Income as a Measure Is a Pseudoscientific Distraction

The question is better served by how we spend our time, what we consume, and what we worry about, than any measure of income. Income is a poor proxy for measuring inter-temporal changes in consumption, and is only a useful measure of temporal asymmetry.

What is for example, the cost of not fearing the soviet union, the change in crime in Boston and new York?

Conversely, what is the cost of increase in political friction due to immigration? What is the cost of the conflict over Obamacare? What is the cost of maintaining the post-war empire (probably neutral). What is the cost of outsourcing? What is the cost of failing to reform education?

Income is the least important of these measures. And that is precisely why it’s the topic of conversation: because it is the least important but the most emotionally loaded topic. It is an elaborate pseudoscientific distraction for purely political purposes.

Territorial, Institutional, Normative,  and Technological Competitive Value


I’ve been arguing for two decades that we have had 500 years of ‘unusual’ as we spread the voluntary organization of production around the world (often by force), and conquered and exploited two new continents. And that what we see is the new normal. There aren’t enough asymmetries to exploit any longer to maintain the prior asymmetry of wealth.

Or rather, normative asymmetries (institutions) are terribly productive and last for generations if maintained, territorial asymmetries are almost as productive, and can last for generations if trade routes are maintained, while technological asymmetries are decreasingly durable.

Or as technologists tend to say: “technology is not a competitive advantage” because it is so easily neutralized.

Conversely, territorial, trade route, and normative asymmetries produce for the long run.

Hence my (and Taleb’s) concern about fragility. And my concern that the progressive fantasy of technology as savior, and norm as inhibitor is backwards.

Source: Curt Doolittle

The Cost of Learning Propertarianism

(worth repeating)

Propertarianism is like learning any other formal logic. It is non-trivial. But what you get from the effort of learning it is explanatory power. Unfortunately I am a much better philosopher than a teacher, or it would be easier to understand. Also, I’m just finishing it, so you’re trying to learn mid-stream. If I finished the book and you could go back to it for reference, then life would be easier for you (and me.)

Source: Curt Doolittle

The Most Profound 1000 Words You Can Read On Political Philosophy Today.

(worth repeating)

Thank you for asking me to respond. I didn’t respond on LessWrong’s site because (honestly) I thought it was a rather pointless argument. But I’ll convert it from signaling (the author’s criticism and somewhat humorous demonstration of signaling), from moral to scientific language and I think it will be clearer:

1) All radicals do not fit into the center of the distribution – the statement is tautological, not insightful.

2) We all signal, and signaling is necessary for evolutionary reproductive selection.

3) The presumption of not fitting into some locus of the median of the distribution is a democratic one – that we are equal rather than (as I argue) we constitute a division of cognitive labor: perception, evaluation, knowledge and advocacy. (humans divide cognition more so than other creatures because we specialize in cognition.)

4) Our theories do tend to justify our social positions (signaling) but then, we would not have information necessary to theorize about any other set of interests, now would we?

5) The origin of theories is irrelevant (justification is false), and therefore the question of a theory produced by any subset of a polity can be judged by only criticism – its irrelevant who comes up with a theory.

The vast difference between pseudoscience and science in ethics, law, politics, and economics is captured those few words.

Now, to state the positive version: the solution to the fallacy of the enlightenment hypothesis of equality of ability, interest, and value is captured in these additional points:

6) economic velocity (wealth) is determined by the degree of suppression of parasitism (free riding/imposed costs). This eliminates transaction costs.

7) central power originates to centralize parasitism and increase material costs, by suppressing local parasitism and transaction costs. Once centralized they can be incrementally eliminated. If and only if an institutional means of following rules can be used to replace personal judgement.

8) The only means of producing institutional rules to replace personal judgement (provision of ‘decidability’) is in the independent, common, evolutionary law resting upon a prohibition on parasitism/free-riding/imposed costs (negatives), codified as property rights (positives): productive, warrantied, fully informed, voluntary transfer(exchange), free of negative externalities.

9) Language evolved to justify (morality), negotiate (deceive), and rally and shame (gossip), and only tangentially and late to describe (truth). Truth as we understand it is an invention and an unnatural one – which is why it is unique to the west, and why it has taken philosophers so long to understand it. However, westerners evolved a military epistemology because they relied upon self-financing warriors voluntarily participating, as well as the jury and truth telling. (The marginal difference in intellectual ability apparently not common – they were all smart enough. and such testimony was in itself ‘training’.)

10) We cannot expect or demand truth from people unless they know how to produce it. ie: Education in what I would consider the religion of the west: “the true, the moral and the beautiful”. So I consider this education ‘sacred’ not just utilitarian.

11) We cannot demand truth and law from people unless it is not against their interests: ie: the only universal political system is Nationalism, because groups can act truthfully internally, truthfully externally, and can use trade negotiations to neutralized competitive differences. And with nationalism, individuals cannot escape paying the cost of transforming their own societies, and themselves, and laying the burden of doing so upon other societies.

12) Commons are a profound competitive advantage. Territorial, institutional, normative, genetic, physical, and economic (industrial) commons are a profound advantage to any group. The west is the most successful producer of commons so it is even more important to the west. So we must provide a means of producing those commons. The difference between market for private goods and services (where competition in production is a good incentive) and corporate (public) goods, where we must prevent privatization of gains an socialization of losses, requires that we provide monopoly protection of those goods from consumption. But does not require that we provide monopoly contribution to them. Commons require only that the people willing to pay for them, do so. Otherwise there is no demonstrated preference for that commons. Insurance is a commons and I will leave that for another time. Return on investment (dividends) are the product of commons. I will leave that for another time as well. The central point is that we can produce a market for common goods using government just as we do in the market private goods. But that law and commons are two different things. and that there is no reason whatsoever, knowing how to construct the common law, that government should be capable of producing law. it cannot. Law is. It cannot be created. Only identified.

(This is also probably the most profound 1000 words on politics that you will be able to find at this moment in time)


Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute


  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Very concise. With this is it safe to say that you have abandoned libertarianism? Please elaborate your (4). And curt, surely the law may be invented or created?
  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Also, i find your tenth and eleventh propositions problematic. Surely the term you are looking for is commons* and not “truth”
  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Your 8 is beautiful beyond words
  • Curt Doolittle—“With this is it safe to say that you have abandoned libertarianism?”–

    Well, does ‘libertarianism’ mean Rothbardianism, classical liberalism, or aristocratic egalitarianism? I think it means that I have abandoned the enlightenment, or perhaps, furt
    her reformed it away from pseudoscience and into science? I think it means that I have appropriated the application of the language of economics to morality in the misesian-rothbardian-hoppeian system. I think it means I retain the scientific (competitive innovative) bias common to those who see liberty as a means of competition – a group evolutionary strategy.

    So I would consider myself a libertarian for those reasons.
    I would consider my self a conservative because I advocate for networks of families maturing at different rates, rather than a universalist. And because I am certain that territory, institutions, and norms are more important than technological advancement in the long term. So I consider myself an aristocratic egalitarian, which is a libertarian predisposition. And as far as I understand it, that makes me a conservative libertarian rather than a social or religious conservative.

  • Curt Doolittle—Please elaborate your (4)—

    If indeed I am correct, and that we are genetically biased to reflect variations in moral spectrum according to our reproductive needs: both masculine-feminine(gender) and desirable-undesirable(class), and that as such
    we each only perceive and evaluate part of the moral spectrum, and that as such we divide the labor of cognition, and that voluntary cooperation is the means by which we calculate cooperative means. Then it is rational that each group that advocates for a particular part of the spectrum would produce philosophical justifications of their narrative – if and only if they lack the perception, knowledge, and bias to specialize in anything else BUT their region of the spectrum. So, as I have tried to show in Propertarian Class THeory, we develop specialists in each of these domains, and these specialists compete using their skills to move the population one way or another: Gossip(religion/shaming), Violence (law/threat), Trade (libertarian). This is a rich topic of exploration and I only started working on it seriously last fall. But it’s a lot of legs: explanatory power.
  • Curt Doolittle—“And curt, surely the law may be invented or created?”—

    Perhaps this is language, but do we create laws of nature or do we discover them? Do we crate means of suppressing parasitism, or do we discover them. I tend to see all our work in the law
    as reactive, and therefore we identify errors expressed in the common law the same way we identify science through criticism (failure). As such the common law is scientific. Or as close as many can make it.
  • Curt Doolittle—…10th…11the problematic…—
    Yes I fell into a bad habit. We cannot expect ‘truthful testimony’ if people do not know how to construct it. In other words, truthfulness (warranty of due diligence in testimony) is different from analytic truth.

    I have gotten into the habit (that I shouldn’t) of treating analytic truth as irrelevant, and testimonial truth as the only existentially possible that we can know.

    And if I dont’ keep my rigor I will lose people. So you are correct. I will fix it after lunch. smile emoticon
    Curt Doolittle—8 is beautiful beyond words—

    Thanks. From you that is the highest possible praise I could hear. 

To Nassim Taleb re: A Decline in Violence is Not a Decline in Predation – But A Shift. 


(re: violence)

I’d like to add an economist’s point of view: that the use of the term ‘violence’ is obscurant. (In my lexicon that is equivalent to pseudoscientific).

Humans engage in a vast spectrum of parasitism whenever possible, and in production only when easy or necessary. Parasitism can be performed by violence, theft, fraud, fraud by omission, fraud by obscurantism, imposed cost by indirection, free riding, privatization of commons, socialization of losses, conspiracy to extort, by normative conversion, by immigration, asymmetric reproduction, conquest, and genocide.

Conversely, mutually beneficial, productive, warrantied, fully informed, cooperation by voluntary exchange is, by contrast, a very narrow field of human activity in a vast spectrum of parasitism.

Over the centuries we have increasingly abstracted assets (that which we seek to consume by parasitism), from the physical to, fragments of a value chain, to mere numerical promises (accounts), so that violence is almost useless as a means of obtaining wealth. However, the volume of predation and parasitism performed by violence, is currently performed by various forms of pseudo-scientific and pseudo-moral fraud instead of violence.

But the parasitism remains.

Humans are open to coercion by only three technologies: Gossip(religion and morality), remuneration(trade, credit, tax and redistribution), or threat of violence(law,military). Although at any times some people specialize in some axis of coercion (public intellectuals:gossip, government:violence, corporations:purchasing influence.)

So if we have exchanged parasitism via violence, for parasitism via pseudoscientific fraud (which is one aspect of what I believe you are investigating), then the form of parasitism has changed, but not the parasitism itself.

We might argue that some form of parasitic equilibrium is actually some sort of Pareto optimum. But that is very different from saying that parasitism no longer exists, or has decreased.

So as far as I am able to tell, net change in parasitism is zero, or perhaps as some people argue, we have seen a dramatic increase. It is just that we have created sufficient technology that our parasitism by pseudoscience does not injure production as much as parasitism by violence does.

Furthermore, all the great syntopical historians have, as far as I know, come to the same conclusion: that since 1945, the Pax Americana is only paralleled by the Pax Romana.

I argue rather frequently (as do many historians) that all economic measures since 1600 are little more than the reflection of the distribution of consumer capitalism, accounting, and rule of law around the world at the point of British gunships.

So to address violence instead of parasitism, is to blind one’s self to the rest of the spectrum of human criminality in order to congratulate one’s self on having invented a more effective form of crime.


Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine.

Source: Curt Doolittle – Nassim Nicholas Taleb (re: violence) I’d like…

Paining John Quiggin Over His Pseudoscientific Definition of Economics.

Iam singling out John Quiggin here. And singling him out, perhaps unfairly, because like anyone else, he is an econometrician flirting with philosophy that is far over his head – a mistake we all make in assuming skills are portable. 

But we all need examples, and this is an excellent example of someone attempting to justify a cultural bias (a privilege) as if it is a good (a truth). In other words, it’s unscientific.

This post is actually quite profound if you want to understand the problem faced by mainstream economics – our prevailing pseudoscience, in matters of policy.

You can find John’s original posts here, and here. He ostensively wants to update Economics in One Lesson so that instead of asking the individual to analyze all trajectories from actions, he instead defines economics as justification for Rawlsian ethics and Pareto redistribution using Keynesian (marxist) aggregations (false equalities).



John (Quiggin),

This might come across as offensive, but we all have jobs to do in defense and preservation of the informational commons, and this is mine.

1) Fascism was a ‘good’.
Fascism was a necessary means of combating communism. Persisting in the denigration of authors who supported it is merely conflating a utility in time of stress with a truth of social science. Fascism was a good. By any measure.

2) Hayek’s Journey
Hayek completed his journey by correctly identifying the common law as the source of liberty, which is how he perceived western exceptionalism. Most of his work an be seen as a series of investigations in various fields into solving the problem of the social sciences. It took him most of his life but he got there. Prior works can only be seen in this light. Most of his work is partly correct. His movement across fields is evidence that he ran into dead ends in all of them.

3) Social Democracy
The jury is out on social democracy, and at present, despite the rather obvious self interest of the state and academy, those of us who work the subject are fairly certain that democracy is little more than a temporary luxury for the redistribution of a civilizations windfall, rather than a system that constructs liberty and prosperity.

4) Everyone Failed – Not Just Mises
Mises failed to solve the problem of economics because he failed, like everyone else in his generation, to solve the problem of operationalism.

(Mises:economics, Brouwer:math, Hayek:Law, Bridgman:physics. And countless others in philosophy.) Everyone failed.

They failed, and Hayek’s prediction that the 20th century would be seen in retrospect as an era of mysticism appears to be true. He didn’t get it quite right, because pseudoscience and mysticism perform the same obscurantist functions differently. But it is becoming clear that the 20th century (macro included) will be seen as an era of pseudoscience, and most of us will be cast as fools because of it.

Hayek is not to be disrespected for having failed if so many thinkers failed in every other field of human inquiry. I made this mistake myself by crucifying Mises for a time. They were men of their time. They could sense something was wrong, but they were not able to solve it. Strangely enough, Brouwer and Bridgman do so, but not thoroughly enough to grasp that the problem was material in morality, epistemology, law, economics, and politics. Helpful in physical science. and only tepidly meaningful in mathematics. Its both telling and interesting that psychology – a pseudoscientific field totally absent any empirical content – saved itself by adopting Operationalism – and in doing so produced all the innovative content that it has in just twenty years – nearly overturning the century of pseudoscience.

Economics requires this reformation as well. Mises could sense but not construct it. In simple terms Keynesian macro is the the study of how much we can ‘lie’ in order to achieve a suspected good by increasing consumption despite the negative externalities for mankind by doing so. So objectively, mainstream macro is very much the study of immoral politics The operational view, and the moral study of economics (Austrian) is predicated on attempting to improve voluntary transfers so that all lying is eliminated from human cooperation.

They were great minds working desperately hard against an existential threat to man. But they failed. That does not mean we have to.

Neither does it mean that we should consider luxuries not of our own construction, as measures of our merit. They are not. If anything we merely consume twenty thousand years of western development in a century.

5) Economics is the study of human cooperation. Otherwise it is a deceit.

So, economics is the study of human cooperation. We can perform that study toward immoral ends (dysgenia, consumption, and lying), or we can perform that study toward moral ends (eugenia, accumulation, and truth).

There is only one ‘law’ of human cooperation: that is that the only moral criteria that one can imposed costs upon another, is by productive, fully informed, warrantied, voluntary exchange, free of negative externality. Under no other condition is cooperation rational. That single statement explains all moral biases.
The purpose of economics is to complete the sequence of training the human mind to understand cause and effect at different levels of complexity. Perception(existence), counting(scale), arithmetic, mathematics(ratio), geometry(space), calculus(relative motion), economics(equilibria), relativity(frames).

Only with this understanding can man understand and apply this general rule to human affairs such that we can calculate all worlds determined by an action, and choose between them. But only once we have determined the full circuit of consequences in each.

Only with this understanding can man apply this general rule to human affairs so that we can use monetary prices to sense and compare complex phenomenon at a given point in time.

Only with this understanding can we make policy decisions that allow us to justify takings and givings as producing a common good.

But only if we include all costs: Genetic, Territorial, Institutional, Normative, Pedagogical (Knowledge), Material, can we say we have accounted for all costs.

Otherwise, we are just engaged in an obscurant means of justifying our preferences.

5) John Quiggin:  Austrailian Justification by Selection of Costs
You (John) have an extremely Australian view of the world, and your definition of economics and your interpretation of what ‘economics is reducible to’ is a justification of that Australian view. That Australian view is, like that of the English, Canadian and Americans: a North Sea islander’s view: one who is insulated by the seas from the pressures common to territorial peoples. If your tradition and genetics originated in the steppe or the levant you would hold very different views.

So it appears (obvious) that your perception is a cognitive bias that you are seeking to justify, not a scientific truth that describes necessary properties of human cooperation. It is terribly apparent to me (as I would assume it was to any intellectual historian) that you are confusing a luxury of circumstance with a ‘good’ that one should aspire to.

So as far as I can tell your selected definition is one that justifies your conclusion. It’s creative accounting so to speak by selective ‘ben franklin’ accounting of costs and benefits.

By carefully defining a preconception as a good, we can justify anything.

And that is what your two laws do.

6) The Alternative Argument
The alternative argument I would like to put forward. “Every forced transfer, is a lost opportunity for mutually beneficial exchange.”

We do need a means of constructing commons. Physical and institutional commons are a unique western competitive advantage, second only to our most valuable commons: truth-telling. But why is it that commons must be constructed monopolistically? Why is not government constructed to facilitate exchanges, rather commands?

There isn’t an answer justifies that question that does not violate the only law of human cooperation: that cooperation must be rational.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

Updating Our Ancient Trinity: Truth, Beauty and Morality

The greeks just couldn’t figure out what they meant by “Goodness”.  But, I have. It’s productivity on the Obverse, and prohibition of free riding on the Reverse.

It’s do not unto others that you wold not have done unto you: impose no cost is the fee for entry into the fruits of the commons, and heroism: contribution to the commons at self sacrifice, in exchange for status.

Our ancient indo european ancestors were right all along.

Contribute to the commons.

That is the west’s unique evolutionary strategy.

Traditionalists Will Fail. But We Can Still Succeed

Conservatism, has failed because the enlightenment fallacy of an aristocracy of everyone could never come into being. Darwin put an end to it. We tried to turn our ancient aristocratic ethics into social science, but the european civil war exterminated Germany, where all our conservative aristocratic thought originated. Then the left created a pseudoscience to replace religion (Marx, Boaz, Freud, Cantor, Mises, Frankfurt School, Heidegger). And the neo-Puritains created pseudo-morality(victimism, feminism, progressivism, propaganda, relativism, and individualism).

Since then, we have failed to convert our institutions, traditions, myths and rituals, into a rational and scientific set of arguments. Every single libertarian and conservative movement has failed. The only progress we have made is in producing our own propaganda systems (think tanks, radio-stations, network news, and web sites). And from these we still maintain power.

I am working very hard to complete the neo-reactionary movement, and to convert our ancient traditions into a rational and scientific set of arguments.

And I will tell you, with absolute certainty, that the reason for our western success – our rate of evolution compared to each competing civilization – is due to our discovery of testimonial truth, our near total requirement for truth telling, the jury, independent judiciary, common law, rule of law, and the heroic literature. And that the only value the church added, and still continues to add, is in breaking family and tribal bonds by prohibiting inbreeding (cousin marriage), and extending private property rights to women, and in threatening the aristocracy with revolution if they resist natural law (rule of law, property rights), and the invention of the university.

And that aside from those four functions, the church has been a negative force for us. Because it is the destructive christian universalist sentiments that have been used by the neo-puritans (the christian left), and the socialists (the jewish left), via academy, school, state, and media, to sway us to suicidal self destruction using propaganda. (The west’s original religion is Stoicism – an action oriented equivalent of an inaction-oriented buddhism. and it is very close to what is practiced in secular Germany today.)

The answer is not to restore myth and mysticism. They have conquered us with comforting lies to our less able. It is not up to us to learn to lie, or to restore lying by analogy as well. That is counter to the reason the west excelled compared to all other civilizations: truth telling.

Our only chance for our western civilization to survive is to restore its original premise: heroism, truth telling, the jury, the common (organic) law, independent judiciary, universal standing, property rights, and to institute the physical, normative, and informational commons as property all are required to, and able to defend. Our origins are in Athens and Sparta, London and Koenigsberg, not Jerusalem and babylon.

One need not ‘believe’ in law. One need only let law and truth telling do its work. One need not lie using mysticism. Truth, property and law are enough. One does not need foreign myths. Homer, Alexander, Aristotle, Aurelius, Smith, Hume, Jefferson, Hayek, and the thousands of other heroes in the western cannon are enough.

Because, Truth is enough.

If we only will use violence to demand it.

Aristocracy uses organized violence to prohibit tyranny, not deceit and consensus.

There is no more truthful action than violence.

Curt Doolittle 
The Propertarian Institute 
Kiev Ukraine

The Evolution of Suppression of Free Riding


1) Higher Income reduces opportunity costs and risk (liberalism). Lower income increases opportunity cost and risk(conservatism).

2) Economic velocity is produced by the centralization of rents, which lowers local (productive) transaction costs at the expense of high total cost (taxation).

3) Once rents are centralized, we seek to obtain or privatize (redistribute) those rents (economic liberalism) through enfranchisement.

4) In a perfect world we seek to eliminate those rents (anglo classical liberalism).

5) But the diversity of ability leads to class warfare since meritocracy is valuable only to a minority, and rents, and parasitismare beneficial to the majority..

6) In a perfect world we pay the less able, parasitic, and rent seeking minority directly for the maintenance of the meritocratic commons, and thereby circumvent the parasitism of the bureaucratic, and political classes. And perhaps more importantly, prevent the misallocation of capital.

7) To accomplish this perfect world requires we develop institutions that allow us to produce commons, and pay people for producing those commons: meritocracy included.


X-Axis: Equalitarian/Socialist-Compromise/Social Democracy – Meritocratic/Classical Liberal Monarchy.
Y-Axis: Totalitarian- Democratic – Anarchic
Z-Axis: Wealth (elimination of transaction costs by the suppression of free riding)

Suppression of parasitism comes first. Centralize it to eliminate it locally. Then outlaw it, and eliminate it from the central bureaucracy. Economic velocity is determined by the suppression of free riding in all its forms at all levels in the polity.

(Read Emmanuel Todd’s Invention of Europe. Ricardo Duchsene’s Uniqueness of the West, Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty, Hoppe’s Democracy the God that Failed, and follow my humble efforts.)


Capitalism and the Capitalist System?

All Social, economic and political orders require: 

(1) The suppression of predation and parasitism,
(2) the establishment of an allocation of property,
(3) a construction of a means of resolving disputes, and;
(4) a means by of organization of production.

Totalitarian: It can be organized involuntarily: the elimination of private property, planning and slavery in many of its forms.

Capitalist: It can be organized voluntarily by the use of private property, money, and prices.

Mixed: It can be organized by a mix of private property, money, and prices, and the totalitarian construction of commons. (Which is what we do today). 

A market forms under any condition in which goods are constructed for the purpose of exchange.