‘AN EXAMPLE OF THE SEA CHANGE IN LIBERTARIANISM

(I posted this in response to a comment on The Skeptical Libertarian, which was critical of Tom Woods’ jibe that TSL was not skeptical enough of the government. It’s an opportunity to illustrate the current changes in the libertarian movement. These comments get lost if I don’t post them on my own timeline so I’ve copied it here for reference, and for those who might want to read it.)

1) LIBERTARIANISM IS A SENTIMENT AND WE HAVE CREATED A SPECTRUM OF INSTITUTIONAL SOLUTIONS
The ROTHBARDIANS are the anarchic WING of LIBERTARIANISM. Libertarianism describes a spectrum of political solutions of which Rothbardian Anarchism is only one permutation.

2) ROTHBARD”S INSIGHT
The Rothbardians were successful largely because Rothbard’s PROPERTARIANISM, in his Ethics of Liberty created a rational framework that could be used to defeat marxist arguments, where both conservatives and classical liberal libertarians had failed to provide such a rational framework. Marxism is philosophically rigorous. Rothbard made libertarianism philosophically rigorous. He then created a revisionist history to support his arguments.

3) THE PROBLEM WITH ROTHBARDIAN ETHICS
There is a tragic weakness in Rothbardianism that invalidates much of his reliance on Natural Law. THat is that human beings are twice as motivated to suppress ‘cheating’ in others as they are to create personal gain. Rothbardianism provides no vehicle for suppressing ‘cheating’. In particular, the export of involuntary transfers to third parties. Hoppe managed to repair much of Rothbardianism, but his written works do not successfully capture his oral arguments, nor is his rather turgid german prose as accessible as Rothbard’s. So Rothbardianism remains the gospel of the anti-state movement. (I’ve tried to capture these ethical problems on my site. But my work is quite philosophically dense and not accessible either.)

4) THE MISES INSTITUTE
These ROTHBARDIANS are concentrated in the Mises organization, which was purposefully constructed by Lew Rockwell. The Mises organization is trying to monopolize the language of libertarianism using Alinsky’s model for Marxism. The idea is to create a ‘religion’, because emotionally activated advocates are more effective, loyal and missionary than are rationally educated constituents. This strategy is not something they are shy about. (I’ve written about this frequently.)

5) THE NEED FOR ARGUMENTS
As part of their intellectual program, Rothbardians provide arguments against all state activities that we assume cannot be provided from the market. They acknowledge that market solutions produce DIFFERENT externalities than does government, but they state that market externalities are LESS BAD than government externalities.

6) TOM WOODS
When Tom Woods criticizes others, it’s in this context: he’s saying that the externalities produced by odd science are less bad than government regulations and mandates. This is somewhat hard to argue with. However, it is vulnerable to criticism because human beings have such high distaste for ‘cheating’. And they consider silly science and snake oil cheating, but are unable to determine which items are snake oil and which are not. And as Kuhn showed us, science is prone to paradigmatic error. So we rarely know when science is junk science or not.

7) GENERATIONAL SHIFT IN THE PROBLEM SET
We should note that there is a generational change in libertarianism at the moment. We are moving from a suite of intellectuals who fought against socialism to a suite of intellectuals who fight against redistributive social democracy, and another that more closely matches the white conservative movement, now that whites are acting as a minority. There is a certain surrender to demographic change going on.

Also, the polarization of the electorate due to the south abandoning it’s prohibition on the Republican party, and the reaction of whites to immigration that has made them a minority, has caused frustration with the government that has made the youngest generation of voters the most libertarian in history. But they are socially positive if institutionally negative. And this has created a problem for the Rothbardians.

In this changing generational environment the dominance of Rothbardians in the intellectual debate has caused a number of reactions.

I. First, the other sects (Cato, Bleeding Hearts, Heritage, various others, including my Propertarianism) both congratulate Lew and his MIses organization for their success at promoting libertarian ideas, and adopt those communication strategies that the mises organization was visionary in employing on the internet.

II. Second, there is a limit to the number of acolytes that will adopt the anti-social rothbardian ideology. (although not the Hoppean version.) We are at that limit. The Mises organization is making changes to eliminate the ‘whacky factor’. This includes cleaning up their blog and limiting it to intellectuals. So the Mises org is adapting as well.

III. Third, and probably not as obvious, is that science has increasingly undermined the ‘progressive’ vision of human nature, and is on its way to confirming the conservative vision of human nature. We are slowly retiring the equality meme’s nonsensical environmental presumption in favor of the conservative genetic argument. The current argument is 60/40 and I suspect we will eventually conclude it is an 80/20 proposition. It may be too late, but the ideological tide has turned. This will make it possible to address institutional solutions rationally in a way that has been impossible for seventy years.

IV. Fourth, it is becoming obvious from the data that classical liberalism’s multi-house model cannot survive the addition of women to the voting pool. Men and women have different reproductive strategies and different moral codes which agrarian marriage and the nuclear family managed to accomodate. However, since males skew individualist, and women skew collectivist, we cannot use majority rule to accomodate both moral codes. We have no ‘houses’ which will allow the creating of exchanges rather than ‘takings’. The conservative think tanks are so enamored of the past that they cannot solve this problem. All think tanks, all ideologies, all movements, currently seek to gain a majority of like-minded individuals under majority rule, rather than to construct a government where these groups can conduct exchanges. The market allows us to cooperate on means if not ends. The population will need a means to do so as well. And to do so where ‘cheating’ is prohibited. This is why government will persist: as a means of prohibiting cheating.

TRENDS
For the first two reasons above, you should expect to see the eccentricity of the Rothbarian movement coming out of the Mises institute to be less supportive of heretical science, and more explicit in its use of arguments that discuss the differences in externalities between government and market solutions.

I do not know if they will be smart enough to try to move from a Rothbardian criticism-dominated, to a Hoppeian solution-dominated framework, and therefor provide an institutional solution that is competitive to and superior to that of the classical liberals. And I can’t imagine that they would try to co-opt the classical liberal wing (where the money is), and by doing so suggest the entire spectrum of libertarian institutional solutions, but they are the people who could successfully accomplish it if they tried. I just can’t see them being that pragmatic. You do not build an ideology then become a pragmatist. That would take new leadership.

The Heritage organization is data driven and has wide appeal. But it is not philosophically rigorous, and it does not recommend changes to the existing institutions that would accomodate contemporary reality. Cato is neither data driven nor philosophically rigorous, but corresponds correctly to classical sentiments. Rothbardianism and Hoppianism as well as Hayekianism are all philosophically rigorous systems of thought.

But Rothbardianism is not going to ever be acceptable to enough people to gain office and change institutions. It is a brilliant ideological strategy. It worked. We shoujld all congratulate Lew Rockwell on his vision. But Rothbardianism is not an institutional solution. Because a Christian people will not tolerate the rampant cheating present in the ‘ethics of the bazaar’ that Rothbard advocates. and they’re right to reject it. They spent too many centuries trying to escape it, and build the High Trust Society. Perhaps the only high trust society that ever existed.

 

From No Comuna.

A subtle criticism of criticism of Rothbard.

Children and rights

In the Ethics of Liberty Rothbard explores in terms of self-ownership and contract several contentious issues relating to the rights of children. These include women’s right to abortion, the prohibition of aggression of parents against children, as well as the question of the State forcing parents to take care of children, including those with serious health problems. He also argues that children have the right to “escape” of parents and seek new guardians so choose to do so. Suggested that parents have the right to place a child for adoption, or even sell their rights to the child in a voluntary agreement. He also discusses how the current juvenile justice system punishes children for making “adult” choices, removes children unnecessarily and against their will from their parents, often putting them under bad care. In other writings Rothbard also supports the right of children to work at any age, in part by supporting his release of parents or other authorities.

A SUBTLE CRITICISM

Rothbard was trying to create an internally consistent theory of rights. He was successful in doing so. However, as with any theory of rights, we are certainly able to bend or break those rights to suit our tastes. There is a difference between perfection and pragmatism. But one must have a theory in order to make decisions.

I think it is useful to understand Rothbard in this light. He succeeded in creating an internally consistent theory of rights. If we deem it practical to violate those rights in order to achieve some good, then that is our choice.

 

We all want to belong to a group. Some of us less or more than others. But few of us want to be ostracized from it.

We can obtain that sense of belonging through empathy if we are similar, and duty if we are not. Empathy through shared interpretation. Duty through shared action in pursuit of mutually beneficial ends.

Women vary less. They sense more. At least, on average, they tend to belong through empathy. Men vary more. They sense less. They are action rather than perception oriented.

Dominance is the corollary of empathy. We must learn to use our dominance against the physical world, and in defense of life and property, and not as a means of self expression or control of others.

Misused empathy is just as dangerous as misused dominance. The damage we have done to the world by our supposedly charitable activities is as great as the damage we have done by war.

We have lost the ancient understanding of our dual natures.

To cohabitate and to cooperate politically we must master both empathy and dominance in relation to how we possess them.

And in doing so create belonging by both empathy and duty.

 

The eurozone excludes Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Britain and Switzerland.

…Germany is one of the few northern countries that’s actually in the eurozone…

And it seems to me that here you have a massive adverse selection problem. Because of Abraham Lincoln, affluent states like Massachusetts can’t suddenly decide they want no part of our fiscal union, and would rather just reap the benefits of our large single market. But Switzerland, Norway can and did make that choice. Britain almost certainly would, and both Sweden and Denmark might as well. In contrast, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia would like nothing more than to join such a union. And all the likely future expansion of the EU is into areas further east, and much poorer than even Greece and Portugal. Places like Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine (a country nearly the size of France) Belarus, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Moldova (the saddest place on Earth—even the name is depressing.) And did I mention Turkey? Indeed why not Russia at some distant point in the future?

People often compare Europe to the US. That’s wrong; the eurozone is sort of like the US, although a bit poorer. But Europe as a whole is far poorer than the US, far more corrupt, backward, inefficient, whatever other pejoratives you want to apply. Even America at its worst (say the treatment of ethnic minorities) isn’t as bad as the treatment of gypsies in Eastern Europe.

My point was not to predict the future, but rather to provide a warning. Once you start down that road [to creating a united states of europe], there will be constant pressure to go further. Quite likely at some point the northern European taxpayers will rebel, and we won’t end up with a United States of Europe. The policy will collapse.

The eurozone really only has two options; a more expansionary monetary policy or a breakup. There’s no point in looking for alternative solutions.

The argument I consistently make, is that of course Germanic Protestant northern tax payers will rebel. And likewise, so will germanic northern european americans rebel. Which is what they’re doing today. We call it polarization.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, should leave the eurozone and germany should reissue the Mark. (Belgium is already divided between french and german cultures, and they despise each other as much as the french and english canadians do.)

The success of the euro then, will be as a vehicle for poor countries to unite, and possibly (I say with uncharacteristic hope) focus on group improvement, rather than transfers from the north to the south.

In fact, the most important and valuable strategy that the United States could adopt for the world today, is to dismantle the empire both domestically and internationally. The anglo people have succeeded in spreading consumer capitalism. We’ve modernized the planet. But it’s one thing to invent and evangelize a technology. It’s another to try to control it.

Europe doesn’t need one federation. It needs two or three. Because germanic, latin, and byzantine europe are different cultures if not different civilizations. They always have been. They always will be.

And multiculturalism is impossible.

 

I don’t know what we’re supposed to learn from this chart from The Atlantic, but as others have already stated with passion, it’s pretty bad information design. And even without that criticism, almost every conclusion that one would draw from it certainly appears to be simply meaningless or false – at least without some sort of prevarication.

It reminds me of the biggest statistical sin in current economics: using ‘families’ rather than individuals. If someone uses that measure, then everything that follows is false. Families have changed too much. More so than the economy itself. The economy is noise by comparison. Likewise, for such gross categorization as this chart seeks to make use of, economic activity is meaningless without the sizes of the geography and the population. Boundaries are meaningless unless what happens within them is substantially different per person per square mile/km. Perhaps even, limited to per person per acre of arable land.

Otherwise all the chart tells you is that big arbitrary geographic areas produce more income than small arbitrary geographic areas. Which tells us precisely nothing that isn’t absurdly obvious.

WHAT SHOULD A CHART OF ECONOMIC HISTORY SHOW US?

What any such chart would allow us to draw the conclusion that:

    i) navigable rivers or seas made a very big difference, and
    ii) a hostile winter environment is beneficially eugenic for an agrarian population, but not for non-agrarians,
    iii) An east-west geography transports knowledge and goods more easily than a north south geography,
    iv) as of the industrial revolution, rivers are slightly less important, and populations with property rights and literacy matter increasingly instead.

Economic history is not complicated. People need:

    a) an environment that is not overly hostile (such as subsaharan africa or siberia),
    b) a means of transportation of goods (rivers),

They need institutional technologies which do not so much require the state as require the state not abuse:

    c) a monopoly of control over that territory within which they feel able to allocate property, take risks, establish norms, and where necessary laws and from which they can prohibit others from establishing different allocations of property, different norms and laws.
    d) property rights (law, contracts, courts), and
    e) tools that allow them to calculate the future and to cooperate in increasing numbers (numbers, money, accounting, banking, credit).

And, they need those institutions that *are* complicated: social aspects we too often ignore, and which appear to require intervention on the part of the state:

    f) the change in mating patterns (outlawing inbreeding) and property rights that allow us to transform human relations from that of tribal familialism to that of commercial universalism; thereby allowing us to trust, risk, produce and trade in increasing complexity. And
    g) the consequential prohibition on rent seeking and corruption that plagues humanity everywhere in the world except among the germanic protestants above the Hanjal line. And
    h) the need for aristotelian reasoning (objective reasoning, debate, and science) as a compliment and competitor to the emotionally and socially binding mysticism that seems to be a required property of all social orders.

A chart that is useful, will be the chart that illustrates that the only value of a state is in creating these institutions (a) thru (h).

 

From The Global Secular Humanism Group:
“Should ‘Islam’ be considered as a political ideology and a religion at the same time?”

The question should be restated in this fashion in order to illustrate Islam’s political content:

A) Should Islam be considered a Religion? (Yes/No)
YES: Religions consist of Myths and rituals. It does appear that religions require some form of magian reasoning. However, scientism, secular humanism, progressivism, all require ‘faith’ (in methodology, reason, or technology) that is expressly counter to the historical evidence. So, it is quite possible to create a personal philosophy that is the premise for a religion (scientism, secular humanism, progressivism) on faith. Scientism has myths, rituals and institutions. Progressivism has them too. Secular humanism is getting close, but I tend to treat secular humanists as simply anti-christian atheists and progressives as Democratic Secular Humanists. That means Secular Humanism is a minor ideology, and Democratic Secular Humanism as a major ideology. Both of which rely upon faith. But Democratic (Socialist) Secular Humanism, like islam, has both laws (human rights), institutions (academia, the press, the party structure, and it’s developed expressly for use in majority rule under parliamentarianism). So it appears to be both an ideology, a religion and a political system.

B) Should Islam be considered a political Ideology? (Yes/No)
YES: The purpose of an ideology is to obtain political power through excitation of the masses. Islam was invented to obtain political power. Islam was used as a means of conquest, and succeeded in obtaining political power. Islam is used to obtain, justify and use political power. Political power is the power to enforce the primacy of a set of laws. Islam contains a code of laws with explicit commandment to their primacy. Therefore islam is a political ideology.

C) Should Islam be considered a political system? (Yes/No)
YES: While a primitive political system only requires the ability to resolve disputes, A political system capable of coordinating investments (taxes and expenditures on infrastructure) requires at a minimum, laws, and an organization that mandates the exclusivity of those laws above all other laws, rules and norms. Islam has both a set of laws (Sharia) and a system of producing judges for those laws (Mullahs) and a system of intergenerational teaching for the purpose of propagating those laws (Religious Schools). In effect islam is a legal system with magian origins (instead of natural rights). That islam does not include other formal institutions (a parliament) is simply a function of it’s antiquity and tribal authoritarianism. Islam conquered a roman state (Byzantium) and assimilated it’s administrative structure. But did not include it on it’s own. In fact, much of islamic administration relied upon slaves and eunuchs because the byzantine administration could not adapt to Arab tribalism. (See Fukuyama’s recent book.)

Islam is a religion, a political ideology, and a political system. If one argues that it is not, then one must define the terms religion, political ideology, and political system. And that exercise would lead to either confirmation of that it is a religion, ideology and political system, or one would define those terms using selection bias by sampling normative rather than structural rules.

 

Jonathan Haidt first attacks republicans then rescinds it. I try to put conservative strategy in context. And in that context it’s quite simple. It’s an extension of the tactic used against world communism: “Resist until they go bankrupt.” If you understand this strategy everything the conservatives and Republicans do makes complete sense. Everything.

Jonathan,

Very interesting post, and equally interesting comments.

One commenter above writes that you (Jonathan) should perhaps seek to understand conservative elite theory. (People like me.)

The conservative intellectuals succeeded in defeating world communism and socialism through a variety of military, political, economic, and intellectual tactics. But conservatives failed to come up with a strategy for defeating democratic redistributive socialism and the secular progressive attack on the meritocratic hierarchical conservative society. Due to this failure, the libertarians, who are explicitly economic in their strategy, took over leadership of the anti-collectivism, and whenever possible, the conservatives adopted the libertarian economic and political program.

But about the time of Reagan, conservative thought leaders looked at the demographic data and determined that the program of expanding statism would win out over time. So, the conservatives abandoned their belief that they could gain a majority and keep control of the state, or even defend themselves against it. And instead, they increased militarism, worked to increase home ownership, and tried to rekindle entrepreneurship rather than government as the central narrative behind western success. They then allied with the capitalist class to attempt to bankrupt the state before european style nanny state could develop. This was consistent with the approach to communism: “Just resist them and wear them out. They will eventually fail because their concept of an economy is unsustainable.” The conservative battle against the state is simply the conservative tactic against world communism replayed.

It is perhaps useful to note that the conservative argument against central planning, urban planning, welfare disincentives, laxity on crime and punishment, the social and economic impact of the dissolution of the institution of marriage, as well as the problem of the ponzi financing strategy of social programs (rather than the Singapore model of forced and subsidized savings) were all correct. The conservative vision of hubristic man and economic incentives is more accurate a world view than the liberal egalitarian ideal. And while it is not that we cannot use the ideas of both sides. It is that progressive desires must be accomplished through conservative means: retaining the relationship between cause, effect and incentives.

The USA, as a set of political institutions, faces the multicultural problem that faces all empires. It currently must cope with the combination of a)”The Demands Of Empire” that give the state greater scope than just the nation + b)”Nine Nations Of North America” which represent geographic differences in culture + c)”Racial Self-Preference in Association, and Differences In Ability” + d)”Gender Biases” + e) The class exaggerating effect of the extraordinary economic advantage of having an IQ greater than 105 in the information economy. All of these biases exist within a set of political institutions designed to resolve conflicts in priority between property owning males with homogenous norms. It is not possible to resolve conflicts over ends using decision making by majority rule. In the market we cooperate on means and are ignorant of one another’s ends. In majority rule government, there are winners and losers because we argue over ends. Majority rule must (as Federalist papers 10 stated) lead to extra-political resolution of conflict between groups with such mutually exclusive goals. Liberals slant toward the female reproductive strategy (the largest number of human births with the most equal experience) and the conservatives slant toward the male reproductive strategy (the most competitive tribe with the best people in charge of it.) This level of conflict over instinctual preference will not be resolved by the liberal desire to use our instituions of majority rule to suppress the instincts of the other side any more than conservatives would succeed in encouraging liberals to adopt conservative norms.

For this reason, something has to give. Either demographics have to play out (it’s possible), or the federal government has to devolve (unlikely without catastrophic military or economic causes) or we will have to develop new institutions that allow us to federate while pursuing opposing social ends (Just as unlikely). But it’s also just as likely that we will lose our high trust society as groups seek extra-political means of status seeking (like Mediterranean’s and Eastern Europeans, and Russians.) And if we lose that we will also lose our risk taking – which is why we’re a wealthy economy. Risk taking creates innovation.

But the USA is too big and too diverse ann empire to persist as we have known it. Classical liberalism is a means of governance for a small state or a small federation. Not an empire. And the USA is an empire. The Classical mutli-house model did not work for the british empire, and it will not work for the american empire.

So while I believe you have finally supplied the social sciences with the language by which to understand political conflcits I do not believe that the conflict is resolvable. People under Russian and Chinese socialism developed ‘black markets’ for everything. People under majority rule who have opposing interests will develop extra-political ‘black markets’ for power. They will circumvent the political institutions to achieve their desired ends. The state will attempt to preserve itself by increasing control, which will only expand the black markets. The liberals circumvented the constitution, and the conservatives circumvent the state apparatus.

There is no solution here without changes to our institutions. In government, big is bad and small is good. The city state and a mobile population allow the greatest diversity and freedom. So the problem we have is finding an institutional solution to that equilibrium: allowing federation of some things but not federation of norms.

 

The Keynesian debate promoted by such writers as Krugman, Delong, Thoma, Smith, and Stiglitz is misleading. Human beings are well aware that spending can increase demand, and that demand will improve the economy. The problem is, that we’re also aware of the externalities that are caused by that spending: the increase in government interference in our lives, the expansion of government’s size, the corruption created by the use of the funds, the use of the funds to support one’s opposition, the destruction of our savings, and the near prohibition on the institution of saving.

These negative consequences all support the secondary Keynesian objectives: the strong and increasingly egalitarian state. So Keynesians promote spending as much because of it’s externalities as for its impact on the economy. Just as we oppose those externalities because we desire freedom from an oppressive state, even if we must pay a high cost for doing so.

The germans resent supporting the greeks, italians and spanish just as much as americans resent supporting their liberal leaning underclasses. And while it may be true that the scale of our economy allows us to print money, that is not to say that each of us could not be more free, more prosperous, more secure and more competitive, as smaller collections of states rather than a continental federation of states oppressed by the coasts.

The Keynesian arguments are convincing on first blush. But they are only convincing because in their simplicity they ignore the true costs of government spending – the externalities that come from empowering the state: it is not debt alone that we face. It’s the destruction of meritocracy and the submission to the state.

The germans and the americans are right to oppose it.

 

From Karl Smith by way of Noah Smith

While you don’t want to get trapped into people thinking that cyclical concerns are liberal concerns … I don’t think it actually helps to offer middle ground.

The problem is that too much of the debate is manufactured. That is, it is debate for debate’s sake. There is no underlying reasoning going on. So, if you move the debate towards a compromise the parameters will simply change because people want to continue having some form of a debate.

This is the fundamental question facing political economy, isn’t it?

And I think you’re wrong.

The inter-temporal or “Long Run” impact of monetary and fiscal policy does in fact exacerbate booms and busts, misallocate human capital, and destroy incentives necessary for the maintenance of the polity precisely because it serves the interests of the left(short) right(long) divide . You argue that ‘there will be problems either way’, but you can’t support that argument, and you deny the existence of the opposing argument. The opposition (conservative political economy in contrast to liberal monetary economy) disagrees. Because conservatives are rightly concerned with the maintenance of unique western norms.

Monetary policy can be used constantly. Fiscal policy can be used in the short term. But they are both dependent upon the use of Trade, Industrial, Education and Social policy, which express the remainder of the temporal spectrum. Monetary and Fiscal policy are BOUNDED BY the longer term constraints, aren’t’ they?

Surely you wouldn’t make the argument that trade, industrial, education and social policy are irrelevant? So if they are relevant, then why so? Surely you wouldn’t make the argument that we could simply ‘print’ money without consequences. WHy not embrace MMT or ‘Social Credit’ then? Would you argue that inflation was the only consequence? But not fragility? Isn’t that Greece’s problem?

How do we coordinate policy across the “production cycle” of an economy? We can’t. Because we have no institutional means of coordinating this inter temporal production cycle as we do with interest rates to coordinate production in the private sector. Or are you arguing that there is no production cycle present in a body politic? If so, then why does education policy matter? Why is social policy meaningful other than as a means of emotional self-gratification?

You’re wrong. It is a left right divide.

It’s a left right divide because the short and the long term are tools of the left and right. While it may not be a THEORETICAL NECESSITY that these tools be biased left and right, it is a PRACTICAL NECESSITY that these tools are biased left and right, because we lack the institutions to prevent inter temporal transfer in government the way that we have institutions for the construction of inter temporal cooperation in the private sector, and therefore these tools are in fact tools of left and right.

It surprises me how the left cannot grasp this, but then, the left is by definition a short term ideology. We cannot expect the color blind to see differences in hue, and we cannot expect the temporally blind to see the production cycle. And we cannot tell the difference between those who are time blind and those who are simply thieves.

 

What do conservatives, liberals, and libertarians believe is the hidden agenda of the other two political philosophies? From Quora.

Conservatives
Conservatives believe in a meritocratic hierarchical society where a) there are as few ‘cheaters’ living off the efforts of others as is posible, b) that enfranchisement should be earned, c) that government should resolve conflicts not direct society d) that civic duties should be preferred to administrative bureaucracies. e) They believe a good society can best be created by norms, rather than laws. f) They view all property as individual, but wich we must put to collective ends. Jonathan Haidt has shown that conservatives treat all six moral codes equally. (liberty, care-taking, hierarchy, loyalty, purity, fairness)

Libertarians
Libertarians believe in a meritocratic non hierarchical society where there are as few cheaters as possible living off the efforts of others and that enfranchisement should be earned, and that government should be limited to resolving conflicts over property. They believe civic virtues will emerge from this society, and the government bureaucracy (correctly) is the source of all bad government, so that privatization should be used rather than public bureaucracy, whenever possible.

Progressives (Liberals)
Progressives believe in an egalitarian non hierarchical society where people produce what they can and that we redistribute from one another to one another as needed by way of the government. They believe all property is community property and that individuals are just temporary stewards of property in order to achieve what is best for the common good. They believe civic egalitarianism is best achieved through expansionary government that intervenes wherever possible in order to ensure equality of ends and means. Jonathan Haidt has shown that progressives (liberals) care only about two of the moral codes, and ignore the other four: fairness and care-taking.

It’s Gender
What may not be obvious to the average person is that these three groups represent a spectrum that expresses the different reproductive strategies of the genders, and that liberals on one end and conservatives on the other each skew toward gender lines. In fact, if women were not to vote, we would never have had a progressive government in our history. The female reproductive strategy is to give her child every opportunity to rise above his abilities. The male reproductive strategy is to ensure the competitiveness of the group by promoting the strongest. While these are generalizations, when we are talking about genders we are in fact, making very broad generalizations. And the data supports those generalizations.

Our Institutions Could Not Tolerate The Change
Our political sentiments are largely inherited, largely a function of gender and class. Or political system was invented when the church was the authority of all moral teaching, when our voting classes were all some version of protestants, when the state was restricted to the resolution of disputes. And when we were all small business people (farmers and shopkeepers) and so we were all market participants and there were very few ‘leeches’ in the system. The political system was originally structured by social class with the senate appointed from influential people, the house elected from business people (land owners) and the proletariat was uneducated if not illiterate. Our constitution was designed to limit the government to resolution of conflicts and to avoid prescription.

And that political system did not survive the Louisiana purchase, the civil war, the inclusion of women, and the rapid immigration of non-protestants into the country as a means of filling the newly acquired continent, and as new citizens, their inclusion into the voting pool. The industrial revolution and the world wars that threw England’s empire into our hands was an opportunity for profit that we could not pass up .

Each Ideology Fails
So, that is why conservatives fail. Because they are attempting to recreate a political system that is insufficiently complex for the society we live in today.

Liberals fail because the population disagrees with their economic and military program — justifiably so. But more importantly because they do not understand the relationship between the nuclear family, the military requirements of the empire, and the unique property of western civilization: non-corruption.

Libertarians fail because their ethic is antithetical to both conservatives and liberals. WHile libertarians have the best grasp of economics, liberals wil disagree with the libertarian economic program and conservatives will disagree with the libertarian social program.

All people reject cheating. Liberals see individualization of profits as cheating. Libertarians and conservatives see the redistribution of profits as cheating. Conservatives see immorality as cheating. We can try every permutation, but it’s all the same.

In simple terms, liberal=society unified by law, libertarian=society unified by commerce, conservative=society unified by norms. The problem is that we are materially different in our desires and permanently so. So the problem is inventing new institutions that can accomodate the different factions now that we have expanded enfranchisement beyond market-participating males. And we know the lefts economic program is impossible. we know the conservative normative program is impossible. We know the libertarian normative and institutional program is impossible. So we devolve into moralistic banter rather than attempt to solve the problem of creating institutions that allow us to cooperate despite our differences.

The Secret Of Western Civilization
But I will let you in on a secret. This conflict is ancient. And can be answered by one question: why is it that a woman has a right to bear a child that she cannot on her own support? If you can answer that question you can solve the conflict between the conservatives and the liberals. because that one question is what drives it.

The western manorial aristocratic economic system that is our heritage required that men demonstrate their fitness in order to gain access to land, and delayed childbirth so that women could work in the crafts. This process suppresses the breeding rates of the underclasses. The church likewise banned inbreeding which encourages early reproduction. THese two factors led to the advancement of western civilization as much as did the rule of law, science, and the division of powers.

Conservatives are attempting still to restrain the breeding of the lower classes to those who can afford to support their own. Liberals are doing the opposite:they are encouraging all the breeding that is possible. These are just the masculine and feminine reproductive strategies of our distant ancestors writ large. Nothing more.

So when you ask the question, what is it that separates the different political ideologies, almost everything you will hear is an elaborate form of justification: a ruse to distract you from this one underlying difference: should we allow everyone to breed if it means that the middle classes must suppress their breeding so that the lower classes may advance their breeding?

Now if someone told you that this is the single most important factor in raising a civilization out of ignorance and poverty, and that it is impossible to build an egalitarian civil society otherwise, how would that affect your answer?

How you answer that question is how you define your political preference.

It’s really that simple.

NOTES:
Moral Foundations Theory:
1) Care/harm: This foundation is related to our long evolution as mammals with attachment systems and an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others. It underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.
2) Fairness/cheating: This foundation is related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. It generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy. [Note: In our original conception, Fairness included concerns about equality, which are more strongly endorsed by political liberals. However, as we reformulated the theory in 2011 based on new data, we emphasize proportionality, which is endorsed by everyone, but is more strongly endorsed by conservatives]
3) Liberty/oppression: This foundation is about the feelings of reactance and resentment people feel toward those who dominate them and restrict their liberty. Its intuitions are often in tension with those of the authority foundation. The hatred of bullies and dominators motivates people to come together, in solidarity, to oppose or take down the oppressor.
4) Loyalty/betrayal: This foundation is related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. It underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s “one for all, and all for one.”
5) Authority/subversion: This foundation was shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. It underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.
6) Sanctity/degradation: This foundation was shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. It underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions).

 
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