Answers To Questions On Libertarian Criticism
I. Curt, what does “Exchange under trade is different from exchange under market.” mean?
Trade and Market are commonly framed as causally synonymous when they are not. Trade is natural to humans. Markets are an institution that humans have made on top of the natural human proclivity for trade.
Trade=exchange between individuals of portable, several property.
Market = a construct created by shareholders for the purpose of creating additional forms of property beyond portable several property. ie: built capital necessary for production in a division of labor. It will be very difficult to attempt to prove that markets arose without intent. Particularly in the west where markets were developed by strong families, on purpose, and where we have historical documentation to prove it. The same is true in the far east, as well as the near east. Markets are made.
As such, a market is administered, managed and “governed”. Trade is not, since portable several property does not require institutions other than self defense. ie: libertarianism (at least the jewish wing of libertarianism, not the christian wing of libertarianism) is a luddite philosophy – it is regressive. Protestant upper Middle Class Classical Liberalism which split into two sects, the ‘liberal secular humanist’ or liberal and collective vs the ‘libertarian’ or conservative and individual, does not make the error inserted by the lower class Catholics (social democracy and Jews (marxism and socialism). All social philosophies, whether marxist or libertarian, which claim universal application of their philosophy to all social classes, are luddite, regressive, anti-market philosophies whose underlying premise is to obtain the benefits of the market economy at a discount by getting the other sects to subsidize their economic advantage.
I should note that economic democracy, is a class cooperative philosophy rather than a universalist philosophy — as long as national credit is only released by the consent of the house of commons (since all borrowing is at the expense of the citizenry as a whole).
II. RE: >> I’ve understood that , rather than three coercive technologies, there are two: force (the tribal chief) & fraud (the witch doctor). I’ve yet to understand your three.
1) “coercion” is a value neutral human action. it is the act of persuading others to spend effort on what you wish rather than what they currently wish.
2) there are three coercive SOCIAL technologies
a) the threat of violence or the promise of safety (Order)
b) the threat of ostracization and the promise of opportunity through conformity (Morality)
c) the threat of missed opportunity, and the promise of reward (Trade)
3) Fraud is a property available to all three forms of coercion.
a) one can fraudulently threaten violence – this is the state’s tool
b) one can fraudulently promise opportunity or threaten ostracization – this is religion’s tool – or scriptural religion, which adds the false promise of afterlife to the social ethical spectrum of manners, ethics, and morals rather than simply relying on inclusion/ostracization.
c) one can fraudulently sell goods or services. – this is the merchant’s tool.
Fraud is an artifact of verbal promise of inter-temporal satisfaction (or punishment). Fraud is fraud. However, for fraud to exist, one must be applying one of the coercive technologies in the first place. People cannot be motivated or coerced by a ‘fraud’. They can be only motivated by the application of coercive technology which can be applied either honestly or fraudulently.
4) Exchange is a property available to all coercive technologies.
a) We do not think of violence as an exchange, but we are very happy to have it at our disposal in the preservation of life and property. We comply with rules in order to obtain that protection. Most importantly, we comply with rules in order to obtain access to a market. Since the rise of government subsidy programs, there are very few places remaining on earth that one can voluntarily enter the ‘market’. In other words, all land on the planet has largely been declared ‘owned’ by one market or another’s administrators. (Government.)
b) Religion is an exchange – of opportunities. it is a form of insurance. The promise of afterlife was invented to give membership some ‘teeth’ as social groups became big and anonymous and therefore religious leaders had to invent a means of accounting for one’s behavior in life that did not rely upon actually knowing one another – the problem of anonymity arose. But all societies have had cults, and cults convey norms, and adoption of norms is the means by which we pay our forgone opportunity costs.
c) Trade is an exchange of goods and services. That we benefit from trade is taken for granted by libertarians.
5) Each social class’ elites master one of these technologies. Strong favor order, weak favor opportunity, cunning favor trade. The vast body of human beings represent a chord of these three systems of value. We call these people the ‘undecided’ in elections. They are not committed to one technology or another. As such, society consists of elites that attempt to use one technology or another to create factions with which they can obtain discounts by the use of policy (law, order, violence), trade (the promise of gain / the threat of loss), or morals (the promise of opportunity) / religion (religion is largely a resistance movement, which in modern terms we would call ‘boycotting’.)
6) Each technology is disadvantageous to the competing technology elites.
7) Libertarians (like conservatives and liberals do in their respective ways) “give themselves a pass”, and incorporate a bias by framing the argument falsely as one of violence and fraud, rather that one of the entire possible set of coercive tools. Remuneration is coercion. People buy goods and services because they gain from it. So is religion a form of exchange. People buy emotional security. They buy inclusion. They buy ease of acceptance into a social order of economic cooperation by adopting the rituals, manners, ethics, morals of a society. So is violence a form of exchange. People buy the institution of property rights, and law and order by forgoing their opportunity for violence.
8) All philosophies (and religions, including secular humanism, and scientism) are class philosophies. They are to the social advantage of their believers. They benefit their believers at the expense of the philosophies that would benefit the opposition philosophy ‘believers’. To suggest that one philosophy will suit all the strong, the weak and the smart, is to favor the minority, and suggest that members of the opposite dimension should suffer. Or at least suffer lost opportunity. This is a form of fraud.
9) Technologies require different temporal costs (costs of time and effort)
a) Violence is a very fast but expensive technology and requires that one maintain vigilance, because there are always times of weakness.
b) Trade and Exchange are a medium term technology, useful only if there is order and property rights created by the threat of violence, or widely held manners, ethics, morals – ie:religion.
c) Inclusion and Morality (promise of opportunity, or perhaps promise of discounts) are a very slow moving and very inexpensive technology, useful mostly as a resistance against violence, order and commerce (such as group refusal to purchase a brand.)
10) Individualism as embodied in libertarianism is an exceptionally useful epistemic device given the need for economic calculation in a division of knowledge and labor. But it is only a third of the spectrum. And since society requires all three dimensions in order to form cooperation between people, groups and classes, study of social science, economics and politics requires that we master all three dimensions of knowledge – that is, unless we are simply committing ‘FRAUD’, and trying to obtain cooperation from others at a discount.
Libertarianism contains the best tools for understanding how to expand the division of knowledge and labor, which increases production, which in turn decreases prices (costs), increases choices, and as such increases choices for collective happiness at the lowest cost for the largest number. That is the ethical promise of libertarianism.
But to say that libertarian values alone are sufficient for the entire body politic, and that the other two dimensions of the coercive spectrum should forgo their discounts in order that libertarians may obtain the greatest reward, is either an error, a convenient error, or FRUAUD. (Since fraud is the act of obtaining an unearned discount or premium).
III. RE: Politics
market = city. city = polis. politics = the technology organizing people who are cooperating in markets.