproductive strategy””–

This fact may seem humorous to you but the consequences explain why the introduction of women into the voting pool has driven us consistently toward a redistributive society, despite the fact that none of such would have occurred without the introduction of women in the voting pool. (I can’t vouch for Australia because I don’t know the data, But it’s true in the states and Canada. In Canada, without the French vote, the mix would be as conservative as the united states. Which is why conservative Canadians want Quebec to secede.)

The female reproductive strategy is not monogamous, but polyamorous for support and protection, but to capture the better genes she can run across from those multiple encounters. And then to retain the burden of care, but to place the burden of upkeep on the tribe.

Wherever monogamous marriage (the nuclear family, or the northern european absolute nuclear family) declines women return to this strategy via proxy of the state.

Property rights that accompanied animal husbandry and agrarian settlement, inverted matrilineal reproductive control, and placed reproductive control in the hands of males – something the marxists have argued against since Engels wrote his tome on it.

I can go into this at depth but lets just say that the evidence is that women cause the change in property rights policy and that they demonstrate a return to community property in their voting patterns.

–”NAP covers externalities easily… complete allocation of private property rights to avoid “tragedy of the commons” and then allowing people to sue for damage to their property.”–

–”NAP covers fraud too since it is basically theft through breach of contract.”–

–”NAP doesn’t cover asymmetric information to the degree that it simply means two different people have different information. But having different information isn’t a property rights violation and is simply the state of nature. It is impossible and absurd to talk about all people in the world having identical information.”–

Individual contracts place an extremely high transaction cost on all exchanges. So if you are one of the owners of an enormous shopping mall, and you rent space for stores to merchants, and you want to maximize your revenue, will you, or will you not, want to decrease transaction costs?

People are entirely cognizant of transaction costs. The high trust society eliminates them, by a normative prohibition on all involuntary transfers, not just those transfers that constitute aggression.

Further, no society exists that has property rights and liberty as we know it EXCEPT where there has been a near prohibition on all involuntary transfers – because it is the only way to reduce demand for the state: demand for the mall owners so to speak, to reduce transaction costs.

We must remember that for humans, loss aversion, and altruistic punishment are MORE ACTIVATING (we are more passionate about them) than self interest. So all our decisions are asymmetrically weighted against risk.

So the libertarian errors are those of incorrect attribution of praxeological analysis to transactions. And the reason for that praxeological error is that mises and rothbard both made the error of using commodity purchases and ordinal preferences, where commodity purchases are marginally indifferent except on price, and where human differences are not ordinal but a network, and where that network demonstrates necessary biases against risk and necessary cooperative biases that punish offenders>

Think of it this way. If we did not operate by such rules, then transaction costs would be infinite, and we would not exist.

It is not possible for humans to function without these prohibitions.

It is non logical for libertarians to rely on the NAP, which structurally contains errors that are impossible for humans to cooperate using.

I am aware that it is quite unlikely that you will, at first reading, drop your high investment in rothbardian and misesian logic. And I suspect that this one argument is insufficient to convince you. But you will have a very hard time both rationally and empirically circumventing that logic.

So it is not that I err, or fail to grasp, or have not made sufficient efforts in this area of inquiry. It is that I am not trying to JUSTIFY liberty, but instead am trying to explain how to obtain it as a preference, because it is not justifiable. and it is not justifiable because while liberty is in our reproductive interests. It is not in the reproductive interests of all. Or even the majority.

—”And perhaps more importantly, the NAP is not the only basis for anarchy. David Friedman is one of the most famous living anarchists and he (and I) argue based on consequences, not NAP.”—

Well, I never made that statement. I’m making the statement that NAP is insufficient for DESCRIBING what people do. And that the weakness of the NAP explains why we fail to understand why even those people who prefer government out of their lives, demonstrate a demand for government under conditions that the NAP prescribes.

The NAP only prohibits crime. It does not prohibit unethical or immoral conduct. To obtain voluntary participation you must forbid both unethical and immoral conduct, otherwise individuals will demand intervention to prohibit it. By having the state, a population trades free riding, theft, unethical and immoral conduct that they cannot avoid for rent seeking and corruption that they can avoid. You cannot eliminate rent seeking and corruption via the state without also retaining the prohibition on unethical and immoral actions suppressed by the state.

Its non logical.

I am trying to reform libertarianism to repair the errors in Rothbardian ethics in order to explain why we lose. And the NAP is one of the reasons that we lose: because it prohibits criminality but not unethical or immoral behavior.

And if the NAP fails to prohibit unethical and immoral behavior, and If we claim to have a lock on ethics, then what is the basis for that claim?

If we have a lock on ethics, then why do we fail? Are humans naturally unethical? That would mean that natural law was a false basis for liberty.

This is because aggression is not the test of the ethics of property. It is only the test of criminality. Ethical constraint and moral constraint are place higher demands on property rights.

Blackmail, as Rothbard argues, is not a violation of the NAP. It is a voluntary exchange. What is it about blackmail that we can say is moral or ethical?

It should be clear at this point that the NAP is not a test of ethical or moral behavior, but only of criminal behavior.

THE NAP IS LESS OF A REASON FOR A VOLUNTARY SOCIETY
The NAP is LESS of a reason to prefer a voluntary society if we merely exchange free riding, rent seeking and corruption via the state, which we can both avoid and which we rarely experience, for unethical and immoral behavior which is pervasive in society, and we cannot avoid or fail to experience.

Praxeology demands that we attribute rational choice to individuals. It’s non-praxeological to assert that the exchange of pervasive and daily thefts is preferable to infrequent and invisible thefts. If only for the transaction costs to each of us.

So no, the NAP is LESS of a reason to prefer a voluntary society. People see the state, rationally, as the lesser evil between pervasive criminality, unethical behavior, and immoral behavior. They willingly trade rent seeking and corruption that they cannot see for criminality, unethical, and immoral behavior. And they are rightly rational to do so.

So what is the means by which we eliminate the state’s free riding, rent seeking and corruption, while also prohibiting the criminal, unethical, and immoral? What is the basis for property rights if we must prohibit the criminal, unethical, immoral, AND the CORRUPT?

NAP does not tell us this. Our reliance on the argumentative value of the NAP is the reason we fail. The NAP is in fact a RECIPE FOR FAILURE, because it is an unethical and immoral standard for the construction of property rights, norms and the common law.

THE NAP IS ONE OF THE REAONS WE FAIL.

Without prior promise of constraint of blackmail, we cannot reduce demand for the state. Private Property only developed where unethical and immoral conduct was suppressed at every possible level.

The EVIDENCE is that the demand for private property only exists in the suppression of immoral and unethical conduct. Criminality is insufficient. So it’s not RATIONAL to argue that the NAP is sufficient. The trust necessary for private property must exist PRIOR to the demand for private property, and the reduction of demand for the state. Further, it’s not evident (it’s contrary to the evidence) that the market suppresses unethical and immoral behavior. Just the opposite. The expansion of the market INCREASES opportunity for immoral and unethical behavior. Immoral and unethical behavior is cheaper than honest ethical and moral behavior, which imposes costs on the participants. Property rights are a cost. Every time they are respected. Forgoing those opportunities requires trust. The result of forgoing opportunities and TRUST creates property rights. Not the other way around. Private property does not create trust. Once you suppress criminal, unethical and immoral behavior, the only POSSIBLE means of interaction is via private property.

We cannot confuse cause and consequence.

TRUST FIRST. PROPERTY SECOND. STATE LAST.

So, again, trust (willingness to take risks / low transaction cost exchange) requires the suppression of criminal, unethical and immoral behavior. And the trust that appears to be sufficient for demand for private property requires near total suppression of unethical behavior.

We must suppress even MORE unethical and rent seeking and corrupt behavior in order to reduce demand for the state. If we are to define property rights as the basis of a moral and peaceful society, then what is the definition of property rights that prohibits not only criminal behavior (the NAP) but also unethical, immoral, as well as free riding, rent seeking, and corruption?

I think that it looks like the state would be the natural means of transforming criminal, unethical, immoral behavior into free riding, rent seeking and corruption in an effort to decrease transaction costs. Now, how do we FURTHER suppress free riding, rent seeking and corruption without the state? Privatization. But for privatization we must have a set of property rights that increase suppression of free riding, rent seeking and corruption, without sacrificing the reason for the state: suppression of unethical and immoral behavior.

It’s non logical to ask people to yet bear again that which they have rid themselves of, by clear and demonstrated preference, almost universally. People have already demonstrated that they are willing to trade unethical and immoral behavior, for corrupt and rent seeking behavior. And they were rational to do so. You cannot tell them that they are gaining something by simply reverting them to a previous state that they have already rejected.

We can only offer them something BETTER. Which is to ALSO prohibit rent seeking and corruption AS WELL as unethical and immoral behavior.

So no. The NAP was a terrible mistake for the liberty movement. It was tragic. I understand why they resorted to ghetto ethics, because they didn’t understand where liberty and the high trust society came from.

But now that we do (or at least I do) we must base any argument that we deem ethically superior on a set of property rights that is a net gain, not a net loss, for the population.

This is very difficult for Rothbardians to swallow, but pride and personal investment in a failed ideology are less important than the achievement of freedom.

 

 

–”Yes…transaction costs exist. But that simply means that a market can potentially give sub-optimal outcomes. It does nothing to undermine the internal coherence of NAP.”–

It does everything to undermine the willingness of individuals to reduce their demand for the state.

Science requires external correspondence not internal consistency. Internal consistency is a property of our logic not of reality. It is not materially useful if something is internally consistent if it fails the test of external correspondence.

So if you feel that the NAP is sufficient for the rational reduction of demand for the state, you can make all the internally consistent statements that you wish, but unless you can empirically demonstrate that people will do so, your internally consistent argument is false.

NAP is not false, but insufficient. It is insufficient because people attribute greater resistance to risk and therefore transaction costs, then they to do third party intervention.

For example: Does the NAP forbid blackmail? Rothbard doesn’t forbid blackmail in his books. Walter block doesn’t either.

Each marginal improvement in the trust necessary for marginal reduction in demand for the state, requires disproportionate suppression of additional means of cheating (involuntary transfer). The progression is not linear. We can measure it. We have.
Comments:
——————-

>Osku

How could slavery reduce transaction costs? Couldn’t voluntary organizations do it instead?

>Curt Doolittle

(Sorry, Osku. Not sure the logic you’re using to get to slavery. NAP is insufficient for reduction of demand for the state. People DEMONSTRATE that it is insufficient for reduction of demand for the state. So what is absent in the NAP as a test of property rights theory, that maintains demand for the state? Slavery isn’t the test, because slavery is satisfied by the NAP. NAP is sufficient to suppress slavery, violence and theft. It is not sufficient to suppress even the low standard of ethics set by blackmail. How can a voluntary society, a free society use the NAP as its critieria for the test of property rights?)

>Osku

So you are saying, that people like to be slaves of the state, because they are afraid of blackmailing and transaction costs? I would suspect, that if demand is high enough, the competing legal systems would offer a service, where blackmailing is punished. This would not be against NAP, because, it’s voluntarily agreed sanction, like some communities could punish from alcohol consumption, or some other vice.

If we define society as a co-operative organization, the first principle has to be NAP. Coercion is the opposition of co-operation, so they would be mutually exclusive. The property right to things outside your body, would be next obvious way to co-operate. It’s a way to co-operate more efficiently. Bad manners, like black mailing would be either restricted by social sanctions, or agreed voluntary legal sanctions.

There is no universal ethics, like in christian theology (except for Christians). Ethics is a concept we use to behave as a social animal in society. NAP and property rights are so elementary for social animal, it’s in our genes to understand them. We also have genes to be altruistic, that helps to lower the transaction cost, when living in closely related tribes. Then there is of course genes, that try to use the free riding strategy.

If people are free to leave legal orders and societies, and free to form their own, they are living in voluntary societies. If people are forbidden to leave, they are slaves. There is the problem of free riders and they have high demand for public and private slavery. This slavery is supported by violence and propaganda. A slavery can’t fix problem of transaction costs, because it would destroy the benefits of co-operation. People could still want to be or to have slaves, but if enough seceding communities would emerge and compete with each other, most people would have to follow the price signal.

>Curt Doolittle

“So you are saying, that people like to be slaves of the state, because they are afraid of blackmailing and transaction costs?”

The pejorative term ‘afraid’ is an attempt to introduce a fallacy. Instead, praxeologically, it is simply a rational choice that we reduce the burden of many independent interactions with a few major and invisible transactions.

“I would suspect, that if demand is high enough, the competing legal systems would offer a service, where blackmailing is punished.”

Agreed. However, I don’t dispute that. I’m arguing that without prior promise of constraint of blackmail, we cannot reduce demand for the state. Private Property only developed where unethical and immoral conduct was suppressed at every possible level.

The EVIDENCE is that the demand for private property only exists in the suppression of immoral and unethical conduct. Criminality is insufficient. So it’s not RATIONAL to argue that the NAP is sufficient. The trust necessary for private property must exist PRIOR to the demand for private property, and the reduction of demand for the state. Further, it’s not evident (it’s contrary to the evidence) that the market suppresses unethical and immoral behavior. Just the opposite. The expansion of the market INCREASES opportunity for immoral and unethical behavior. Immoral and unethical behavior is cheaper than honest ethical and moral behavior, which imposes costs on the participants. Property rights are a cost. Every time they are respected. Forgoing those opportunities requires trust. The result of forgoing opportunities and TRUST creates property rights. Not the other way around. Private property does not create trust. Once you suppress criminal, unethical and immoral behavior, the only POSSIBLE means of interaction is via private property.

We cannot confuse cause and consequence.

TRUST FIRST. PROPERTY SECOND. STATE LAST.

So, again, trust (willingness to take risks / low transaction cost exchange) requires the suppression of criminal, unethical and immoral behavior. And the trust that appears to be sufficient for demand for private property requires near total suppression of unethical behavior.

We must suppress even MORE unethical and rent seeking and corrupt behavior in order to reduce demand for the state. If we are to define property rights as the basis of a moral and peaceful society, then what is the definition of property rights that prohibits not only criminal behavior (the NAP) but also unethical, immoral, as well as free riding, rent seeking, and corruption?

I think that it looks like the state would be the natural means of transforming criminal, unethical, immoral behavior into free riding, rent seeking and corruption in an effort to decrease transaction costs. Now, how do we FURTHER suppress free riding, rent seeking and corruption without the state? Privatization. But for privatization we must have a set of property rights that increase suppression of free riding, rent seeking and corruption, without sacrificing the reason for the state: suppression of unethical and immoral behavior.

It’s non logical to ask people to yet bear again that which they have rid themselves of, by clear and demonstrated preference, almost universally. People have already demonstrated that they are willing to trade unethical and immoral behavior, for corrupt and rent seeking behavior. And they were rational to do so. You cannot tell them that they are gaining something by simply reverting them to a previous state that they have already rejected.

We can only offer them something BETTER. Which is to ALSO prohibit rent seeking and corruption AS WELL as unethical and immoral behavior.

So no. The NAP was a terrible mistake for the liberty movement. It was tragic. I understand why they resorted to ghetto ethics, because they didn’t understand where liberty and the high trust society came from.

But now that we do (or at least I do) we must base any argument that we deem ethically superior on a set of property rights that is a net gain, not a net loss, for the population.

This is very difficult for Rothbardians to swallow, but pride and personal investment in a failed ideology are less important than the achievement of freedom.

>Osku

Doesn’t make sense to me. Do you mean, that NAP is incorrect ethical goal, and we should have some anti-NAP goal, that is more achievable? Or are you saying, that the logical reasoning of NAP is not appealing for masses, but could sell them the the private property principle, and NAP would follow by definition from that?

>Curt Doolittle 

Close.

NAP is an INSUFFICIENT ethical test of the violation of property rights needed, (or the ‘goal’ as you say), to COMPENSATE people with the sufficient suppression of immoral and ethical behavior, that they will reduce their DEMAND for government as a means of suppressing that unethical and immoral behavior.

So, yes, it is an incorrect ethical goal because it is an insufficient goal for rational adoption of anarchy. People will demand a much broader definition of property than ‘criminal’.

This is not a criticism of Hoppe’s solutions, private government, or minarchy. It is a criticism of the definition of property that is sufficient for people to tolerate private government or minarchy. Any system that is dependent upon property rights as the means of resolving conflicts, would requires a broader definition of property, that accurately reflected the property rights people demand. Nowhere do people demonstrate a preference for property rights as limited as the NAP except in ghettos.

(There are many ways to approach this argument, but this is the most direct.)

>Andy

So if you are defining property rights according to people’s demand wouldn’t you have to define property rights in thousands of ways for thousands of groups of requests for these? (i.e.: ghetto – NAP, as mentioned.)

And could it not be the case that the NAP be part of this rather that the whole? So maybe it is insufficient but necessary? How do you see this Curt?

>Curt
I see the NAP as necessary, but insufficient. The NAP prohibits crime, and we might argue that through the NAP (as Osku suggested) we could prohibit the state, but we cannot prohibit unethical and immoral behavior. And as such we cannot reduce demand for the state to suppress unethical and immoral behavior.

I think I’ve managed to define the suite of property rights pretty simply actually. However, given that reproductive strategy determines the desirability of some of those rights, and other institutions make some of them more or less necessary, the scope of property rights would need to be specified in a shareholder agreement in private competing governments. (or Constitution that enumerated property rights in minarchic government.)

 

 

1) I think it is a philosophical error (or at least naivety, and possibly profound arrogance) to think in terms of ideal worlds. I tend to think in terms of improving the world we live in, without causing externalities that negate the improvement. It is the latter part of that statement that changes philosophy from an interesting parlor game to one of consequence.

2) I think the purpose of philosophy is to integrate expansions in scientific understanding into our current understanding of the world, such that we improve our ability to reason and act in such a way as to take superior advantage of the difference between our rate of change and the universe’s suite of constant relations.

3) I think value claims are normative. In my work, I have found that if one looks at a) the structure of production
b) the structure of reproduction (family)
c) the class and status of the extended family
d) the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the polity.
e) the gender and generation of the individuals.
That moral biases are predictable portfolios that reflect our reproductives strategies.

4) I think we can agree on means but not ends. And if we could agree upon ends, we increase fragility and risk. But that said, it is non-rational to expect one group to sacrifice its reproduction for another group’s reproduction. And people demonstrate this universally in all polities (at least over time.)

As such I see the only ‘good’ as creating sufficient prosperity, and maintaining it, so that we are all wealthy enough to obtain what we desire individually or in small groups, but certainly not en masse.

And neither equality nor diversity assist us in this objective. And that is demonstrably empirical, and very difficult to refute without selective reasoning.

If it stands that women are at maximum density in one sector or other the economy, then that is the optimum best for all, because any other arrangement, whether prohibited from their potential, or prohibiting some male from his potential, is detrimental to the fulfillment of all potentials.

That is, unless, you feel one of the luxuries that we can afford, is false status signals. An that is a valid preference. It may be that we prefer to create certain false signals because we are wealthy enough to do so. The problem is in anticipating the externalizes (consequences) of such false signals. And whether one or many have the right to involuntarily cause others sacrifice for self benefit.

 

 

The difference between the structure of my arguments, and the more common of those in moral philosophy, is one that is common in western philosophy. Because western philosophy was created and developed by its aristocratic classes, and those classes that performed sufficiently to afford the luxury of philosophy, and sought enfranchisement.

Namely: necessity.

Marx, for all his error, does not make this mistake, nor does perhaps our most influential moral philosopher: Adam Smith against whom Marx, like Freud against Nietzsche, Marx is a reactionary.

So, the difference in our approaches to philosophy, is that I start with necessity, and then choose preference from the available options.

From that position I take the mutually moral and scientific requirements that (a) it is only moral to compel necessities not preferences. (b) the only moral preferential political action is one that others voluntarily comply with. (c) the evidence is that most of our attempts to interfere with social orders, other than increasing participation in them, has proven to be a failure when we attempt to achieve ends, rather than provide means.

There are many preferences that we could seek to pursue, the externalities of which are counter productive to the prosperity that decreases the possibility of choices.

As such, philosophical discourse on luxuries is interesting. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that what we are discussing is the luxuries that our implementation of necessities has made possible.

Discussing luxuries is a nice parlor game. It is like young men fantasizing about which supercar they can buy if they save for the next ten years. But I do not work on philosophy for entertainment. I work on it for the purpose of identifying possible solutions to looming problems: what is necessary for continued expansion of our ability to cooperate in a division of knowledge and labor so vast that we can exist with such wealth?

 

 

Obvious but interesting, is that marxist labor theory of value, and even their supposed social value of ‘labor’ are both in fact valueless and non-logical. But the presence of a ‘consumer’ is not.

It’s not that business value labor. It’s that business and capitalists need CUSTOMERS in order to organize production.

The challenge in expanding any economy, and in the satisfaction of consumer wants, is not production – it is voluntarily organization production for the satisfaction of demonstrated consumer wants.

Money supplies us with information that represents the accumulated savings of time, created by the division of knowledge and labor.

I know this is pretty obvious (and incomplete as an argument) but I still am amazed at how the marxist zombie simply continues to walk the face of the earth.

 

(worth reading)

–”Curt, loved your brief defense of praxeology earlier on (below). This is off subject but like Katherine, I too am curious in what way metaphysics failed and science is now close to triumph. An example or two please? We can go off line if you like.”– Pat

Pat,

This is the largest and most controversial topic in philosophy. And I find that I lose pretty much everyone when I try to address it. So I don’t think I can do it in a couple of examples. I can given an analogy between the problems of constructive/intuitional­ mathematics, the requirements for scientific argument (which are moral constraints actually), the problem of inconstant relations in economics, and the difference between truth and proof. And that forms a basic language for discussion.

Since that conversation requires a pretty exhaustive knowledge of multiple disciplines It seems that the argument is quite hard to make even if done in long form.

BUT TRYING ANYWAY
The best I can do is state that imagination can only be tested by action – external correspondence. And our understanding of of our actions tested by internal consistency. And the veracity of our internal consistency by our understanding of construction. As such, our logical methods allow us to construct instruments which assist us in testing correspondence, internal consistency, and construction. Albeit, while internal consistency can be expressed in complete terms, neither external correspondence nor construction can be.

Without such instruments to extend our perception, memory, and calculability, we lack the ability of sufficient introspection, and the ability of sufficient external perception, to perceive the internal and external world, at the SCALE of those action that we require for cooperating in large numbers, in a vast division of knowledge and labor – the sum of which constantly reduces the cost in calories and time of the production of goods and services which serve our reproductive interests and perpetuation as a species.

This is why ratio-scientific societies outperform magian and allegorical societies: because the constancy of their efforts in correspondence with physical and social reality allows them to take better advantage of physical reality and to cooperate at scale for the production of goods and services.

So, since the above statements effectively reflect the scientific method, then the scientific method is not constrained to ‘science’ per say, but it is the only method by which we can improve our actions. ergo: the scientific method is ‘the method’ of philosophy.

Now, this does not mean that allegorical language (mysticism, religion, mythology, the narrative) have no pedagogical value. They do because we cannot teach the young any other way. It does not mean that Obscurant language (deception) such as is used by the continentals as a means of maintaining loading and framing, and therefore simply preserving christianity and authoritarianism in new form, is impossible or will not succeed in achieving those desires.

It does mean that achieving those desires through obscurantism, deception, framing other than by means of correspondence, will produce negative economic, social and political consequences, because of their failure to correspond to reality.

-Curt

 

 

The difference between my set of statements and the various replies above, is one that is common in western philosophy.

Because western philosophy was created and developed by its aristocratic classes, and those classes that performed sufficiently to afford the luxury of philosophy, and sought enfranchisement.

Namely: necessity.

Marx, for all his error, does not make this mistake, nor does perhaps our most influential moral philosopher: Adam Smith against whom Marx, like Freud against Nietzsche, is a reactionary.

So, the difference in our approaches to philosophy, is that I start with necessity, and then choose preference from the available options.

From that position I take the mutually moral and scientific requirements that:
(a) it is only moral to compel necessities not preferences.
(b) The only moral preferential political action is one that others voluntarily comply with.
(c) the evidence is that most of our attempts to interfere with social orders, other than increasing participation in them, has proven to be a failure when we attempt to achieve ends, rather than provide means.

There are many preferences that we could seek to pursue, the externalities of which are counter productive to the prosperity that decreases the possibility of choices.

As such, philosophical discourse on luxuries is interesting. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that what we are discussing is the luxuries that our implementation of necessities has made possible.

Discussing luxuries is a nice parlor game. It is like young men fantasizing about which supercar they can buy if they save for the next ten years. But I do not work on philosophy for entertainment. I work on it for the purpose of identifying possible solutions to looming problems: what is necessary for continued expansion of our ability to cooperate in a division of knowledge and labor so vast that we can exist with such wealth?

 

The ongoing struggle to extend in-group trust to out-group members.

Or, the ongoing struggle to extend the cooperation demonstrated between consanguineous relations, to beyond those relations, such that it is possible for us to evolve a division of knowledge and labor, in which there is as little risk of misappropriation of our efforts in the market, as there is within the consanguineous family. While inside the family free riding is a form of mutual insurance, manageable by threat of deprivation and ostracization, the fact remains that one’s genetic kin prosper even at the cost of unequal distribution of gains and losses. But outside the kin, the same free riding, and unequal distribution of gains and losses, is neither of benefit to kin, nor controllable by ostracization and deprivation. There is always another group to prey upon if one is mobile enough. And it takes but a minority of predators engaging in immoral activity to render all external trust intolerable, and thereby undermine the people’s economy, polity, and competitive survival.

Simple property
If it was hard to create the institution of simple-private-property such that we could prosecute and suppress the crimes of violence and theft.

Low trust private property
If it was hard to create the institution of low-trust private property such that we could prosecute and suppress the crimes of fraud and blackmail.

High trust warrantied private property
It was hard to create the institution of high-trust, warrantied, private property such that we could prosecute and suppress the crimes of fraud by omission, negligence, and externalization.

High Trust Political Institutions
It was hard to create the formal institutions of high political trust american classical liberalism in an attempt to suppress corruption in government, all forms of free riding.

“Perfect-Trust” Informal and Formal Institutions
So, the why would it not be even more difficult to create formal and informal institutions such that we could prosecute and suppress the crimes of deception by obscurantism, mysticism and loading?

Because cooperation across reproductive strategies is impossible without trust that operates independently of our differences in property rights.

 

REALITY IS MORE LIMITED THAN IMAGINATION: THE MORAL NATURE OF TRUTH IN THE LOGICS AND SCIENCES

1) We can mathematically represent more relations than can exist in reality.
And we can state more things than we can demonstrate correspond with reality. And we can suggest more means and ends of cooperation than can be organized in reality.
2) Set theoretic axioms assist us in making internally consistent statements. But they may or may not correspond to reality.
3) Tests of internal consistency reduce error. But since truth means and must mean correspondence, only external consistency (correspondence) is a test of truth.
4) The value of our imagination, followed by our logical systems is in reducing the cost of testing our ideas about reality.
5) The comparative value (goodness or less good, or even badness) of our spectrum of different logical systems, from:
i) the functionally descriptive, to
ii) the logically descriptive to
iii) the historically descriptive to;
iv) the mythically allegorical, and finally to;
v) the mystically allegorical;
- is the degree with which those systems reduce the cost of exploration by increasing degrees of correspondence. The error we make is in placing greater value on the network effect of existing logical networks (paradigms), than on the possibility of new correspondence with reality.
6) The comparative MORALITY of different logical systems is in the degree to which they pose restraints upon the externalization of costs to those form whom exploration is involuntary, versus the externalizations of benefits to those for whom exploration is involuntary.

HIERARCHY OF TRUTH
That is, unless we state, that we must create a hierarchy of truth:
AXIS 1:
(i) that which is complete (reality) but the completeness of which is unknowable,
(ii) that which is incomplete but correspondent (action/science)
(iii) that which is incomplete but internally consistent (logics)
(iv) that which is incomplete, for which correspondence is unknown, and for which internal consistency is unknown. (theory)
(v) that which we are unaware of. (ignorance)

(I am not settled on the order of (ii) and (iii) since as far as I can tell, our arguments to internal consistency are verbal justification that merely improve our theory, while our actions are demonstrated preferences in favor of our theory.)

And the praxeological test of our confidence in our statements (our WARRANTY) for making true statements:
AXIS 2:
i) That which we do not know
ii) That which we intuit we can to act upon
iii) That which we we desire we can act upon
iiv) That which we can argue we rationally can act upon.
v) That which it is non rational to argue against.
vi) That which is self evident.

Error in science may be a privilege of rank. Science is largely outside of the market. Error in cooperation is not outside the market, and constitutes the market, and is necessity. My voluntary action requires only that I have confidence, since I warranty my own actions by necessity. But as we move from voluntary exchange, to corporate cooperation, to state monopoly corporation, the standard of truth increases, since others pay for any error. The only solution is that those who desire pay, and those that do not, do not.

Therefore, we also understand, that the prohibition on error in science is immaterial if unspoken and constrained to the self. But if science or any other discipline, makes public claims, we require a higher standard.

This prohibition is a MORAL one, because lower standards of truth in science externalize costs on to other scientists.

The standard of truth is inseparable from the moral impact that any statement will have.

I am not free to make any statement. We are not free to make any statement. We are free only to make true statements without punishment of some kind – even if it is just to be ignored and therefore boycotted. In many civilizations one is even prohibited from making true statements if they cause discomfort. In science we reverse this social intuition, and state that we specifically SEEK criticism, rather than confirmation.

If we take this argument all the way down to the very meaning of ‘debate’, we will grasp that the only reason we yield our opportunity for theft and violence, is on the presumption of honest discourse. (argumentation ethics). It is this sacrifice of violence, and grant of peerage in exchange for the cooperative pursuit of truth, that was the unique development of western civilization. And it is this one axiom that led to all of western science and reason. And why no other civilization developed it.

The only reason to argue against the requirement for moral public statements adhering to increasing standards of truth, is that one wishes to externalize costs onto others, or to not be held accountable for the externalization of costs onto others.

In other words, because one is an immoral individual, the definition of which is to externalize costs to the anonymous.

One can say, that like free speech in politics, we insure each other against ignorance and error. And some might say we insure each other against loading and framing. And some might say we insure each other against fraud by omission. And some might say that we insure each other against fraud by deception.

But insurance then, is limited to the willingness of others to pay for it. And our contract for this insurance in public debate has been dramatically loosened by the courts (by the left wing) such that we tolerate (insure) obscurant, immoral, deceptive and plainly fraudulent discourse, as well as eliminate the prior prohibition on libel and slander.

Insurance in any body cannot pay out more than it takes in. And in this case we are already paying out more than we take in.

So the policy must change so to speak.

 
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