- Aristocratic Reading List : Doolittle’s List
- Richard Duchesne’s Cited Works (TUOWC)
- Ralph Raico’s References on The European Miracle
- The Conservative Reading List
- Human Biodiversity Reading List
- The Library Of The Dark Enlightenment
- The Dark Enlightenment Reading List
- Anarcho Capitalism : Hoppe’s List
- Liberty: David Gordon’s List
- Lew Rockwell’s Liberty Reading List
- On Debate
On Straight Dope, there is a thread on whether one can be anti-capitalist but pro-market. I’ve captured my response below.
1) Capitalism (distributed planning and control using the technologies of property and the pricing system). Or politically: a bias toward letting the market solve problems of production.
2) Socialism (centralized planning and control in the necessary absence of the pricing system). Or politically: a bias toward political centralization of solving problems of production.
3) Mixed Economy ( distributed planning and control using property and pricing system, with redistribution of wealth through taxation). Or politically, letting the market solve problems of production, while centralizing some amount of the wealth generated for redistribution and investment in outcomes where the market process is unable to concentrate capital.
4) Market: the voluntary production of property for the purpose of speculating on it’s voluntary trade. The speculative pricing assigned to the goods or services. The reliance upon prices to determine the products to be produced, and the factors of production to be consumed. Implies the regulation of products into the market. and implies the defense of property rights and conflict resolution within the market of goods and services by a third party.
5) Trade: the voluntary transfer of property from one individual to another. (which implies knowledge of the purchaser, and the irrelevance of third parties)
Early Leftist were traditional luddites who confused the necessity of ownership of the means of production (property) with the ability to redistribute the results of that system of ownership: It is not necessary to control the means of production in order to redistribute wealth. While property and prices are necessary for complex production, and incentives are necessary to encourage people to produce, it appears that we can determine rules of property use, and we can determine some level of redistribution while maintaining sufficient incentives to produce. At least, that has been the general course of events over the past century.
Contrarily, unstated but implied in that statement, such a redistribution will affect the ability to consume, but not ‘organized control over’ what is produced. This may disappoint some. However, since all groups are led by elites and elites must make decisions on production, the such centralized control creates only the illusion of proletariat control over what is produced.
You cannot have a market (speculative production in anticipation of trade wherein prices communicate relative demand) without prices and property. This is logically impossible. While communists have forever posited the opposite, people will not produce excess for market purposes without the incentive to do so (and will resort to black markets, and therefore recreate the market).
If what you define as “anti-capitalist” (i suspect) is having a number of people with knowledge and relationships and control of property concentrate resources toward productive ends that you disagree with, then you can indeed be “anti-capitalist”. If you define anti-capitalist as a status-criticism, wherein you dislike the fact that you are most likely a permanent member of the proletariat, which decreases your access to mates and opportunity, then you indeed can be an ant-capitalist. Those are sentimental objections. (Despite the fact that our society is largely run by the middle class and upper proletariat.)
But if you mean that you dislike the nature of prices and property, then you’re just illogical, and the result of your beliefs would result in destitute poverty, murder and war. The market evolved because of the limitation of the human mind. We cannot replace it without making the human mind far better than it is. And perhaps far better than it can be.
Redistribution is a biological sentiment in the human animal that evolved because it is necessary for group-persistence: to retain competitive ability against other groups, and to insure the group’s survival. Universal egalitarian equality, which is a member of the set of leftist sentiment of “harm/care/nurture” or the sentiment of eliminating the sensation of status differences, or the sentiment eliminating the material differences between people’s access to resources, is simply an illogical construct regardless of which sentiment is being applied: Because we need incentives to produce, and we must over produce and divide our labor to reduce prices. (“We are not wealthier than cave men, everything is just infinitely cheaper due to the division of labor”) Because people will always seek status differences even under socialism. Because the iron law of oligarchy mandates that elites and leaders emerge, and once they emerge they form a self-serving bureaucracy. Because it is impossible for more than a family sized group of people to agree on both the means and ends of doing anything meaningful in a division of labor sufficient to produce low prices. (this last, is the virtue of what we call the market).
Participating in the market is also voluntary. One can consume the goods of the market without participating in the market one’s self. Some people, in fact, a majority of people, are not sufficiently competitive in any form of production that they can conceive of, or afford to speculate in the market. So they TRADE their productivity rather than SPECULATE on by producing goods or services for the market.
To be a member of a market economy, one only needs to refrain from theft. To be a ‘good’ member of a market economy, once needs additionally to refrain from fraud and deception. But these are the means by which we obtain citizenship in the market, not participate in the market. To enter the market itself, means that you risk capital and compete in the arena that is the market, and are willing and able to accept losses. The problem for the proletariat is that their value-system is predicated on self-production for consumption purposes, and trading for goods that cannot be self produced. People only a century ago would put to market only their over-production, and purchase from the market only for goods that they could not produce themselves. Except there is precious little in modern society that a person can produce himself, let alone, produce for market consumption himself. This necessitates an uncomfortable uncertainty for those people who must speculate in order to survive in the market. Hence leftist sentiments of the family, epistemology of the family, organization of the family, production of the family must compete with rightist sentiments of the market.
It is quite likely that the right and left will both fail. That we will instead of succeeding in incorporating all people into the market (the error of the right) or incorporating all people into the luddite familial structure (the error of the left) that we will adopt the european and south american models of a wealthy urban and rural groups, and a ring of abject destitute hyper-breeding poverty around the urban cores, wherein the upper and middle classes pay the permanent proletariat just enough to subsist, and we emerge with a tiered society both geographically, genetically, and materially. And this end result will in no small part be due to the christian error of egalitarianism sentiments that deny the productive differences of human beings in the real and material world – the majority of which differences derive from the ability and rate at which one can learn and apply abstractions (IQ) in a dynamic and rapidly moving economy.
While neither left or right can achieve it’s idealistic ends, leftism is an attempt to enslave the productive (innovative) class’s attempt to increase production and increase prices for the purpose of status enhancement. But by that restraint doom all people to poverty. This is the strategy behind all monotheistic religions. They are resistance movements that attempt to make status among the proletariat a spiritual rather than material construct. Capitalism (or right-ism) on the other hand is an attempt to keep sufficient productive resources in the hands of market producers that all society benefits, despite the fact that the proletariat feels increasingly left behind and deprived of status because of the accelerating rate at which the productive classes (those who take speculative risks and thereby increase choices and decrease prices) seemingly depart from the lower classes, despite the fact that in all but the rarest circumstances (catastrophic health care) that the difference between the quintiles is one of symbolic status and diversity of forms of entertainment, rather than differences in material well being.
As it stands Quantitative Keynesianism is the socialist research program, and Anarcho capitalism is the capitalist research program. The difference between these methods lies in both their ambitions and their methods. By applying 19th century advances in the mathematics of the natural world (closed probabilism) to the aggregate symbols of production of the economy (monetary values), it became possible to try to fulfill some methods of the socialist program by using capitalism for socialistic ends.
The problem for the capitalists, and the reason for the failure of the Austrian (qualitative) program’s emphasis on micro-economic behavior, is that they do not have a method of mathematics to provide sufficient explanatory power equal to the left’s program, despite knowing, with absolute certainty, that the Keynesian program must fail. This is because despite the efforts of Poincare, Mandelbrot, Hayek, Popper, Mises, and Parsons, more recently Taleb, and a host of others, there appears to be no symbolic language that can represent the plasticity and organic behavior of the property-pricing system and how it reacts to human knowledge. (This is typically called ‘Hume’s Problem’ of Induction.) It appears, at least at this point in time, that we will need a vast amount of data, on the order of many times that of the Google indexes, to provide us with enough of a basis from which to derive the patterns in that symbolic information.
Even if we could find that information, we could find the patterns, and develop a mathematics of economics and the social sciences, the question would remain whether these innovations would have any material impact on the fact that humans are of pedagogical NECESSITY, epistemic status seekers, and that there are those who lead that pack of humanity and those who are forever followers in it, and the envy of the followers, and the arrogance of the leaders mandate that we will remain competitive, and that the problem of human difference is both permanent and valuable to the division of knowledge and labor.
Reposted here for reference.
Social class IQ differences and university access
By Bruce G Charlton
A feature for the Times Higher Education – 23 May 2008
Since ‘the Laura Spence Affair’ in 2000, the UK government has spent a great deal of time and effort in asserting that universities, especially Oxford and Cambridge, are unfairly excluding people from low social class backgrounds and privileging those from higher social classes. Evidence to support the allegation of systematic unfairness has never been presented, nevertheless the accusation has been used to fuel a populist ‘class war’ agenda.
Yet in all this debate a simple and vital fact has been missed: higher social classes have a significantly higher average IQ than lower social classes.
The exact size of the measured IQ difference varies according to the precision of definitions of social class – but in all studies I have seen, the measured social class IQ difference is substantial and of significance and relevance to the issue of university admissions.
The existence of substantial class differences in average IQ seems to be uncontroversial and widely accepted for many decades among those who have studied the scientific literature. And IQ is highly predictive of a wide range of positive outcomes in terms of educational duration and attainment, attained income levels, and social status (see Deary – Intelligence, 2001).
This means that in a meritocratic university admissions system there will be a greater proportion of higher class students than lower class students admitted to university.
What is less widely understood is that – on simple mathematical grounds – it is inevitable that the differential between upper and lower classes admitted to university will become greater the more selective is the university.
There have been numerous studies of IQ according to occupational social class, stretching back over many decades. In the UK, average IQ is 100 and the standard deviation is 15 with a normal distribution curve.
Social class is not an absolute measure, and the size of differences between social classes in biological variables (such as health or life expectancy) varies according to how socio-economic status is defined (eg. by job, income or education) and also by how precisely defined is the socio-economic status (for example, the number of categories of class, and the exactness of the measurement method – so that years of education or annual salary will generate bigger differentials than cruder measures such as job allocation, postcode deprivation ratings or state versus private education).
In general, the more precise the definition of social class, the larger will be the measured social class differences in IQ and other biological variables.
Typically, the average IQ of the highest occupational Social Class (SC) – mainly professional and senior managerial workers such as professors, doctors and bank managers – is 115 or more when social class is measured precisely, and about 110 when social class is measured less precisely (eg. mixing-in lower status groups such as teachers and middle managers).
By comparison, the average IQ of the lowest social class of unskilled workers is about 90 when measured precisely, or about 95 when measured less precisely (eg. mixing-in higher social classes such as foremen and supervisors or jobs requiring some significant formal qualification or training).
The non-symmetrical distribution of high and low social class around the average of 100 is probably due to the fact that some of the highest IQ people can be found doing unskilled jobs (such as catering or labouring) but the lowest IQ people are very unlikely to be found doing selective-education-type professional jobs (such as medicine, architecture, science or law).
In round numbers, there are differences of nearly two standard deviations (or 25 IQ points) between the highest and lowest occupational social classes when class is measured precisely; and about one standard deviation (or 15 IQ points) difference when SC is measured less precisely.
I will use these measured social class IQ differences of either one or nearly two standard deviations to give upper and lower bounds to estimates of the differential or ratio of upper and lower social classes we would expect to see at universities of varying degrees of selectivity.
We can assume that there are three types of universities of differing selectivity roughly corresponding to some post-1992 ex-polytechnic universities; some of the pre-1992 Redbrick or Plateglass universities (eg. the less selective members of the Russell Group and 1994 Group), and Oxbridge.
The ‘ex-poly’ university has a threshold minimum IQ of 100 for admissions (ie. the top half of the age cohort of 18 year olds in the population – given that about half the UK population now attend a higher education institution), the ‘Redbrick’ university has a minimum IQ of 115 (ie. the top 16 percent of the age cohort); while ‘Oxbridge’ is assumed to have a minimum IQ of about 130 (ie. the top 2 percent of the age cohort).
Table 1: Precise measurement of Social Class (SC) – Approx proportion of 18 year old students eligible for admission to three universities of differing minimum IQ selectivity
Ex-poly – IQ 100; Redbrick – IQ 115; Oxbridge IQ 130
Highest SC– av. IQ 115: 84 percent; 50 percent; 16 percent
Lowest SC– av. IQ 90: 25 percent; 5 percent; ½ percent
Expected SC diff: 3.3 fold; 10 fold; 32 fold
Table 2: Imprecise measurement of Social Class (SC) – Approx proportion of 18 year old students eligible for admission to three universities of differing minimum IQ selectivity
Ex-Poly – IQ 100; Redbrick – IQ 115; Oxbridge – IQ 130
Highest SC –av. IQ 110: 75 percent; 37 percent; 9 percent
Lowest SC –av. IQ 95: 37 percent; 9 percent; 1 percent
Expected SC diff: 2 fold; 4 fold; 9 fold
When social class is measured precisely, it can be seen that the expected Highest SC to Lowest SC differential would probably be expected to increase from about three-fold (when the percentages at university are compared with the proportions in the national population) in relatively unselective universities to more than thirty-fold at highly selective universities.
In other words, if this social class IQ difference is accurate, the average child from the highest social class is approximately thirty times more likely to qualify for admission to a highly selective university than the average child from the lowest social class.
When using a more conservative assumption of just one standard deviation in average IQ between upper (IQ 110) and lower (IQ 95) social classes there will be significant differentials between Highest and Lowest social classes, increasing from two-fold at the ‘ex-poly’ through four-fold at the ‘Redbrick’ university to ninefold at ‘Oxbridge’.
Naturally, this simple analysis is based on several assumptions, each of which could be challenged and adjusted; and further factors could be introduced. However, the take-home-message is simple. When admissions are assumed to be absolutely meritocratic, social class IQ differences of plausible magnitude lead to highly significant effects on the social class ratios of students at university when compared with the general population.
Furthermore, the social class differentials inevitably become highly amplified at the most selective universities such as Oxbridge.
Indeed, it can be predicted that around half of a random selection of kids whose parents are among the IQ 130 ‘cognitive elite’ (eg. with both parents and all grandparents successful in professions requiring high levels of highly selective education) would probably be eligible for admission to the most-selective universities or the most selective professional courses such as medicine, law and veterinary medicine; but only about one in two hundred of kids from the lowest social stratum would be eligible for admission on meritocratic grounds.
In other words, with a fully-meritocratic admissions policy we should expect to see a differential in favour of the highest social classes relative to the lowest social classes at all universities, and this differential would become very large at a highly-selective university such as Oxford or Cambridge.
The highly unequal class distributions seen in elite universities compared to the general population are unlikely to be due to prejudice or corruption in the admissions process. On the contrary, the observed pattern is a natural outcome of meritocracy. Indeed, anything other than very unequal outcomes would need to be a consequence of non-merit-based selection methods.
Selected references for social class and IQ:
Argyle, M. The psychology of social class. London: Routledge, 1994. (Page 153 contains tabulated summaries of several studies with social class I IQs estimated from 115-132 and lowest social classes IQ from 94-97).
C.L. Hart et al. Scottish Mental Health Survey 1932 linked to the Midspan Studies: a prospective investigation of childhood intelligence and future health. Public Health. 2003; 117: 187-195. (Social class 1 IQ 115, Social class V IQ 90; Deprivation category 1 – IQ 110, deprivation category 7 – IQ 92).
Nettle D. 2003. Intelligence and class mobility in the British population. British Journal of Psychology. 94: 551-561. (Estimates approx one standard deviation between lowest and highest social classes).
Validity of IQ – See Deary IJ. Intelligence – A very short introduction. Oxford University Press 2001.
Note – It is very likely that IQ is _mostly_ hereditary (I would favour the upper bound of the estimates of heredity, with a correlation of around 0.8), but because IQ is not _fully_ hereditary there is a ‘regression towards the mean’ such that the children of high IQ parents will average lower IQ than their parents (and vice versa). But the degree to which this regression happens will vary according to the genetic population from which the people are drawn – so that high IQ individuals from a high IQ population will exhibit less regression towards the mean, because the ancestral population mean IQ is higher. Because reproduction in modern societies is ‘assortative’ with respect to IQ (i.e. people tend to have children with other people of similar IQ), and because this assortative mating has been going on for several generations, the expected regression towards the mean will be different according to specific ancestry. Due to this complexity, I have omitted any discussion of regression to the mean IQ from parents to children in the above journalistic article which had a non-scientific target audience.
Bruce Bartlett, in reference to the recent Russian spy case, uses an example from his past to pick on the behavioral economics of spying. But I think, like anything else, there is more to be understood here than meets the eye.
You’re right in part. But there are other factors that might change your opinion of that experience:
0) Yes, a spy is often a bureaucrat, because he exists in a bureaucracy. Often with dismay, frustration and resignation.
1) Spies try a lot of trial-and-error relationship building. In fact, trial and error are a very important part of the business.
2) While Spies are largely from that social group we call ‘nerds’, US spies are usually amazing, wonderful, engaging, intelligent people. But they are, like everyone else, expressions of a bell curve. There are good spies and bad spies and smarter spies and dumber spies.
3) Being a spy is not necessarily doing interesting things and meeting interesting people. And these days, it is a lot more about using relationships to get access to data than it is about human opinion, which is fraught with eror and deception. When a spy talks to you, he is generally looking, like MOST ECONOMISTS ARE, for sources of data, not sources of opinion. And this is very important. Data is more valuable than opinion. They are looking for relationships that will give them access to data. So any conversational content is irrelevant. Your opinion is only a measure of the trustworthiness of the relationship. The data on the other hand is the reward he is looking for.
4) The value in human intelligence on economic opinion, is not to be found in what you tell them. It’s to be found in the SET of ALL economic opinions found by ALL spies speaking to ALL contacts in any administration and by looking for POLITICAL patterns among the participants. It is not in what you tell them. In fact, a spy will NEVER ask you a direct question regarding his real intentions. This information is then fed to Analysts (Super nerds) who try to obtain value from it.
This is a round-about way of saying that you were just a cog in a wheel. And spying is an art of subtlety. And you shouldn’t try to deduce too much about spying from your experience.
A spy is, in general, engaged in the trial and error process of creating a large number of relationships while looking for opportunities to gain access to some sort of data. It is a very nerdy business. Forensic accounting and forensic communication data are considered valuable to the trade.
By contrast, relationships that are valuable are ‘lottery winnings’. Sure, they target specific people and specific industries, but all the good data is actually in the private sector, and it’s far easier to get there than it is from “another bureaucratic wonk in another bureaucracy who is even more ignorant about that is going on in his country than I am”.
A friend posted an article on immigration reform. It’s yet another appeal to perceived wisdom.
Once an argument is understood in that it possesses explanatory power, is non-contradictory, and solves a pertinent practical political problem, one can seek consensus. And as long as that consensus appeals to a majority, then a democratic polity can adopt the policies that support the argument.
However, the classical liberal ideal cannot be supported within a democracy, and no such rational arguments can prevail, for the sole reason that freedom is the desire of the minority – the creative class. And instead, safety is the objective of the majority. And the majority will always pursue safety rather than liberty.
If the freedom-desiring minority loses it’s willingness to use violence to preserve it’s freedom, it will possess neither freedom, nor prosperity. And the rest of the civilization will calcify upon being deprived of the mental fertility of its creative, and therefore, most productive classes.
This is the history of civilization. Fertility followed by calcification, followed by conquest and poverty.
The answer is not violence, nor is the answer argument. The answer is sufficient argument so that the creative classes will apply violence, for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining the political power needed to secure the minority liberty against the predatory majority’s exploitation of the creative class in order to obtain security.
We can be free, or we can be exploited, or we can be oppressed or we can be enslaved, or we can be murdered.
Choose your position on that spectrum. Because your actions and the use of violence will determine it.
Talk is cheap, and demonstrably ineffective.
Tenets Of Democratic Secular Humanism (DSH).
1) IQ Denial: The belief that people are, all things considered, equal. When instead they are unequal in ability, and demonstrate that inequality both in testing and by the demonstrated result of their actions in real life.
2) Class and Status Denial: Classes Do Not Exist or are irrelevant. When instead they not only exist, but they appear to be biologically determinant, and are materially useful in the division of labor.
3) Race Denial. Race is immaterial and a construct. When instead, races are material because people act as if they are material, and they act that way because status in-group and status extra-group are achieved with different degrees of difficulty. In grop status is easier to obtain. And status determines access to opportunity, access to mates, and access to talented individuals.
4) Gender Denial: The belief that men and women mature at the same rate, have similar IQ distributions, prefer the same experiences, and think in the same manner, and that any difference is environmental.
5) Acquisitiveness Denial: The believe that humans can suppress acquisitiveness — when humans show signs of unlimited acquisitiveness simply to occupy themselves, or to gain stimulation, and their acquisitiveness is a two edged sword: both providing incentives and creating demonstrative differences.
6) Anthropo-implasticity Denial. The belief in the Infinite Plasticity of Humans and their society — When instead, Natural Law is demonstrably correct in that people have permanent unalterable tendencies
7) Rational Limits Denial The belief that rational arguments about political subjects are both persuasive and comprehensible to a democratic polity.
8) Integration Denial: The belief that groups with different racial identities and religions traditions integrate into the utopian homogenity of universal human equality.
9) Democratic Limit Denial: Unlimited people can agree on both ends and means 0- – the Consensus Cognitive Bias – when there are Limits to Political Consensus On Means Of Achieving Goals :
10) Positivism, or The Limits of Empiricism Denial. Empiricism yields universal truths – when there are consequential limits to empiricism and probabilism in prediction of Human Behavior.
11) Concreate Metaphysical Beliefs Denial The belief that people change their beliefs – when people never change their beliefs, they only reinforce them. The restructuring of metaphysical judgments is so expensive only the most dedicated can alter them.All changes in political sentiments come from demographic shifts, not changes in belief. Most political argument is preaching to the choir.
Secular Humanism is a faith. It is a utopian religion. And there is no difference between holocaust denial, moon landing denial, and secular humanism’s requirement that members of the religion practice Reality Denial.
Secular humanism is anything BUT scientific. Scientific observation would demonstrate what people DO. It is up to religion and philosophy to determine what people SHOULD do, and up to science to determine whether it is possible for them to do it.
Karl Smith, writing on Modeled Behavior, in response to Ron Rosenbaum falls into a rational argument between theism and atheism. And demonstrating that both he and Rosenbaum err. Even the early theologians did not make this mistake. Religious debate is allegorical, not scientific. Only fundamentalists argue for the sicentific basis of gods and religion. And fundmentalism is a political reaction to the rise of science in politics. However, neither side of this populist debate (and it is a populist debate, not an intellectual one) has much to offer.
Ron Rosenbaum launches a long and varied attack on the New Atheism. His complaints are many and his tone heavy, but I don’t think I do him much injustice by saying his central claim is this:
Atheists have no evidence—and certainly no proof!—that science will ever solve the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Just because other difficult-seeming problems have been solved does not mean all difficult problems will always be solved. And so atheists really exist on the same superstitious plane as Thomas Aquinas, who tried to prove by logic the possibility of creation “ex nihilo” (from nothing). . .
In fact, I challenge any atheist, New or old, to send me their answer to the question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” I can’t wait for the evasions to pour forth. Or even the evidence that this question ever could be answered by science and logic.
If Rosenbaum means that he wishes us to explain the “universe” then we should talk about the properties of high density energy and the creation of bubble universes. Or, we can tell a story about 11-dimensional membranes which may have collided and produced everything that we could ever see.
However, I think the Rosenbaum wants more than that. I think he doesn’t want to stop at our universe but wants to ask – from the outside of everything in the moment before the first event – why did it become so?
Actually, that’s a false premise he’d be arguing if he did. The question he’s really asking is “what are the implications for my anthropomorphic anthropocentric view of the universe. In other words, how can I make this universe about the creature man rather than a universe in which man is not central, and in fact, may be an improbable accident? That’s the question he’s asking and the problem he’s seeking, becaus that is the comfort that religion brings to man: anthropocentrism. But that anthropocentrism also adds value to political discourse. Because ANY ANSWER includes a proscription for human behavior. I think we forget too often that the purpose of religion is to provide an inexpensive means of proscribing behavior for humans who must coexist in large numbers. Externalizing requirements as scriptural is simply an inexpensive means of lawmaking.
However, there simply is no sense to be made of these propositions. Equally, there is no sense to be made of the question “why is there something” that is unless Rosenbaum is using different definitions of “why” and “something.”
This just misses the point. It confuses truth with utility, and in politics these things have no relevance.
Now, if I don’t believe that science, reason or logic can answer “why something as opposed to nothing.” Then what do I mean when I say that I am an atheist? I mean that I believe all answerable questions can be answered with science, reason and logic. Said slightly more formally, there exists no question which can be meaningfully answered that cannot be answered by science, reason and logic.
Lets return to Rosenbaum’s query to see how that works. He asks “why is there something” The theist might answer that God created the something. But, then the theist must be referring to a limited set of something. Indeed, typically we imagine the theist as referring to the physical universe, space, time, etc.
Well, you’re making an argument against his STATED reasoning instead of his UNDERLYING reasoning. And, as Pareto, Weber, Michels, and Sorrel will remind you, this is YOUR error, not theirs.
Now, does my belief in science, reason and logic constitute a faith? No.
Perhaps. But your use of logic for the purpose of political debate is pretty ameturish.
First, I have evidence for the belief. Predictions based on science, reason and logic tend to come true.
Oh no. You don’t realize what youve stepped into here. In fact, you’re making the EXACT mistake that your opponent is. You have incomplete knowledge and the process you follow may yield consistent results, even if you do not fully understand the process. The process of religion and belief in god produces consistent results, even if that process is irrational. In fact, in the history of science, those predictions that exist int he physical world have largelly been false, and tehrefore they are scientific but wrong. The problem with the sphere of human action is that we know less about it than we do the physical world, simply becuase itis more COMPLEX than the physical world, because humans can LEARN.
Indeed, I am not currently aware of a case where they have failed to come true and no subsequent reasoned explanation was found. So the trio of science, reason and logic carry with them an incredible track record.
Phlogiston theory? Aristotle’s motion? The human genome project’s assumption of a manufactured man rather than a grown one? The limits of Aristotelian, Newtonian and Einsteinian physics?
However, this track record could plausibly come to a halt. A pillar of fire could appear before me and declare that he is the lord. He could then go on to predict the violation of the laws of physics and subsequently show them to be false.
Or we could find that the mythical structure is a very useful pedagogical contrivance and that the unarticulated content of these myths contains devices for assisting people with cooperating in agrarian society and in a division of labor and knowledge, where the limits of their perceptions and knowledge in a complex society exceed their tribal biological capacities.
This is actually what’s expressed by the content of most of the christian mythos and dogma.
Now, conversely, there is a great deal of incredibly destructive content in the monotheistic religions. One could successfully argue that they institutionalize ignorance. The appear to institutionalize poverty. But they appear to spread like a virus along with the underclasses. But they do serve their purpose, which is to override tribal sympathies and sentiments, and essentially create a new tribal identity, while preserving of class systems. Some are simply far worse than others (Islam). Some are useful despite their ridiculousness (Judaism).
He could show me that despite all of my reasoning to the contrary that 2 + 2 = 5, that the logic I depend on explains nothing and that my confusion of this moment tells me nothing about my confusion in the next. Every prediction I make would have results no better than chance but every prediction the pillar makes would come true.
Any number of fairly great minds have pondered this problem at length, and you’re really not even scratching the surface at the level of an undergraduate. I’m not trying to be antagonizing, I’m just stating the obvious. There are volumes on this subject.
“Gods exist like numbers exist”.
They exist because people act like they exist. People use them in the same way: to calculate. To reason. To estimate. To judge. We lack the knowledge, the experience, the perception, the time and computational ability to exist as a polity in a market, in a division of labor, without them. The question is the form of their existence. Do they have the properties that people attribute to them? No, but neither did shakespeare or Socrates, Washington or Alexander. Edison or Michelangelo. Marx or Machiavelli. And the existence of these concepts as memories, as memes, and as complex symbols have extraordinary long term impact on individuals, groups, cultures, and civilizations.
Science is, and always has been, a ‘faith’. Scientific knowledge is the most perishable that we have. Entire bodies of knowledge have expired with one innovation. It’s pretty certain that thousands more will do so. Certainly, we are fairly sure, that we are missing something very important at the subatomic level. Certainly we are very sure that we are missing something very important in the human experience: hume’s problem of induction. Certainly there is something wrong with out entire concept of mathematics. Certainly our belief that the genome project would deliver to us vast knowledge, but in the end, only confirmed our ignorance.
Science is a formal process for discovering patterns and replicating them. It is a process. That is all. What we know from science is that which is falsifiable – the negatives, not what’s ‘probable’ – the positives. Science is largely eliminative. But scientific knowledge is constantly open to further revision, greater explanatory power, and the elucidation of error. It is constantly being disproven. Contrary to our religious wisdom, science is egregiously more perishable. In economics in particular, vast swaths of our knowledge is patently false. THe entire DSEM model appears to be false.
One should separate fully articulated reasoning from the results produced by it. Our politicians rely upon what they believe is scientific thought, and it is articulated as a rational process, even if with competing means and ends. But they have made a terrible mess of the world economy because they believed Nobel laureates – some of whom are being disproven at this very moment, for reasons that most of history’s philosophers would have stated were obvious, as violation of the calculus of measurement. By contrast the church built a vast bureaucracy that governed europe for nearly two millennia and did exceedingly well at it, despite the fact that it’s dogma was absurd, and methods of argument laughable by almost any measure.
Plenty of religious doctrine is simply well-though human behavior codified as the word of god. Sure the reasoning behind it is ridiculous. But it works. Wisdom is generalization. It is rules to apply when facing the unknown. But largely, wisdom is our protection against ignorance and hubris. Warning against Hubris in all it’s forms is the primary teaching of the body of greek mythos. THe fact that it’s conveyed by the allegory of the gods is simply a pedagogical device.
Secular humanism is as much a religion as is any other silly set of beliefs. Humans aren’t that plastic. The greek myths are just as important a set of lessons as are fairy tales, and the two sets of knowledge may be more useful than all the knowledge that science bequeaths to us.
The most important question is this:
The only reason for this debate, is for the purpose of coercing someone to do with himself or his property what you wish, against his desires, without compensating him with something for which he would willingly part with it.
In other words, these are political arguments. As political arguments, like all law, they are practical, not truthful. THey are for the purpose of persuasion. And the only reason for political persuasion is to redirect resources and energies from where they are, to wehre you want them to be.
And as such, political, pseudo-scientific, religious and moral arguments are nothing but feints and parries in a fencing match. And you, the spectator, are simply distracted by the hand-waving prestige of the magicians on the sidelines.
Numbers exist. Gods exist. Science exists. They exist in the same form. As ideas. And the only reason to debate them is to lie, cheat and steal. Because otherwise we would simply engage in mutually beneficial trade.
Then another person enters the conversation:
Curt. Lots of words and hefty references, none of which support your thesis, which I take to be:
“But belief in the scientific method, particularly in the social sciences, is entirely erroneous.”
Science is empirical, faith isn’t. The scientific method is an attempt to understand the real world based on the measurable properties of the real world. The only faith involved is that the careful use of the senses and invented measuring devices is capable of giving real information about real things. If that is wrong, they we all might as well believe in unicorns.
The concept of “social science” is less valid than “natural science” because a collection of people is more different, and in a greater variety of ways than a collection of oxygen molecules or green beans. Hence, the use of probability becomes problematical. Let’s not even go there.
Faith involves belief in the unprovable. Science is a search for what can be proven.
You might not know this, but before Adam Smith wrote THE WEALTH OF NATIONS he wrote THE THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS. Which, like the writings of Keynes, is totally irrelevant to the discussion.
You made my point. Thank you. Empiricism is a ‘faith’. So is Positivism. A positivist or empiricist puts his faith in the process that he uses. A theist puts his faith in the process that he uses. We know that much knowledge provided by these processes is false. But we know that we obtain utility from using these processes, despite their imperfections.
Religious ‘Faith’ is a political and social concept, and social content is NOT probabilistic. It CANNOT be. We can debate wether in retrospect we can measure correlation of historical data. But human behavior is only correlative and historical. It is not probabilistic and predictive. The fact that legions of positivists fall into the trap of treating empiricism as a truth rather than a method, is no different from the error that theists fall into when they think faith is a truth rather than a method. Knowledge is not finite. It is not static. Knowledge is embodied in our methods, not in what is static and certain.
And, contrary to your accusation, all of my references support my position. Almost everything here is just Popper revisited. And popper along with Kuhn is the author of the philosophy of science, as well as much of the theory of knowledge. Popper argues for an open universe. He argues (along with Godel) that we have made a mistake in the calculus of measurement. Nassim Taleb make the same argument and warns of the fallacy of prediction in financial markets. Hume argues that we cannot know what we do not know and correctly posits that this is the fundamental problem that humans must solve. Kant tries to solve the problem and fails miserably, although artfully by trying to create a closed (chrsitian apologist) system. Weber refers to content of religious concepts. Pareto describes the limits of human knowledge and the human reliance upon sentiments when faced with insufficient information by which to make decisions. Hayek warns us about the limits of knowledge, and that we should not debase traditional knowledge. Michels warns us that bureaucracies must possess limited knowledge and therefore become self serving. Mises makes the same proposition in ‘Bureaucracy’.
Conversely, the line of probabilists from Walras to Keynes to Samuelson all argue for probabilism, but all their models are demonstrably false in practice. They are false in practice for this reason: the categorical representation of any measurable object of utility is necessarily erroneous because the UTILITY of any object is plastic or polymorphic. Unlike the physical world. And therefore it is the DIFFERENCE between possibilities that is the real, and therefore, hidden cost of all human behavior. (All costs are opportunity costs.) Therefore we only record and quantify history but not our hypotheses, because the hypothesis is unimaginably complicated and purely mental in construct without external representation and therefore not readily open to categorization and quantitative representation. Likewise, (via Mandelbrot) people and markets react to learning curves and forgetting curves. The greater and more frequent the stimulation the more attention it gets, and the less the less it gets. This is the only logic present in the stock market: frequency of stimuli and the plasticity of the objects traded in reaction to that stimuli. There is a vast body of knowledge that is critical of the philosophy of secular humanists (which is the religion you’re a member of).
The point is, that you are confusing TWO DOMAINS OF KNOWLEDGE that are critically analyzed by different METHODOLOGIES and committing an ERROR in doing so. The gains from science are in the PHYSICAL non-heuristic fields of DISCOVERY of an existing and CLOSED system. The gains in the political sphere are horrendously more complicated than that of the physical world and far less open to our method of scientific testing as we currently understand it. And our current understanding is limited by the somewhat linear and non-causal, categorically implastic mathematics that we make use of in our analysis, exposition, and prediction.
So in making your argument with me, and with Rosenbaum, you are applying an irrelevant standard to the concept of god. ( And it’s an impossible problem to define these things rationally. Social Good is one of my favorites. So is the french “liberty fraternity equality”. They are meaningless terms. They express sentiments, not reason. If “social good” exists, then god exists. Good luck defining either one of them. And without defining them you cannot argue a position. )
So, you’re making an ERROR, the nature of which you do not understand. Science is a method. What you do not see is that religion is a method. It is an argumentative and philosophical method for the resolving differences between ‘shoulds’ and achieving cooperation of large numbers of people in a vast division of labor, and among vastly different people of different ages. And achieving that vast labor where rational pedagogy (reason and science education) did not exist, or where it is insufficient (where we are too ignorant), or where the people are too limited in ability, or konwledge, or time, to make use of rational means. Or where, because of the pragmatic nautre of politics, reason, which is an elitist tool, is not available to the majority of the polity engaged in decision making, especially in a democratic society. Reason is a poor political tool. People need narratives. And we have not YET produced sufficient narratives under empiricism to replace mythic content. And the narratives that we have produced (which are those of secular humanism) are patently FALSE.
Secular humanism posits:
1) People are equal. (They are unequal) : IQ Deniers.
2) Everyone can be of the same social and economic class (they cannot) : Class Deniers
3) Race is immaterial. (Races are material because people act as if they are material, and they act that way because status in-group and extra group is achieved at different costs) : Race Deniers.
4) Infinite Plasticity of Humans (Natural Law is correct in that people have permanent tendencies) : Anthropo-implasticity Deniers
5) Limits to Political Consensus On Means Of Achieving Goals : Democratic Limit Deniers
6) Limits to empiricism and Probabilism In Human Behaviors : “Positivists”, or Limits Of Empiricism Deniers.
These are all failures of the religion of secular humanism, that is the result of empiricism.
The great thinkers alive today would state (because they do) that they are not trying to solve a problem of objective truth but of practical utility, while understanding that scientific thought is very limited in scope. The fact that you do not take this same position of skepticism, and that moreover you ignore the record of the history of what utility that civilizations have gained from the absurd technology of monotheism, means that you are indeed a member of the positivist ‘faith’.
The monotheistic religions are ridiculous as stated. But they are terribly successful algorithms. Much of science in human history has been well articulated, but entirely false.
That said, I’m not supporting monotheistic religion but I do understand the problem of pedagogy:
1) children must learn symbolic social judgements by habit and narrative before they have the capacity to understand rational judgements.
2) people are vastly unequal in their ability to make rational judgements. In fact, it is an expertise and a product of life long mastery.
3) reason has been demonstrably ineffective compared to law and religion and credit, in creating social order. Largely because it is so susceptible to error and fraud.
Reason is insufficient and the narrative method and allegorical content are a superior means of providing actionable content to human beings of different abilities, different ages and different experiences. We live in a vast division of knowledge and labor, with multiple social classes, multiple mythologies, and multiple forms of social cooperation encoded in different categories of property rights, freedoms and constraints.
Science is the process by which we slowly chip away at discovering fundamental objective causality. But as it stands, it is insufficient for the composition of a social order. And it has been demonstrably harmful to apply such standards to the social order in the vain assumption that our traditions err.
“Politics is a process of utility not truth. And the only purpose of debate is to obtain another’s property for one’s desires rather than theirs. By inventing politics we traded violence for fraud. ”
Shouldn’t this be: property is theft, war is struggle over it, politics negotiation on it, and trade exchange of it? In war, might makes right, politics lowers the cost through the fraud of property, which trade can then exchange. Even the prehistory is reversed. Politics can reduce war, and trade can reduce politics, but larger populations, densities, and interactions increase politics and politics increase war.
@Lord. First, thanks. Second, your summary is both astute and accurate.
Although, the form you’re using (which is the civic republican set of assumptions, and assumes equality) employs a neutral point of view, and the form I’m using (which is is machiavellian politico-scientific which assumes inequality) is intentionally constructed to demonstrate the error of applying the criteria of either religion, science, or philosophy, to the field of politics — when the first three presume a search for objective truth, and the latter is the domain intentional rhetorical fraud for the purpose of obscuring the contests over property and masking the facility with which the bureaucracy exploits it’s position for self gain behind the necessity of implied moral contrivance, and political expediency. In other words, I’m assaulting the assumptions upon which republican government are based.
So I was chastising the authors for silliness by stating that the only reason for debate is to mask their attempt at taking each other’s property.
But back to forms: The civic republican model is based jupon the assumption that public debate and voting will produce optimum use of resources among people with similar interests. However, this model originated with small populations, with a minority of the productive social class of participants, with hard money, and where these politicians possessed similar economic incentives, and where the agrarian model, and sail-based shipping guaranteed long time frames for decisions, and accounting periodicity, and where production consisted of fairly simple products converted from a resource to a consumable. All of wich allow for fairly simply accounting processes, and limit the bureaucracy to what can be borrowed from external entities, and therefore what non-bureaucrats are willing to subsidize.
Today, instead, we live in an industrialized world of multi-part products composed from across the world, with complex human capital requirements, and vast differences in price structures, and where the rate of movement of economic forces is incomprehensible to an individual. (And where it is precisely that incomprehensibility that makes socialism impossible – socialism being management of production, but which is now commonly applied to redistribution.) Further, we live in a world where the government is both a domestic and international empire that abuses multiple groups under the auspices of shared benefit, while bankrupting the civilization on scale unimaginable by the Athenians. Where politicians do not read, and cannot even understand much of the law that they pass. And where, having removed the gold standard, and allowed the pooling of financial information both through taxation on the way in and lending on the way out, we launder all ability of individuals to comprehend the instructions we give each other through the pricing system, both temporal, and inter-temporal. And by this laundering, and loss of the boundary held in place by hard money, have removed the only means by which external wisdom can limit the ignorant politicians, and the corrupt and ideological bureaucracy.
So, In practice, debate is fraught with fraud. There is nothing dishonest about violence. ie: we have traded violence and the use of the parliamentary system to protect us from undue violence by the king and unite us in that pursuit, for fraud, and the use of parliamentary drapery to subject us to extortion and class warfare.
So, in practice, yes, you are both succinct, and correct. But you’re not providing the reason why – and as such, are positing a memorable solution but one easily dismissed. The reason you’re missing out on is an epistemic one: That the government is large enough, over too divergent a set of interests, and our pricing, accounting, tax and law systems inadequate to provide politicians with the information necessary to make decisions about the matters with which we charge them, and possessing levers that are too imprecise to achieve their desired ends. In this environment of inadequate information, bureaucrats have no choice but to rely upon metaphysical and cognitive biases when making decisions. And because law makers feel the need to make laws, they do so, and poorly. And because laws do not perish with the fools that write them, the are calcifying the body of law, and as a byproduct losing the faith of the populace not only in them, but in rule of law itself.
Politicians are not evil. they are merely human. And they are unable to synthesize sufficient information about our state of affairs to make rational judgements because our information systems are insufficiently complex enough to allow them to do so. Consequently, rhetorical debate is easily fraudulent under this system because there are no external checks and balances via credit and hard money, vie minority vote, vie accounting, on the politicians or on the bureaucracy. And in this arena a fraud, debates about religion, science, and the like are ridiculous. They are ridiculous first, because they are insufficient means of solving the problem, and second because the only reason you would need to rely upon them is because you lack rational, scientific, quantitative information, OR are not regulated externally by limits to credit, and as such, one must resort to Morality, Beliefs, Preferences, instead of resorting to facts as established by monetary information and access to credit.
Personally, I would much rather than we stop debating the virtues of science or religion, because both are falsehoods, and instead discuss implementing schemes by which we improve our accounting, tax, credit, baking, and forecasting abiltites so that our politicians cannot hide from information, or make obviously erroneoius statements about fianances.
And if christians want to do some moral good, stay off the biblical quotes and get onto the real issue: economic calculaitno is now impossible for our governemnt, and teh tools we thought we had, in the Dynamic Stochastic Equilibrium Model and the ambitions of full employement under Keynesianism are profounding erroneous, ans simply a schme by which we have dstroyed western civilizatoin and force our politicians to resort to chicanery, fraud, ideology, ignorance, and pettiness.
The bible, and all scriptural religion are allegorical wisdom.They are not science. Even Science itself is inapplicable to the social sciences. And as such neither religion or science is sufficient to replace ‘quantitative information’ given to us by the system of prices and credit. Because the only truth we know of, is the truth men tell by their actions with their money.
Peter Gordon notes in passing that the pre-columbians had wheeled toys, despite leaving no record of using the wheel for carts. He directs us to evidence, where the authors posit the reasons for not having adopted wheels.
They give a number of reasons with the seventh being the closest:
With a abundant human workforce throughout Ancient America, and without large beasts of burden, wheeled vehicles would have been redundant and unnecessary. In practical terms, it is easier to carry goods, than to pull the good and the wagon, if the terrain is not well suited to wheeled vehicles.
Actually, the wheel, the chariot, the horse, wheat, and bronze were the set of tools that made the wheel possible in eurasia. They are the symbols of the spread of western civilization. And none are valuable without the rest. (Yes, even bronze.)
If you don’t have a horse, or at least a bull, a cart is a waste of energy. Carts are heavy. They are far too heavy for humans to benefit from hauling. Simple math. It’s not that carts were unnecessary. It’s that they were a bad idea. Especially in jungles and hills instead of plains and on roads.
Anthropologists should study a little economics.
AdAge and The Decline In Car Driving Among The Young
The advertising industry’s most important publication, Ad Age, recently posted an article entitled “Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture?” wherein the author describes the decline in driving among the young, and the readership leaves comment after comment positing reasons for the change, most of which belie political sentiments.
This kind of economic commentary can be found daily on any economics blog. And it’s fascinating to see the difference between the interpretations of different subcultures of the same data. Economists make fewer errors in their reasoning. Reporters try to create sensationalism and readership by appealing to the common errors that people tend to make, most importantly the error of confirmation bias : seeking what you agree with and ignoring what you don’t.
Humans demonstrate a cognitive bias wherein they overestimate their own ‘normalcy’, or how likely people are to think like them. This is particularly true of people in the agency business for a variety of reasons – and thinking otherwise might not necessarily be beneficial to one’s career in the agency business. This business is a ‘magnet’ for group-thinkers, because the profession requires that you think about ‘groups’ for a living.
THE REALITIES OF CITIES
Most people in history were confined to 20 mile arduous around their home. Cities are, and always have been, notoriously dirty and noisy, often crime ridden, and push people into small spaces from which they desire ‘vacations’. (The Un-Heavenly City by Banfield.) In a recent conversation I had with a Chinese intellectual I was surprised at how little he understood the ‘toxicity’ of human beings living in density. It’s hard on them. (Selection in urban environments comes from disease resistance. – Plagues and Peoples by McNeil) People like density because it decreases opportunity costs – everything is close-by and because it’s dense, businesses and services are better capitalized and better funded because they have a higher opportunity of being funded – as long as they don’t require much space, or as long as what they sell is expensive enough to pay the cost of that density. But because of the expense of that proximity, raising children is for the poor who have no other choice but to live in kennels where the cost per human is low, and the wealthy who can afford to make the choice, not the middle class, who must live elsewhere. Therefore, Cars and Suburbia Are Synonymous. Because costs of a the quality of residences decrease with distance from urban centers, allowing more space at lower cost. Most urban downtown cores are surrounded by slums. Paris, Vienna, NY, Chicago and most impressively LA. Most dense urban areas outside of the west are almost entirely slums. London seems to have done a better job of controlling it’s development than most other cities.
The reason for this is simply a tragedy of the commons that occurs when people move into very high density. It’s fixable with serious political effort, but there is a high cost of projecting that effort.
WHY PEOPLE DRIVE CARS
People drive cars because
1) Increasing opportunities for experience (we all this ‘the sense of freedom’)
2) Increased opportunities for mating outside of one’s group (this is obvious)
3) Permitting distance between home and job once jobs industrialized
4) Permitting the easy transpiration of ‘stuff’ to one’s residence
5) Ease of childrearing, especially once women enter the work force.
6) Increasing Leisure Time not spent traveling.
7) Status – because status will always be with us, because it determines access to mates, jobs, opportunities, knowledge and experiences, and because people are imitative and need a way of knowing what to imitate in order to get attention, opportunities, and mates.
CHANGES IN DRIVING BEHAVIOR
The actual reasons for the shift In Driving:
1) Cheap credit inflated residential prices, mortgages and rents. Wages were stickier, so young people whose primary social function is mate-seeking chose urban locations in exchange for car ownership and geographic freedom. This phenomenon will change once they find mates and seek suburban life for their children, as well as increase their household incomes by marring. So in other words, preferences will not change, just demographic distributions. (Just like political preferences.)
2) Unemployment over the past two years has decreased the tolerance for high fixed costs and younger people are abandoning or delaying the luxury of driving. They are just delaying it, and will reverse it when possible.
3) It’s a lot less ‘boring’ to stay at home when you have so many forms of entertainment available.
4) People live in increasing density, so that the need to travel in order to ‘sample’ enough people to identify friends and potential mates is lower, and to some degree is simply easier on the web.
5) Increased Populations Of Immigrant Urban Poor and their children who are most likely to consume public services, and least likely to have risk capital available for automobiles.
These aren’t in any order, but I’ll leave it to the reader to determine the impact of adding 30M people over a 20 year period.
Public transportation has a statistically insignificant to statistically minor impact on commuting everywhere except New York City. In fact, NYC is so dominant, that it skews the entire country. If you remove NYC from the analysis then the dominance of car culture is obvious. By contrast, many rail systems (Portland Oregon for example) are catastrophic losses, and suffer from insufficient ridership to cover the costs. In europe people do not own homes, they rent and save. National cultures are also more homogenous. People are gregarious in homogenous societies and isolationist in heterogeneous societies. Contrary to what is commonly believed. Diversity decreases willingness for public investment. Everywhere.
in general, if a people can afford the independence of a car, in any culture, they adopt it. That is what the statistics illustrate, and there is no evidence that that preference will change unless the cost of urban homes decreases per square foot and the cost of personal transpiration increases dramatically.
Why? Because at any point, either TIME or MONEY is more important. At the point where time is more scarce than money, a car becomes your preferred method of transport. At the point where you have a family and must transport them, and STUFF a car becomes your preferred method of transport. No matter what your income bracket.
People do not change their lifestyle, political or class biases, except that they become more conservative as they age. There is no shift going on that is not purely economic and demographic in origins.
Agencies who are supposed to promote goods and services can only create loyalty inducing narratives for people if they understand why people make decisions. And bringing your biases to the table only makes it increasingly difficult to create messages and campaigns that resonate with consumers – because consumers increasingly resonate with the truth.
Good advertising is the truth spoken succinctly and creatively.
Seattle, WA, United States
I am an independent theorist of Political Economy in the Conservative Libertarian tradition. And as a methodological Propertarian I attempt to complete the work of Rothbard and Hoppe by suggesting post-democratic political solutions for heterogeneous polities.
"De Philosophia Aristocratia"
Anglo Conservatism is the remnant of the European Aristocratic Manorial system and the Classical Liberal philosophy of the Enlightenment, combined with our ancient tribal instincts for group persistence and land-holding. It currently consists as a set of sentiments rather than as an articulated rational philosophy. And without that rational articulation, conservatives lack the ability to create and promote a plan that is a positive and rhetorically defensible alternative to the hazards of accidental bureaucracy and purposeful socialism.
This lack of an articulated philosophy leaves conservatives vulnerable in the public debate with Schumpeterian public intellectuals whose advantage in both volume of production, and simplicity of argument poses a nearly insurmountable challenge.
Libertarianism by contrast, is a rational philosophy of an articulate but permanent minority. It is based upon a solid, rational and critical methodology, even if it is flawed in its initial assumption: the principle of non-violence.
Unfortunately the Rothbardian Anarchist movement has appropriated the term "Libertarian", and left Classical Liberals and Conservatives alienated from the only system of thought with which they need to articulate their political sentiments in rational and empirical rather than moralistic and sentimental form.
By repairing the flaws in Libertarian philosophy we can use its methodology to provide a rhetorical solution for conservatives - a language which in turn may become an articulated philosophical body of argument and advocacy for the frustrated conservative majority.
Cultures Are Portfolios Of Property Rights
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