(Re-Posted from elsewhere)

Tom DiLorenzo’s generation along with Rothbard, was trying to illustrate contrasts – to create a revisionist history to support libertarian ideology. Ideology changes VALUES, and motivates passions so that people ACT.

All I see from this nonsense is both CATO and BHL trying to whine that they don’t get the attention the ideological libertarians do.

Of course, that envy displays greater ignorance of the structure of political movements than does any revisionist history, shoddy or not. Ideology obtains participation. Intellectuals only battle other intellectuals. Reason is insufficient for motivation. Empiricism is insufficient for persuasion. That’s why we have ideology – passions.

Given the absolute failure of the classical liberals and the left libertarians to provide alternative solutions to the demonstrated failure of the classical liberal model’s means of preserving freedom – a desire that is a minority desire in the first place – it’s understandable that they retreat into intra-libertarian criticism.

I can understand Cato’s position. Their funding stream and interaction with the existing state is something that they have to stick with.

I can understand the investment that the Mises group has made in Rothbardianism, despite its demonstrated failure to enfranchise the moral values of classical liberals.

But I can’t understand attacks by BHL’s on anything given that they haven’t contributed a SINGLE DAMNED IDEA to the discourse other than ‘we aren’t them’.

Well, ‘them’ created an effective ideology that enfranchised a generation of zealots. ‘Them’ did more with one sound-bite speaker named Ron Paul than all the work of scribblers have done in sixty years.

So ‘them’ understands ideology – so to speak.

And this whole argument is a generation out of date. It’s as though we have to abandon the entire postwar liberty and conservative framework, and wait until the past generation of authors die off before we can advance the cause of liberty. Why?


The war is being won by a state religion, articulated as if it’s rational, and functioning as an ideology, despite it’s FALSE CONTENT.


The criticism of DiLorenzo as poor scholarship in an article written at the sophistication of a grocery store rag is embarrassing to our entire movement. And it certainly doesn’t advance the BHL cause of trying to get attention by actually contributing something to the debate.

It’s absolutely ridiculously childish. “Mee-too-ism”.

Some of us are out here on the fringe actually working on something other than ‘ideology’ and ‘belief’, as if we need to replace one secular religion with another, instead of replace both ideology and belief with practical institutional solutions. The very fact that you have to argue in favor of belief, rather than institutions, is an admission of failure.

Leave hokey religions to the Postmodernists and the Continentals. They’re better at it anyway.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute


Economic reasoning would argue that people follow incentives.

The incentives of scientists are to prosecute an idea regardless of its merit.

Science does not progress because scientists are self aware, or because they employ rational criticism and judgement. (Although I think this criticism applies to the 90% at the bottom more so than the 10% at the top.)

Science advances because either another’s career advance is obtained by discrediting an existing idea, or because its author dies and can no longer defend it from, or adapt it to, criticism.

For these reasons, requesting that scientists demonstrate "understanding" of the philosophy of science is overrated – unless incentives exist to enforce that understanding.

Since it is not in a scientist’s interest to use critical rationalism, it is very hard to imagine they will.

Philosophers are primarily cops: critics and articulators of what we humans say and do but do not fully understand. And honestly we are rarely inventors. And we function as critics of scientists, since it is in our interests to obtain status by criticizing scientists.

A scientist collects data and forms hypotheses. We collect arguments in support of hypotheses and criticize those arguments. That is our incentive: it is our specialization. Not data collection: criticism.

But it is patently irrational to expect scientists alone to demontrate behaviors counter to their incentives.

It’s a division of knowledge and labor in real time.

And we are supposed to be the rational ones after all.


Draft of the principles of the libertarian reformation.

1) Our generation’s challenge is not socialism, it’s the state religion of anti-scientific, anti-rational Postmodernism. (The religion of progressivism.) The dogma, literature, and ideological bias of the libertarian movement is a generation behind. Emphasis on past heroes is not constructive or valuable. It is indicative of the failure to produce successful solutions to the communalist adaptation to the failure of socialism in theory and practice: Postmodernism.

2) Government per se, is not a ‘bad’. What’s ‘bad’ is the corporeal state, monopoly, bureaucracy, majority rule, and legislative law. When we fail to make this distinction we are in fact, ‘wrong’. A government that consists of a monopolistically articulated set of property rights and the terms of dispute resolution, operating under the common law, and a group of people whose purpose is to facilitate investments in the commons by voluntary contract, but who cannot make legislative law, is in fact, a government. And it is a good government. It may not be necessary government among people with homogenous preferences and beliefs. But it is somewhere between necessary and beneficial government for people with heterogeneous preferences and beliefs. It is however, not a bad government. A monopoly set of property rights is necessary for the rational resolution of disputes, with the lowest friction possible.

3) Property is unnatural to man. Tribal human settlement is matrilineal, egalitarian, malthusian and poor. Mate selection is determined by sexual favors within the group, and raiding, capturing and killing for women outside the group whenever there was a shortage of women.

4) Property rights and paternalism were an innovation made possible by the domestication of animals and the ability of males to accumulate wealth outside of the matrilineal order. Property rather than sexual favors was such an advantage that it inverted the relationship between the sexes and determined mate selection. (The feminists are correct.)

5) Property rights were created by a minority who granted equality of property rights to one another in exchange for service in warfare. The source of property rights is the organized application of violence to create those property rights. Because property rights are the desire of the minority. However, property rights created such an increase in prosperity and consumption that others sought to join the ranks of property owners.

6) The redistributive state that was voted into power by women, has reversed the innovation of private property and in concert with feminists, is eroding the nuclear family, and the male ability to collect property. The institutions of marriage, nuclear family, and private property cannot survive when a democratic majority can deprive men of private property rights, and their ability to control mating and reproduction.

7 ) Rothbardian Libertarian ethics are ‘insufficient’. The high trust society forbids involuntary transfers by externality and asymmetry of information, and enforces this demand with a requirement for warranty. The ethics of the high trust society forbid all involuntary transfers except through competition in the market. They also boycott although they do not forbid, profit without demonstrated addition of value.

8 ) Rothbardian ethics are wrong (and bad): The market incentives alone are not high enough to overcome corruption, and create the high trust society without these two additional moral prohibitions instituted both formally and as norms: norms are a commons. They are property. Conservatives are right. “Externality and Symmetry Enforced By Warranty” are ethical constraints necessary for markets to function as the only permissible involuntary transfer: by competition in the market.

9 ) Libertarians do not exist in sufficient numbers. And it is not possible to enfranchise the conservatives (classical liberals) with Rothbardian ‘ghetto’ ethics. Without conservatives, who have the broader set of moral biases, and demand for adherence to norms, the libertarian bias is morally objectionable to too large a population, and libertarians are too small in number to accumulate and hold the power necessary to determine property rights in a geography. It’s important to understand that Rothbardian ethics are ‘wrong’ because they are insufficient to achieve what they claim to.


(Contrary to Searle’s nonsense. More in line with Bentham’s nonsense. Minor improvement to Hoppe. )

You DEMAND contractual RIGHTS in EXCHANGE for entering into a CONTRACT with others for some specific terms – and in the libertarian bias we demand absolute private property rights, and the right of first possession by transformation and homesteading.

Other people agree to NONE, SOME or ALL of those demands, in exchange for their specific terms. Non-aggressing on some terms, and preserving the opportunity to aggress on others.

One cannot ‘have rights’ without the presence of others to grant them in exchange.

    i ) One can suggest the world will be better for all if we grant each other certain rights.

    ii ) One can ‘demand rights’ in order for cooperation instead of conflict.

    iii ) One can ‘need and require necessary’ rights from others in order to survive.

But without the consent of others, one cannot ‘have or possess’ them.

The majority of the world cultures and subcultures evolved an allocation of each’s portfolio of property rights between the private and the commons on one axis, and between a) normative (habits, manners, ethics and morals), b) real (land, built capital, portable property, and c) artificial (intellectual property, limited monopoly privileges) on the other axis.

Those DEMANDS do you very little good without the ability to enforce your demands. In the case of private property, the coalition of statists is powerful enough to deny you demands, and force you to adhere to THEIR definition of property rights.

Might doesn’t make best.

Might doesn’t make right.

Might makes possible whatever property rights you have demanded.

So you must possess the might to institute the property rights you desire.


Why on earth, would you assume, that ethical principles must assume we agree upon ends? Seriously? Why is it that the study of ethics assumes that there are optimum ends for all? That’s, really, ABSURD on it’s face, isn’t it? I mean. That’s ridiculous. Why not that ethics agree upon means, but not ends? Is ‘group think’ or ‘group-ness’ such an instinct? I think not. I think it is fear of making the wrong decision about which group to belong to. Or simply a cover for theft…

We have spent millennia now trying to apply the rules of the family and extended family and tribe to the market, and to justify takings, and thefts and redistributions so that there can be a monopoly of ethical statements. But that’s not necessary. The market doesn’t require that at all. We cooperate on means, but not ends. We don’t even largely know wo we’re cooperating with. The same is true in banking. We don’t know what use our money is put to. We cooperate with people in exchange for interest.

The market, and banking, are institutions that help us cooperate on means even if not on ends.

If we instead of monopolies imposing homogeneity via law (commands), our institutions relied upon the voluntary exchange of property (contracts) between GROUPS with different property rights internal to the groups, but consistent across the groups, then

Law and monopoly are means of one class forcing another class. Democracy is an attempt to legitimize forcing transfers between classes. But why can’t our classes conduct exchanges?

There isn’t any reason.


Classical Liberalism cannot be restored with women in the voting pool. Property rights can’t be restored with women voting. It’s not possible. Marriage cannot be restored with high participation rates of women in the work force. Birth rates can’t be restored with women in high participation in the work place. Intergenerational saving can’t be restored because of social programs and tax rates for intergenerational redistribution – boomers spent their income and their grandchildren’s. Immigration can’t be reversed so cultural identity, and civic participation can’t be recreated. Growth can’t be restored with the globalization of the work force. We have consumed much of the low hanging fruit of industrialization and work force participation.

Progressives are philosophically wrong, historically and empirically wrong, and conservatives and libertarians are living under the illusion of putting the genie back into the bottle.

But, we have developed new institutions before. We’re going to have to do it again. But those institutions will not include universally homogenous property rights. They can’t. Because property rights correspond to the moral intuitions of those that make use of them, and males and females have competing reproductive strategies and corresponding moral codes. In male terms, women are immoral, and vice-versa.

Marriage was a truce that worked during agrarianism. That truce is over. We’re back at war. And women have the numbers on their side.

Property is the product of the organized application of violence by a minority willing to create it. Property isn’t a moral preference of the majority. The majority are free riders and rent seekers. It’s human nature writ large.



We can learn from history that allegorical mythology was converted to factual description by taking advantage of the desire for certainty, and inventing the scriptural religions – despite the obervable and logical contradiction of mystical statements with reality of experience.

We can observe the continuing human desire for marxism, communism, socialism and redistributive social democracy despite its irrefutable logical impossibility, despite its universal failure, and despite our scientific knowledge of human behavior.

We can observe that humans desire to believe the many contradictory falsehoods in Postmodern thought that form the current progressive ideology, and which is taught in our schools as the civic religion of the state.

None if this should give us confidence that reason and fact will prevail, or that people desire reason and fact. Evidence is to the contrary.

Progressivism, freudianism, postmodernism, and marxism are – as Hayek warned us – a new mysticism ushered in by Marx (1848) and Freud (1902AD), just as Zoroaster (~1800BC), Abraham (~1800BC), Jesus, Peter and Paul (<~50BC) ushered in ages of mysticism for political purposes.

And we are, thanks to them, and thanks to human desires, despite our progress in the physical sciences, living in an age of regressive, pervasive, social mysticism.

That is the evidence.

Hayek suggested that future generations would see this as an age of mysticism. But there is little evidence of that in history. Instead, generations are perfectly happy to persist the social narrative and the scientific and economic narrative as if they were independent frames of reference for describing human history.

Property, truth, and reason are aristocratic values and virtues, and their dominance in any culture the result of the organized application of violence by aristocrats to protect themselves from the ignorance, mysticism, and desires of the many.

That humans benefit from aristocratic virtues and values is evidentiary. That they will voluntarily adopt aristocratic virtues and values is contrary to all evidence.

And membership in aristocratic rationalism REQUIRES that we observe and respect that evidence.

If you persist in the illusion that either the enlightenment vision of equality of ability limited only by will, or the postmodern vision of equality limited only by environment, then you are, in fact, non-rational, unscientific.

Reason, property rights, and aristocratic virtues and values will exist only where a minority is willing to use violence to impose them on an unwilling population more desirous of mysticism and mental comfort than objective truth.

Violence is the highest virtue, and the greatest asset one can possess. Everything else is just rhetorical justification to obtain property rights at a discount. And that is not aristocratic: it is fraud.

Curt Doolittle



Gist is right. Primary sources are better. Our knowledge is better today. But we are shaking off centuries of bias about our natural state, only to discover that humans organize according to production units counterbalanced by the competition between male and female reproductive competition. Not much more to it than that. We have a lot more detail, but in the end, if our survival depends upon it, we alter our informal and formal institutions to support our economic (productive and consumptive) demands.

Now, it’s certainly true that we often adopt BAD ways of doing things. And it’s certainly true that we resist adopting GOOD things when they disrupt (reorder) our existing formal and informal institutions. But cultures that adopt BAD things, or resist GOOD things are almost always "out gunned, out germ-ed, and out steeled" by cultures that make superior decisions.

Temporary destructive innovations like mongol and arab mounted raiding techniques paired with lack of supporting formal institutions, or the forcible adoption of socialism by the bolsheviks, the maoists, and the Cambodians as examples of what works as a promise in the short term, but fails in actuality the long.


The purpose of enlightenment program was isolate thought, morality and politics from the superstition of Magian religion. It was to launder superstition in favor of empirical reasoning in The analytic program’s objective was to incorporate the physical sciences into philosophy, but to hold onto the metaphysical program. The naturalistic, praxeological (action) and economic programs are attempting to launder the metaphysical program from philosophy. (Or that’s close enough for our purposes here.)

    1) All language is allegory to experience. The most complex terms are simply increasingly loaded combinations of basic experiences.

    2) Our experiences are limited. We can only sense so much on our own, with the physical bodies that we have to work with.

    3) Language allows us to collect a greater range of experiences than we can on our own. Even experiences separated by time and space.

    4) Our ‘calculative’ (not computational) ability is limited. We can only ‘figure out’ so much on our own.

    5) Language allows others to help us calculate what we could not calculate on our own.

    6) Systems of measurement allow us to ‘sense’ what we cannot sense with our senses alone.

    7) Systems of calculation and computation let us compare and contrast what we cannot figure out on our own.

    8 ) Language, Measurement, and Calculation and Reason allow us to extend our perceptions, and to create symbols that we can manipulate with the limited abilities that we do possess.

    9) The purpose of philosophy is to test, integrate, reconstruct, rearrange, evaluate, prioritize and articulate our body of knowledge to our advantage given the new information available to our senses by way of our tools, measurements, communications, and calculations, so that we can make best use of the information at our disposal.

The assumption in this line of reasoning, this set of priorities, is that with more knowledge we have more choices to determine how to make ourselves most happy through the accumulation of experiences.

The other line of reasoning, is that human beings are able at present to be happy if they seek to obtain

The problem is that humans demonstrate a preference for the consumption provided by the first, and demonstrate a preference to expend the intellectual and physical labor of the second. More accurately: they want others to expend the effort on the first, and to reserve for themselves the experiences of the second.

We call conflict of ambitions a desire for ‘free riding’. In fact, we can argue that more human calculation is performed for the purpose of pursuing free riding than any other end except sex.

Curt Doolittle.
Kiev, Ukraine.

(NOTE 1: “Calculation, in its broadest sense, refers to any comparison that permits a judgement. So while numeric computation is included in the definition of calculation, but so is ‘Where can I get a peanut butter sandwich?’ and ‘Do I like chocolate or vanilla ice cream more today?’. We use ‘calculation’ to distinguish simplistic processes from reasoning, which has a higher standard of demands – namely substitution and transformation.)

(NOTE 2: This approach abandons the metaphysical program.)


Hoppe would argue (and has) that the following statements are not possible to contradict – that they are falsifiable, but that is impossible in any circumstances for them be false.
1) increases in the minimum wage increase unemployment.
2) increases in the supply of money cause increases in prices.
3) democracy is simply a slow process of adopting communism.
Any circumstance under which any of these statements is false, is a statement of time and externality, not of the scope of the statement itself.

And this is why his argument is correct (true) within the framework of action:

Any change in the description of circumstances would mean a change in the meaning of the terms minium wage, unemployment, and externality. Any change in the meaning of newtonian gravity would mean a change in the concept of gravity that is open to direct experience. (In other words, as Popper advices elsewhere, our problem lies in our concept of measurement and the calculus of measurement.)

So, correctly stated, ACTION has a higher standard of temporal truth than does SCIENCE, and science a higher standard of inter-temporal truth, because science is discovery (the patterns will not change), and ACTION is invention because the pattern of relations are EXPECTED to change, yet we must act in real time to outwit the dark forces of time and ignorance.

Within the context of ACTION, the Newtonian theory of gravity is sufficiently precise for the actions to which it need be applied. It is insufficiently precise for larger and smaller relations. But for the scope of action it describes (direct experience), it is in fact, ‘true’. The error was made by those who attempted to extend it into different domains (where tools are needed to experience gravitational effects. Tools expand our perceptions, so we must extend our concepts with our tools.

And, it does not mean that any of these concepts likely to be falsified, even though they are falsifiable. It means that the scope of the statement does not require further precision than the statement contains. (The argument, for example, that there is no real reason for this apple not to fall through the table top. It’s just that the chance of such an event occurring requires a time frame many times greater than the existence of the known universe.) For the purpose of action in real time, this statement is true.

This is the difference between Humean and Popperian scientific criticism of induction, and the utility of induction for the purpose of taking action. It is also why Popper is ‘weak’ in that he maintains analytical philosophy’s attachment to the metaphysical problem – rather than fully moving into Naturalism. This ‘halfway’ postion is why he’s open to criticism.

The mistake in widespread application of the arguments against induction derives from the failure to treating philosophy as a symbolic language for the manipulation of the natural world that exists in our heads, and giving priority to science rather than the phenomenon of experience that we gain from constant bombardment of our short term memory by stimuli both direct and reflected from our memories.

So, Hoppe is correct I think, just inarticulate, because he makes a similar error to Popper by confusing domains, even though he is correct because he uses a theory of action. Popper is wrong, I think, because he maintains the language of the metaphysical error – truth independent of action.

It’s only by contrasting these types of arguments that we can see the errors in each. ie: we must subject theories to external tests, not those which are proscribed by the philosopher, or constrained by the language of the philosopher.

I would agree that the mind body problem exists. However, evidence is, that the physical sciences are solving this, and that the philosophical program has been distracted by solving it.

Philosophy is a language for transforming external information into perceptions. It is in fact, a system of measurement and calculation. But measurements and calculations must come from outside of us – if only because our internal ‘tools’ are not precise enough to self-analyze, and because we are prone to a pretty significant array of cognitive biases – and philosophy, as well as all other forms of measurement and calculation, must help us overcome those perceptual biases and errors.

Our ability to perceive, remember, and calculate (categorize, compare and manipulate) the world is actually incredibly weak. But with language to form networks of perception and calculation with others so that we can perceive more than we can on our own. Writing to store those perceptions and judgements for later consumption. Philosophy to test and manipulate objects, properties and relations (calculate). Tools for extending our perception. And measurements for transforming the output of those tools into sensations that we can perceive, and compare, we can compensate for our inherent weakness. That is: we have incredibly scary-good associative memories, but terrible short term memories, and the ability to grasp only three to five concepts at a time, on perhaps two axis. And while that is good for throwing stones and spears, it is notoriously terrible for understanding the flow, pool and eddy that most of the universe consists of, under Mandelbrotian fractal complexity, to us which appears as kaleidic uncertainty: … “magic”.

This means that the problem is in the scope of our statements in the context of our necessary actions. Not a problem with induction per se. But instead, a problem of induction when the scope of the problem is greater than the scope of action we attribute to it. Again, this is because philosophy is still trying to cure itself of the disease of the metaphysical problem. Religions die hard.

The criticism I’m levying is that popper is trapped in his era of philosophy (analytical proper) and Hoppe is not (action proper) probably stands. Hoppe’s argumentation ethic probably doesn’t stand. Hoppe’s criticism of popper’s recommendation that we experiment with policy despite the fact that economic statements such as the example he’s given, are open to experimentation, is in fact, a criticism that Popper is an advocate of the error of positivism.

Or something like that. I am not done experimenting with this line of argument obviously. The point being that deduction, induction, and abduction are simply statements about the amount of information we lack.

I have covered a very complex set of ideas here, and done the best I an in a short space. I hope it’s added some clarity. Perhaps it is just confusing.

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