For the past tewlve years I’ve been working on political philosophy, and for the past three years, nearly full time. And now and then, as arguments evolve, I’ve updated the site to reflect the voice I’m currently using, and the position in the market for philosophy that I’m addressing.

Over the past three years, my work at extending Hoppe and Rothbard’s ethical model to address heterogeneous societies has matured into a fairly complete philosophical system, the scope of which hasn’t really been attempted in recent memory by anyone other than Heidegger. And it’s a task that is greater than I may be talented enough to complete.

But that said, I’m still doing a yeoman’s labor, and changing the title of my public workshop to accurately reflect the my emphasis on the Propertarian system of ethics, is overdue.

This change partly driven by our work at the Propertarian Institute at www.propertarians.com, where we promote propertarian reasoning as a means of understanding and comparing the different libertarian and conservative ideological platforms, in rational rather than moral terms. And where I am but one small participant in a large research program that has been advancing since Burke was struck cold by the horrors of the French Revolution.

 

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The human moral sense is not so much egalitarian as that egalitarianism is the outcome of four competing instincts: the desire to constrain alphas, with the desire to be them, with the desire to breed them, with the desire to raise young who perpetuate our genes.

We know that humans try to constrain alphas. We know that we had to do so in order to develop cooperation. It is possible that it’s the singular reason we developed cooperation – unlike our ape relatives.

Once we suppress violence with the institution of property, alphas demonstrate their superiority with asset accumulation in all its forms.

There is a vast difference from constraining an alpha from creating involuntary transfers because of a concentration of capital of some kind, and constraining alphas in order to improve one’s signaling potential.

The first is to prevent theft. The second is an act of theft.

The institution of property answers everything.

 

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There is only one law, and that is property.

If the different forms of property are understood: life, private property, common property, norms as property, and if the forms of theft are understood: risk transfer, indirect involuntary transfer, direct involuntary transfer, theft, fraud and violence, then no other law need exist, and people need be educated to confirm to no other laws.

But once the principle of property is violated, so that we allow various forms of theft, we must create a multiplicity of artificial laws the same way that by telling one lie we must tell a dozen to hide it, and a dozen for each of them, and a dozen for each of them.

Complexity in life comes from lies in all their forms. Telling the truth makes for a simple life. Complexity in the politics of life comes from abuses of the one law of property. Respecting property in all its forms makes for a simple life, and a simple government.

All else that we need can come from contracts and not laws. Contracts exist within the one law of property, in all its forms. Contracts can be fulfilled, they have a definite time period, they require specific performance, and specific When you move to an area, you can sign the contracts that are currently in place, or not move to that area. And the contracts may not violate the one law of property, and judges can resolve conflicts over them easily.

The problem judges face is largely to do with the complex network of ‘commands’ and institutionalized thefts masquerading as laws that distort or violate the law of property.

The second problem judges face comes from the complexity that arises by justifying the monopoly of the state: the artificial scarcity of judges, the necessity of taking cases rather than taking cases on merit, and the inability to specialize.

And the side effect of violating the law of property, is that we MUST degenerate into totalitarianism of commands: the lies and the impact of the lies, the commands masquerading as law, the thefts masquerading as contracts. We must degenerate, because there is no longer a common principle that these laws share. And it is the commonality of principles which determines the habits of the population that must make judgements day in and day out over generations. People who must memorize overlapping complex commands, will soon abandon them.

There is only one law, and that is property. The rest is lies masquerading as law. The purpose of which is to empower government with the ability to enslave.

Does this mean that redistribution is not warranted, and that we must rely on voluntary investment? Or that the unfortunate must be left to charity? No. It does not. If we have contracts that require performance there must be a return on that performance, otherwise it is not an exchange, but a theft. Markets must have consumers and providers: buyers and sellers just as do shopping malls. just as the mall obtains profits for its shareholders, so do the marketplace’s investors obtain profits for their investment in their market: their geography.

To become an investor in that market one need only respect property, and the contracts that are required of the participants in that market. And as an investor, one is due returns on it. Since we all take the same actions to join the market, by adhering to contract, and the one law of property, which are payments in the forgone opportunities for theft, we are equally due returns on our investment in that market. Since we unequally take commercial risks in that market we are unequally due returns from our commercial risks, even if we are equally due returns from our investment in forgone opportunity, which we call respect for the one law of property: which makes the market possible.

The commission that investors make on transactions in their market – commissions which can come from sales transactions, or rental fees that come from uses of the commons, can vary, and can be progressive. Otherwise there is an involuntary transfer from the market. However, the contracted terms must not be open to alteration. Because if they are, then there is an opportunity for the majority of shareholders to steal from the minority of shareholders through the act of fraud that we call ‘bait and switch.’

If services are privatized, so that they are not run by a bureaucracy, and contracts cannot be violated by that bureaucracy, and all relations outside of those contracts are voluntary, then we do not create the problem with government: bureaucracy and regulation which manufacture commands and organized thefts masquerading as law. If we do not have ‘elected representatives’ but hire professionals who must respect that law of property, then we do not create the opportunity for government to be a vehicle by which individuals and the artifice of bureaucracy can be purchased by special interests whose entire function is to violate the one law of property and the contracts that have been established.

Elected representatives were only necessary because of a lack of ability to communicate preferences in time and space, and the lack of education in the population. If it is not possible to violate the law of property, only to issue new contracts as old one’s expire, and if these contracts are marketed like any other good or service, then they can be purchased by investors who vote their shares. There is no need for the system of theft and corruption we call bureaucratic government.

There may indeed be a need for a judiciary. And a record of the common laws which illustrate the means by which knowledge of property evolves over time. And there is certainly the need to hire administrative talent to manage the investment that all members make in their market by their forgone opportunities for fraud theft and violence. But there is no need to allow them to create laws, rather than to administer contracts. There is no need to grant them that special ability to violate the law of property. To create an opportunity for individuals to be purchased by special interests – which we call corruption. There is no need to create a vehicle for our enslavement.

Because we are no longer limited in our ability to communicate. So we no longer need to delegate our decision making to anyone.

Society is the market. Property is required to make the market. And legislative representative government is the means by which we destroy the institution of property which makes that market possible.

It is not a government that protects people. It is the judiciary and the common law, under the one law of property. If all people are possible to sue, and no person is given special protection from it, and the court has the ability to enforce the one law of property, and punishment is limited to restitution, then the institution of property will naturally prevail.

We only have problems of abuse within capitalism because the government engages in corporatism: granting thefts we call privileges. SO this is not an appeal to anarchy. It is not an appeal to the absence of government per se. It is government by law: the one law, that no one can violate. Where we do not ask mere human beings to both respect the one law, the rule of law, while at the same time, create an institutionalized means by which their sole purpose is to violate that institutions of property.

That we even engage in so foolish a conflict of motives is confirmation of our ability to use the power of myth to deny the obvious.

Society is easy to construct with the one rule of property.

It is easy to destroy without it.

 

We are each born with a capacity for violence. Some more. Some less.

During our lives we develop that capacity. Some more some less.

Prior to the institution of property, this violence is one of our forms of wealth.

We trade our wealth of violence in exchange for the institution of property.

If our property is taken from us then we no longer need exchange our wealth in violence for it.

And we may now use our wealth of violence for other purposes.

We pay for property with our wealth in violence.

The source of all property is violence.

Natural law is a convenient construct of the church in order to obscure the inconvenient truth that the source of property is the application of violence.

Understood correctly, this means that natural law is an attempt at redistribution: to obtain the expensive right of property at a dramatic discount.

As such. Arguments to natural law are acts of fraud.

The source of property is violence.

- Curt Doolittle ( libertarians have fun trying to get out of that box. ).

 

‎”I DIDN’T LEAVE AMERICA. AMERICA LEFT ME.”1

Any country that wants to demonize white males, is welcome to. I’m a libertarian: You’re welcome to do what you want, just not welcome to do what you want with me.

I don’t want to live in a country where I’m preyed upon by the state, and hold second class legal status because of my race and gender. Where my heritage is disowned and discredited. And where I’m demonized in exchange for my entrepreneurship.

Thanks.

Our enemy: The State. Democracy is the slow road to totalitarianism.

  1. A reference to Regan’s statement ‘I didn’t leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me.’ []
 

SINGLE WOMEN RULE AMERICA

“President Obama won women by a 55 to 44 percent margin and lost men by a 45 to 52 percent margin, leaving an 18-point gender gap, up from 12 points in 2008. But this difference is dwarfed by the marriage gap—the margin between married and unmarried women. Married women supported the Republican candidate in 2012 by a comfortable six-point margin. It is Obama’s huge victory among unmarried women that delivered the women’s vote and with it, the White House. There is a 43-point difference in the margin between married women and unmarried women, a number which exceeds the gender gap by a factor of two. ” — Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (firm)

Women are marrying the state, and returning to their natural preference: to bear children at will and place the responsibility for raising them on the tribe.

(Now, as much as I argue that this will undermine the truce in reproductive strategies that we call monogamy, and by consequence I believe it will undermine the high trust society, I am also cognizant of the fact that we never had the technology before to make it possible to have BOTH a division of labor AND unregulated childbirth. The problem is that I just don’t know. I can’t see how it’s possible. But then, i’m not omniscient either.)

 

THE DARK ENLIGHTENMENT

The novel concept that the enlightenment’s optimistic, heroic, equalitarian view of man has proven to be wrong, that the dirty secret of our genome project is that we are profoundly unequal, and that by consequence our civic religion based upon this error, as well as the political system that we use to ritualize and celebrate that religion, is simply a new mysticism that replaces the old mysticism, with an equally false premise.

While I am not technically part of this movement, because the purpose of that movement is to understand, make arguments for, and criticize enlightenment equalitarianism, and not to provide solutions given that we know that it is false, I do, in effect, subscribe to its premise. The difference is, that I am working to solve the problem of political order – cooperation in a division of knowledge and labor – DESPITE our inequality, rather than debate who should or should not have power over others because of either equality or inequality. I have abandoned both the optimistic libertarian as well as rational classical liberal prescriptions for social order, because both of them rely upon a requirement that members of a economic polity ‘believe’ in the sanctity or utility of the same social and political order. Both libertarianism and classical liberalism as currently structured require from their adherents a homogenous preference for means and ends. And as I have argued extensively, it is not possible for us to have these similar means and ends, especially given that women’s reproductive and social strategy is in direct conflict to that of men’s. While it may be possible to compromise between men of different classes, it is not possible to compromise between the genders without the armistice provided by the nuclear family. And the nuclear family is a product of that settled and static agrarian order – an order which we no longer live in. Without that agrarian order the truce between male and female reproductive strategies is broken and both fight through the violence of the state to obtain their preferred order at the expense of the other’s preference.

While we are unequal, it doesn’t really matter which gender, class, race, or culture is superior or inferior unless you are arguing that one group should control another. While it’s true that some groups are superior to others – and it’s true that much of that superiority comes from the distributions of certain talents within that group and therefore the norms that develop to suit that distribution – that acknowledgement doesn’t, in itself, help us at all. Because even if we are unequal, we must cooperate peacefully for mutual benefit – if only so that we do not engage in mutually harmful conflict. And while this is a less positive and inspirational view of man, it is both true and utilitarian, and as such provides us with a superior premise with which we may create constructive institutional solutions to the problem of cooperation between groups with different distributions of talents, and therefore norms and preferences.

If we possess the knowledge that we are unequal and in permanent opposition on desired ends, the question then, is how do we create institutions of human cooperation that do not rely upon a false assumption of equality of ability, interest or preference? The market provides us with some insights, because the market illustrates how people can cooperate on means even if they have opposing ends, or are unaware of each other’s desired ends. But contrary to libertarian reasoning, there are problems that cannot be solved within the market structure because of human moral sensibilities. Mostly, that we create governments largely to make both normative and physical capital investments, which include prohibitions on involuntary transfer or privatization of those normative and physical capital investments. ie: humans consider appropriation of the commons cheating and they deplore cheating. And universally demonstrate that they deplore it, in every conceivable manner without exception. The most obvious example is that it has been extremely difficult to create the normative perception that competition is a good rather than a theft of the commons, despite the pervasive evidence that competition benefits all.

The structural problem with our political systems and our philosophy of government is that we carry with them the idea of an abstract common good that is somehow achievable through intentional cooperation on ends. Rather than achievable through unintended cooperation on ends but cooperation on means. And therefore we rationalize the creation of laws in support of a fictional and unknowable common good, instead of using government as a vehicle for constructing contracts that consist of voluntary exchanges between groups or classes as we do in the market, and prohibiting cheating on those contracts. This contractual rather than legislative government allows us to cooperate on means if not ends in those circumstances where ‘cheating’ would create a barrier to shared investment.

The English managed to accomplish this feat of inter-class cooperation with parliaments and divided houses. Unfortunately, we did not add additional houses for the proletariat and instead, given our new religious doctrine of the equality of man, we collapsed our houses rather than expanded them. As such, what has occurred, is that government is no longer the vehicle by which people with separate interests reach compromise via exchange for mutual benefit. But that we use every political and extra-political process to attempt to gain control of the monopolistic and dictatorial process of law making. In America the conservatives have hired the capitalists to defend them from government and the proletarians and single women (who are the majority of women) have hired the government to extract revenues from the middle classes. The conservatives use think tanks and the progressives use popular media. The list is infinite.

While I am still working out what I believe are the particulars, it is quite possible to have institutions that promote cooperation among people with dissimilar interests. We need not revert to small states – although that would be preferable in almost every way I can imagine. And even within small states, we do not have to conduct constant political competitions all of which are predicated upon lies, because our civic religion and its political institutions are predicated upon the enlightenment lie of human equality of both ability and interest.

The Dark Enlightenment presents us with an uncomfortable scientific reality that is as painfully inescapable for our secular religion as was Darwin for the mystical religion of the church. And I am, in some way, part of this movement in the sense that I acknowledge the truth of human inequality. But that said, I do not believe our political philosophy can accomodate this reality without practical institutional solutions. I am not interested in complaints about an obvious institutional ailment, I’m interested in solutions to that ailment.

To argue that one political system or another will place one class or another in control of other classes is to argue that some group will agree to suffer deprivation without receiving something in exchange for their adherence to norm, custom and rule. This is as illogical an assumption as is equality.

Until both conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians understand that we require institutions that accomodate the insights of the Dark Enlightenment that do not involve re-nationalization (despite it’s attractiveness) they will continue to spout what is in effect, a religion of HOMOGENEITY OF INTEREST, which is as false as the homogeneity of ability that they criticize in the enlightenment.

Our problem is not in developing a consensus on what is best. It is in developing institutions that allow us to cooperate in complex political orders the way that we cooperate in the market: on means if not ends, using contracts, not laws, because privatization of the commons or ‘cheating’ is too high a transaction cost to be overcome without institutions that satisfy the moral prohibition on cheating.

In this sense, we have our political philosophy backwards. We think we must create homogeneity in order to achieve a collective end. When in fact, we need to achieve multitudinous ends, and can only do so, if we prohibit ‘cheating’. Morality in all cultures is a set of rules that prohibit cheating – transfer of the commons. It is a necessary and irreversible property of the human animal, without which cooperation could not have evolved. And prohibition on cheating, so that capital can be concentrated, both normative and physical, is, after the ability to calculate using money and numbers, the primary institutional development necessary for a division of knowledge and labor – from which all our prosperity descends.

Curt Doolittle
December 3, 2012 11:00AM, Kiev, Ukraine.

 

I posted this on Mises.org in response to The First 30 Years of the Mises Institute

I was terribly afraid that you would not make this change in direction, and am both excited and pleased that you have decided to.

Rothbardian ethics specifically avoids the Protestant requirements for symmetry of information, and warrantee in any transaction, and Rothbard consistently avoids the treatment of norms as a commons – despite the necessity of property as a norm. Both of theses facets of Rothbardian thought permanently render Rothbardian ethics regressive and insufficient for the high-trust society that is the moral ideology of the american population. Hoppe has supplied some of the necessary solutions, but they require institutional changes that first require the support of the population’s moral sentiments. And only constant exposure to morally agreeable ideas will make them tolerate institutional change.

Ron Paul, whether intentionally or not, (I do not know) does not make the Rothbardian error in his promotion of libertarianism, and therefore renders social and moral code more acceptable to a broader audience of Americans – most of whom embrace the sentiments of the founders and some variant of the protestant ethic. Conservatives in particular see the morality of the normative commons as equal in importance to the rule of law. This is why Ron Paul’s message sells with the population more than Rothbard’s. Rothbard did give us Propertarian ethics and revisionist history, and the language we needed to talk about freedom. But his ethics is not tolerable by members of a high trust society, and libertarianism is only possible within a high trust society. Ron Paul’s ethics is tolerable, because implicitly, his message does not undermine the high-trust moral code.

I’ve felt your use of ideology, education, and technology was always superior to the actual ethical program it contained. Hopefully the ethical program (which people sense, even if they cannot articulate) when subject to the Ron Paul ethos, will change, so that the operational superiority of the Mises Institute will be matched by a philosophical and ethical program that will take us beyond the support of a tenth of the population, with MI as the well-funded and leading organization behind that change.

It’s also great to see Tom Woods put to full use, and that his confidence in himself and his ideas has finally taken hold – it comes across in everything he writes, says and does. I’m surprised and thrilled that you’ve brought in Napolitano. It would be helpful if we could recruit more time and effort from Bob Murphy – especially if he had some coaching on presentation of his arguments from Napolitano.

(I’ve been toying with the idea of using Karl Smith, to play the foil for our side, because he is the only honest liberal economist emerging from the current generation that is literate in both moral and economic ideas. He has and will engage with Murphy. But the problem is in creating the appropriate venue, and I have enough work on my plate right now.)

Anyway, all that said, congratulations on the change in direction. I”m one of the many people that owes an intellectual debt to MI.

Curt

 

FREUD WAS A FOOL AND AS MUCH OF AN INTELLECTUAL DISASTER FOR MANKIND AS MARX

Humans are driven by status signals. The purpose of status signals may in fact INCLUDE access to reproduction, but that is only one of the may uses of signals. Without signals we cannot know whom to imitate. Without those signals we literally cannot think. We cannot think without signals any more than we can perceive beyond our fingertips without numbers, counting and arithmetic. We cannot think without signals any more than we can think about the future in a division of knowledge and labor without the tools of time, money and prices.

The human accounting system is status signals. Unlike the properties of the physical world, which we need numbers, measures, counting, arithmetic to sense, and unlike the economic world of our productive cooperation where we need money and prices to sense each other’s wants and needs, we need no tools to sense status signals. They are the only fine measurements we can grasp without abstract tools.

 

“I cook, I clean, I work, and my husband sits on the couch demanding beer. Women do everything here. We want to be soft. But we can’t be.” – Nikka.

Chivalry is yet another positive western value constructed by the church. I often write how the church granted women property rights, and forbid cousin-marriage out to six or eight degrees, in order to make it more difficult for the clans to maintain consolidated property holdings and associated financial and political power, while at the same time making it easier for the church itself to acquire lands.

But the forcible introduction of the myth and philosophy of Chivalry is as important to the development of the unique western character, in suppressing paternalism and tribalism, as the forcible implementation of property rights by the church.

Humans have existed in excess since the advent of domestication of plants and animals. The germanic princes and their retinues were not as barbaric and predatory as secular fantasies argue. However, the militarism of the Carolingians and Vikings, and the power of the states that they constructed in western Europe were impossible for the trading states of the south, and the church to resist. So, just as the church had used its power of literacy and legitimacy to manage the Christian monarchs, they used the crusades and the myth of chivalry, to direct the energies of these professional warriors to productive ends.

This ethic of chivalry conveyed status upon those who served christendom. It codified service of others as masculine. It could be obtained through demonstrated action, and spiritual reflection, as well as daily posturing, rather than the more expensive requirement of land holding, and was therefore more widely available to retinues. It also provided a code of conduct that the aspring classes could imitate, making the ethics pervasive.

The need for commoners to rent land from land holders, participate as infantry, and to demonstrate their capacity for honorable hard work, before marriage and reproduction were possible, reinforced this set of chivalrous values – allowing laborers and craftsmen to also adopt the chivalrous ethic, and to demonstrate their status signals through conformity to it. THe corresponding delay of childbirth and consequential inclusion of women into the work force, as well as their possession of rudimentary property rights, worked along with suppression of the breeding of the lower classes to create the european universalist and commercial character.

This code of chivalric conduct does not exist here in the east among the men. Service is immasculine. It violates the primary principle of manliness which is independence from external direction. Whether that external direction come from service to an employer or service to the commons – society.

Manliness, and masculinity have not been hybridized. It is not even as mature here as it is among the peacock strutters of the mediterranean — even if it is less ignorant, brutal and barbaric than that of the Arabs, and less familial and hierarchical than that of the Asians. And while we will certainly argue that masculinity has been overly feminized in much of the west, so much so that lower class males are returning to their individualistic migratory roots, the ethic of masculinity through service remains — for now.

There are a few lessons to be learned from this that westerners might want to remember:

1) The church made what is unique about the west, and did so without monopoly powers of violence that are possessed by the current secular west.

2) The west is unique for artificial reasons. it is not a natural social order. It was forcibly constructed by wit and wisdom due to the weakness of the church. Whereas the paternalistic orders in the rest of the world were forcibly constructed by violence.

3) The west is unique because we were a small, weak, poor minority in the world who relied upon technology to compensate for our numbers, and property rights and the denial of centralized power to any and all. WE were lucky to inherit from the greeks the tool of reason which allows warriors to debate and science to develop. But it seems we are reversing our trend and denying our history.

As for the Byzantines: without the church, I see no means of introducing chivalry into the civilization quickly, and we must hope that the commercial society eventually provides men with the incentives to build a high trust society of service like that of the west.

Affections to all.
Curt Doolittle

 
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