To the extent that Rothbard has made statements supporting voluntary segregation, it seems there’s no conflict between the two of you. His city state might be a little more tolerant or bazaar ethics than yours, but beyond that, I don’t get the conflict. Perhaps you’re not here addressing his acceptance of voluntary segregation and are instead addressing the ethics he claimed were universal. Is that it? — Roman,


1) Yes, it’s an argument against universalism. But more importantly, it’s argument against whether ANYONE, in practice, would make the rational choice to live in a world of very high transaction costs (unethical and immoral), instead of a world of very low transaction costs but very high costs (prohibition on all parasitism). So, I’m saying that a ghetto can exist as an offshoot of more advanced polities (most surviving hunter gatherers were outcasts from their civilizations for example.) But you cannot build a civilization out of a ghetto. It’s not historically evident that it’s possible. And it’s not praxeologically rational that you could.

2) Yes, we can make a claim that a group’s reproductive strategy, in order to be competitive, requires that they engage in parasitism.(That’s rothbard’s strategy.) We can claim that another group in order to suit its reproductive strategy, would suppress ALL parasitism. We can, as with the extended and inbred family, preserve familial parasitism as a form of insurance, and actively advocate external parasitism.

3) It is extremely hard to demonstrate why anyone would live in the ghetto who had a choice to live in the palace. BUT i am not sure what the difference is between a prison system and a ghetto other than the victorian and progress era illusion of reform.

4) I pair voluntary segregation with the right of ostracization. I think ‘voluntary segregation’ on its own is another attempt to justify rothbardian parasitism (ghetto ethics).

Since any group of people will rationally choose to reduce transaction costs via a monopoly government even if it is high cost to them. The only POSSIBLE outcome of rothbardian ethics is not a voluntary society, it’s a voluntary ghetto. A ghetto that is also the refuge of those we reject through ostracization. And within that ghetto a certain set of skills will develop and certain individuals will benefit from parasitic competition against other parasitic peoples.

It should become clear at this point where rothbard got his ethics from.

Habituated, adapted, cultural memory of the ghetto.

Rothbardian ethics are parasitic.


“Your confidence that another will act with a necessary degree of reciprocity (mutually beneficial) for the matter at hand, despite the opportunity to act out of an equal degree of self interest.”

This definition addresses the spectrum of low trust exchanges to consanguineous interactions to high trust mutual insurance. Most definitions assume an equality of relations that never actually exists and as such those other definitions always seem wanting.

It also explains when we are actually trusting someone, versus asking for a donation. Trust is a matter of reciprocity given the relationship you have to someone else.


Rothbard’s ethics are just another a parasitic scam seeking to replace low transaction cost state parasitism, with high transaction cost universal parasitism. Aristocratic Egalitarians (protestants) had it right: universal responsibility for the universal suppression of all involuntary extractions, thereby forcing every living soul to compete in the market for goods and services, where his efforts produce a virtuous cycle.

1) We can describe all involuntary extractions of property as one of the following: Criminal, unethical, immoral, and conspiratorial (statist). Attached is one of my diagrams that illustrates this spectrum. The curve on the right is the DEMONSTRATED demand curve for liberty. Because it represents the REPRODUCTIVE return on forgone opportunities (opportunity costs).

2) All costs are opportunity costs. That definition of property is the human behavioral definition of property, not some artificially constructed definition of property that was created to justify aggression against property by non physical means. (Which is the very purpose of Rothbard’s argument.) If all costs are opportunity costs then it is not possible to make the argument for bribery except as an excuse to justify theft. (and it is an excuse to justify theft, which is why it’s almost universally rejected except by social outcasts.)

The human intuitive perception of property, the human normative description of property, and the reproductively and cooperatively NECESSARY and non-arbitrary definition of property, is defined by the requirements for decreasing transaction costs of cooperation. From the most severe and direct (crime) to the most indirect and imperceptible (displacement via outbreeding or immigrating. A fact which is illustrated in the diagram.)

3) As I’ve said. Either the NAP is insufficient, or the definition of property rights is insufficient. I’m able to construct an argument that the NAP is sufficient as long as the definition of property rights is DESCRIPTIVE.

But it is not possible to rationally choose an arbitrary description of private property limited to that which is necessary for economic production (private property) and its dependent ethics, and not ALSO leave unanswered the further definitions of property in all its forms that create the trust necessary for rational risk taking in a polity.

My original assumption was that first mises made the error because of his obsession with commodity prices, which are a reductio example of property, and that rothbard further expanded that error with his appeal to predatory extractive ghetto ethics, as an group evolutionary theory. And I can forgive both authors for such errors. We cannot expect all men to be wise in all matters.

But as time has progressed I’ve understood the damage that has resulted from the emphasis on a FAILED minority strategy (low trust society), to a successful majority strategy (high trust societies) in producing both eugenic reproduction and expanding wealth.

4) What is circular reasoning, is the arbitrary definition of rothbardian private property rights as a means of justifying involuntary extraction via PRIVATE SECTOR PARASITISM, as a means of replacing involuntary extraction via STATE PARASITISM.

Rothbard’s ethics, statism and socialism, are parasitic. ROTHBARD’S ETHICS ARE PARASITIC. Only high trust property rights are fully productive and NOT parasitic. ONLY those high trust ethics. ONLY THOSE AND NO OTHER. Northwestern europeans managed to almost exterminate all involuntary extraction and forcing all human action into the market for goods and services. All of it. Forbidding all other means of free riding.

Apriorism is an interesting tool for deceiving mediocre minds via overloading. It works in mathematical philosophy for the same reason it works in ethical philosophy: because these reductive arguments rely on aggregation of concepts that obscure the causal properties. So, yes, rothbardianism is a parasitic scam.

5) If we can get past that point we will get to the dispute over whether it is rational for people to exchange pervasive parasitism, pervasive transaction costs in daily life, for limited parasitic rents, corruption and conspiracy via the state.

All costs are opportunity costs. Humans DEMONSTRATE that they behave this way in all circumstances. And it is rational for them to do so. And irrational for them not to. And Rothbardian ethics are an attempt to trade one parasitic scam for another. Nothing more.


The diagram below is complex because because praxeology and its contents are incorrectly categorized by Mises. And Rothbard made it worse by exacerbating the initial errors.

1) Philosophy Proper – the entire discipline – is required to describe the logic of human action. Philosophy, if articulated in operational language (the language of science) is the science of human action.

2) The missing logic within philosophy, is that of human COOPERATION. And that is the category addressed by praxeology and praxeological reasoning.

3) The different disciplines within praxeology are simply various means of calculating various relations. Just as law, math, engineering, are different means of calculation specific relations that are, without such systems of logic, beyond our rational capacity.

4) From this perspective, we can represent all praxeological action in a simple, expanding hierarchy.

Mises tried. Rothbard tried. But they only grasped pieces of the puzzle. They were too influenced by the battle against the state, and so they framed the problem of human action and cooperation incorrectly.




Meaning: the experience produced by the interaction between memory and stimuli caused by human action in time. This definition survives criticism even if the action is purely passive observation. All symbols for meaning are constructed from some set of analogies to experience. These constructs evolve through repetition and loading, until their constituent causal relations are lost, and all that remains is the habituated experience caused by the term. At which point ‘meaning’ is a purely experiential, rather than constructive. At that point, reason no longer can be said to apply. If one cannot explain something in analogies to experience, where analogies to experience are statements in operational language, one does not understand the terms one uses. They are merely experiential metaphors, used to transfer experiences rather than causal properties independent of experiences.



What libertarian means to me is: (a) a preference for liberty above all other political preferences, and (b) that all rights can be reduced to property rights, and (c) that I actively pursue obtaining liberty for myself and other a daily basis by sacrificing my time and effort to pursue it.

It does NOT mean that I agree with rothbardian ethics. Or that I think rothbard’s strategy of relying on the work of the french anarchist and jewish resistance movements, instead of the process by which property evolved in the high trust societies. In fact, I am pretty confident rothbard was a little bit right, but damagingly wrong.

So if libertarian means failing, and being wrong, then I’m not libertarian.

If you mean ‘rothbardian’ then no I am not a rothbardian since that would be irrational.

The organize application of violence for the purpose of suppressing all involuntary extractions – including criminal, unethical, immoral, corrupt and conspiratorial actions. All of them.

Property rights are what remain once we do that. You can suppress less, and have weaker property rights, and suppress more and have stronger property rights, but the velocity of your economy and therefore your wealth is predicated on the degree of suppression of involuntary extraction you suppress through the organized application of violence.


While aristocratic egalitarian liberty is among the greatest inventions in human history, I see rothbardianism as a failed amateurish pseudo philosophical ideology, rejected by all but a meaningless minority, disproven by even the least talented of philosophers, contrary to all evidence in evolutionary biology, experimental psychology, anthropology and history, and economically irrational on praxeological grounds alone. And any chance we have of obtaining liberty whatsoever requires that we start with what we have that is supportable: that all rights are reducible to property rights, that the struggle for prosperity is the universal responsibility to suppress parasitism in every possible form, thereby forcing all human cooperation into the market for productive voluntary exchange. – and in doing so reconstruct liberty on its historical aristocratic grounds, such that it is not amateurish, contrary to the evidence, and irrational.

Rothbard got it backwards. We don’t start with property rights as an assumption – a given. We start in a state of nature, with the need to cooperate, while preventing pervasive free riding.


Only in the justification of parasitism are they rational. There is nothing of ‘market virtue’ about parasitism. Ether the NAP is an inadequate test of ethical action, or rothbardian private property is insufficient in scope. But it is not praxeologically arguable that it is rational to trade high transaction costs for statism. It’s not rational. Under no terms. That is. Unless your objective is to justify parasitism.

Rothbard got it backwards. We don’t start with property rights as an assumption – a given. We start in a state of nature, with the need to cooperate, while preventing pervasive free riding.

Crusoe’s island is an obscurant argument. We do not start the development of ethics on an island where the ‘government’ is provided by the sea.

Instead, we start in a tribe of consanguineous relations all of whom engage in free riding – and we must use violence, shame or remuneration to stop them from free riding so that we can accumulate capital.

Property is what’s left as you increasingly suppress various forms of involuntary extraction. Property is not the cause. It is the consequence.

Liberty is on life support. Rothbard gave it cancer. And I’m out to cure it.



American policy (frustratingly) demonstrates rather than explicitly states, that you may have any government you willingly elect. But if you willingly elect a government that does not adhere to the charter of human rights both internally and externally; or if that government acts as a bad citizen in the network of finance and trade, then you and your government will be punished for the choice of the government you have elected, and you will be punished repeatedly and severely until you choose to elect a government that respects the charter of human rights and acts as a good citizen in the network of finance and trade.

They only talk about the carrot, but not the stick. They don’t do much distribution of carrots, but they distribute sticks all-the-live-long day.

That paragraph should be required as a warning label on all US diplomats, messages, goods, commercials, movies, passports, tickets, whatever we export. Just like we require warnings on cigarettes.

The USA is not a country. It’s a corporation. That corporation runs an empire. That empire controls the finance and trade system worldwide. We are all consumers of that system. In the main, it’s a better system than most that have existed. But the quality of that system is declining rapidly.


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.


–“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 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.


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.


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.

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