On the Nature of Laws, Property, Banking, and Social Order
The horrid natural impact of laws was something surprising to me. We have for well over two thousand years been subject to a method of thought and a political tool that was designed for managing slaves: law. And slavery is a horrid economic model as well as a horrid personal condition. Men cannot make laws, they can only discover them. And even then they are not free from interpretation. Laws are incompatible with prosperity. Courts are necessary. Contracts are necessary. But we only need one law: property. The deficiency of our legal system is that we spent too much time trying to understand how to make just laws, and too little time understanding property, when it is property that gives us all laws if we wish to be prosperous, and men who gives us all laws if we wish to be impoverished slaves.
Men also are evolutionary creatures. We evolve by learning and adapting our behavior, not by death and physical evolution. Because of this, effective speciation, in the adaptive sense, is a factor of learning, not of biological difference. As such, while to be human is to be an animal, to be a citizen is to be a creature that adheres to learned principles.
We cannot make laws, only discover them. Law is impossible in egalitarianism. Law is a means of oppression of one group by another and nothing more. We can make contracts. Contracts have a purpose and are positive in the sense that they are agreements that attempt to specify something that must be mutually accomplished. The accomplishment is important because it determines the exit point of the contract, when the matter under consideration is complete and the contract expires. Laws have no such expiration. That is their primary point of failure.
Societies, that is, collections of people may make constitutions. Constitutions are bodies of contractual obligations where citizens forgo opportunities (they incur costs – all of them regarding property and opportunity) in order to reap greater rewards by cooperation. Their contract is to produce a social order from which they can benefit more than they can without that order. This contract is open, like all contracts, to amendments. In order to join the society, citizens agree to forgo those same opportunities, and incur those same costs. This is the nature of social contracts. It is not quite as ideologically Christian as others have stated in the past. It is purely mechanical.
Some people enter the environment without the intention of becoming citizens. They profit from the foregone opportunities of others. They do not adhere to the contractual terms of those around them.
In fact, the tendency of people is to privatize wins and socialize losses. So most people will commit little thefts. These are not thefts of action. They are payment-skipping. Payment avoidance. They are thefts of inaction, not action. Not acting on something is no different from acting on something. They are both forms of action.
Most societies do not function because they do not sufficiently codify both property which is created by action, and property that is created by inaction: by forgone opportunity. By failing to codify property in its entirety, they make the process of inaction one of preference, taste, culture, and class, rather than a process of contract. And in doing so they make words like freedom, or the lack of it, into religious or philosophically aesthetic preferences rather than the mere commercial exchange and funding of society that they truly are. In other words, they justify theft from others who forgo opportunities in order to create greater prosperity for themselves and others.
Because of this, the primary nature of constitutions has been incompleteness. Not negative incompleteness, in terms of punishment, but negative incompleteness because they fail to codify a sufficient number of social obligations for the respect of the forgone opportunities that citizens pay in order to benefit from the social order paid for under the terms of the contract of constitution.
Bodies of law have consisted of these sets of ideas for specific purposes whose purpose is to establish an authority that can make decisions and to constrain it. But property has never been understood as the primary means of controlling social order.
a) The Constitution: the limits on government and the rights of citizens rather than the payments by action and inaction that are sufficient to fund the social order. It creates a class of people who supposedly have greater wisdom or ability than the rest, but no means of selecting them. It creates master and slave, rather than contracts between producers. What a constitution should do is list the ambition of a people, the actions citizens must take and the actions they must not, and the forms of restitution that such thefts require. Even if that restitution is death.
b) Laws. Our laws are negative – prohibitions – rather than positive – aspirations. They should be simply an expression of our aspirations and a list of costs and restitutions. This is partly to do with the seemingly unchanging nature of more primitive civilizations. In more modern life, change is rapid and imperceptible because of it’s speed, not it’s slowness. This approach will help stop the propagation of fanciful social laws that leave the government unaccountable and threaten people with punishments that they cannot avoid. This is the route to intolerable slavery via regulatory problems of epistemology where property is not considered. In most cases, the corporation is today being used as a police force by regulation and threat of extraordinary penalties that are threatening to the corporation and its employees and officers and shareholders, for actions of its employees that they cannot control, yet are prohibited from screening against during hiring or removing from the corporation by termination.
b) Punishments. Rather than the restitution of property between peers, the punishments between men and their slaves who have no property. This may seem like a practical necessity when there are more human beings than can be fed and supported, so that individual men seem disposable to the more propertied and productive. But if we even consider the egalitarian position, property and restitution are better solutions for everyone involved. Every citizen should have insurance in order to be a member of a society. If he cannot pay the insurance he cannot live in the domain. If he commits a theft, or is uninsured, his sufferer is compensated, and he is ostracized, or cast out of the domain. This again, trains people to be good citizens, rather than punishing them for random regulatory violations. This even applies to drugs and drug use, which are a terrible cost and blight on our punitive system.
c) Regulations. Regulations are laws and punishments made not by elected bodies but by the people that they hire. These are, again, largely prescriptions on businesses or property holders and punishments, leaving the regulator unaccountable, the punishment greater than the cost of restitution, and the increase in costs not necessarily of any value other than to justify the cost of the regulator: for example, the increase in cost of building codes which don’t actually help anything and simply keep people out of homes.
Laws allow the lawyer and the judge to specialize in understanding law, rather than understanding property and the means by which people conduct their affairs. Whereas the lawyer should specialize in the common methods by which people interact, and judges specialize in interpreting the words of lawyers to determine violations of property. The law is not just. Property is just. The law as it is currently constructed is religious not material. This also means that the one law is comprehensible by all men by his understanding of his own affairs, and actually helps him to better manage his own affairs and relations with others, not massive bodies of regulation that encourage him to conform to the behaviors of others, accumulating rules that in the end he either cannot understand or which harm him.
In this way, laws manufacture ignorance in a population.
Aesthetic preferences are too little considered by past law. Aesthetic preferences are a means of capitalizing wealth in a society: parks, architecture, and manners are all assets.
The libertarian research program, because it is a class expression dominated by propertied outcasts – Jews and middle-class Protestants – exaggerates the idea of freedom and relies on moral argument, for the same reason that Marxist literature relies on moral argument: to avoid paying the costs of social order, so that wins may be privatized and losses may be socialized.
These outcasts are trying to make their reaction to the religious political order into a material philosophy, one by which they can continue to prosper and create prosperity for others. However, they have not accounted for the costs of inaction or the costs of opportunity, by which people pay for societies. In doing so they have created a philosophy of individualism that is as incomplete as are its opposites in totalitarianism, religion, and communism.
Their error does not make them wrong so much as incomplete. It does demonstrate that the other philosophies are failures, but only historically. They do not understand how society is paid for – why men restrain their violence. Men are more rational than we think, but possessed of less information than we assume. This is the dissonance in our traditional reasoning. And the greater the division of knowledge and labor, the greater becomes that dissonance.
Regulation is the assumption of knowledge by someone who cannot possess it. Regulators will always be less wise and competent than their creative counterparts. It is impossible to create effective regulators. But we do not need to. Our equilibrium, those forces that equilibrate our actions so that we do not harm others but advance prosperity, is not created by regulation. It cannot be, because regulation assumes a fixed knowledge which we do not possess and cannot possess. We cannot determine the rules of the future game. Instead, our equilibrating forces against action are those forces of inaction, and the physics by which we calculate that difference is property. Money is only the most visible form of property, and is important simply because by being universally demanded it makes all things commensurable. But such things are limited to the record of actions, not inaction. Of opportunities seized, not opportunities forgone. And while it may not seem so to the reader, and I will leave it to future quantitative analysts to demonstrate this fact, these actions and corresponding inactions are quantifiable. It is horrendously complicated, but it is entirely possible to demonstrate.
In the end, society is paid for by the restraint of violence: against people, their actions, and the record of their actions, namely their property. The future of that order is calculated by the use of property, and the refinements of property that make future calculation and estimation possible: money, numbers, and accounting.
There is no future to contemplate without property. We cannot construct one. Without property we are not humans. Because to be human is to think, and to think is to predict the future, and to act is to alter the future for our benefit. Without property we literally cannot think, any more than we can think without numbers and time. And we cannot think about complex topics without accounting, and we cannot cooperate in complex tasks without banks and markets to pool our efforts, and contracts and courts and insurance to reduce our risk and determine our terms and methods.
While the libertarian program has finally made it possible to develop a process and theory of government, and has led to the solution to human cooperation in large numbers to produce prosperity, against the habitual tendency for man to render himself into slavery in order to compensate for his inability to understand the methods and processes of constructing a social order, that same libertarian program is now part of the problem, because it does not recognize inaction as an action, or forgone opportunity as a cost, the social wishing well as a chart of accounts, and their freedoms, limited to those transactions that do not steal from the wishing well, either wholly, or simply in part.
Money, banking, loans, interest, terms, purposes, accounting, and universal calculation make it possible for us to issue loans instead of laws. Property makes it possible to resolve disputes and render restitution rather than develop slaves and punishments for them. Constitutions are collection of contractual tenets whose purpose it is is to codify the opportunity costs that may not be stolen from the public well. And it is the public well of opportunity costs by which we pay for social order. In this way, property is the physics of the social order. We simply need to update our idea of government. Our ideas of government must see opportunity costs as the true costs that they are. This eliminates the religious and cultural friction. Furthermore, religions may not interfere in this process if we wish to have freedom of religion. If not, then we must return to polytheism. Because only polytheism is tolerable in a world without theft. Monotheism is a concept for slaves and thieves, and a topic I must write about further. But the only purpose of monotheism is slavery.
Instead of using law we should have been using banking. We have had it wrong for two thousand years. There are legitimate reasons why we have had it wrong, and relied on law instead of banking. We relied on threats of violence and statements about what not to do, rather than promises of reward, and statements of what we should do.
The difference is, we now have the tools to rely on banking instead of laws. And that’s one of the things I’m going to show people.