Stop thinking statists are well intentioned fools who can be persuaded by reason. There isn’t any evidence of it. The evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite. We know libertarians are moral specialists – morally blind to certain parts of the spectrum. And if you’re at least mildly praxeologically inclined it’s obvious that it’s not in the interests of statists, or the bottom third, to support meritocracy instead of expropriating the work of those who are most able and willing. It is no more foolish than exploiting the labor of peasants under agrarianism. So, appeals to reason, to construct a democratic majority, or in favor of systemic pacifism, are either the product of cognitive bias, moral blindness, ignorance of the data, an attempt to obtain liberty at a discount, or all of the above. The only source of liberty that ever could or can be, is the organized application of violence to demand it, by increasing the costs of appropriation beyond the rewards for it. Spilling blood is a beautiful thing. Violence is an art to be admired and practiced. Heady murder a splendid joy to be reveled. It is the brick and mortar of the fortress of liberty.
– Guest Post by Eli Harman – November 22nd, at 7:04am
The allegation is often made (by libertarian anarchists) that what states do is fundamentally incalculable, but that it is always negative sum. In other words, we cannot know the absolute value of any state or state policy, but we can be certain about its sign.
Voluntary trades in the marketplace – as the argument goes – are always mutually beneficial (else they wouldn’t occur) and positive sum.
State policies differ in requiring coercion. If they did not require coercion, they could occur in the marketplace. But if they do, then someone is losing out, so there is no way to be sure they represent a net gain. Without the mechanism of voluntary exchange, the information transmitted by prices in a marketplace are absent and no calculation is possible. In all likelihood they represent a net loss, certainly a loss relative to the opportunity cost of the purely voluntary marketplace foregone.
But is doesn’t seem that states ever would have become ubiquitous or persistent if this were true. Empirically, state-ridden peoples have proven competitive against stateless ones. If error and parasitism were the whole story, they would not be. States, after all, are in constant conflict and competition with one another and with alternatives (or at least they were at one time.)
However, the argument is incomplete and therefore incorrect.
We can reasonably expect voluntary, fully-informed, exchanges – free of externality – to be Pareto improvements. (They make someone better off and no one worse off.)
But in the first place, market transactions don’t always live up to this standard, because they are not necessarily fully informed nor free of externality.
And in the second place, some of the things states do might; because they are of the nature of voluntary exchanges.
An individual exchanges the sum total of costs a state imposes (on them) for the sum total of benefits it offers (to them) every time they voluntarily choose not to move to the jurisdiction of another state. (And these exchanges can be made more precisely calculable by reducing the exit costs and increasing the number and variety of states on offer.)
Furthermore, all states require the voluntary consent of at least enough individuals and groups to successfully compel the submission of the remainder. And the coalition that arises to perform this function arises by a process of reciprocal exchange (You want such and such a boon to participate in our coalition? Well we want this concession and that from you in exchange.)
In brokering these exchanges, a Monarchy offers several advantages over a democratically elected government.
A democracy will be inherently and irreparably susceptible to negative-sum corruption because of the problem of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. A policy which benefits 1,000 people $10,000 each may be politically profitable even if it costs a million people $100 each. The concentrated interest will be relatively less hampered by information costs and coordination problems. So it will be able to muster more votes and resources in defense of the policy than those harmed will be able to muster against it, though the harm be much greater.
Nothing would stop anyone from proposing such a policy to a king. And a king could get away with implementing it. But a king, who owns his realm and title, as well as its capital value, would not benefit from doing so. The future revenue he could expect to derive from his realm and subjects would decline as a result. And so his incentive would be to veto such proposals.
Furthermore, in a majority democracy, if your ruling coalition encompasses more than 51 percent of voters, it’s leaving rents on the table. If you’re getting, say, 70 percent of the vote, that simply means you’re delivering more value than you need to and failing to extract as much as you could. You could take a little more and give a little less without losing the election. So in a democracy, we can expect the ruling coalition at any given time to consist of about 51% of voters (and those the worst 51%) and that does indeed seem to be what we see.
But conflict and compulsion, though inevitable and irresolvable under democracy, are costly and actually largely unnecessary. So we can expect a wise monarch to start building his coalition of supporters with the best and keep working his way down the list until the only people that remain in need of compulsion are those who have nothing to offer which is worth what they demand in exchange for voluntary cooperation: in short, people who probably should be coerced.
-Guest Post By James Santagata
“How dare you attempt to _HIDE_ your ‘Hate’ behind Science!”
– The Liar’s Mantra I
“How dare you attempt to _EXPLAIN_ your ‘Hate’ with Science!”
– The Liar’s Mantra II
“How dare you attempt to _JUSTIFY_ your ‘Hate’ with Science!”
– The Liar’s Mantra III
“How dare you attempt to _CONDONE_ your ‘Hate’ with Science!”
– The Liar’s Mantra IV
“Truth is never, ever an excuse such _FEELINGS_ or _CONCLUSIONS_ on this issue!”
– The Liar’s Mantra V
“This issue is just too important & critical to allow the involvement of Truth and Science!”
– The Liar’s Mantra VI
The Liars will always proclaim that they love & embrace Truth & Science.
In reality they don’t.
Liars only love and embrace truth and science when it is convenient and seems to support or can be twisted to support their claims and religious dogma (e.g., secular humanism, tribalism or ethno-chauvinistic supremacist views, etc.).
Outside of that narrow exception delineated above which utilizes the simple binary litmus test of: (a) Is it good for my views? and/or (b) Is it good for my people/group?, Truth and Science becomes not just bothersome but extremely dangerous due to its destructive capabilities.
At this very moment then, Truth and Science threatens to slaughter the Liar’s own Sacred Cows, therefore, Truth and Science must and will be completely disregarded while the Truth Speaker or Scientist will be tortured and slowly murdered in front of the fellow villagers in the public square.
Call all Liars to the carpet. Hold their faces to the fire. Don’t let go until they have been fully asphyxiated or immolated in the flame.
And then repeat for several more minutes for safety before removing head(s) and placing on a pike(s) in the public square with an interpretative sign explaining (a) why this occurred, (b) how they caused it and (c) they deserved it.
—“The primary concern of mathematics is numbers, and this means the positive integers. . . . In the words of Kronecker, the positive integers were created by God. Kronecker would have expressed it even better if he had said that the positive integers were created by God for the benefit of man (and other finite beings). Mathematics belongs to man, not to God. We are not interested in properties of the positive integers that have no descriptive meaning for finite man. When a man proves a positive integer to exist, he should show how to find it. If God has mathematics of his own that needs to be done, let him do it himself.”— (Bishop 1967, Chapter 1, A Constructivist Manifesto, page 2)
—“If God has mathematics of his own that needs to be done, let him do it himself. “—
Yes, and equally so:
**If god has morality of his own that he needs to be done, then let him do that himself as well.**
Man’s only possible morality consists in fully informed, warrantied, voluntary exchange, free of negative externality.
The way the Jewish people held sway over their members, is the same way that all religious cults hold sway: there are mandatory beliefs, mandatory language, and mandatory rituals that one must follow or be ostracized. And as long as the benefits of the group are sufficient that threat of ostracization provides incentive to hold to those norms, then people do so out of purely utilitarian choice.
Rallying and Shaming of the Feminists and Socialists works by the same means: neo-puritan and postmodern language demands verbal, belief, and ritualistic conformity or they will rally, shame, and attempt to ostracize you.
Ludwig von Mises attempts to create an equally mandatory pseudoscience of praxeology in order to demand compliance of members. Rothbard expanded Mises’ approach and this approach was a failure until Rockwell and Tucker use the new medium of the web to compete with the old media. And for a short while, it worked.
However, science and truth telling have won the day and the world now speaks in science – leaving mises verbal cult adrift and associated with the lunatic fringe.
And even worse, the world has been systematically abandoning philosophy as a cult language for more than half a century. And its important that the world does so, because philosophy was the ruse under which these systems of lies were constructed and propagated.
That is simply because science corresponds more accurately with reality than does any other form of language – because scientists have the least perverse incentives than anyone other than mathematicians. And even mathematicians still engage in fanciful platonism – moreso than do scientists.
So what use is philosophy? Prior to propertarianism, cognitive science and experimental psychology, I think it was necessary for debating moral discourse. But at present, as far as I can see, it is merely a primitive system of measurement limited to human scale. Perhaps, better stated, it is the means by which we attempt to construct theories such that we may test them, refine them, and state them operationally.
In that sense, philosophy, is merely a looser member of the logics, and a subset of science, which in turn is a subset of truth telling.
Popper would have been better off saying that he was advising us on the search for precision and parsimony, by making truthful statements along the way, rather than coopting the word ‘truth’ from his spiritual background. We are not investigating the mind of god. Nothing is obscured from us. Nature doesn’t try to lie to us, nor is nature mistaken.
The question is not ‘is that true’ but ‘can I testify to and warranty this?”
Linguistic blame avoidance caused a lot of ripple effects in philosophy.
But popper’s culture was not one of truth telling (as his own rhetorical attacks on competitors evidences.) Cosmopolitans are pragmatists not truth tellers. They do not warranty their speech as do westerners.
Meaning in cosmopolitanism is utilitarian and escapable, not truthful and warrantied.
Popper relies upon cosmopolitan truth (the unknowable mind of god), and cosmopolitan truthfulness (non-warrantied speech).
This is why he could advance science but that was the limit of his solution.