- The terms are listed in alphabetical order, except where similar terms are grouped under a single heading to assist with comprehension. To find any particular term then, use your browser’s search button so you find the term regardless of its location.
- These are definitions of terms I have used in my work — as I use them. And in particular, those definitions with which I have either taken license, or that I have articulated with an increased degree of specificity over the common usage.
- An asterisk* after a term indicates a definition that is either of my own construction, or that I have altered significantly, or in which I emphasize some property other than is dominant in the conventional meaning.
- These definitions come from a variety of sources. But I should call out both Mises, and Dr. Paul M. Johnson of Auburn University whose glossary of political economy is more objective than the more common enthusiastic support of our democratic system that’s supported by most others.
(Note: This document contains over 40,000 words which is equivalent to 125 pages of text. When completed it should approach 60-80,000 words.)
A PRIORI / A POSTERIORI – (Archaic) (justificationism) A priori truths are truths that are known prior to or independent of experience. A posteriori truths are known from experience. A POSTERIORI – (Latin). Literally, following after. Known from experience. Applied to inductive reasoning, beginning with observed facts and inferring general conclusions from these. Opposed to A PRIORI. See also “INDUCTION.” A PRIORI – (Latin). Literally, from the former or preceding. Self-evident knowledge known by reason alone without any appeal to experience or sensory perceptions. Nonempirical. Opposed to A POSTERIORI.
ABSOLUTE – Free from conditional limitation: operating or existing in full under all circumstances without variation or exception. Something that is independent of human perception, valuation and cognition. A final reference point. Compare “relative”.
ABSTRACT ENTITIES, ABSTRACTIONS – Entities such as numbers, sets, propositions, properties and universals as opposed to empirical objects and stuff located at places and times. Abstract entities exist necessarily, timelessly, and spacelessly (e.g. the mind is an abstract entity.)
AD HOMINEM, ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM (rhetoric)– Attempting to disprove what a person holds by attacking the person, more generally arguing in a way that may or may not be forceful against a particular person’s position, but does not advance matters for those who do not hold that person’s particular combination of beliefs.
ADVERSE SELECTION (economics) (The Lemon Problem) – An abnormal distribution that increases risk, because of asymmetry of information. The tendency of people who can take advantage of benefits programs to pursue benefits programs while hiding their knowledge of their expected higher risk. The process by which the price and quantity of goods or services in a given market is altered due to one party having information that the other party cannot have at reasonable cost.
Adverse selection leads US workers who anticipate high family medical expenditure to seek employers with superior health insurance coverage for their employees, thereby distorting the expected (normal) distribution of medical expenses for the company as a whole. The large number of “lemons” in the used-car market is the result of adverse selection.
AGGREGATION / THE ERROR OF AGGREGATION (Numeracy) – Since under marginal utility theory, each object at each point in time, is unique (representing a quantity of 1), then POOLING and AGGREGATING each of these objects into a category, and assigning the category a numeric value for the purpose of mathematical analysis, whenever that analysis includes a change in TIME, will of necessity cause a LOSS OF INFORMATION by that process of aggregation. That lost information consists of the properties that made the ‘transaction’ rational at that point in time. Therefore, the information that was causally predictive, which was that information that made the item unique, is laundered from the analysis, rendering prediction from the remaining aggregate information impossible, except when the external circumstances NOT captured by the category, are irrelevant. For this reason, there is an INVERSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGGREGATION AND PREDICTION.
ANALYTIC vs SYNTHETIC (archaic, justificationism)– 1) An analytic statement is one that is true by virtue of the meaning of its terms alone (e.g. all bachelors are unmarried males). An analytic statement is true by definition. A synthetic statement on the other hand is one in which what is affirmed in the predicate adds something to the subject (e.g. all ravens are black). Synthetic statements are verified by reference to the world. 2) An analytic process is the method by which one breaks an object into it’s properties and relations. A synthetic process is the method by which one looks for similarities across objects. 3) The general observation that even exceptional intellectuals rarely excel at both Analytic and Synthetic Methods, and therefore tend to either develop a cunning, short term, critical and analytical view of the world, or a wise, long term, and synthetic one. This is partly due to the variability of the properties of, and relations between, objects over time. Or better stated, I use the term sometimes to describe differences in COGNITIVE TIME BIAS, or just TIME BIAS (See TIME PREFERENCE).
ANARCHY, ANARCHIC, ANARCHISM (politics)– Anarchy refers to a system of cooperation universal to all members of a population that does not include a class of individuals who specialize in violent coercion, and where people cooperate in a division of knowledge and labor, voluntarily, using entirely endogenous rather than exogenous incentives.
More loosely, it refers to any of a variety of ideologies sharing the fundamental belief that the state and all similar forms of governmental authority are unjustified and oppressive and illegitimate and therefore ought to be abolished, with future social and economic cooperation to be carried out only by means of voluntary relationships and consensual agreements under conditions of perfect legal equality.
In this system the SOCIAL ORDER PORTFOLIO is limited to abstaining from fraud, theft and violence. Specifically it does not contain land holding sentiments, and is therefore a middle and lower class set of properties.
DISORDER / CHAOS – Social states where individual accountability and respect for life, property, institutions is abandoned and people adopt high time preferences, since any forgone opportunity will simply be consumed by someone else. The problem for any population is to force universal extension of TIME PREFERENCE such that time preference becomes TIME BIAS due to habituation. Since TIME-BIASING is an evolutionary process, and requires considerable time, and has no point of perfection, and is open to constant improvement, it is an expensive technology.
*ANARCHO CAPITALISM (politics)– A research program that seeks to define a set of institutions and methods whereby all social cooperation is voluntary. See HOPPE. A system that relies upon privatization of Justice, Defense, Police, Money, Banking, Insurance, Emergency, and Health Services that are generally under management by the government. These systems depend on a limited asymmetry, and widespread investment in a SOCIAL ORDER PORTFOLIO despite asymmetry of returns on that investment in favor of the wealthy. ( Doolittle.)
The Anarcho Capitalist argument is that price reductions are sufficient compensation, which while a logical statement, is not a benefit that is perceptible by the population such prices supposedly benefit. Since price change is not perceptible, and is often offset by increases in materialistic status signals, which are entirely perceptible (or they would have no value), then the lower half of the populace will perceive itself as falling behind – failing to obtain a return on their investment. Furthermore, they cannot cooperate to ACT upon those prices, they will seek to minimize their contribution to the SOCIAL ORDER PORTFOLIO, or actively to steal from it. Anarcho Capitalism is a highly beneficial research program, and has developed a number of advancements in political science: largely the means of privatization of public services.
ANTHROPOLOGY (science)– (1) The study of man, especially of the variety, physical and cultural characteristics, distribution, customs, social relationships, etc. of mankind. (2) That which deals only with man, his relationship with himself and with other men, such as the studies of psychology and sociology, and nothing beyond man.
ANTITHESIS / ANTITHETIC / ANTITHETICAL (rhetoric) – Direct opposition of contrast between two things or ideas. The exact opposite of something. Diametrically opposite. A word, idea, person, doctrine, proposition or thing that negates, is irreconcilable with, or represents the extreme opposite of another.
*ANIMISM / ANIMISTIC (psychology)– “There is a universal tendency among humans to conceive of all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object those qualities with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious.”
When I use this term I do so as a cognitive bias that can have both negative effects such as mysticism and irrationalism which are individual cognitive errors as well as positive effects such as support for POLYTHEISM, and PANTHEISM which are useful collective pedagogical devices that appear, at least in the whole, to have the beneficial side effect of expressing and habituating compassion and low (long) time preference across all aspects of the physical world. This in effect should lead to capitalization strategies. In effect, since the golden rule is do not unto others as you would not have done unto you, Animism encourages the behavior of capitalization, at least, when not taken to (buddhist) extremes, which exist, almost entirely, as a proscription against consumption.
*APODEICTIC (alt. ‘apodictic’) (archaic justificationism)– Logically necessary, or the logical necessity of which can be demonstrated. I use the term *APODEICTIC CERTAINTY, usually disparagingly, as a synonym for the foolish pursuit of certainty, for the purpose of persuasion, particularly political persuasion, in methodologies that are vulnerable to unforeseen events outside those which are accounted for by the methodology. The problem with the MISESIAN logic of PRAXEOLOGY is that it is bounded with and makes use of apodeictic certainty, while it fails to account for forgone opportunity costs, because it chooses to use a very narrow definition of property. This is a complex form of bias constituting what I consider to be a form of denial of reality.
*ARISTOCRATIC EGALITARIANISM (politics) – The competitive evolutionary strategy of indo europeans. Aristocratic:rule by meritocracy. Egalitarianism: rule is open to all who demonstrate meritocracy. The term was coined by Ricardo Duchesne in his work The Uniqueness of Western Civilization (2011).
Note: I have extended Duchsene’s thesis by adding truth-telling as the central cause of western exceptionalism: Battle-tactics->Truth->Jury->Senate->Debate->Logic->Science
*ARISTOCRACY (politics) – Major Shareholders In A Private Government (Monarchy, Republic) – A privileged social class whose members possess disproportionately large shares of a society’s wealth, social prestige, educational attainment and political influence, with these advantages having been acquired principally through gift or inheritance from a long line of similarly privileged and cultivated ancestors. The term refers also to a form of government in which the state is effectively controlled by the members of such a class. The term tends to have a somewhat unsavory or derogatory connotation today in the light of democratic theories, but in classical political philosophy it meant rule by “the best people” of the society, who were expected to feel a paternalistic concern for the humbler members of the society that would keep them from ruling in a purely self-seeking fashion.
*ARYAN – (NOTE: THIS IS A LOADED TERM) – Synonymous with “Noble” or “Aristocratic” or “traditional european military social caste” and in particular in reference to the discipline of military pragmatism of the Indo-European/Indo-Aryan peoples we call caucasians, and who speak the indo-european languages. This is, and I use it as such, how the term was employed by academics prior to the abuse of it by the Nazi propagandists. I use it, as they did, because there is no other word that conveys the same sensibility since ‘european’, and ‘christendom’, have also become loaded and perhaps meaningless terms that do not convey the merger of the Aryan Pragmatic and Polytheistic traditions with the Jewish Christian idealistic and Submissive ethics. More specifically, to the social order that evolved from the simultaneous adoption of bronze, the wheel, and horses, and the battle tactics that required individualism, which allowed a minority population to persist as military leadership. Technically, the term means a member of the prehistoric people who spoke Proto-Indo European. Since militarism is a politically loaded concept at the moment, the tradition is very hard to label. This appears to convey the meaning even if it is loaded. Because while loaded with sentiments that imply military dictatorship, that loading is not necessarily any more inaccurate than the alternatives.
- CLASS TERMINOLOGY ACCORDING TO THE SENTIMENTS HELD AND ACTIONS TAKEN BY INDIVIDUALS
NOBLE CLASS : ORDER / ARYAN / CIVIC REPUBLICAN (LAND HOLDER AND MARKET MAKER) / VIOLENT COERCION,
COMMERCIAL CLASS : UTILITARIAN / CLASSICAL LIBERAL / LIBERTARIAN / (MARKET PARTICIPATOR) / EXCHANGE-REMUNERATIVE COERCION / INNOVATIVE CLASS
MANAGERIAL/CLERICAL CLASS : (undone)
CRAFTSMAN CLASS : ASCETIC CHRISTIAN / PRODUCTIVE CLASS /
PROLETARIAT CLASS : EXPERIENTIAL / EGALITARIAN CHRISTIAN / SOCIALIST / (MARKET USER) / RESISTANCE-MOVEMENT COERCION / CONSUMPTIVE CLASS
ASCETIC / ASCETICISM (philosophy) – The theory that the only means open to man for attaining complete quietude, contentment and happiness is to renounce all earthly concerns and worldly things in preparation for eternal bliss.
ARISTOTELIAN (philosophy) – Tending in philosophical thinking to be empirical or practical rather than metaphysical or idealistic. Emphasizing the particular aspects of reality as opposed to the general.
ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION (economics) – When somebody knows more than somebody else. More strenuously: when one group cannot know, or possibly even understand, in real time, what members of another group know, and visa-versa.
THE PRINCIPLE AGENT PROBLEM (economics) – the problem of motivating one party to act on behalf of another when doing so gives rise to asymmetry of information. The principal-agent problem arises when a principal compensates an agent for performing certain acts which are useful to the principal and costly to the agent, and where there are elements of the performance which are costly to observe.
AUTOCRACY, AUTOCRATIC (politics) – A system of government in which supreme political power to direct all the activities of the state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d’etat or mass insurrection).
AUTHORITY (law) – The ability to issue commands because of a threat of loss in the case of non compliance. The POWER to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; synonym for jurisdiction.
Johnson: In the broadest sense of the term, “banking” is the business of accepting temporary responsibility for safeguarding other people’s money (“deposits”) and then lending out these funds (along with the bankers’ own funds) in order to earn interest for the bank’s own account. Banking firms thus earn their profits primarily by serving as “financial intermediaries” who mobilize the scattered savings of many households and firms (by offering safekeeping services and paying interest on at least some kinds of accounts) and then make these pooled funds available to suitable borrowers (to business firms that want to finance proposed investment projects or perhaps to consumers who want to finance big ticket durable consumers’ goods like automobiles or perhaps to governmental entities whose policy-makers have decided to spend more money than they have received in revenue collections). The bank pledges its own capital (and also buys outside deposit insurance) to guarantee that any depositor can get all his/her money back in cash no later than some contractually specified length of time after giving notice of withdrawal. The bank makes this somewhat risky guarantee even though it is quite predictable that some (hopefully small) percentage of the loans the bankers make using depositors funds will “turn sour” and not be repaid by the borrower. The bank’s profits arise mainly from the (positive) spread between its costs of securing and servicing deposits and its revenues from fees and interest on the loans extended. (Of course banks frequently seek to make additional profits selling other financial services to their clients and customers as well, but the business of accepting deposits and making loans is the defining core of the banking business.)
Not all firms engaging in “banking” in this broad sense are officially called “banks.” Savings and loan associations, credit unions and other miscellaneous thrift institutions provide similar services under other names. The laws of the United States and most other developed industrial countries provide for multiple types of financial intermediary institutions whose official “labels” normally depend upon the selected purposes for which they will loan money (business loans, consumer loans, real estate mortgages, etc.), the maximum time period for which they will contract a loan (2 years? 5 years? 30 years?), and the kinds of supplementary services (checking privileges, foreign exchange, management of trusts and estates, etc.) that they may provide for their customers beyond basic taking of deposits and extension of loans.
BARBARIAN* – (1) People who fail to suppress criminal, unethical, immoral and conspiratorial behavior, and therefore demonstrate it. (2) People who enforce an alternate and smaller range of property definitions that conflict with a broader range of property definitions. (3) People from a pre-market society. (4) Technically: those persons who do not pay the set of FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS employed within a SOCIAL ORDER and it’s MARKET and that market’s PROPERTY DEFINITIONS.
From Johnson: Trading of goods or services directly for other goods or services, without using money or any other similar unit of account or medium of exchange. Although barter represents the earliest form of trade discovered by primitive man that made possible a more extensive division of labor beyond the limited bounds of a family or small clan grouping, it quickly encounters some practical limits to its efficiency as the division of labor becomes still more extensive and more specialized. Bartering requires what economists refer to as a “double coincidence of wants.” That is, for a voluntary barter exchange to take place, it is not enough for you just to find someone who has the exact good you want to acquire — he must also happen to want to “buy” the particular good that you have to trade for it at the same time. Finding someone whose immediate needs exactly complement your own in this precise way may take quite a lot of searching, which is costly in terms of time and effort. The primitive partial solution to this matching problem is to make one or more intermediate swaps with still other people in order to acquire some other item that will be more acceptable to the owner of the item you desire — but this will also tend to be very time-consuming. The more complex the division of labor, the more finely specialized the population’s productive roles, and the more numerous the variety of goods and services produced in an economy, the more costly and cumbersome barter trading will become because the likelihood of any two people having a double coincidence of wants shrinks dramatically. History strongly suggests, in fact, that the (sometimes gradual, sometimes amazingly rapid) replacement of a barter economy by an exchange economy employing some form of money to facilitate trade is a near-absolute necessity before much economic development beyond a rather primitive tribal level can occur.
BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS (economics, psychology) – A branch of ECONOMICS that concentrates on explaining the economic decisions people make in practice, especially when these conflict with what conventional economic theory predicts they will do.
BLACK BOX (psychology) – A process whose internal operations are opaque (black), and incomprehensible due to complexity, or currently beyond our knowledge. WHen I use the term, I generally refer to the fact that complex human narratives and beliefs consist of many irrational sub-processes but which in total produce a positive outcome, despite their apparent irrationality.
CHINESE ROOM* / CHINESE CHARACTER PROBLEM – (psychology) – A thought experiment by Searle that suggests that a computer no matter how sophisticated, does not ‘understand’, and cannot ‘understand’. When I use this term I refer to the fact that either a) understanding isn’t necessary to achieve seemingly complex outcomes, and b) that the people participating in a process may not indeed have any idea of the broader consequences of what they do. (Usually, I’m referring to bankers.)
Johnson: A market in which certain goods or services are routinely traded in a manner contrary to the laws or regulations of the government in power. Typical reasons why the market goes underground in this way include the desire by substantial numbers of buyers and sellers to evade restrictive government price controls or inconvenient rationing schemes, to avoid paying heavy taxes on the good or service in question, or simply to be able to obtain forbidden goods or services that the government does not want the people to have at all. The size and relative importance of black markets vary greatly from one country to another and from one historical period to the next within any single country. In general, the greater the extent to which the government tries to dominate and control the economy, the larger the fraction of economic activity that takes place through the black market can be expected to be.
BLACK SWAN (numeracy, psychology, cognitive bias)– Refers to 1) the disproportionate role of high-impact, hard to predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance and technology, 2) the non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to their very nature of small probabilities) and 3) the psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs.
BOURGEOIS n. or adj., BOURGEOISIE, n. (French). (politics, economics) – The merchants, professional persons (doctors, lawyers, professors), employers and white collar workers, as distinguished from: (1) The clergy; (2) The nobility and the landed gentry; and (3) The manual workers and peasants called the proletariat. (4) The ‘fourth estate’, meaning the ‘press’.
*BUREAUCRAT / BUREAUCRATIC / BUREAUCRACY (politics, economics, organizational theory) – (1) A group of individuals who hold functional roles in an organization, but who are insulated from the need to serve customers and consumers or react to prices, and so, they are ‘outside the market’ or EXTRA-MARKET individuals. ie: a person in any organization who is isolated from the market, and therefore does not practice ‘customer service’. (2) someone whose purpose in any organization is to resist the use of organizational resources for other than the purposes expressly determined by the leadership. (3) a government or large industry worker responsible for some small function who operates by rules or regulations rather than market signals.
In ordinary usage, “bureaucracy” refers to a complex, specialized organization (especially a governmental organization) composed of non-elected, highly trained professional administrators and clerks hired on a full-time basis to perform administrative services and tasks. Bureaucratic organizations are broken up into specialized departments or ministries, to each of which is assigned responsibility for pursuing a limited number of the government’s many official goals and policies — those falling within a single relatively narrow functional domain. The departments or ministries are subdivided into divisions that are each assigned even more specialized responsibilities for accomplishing various portions or aspects of the department’s overall tasks, and these divisions are in turn composed of multiple agencies or bureaus with even more minutely specialized functions (and their own subdivisions). Bureaucratic organizations always rely heavily on the principle of hierarchy and rank, which requires a clear, unambiguous chain of command through which “higher” officials supervise the “lower” officials, who of course supervise their own subordinate administrators within the various subdivisions and sub-subdivisions of the organization.
Bureaucratic organizations are typically characterized by great attention to the precise and stable delineation of authority or jurisdiction among the various subdivisions and among the officials who comprise them, which is done mainly by requiring the organization’s employees to operate strictly according to fixed procedures and detailed rules designed to routinize nearly all decision-making. Some of the most important of these rules and procedures may be specified in laws or decrees enacted by the higher “political” authorities that are empowered to set the official goals and general policies for the organization, but upper-level (and even medium-level) bureaucrats typically are delegated considerable discretionary powers for elaborating their own detailed rules and procedures. Because the incentive structures of bureaucratic organizations largely involve rewarding strict adherence to formal rules and punishing unauthorized departures from standard operating procedures (rather than focussing on measurable individual contributions toward actually attaining the organization’s politically assigned goals), such organizations tend to rely very heavily upon extensive written records and standardized forms, which serve primarily to document the fact that all decisions about individual “cases” were taken in accordance with approved guidelines and procedures rather than merely reflecting the personal preferences or subjective judgment of the individual bureaucrat involved.
The classic social scientific analysis of bureaucracy was that of the pioneer sociologist Max Weber in his 1922 book Economy and Society. Weber, like the good German he was, believed that a permanent, well-educated, conscientious, “non-partisan,” Prussian-style bureaucracy professionally committed to implementing whatever decisions the legitimate rulers of the state might arrive at was the best organizational form yet discovered for the rational and efficient pursuit of collective social goals in a modern society with a specialized and highly complex division of labor. In his writings, Weber devoted considerable attention to showing ways in which the gradual evolution of modern bureaucratic methods and values helped to remove the formidable obstacles to economic development, social advancement and political stability that had been inherent in the much less professionalized and systematized practices of government administration in feudal Europe and most other premodern societies.
While most other social scientific students of bureaucracy have recognized the historical importance of bureaucratic organizational techniques in creating the powerful, centralized nation-states (and other very large organizations such as modern business corporations and labor unions) that predominate in the industrialized world of the 20th century, it is fair to say that they have generally been considerably less one-sidedly approving of bureaucracy than Weber was. Despite their many advantages for dealing efficiently and effectively with routine, recurring problems in a fairly stable and predictable environment, bureaucratic methods also have their dark side. Hired and promoted largely on the basis of educational credentials and seniority within the organization and protected by civil service personnel practices designed to provide a high degree of job security, bureaucratic officials tend to be very well insulated from responsibility for the external consequences of their decisions and actions as long as they stay formally within prescribed procedures. Such sociologists as Robert K. Merton and Michel Crozier have shown that pressures on officials to conform to fixed rules and detailed procedures, when added to the narrow responsibilities of highly specialized agencies for pursuing only a select few of the many objectives that government has set, quite regularly leads bureaucrats to become defensive, rigid, and completely unresponsive to the urgent individual needs and concerns of the private citizens and outside organizations with which they come into professional contact. (“That’s not my department. I cannot help you.”) Because the salaries and promotion prospects of officials working in large bureaucracies seldom depend upon measurable success or efficiency by the organization in achieving its larger goals (which are often especially difficult to measure in government agencies and other non-profit oriented organizations that lack a clear “bottom line”) and because any departure from established routines always requires permission from remote higher levels of the hierarchy, large bureaucratic organizations tend to be very slow and cumbersome in making important policy decisions (the “buck-passing” phenomenon) and are especially dull-witted in recognizing and responding to the consequences of major changes in economic, social and technological conditions and circumstances outside the organization itself. In other words, individual officials working under bureaucratic incentive systems frequently find it to be in their own best interests to adhere rigidly to internal rules and formalities in a ritualistic fashion, behaving as if “proper procedure” were more important than the larger goals for serving their clients or the general public that they are supposedly designed to accomplish (the “red tape” phenomenon).
*BUSINESS CYCLE / TRADE CYCLE (economics) – the cyclic tendency for businesses, and all human organizations, to ‘school’ around a network of similar opportunities to the point where the market signals are distorted, and the opportunity is fully exploited, while the people, processes and relationships and contracts in the network of organizations have not predicted the collapse of the opportunity network, and therefore, there is a downward cycle while these relationships, habits, contracts, and all other forms of cooperation, fragment into smaller schools of individuals seeking other opportunities until they find another large opportunity network to cooperate in exploiting. See PSST / PATTERNS OF SUSTAINABLE SPECIALIZATION AND TRADE.
*CALCULATION* vs COMPUTATION : A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change. The term is generally used to describe a spectrum of methods of reasoning, from the very definite arithmetical calculation of using an algorithm, to the vague heuristics of calculating a strategy in a competition or calculating the chance of a successful relationship between two people. When I use the term I am specifically referring to the latter: CALCULATION for the purpose of FORECASTING IN TIME using comparisons of complex processes in time – i.e. A system of production, even if the product of that production is simply a moment of joy. In this sense, I use COMPUTATION as a subset of CALCULATION. Computation refers to calculation in the narrower sense, and Calculation refers to the deliberate process of transforming inputs into results over in time in the broader sense.
CALCULATIVE vs COMPUTATIONAL – A process is CALCULATIVE if human beings are required to perform it, and COMPUTATIONAL if computers, limited to GODELIAN BOUNDARIES can perform it. Statistical computation by a computer is CALCULATIVE, even if though its programmers pretend it to be to be PREDICTIVE. Correlative statistical analysis is not CALCULATIVE, it is COMPUTATIONAL approximation of CALCULATION. Human beings use numbers and computation to extend their perceptions. But human perception consists of property (objects) in time. Humans may use computation, but they conduct calculation.
CALCULATIVE INSTITUTIONS – The set of technologies that permit human beings to extend their perception and comparison ability, and therefore their ability to understand and forecast in complexity, particularly a division of knowledge and labor, as a means of assisting in planning, forecasting, production and decision making. Specifically: numbers, counting, arithmetic, accounting, algebra, calculus, statistics, combined with money, numeric time, banking, interest, contract, rule of law, combined with narrative, history, objective truth, combined with property, exchange, trade, markets.
“CALCULATING AND COORDINATING” – (undone)
The sequence of thinkers:
PROPERTY AS CALCULATION
RULE OF LAW
CRITICISM VS JUSTIFICATION
EXISTANTIAL / OPERATIONAISM /
[1*] Block, Salerno, Herbner
CANON – A ruler or measuring rod. A body of literature containing the authoritative source or reference material on a subject. The western canon. Canon Law. Loosely “the authoritative reference commonly agreed upon by experts in that field.”
CANONICITY – Acceptability as genuine and authoritative.
WESTERN CANON – The Western canon is a term used to denote a canon of books, and, more widely, music and art, that has been the most influential in shaping Western culture. It asserts a compendium of the “greatest works of artistic merit.” Such a canon is important to the theory of educational perennialism and the development of “high culture”. Although previously held in high regard, it has been the subject of increasing contention through the latter half of the 20th century. In practice, debates and attempts to actually define the Canon in lists are essentially restricted to books of various sorts: Literature, including Poetry, Fiction and Drama, autobiographical writings and Letters, Philosophy and History. A few accessible books on the Sciences are usually included.
The Perennial Literature Conveying Cultural Values. The west separates the secular and religious worlds. While the religious world relies upon a simple book, and a body or canon of writings to support it, the western canon consists of a broader set of writings that have no ‘authority’ as is claimed by scriptural doctrines. Lacking authority, scholars, and the highly literate, … The western canon is largely the product of the noble classes, or the aspiring classes.
The religious cannon, like all canons, is a product of revolutionary sentiments in fictional literature, and conservative sentiments in non-fiction writings as well as records.
*CAPITAL (economics) – A store of the results of human effort. Distinctly separate from OWNERSHIP and PROPERTY, capital refers to a store of human expended energy and time. All property is capital, but all capital need not be ‘owned’.
- *PHYSICAL CAPITAL
1) MONEY CAPITAL – a store of human time in an abstraction we call Money, used as a medium of exchange.
2) PORTABLE CAPITAL / SEVERAL PROPERTY
3) PHYSICAL CAPITAL – Manufactured items used to produce goods and services.
4) BUILT CAPITAL – infrastructure and buildings constructed on land, that are immobile.
5) MONUMENTAL CAPITAL –
6) GEOGRAPHIC CAPITAL
1) GENETIC CAPITAL – the distribution of the population between objective social classes based upon aggression, impulsivity, time preference, desirability, and intelligence.
2) NORMATIVE CAPITAL / SOCIAL ORDER CAPITAL / CULTURAL CAPITAL – ethics, norms, rituals, social portfolio.
3) TECHNOLOGICAL CAPITAL – knowledge and skills – the knowledge, skill, health, habits, and other human properties.
4) CALCULATIVE CAPITAL – property definitions, numbers, sound money, prices, accounting, objective history, rational content of language, rules. (undone) Tools that allow calculation and coordination in a population, which are required because of the complexity and volume of content and the limits of human perception, knowledge and reason in real time.
5) INSTITUTIONAL CAPITAL [cooperation and dispute resolution],
CAPITAL FLIGHT – The popular idea that invested wealth leaves one territorial monopoly for another. See TERRITORIAL MONOPOLY. The fact that wealthy people are highly mobile and will move in reaction to increased taxation, taking both capital and skill in applying capital, with them. See TAX COMPETITION.
CAPITALISM (economics, politics) – 1. An economic concept of civilization that is based on the private ownership (and control) of the means of production. Such an institutional situation permits and inevitably encourages the division of labor, economic calculation, capital accumulation, technological improvement and the voluntary social cooperation of a market economy in which mass production is designed for the consumption of the sovereign masses. 2) A form of economic order characterized by private ownership of the means of production and the freedom of private owners to use, buy and sell their property or services on the market at voluntarily agreed prices and terms, with only minimal interference with such transactions by the state or other authoritative third parties.
“CAPITALISM IS A REBELLION MOVEMENT BY THE MIDDLE CLASS” – (from capitalism – concise library of liberty) The emergence of capitalism is often mistakenly linked to a Puritan work ethic. But the same attitudes toward work and savings are exhibited by Jews and Japanese, whose value systems contain no Calvinist component. Moreover, Scotland in the seventeenth century was simultaneously orthodox Calvinist and economically stagnant. A better explanation of the Puritans’ diligence is that by refusing to swear allegiance to the established Church of England, they were barred from activities and professions to which they otherwise might have been drawn—landownership, law, the military, civil service, universities— and so they focused on trade and commerce. A similar pattern of exclusion or ostracism explains why Jews and other racial and religious minorities in other countries and later centuries tended to concentrate on retail businesses and money lending.
Thus, libertarian sentiments in protestants and jews are ‘landless’ sentiments. The organizing principles needed to hold land are different from (and more costly than) the organizing principles of diasporic minorities.
CARTEL – An association of business firms, especially in any one industry, which is formed for the purpose of limiting competition. More loosely, a group of people from different organizations who attempt to increase market prices by any means.
CATEGORY – 1) Formally: A class or division in a scheme of classification. 2) A group of actions, objects or concepts with similar properties, whose membership is determined by the utility of the object, action, or concept, because of its properties. 3) In general, I use the term to refer to an abstract grouping of actions, concepts, or objects for the purpose of conveying general principles without referring to a specific example, which would contribute possibly irrelevant properties to the utility of the concept under consideration.
CATALLAXY / CATALLATIC – Self-Organizing. The actions of individuals result in broad patterns of order , rather than determining their actions based upon a preconceived order. Human activity in the market is catallatic. A free society is “a self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation.” (Hayek).
*CAUCASIAN / (WHITE / EUROPEAN / ARYAN) – Technically, any of the collection of indo-european people with fair skin, eyes and hair. Generally, white germanic Celtic and Nordic europeans, white Russians, usually extended to include greco-italians, turkic-greeks slavs, and usually excluding indo-european hindus, and other central asians who are closely related. Culturally: White Christians, Western or Orthodox.
This term is under assault because white christians, and in particular, white christian males, as the dominant military, political and economic group, are being racially oppressed, and deprived of their ‘IDENTITY’, or ‘common forgone opportunity costs in their social portfolio’ as a means of depriving them of political, military and economic power. Meanwhile all other national, racial, and cultural groups are asserting their individualism and reinforcing their identities. Therefore, the term ‘caucasion’ carries different connotations depending upon the demographic using it. In general it means ‘white people’.
*CAUSAL DENSITY, HIGH CAUSAL DENSITY, LOW CAUSAL DENSITY* – the number of factors that can influence an outcome. Something with high causal density may be impervious to mathematical calculation since the number of factors involved and their interrelationships is higher than either the time, methodology, or available data can reliably be applied.
ie: Human political and historical events have high causal density. But we can deduce general principles from analysis of history in retrospect. We can perform such deduction because we can create categories, and therefore measurements, in retrospect that we cannot create in prospect. Unfortunately, the future has both a high causal density because, (a) the presence of human innovation, and (b) the opportunity for BLACK SWAN events from both the natural and the human worlds. While in theoretical terms, we may understand that (c) the future is fractal (any process is composed of many small expressions that affect one another), and that (d) we will require a fractal mathematics to predict the future, and that (e) there are a limited number of axis of human behavior that are influenced by external stimuli, and lastly, that (f) the plasticity of utility of property (objects and materials) in the real world is very great, we are, at least at this point in our technology, unable to perform anything but the most rudimentary measures and predictive mathematics because the high causal density prohibits us from defining the categories, from obtaining the data and from calculating that future.
The real world of human affairs is a calculator of sorts. Humans calculate in real time. They do so at speed. And together they do so in volume — something that helps us put into perspective just how complex the universe is, and how difficult a time a species has, in outwitting the universe one little bit at a time, then learning from and then outwitting other humans on top of that.
CAUSATION (philosophy, metaphysics) – Making something happen, allowing or enabling something to happen, or preventing something from happening. Mental and extramental occurrences, of all spatial and temporal dimensions, great and small, have causes and are causes.
*CAUSATION vs CORRELATION (philosophy, numeracy) – Correlation refers to similarities in distribution between sets of data. Causation refers to the actions which produced an outcome. Due to the vast complexity of the universe, the limitations of the human mind, and the limitations of the ‘narrative model’ employed by the human mind, human comprehension will forever be correlative. However, the use of correlative mathematics in public policy allows POOLING and LAUNDERING, as well as THEFT and CORRUPTION. Whereas Calculative Technologies do not, largely because they are BOUNDED BY VOLITION and TRANSPARENT, and require INTER CLASS COOPERATION. And they preserve freedom and the integrity of the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO while permitting redistribution.
CHAUVINISM (psychologism) – Exaggerated patriotism or militarism; Manliness. Originally a term of ridicule applied to idolatry of Napoleon, it came from the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a much wounded and decorated veteran who worshipped with blind enthusiasm the military glories and expansionist policies of his defeated hero.
CHICAGO SCHOOL / FRESHWATER ECONOMICS / MONETARISM (economics) – A fervently free-market economic philosophy long associated with the University of Chicago, and particularly Milton Friedman. At times, especially when KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS was the orthodoxy in much of the world, the Chicago School was regarded as a bastion of unworldly extremism.
SOCIAL CLASS vs ECONOMIC CLASS (The half life of social class) – (undone) One’s Economic class can rise or fall depending upon a person’s choices – particularly because in a market society, resulting wealth is a function of a LOTTERY. A proletarian can become an athlete, or entertainer (synonyms) and enter the top earning position in society. They can amass fame and fortune. They can even obtain some degree of social influence and political power. But they do not necessarily enter the upper classes, because their habits, values, manners and ethics may not emphasize the very-long-term, and their sense of gratification may not emphasize suppression of the near term, in favor of the distant future – a sentiment of class that only comes with the certainty of one’s family retaining it’s position in that class. See POWER.
Class Coercive Technologies and Preferences
1) UPPER (order ethics – violent coercion – long/low time preference – capitalization goals – own the market )
2) MIDDLE (exchange ethics – remunerative coercion – medium/medium time preference – production goals – participate in the market)
3) LOWER (inclusion ethics – moral coercion – short/high time preference – consumption goals – seek participation in the market, or to undermine the market)
While different forms of government can determine wich class has POLITICAL POWER, and which class has ECONOMIC power, the forms of coercion are constant, since no class can hold it’s *necessary function* in a social order without using those tools.
UPPER CLASS – The necessary property of upper class membership is insulation from the effects of time, market, and both POLITICAL and POPULIST POWER. Technically speaking, the UPPER SOCIAL CLASS is peopled purely by the ECONOMIC UPPER CLASS.
(UNDONE: Insert Table Of Class Properties)
CLIOMETRIC / CLIOMETRICS – Econometric History, is the application of economic theory, econometric techniques, and other formal or mathematical methods to the study of social and economic history. It is a quantitative as opposed to qualitative or ethnographic approach to economic history. The term cliometrics comes from Clio, who was the muse of history, and was originally coined by the mathematical economist Stanley Reiter in 1960.
THE DATA PROBLEM – The record of historical transactions (states), rather than historical trajectories (velocities), and the necessary reliance upon correlation rather than causation in mathematical analysis.
COGNITIVE / COGNITION – The act of thinking, by the use of stimuli, memories, associations between memories, and the formation of hypothesis from these associations. A cognitive process can be unconsciously active, because of a perceived pattern or problem keeping it in memory, conscious, in which the problem is existent, or deliberate where the individual attempts to solve it, or rational where the individual applies the technology of reason, or scientific, where the individual applies external stimuli to test his reasoning.
INCENTIVE, INCENTIVES – Factors that motivate and influence the actions of individuals. Something that an influencer can use to provide a motive for a person to choose a particular course of action. Organized cooperative activities in a social setting — such as cooperation for the purpose of economic production — depends upon each of the participants having some sort of incentive to behave in the required cooperative fashion. Different societies (and even different organizations within the same society) vary considerably in the nature of the incentive systems upon which they characteristically rely to organize their common projects. — per Johonson (with edits)
- See three coercive technologies, moral hazard, perverse incentives, unintended consequences, tragedy of the commons.
I. PERSONAL: CATEGORIES OF INCENTIVES (Johonson)
Incentives may be classified according to a number of different schemes, but one of the more useful classifications subdivides incentives into three general types: MORAL INCENTIVES, COERCIVE INCENTIVES and REMUNERATIVE INCENTIVES.
- A person has a COERCIVE INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way when it has been made known to him that failure to do so will result in some form of physical aggression being directed at him by other members of the collectivity in the form of inflicting pain or physical harm on him or his loved ones, depriving him of his freedom of movement, or perhaps confiscating or destroying his treasured possessions.
- A person has a MORAL INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way when he has been taught to believe that it is the “right” or “proper” or “admirable” thing to do. If he behaves as others expect him to, he may expect the approval or even the admiration of the other members of the collectivity and enjoy an enhanced sense of acceptance or self-esteem. If he behaves improperly, he may expect verbal expressions of condemnation, scorn, ridicule or even ostracism from the collectivity, and he may experience unpleasant feelings of guilt, shame or self-condemnation.
- A person has a REMUNERATIVE INCENTIVE to behave in a particular way if it has been made known to him that doing so will result in some form of material reward he will not otherwise receive. If he behaves as desired, he will receive some specified amount of a valuable good or service (or money with which he can purchase whatever he wishes) in exchange.
All known societies employ all three sorts of incentives to at least some degree in order to evoke from its members the necessary degree of cooperation for the society to survive and flourish. However, different societies differ radically in the relative proportions of these different kinds of incentives used within their characteristic mix of incentives.
- 1) FORCE: Physical Coercion with Avoidance Benefit – Strategic use: Rapid but expensive. Sieze opportunities quickly with a concentrated effort.
2) GOSSIP: Verbal, Moral Coercion with Ostracization/Inclusion benefit (Opportunity Benefit/Insurance Benefit) – Strategic Use: slow, but inexpensive. Wait for opportunity by accumulating consensus.
3) EXCHANGE: Remunerative Coercion With Material Benefit – Strategic use: Moderate speed, but efficient in cost and time.
COERCIVE POWER BY SOCIAL CLASS
These three technologies also correspond to three social classes. Classes that are not a hierarchy but peers – each competing for supremacy of their group. And each group mastering one of the tree technologies.
Modern hierarchical social theory is incorrect. People use these three strategies, and ELITES in each of these technologies, form the upper class of that group. While lower classes may also specialize in one technology or another (leftists and Membership) the vast majority of people, particularly in the middle classes, use some mixture of these strategies, as they suit them.
III. STRATEGIC: POWER / THREE TYPES OF POWER – Power is defined as possessing any of the various means by which to influence the probability of outcomes in a group or polity using one of THE THREE COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES.
Power is the ability to Influence, Coerce or Compel individuals or groups to act more according to one’s wishes than they would without the use of influence, coercion or compelling.
There are only three forms of power possible:
- 1) Populist Power (Religion, Entertainment, Public Intellectuals) vs
2) Procedural Power: Political, Judicial, and Military Power (Soldiers, Judges and Politicians) vs
3) Economic Power (people with wealth either earned or gained through tax appropriation).
It is possible and often preferable to combine all three forms of power in order to coerce people most effectively. Conversely, it is possible and preferable to create an institutional framework in politics that restricts the ability to combine different forms of power in an effort to constrain power.
- >Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The good cop/bad cop strategy is also based on this principle.
- Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance.
- Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.
- Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
- Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype.
- Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” encourages sales.
COGNITIVE BIAS – The tendency of people to make consistent errors in judgement, largely for evolutionary reasons. Cognitive bias is a general term that is used to describe many distortions in the human mind that are difficult to eliminate and that lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, or illogical interpretation. Cognitive biases are an evolved mental behavior. Some are presumably adaptive, for example, because they lead to more effective actions in given contexts or enable faster decisions when faster decisions are of greater value. Others presumably result from a lack of appropriate mental mechanisms, or from the misapplication of a mechanism that is adaptive under different circumstances.
See List of Cognitive Biases in the Debate Section.
COMMODITY – A comparatively homogeneous product that can typically be bought in bulk. It usually refers to a raw material – oil, cotton, cocoa, silver – but can also describe a manufactured product used to make other things, for example, microchips used in personal computers.
COMMON LAW – Legally binding rules or principles of justice developed in the course of history from the gradual accumulation of rulings by judges in individual cases, as differentiated from the kind of statute law embodied in special legal codes or statutes enacted by legislative assemblies or imposed by executive decrees. The importance of the common law heritage is particularly great in the legal systems of Great Britain and of most former British colonies, including the U.S.
COMMONS – Originally, meaning Land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community. More articulately: any form of property to which members of a group share an interests, but where that interest is obtained by an unspecified membership in the group rather than by explicit possession of title. I use this term to refer to both physical property and normative commons. The problem with commons is that without shares, even un-tradable shares, the ownership of the commons cannot be protected from confiscation by various means including immigration, or political confiscation.
CONNOTATION or CONNOTE – The implication of meanings to words other than the definition of the word. To suggest or convey (associations, overtones, etc.) in addition to the explicit, or denoted, meaning of a word or phrase. (“Mother” denotes “female parent” and connotes love, care, tenderness, etc.)
CONSERVATISM, CONSERVATIVE – 1) sentiment, 2) philosophy. (undone)
1)A general preference for the existing order of society and an opposition to all efforts to bring about rapid or fundamental change in that order. Conservative ideologies characteristically strive to show that existing economic and political inequalities are well justified and that the existing order is about as close as is practically attainable to an ideal order. Conservative ideologies most often base their claims on the teachings of religion and traditional morality and tend to downplay the reliability of purely rational or deductive social theories propounded by secular philosophers, economists, and other social thinkers. The specific content of “conservatism” is highly variable across societies and over time, since the arguments necessary to defend the status quo depend upon what the status quo is in any particular country. Because American political and economic institutions were very heavily influenced by 18th and 19th century liberal thought and because America had essentially no experience of the kind of feudal and aristocratic institutions that persisted for so long in Europe, contemporary American conservatism’s content includes a much stronger commitment to free markets, individual rights, and political democracy and much less attachment to hereditary aristocracy and state-support for a particular religion than is characteristic of contemporary European conservatism.
2) In Maddox and Lilie’s classification of American political ideologies, a political point of view characterized by relatively high support for activist government intervention to enforce traditional morality or social values coupled with relatively high opposition to activist government when it comes to intervening in economic or business affairs.
CONSTANT RELATIONS – (From Mises) In the field of the natural sciences there prevail constant relations between definite magnitudes. By means of laboratory experiments the scientists are in a position to determine these constants and to make practical use of them in predictions and in technological design. But in human action there are no such constant relations between magnitudes. There, all quantities are variables or, as a more appropriate term describes them, historical data. It is, therefore, not due to alleged backwardness, or to the much-talked-about “youth” of economic science, that it is not quantitative but, as people say, “merely” qualitative. No constant, fixed quantitative economic relationships exist, on which quantitative economic predictions would have to be based. And what does not exist cannot become a matter of scientific inquiry.
THE COORDINATION PROBLEM – (undone, this definition from a philo dictionary is horridly wrong) A situation in which the interests of agents coincide, and the aim is to try to reach an outcome in which those interests are satisfied. Informally, this is a situation in which each person has an interest in doing something that chimes in with what the others do. For example, we may each have an interest in meeting at dinner time, but face the problem that neither of us is sure in which part of the town the other will be. Going to the only restaurant, expecting the other to reason that this is the salient thing to do and to go there likewise, would be a solution to the problem. The problem would not be so easy if there were several restaurants, or if an element of competition entered, whereby my interests are better served by one choice (e.g. a restaurant near me) and yours by a different choice (one near you). More formally, a solution requires finding an equilibrium, meaning that no agent can do better by unilaterally doing something else given the choices of the others. A proper equilibrium is one which each agent likes better than any other equilibrium. Much social action, including perhaps inventing language and society, requires solving co-ordination problems. See also convention, game theory, Nash equilibrium, prisoners’ dilemma.
COST – Whatever ASSET must be spent, foregone, given up or otherwise sacrificed or whatever LIABILITY must be acquired or suffered in order to obtain or produce something or attain some end. A cost may be a matter of money, labor, lives, time, thought, discipline, trouble, pain, debt or anything else that men value and take into consideration when deciding to seek a specific goal or good.
From Johnson: Cost
In the widest sense, the measure of the value of what has to be given up in order to achieve a particular objective. In everyday language, people most often use the term rather like an accountant does, as synonymous with the total money outlays actually paid out to achieve the objective, but this is not precisely what economists mean by the term. Economists are concerned with rational decision-making, and the rational decision-maker needs to estimate in advance the full range of consequences of each of the various alternative uses of his time and resources open to him, not just the portion of the costs accounted for by money outlays. For the economist, the true cost of any decision is the value of the next best outcome (of all the other possible outcomes) that is given up because of that decision. Unless otherwise specified, when economists say “cost,” they mean opportunity cost — that is, the highest valued alternative that must be sacrificed to attain something or otherwise satisfy a want. For example, the opportunity cost of a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to the movies Tuesday afternoon instead of going in to work is not just the six dollars for the ticket plus the gasoline and wear and tear on the car to get there. It also includes (at least) the four hours’ wages not earned, diminished prospects for being promoted at work, and possibly such additional consequences as future hostility from co-workers who had to take up the slack, unpleasant feelings of guilt or shame, and so on. In a more extreme vein, the opportunity cost of committing suicide is not simply the money outlay for the necessary equipment, but rather the value of the total range of future satisfactions one might otherwise be able to achieve.
CROWDING OUT – When government spending causes interest rates to rise, thereby reducing private spending. That means increase in government spending crowds out investment spending.
CROWDING IN – When private investment increases as debt-financed government spending increases. This is caused when government spending boosts the demand for goods, which in turn causes an increase in private demand for new output sources, such as factories.
CULTURE* – The myths, literature, tastes, rituals, customs, skills, arts of a given people in a given period, in a given civilization. Including 1) The symbols, memetic and referential constructs that demonstrate group membership, especially the foods and dress local to the geography. 2) The narratives and rituals that demonstrate example behavior expected of group members. i.e. Myths. 3) The subset of properties of costs included in the culture’s SOCIAL ORDER. A CULTURE contains a SOCIAL ORDER consisting of a portfolio of expected behaviors, each requiring some form of material cost, or cost in time and effort, or forgone opportunity cost from members in exchange for the opportunities and securities derived from membership in the group. See SOCIAL ORDER.)
noun ˈkəl-chər KUHL-chur
Middle English (denoting a cultivated piece of land): the noun from French culture or directly from Latin cultura ‘growing, cultivation’; the verb from obsolete French culturer or medieval Latin culturare, both based on Latin colere ‘tend, cultivate’ (see cultivate). In late Middle English the sense was ‘cultivation of the soil’ and from this (early 16th century), arose ‘cultivation (of the mind, faculties, or manners’); culture (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the early 19th century.
1) : SYSTEM OF ASSUMPTIONS, GOALS, PROPERTY RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS, RITUALS AND SIGNALS WHICH CAN AND ARE TRANSMITTED BETWEEN GENERATIONS.
(a) Webster: “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior learned and transmitted knowledge to succeeding generations.”
(b) Propertarianism: “a set of suppositions about the nature of man, and his preferred and necessary relation to others, and to nature. The myths that convey those relations, and attach positive and negative values to them. The property rights that codify and enforce those relations in daily life. The Gender Biases, Mating Rituals, Childrearing Rituals, Feast Rituals, Celebratory Rituals, Group Identity Signals such as dress, and learned food choice and preparation preferences. All of which can and must be learned and transmitted to succeeding generations, and which can and do survive transmission to succeeding generations.
2) CULTURED Knowledge of or Mastery of, the cannon of the most well-crafted examples of History, Letters, and Arts, produced by members of that culture, which celebrate that culture, and demonstrating, and therefore, signaling, the Morals, ethics and manners, of those most well crafted examples.
3) SUBCULTURE (By Analogy), shortened to CULTURE by abbreviation, loading and analogy: A set of STATUS SIGNALS – the competing suppositions, myths, values, property rights, rituals and signals, of a racial (Genetic inter-temporal relations), religious (normative inter-temporal relations), or social group (generational, class, geographic, or occupational relations);
4) POPULAR CULTURE (by analogy): A cyclical preference for a) inexpensive status signals used to illustrate coming of age, b) inexpensive status signals used to demonstrate group membership in order to create opportunities for entertainment, association, occupation or mating created by the set of goods and services marketed to people who are coming of age, participating in mating and child-rearing as well as early career development.
(1) 1610s, “worship,” also “a particular form of worship,” from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus “care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence,” originally “tended, cultivated,” pp. of colere “to till” (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning “devotion to a person or thing” is from 1829.
(2) Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Rawson]
THE BUDDHIST ERROR – Denial, Avoidance. Asceticism. The failure to solve the problem of politics, cooperation, innovation and production. A set of proscriptions against consumption by the poor and ignorant, because of an incapacity to organize cooperation for the purpose of production. While an adequate personal philosophy, perhaps the very worst political philosophy yet created by man. The Japanese adoption of Buddhism and Shintoism (animistic ancestor worship), as well as the combination of the Sino Confucian upper class, Taoist, lower class, and Buddhist Rituals does seem to provide an adequate total framework. But only when the buddhist religion is a peasant religion.
THE CHRISTIAN ERROR – THE CHRISTIAN ERROR is to fail to articulate religious and traditional sentiments as economic actions, because the western tradition requires that the nobility, the enfranchised, act selflessly with great contributions by risking life, and paying for the defense of the realm. Were this dialog to be considered as economic, rather than moral and virtuous, the socialization of costs would be open to criticism. At least, that is my belief. Certainly, the nobility acted accordingly. But they did not write down their philosophy. And as such, left the system of government open to corruption during the rise of the middle class, and the democratic revolution.
THE JEWISH ERROR – The structure of jewish philosophy, ethics and history, ignores the set of principles needed for a polity to hold and defend land, institutions and trade routes. I use this term to refer to the fact that jews could not in history hold their land, that their book’s primary lesson is that they failed to have the discipline to hold land, and that their scripture does not include the most important feature that bind a polity – the sentiments and principles of land holding. The traditional argument is that jews were a slave or diasporic people. But the cause is immaterial. The ancient and current sentiment is the same, and they lost Israel, and their lives, because their diasporic strategy is to capitalize (Privatize) on the Forgone Opportunity Costs of the civilization that hosts them and socialize their losses. This has been an effective strategy, but it does not explain the reason that they must have it – their failure to hold land. I do not like criticizing a race of people like this but since the vast majority of errors extant in political theory are semitic in origin, it requires analysis, and cannot be ignored. ROTHBARD and MISES both make the THE JEWISH ERROR in their work. Despite their other contributions. I have found the study of this problem informative because the CHRISTIAN ERROR derives from the fact that the nobility did not write down it’s philosophy. All western philosophy is written as appeals. But the general philosophy of the west was not written down as a literature until perhaps Machiavelli.
CULTURE WAR* – (undone) An attempt to steal from an existing SOCIAL PORTFOLIO, or to redistribute allocation in a SOCIAL PORTFOLIO, in an attempt to create a different SOCIAL ORDER, by transferring power between the THREE COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES. In general, all culture wars are between classes or races or social orders who have observed complacency or unwillingness to use violence by the CHORD OF ELITES that hold positions of power in the current social order.
DEDUCTION, n. DEDUCTIVE, adj. – In logic, reasoning from the general to the specific. Reasoning from a general (or universal) premise, that is either assumed or known to be true, to an individual or particular instance of that generality. Example: All men act in an attempt to improve their situation; therefore, Mary’s act was an attempt to improve her situation. The derived conclusion is always implicit in the original premise and is necessarily as correct as that original premise.
From Johnson: The opposite of inflation — that is, a sustained fall over time in the general level of prices, normally measured by the annual percentage increases or decreases of a weighted index of prices of some large and representative sample of goods and services (both consumers’ goods and producers’ goods) regularly traded in the particular economy under consideration. Just as very large scale inflations are normally the result of large percentage increases in the money stock, large-scale deflations are normally the consequence of substantial reductions in the available money stock.
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST SECULAR HUMANISM (DSSH) or DEMOCRATIC SECULAR HUMANISM, THE DEMOCRATIC RELIGION – The modern reinvention of Christianity using law, money and credit. The contemporary religion of the western academic, political and leisure classes who are EXTRA-MARKET CITIZENS.
The weakness of the humanitarian religion does not lie in the logico-experimental deficiencies of its derivations. From that standpoint they are no better and no worse than the derivations of other religions. But some of these contain residues beneficial to individuals and society, whereas the humanitarian religion is sadly lacking in such residues. But how can a religion that has the good of humanity solely at heart . . . be so destitute in residues correlated with social welfare? . . .[Because] the principles from which the humanitarian doctrine is logically derived in no way correspond with the facts. They merely express in objective form a subjective sentiment of asceticism. The intent of sincere humanitarians is to do good to society, just as the intent of the child who kills a bird by too much fondling is to do good to the bird. We are not . . . forgetting that humanitarianism has had some socially desirable effects. . . . But . . . humanitarianism is worthless from the logico-experimental point of view. . . . And so for the democratic religion in general.
The many varieties of Socialism, Syndicalism, Radicalism,Tolstoyism, pacifism, humanitarianism, Solidarism, and so on, form a sum that may be said to belong to the democratic religion, much as there was a sum of numberless sects in the early days of the Christian religion. We are now witnessing the rise and dominance of the democratic religion just as the men of the first centuries of our era witnessed the rise of the Christian religion and the beginnings of its dominion. The two phenomena present many significant analogies.
To get at their substance we have to brush derivations aside and reach down to residues. The social value of both those two religions lies not in the least in their respective theologies, but in the sentiments that they express. As regards determining the social value of Marxism, to know whether Marx’s theory of “surplus value” is false or true is about as important as knowing whether and how baptism eradicates sin in trying to determine the social value of Christianity–and that is of no importance at all.”
DEMONSTRATED PREFERENCE – The concept that an action reveals a choice and demonstrates, a man’s preferences; that is, that his preferences are deducible from what he has chosen in action. Thus, if a man chooses to spend an hour at a concert rather than a movie, we deduce that the former was preferred, or ranked higher on his value scale. Similarly, if a man spends five dollars on a shirt we deduce that he preferred purchasing the shirt to any other uses he could have found for the money. This concept of preference, rooted in real choices, forms the keystone of the logical structure of economic analysis, and particularly of utility and welfare analysis. –Rothbard
DEMONSTRATED PROPERTY – an expanded definition of property that is based upon the full scope of what humans consider to be property, based upon what they demonstrate that they consider to be property. Demonstrated Property is the definition of ‘property’ used in Propertarianism.
RACE-DENIERS, RACE-DENIAL – (undone)
CLASS-DENIERS, CLASS-DENIAL – (undone)
IQ-DENIERS, IQ-DENIAL – (undone)
INEQUALITY-DENIERS, INEQUALITY-DENIAL – (undone)
DETERMINISM – The doctrine that everything, especially one’s choice of action, is determined by a sequence of causes independent of one’s will. Strong determinism denies that any acts are truly free. Soft determinism holds that events can be both determined and yet human beings can perceive sufficient causality to effect outcomes with their knowledge and actions.
DISCURSIVE REASONING – Thinking a problem through logically step by step from one premise to another in an attempt to arrive at an acceptable conclusion or explanation, as opposed to intuitive knowledge. NOTE: I use REASON as a synonym.
DISINFORMATION / MISINFORMATION – Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is synonymous with and sometimes called Black propaganda. It may include the distribution of forged documents, manuscripts, and photographs, or spreading malicious rumors and fabricated intelligence. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false. Using POOLING and LAUNDERING a government or a large enterprise, can obscure causal information, and render causality OPAQUE, creating a grey area between DISINFORMATION and MISINFORMATION, where the use of LAUNDERED and POOLED financial data is converted into DISINFORMATION but the officers can blame ACCOUNTING METHODS or practicality of using existing regulations and claim it is MISINFORMATION that they are creating rather than DISINFORMATION. In other words, POOLING AND LAUNDERING are FRAUD. See TAGGED ACCOUNTING, POOLING AND LAUNDERING, FRAUD.
DIVISION OF LABOUR – Specialization allows a qualitative increase in productivity, and therefore a decline in prices. The logic of dividing the workforce into different crafts and professions is the same as that underpinning the case for FREE TRADE: everybody benefits from doing those things in which they have a COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE and using INCOME from doing so to meet their other needs.
From Dr Paul Johnson:
The division of a complex production process into a number of simpler tasks, each one of which is undertaken by a different individual who typically (but not necessarily) specializes in one task (or a very few tasks) on a more or less permanent basis. The advantages of division of labor for enhancing human productivity were first extensively analyzed by Adam Smith in his 1776 classic The Wealth of Nations, where he coined the phrase. Whereas Smith’s famous analysis of the pin factory emphasized improvements in technical efficiency (the time and physical movement saved by workers no longer having to switch from one operation and set of tools to another), it also took note of the improvements in allocational efficiency made possible by developing and then taking advantage of workers’ differing skills and talents according to the (at that time not yet named) principle of comparative advantage.
In the broadest sense, the extension of the division of labor is the fundamental feature of a modern or developed economy, in which gigantic increases in the volume and variety of production have been attained — but at the cost of massively increasing economic interdependence within larger and larger populations spread over larger and larger geographical areas. In such a complex society, instead of each individual or family attempting to produce all or most of what it consumes, the individual specializes in producing only a few kinds of good or service (or perhaps only small components of a single good or service) and then acquires all other desired goods or services from the production of other specialists by means of mutual exchange (or, in non-market economies, perhaps through coercive or customary transfer).
It is worth noting that, while economists tend to emphasize the immense production- and efficiency-enhancing effects of a complex, geographically extensive, and highly specialized division of labor and the markedly higher average standard of living it makes possible, anthropologists, sociologists, and social-psychologists (as well as many philosophers, artists and social theorists) tend to focus more on other presumed non-economic side-effects of greater social differentiation that they typically view in a much more negative light — such as the development of a diminished sense of wholeness or personal authorship that may result in lessened emotional satisfaction from one’s work; greater difficulties in generating agreement on moral principles and a sense of social solidarity or “belongingness” when the far-flung members of society live their lives in such varied ways and develop such diverse interests; the insecurity of the individual’s social status when people are no longer assigned their place in society but must continually compete with others to retain or improve their own social positions; the loss of the sense of community mastery over one’s fate that comes with dependence upon distant and unknown people for the provision of most of one’s vital necessities, and so on. Analyzing and critiquing the many consequences of an advanced and highly specialized division of labor is among the central themes in the works of such pioneer modern social theorists as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Ferdinand Toennies, Henry Maine, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim, to mention only a few, and these same topics still remain central to much of contemporary social thought.
DOCTRINE – Something taught; teachings. Something taught as the principles or creed of a religion, political party, etc. Doctrine refers to a theory based on carefully worked out principles and taught or advocated by its adherents as different from dogma which refers to a belief or doctrine that is handed down by authority as true and indisputable, and often connotes arbitrariness, arrogance, etc.
DOGMA, DOGMATIC – A concept or principle accepted as absolute truth on the basis of unquestioned acceptance of an authority’s statement to that effect rather than on the basis of logical reasoning or demonstrated proof.
DOMESTIC INDEPENDENCE / SPATIAL FREEDOM – People seek a monopoly over their home environments, and will choose to live in an apartment, condo, or house alone rather than share the expense, above almost all other preferences. People prefer household and spatial freedom over other goods – partly because of conformity and status signals, but largely due to egoism. The preference for domestic independence accounts for much of the change in household incomes. An increase in per-capital households.
Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modeling (abbreviated DSGE or sometimes SDGE or DGE) is a methodology that attempts to explain aggregate economic phenomena, such as economic growth, business cycles, and the effects of monetary and fiscal policy, on the basis of macroeconomic models derived from microeconomic principles. One of the main reasons macroeconomists have begun to build DSGE models is that unlike more traditional macroeconometric forecasting models, DSGE macroeconomic models should not, in principle, be vulnerable to the Lucas critique, which states that it is naive to try to predict the effects of a change in economic policy entirely on the basis of relationships observed in historical data, especially highly aggregated historical data. However, these models are subject to necessary ignorance of future events, in particular, crisis and innovation, or more importantly, the SCHOOLING OF INTEREST that results in booms and busts, and the influence monetary policy and aggregation have upon exaggerating booms and busts.
I criticize this term because of abuses of the DSGE model due to INNUMERACY, THE ERROR OF AGGREGATION, PSEUDOSCIENCE (because the models are not predictive) and the consequential problems of POOLING AND LAUNDERING, and INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SILLY IDEAS, as well as the laundering of knowledge held in the private sector by the use of fiat money and loose credit, and the distortion of the information system we call PRICES that results in a distortion of human efforts. In particular, I dislike MONETARY expansion without direct allocation of money to specific purposes, since once in the system, money and credit seek existing distortions, and simply serve to reward people for doing the wrong thing and contributing to boom and bust cycles.
ECONOMICS – A theoretical social science which provides a comprehension of the meaning and relevance of purposive (conscious) human actions. It is not about things and material objects; it is about the meanings and actions of men. Economics is a science of the means men must select if they are to attain their humanly attainable ends which they have chosen in accordance with their value judgments. However, the valuation and selection of ends are beyond the scope of economics and every other science. Economics enables men to predict the “qualitative” effects to be expected from the adoption of specific measures or economic policies, but such predictions cannot be “quantitative” as there are no constant relations in the valuations which determine, guide and alter human actions. See POLITICAL ECONOMY.
The social science which studies how individuals, individuals in firms, in governments, and in organizations make choices; and how these choices determine the way wealth is produced and distributed.
The branch of the social sciences concerned primarily with analyzing and explaining human behavior in making decisions about the allocation of scarce resource
ECONOMETRICS – Correlative Statistical mathematics, and those that adhere to the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium. The attempts of statisticians and mathematicians to discover economic laws and solve problems of human action by the use of statistical data which necessarily are a record of the past. Econometricians maintain that science is measurement and assume both a constancy and regularity in economic data that permits them to use precise mathematical measurement for testing and developing economic theory.
Actually, the only measurable magnitudes of human action are those related to historical facts. The ideas and value judgments which determine human participation in the market process are neither constant nor certain. All future human actions are thus uncertain variables which are incapable of either quantification or measurement. Consequently, the use of mathematics, as a means for determining economic theory applicable to future human actions, is futile. i.e. – quantitative economics is forever historical and non-predictive. (But that may be good enough.)
EGALITARIANISM / EGALITARIAN / (EQUALITARIANISM) – The belief that all men are biologically equal and that all inequalities in income, wealth and opportunity are the results of unscrupulous usurpation and expropriation of the masses by the capitalists. Egalitarians contend that governments should use their coercive powers to restore and maintain the equality with which all men are supposed to be born.
ELITE – A small group of people with a disproportionate amount of public decision-making power. The leadership that forms in any polity, because all polities require leadership, because all organizations require leadership. See PARETO PRINCIPLE.
CHORD OF ELITES* – Since any society contains elites in all of the THREE COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES, the distribution of these elites varies from social group to social group and can be represented as a “chord” or harmonic, of relative position, with each behing higher or lower than the other.
ENTREPRENEUR / ENTREPRENEURSHIP – (1) Entrepreneurship consists of the human capacity to recognize the opportunities for profit which exist in one’s environment. – De Soto. (2) In scientific economic theory, entrepreneurship means that all human actions are undertaken in the flux of time and thus involve speculation in the anticipation of future events. The entrepreneur attempts to act so as to produce a more desirable future situation than he anticipates would result from either no action or any other possible action on his part. (3) Someone who has the idea and and organization to mix together the other FACTORS OF PRODUCTION to produce something valuable. An entrepreneur must be willing to take a RISK in pursuit of a PROFIT. (4) (French) – Literally, undertaker. In general usage, an entrepreneur is a businessman, one who plans, organizes and directs, i.e., undertakes, a business enterprise, primarily for his own gain or loss. (5) When I use this term I refer to the individual human being who identifies opportunities which he can act, to take advantage of, in a market. Or more succinctly, someone who uses knowledge and time to identify opportunities and to profit from differences in opportunity costs, by the application of effort and or capital to the market. See INSTITUTIONAL COERCION, and THREE COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES.
EMPIRE – A government over people with dissimilar interests. A form of conglomerate state encompassing a geographical area or set of areas containing diverse peoples or ethnic groups and ruled by a single central government authority that is primarily identified with one dominant people or ethnic group.
“Depending on the existence of a regularity in the causality and succession of natural events which permits the acquisition of human knowledge from experiments or experience because identical natural or physical conditions and events always produce identical results or consequences. The natural sciences are empirical. The social or human sciences are not.”
EMPIRICISM – Experimental method; search for knowledge by observation and experiment. A disregarding of scientific methods and relying solely on experience. The theory that the only source of human knowledge is experience. Empiricism assumes a regularity in the flow of events and proclaims that experiments and observation are the main instruments for the acquisition of knowledge. (Rather than deduction.)
ENTROPY, ENTROPIC – Generally, unalterable loss or inefficiency from a process. Or the tendency for all complex processes to have transaction costs. Specifically, the mathematical measure of the unavailable energy in a thermodynamic problem concerning the transfer of heat into mechanical energy or vice versa at a given temperature.
EPISTEMIC – An analysis of the causal relationship involved in the process of obtaining knowledge needed for decision making. Requiring knowledge. The process by which people gain and evaluate their knowledge. i.e. “an epistemic process”.
EPISTEMIC NECESSITY – A dependency of one scope of knowledge on another. “You must first know this in order to know that.” The rational process by which someone may possess sufficient information to be aware of it, and to make decisions upon it.
EPISTEMOLOGY – The study or theory of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of knowledge. Its central questions include the origin of knowledge; the place of experience in generating knowledge, and the place of reason in doing so; the relationship between knowledge and certainty, and between knowledge and impossibility of error; the possibility of universal skepticism; and the changing forms of knowledge that arise from new conceptualizations of the world.
EQUILIBRIUM – Generally, the tendency for a group of humans who see an opportunity to attempt to profit from it until all but the most efficient advantage has been consumed. A state or condition where opposing forces or offsetting influences are exactly equal and thus in balance, i.e., a state of rest or inaction. Equilibrium can exist only so long as there are no new data, forces or influences capable of changing or disturbing existing conditions. Equilibrium is thus a state or condition which is impossible of achievement where market conditions or processes are constantly affected by the disturbing element of new human actions. See “Evenly rotating economy” and “Mathematical economics.”
ESOTERIC / EXOTERIC
Esoteric: Knowledge or terms of obscure or uncommon meaning. Intended for or understood by only a chosen few, as an inner group of disciples or initiates, said of ideas, doctrines, literature, etc. Beyond the understanding or knowledge of most people. Often used as a pejorative, meaning that the knowledge is platonic, self-aggrandizing or not materially useful, except in highly specialized contexts.
Exoteric : . Understandable by the public. Not limited to a select few or an inner group of disciples; suitable for the uninitiated. “Endeavor to speak in a manner comprehensible to the common people.” – Spinoza
ETHICS – The study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy. The system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, profession, etc. The end result of ethical deliberation is called morality, which is the substance of right and wrong.
ETHICAL – 1) an action or exchange adhering to established norms. 2) I use the term to also include the fourth quadrant, where one party is more knowledgeable than the other yet counters the normative prescription in order to benefit the person with less knowledge.
ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP – The relationship created between individuals or groups by any given ETHICAL SYSTEM. (Note: Capital refers to Propertarian definitions of property including physical, built, institutional, normative and human capital.)
- PRODUCTIVE ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP / MUTUALLY PRODUCTIVE ETHICS / PRODUCTIVE ETHICS– Adds to the capital of both parties.
- ASYMMETRIC ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP / ASYMMETRICALLY PRODUCTIVE ETHICS / ASYMMETRIC ETHICS – Adds to the capital of one party, but not the other.
- PARASITIC ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP / PARASITIC ETHICS – Adds to the capital of one party at the expense of the other party.
- PREDATORY ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP / PREDATORY ETHICS – Regardless of the effect upon the capital of one party, damages or destroys the capital of the other party.
ETHICAL SYSTEM – Set of normative behaviors expected of citizens in any social order. The set of Forgone Opportunity Costs citizens are expected to pay for membership in a social group. In particular, when the actions of individuals must be policed by the self.
Suppose it is obvious that someone in need should be helped. A utilitarian will point to the fact that the consequences of doing so will maximise well-being, a deontologist to the fact that, in doing so the agent will be acting in accordance with a moral rule such as “Do unto others as you would be done by” and a virtue ethicist to the fact that helping the person would be charitable or benevolent.
The three ethical systems can also be used to describe a spectrum from the most epistemologically simple (Virtue Ethics), to moderate complexity (Deontological) to the most complex (Teleological), In effect, people must first learn virtue ethics which allow them to imitate behavior, then learn to operate by rational rules, to operate by developing mastery of outcomes. Or put more deterministically, some people can progress beyond imitation if given the tools to do so. But imitation is enough.
- VIRTUE ETHICS / ARETAIC ETHICS A normative ethical system consisting of the study of virtues, or the creation of a moral character. Category of ethics that focuses on the virtues produced in people, not the morality of specific acts. A recognition that there is more to the moral life than simply making right decisions, many people that believe that matters of virtue and character are equally, if not more, important than the way in which we resolve moral dilemmas. (See TELEOLOGICAL ETHICS and DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS)
- DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS / DEONTOLOGY / DEONTOLOGICAL / DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEM – A normative ethical system which consists of the study of duties or rules, which can be taught or learned.
- TELEOLOGICAL ETHICS / TELEOLOGY / TELEOLOGICAL / TELEOLOGICAL SYSTEM – A normative ethical system which consists of the study of outcomes, or the ends or purposes of actions. Two forms of this system include utilitarianism and egoism. Emphasizes the consequences of actions (consequentialism).
EUGENIC / DYSGENIC – Dysgenics (also known as cacogenics) is the study of factors producing the accumulation and perpetuation of defective or disadvantageous genes and traits in offspring of a particular population or species. ie: Adverse sexual selection, tending to promote the deterioration of the traits of a population or species. Eugenics is the study of factors producing the accumulation of advantageous genes and traits in offspring of a particular population or species. ie: advantageous selective breeding, tending promote the distribution of advantageous traits in the population or species. NOTE: I use these terms casually as the accidental outcome of certain mating practices, rather than as an intentional political policy.
EXCHANGE ETHIC / BAZAAR EXCHANGE ETHIC / GHETTO ETHICS vs WARRIOR EXCHANGE ETHIC / ARISTOCRATIC ETHICS vs MORAL EXCHANGE ETHIC / CHRISTIAN ETHICS – The BAZAAR EXCHANGE ETHIC in which a deal is considered ethical if he dealer can get away with a transfer at the time of exchange, rather than the WARRIOR EXCHANGE ETHIC, in which both parties are responsible for informational asymmetry, and the longer term satisfaction of the partner in exchange. The MORAL EXCHANGE ETHIC implies perfect satisfaction of both parties over the long term, due to complete symmetry of the long term value of exchange. The M.E.E. then, is an absolutist and idealistic framework and impossible.
NOTE: I rely on a deontological method by arguing that if:
a) all individuals have a monopoly of control over themselves, and
b) all individuals have a monopoly of control over their property, and
c) all primary exchanges are voluntary and
d) expectations are symmetrical (each party is responsible for making sure the other is fully informed) and
e) the exchange causes no involuntary transfers
f) an action is moral, in the only meaningful sense of the word.
This ethical model places a burden on both parties, that the other will not regret his decision due to ignorance about the object being transferred at the moment it is transferred. And further than the exchange causes no secondary (external) transfers.
The ‘Moral Ethic’ differs from the ‘Bazaar Ethics’ of libertarian doctrine, in that I require symmetry of expectations, which I call “warrior ethics” – effectively warrants – on all transactions, so that the fraud that is encouraged by Bazaar ethics is avoided. In effect, I explicitly preserve the right of violence as a means of enforcing peaceful transactions. The Moral Ethic differs from the Warrior ethic, in that I explicitly require that the exchange causes no involuntary transfers – ie: there are no externalities.
EVIL CORPORATIONS – I use this term to refer to those organizations that use INTER-TEMPORAL POOLING and LAUNDERING as well as CHEAP CREDIT, and CAPITAL MARKETS to isolate themselves from market effects, and to deprive consumers of choice, to deceive consumers, or at least fail to serve consumers, systematically, and to hide under free market doctrines. i.e. Privatizing wins and socializing losses. For example, consumers cannot boycott the company, and if they do, the company will just shift to an alternate market. i.e. PREDATORY MARKET SWITCHING. For example, the fact that cell phone companies both participate in redistribution, engage in predatory pricing schemes where they profit heavily from people’s accidents, or when they, like insurance companies, make it so hard to correct their errors and overcharges that people simply give up and take the abuse. Furthermore there is no incentive to remain a customer. THey profit from CHURNING. The turnover of customers who have no choice but to return, only because government regulation of airwaves grants them a partial monopoly. In theory, privatization of frequencies would allow greater competition into the market.
EX NIHILO – Literally, “out of nothing”; The view of creation held by theism that in the beginning God created something out of nothing as opposed to making it out of some eternal stuff or out of himself.
DEUS EX MACHINA = (Latin). Literally, a god out of a machine, from the ancient theatrical practice of using a machine to produce on stage a god capable of solving problems human beings are unable to solve. Hence, reliance on providential intervention or other unspecified means for the solution of an otherwise unsolvable human problem.
EX MATERIA – Literally, “out of matter”; the of origins that asserts the universe has taken shape out of preexisting matter or stuff either by a Former, abstract entities, or by some natural process (as in atheism).
Exchange – Exchange is a voluntary interaction between two individuals in which both forfeit ownership of an object to the other, to the benefit of both. A common misconception about exchange is that it occurs when the value of the two objects being traded are equal. However, were the values equal in the eyes of either party, no exchange would take place, as they would be just as well off without it. Thus, when an exchange takes place, both parties gain from the transaction: they are better off with the object they have attained than with the one given up. This is a fundamental source of wealth, and illustrates the value of the division of labor.
Murray N. Rothbard imagines a state of affairs where exchange is nonexistent to illustrate its importance:
“If anyone wishes to grasp how much we owe to the processes of exchange, let him consider what would happen in the modern world if every man were suddenly prohibited from exchanging anything with anyone else. Each person would be forced to produce all of his own goods and services himself. The utter chaos, the total starvation of the great bulk of the human race, and the reversion to primitive subsistence by the remaining handful of people, can readily be imagined.”
Symmetric Exchange – I use the term ‘symmetric exchange’ to distinguish between the common perception that an objective value – a normative price – exists, under which exchange would be ‘fair’, and those exchanges where expectations of both parties are sufficiently similar that a warranty is implied. (See BAZAAR ETHIC and WARRIOR ETHIC.) I support the proposition that a HIGH TRUST SOCIETY requires the WARRIOR ETHIC, and that, in practice, a HIGH TRUST SOCIETY cannot emerge under the BAZAAR ETHIC, and it can only emerge under the WARRIOR ETHIC, which relies upon SYMMETRIC EXCHANGE.
Autistic Exchange – Action always is essentially the exchange of one state of affairs for another state of affairs. If the action is performed by an individual without any reference to cooperation with other individuals, we may call it autistic exchange.
EXTERNALITY, EXTERNALITIES – An economic side-effect. Externalities are costs or benefits arising from an economic activity that affect somebody other than the people engaged in the economic activity and are not reflected fully in PRICES.
Positive Externality: A positive externality is a side-effect produced by taking an action that causes an involuntary increase in an individual’s inventory of property-in-toto* (Most normative commons are constructed by way of positive externalities)
Negative Externality: A negative externality is a side-effect produced by taking an action that causes an involuntary decrease in an individual’s inventory of property-in-toto* (Immoral actions produce negative externalities, moral actions do not)
(*’Propertarian’ property defined as that which we demonstrate to be our property by defense of it. Not private property which is a contractual expression of which disputes a community will organize to apply violence against and which not.)
EXTRA- MARKET* – “outside the market”. Ie: people who work in jobs where they are isolated from the need to produce on speculation. Academics, Politicians, the majority of white collar workers, union laborers – leaving only professionals, small business owners, mid sized business executives, and capitalists involved in the market activity as an oppressed minority lacking political representation.
EXTRA-GODELIAN COMPUTING* / A “RUNCIBLE“(tm) – A computational software device consisting of numerous real time inputs, a Reflector for normalizing, a “pattern factory” that produces adaptive entities that are spawned into threads, and which both search and store an advanced data structure represented as an n-dimensional spatial manifold. A non-neural-network form of artificial intelligence. NOTE: I am involved tangentially in this work and own the rights to the name RUNCIBLE for this purpose. NOTE 2: Since google makes it’s advertising profit by portraying approximate results, a RUNCIBLE would answer the questions precisely and avoid the opportunity to display ads. Therefore a RUNCIBLE is humorously referred to in our circles as a “GOOGLE KILLER”.
FAITH – 1. A spectrum describing anything from a limited expression of trust, to an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence, to an irrational belief held despite consistent evidence to the contrary. (See this post on faith for a full discussion.) 2. FAITH AS “MYSTICALLY ATTRIBUTED ANTHROPOMORPHIZED INTUITION”: Some people use the term ‘faith’ in a way that combines the mystical loading of the term as it is used in the religious context, with the concept of intuition, as a means of non-rational information processing. This usage of the term ‘faith’ confused me at first. But it is an attribution of action by divinity, mysticism or the supernatural to the pre-cognitive processing of ‘system 1’ in the brain: our intuition. In that sense, the process of anthropomorphization has been applied to system 1. In that sense faith is trust in the anthropomorphized processing of system 1 information. And since system 1 is heavily loaded by genetic psychochemistry then further programmed just as easily by myth and experience as it is by reason, this magical attribution of anthropomorphic influence to system 1 processing is understandable. And since this system is highly likely to produce positive outcomes even if it is non-rational, and in many circumstances, produce outcomes that are superior to reason, then it is entirely rational to rely upon it’s outputs, even if it is questionably rational to attribute it to anthropomorphized mystical intervention.
Full Propertarian Definition Here: A Definition Of Faith
FALSIFICATION / FALSIFY / FALSIFIED – A proof or demonstration that something is untrue of unfounded. In order for something to be truly true, it must be open or submitted to one or more methods of objective methods of falsification,
FEUDAL / FEUDALISM / (Synonym MANORISM / MANORAL) – The social and political order of allegiance, land tenure and military service which gradually developed over large parts of Central and Western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The land was divided into fiefs or feuds, each with a manor occupied by a vassal or noble (member of the Second Estate) who was beholden for his tenancy to a superior lord, king or emperor to whom he owed tribute and military service. Below each vassal were the subtenants, known as serfs or villeins. Its main characteristic was that all political and military power was vested in the hands of the owners of the land. It slowly disappeared step by step as the modem ages replaced the Middle Ages.
FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COST* – Perhaps better stated, ‘The Costs Of Forgone Opportunities’. An Opportunity Cost paid when choosing between certain personal gain, and the discipline, deprivation or effort expended to adhere to the norms of manners, ethics, morals, conventions and rituals. The essential coinage of social order. The cost of what we choose NOT to do, as members of a society. The subjective assessment attributed by an individual to his or her sacrifices, deprivations, frustrations, and acts of discipline, when contributing to the social order by observing manners, ethics, morals, rituals, laws and cultural norms. (i.e. a strong young man pays a cost for not sealing someone else’s property, even when he could get away with it. These forgone opportunities for self satisfaction are costs. People treat them as such. And human behavior is observably and measurably correlative with the precept that people treat some portfolio of social, ‘IDENTITY’, norms as property. See IDENTITY, OPPORTUNITY COST, FOUNTAIN MONEY. Analogous To: Discipline, Self-sacrifice.
French “Money From The Wishing Well.”, French “the costs of discipline”: “les coûts de discipline” French “wish payment”, Latin “Fountain Money” viaticus fontis. German “wish payments”:”Wunsch Zahlungen”. German “wish money” “wollen Geld”, german “foutain Coin”: “brunnen-munze”. Old English (anglo-saxon) “payment”:”sceatt” . Dutch wish :“wens”
FRAMING – The collection of narratives, anecdotes and stereotypes that make up the emotional weights which individuals rely upon to understand and respond to information. An extension of IDEAL TYPES to include the association between lack of knowledge and the utility of emotions in evaluating uncertainty.
FRAUD*, FRAUDULENT – In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal, group, or organizational gain or to damage another individual regardless of gain or loss. (A hoax also involves deception, but without the intention of gain, or of damaging or depriving the victim; the intention is often humorous.) I use the term FRAUD largely in relation to LAUNDERING and POOLING
FUNGIBLE, n. and adj. – Interchangeable. Something with multiple purposes. Capable of mutual substitution in use or satisfaction of a contract. A commodity or service whose individual units are so similar that one unit of the same grade or quality is considered interchangeable with any other unit of the same grade or quality. Examples?tin, grain, coal, sugar, money, etc.
GENERATION, GENERATIONS, GENERATIONAL – (undone)
CYCLE THEORY – (undone)
SAECULUM / TURNING, TURNINGS – A full generational cycle of 100 years comprising four “seasons” of approximately 22-25 years each; these seasons represent youth, rising adulthood, midlife, and old age. A saeculum is a length of time roughly equal to the potential lifetime of a person or the equivalent of the complete renewal of a human population. The term was first used by the Etruscans. Originally it meant the period of time from the moment that something happened (for example the founding of a city) until the point in time that all people who had experienced that moment in time had died. At that point a new saeculum would start. See GENERATIONS.
GENETIC FALLACY – The fallacy of confusing the origin of a justification, with the utility of the principle of it. The fallacy of confusing the origin of a belief with its epistemological warrant, and faulting the belief because of its origin.
GHETTO ETHICS– literally, the ethics of the medieval urban ghetto.
As a ‘state within a state’ residents of the ghetto can conduct exchange as if they are state actors by relying upon high trust exchange in-group, while using low trust exchange out-group. However, in any polity, each of us cannot act as a ‘state’ by applying low trust with some and high trust with others because the net result is a near universally low trust society for the vast majority. In such an environment demand for the state and its interventions as a proxy for trust remains high, since low trust is by definition the use of cunning and deception to obtain discounts and premiums that the opposite party would not tolerate willingly. In other words, low trust ethics are parasitic, and impose high transaction costs on the population. The underlying point I’m making is the absurdity of using the model of a state within a state to advocate for a stateless society. In that lens the entire rothbardian project is… well, absurdly illogical. Laughable even. Aristocratic egalitarianism (the protestant ethic) suppresses all cheating such that demand for the state is low because transaction costs and conflicts are minimized, while the velocity of production and exchange is high.
GODELIAN* – From Mathematician Kurt Gödel who stated that any system of logic that was sufficiently rigorous to allow for testability would inherently be closed. A closed system. A system that necessarily, because of its methodology, leaves some set of possibilities outside its scope. I use this term to describe the use of a methodology, particularly a quantitative methodology, to fail to account for invention, or to miss a scope of solutions because the methodology specifically makes that solution opaque. See POPPERS RAILROAD FALLACY.
GOODHART’S LAW / CAMPBELL’S LAW – Goodhart’s law, states that once a social or economic indicator (index) or other surrogate measure is made a target for the purpose of conducting social or economic policy, then it will lose the information content that would qualify it to play such a role. The law was named for its developer, Charles Goodhart.
GOVERNMENT – The social institutions established for the monopolistic exercise of compulsion and coercion which, because of man’s imperfection, is necessary for the prevention of actions detrimental to the peaceful inter-human cooperation in a definite system of social organization. Because men are not faultless, government (the police power) is an indispensable and beneficial institution, as without it no lasting social cooperation or civilization could be developed or preserved. A durable system of government must rest on the might of an ideology acknowledged by the majority. The concept of a perfect system of government is both fallacious and self-contradictory, since this institution of men is based on the very imperfection of men. From the liberal (q.v.) viewpoint, the task of government consists solely and exclusively in guaranteeing the protection of life, health, liberty and private property against violent attacks. As far as the government confines the exercise of its violence to the suppression and prevention of antisocial actions, there prevails what reasonably and meaningfully can be called liberty. See PERFECT GOVERNMENT. See RULE / GOVERN / INSURE.
ANARCHY – (undone)
MONARCHY / ABSOLUTE MONARCHY / CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY / PROPERTY MONARCHY – A form of rule in which there is a single head of state, a monarch, with the title of King (or Queen) or its equivalent; in which the monarch holds his or her office for life; in which the position of monarch normally descends by rules of heredity only to members of a specific royal family; and where the monarch is popularly believed to be possessed of a religious or similar symbolic significance for the state and its institutions that legitimate his or her privileges. When the monarch rules with full or nearly full executive, legislative and judicial powers practically unlimited by constitutional or legal restrictions, the system is often referred to as an “ABSOLUTE MONARCHY.” When the powers of the monarch are effectively limited and restricted by law (at least to insure respect for the subjects’ recognized rights to personal freedom and property and often also to limit the monarch’s powers of legislation and taxation), the system is normally referred to as “CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY.” 2) Under a Calculative Social Order, the system would be referred to as a “PROPERTY MONARCHY”, or a HOPPIAN MONARCHY. A PROPERTY MONARCHY is one in which the monarchic family owns the limited offices of state, but has no legislative authority, only veto power – A monarch has long term incentives to maintain the STOCK OF SOCIAL CAPITAL for future generations rather than consuming all social capital in order to retain political power.
RATIONAL GOVERNMENT / CALCULATIVE GOVERNMENT / PERFECT GOVERNMENT* / THE CREDIT SOCIETY – A set of institutions that enforce investment, cooperation, calculation, production and redistribution between classes of individuals with different desires, capacities and resources operating on different time preferences, despite the limits of any individual, or group’s ability to perceive the totality of the cooperative process, inputs, outputs, or actions.
The Perfect Government consists of :
I. a HEREDITARY MONARCH (Cultural Perpetuity), a PRIVY COUNCIL (Ascent), a SENATE (commerce), a HOUSE (services and redistribution), a BANK (calculation), EXAMINERS (auditors),
II. an INFLEXIBLE CONSTITUTION based upon the ONE LAW, a NARROW JUDICIARY (constitutionality).
III. a REGIMENTAL MILITARY (Semi-private) and a MILITIA (private), .
IV. Universal suffrage in the HOUSE, Limited suffrage in the SENATE. Strong requirements of experience for seat-holders.
Where these institutions endeavor to increase PRODUCTIVITY, by issuing loans with ABSOLUTE ALLOCATION OF PROCEEDS rather than enact unacceptable incalculable laws that make use of POOLING AND LAUNDERING, and thereby allow bureaucrats to profit from class warfare.
Where SOCIAL REGULATION and therefore SOCIAL PREFERENCE COMPETITION is left to local governments, and local cultures.
Where TAXES and therefore TAX COMPETITION are left to local governments
Where ACTUARIAL POOLING OF RISK is prohibited in favor of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABLE LENDING.
Where educators are highly regulated and highly compensated.
Where SOCIAL SERVICES depend upon variations in STATE PROCEEDS, and delivered by PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS in competition with one another to better serve the public.
Where SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES are CALCULABLE and funded by the ABSOLUTE ALLOCATION OF PROCEEDS from PRODUCTIVITY obtained via LOANS.
Where FEDERAL ACTIONS are limited to loans for infrastructure, transporation, communication, social insurance, and the conduct of war in defense of land, trade routes, these institutions, life, and property.
The title of a book by Karl Polanyi about the transformation of England into a market economy. Polanyi contends that the modern market economy and the modern nation-state should be understood not as discrete elements, but as the single human invention he calls the Market Society.
The title of a book by Karen Armstron about the invention of monotheistic religions during the Axial Age, which spans roughly 900 B.C.E. to 200 B.C.E. Armstrong observes, violence, political disruption and religious intolerance dominated Axial Age societies, so Axial religions responded by exalting compassion, love and justice over selfishness and hatred. I take the position that these monotheistic religions are a catastrophic human failure, because they suggest submission and other-worldliness, which are strategies of avoidance, rather than focusing societies on attempting to solve the problem of politics, cooperation and calculation in large numbers. As such, I see them as immoral inventions.
1) SPEECH REVOLUTION – Language (prehistory) Bands and Tribes – The period approximately 50,000 years ago, when modern humans rapidly expanded, and theoretically developed modern “speech” (as distinct from ‘language’). The topic is heavily debated, but in general I use the term LINGUISTIC REVOLUTION or the more correct SPEECH REVOLUTION to refer to this period of rapid human expansion.
2) AGRARIAN REVOLUTION / NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION – (farming + markets + religion + law) Chiefdoms and City States – The “neolithic agrarian revolution” that occurred about 8000BC, arising from the domestication of plants and animals. I use this term to refer to the broad set of social institutions (habits) and social technologies for cooperation that accompanied this transformation, including cities, the division of labor, and non-human knowledge transfer via writing, the necessary individual ignorance of EVENTS that arises from increases in population and specialization, even though there were increases in individual procedural knowledge (skills), as well as the development of classes (landowners, craftsmen, and slaves/peasants). This should not be confused with the EUROPEAN AGRARIAN REVOLUTION – the period in the 18th century during which there were many advances in cultivating technology that led to higher productivity of crops.
3) INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – (energy + science + politics + credit law) Political Systems and Nation States. Starting in the later part of the 18th century, in England, there was a transition from previously manual labour and draft-animal–based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. Average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth and for the first time, the common people were able to participate as consumers. In the two centuries following 1800, the world’s average per capita income increased over 10-fold, while the world’s population increased over 6-fold. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy.
4) SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REVOLUTION – (Computational Revolution, or the Digital Revolution or The Information Revolution.) I do not tend to view these so called revolutions as affecting the social order, just improving upon the industrial revolution, and a derivative of the industrial revolution. I suspect that in retrospect, I will feel that the digital revolution will eventually alter the human social order, since my interest is ‘calculation’ and computers and information networks allow us to achieve that which would have been ‘magic’ in the past, I suspect that we are only beginning that transformation. And I suspect, as do many others, that the point at which we invent machines that can ‘calculate in the broader sense’ that human society will permanently change yet again, because productivity and quality of life will alter dramatically after that point (should we achieve it.) I recognize that Greece began the industrial revolution over two thousand years ago, but could not sustain it, and that we descended into ignorance for over a thousand years. I also understand that contemporary humans could fail just as the greeks did.
‘Pleasure’ Pleasure is a positive emotional reaction to stimuli. is not the same as happiness. It is a response that supports ‘learning’. It is evolution’s way of training us to want more of a good thing by associating positive stimuli with new memories.
‘Prospective Happiness’ is the presence of opportunity for obtaining stimuli, obtaining social status, obtaining group membership, obtaining mates, and then learning to be successful at obtaining what one desires through the execution of one’s plans.
‘Retrospective Happiness’ is the absence of stress, the presence of comforts, welcoming membership in a group, the security of the familiar, and the knowledge that one’s plans and actions, no matter how small, will achieve or have achieved, frequently lead to successful ends.
Happiness is both a reward for our anticipation of the opportunity for stimulation, and our reward for the exercise of good judgement in obtaining that stimuli. The priority that each of us give to these different properties of Prospective and Retrospective Happiness are different, and dependent upon a combination of our abilities and skill at forecasting, planning, succeeding, obtaining group membership, and avoiding stress.
HUMANISM – (humanist) Any system of thought or action based on the nature, dignity, interests and ideals of man; specifically, a modern, non-theistic, rationalist movement that holds that man is capable of self-fulfillment, ethical conduct, etc. without recourse to supernaturalism.
HUMAN ACTION, (abbrev. ACTION) Purposeful behavior; an attempt to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory one; a conscious endeavor to remove as far as possible a felt uneasiness. Man acts to exchange what he considers will be a less desirable future condition for what be considers will be a more desirable future condition. Thinking and remaining motionless are actions in this sense. Human action is always rational (q.v.), presupposes causality and takes place over a period of time.
HYPOTHESIS – A seemingly reasonable explanation, supposition, or assumption proposed as a tentative answer to a problem in the absence of known or proven facts or causes. A hypothesis must not contain anything at variance with known facts or principles. Weak version of THEORY.
IDEAL TYPE – A useful, rough generalization of a specific but loose concept helpful for the description and interpretation of history. Usually refers to overextension of a simplistic analogy and therefore an ERROR. The BELL CURVE is an ideal type (and an erroneous one.) See FRAMING.
IDENTITY* – An idealistic narrative, visual, and imaginary aspirational image, usually heroic, or missionary (ie: motherhood, environmentalism, political action) and representative of class, culture, race, generation, age, political and religious role, gender role – that people use to determine group sentiments and memberships, and which they use to make decisions when most decisions are forced by insufficient information, long distance between time and effect, or tie-breakers.
IDENTITY SET*, IDENTITY PORTFOLIO – The set IDENTITIES Individuals collect as tools for decision making. Humans do not keep a single identity. They have multiple cultural, class, generational, professional, heroic, empathic, familial, stylistic and other identities that they use and change during their lives. Particularly in the anonymity of a mobile, heterogeneous, consumer society.
IDEOLOGY – A comprehensive and coherent set of basic beliefs about political, economic, social and cultural affairs that is held in common by a sizable group of people within a society. Such interrelated ideas and teachings purport both to explain how political, economic, social and cultural institutions really do work and also to prescribe how such institutions ought ideally to operate.
Ideology consists of a utopian goal, methodologies and decision making principles used to achieve that goal, as well as the FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS that must be absorbed and paid in pursuit of that goal — rather than exploiting the current opportunities that one would seize, or current habits one would follow in the absence of the utopian goal, methods, principles — and most importantly, the perception of irrationality by others in making those FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COST sacrifices in order to achieve that goal. Furthermore, the term is most often used in the derogative, because it implies a CONFLICT of forgone opportunity costs – usually between social classes or social groups, OR, it implies an irrational faith in the chance of success of achieving one’s goals, OR it implies the irrational state of affairs that would result if one’s goals were achieved. Political ideologies fit all these criteria: irrational, class-based goals that would be more beneficial to one class than another, and forgone opportunity costs, and in some cases, direct costs, paid to achieve those goals.
(undone – incorporate social portfolio costs into this definition – justifying theft.)
IGNORANCE / SOURCE OF IGNORANCE – The idea that some knowledge actually prevents the acquisition of further useful knowledge. Some knowledge enforces ignorance. (Islam for example.) I do not chastise people for failing to know something. I criticize people for using a source of ignorance in order to simplify a problem.
INCENTIVE / INCENTIVES – (See coercion.)
INDUCTION n. INDUCTIVE, adj. – In logic, assuming the truth of a general (or universal) premise from the knowledge that individual or particular instances of the generality conform to the premise. Example: Assuming that all men speak English because all the men you know speak English. Perfect induction is when the premise is based on the knowledge of all instances. In such cases, the induction is merely the statement of a known totality or generality. Imperfect induction is when the premise is based on the knowledge of less than all the individual instances, i.e., on a sample. In the sciences of human action, imperfect induction can never provide scientific certainty. At best, it provides only a probability. However, imperfect induction is an epistemological basis of the natural sciences.
INDICATIVE STATEMENTS – A statement which asserts an alleged fact which has ontological implications and the statements can be either true or false. (i.e. “the apple is red” is an indicative statement which can either be true or false)
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – The rapid changes in the transition from medieval (agrarian and craft) methods of production to those of the free enterprise system which took place from about 1760 to 1830, primarily in England. A term of Marxian origin loaded with emotional connotations in order to fit economic history into the theories of Fabianism (q.v.), Marxism (q.v.), Historicism (q.v.) and Institutionalism (q.v.).
“THE INESCAPABLE IQ PROBLEM” – That despite our ability to educate people, and despite the general rise in IQ worldwide from the accidental environmental reinforcement of patterns, that there appear to be certain conceptual barriers that affect cultural, racial, and national groups because of the 105 points needed to repair machines, the 122 needed to invent machines, and the 135 needed to invent ideas, and to lead large groups of people. These numbers indicate that certain societies will have a difficult time producing economically competitive products given the current distribution of IQ in their populations.
INFLATION / MONETARY INFLATION / PRICE INFLATION – Increases in money supply that decrease purchasing power and appear to increase prices. In popular nonscientific usage, a large increase in the quantity of money which results in a drop in the purchasing power of the monetary unit, falsifies economic calculation and impairs the value of accounting as a means of appraising profits and losses. INFLATION (PRICE INFLATION) – A sustained and continuous increase in the general price level. NOTE: there is a difference between rising prices, and inflation. Inflation is the general decline in the value of money. Price inflation, or rising prices, is due to an increase in the demand for, or scarcity of, a good or service.
INSTITUTIONS vs ORGANIZATIONS – Institutions are the “rules of the game”, consisting of both the formal legal rules and the informal social norms that govern individual behavior and structure social interactions (institutional frameworks). Organizations, by contrast, are those groups of people and the governance arrangements they create to coordinate their team action against other teams performing also as organizations. Firms, Universities, clubs, medical associations, unions etc are some examples. (-from North)
INSTITUTIONAL COERCION – Any set of INSTITUTIONS that in interfere with the free trade of goods between individuals. ie: freedom means ‘freedom from institutional coercion.’ See INSTITUTIONS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, THREE COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES.
- NOTE: Institutional coercion, if used as a pejorative, is misleading because it does not take into account the fact that (1) markets must be created and created at high cost and effort, and (2 )the institution of property, and non-corruption must be created, also at high cost and effort, and (3) there do exist certain shareholder goods (territory, natural resources) that must be somewhat privatized in order for economic calculation to occur, but which full privatization would require a transfer from, and failure to compensate shareholders for that transfer. Territorial defense, respect for property, and adherence to manners, morals, and ethics — and observance of, and contribution to opportunity cost frameworks (religion or cults) all are required of shareholders. And as long as these actions are met, the ‘citizens’ are indeed ‘shareholders’ and have some limited ownership interests in the market, in the territory and it’s resources, and in the formal (legal) and habitual (cultural) institutions of the group. Therefore some coercion using all three kinds of COERCIVE TECHNOLOGIES is necessary in order to create the institutions that make the market possible. Once these institutions are created, it then requires a significant effort to monitor and suppress privatization either by individuals and groups in the market (fraud), and institutional individuals (corruption and institutional coercion), and individuals who seek to avoid both institutions and the market (theft).
IMPERATIVALISM – A form of a non-cognitivist metaethical theory that states that moral statements are not indicative statements of fact. Instead the view holds that moral statements are merely moral commands. “X is right” is merely the command “do x!”.
IMPUTATION – In economics, the concept that the price of the good our service that you’re selling determines the prices that producers will pay for the things that went into it. This is the opposite of what we intuit. We assume that if a thing takes three components x, y and z, the the price will be x+y+z. Instead, the price that consumers are willing to pay for the finished product determines what manufacturers are willing to pay for the components that went into it. In economic terms, inputs are called ‘factors’, and imputation is expressed as ‘factor prices are determined by the output price’. This insight helped undermine the Marxian labor theory of value.
INTELLIGENCE – Demonstrable intelligence consists of at least four primary properties. 1) “g” or general intelligence – the ability to identify patterns in time. 2) short term memory – the workspace that operates within the two-or-three-second limit 3) general knowledge – or the number of patterns you have accumulated through study, and experience 4) the correspondence of one’s goals with reality. It is this last part that generally forms a resistance to the development of intelligence, because if a person believes that people can fly, or are equal in ability, or that they are a victim, or in the supernatural, or in an omnipotent evil god, then they have created a barrier to demonstrable intelligence, because he or she will not correctly identify patterns that actually correspond to reality. When I use the term I am not attempting to favor or criticize the average person, because average people while numerous, are not as consequential to the sate of affairs as are people with above average intelligence (innovators) or below average intelligence (barriers). Like Class and Race, people who are from the lower end, deny the reality that the people in the upper end believe is patently obvious. Regardless of current convention in the popular media, there is no dispute among scientists that there are meaningful, and largely heritable differences in IQ, and that these differences are testable.
INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT (IQ) – An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. In particular to asses ‘g’ or General Intelligence : the rate of pattern recognition in time.
INTERTEMPORAL* vs TEMPORAL* – Intertemporal describes any relationship between past, present and future events or conditions, especially where uncertainty affects the ability to estimate future events and conditions. Versus Temporal, “of fleeting moment”, describing those conditions which do not require longer term speculation. In my work, these carry connotations of a spectrum beginning with knowledge and relative certainty and progressing to ignorance and uncertainty. See RISK and UNCERTAINTY.
INTERTEMPORAL REDISTRIBUTION / INTERTEMPORAL TRANSFERS – Transferring costs between generations. For example, by implementing Social Security as a pay-as-you-go system rather than a savings account with return on investment, the first generation was able to spend its money rather than save it, and the following genration must pay for the previous generation, thus the second generation’s wealth was consumed by the first. This course of events altered the culture, habit and technology of saving in western civilization. Whereas had the money been implemented as forced savings, or subsidized savings, and would have provided the required public service while also maintaining calculability and intertemporal redistribution.
INTERVENTIONISM – The policy of resorting to governmental decrees and coercion to direct market activities in a manner different from the primary desires of consumers as expressed by the practices, prices, wage rates and interest rates of an unhampered market economy.
IRRATIONAL – In common unscientific usage, means illogical, or poor reasoning. Irrational does not mean incorrect or impractical reasoning, but the total absence of any reasoning. More accurately describes that which lies beyond the bounds of what can be comprehended, explained, justified or rejected by human reasoning and science. See RATIONAL.
KALEIDIC*, KALEIDOSCOPIC – Characterized by an unending variety due to a constant shifting of the multitudinous elements which comprise the total. “The Future is kaleidic.” i.e. infinitely more complex than we have the technology or reason to discern.
KEYNESIAN, KEYNESIANISTS. Advocates of the policies espoused by Lord John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), particularly those contained in his The General Theory of Unemployment, Interest and Money (1936). In general, these policies are a restatement in new terminology of a number of previously refuted economic fallacies. Keynes denied Say’s law of markets, believed general overproduction possible, disparaged savings and advocated both increased consumption and deficit spending as a remedy for recessions or depressions. His remedy for unemployment, created by the ability of politically protected labor unions to raise the wage rates of their members above those of the free market, was to lower the value of the monetary unit by credit expansion and inflation. He believed such an increase in the quantity of money would stimulate employment by increasing purchasing power which he called “effective demand.” For a refutation of Keynesianism, see Henry Hazlitt’s The Failure of the “New Economics” (Princeton, N. J.: Van Nostrand, 1959; New Rochelle, N. Y.: Arlington House, 1973), W. H. Hutt’s Keynesianism: Retrospect and Prospect (Chicago: Regnery, 1963) and Henry Hazlitt, editor, The Critics of Keynesian Economics (Princeton, N. J.: Van Nostrand, 1960).
A family a normative reproductive organization that has adapted to the local structure of production.
In practice nuclear families, traditional families, and extended families are defined by how they share capital and the results of production.
It appears largely driven by the success of failure of tribal males in external conflict. Lots of fatalities mean maternal property. Lots of success mean paternal property. Everything else appears to be the stickiness of the institution given an absence of sufficient environmental change to necessitate change.
Given certain limits a family generally consists of three generations from the individual in control of the inheritance of property. This limits maximum traditional family size.
STATE FINANCED SINGLE PARENT FAMILY – Medium term and short term pairings with or without a marriage ceremony that produces offspring, whereupon the parents cease cohabitation, and state redistribution finances directly or indirectly the support of the mother’s household.
ABSOLUTE NUCLEAR FAMILY – The “absolute nuclear” family is liberal and non-egalitarian (that is, indifferent to equality). Children are completely free upon adulthood, founding independent families. Inheritance is freely distributed by will.
“Instead, think of England as being like this for at least 750 years. We live in small families. We buy and sell houses. … Our parents expect us to leave home for paid work …You try to save up some money from your wages so that you can afford to get married. … You can choose your spouse … It takes a long time to build up some savings from your work and find the right person with whom to settle down, so marriage comes quite lately, possibly in your late twenties. … A small, simple family structure not driven by the need to pass on an inheritance or to sustain ties with brothers and cousins in a clan can be more personal, intense, and emotional—a clue to England’s Romantic tradition.
Anglo-Saxon absolute nuclear family structure is conducive to the highest levels of personal freedom and individualism. But, it requires a lot of land and wealth to expect your sons to be able to afford houses of their own when they find their brides. The Anglo-Saxon nuclear family model where young adults are not under the thumbs of their parents or grandparents or aunt’s husband thrives, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, in underpopulated places with cheap land and high wages, but, as Franklin also noted in the 1750s, it gets undermined by high rates of immigration, which drive up land costs and lower wages. Those who follow the liberty-loving Anglo-Saxon model tend to get outcompeted by groups willing to pile an extended family into one house.
“- Steve Sailer
NUCLEAR FAMILY, EGALITARIAN NUCLEAR – The “egalitarian nuclear” family is liberal and egalitarian. Children are completely free upon adulthood, founding independent families. Inheritance is equally distributed, implying at least a vestigial necessary link between parents and children throughout their lives.
EXTENDED FAMILY, STEM FAMILY, AUTHORITARIAN FAMILY – The “stem” family is authoritarian and inegalitarian. Several generations may live under one roof, notably the first-born, who will inherit the entirety of property and family headship (and thus perpetuate the family line). Other children typically leave the home to get married or become priests/soldiers.
A family that extends beyond the immediate family, consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all living nearby or in the same household. The stem family is sometimes associated with inegalitarian inheritance practices, as in Japan and Korea, but the term has also been used in some contexts to describe a family type where parents live with a married child and his or her spouse and children, but the transfer of land and moveable property is more or less egalitarian. In these cases, the child who cares for the parents usually receives the house in addition to his or her own share of land and moveable property.
TRADITIONAL FAMILY, COMMUNITARIAN FAMILY – The “communitarian” family is authoritarian and equal. Several generations live under the same roof until the eldest die and the inheritance is divided equally.
KNOWLEDGE – *A set of memories that consist of identity and cause-and-effect-relations in time. These memories can both be held in the brain, and be recorded in many forms, such as writing or video. A memory of an event or category: (Identity). A description of the cause and effect needed to predict an outcome: (Cause and effect relations). Memory occurs from direct sensory experience.
KNOWLEDGE OF USE / KNOWLEDGE OF CONSTRUCTION – (UNDONE)
Awareness. Knowledge of Use. Knowledge of Construction.
I distinguish between knowledge of how to use a concept and knowledge of its construction. One can testify to knowledge of use, without possessing knowledge of construction. But one cannot make a truth claim dependent upon a concept whose knowledge of construction one does not possess.
(This section is a sketch:)
Knowledge is a rational means of justification, and technology is a tool even if it is irrational by our current standards.
Knowledge is a narrative that can be transferred among people, and in particular to something a group of people believe has validity because there is some sort of consensus on it.
And I refer to technology as the sterile tool that we use even if we do not understand that we employ it, or how it works.
Memories are identities, and their allegory to experience. Knowledge as portable awareness of an event or causal narrative. Technology as tool for acting.
TECHNOLOGY / CONCEPTUAL TECHNOLOGY – I use the term Technology to refer to any concept, formula, recipe or process that allows humans to achieve an end in the material world. I imply that the technology can be taught, must be learned, and is not biologically innate. In other words, I consider most technologies to be habits that we have learned to imitate, and where our understanding of the causality underlying the technology is limited at best, but very likely something the vast number of people are completely ignorant of. Nor do I attribute any weight to the human sentiments or emotional reactions that they attach to that knowledge. Implied in my usage is that humans may understand that a technology works to solve a problem without fully understanding exactly why that technology works, and that they have emotional attachments to that knowledge that may or may not be relevant.
TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE – Specifically as knowledge of recipes and programs that assist in human action in manipulating the physical world. “technology in its widest sense is the manipulation of nature for human material gain” – Mokyr.
ABSTRACT KNOWLEDGE – I use ABSTRACT KNOWLEDGE to refer to those cause and effect relationships the require tools in order to experience. This ranges from the written word, to a narrative to a play to a technical manual, to philosophy, to the use of tools to extend our perceptive ability to the very great (space) the very small (the physical world) the very fast, and the very slow (changes that occur over time.)
INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE / INSTITUTIONAL TECHNOLOGY – The tools and technologies of cooperation. Institutional Technology refers to the habits and rules and processes we have evolved or designed in order to foster anonymous cooperation in the extended order of the market. “Economic historians studying earlier periods have come to realize that technology was less important than institutional change in explaining pre-modern (say, before 1750) episodes of economic growth.” – Mokyr
USEFUL KNOWLEDGE The term “useful knowledge” was used by Simon Kuznets (1965, pp. 85–87) to refer to the type of knowledge that was the source of modern economic growth. Technology in its widest sense is the manipulation of nature for human material gain, I confine myself to knowledge of natural phenomena and regularities that exclude the human mind and social institutions. A great deal of important knowledge, including economic knowledge, involves people and social phenomena: knowledge about prices, laws, relationships, personalities, the arts, literature, and so on.
I should add right away that some “technologies” are based on the regularities of human behavior (e.g., management science and marketing using psychology) and therefore might be considered part of this definition. Moreover, some segments of useful knowledge thus defined are rather unlikely to be applied to any technical purpose (e.g., astronomical knowledge about remote galaxies). Despite some gray areas and ambiguities, I shall maintain this definition.
According to Mokyr, Useful Knowledge defined above can be partitioned into two subsets:
PROPOSITIONAL KNOWLEDGE – the knowledge that catalogs natural phenomena and regularities (“knowledge of what”)
LAISSEZ FAIRE (French) – Short for “laissez faire, laissez passer”, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. Now used freely as a synonym for free market economics. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade.
LEFTIST – 1) Someone who is willing to use the coercive power of government to level differences in wealth by means of opinion and interference in the economy, causing distortions and fostering class warfare rather than by using calculative institutions to reward classes for cooperation. 2) General descriptive terms for any of several otherwise quite varied political ideologies (socialism, communism, social democracy, welfare statism, contemporary American liberalism, some versions of anarchism, etc.) that join in denouncing the extent of economic and social inequality in the present order of society and advocate the adoption of vigorous public policies to reduce or eliminate these inequalities.
LEGITIMACY, LEGITIMATE RULE – The principle that indicates the acceptance of the decisions of government leaders and officials by (most of) the public on the grounds that these leaders’ acquisition and exercise of power has been in accordance with the society’s generally accepted procedures and political or moral values. Legitimacy may be conferred upon power holders in a variety of ways in different societies, usually involving solemn formal rituals of a religious or quasi-religious nature — royal birth and coronation in monarchies, popular election and “swearing in” in democracies and so on. “Legitimate” rulers typically require less use of physical coercion to enforce their decisions than rulers lacking in legitimacy, because most of the people are apt to feel a moral obligation to obey the former but not the latter. Consequently, people who gain or hold power by illegitimate means tend to work very hard to discover or create ways of endowing themselves with legitimacy after the fact, often by inventing a new ideology or religion and attempting to indoctrinate the people with its legitimating formulas through various forms of propaganda, thus creating moral incentives for the citizenry to obey their government.
I try to avoid the term since it’s loaded. You either can materially hold power or not, and your actions while in power are either beneficial, neutral, or harmful. Whether your power is ligitimate or not is a populist sentiment. WEBER proposed that there were certain power structures under which people claimed legitimacy, that appear to function over time. I added the Managerial State to this list here.
LOGICAL POSITIVISM – Name given to an analytic trend in modern philosophy which holds that all metaphysical theories are strictly meaningless because, in the nature of the case, unverifiable by reference to empirical facts.(A.J. Ayer) I use this term disparagingly in relation to SCIENTISM,
LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS – Branch of philosophy which desires to preserve philosophy from confusion of concepts by showing the use of these concepts in their natural language context. It sees the task of philosophy as clarifying what lies on the surface rather than offering explanations.
LOVE – There are four kinds of love. Erotic Love, Friendship Love, Familial Love and ‘Christian Love’ – love of society. When referring to love, define which of those you seek, because they all deliver some sort of pleasure that can generally be described as an excited state of calm. But they are each referring to a different set of causes. Sex, mutual improvement, genetic predisposition and safety, and social conformity.
LOTTERY – A Random Chance Of Winning – but you can’t win if you don’t play. I use this term to refer to the fact that one must participate in market speculation in order to become wealthy. That all entrepreneurship is speculation. But that acquiring significant wealth is as much a result of chance circumstances as participation. More specifically, in a lottery, participants purchase an option on the total contribution of others. In an economy, entrepreneurs purchase the same option by speculating capital. Since not everyone can ‘win’, not everyone does. Furthermore, if the chances of winning were more deterministic, fewer people would play. In effect, the market economy benefits from the randomness of outcomes, without which fewer people would participate.
LUDDITE, LUDDISM – I use the term to refer to the general strategic belief that the answer to complex social problems is to return to simpler, prior, methods of social organization – especially those reliant human perceptual control – rather than to provide institutions that assist humans in calculating and coordinating. THe original use of the term is effectively “anti-technology”, as technology was disruptive to the traditional social and economic order because automation and mechanization eliminated jobs. The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt was leaving them without work and changing their way of life. It took its name from Ned Ludd. See PRIMITIVISM, and the NOSTALGIA and ROSY RETROSPECTION cognitive biases.
LUDIC FALLACY – The ludic fallacy is a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book The Black Swan. “Ludic” is from the Latin ludus, meaning “play, game, sport, pastime.” It is summarized as “the misuse of games to model real-life situations.” Taleb explains the fallacy as “basing studies of chance on the narrow world of games and dice.” See RISK / UNCERTAINTY.
MACHIAVELLIAN, MACHIAVELLIAN STATEMENT, MACHIAVELLIAN POLITICAL SCIENCE – Based upon the historical observation of what people actually do in groups, rather than what we wish they did, or we prescribe that that they should, or that they claim that they will do, or the reasons they use for what they have done. Analysis of the actions and incentives of individuals independent of the content of their written and spoken words. ie: NATURAL LAW.
TYRANNY – In general usage, a form of government in which one person rules arbitrarily. But that definition is imprecise, and antiquated, and to some degree irrelevant, since an individual’s capriciousness is more easily cured by assassination, than is the capriciousness of a larger body of political actors who are far more difficult to unseat. Correctly stated, it is an exaggerated degree of REGIME UNCERTAINTY. I use the term to describe a political environment where innovation and risk are inhibited, suppressed, or absent altogether outside of black and grey markets, due to regime uncertainty: the general perception in the population that any risks that they take and which they expect to profit from, will be transferred involuntarily or subject to other state predation.
MAJORITY TYRANNY -(undone) The result of democracy. Where the minority live under the tyranny of the majority, and the majority claim legitimacy for their dominance by virtue of the democratic process.
MANDELBROTIAN* / GAUSSIAN – Gaussian refers to normal distributions, and the application of descriptive formulae to create a general description of a set of data. In general, I use GAUSSIAN to refer to the act of making an error of IDEAL TYPES, or failing to account for fragility, BLACK SWANS or unforeseen innovations. MANDELBROTIAN refers to fractal distribution. Reality is fractal, not gaussian. See LUDIC FALACY.
MARGINAL UTILITY – The least important use to which a unit of a contemplated supply of identical goods can be put. It is this least important or marginal use which is weighed or considered when one chooses to increase or decrease his supply by one unit, since this is the use (or value) which is to be, obtained or renounced.
MARKET* – An informal social institution, a physical place, or collection of places, where (a) specialization has resulted in a division of knowledge and labor, (b) goods and services can be offered on speculation by sellers, (c) in exchange for goods, services, contracts or instruments, money or barter by buyers, (d) either directly or through intermediaries. And where the results are (e) incentives to work in the service of others (f) the possibility of rational calculation of production (g) innovation (creative destruction), and (h) reduction of prices (minimization of profits.)
MARKET PARTICIPANT – someone whose income derives from the satisfaction of others wants, and who is not insulated from market prices. A matter of degree: a doctor participates in the market, on a very long cycle at low risk of earning a living once he has achieved his professional ranking, a manual laborer can start work easily, but he will feel the pain of loss of work rather quickly by comparison. A government bureaucrat is not a participant in the market. A union laborer, is highly insulated from the market. An entrepreneur is not insulated whatsoever.
MARKET PROCESS – The voluntary and peaceful complex interaction of men deliberately striving toward the best possible removal of human dissatisfaction. The leadership in the process is assumed by promoters, speculators and entrepreneurs competing for the profits awarded to those who prove themselves superior in providing the most valued means for satisfying human desires. Every step in the market process depends on human decisions so that there is nothing automatic or mechanical in the process. By an inseparably interrelated series of human actions the market process determines the price structure of the market, the allocation of the factors of production and the share of each participating individual in the combined result.
MATERIALISM – (1) The mentality of those who prefer material wealth, bodily comforts and sensuous pleasures over the “higher” intellectual and “nobler” spiritual aspirations of men; (2) The doctrine that all changes are brought about by material entities, processes and events, and that all human ideas, choices and value judgments can be reduced to material causes which one day will be explained by the natural sciences.
MEANING vs DEFINITION = (undone)
Definitions, such as the dictionary, are just a record of common usage. You can define a falsehood, such as “ghosts”, and people can use the term. But whether ghosts exist or not is not a function of the content of the definition, but whether the content is a true or false expression. It is through the enumeration of, and criticism of, the properties of definitions that we determine truth or falsehood of statements. Not the ‘conventionality of usage’.
MEANINGLESS / HAS NO MEANING :
A meaningless statement posits nothing of substance with which one could agree or disagree. In the context of logical arguments, the inclusion of a meaningless statement in the premises will undermine the validity of the argument since that premise can neither be true nor false.
There are many classes of meaningless statement:
– A statement may be considered meaningless if it asserts that two categories are disjoint without proposing a criterion to distinguish between them. For example, the claim, “I wouldn‘t know how pornography differs from erotica“ is a distinction without a difference.
– A statement may be meaningless if its terms are undefined, or if it contains unbound variables. For instance, the sentence “All X have Y“ is meaningless unless the terms X and Y are defined (or bound).
– A grammatically correct sentence may be meaningless if it ascribes properties to particulars which admit of no such properties. For example, the famous sentence “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously“ cannot be taken literally.
– An ungrammatical sentence admits of no meaning. For instance, the string of words “deities Olympus Greek reside The. upon“ offers no information regarding the Greek deities, or their whereabouts. Lewis Carrol‘s poem Jabberwocky is a famous example of the nonsensical as literature.
MERCANTILE, MERCANTILIST, MERCANTILISM – Generally, the process of treating the state as a business. More precisely, the theories of some sixteenth and seventeenth century writers based on the belief that the gain of one man or one nation must represent the loss of another and that the precious metals were always the most desirable form of wealth. In an attempt to increase a nation’s wealth, they advocated the national regulation of foreign trade in a manner they thought would increase merchandise exports and hamper merchandise imports, thus creating an inflow of the precious metals.
METHODOLOGY – The science of method, or orderly arrangement; specifically, the branch of logic concerned with the application of the principle of reasoning to scientific and philosophical inquiry. A system of methods, as in any particular science. A branch of logic that analyzes the principles or procedures that should guide inquiry in a particular field.
METAPHYSICS (from the Greek) – “Beyond or after physics.” The area of human thoughts and convictions that lie beyond the realm of scientific human knowledge and experience and therefore in the realm of beliefs, creeds, intuition, theology or supernatural revelation. Such thoughts or convictions are incapable of scientific proof and frequently, although not always, of disproof. The branch of philosophy that inquires into the ultimate nature of reality. (see ONTOLOGY)
MIDDLE AGES, MEDIEVAL – The period roughly from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries A.D., that is, from the fall of Rome in 476 A.D. to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg (1400?-?1468) and the discovery of America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus (1451-1506).
MISESIAN – (undone) Relying upon the work of Ludwig Von Mises, and in particular, Praxeology as a means of analysis, and ECONOMIC CALCULATION as a necessary component of human cooperation. IN this sense, I am misesian, even though I consider Praxeology a failure as Mises constructed it, because he (intentionally or not) did not take into account FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS, thereby creating a foundation for libertarianism that allows the PRIVATIZATION OF GAINS AND SOCIALIZATION OF LOSSES – or REVERSE REDISTRIBUTION. (Many of the definitions here are from Mises.)
And as such Mises (followed by Rothbard) created an untenable political philosophy, because FOREGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS, paid by the majority, are necessary for a population to hold land, in order to accumulate BUILT CAPITAL, and the INSTITUTIONS, which in turn, are necessary for a division of labor and a market. A division of labor cannot develop without built capital – materials, tools, and equipment are not entirely portable, and distribution networks needed for coordinating production and calculating prices.
Perhaps men one day will cease scarcity, and cease being BARBARIANS, and in particular, control their breeding, but both of those circumstances are highly unlikely.
MONEY – The circulating media most readily accepted in payment for goods, services and outstanding debts. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally, a standard of deferred payment. The most commonly used medium or media of exchange in a market society. A community’s most marketable (and hopefully universal) economic good, which people seek primarily for the purpose of later exchanging units of it for the goods or services they prefer. Money is an indispensable factor in the development of the division of labor and the resulting indirect exchanges on which modem civilization is based. See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FUDICIARY MEDIA
PROPERTIES OF MONEY
1) ACCEPTANCE (A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE)
2) NUMERIC ATTRIBUTE (A UNIT OF ACCOUNT and CALCULABILITY) (existence as a commodity, weight, or numeric value in exchange for weight, or numeric value independent of exchange for anything)
3) A STORE OF VALUE
Money allows us to store the time, effort and thought, that we have put into our production, so that it can be easily transported and used in exchange for other goods and services. While the MONEY ILLUSION and INFLATION or DEFLATION affects the PURCHASING POWER of money, either increasing or decreasing the PURCHASING POWER, under most non-catastrophic circumstances, money allows us to inventory time, effort, and thought. A division of labor is effectively an reduction in the time of production due to the elimination of switching costs, and the concentration of capital on increasingly minute tasks of production. Money captures this time savings and makes it quantifiable as PRODUCTIVITY: the money generated per hour of labor.
PROPERTIES OF MONEY SUBSTITUTES
- 1) CONVERTIBILITY:
2) DEGREE OF RESERVE (FRACTIONAL syn. UNSOUND MONEY vs FULL RESERVE syn. SOUND MONEY)
3) REPRESENTS A FLOATING NUMBER or SOLID WEIGHT OR VOLUME
- A volume of grain
- A Shell
- A Cigarette
- A weight OR volume, of metal powder
- A weight AND volume of solid metal
- A certified (stamped or scribed) weight of solid metal (coin)
- A certificate for a weight of solid metal coin, or other commodity
- A certificate for an option under which some conditions you may exchange the certificate with it’s issuer. (credit money)
- A certificate or other manufactured object the use of which, as a medium of exchange, is legislatively mandated.
- A certificate or other manufactured object the use of which, as a medium of exchange is legislatively mandated AND mandated to the exclusion of all such mediums of exchange.
THE BENEFITS OF MONEY
- INDIVIDUAL CALCULATION FAVORS SINGLE CURRENCY
- COSTS FAVOR SINGLE CURRENCY
- FIAT MONEY AS PREVENTION FROM SHORTAGE
- FIAT MONEY AS INSURANCE
- DISSIMILAR SOCIAL ORDERS FAVOR MULTIPLE CURRENCIES
THE TROUBLE WITH MONEY
- INCALCULABILITY and DISTORTION
- EXACERBATED RISK
- USE OF MONETARY POLICY : UNEMPLOYMENT VS IDEAS AND PRODUCTION
FORMS OF MONEY
1) MONEY IN THE BROADER SENSE – Everything commonly used as money or readily convertible to money at face value. Money in the narrower sense and all money-substitutes (q.v.), including token money and fiduciary media. NOTE: While the term “money in the broader sense” includes both money in the narrower sense and all forms of money-substitutes, the quantity of money in the broader sense excludes any duplication of claims to money in the narrower sense and such money in the narrower sense that is held as a reserve against such claims. Money in the broader sense is the basic economic definition of money, as distinguished from legal definitions. It is the sense in which the term “money” is used in discussions of the problems of catallactics (q.v.) and the money relation (q.v.).
2) MONEY IN THE NARROWER SENSE – Money proper as distinguished from commonly used money-substitutes. It includes the following: commodity money (gold coin), credit money (claims to money not readily redeemable) and fiat money (money solely by reason of law) when commonly used as media of exchange. It does not include the following: token money (minor coins), money-certificates (redeemable claims to money) and such fiduciary media (q.v.) as bank notes and deposits against which the monetary reserves are less than one hundred percent. Money in the narrower sense is more a legal than an economic category.
3) COMMODITY MONEY – Money whose value comes from a commodity out of which it is made. It is objects that have value in themselves as well as for use as money. See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FUDICIARY MEDIA
4) MONEY SUBSTITUTES – Claims to money convertible at face value on demand. Anything generally known to be freely and readily exchangeable into money proper, i.e., money in the narrower sense, whether or not a legal requirement to do so exists. Money-substitutes include token money (minor coins), money-certificates (issuer maintains 100% reserves in money proper) and fiduciary media (issuer maintains less than 100% reserves in money proper). Fiduciary media in turn include both banknotes and bank deposits subject to check or immediate withdrawal. Money-substitutes serve all the purposes of money proper. They are part of money in the broader sense and a factor in the consideration of all catallactic problems as well as those affecting the money relation (q.v.).
5) FIDUCIARY MEDIA / FIDUCIARY MONEY (Synonyms CHECKBOOK MONEY, NOTES) – Money-substitutes freely accepted at face value which consist in claims to payment on demand of specified sums of money in excess of the monetary reserves held for their redemption. Fiduciary money includes token money, bank or treasury notes and demand deposits (deposit currency or checkbook money) which exceed the amount of cash reserves immediately available for their conversion into money proper. Fiduciary media are money-substitutes (q.v.) and “Money in the broader senses (q.v.) but not “money in the narrower sense” (q.v.). See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FUDICIARY MEDIA
6) GOVERNMENT MONEY – Fiduciary Media Issued By a Government Bank. Government Money is a form of Fiduciary Media that is backed by the promise of future tax receipts. NOTE: GOVERNMENT ISSUED MONEY need not be necessarily be monopolistic, as long as it competes against other forms of money.
7) FIAT MONEY/MONOPOLISTIC GOVERNMENT MONEY – Money monopolistically printed by the government that you are forced to use in the local market, and where competing forms of money are prohibited for use in that market. A coin or piece of paper of insignificant commodity value that a government has declared to be money and to which the government has given “legal tender” quality. Fiat money neither represents nor is a claim for commodity money. Fiat money is issued without any set intention to redeem it and consequently no reserves are set aside for that purpose. The value of fiat money rests on the acceptance of political law or fiat. Fiat money is money in both the broader and narrower senses. See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FIDUCIARY MEDIA.
8) CREDIT – The use of someone else’s funds in exchange for a promise to pay (usually with interest) at a later date. The major examples are short-term loans from a bank, credit extended by suppliers, and commercial paper.
9) CREDIT MONEY – Non-commodity money which consists of non-interest bearing claims that are not redeemable on demand. Usually, credit money is money that was originally issued as a redeemable money-substitute but whose redemption was later suspended either indefinitely or until some future date. It retains value because it has general acceptance as a medium of exchange. See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FUDICIARY MEDIA
9) CURRENCY – Anything which passes from person to person and is commonly acceptable as a medium of exchange (q.v.). In common usage, an analogy to paper money, and a false one. Most money is today in electronic, symbolic, form. See FIAT MONEY, MONEY, CREDIT MONEY, COMMODITY MONEY, CURRENCY, FUDICIARY MEDIA.
CURRENCY IN THE TECHNICAL SENSE — Anything which passes from person to person and is commonly acceptable as a medium of exchange, that has a quantitative, calculable attribute. ie: a synonym for MONEY.
CURRENCY IN THE COLLOQUIAL SENSE — A FIAT (Legislatively mandated, monopolistically produced), FIDUCIARY MONEY, MONEY SUBSTITUTE, that is NOT CONVERTIBLE or BACKED
MONOLITHIC – Large, bureaucratic, rigid, dull, unintelligent, immovable. Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole. In terms of government: “where process efficiency or rules trump excellence of application”. In terms of modern culture, giving a unified message.
MORAL: I use the term ‘moral’ to refer to a rule that prohibits involuntary transfer within some structure of reproduction, inheritance, property rights, and production.
AMORAL: Having no moral relevance. I use this term when I refer to violence as an amoral concept. It is the use of violence that is moral or not, not violence itself, which can be used for moral or immoral or amoral ends.
IMMORAL: I use the term immoral to refer to the violation of the prohibition on involuntary transfer within a given structure of reproduction, inheritance, property rights and production.
MORAL HAZARD – Creating a rule, law or contract that encourages immoral behavior. For example, Fire insurance gives people an incentive to commit arson, especially if they are operating a failing business and decide that they’d rather have the cash from the insurance proceeds on the buildings than the buildings themselves. Or, placing a bounty on rats, that encourages the breeding of rats. See PERVERSE INCENTIVES, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, INCENTIVES.
MORAL PHILOSOPHY – The use of reason to study the means by which we may increase cooperation, producing a better life of higher prosperity, greater happiness, and greater prosperity, and whereby we defend against those concepts that will decrease cooperation, increase conflict, decrease prosperity, and create unhappiness. NOTE: I use this term as including RATIONAL SCIENTIFIC or MACHIAVELLIAN methods based upon what people actually do as opposed to UTOPIAN and PLATONIC philosophy.
MYSTICISM – The doctrine that it is possible to achieve communion with God through contemplation and love without the medium of human reason. Any doctrine that asserts the possibility of attaining knowledge of spiritual truths through intuition acquired by fixed meditation. Mysticism implies that the supernatural is more real than the natural. See MAGIAN.
NATION – A large aggregation or agglomeration of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, linguistic, historical and/or cultural heritage that has led its members to think of themselves as belonging to a valued natural community sharing a common destiny that ought to be preserved forever. See NATIONALISM, NATION STATE.
NATION STATE – A form of state in which those who exercise power claim legitimacy for their rule partly or solely on the grounds that their power is exercised for the promotion of the distinctive interests, values and cultural heritage of a particular nation whose members ideally would constitute all, or most of, its subject population and all of whom would dwell within the borders.
NATIONALISM – An ideology, or rather a whole category of similar ideologies, based on the premise that each nation (or at least the ideologist’s own nation) constitutes a natural political community whose members should all live together under the authority of “their own” independent nation state. When the people of one nation live in large numbers in a multi-ethnic state or in states with government(s) dominated by political elites drawn from another nationality, nationalism often becomes an ideology justifying rebellion or secession in order to create or recreate a nation state for the heretofore subjugated nation. When substantial numbers of people seen as belonging to the nation live outside the borders of their own nation state, nationalism often becomes an ideology justifying an aggressive foreign policy striving to expand the state’s borders to include them. Nationalist ideologies usually claim that their respective nation possess special national characteristics or virtues that make them morally and intellectually superior to all other nations and should qualify their nation state for a special or privileged role in the world at large.
NATURAL LAW – The principle that human beings possess unalterable tendencies, and that we should develop policies that acknowledge those tendencies, rather than rely upon idealistic fantasies about the plasticity of human nature.
NATURALISM – The ideology that focuses on the self-sufficiency of nature. It is the view that the world is self-contained, and that the self-sufficiency of nature lies in the undirected natural laws of science. (see also SCIENTISM)
NECESSITY, NECESSARY, NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT (undone) – A proposition is necessary if it could not have been false. We can contemplate various possibilities describing how things might have been, but are not; if in all these possibilities a proposition is true, then it is true in all possible worlds or true of necessity.
NEOLIBERALISM – a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that maximise the role of the private business sector in determining the political and economic priorities of the state. (Hayek’s book The Constitution of Liberty] is still probably the most comprehensive statement of the underlying ideas of the moderate free market philosophy espoused by neoliberals.)
NIHILISM – Believing in Nothing. The denial of the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth. The general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc. The belief that there is no meaning of purpose in existence.
NON-CONTRADICTORY (THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-CONTRADICTION) – The law of logic that it is not the case that p and not p (e.g. it is not the case that I exist, and I don’t exist at the same time) A contradiction is the final, logical stopping point.
NORMATIVE CLAIM – A claim that is applicable in most situations (i.e. on the cultural relativists view the claim “X is right” merely means “we in our culture like x.” In that case the claim “X is right” is not a normative claim whatever since that claim can vary from culture to culture).
OBJECTIVE – 1. Of or having to do with a known or perceived object as distinguished from something existing only in the mind of the subject, or person thinking. 2. Existing, or regarded as existing, independent of the mind; real, actual. 3. Determined by and emphasizing the features and characteristics of the object, or thing dealt with, rather than the thoughts, feelings, etc. of the artist, writer, or speaker. (see SUBJECTIVE)
OCKHAM’S RAZOR – The principle which states that we should not posit causes or entities beyond necessity. In Propertarian terms, Ockham’s razor is a basic test of “parsimony”. Meaning that the most parsimonious theory has less chance of error than a less parsimonious theory. This does not mean it is more likely to be true, but that it is less likely to contain error, and those are two different things. However, as a rule of thumb, selecting the most parsimonious theory as proven itself an excellent initial test of the quality of any theory. Which it should, since the most truthful theory must be the most parsimonious. (Identity is the most parsimonious theory.)
OLIGARCHY – Any system of government in which virtually all political power is held by a very small number of wealthy but otherwise unmeritorious people who shape public policy primarily to benefit themselves financially through direct subsidies to their agricultural estates or business firms, lucrative government contracts, and protectionist measures aimed at damaging their economic competitors — while displaying little or no concern for the broader interests of the rest of the citizenry.
- IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY – The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties. It claims that within any democratic organization, rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is an inevitable “iron law“ because of the “tactical and technical necessities“ of managing an organization. He went on to state that “Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy.” And, that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, that he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable. “It is organization which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. He who says organization, says oligarchy.”
ONTOLOGY – A part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.
In Propertarianism, Testimonial Truth and Operationalism, I require existence proofs by requiring descriptions of actions – a higher metaphysical standard – in an attempt to distinguish between informational content of any expression that consists of (a)Experiential descriptions, (b)Imaginary descriptions, or (c)Operational Descriptions. Experiential descriptions allow loading and framing, imaginary descriptions allow for the inclusion of deceptive or mistaken content, and Operational descriptions disallow loading, framing, deception and mistaken content. See (Objective)
OPERATIONAL / OPERATIONALISM / OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS – Concisely stated that the concepts or terms used in non-analytic scientific statements must be definable in terms of identifiable and repeatable operations. In philosophy, stated, albeit loosely and poorly as: (a)“Defining concepts in terms of the operations, both physical and mental, used to construct them.” Also as a theory of meaning wherein (b) “the meaning of any concept is nothing more than a set of operations, and the concept is synonymous with the corresponding set of operations.” And lastly, (c) “That we do not know know the meaning of our descriptions unless we possess a means of objectively measuring them.” This traditional definition however is framed in antique philosophical terms and partly why the Operational and Intuitionist movements failed: they confuse meaning and understanding dependent upon prior experience, with demonstrable truth, independent of prior experience.
In Propertarianism I argue in favor of Operationalism, not as a theory of meaning (although I don’t disagree that it is one theory of meaning) because while Experiential Descriptions( reactions and valuations) and Imaginary Descriptions(allegories) provide the speaker and the audience with meaning, only operational definitions are insulated from deceptions and error by means of framing and loading (Experiential Descriptions), and the addition of imaginary information (Imaginary Definitions). In other words, one cannot give truthful testimony free of error and deception in terms other than those that are operational.
Every set of operations constitutes the name of a repeatable process which given the same inputs should produce the same outputs. Just as positional numbering consists of operations that grant a unique name to every quantity and measure, so does a set of operations necessary to perform an action provide each action with a unique and repeatable name. This uniqueness eliminates the problem of using analogies.
– Relation to Property –
If we reduce all morality to the prohibition of free riding and imposed costs, and that all such negative prohibitions can be stated positively as property rights, and that all such rights are adjudicable under the common law, then if we rely upon original intent and strict construction stated as operations, then it becomes exceedingly difficult to corrupt the law, or to use such artifices as Keynesian economics as a means of accomplishing what is not possible to accomplish under property rights. For example, under Keynesianism we violate the property of nearly every person engaged in moral behavior, for the benefit of those that do not engage in moral behavior. And worse, we eliminate the possibility of achieving the same result by voluntary exchange between producers and non-producers. Which in most cases would permit the perpetuation of high trust norms in exchange for economic benefits. Rather than as under postmodernism and Keynesianism, destroying high trust norms in AND violating property rights. Furthermore, if we use operationalism as a rule, we can also prohibit pooling and laundering of tax revenues, and can eliminating discretionary spending, and require all funds be raised in relation to a contract with fulfillment criteria, start and end conditions, that are not violable by successor governments. Lastly we can require contracts as well as laws, follow strict construction, original intent, and demonstrate the causal connection between property rights and any given clause. This nearly eliminates interpretation and abusive language that are common in contemporary legal practice since the introduction of the cosmopolitan forms of deception into discourse.
Bridgman argued for example, that length may be for all intents and purposes a single concept, but that the means of measuring it vary with the scale of that which is measured. This misses the point however, that troubled him: why Einstein’s theory should not have been revolutionary, but obvious, because we had applied the concept of length as we understood it at human scale, to the concept of length at stellar and interstellar scale. Length has properties that are immaterial at human scale (the speed of light) but highly material beyond human scale. And this is the central problem operationalism was to address: that the 19th century advances in all fields exceeded the prior concepts that we originated during the era of human scale, and that we used our concepts as analogies to understand that which was beyond human scale – and we failed in every single discipline from science to math, to logic, to philosophy, to economics. Had we examined the difference in operations necessary to make measurements in each of these fields we would have understood that we faced a conceptual problem of using old analogies to apply to new scales, wherein those new scales required different instruments, both physical and logical in order for us to understand them.
My concern is that this failure applies also to language itself, and that the new era of mysticism, second only to the christianization of rome, or perhaps the invention of scriptural monotheism, was brought about through deceptions that operationalism would have prevented. Socialism, Postmodernism, Neo-conservatism, and libertine-libertarianism, were all imposed upon us through empty verbalisms that Operationalism would have prevented.
To counter these fallacies, I’ve demonstrated that norms, particularly high-trust norms, constitute a form of property paid for by forgone opportunity costs, at high expense. And that making untrue statements that re-encourage theft of that common property, can be adjudicated in court as a violation of property rights, just as libel, slander and defamation have been adjudicated in court as a violation of the property rights of individuals who have sacrificed to build reputations, because reputations have material economic value.
So I see my work as fulfilling operationalism by demonstrating that the western ethic evolved as testimonial truth, and that, we can only testify to that which we can demonstrate, because all else is adding information (error and deception) to the truth, which is not allegorical, but demonstrable.
I hope this brief discussion is helpful to you. If not, read various entries on Operationalism and then try to understand how I am applying this scientific theory to property rights, contract, law, and public speech so that we can prevent another era of mysticism ushered in by various forms of linguistic deception – most of which have origins in cosmopolitanism and it’s history of dual standard ethics and scriptural interpretation as means of obscuring those dual standard ethics.
OPPORTUNITY COST – The true cost of something is what you give up to get it. This includes not only the money spent in buying (or doing) the something, but also the economic benefits (UTILITY) that you did without because you bought (or did) that particular something and thus can no longer buy (or do) something else.
(See FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COST and COST OF FORGONE OPPORTUNITY). When we respect any given property right, whether, criminal, ethical, moral, conspiratorial or normative signal, we select a less beneficial choice, and in doing so, pay the cost of the forgone opportunity to benefit from criminal, unethical, immoral, conspiratorial and non-normative actions. I describe this difference between our chosen higher cost option, and the lower cost immoral action, as “forgone opportunity cost”. And it is the constant payment of these costs of forgone opportunity that members of higher trust societies pay and lower trust societies do not pay. As such it is much more expensive to produce a high cost society, but the economic velocity of a high trust society is the reward for paying those costs.
ORTHODOX, ORTHODOXY – (from orthos, right and doxa, opinion) (A verbal norm used as means of Coordination and Control ) Adherence to established rules of belief in any group in which a consensus is argumentatively formed on that which is religiously justified, morally righteous, intellectually consistent, methodologically sound, or scientifically accepted, and where adherents reject competing views, as well as participation in the group and adherents treat non-adherent arguments and beliefs as false, conflict, competition or betrayal. As opposed to HERESY or HETERODOXY.
PANTHEISM – 1. The doctrine that a deity consists in the laws, forces, manifestation, etc. of the self-existing universe. 2. The worship, or toleration of worship, of all gods of various cults. (This should logically be called “pan-everythingism” as “theism” implies a “theos” or god which is distinct from the rest of reality.)
PARETO EFFICIENT / PARETO OPTIMUM – Given an initial allocation of goods among a set of individuals, a change to a different allocation that makes at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off is called a Pareto improvement. An allocation is defined as “Pareto efficient” or “Pareto optimal” when no further Pareto improvements can be made.
Distribution of world GDP, 1989
Quintile of population Income
Richest 20% 82.70%
Second 20% 11.75%
Third 20% 2.30%
Fourth 20% 1.85%
Poorest 20% 1.40%
PARSIMONY / PARSIMONIOUS – The scientific principle that the simplest solution is most likely the correct one. Often stated as Occam’s Razor. In finance parsimony refers to excessively frugal. Sparing. Sparse.
PATRIOTISM – Patriotism is a moral sentiment. Patriotism is a moral code. The moral code builds upon primitive sentiments of Group Persistence, which give the moral code extra influence on human behavior.
- Individually: The purpose of patriotism is to ensure that your social status, and therefore access to mates and opportunities, is not lower than it would be if a different group of patriots took over the land and created a different geographic monopoly of violence led by a different set of elites.
Socially: Patriotism is a subset of the moral code. It proscribes the behavior necessary for land holding, which in turn is necessary for built capital, which in turn is necessary for production. It is necessary for preservation of the current order of property allocation, and property definition. It is necessary at the very least to prevent others from redistributing those allocations.
Discounts: Many people seek to obtain a discount on participation in a market society – and it’s allocation of property and definitions of property, or they seek to improve their social status at a discount by avoiding the costs of patriotic moral actions. “Schumpeterian Intellectuals” seek to obtain increases in their social status by rejecting norms, and thereby not only obtaining a discount on their status but a material discount for participation in the society.
Jingoism: Jingoism is an emotional sentiment that justifies the application of the patriotic moral code for the purpose of political expansion in an attempt to use one’s material advantage to obtain benefits at the expense of others through involuntary transfers by forceful means.
Patriotism is moral. Jingoism is not.
Anti statists should not overreach the scope of their understanding. Our state may be oppressive. But patriotism is the best means of reversing that state of affairs. Patriotism is a necessary component of the moral code: It limits jingoism. It limits oppression. It protects freedom.
The “kingdom of heaven”, and the “kingdom of the mind”, are silly justifications for material weakness, that help to bind people too weak or to immoral to hold land. And the application of these silly ideas has not precisely worked very well for those who construct these elaborate fantasies and adhere to them. In the real world, freedom means control of land – if only to prevent others from removing one’s freedom.
PERIODICITY / PERIODIC* – events that occur with some degree of temporal regularity. When I use this term, I use it loosely, to indicate cyclical social processes that may or may not be obvious to participants, due to the length of time between the events.
PERROGATIVE – A right or privilege which belongs to a person or legal entity by virtue of his rank, office, position or special characteristic which entitles him to precedence or the exercise of some power or advantage not granted to others.
PERVERSE INCENTIVE – is an incentive that has an unintended and undesirable result which is contrary to the interests of the incentive makers. Perverse incentives are a type of unintended consequences.
PHILOSOPHY – Orig. love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge. The formal method of reasoning after allegorcial myth, allegorical history, and prior to quantitative science, where the causal properties and methods are not yet understood well enough to reduce to quantitative formulae, so abstract narratives and verbal symbols are necessary to conduct comparisons, calculations and tests.
- As I understand it (and I am a practitioner):
1) Philosophy is the process of creating, organizing, disassembling, and reorganizing categories according to their properties in order to expose causal relations which may be used by human beings for the purpose of improving their actions in the physical world — a world in which they possess fragmentary knowledge, experience pervasive material scarcity, limited time, are challenged by instincts and abilities unsuited to a complex society in an ever changing division of knowledge and labor, where those instincts must be sated and intentionally retrained by new ideas on a periodic basis in response to unanticipated change.
2) Philosophy as such is the study of norms: a) existing norms and theories of alternative norms (ethics) b) improvement of our process of reasoning itself by testing against the real world evidence of our norms (which must exist as a norm to function), c) improvement in public rhetoric, so that we may cooperate in large numbers toward shared ends whether by direct political or indirect market action. (which again must exist as an norm). So philosophy is the study of adapting and perpetuating norms, and the tools of constructing and deconstructing norms. Where norms are a tool of human cooperation.
3) Philosophy suffers from association with, and embracement of, mysticism, platonism and religion — in no small part because these allegorical systems are a means of establishing norms.. It suffers from a failure to incorporate empirical data as a means of testing expressions. It suffers from its distraction by the metaphysical program as practitioners attempted to legitimize their discipline as a hard science. It suffers from the desperate attempt of the entrenched institutional careerism by academics who are invested in these irrelevancies. And because of that, philosophy has lost its respect in society — a society that is suffering from the loss of its means of judging and propagating norms. A society that is suffering because of the failure of philosophy to fulfill its role at developing and justifying norms — in a vain attempt at becoming a science. A science is a process of discovery. Philosophy, as a vehicle for norms, is the process of invention. In effect, philosophy has sought to become a science by the process of introspection – which must naturally become recursive and meaningless — rather than the process of experimentation and analysis of the real world and our actions in it.
4) As a study of norms, economics is the means by which we can measure norms. (Albiet limited by our paucity of information collection, but evolving in response to our skill at information collection). Therefore philosophical concepts can be empirically tested. Behavioral psychology is the study of the human instinct and propensity for error. Politics is the means by which we define institutional mechanisms of cooperation.
5) Philosophers work too hard at either justifying existing norms, trying to find utopian norms, or trying to justify existing human instinctual preferences. Political scientists, Economists and behavioral psychologists, are in the process of replacing philosophy as a discipline. if they were to do nothing other than adopt the clarity of analytical philosophy’s language, or if philosophy would do nothing but export this skill to these disciplines, then they would succeed.
6) Philosophy has only one future, and that is to return itself to the study of norms, and a necessary feature of political action and to repudiate the metaphysical program as a series of catastrophic errors born out of the envy of the physical sciences, and the need of careerists and devotees to find relevance.
PLASTIC / IMPLASTIC / PLASTICITY – Plastic/Plasticity: Something that is possible to put to different uses. Something that can be transformed from one thing into another thing of different utility. Iron Ore, a chicken, money, and time, are plastic. They can be used for multiple purposes., one simply must choose among them. Most importantly, if the preferred use becomes less attractive, the next ordinal uses become more attractive. Implastic: rigid, tendency not to change.
PLATONIC / PLATONICITY – Idealism. An ideal world. Inventing a heaven, or other fallacious alternate reality. Proposing a world where humans do what we want rather than what they actually do. Confusing the reality described by methodologies with events in the real world
POLITICAL ECONOMY – A branch of the social sciences that takes as its principal subject of study the interrelationships between political and economic institutions and processes. That is, political economists are interested in analyzing and explaining the ways in which various sorts of government affect the allocation of scarce resources in society through their laws and policies as well as the ways in which the nature of the economic system and the behavior of people acting on their economic interests affects the form of government and the kinds of laws and policies that get made.The study of production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government. Political economy originated as a branch of moral philosophy. It developed in the 18th century as the study of the economies of states—polities. Today it is the interdisciplinary study of politics, political institutions, and the economy.
PROPERTARIANISM / PROPERTARIAN – A definition of Propertarianism. A methodology for constructing political systems, and describing human behavior, rather than a preference for any particular political system. However, it allows us to explain human behavior in all political systems. An as such, allows us to recommend innovations to political institutions that are more applicable to the current state of technological development, division of knowledge and labor, and newfound economic independence of man outside of dependence upon nuclear, extended, and tribal family relations.
Propertarianism that states that:
a) The norm of property allows humans to calculate the use of resources and create a division of knowledge and labor, by allowing us to distinguish between those things over which others agree that we have a monopoly of control and those we cannot. And to avoid conflict via this normative agreement.
b) That the human concept of property is broad in scope, encompassing their bodies, their physical property, genetic relations, associations, opportunities, norms, and even cherished memories and beliefs. That humans treat as property all that they have acted to invest in. And that they will only invest in what they can treat as property. And when that entire scope of property is enumerated, all human behavior is reducible to expressions of changes in the the state of property, and all emotions reactions to changes in the state of property.
d) Human beings use the ‘wrong’ in all contexts to refer to a wide variety of instances of the same process: involuntary transfer. Ethical action then, is whatever is not ‘wrong’. And therefore, all human action is reducible to statements of property rights, and all ethical action can be stated in terms of the voluntary or involuntary transfer of property. This then renders all actions commensurable, and ethics into a simple discipline, wherein all ethical statements are open to criticism and analysis, including norms, and by way of norms, cultures. This simplicity eliminates the need to make reference to emotionally loaded norms, and furthermore, demonstrates that all emotional reactions are in fact, intuitive reactions to changes in the state of property of one form or another.
c) Human groups, expressing different norms, simply have slightly different perceptions of what property is in the commons and what, and to what degree, is private. Cultures are collections of norms and most norms are then collections of rules about what is a commons, what is private, and how one signals conformity to these rules.
e) The myth of a unanimity of interest, and the democratic model of voting, are a holdover from when extended families, as economic agrarian and pastoral groups, had similar interests, and where differences in preferences were matters for the familial rather than political sphere.
f) As individualism increases, No commonality of interest on ends exists in a polity consisting of a division of knowledge and labor, only on means.
g) That government has three necessary functions.
(1) First. To provide an exclusive monopoly of control over the definition and allocation of property rights within a territory, in order to facilitate the creating of a system of cooperation in a division of labor that we loosely term a market for goods and services.
(2) Second. To provide a uniform, monopoly definition of property, such that the use of property in cooperative efforts can be planned and risk diminished, and so that disputes over property can be peacefully resolved.
(3) Third. While humans naturally consider competition a form of involuntary transfer, the role of a government is to drive all involuntary transfers, whether by externality, asymmetry, fraud, theft, and violence, into the market, and therefore into one form of sanctioned, and beneficial, involuntary transfer.
(4) Fourth, To provide a means by which investments in commons can be made, and privatizations of, and free-riding upon those commons, forbidden by the threat of violence. While these rules against privatization and free riding are termed ‘laws’, they are in fact, simply provisions for the protection of investments from theft.
(5) Fifth. To limit where possible, opportunities for free-riding, rent seeking, partial monopolies, and privatization, created by creating monopoly definition of property, providing a means for the resolution of disputes, forcing all conflict into the market, and facilitating investment in the commons.
This is the list of necessary functions of a government. These necessary functions can be created under the common law, regulated by a constitution, and administered by privately employed judges, without any individual actually working for a bureaucratic organization that we call government. But this depends upon a normative desire for this state of affairs exist in the population. And this normative desire appears to be rare. For this reason, it appears to be necessary to crate an appropriate system of incentives for the intergenerational persistence of this system. The best system would be a trained militia, and a trained emergency services ‘army’ with required training in the political system for both.
h) That while democratic government does not allow people to cooperate on different ends, the market allows people to cooperate on means even if they have disparate ends. The market solves the problem of heterogeneity of interest. But the market is a construct, and we require government to forbid privatization of investments that we do not want subject to privatization and externality. (MORE HERE)
i) The claimed legitimacy of democratic government was a useful device for expanding enfranchisement to all consumers, who had become consumers due to increases productivity from the division of knowledge and labor, in the same manner that the merchant class had force expansion of the franchise to themselves. But despite democracy’s status as a mythology, in practice it represents little more than a monopolistic bureaucracy that uses the threat of violence to satisfy the preferences of some for at the expense of the preferences of others. Those persecuted then seek extra-market means of competing with the other groups. Rendering the government incompetent and unable to provide its primary function – to assist groups in investment in the commons that would be otherwise privatized, and therefore impossible to encourage people to invest in.
COMMUNISM – Any economic theory or system based on the ownership of all property by the community as a whole. The final stage of socialism, as formulated by Marx, Engels, Lenin and others, to be characterized by a classless and stateless society and the equal distribution of economic goods and to be achieved by revolutionary and dictatorial, rather than gradual means. The form of government in the former USSR, China, and other socialist states, professing to be working toward this stage by means of state planning and control of the economy, a one- party political structure, and an emphasis on the requirements of the state rather than on individual liberties.
SOCIALISM – 1) Original meaning: a system of social organization that calls for the public ownership of the means of production. A policy which aims at constructing a society in which all the material means of production are under the exclusive control of the organized community, i.e., government, the social organism of coercion, compulsion and repression. 2) In current usage, a form of government that has given up on marxian doctrines of ownership because it leads to incalculability, impossibility of coordination, and lack of innovation, and lack of incentives for production, but emphasizes heavy, politically determined, redistribution of earnings, income, and wealth, as a means of leveling both the social and economic classes of individuals regardless of their contribution to society. Ie: the slow destruction of accumulated capital by democratic and political means.
SCIENTIFIC SOCIALISM / UTOPIAN SOCIALISM – A distinction between “scientific socialism” and “utopian socialism” was one of the basic ideas of Marxism. According to Karl Marx (1818-1883), utopian socialists were those who aimed at demonstrating that conditions in a socialist society would be incomparably more satisfactory than those of existing social conditions. Utopian socialists attempt to bring about the transition to socialism by convincing people that socialism is in every respect more desirable than the system of private ownership of the means of production. Marx rejected such views as fallacious. He asserted that socialism will not come because people may prefer it; but because, as be had discovered and revealed, historical evolution necessarily and inevitably leads to the establishment of socialism. From this viewpoint, Marxian socialists claim the term “scientific” for themselves, while disparaging the older socialist authors as “utopian” dreamers.
SYNDICALISM – A naive and impractical proposal for the economic organization of society whereby the workers of each plant, company or economic unit would jointly and equally own and operate the organization for which they work. It supposes the elimination of entrepreneurs and the expropriation of investments so that all “unearned income,” i.e., interest and profits, would be equally divided among the workers of each economic unit. Under syndicalism, the incomes of workers doing similar work would vary greatly, depending largely on the wide variation in both the efficiency and the capital invested in the unit by which they were employed.
RES PUBLICA – “a public matter or public concern”
BODY POLITIC / POLITY – a group of persons politically organized under a single governmental authority
NATIONALISM – nationalism is an extension of familial, tribal, and village trust and loyalty to those people who have common genetic, linguistic and cultural interests, as the economy extends from local, to regional, to international in scope, and the institutions of contract and trade create greater complexity and competition. These institutions then habituate the legal-bureaucratic structure that was developed to served those expanded interests. The members of the bureaucracy then work to perpetuate their institutions independently of the genetic, familial and cultural interests that created the incentives for its origin, in order to give the legal structure greater power than the cultural habits, biases and preferences.
NATIONALIST – an individual who advocates for his institutions and people for one of the three reasons for NATIONALISM: the tribalism of the extended family, the economic organization of the extended family, or the bureaucratic organization that rules monopolistically over a territorial domain.
STATISM, STATIST – A preference for economic and social decisions to be made by the institutions of the STATE under the assumption of homogeneity of interest and preference, trustworthiness, division of knowledge, and the neutrality of the state. Opposite of anarchism, in which the preference is for no decisions to be made by the state.
POOLING / LAUNDERING / POOLING AND LAUNDERING – (undone) (use money laundering) In common usage, money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions to conceal the identity, source, or destination of illegally gained money. I use POOLING and LAUNDERING as synonyms for the act of aggregating quantitative information, and ‘laundering’ the source and cause of those monies, and thereby appropriating them for personal or political use, and in doing so creating DISINFORMATION or MISINFORMATION. (See THE ERROR OF AGGREGATION)
POPPERS RAILROAD FALLACY / POPPERIAN RAILROAD – From Popper’s Conjectures and Refutations. Popper states that the history of knowledge is a railroad and that there are spaces between the sets of tracks, and that we should be very careful that we avoid staying too much on the tracks. This is effectively the philosophical equivalent of GODELIAN boundaries. Even the history of knowledge is missing possible alternatives.
(the poverty of difference)
PRAGMATISM – The theory that ideas or principles are true so far as they work. The approach that ideas should be testable in the physical world by human action, and should produce perceptible material ends. A method of determining the meaning and truth of all concepts and testing their validity by their practical results. It is naturalistic, experiential, non-revelational, relative, and humanistic.
PRAXEOLOGY – (from the Greek, Praxis, action, habit or practice; logia, doctrine, theory or science). The science or general theory of (conscious or purposeful) human action. Mises defines action as “the manifestation of a man’s will. Accordingly, he considers the use of the adjectives “conscious or purposeful” to be redundant. Praxeology is a manifestation of the human mind and deals with the actions open to men for the attainment of their chosen ends. Praxeology starts from the a priori category of action and then develops the full implications of such action. Praxeology aims at knowledge valid for all instances in which the conditions exactly correspond to those implied in its assumptions and inferences. Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience, but are antecedent to any comprehension of historical facts.
PRESUPPOSITION – A belief or theory which is assumed before the next step in logic is developed. Such a prior postulate often consciously or unconsciously affects the way a person subsequently reasons.
PRESUMPTION — a proposition that must be true if an argument is sound, though not explicitly stated in the premises.
“For what it’s worth, I don’t regard question begging, i.e., petitio principii, as a fallacy at all — informal or otherwise. I think the whole idea that there’s a fallacy is itself an artifact of justificationism. The real problem people have with it is that it does not provide the simulacrum of a justification. Naturally, this bothers justificationists. So they decided that it’s a fallacy — of some sort or another. Of what sort they’re not exactly sure, since they take in justificationism with their mother’s milk and have never considered living without it.” – Kenneth Allen Hopf
PRIMITIVISM – (undone) Cultural Luddism. The sentimental appreciation for the simplicity of primitive societies, while ignoring the absolute ignorance, violence, hunger, poverty and strife that are the primary propoerties of primitive man. See LUDDITE, LUDDISM, and the cognitive biases of NOSTALGIA and ROSY RETROSPECTION. See ROMANTICISM (for the greek and german myths.)
PRIVATIZE, PRIVATIZATION – The act of converting EXTRA-MARKET organizations which are funded by, or sanctioned (protected by preferential treatment) by Government, to INTRA-MARKET, or privately owned organizations that are not isolated from the market, and therefore must serve the public, and efficiently use resources, in order to survive.
PROFIT – Simply “More than what I have, by the means that I perceive it – whether emotionally, intellectually, or materially, or abstractly quantitatively, or abstractly qualitatively.” Profit is the goal of every contemplated action (anticipated profit) or the gain or satisfaction derived from every successfully completed action (achieved profit). Since all men prefer success over failure and a greater success over a lesser success, every human action is aimed at obtaining as high a gain or satisfaction (profit) as possible. The opposite of profits is losses, the result of unsuccessful actions, which all human actions seek to avoid or minimize. Both anticipated and achieved profits are of two types, psychic (mental) profit (q.v.) and entrepreneurial (business) profit.
PROLETARIAN, PROLETARIAT, PROLE. A wage earner, manual worker or peasant. Proletarians are to be distinguished from: (1) The bourgeois or merchants, employers and white collar workers, and (2) The nobility and landed gentry. See CLASS.
PROPAGANDA – Persuasive communications directed at a specific audience that are designed to influence the targeted audience’s opinions, beliefs and emotions in such a way as to bring about specific, planned alterations in their behavior. The information communicated by the propagandist may be true or false, the values appealed to may be sincerely held by the propagandist or cynically manipulated, and the presentation may be either logically and dispassionately argued or rhetorically tailored to arouse the most irrational emotions and prejudices — but the message content of propaganda is always deliberately selected and slanted to lead the audience toward a predetermined mindset that benefits the cause of the propagandist.
PROPERTY Subcategories: SEVERAL PROPERTY / SHAREHOLDER PROPERTY / COMMUNITY PROPERTY / PUBLIC PROPERTY – In modern terms Several Property is divided into two categories: a)”real property” which is any interest in land, real estate, physical plants or the improvements to them, and b) “personal property” which is everything else. In addition, “Common property” is ownership by more than one person of the same possession. “Community property” is a form of joint ownership between husband and wife recognized in several states. “Separate property” is property owned by one spouse only in a community property state, or a married woman’s sole ownership in some states. “Public property,” refers to ownership by a governmental body such as the federal, state, county or city governments or their agencies (e.g. school or redevelopment districts).
PROBLEMS WITH LEGAL DEFINITIONS
- PROBLEM 1: VIOLATIONS OF THE PRINCIPLE OF INCALCULABILITY. Of these types of administrative property, only several property is ‘calculable’. So called Common Property, Community Property, and Public Property, cannot be reduced to a numeric degree of ownership that is subject to price, transferrable, or possible to forecast (plan) the use of. They are remnants of a static agrarian era when conventions and norms meant that additions to the population were predictable and manageable through social pressures and ostracization. In a mobile economy, these concepts of community interest are too variable to estimate. And as such the property becomes the use of the state, and the state treats it as an asset with which to increase tax revenues for its own benefit. Therefore any form of community property is merely a ruse.
PROBLEM 2: JUDICIAL DEFINITION RATHER THAN DEFINITION FROM OBSERVATION OF HUMAN ACTIONS: Current definitions of property are limited to those over which which a court can resolve conflicts in ownership. This is a limited concept of property. Humans act in society as though a wide variety of property interests exist. The entire social behavior of man can be reduced to definitions of, and rights of property. As such, the legal definitions of property are arbitrary. The legal definitions have become highly skewed, whereby the courts have redefined property to suit their abilities to administer it, rather than the ways in which people make use of it. The state has attacked private property systematically in order to compensate for the vast differences in productivity that are present under industrial capitalism, and capitalism’s ability to harness various forms of energy for the purpose of production.
PROBLEM 3: ANTIQUATED AND INSUFFICIENT ENUMERATION OF PROPERTY TYPES:
In order to solve these problems, we can articulate the variety of observable property types using these categories:
Types of property based upon observations of what people actually consider to be their property:
- I. PERSONAL PROPERTY
Personal property: “Things an individual has a Monopoly Of Control over the use of.”
a) Physical Body
b) Actions and Time
c) Memories, Concepts and Identities: tools that enable us to plan and act. In the consumer economy this includes brands.
d) Several Property: Those things external to our bodies that we claim a monopoly of control over.
II. INTERPERSONAL PROPERTY
Cooperative Property: “relationships with others and tools of relationships upon which we reciprocally depend.”
a) Mates (access to sex/reproduction)
b) Children (genetics)
c) Familial Relations (security)
d) Non-Familial Relations (utility)
e) Consanguineous property (tribal and family ties)
g) Racial property (racial ties)
g) Organizational ties (work)
h) Knowledge ties (skills, crafts)
i) Status and Class (reputation)
III. SHAREHOLDER PROPERTY
a) Recorded And Quantified Shareholder Property (physical shares in a tradable asset)
b) ARTIFICIAL PROPERTY: (property created by fiat agreement) Intellectual Property.
c) FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY : Formal (Procedural) Institutions: Our institutions: Religion (including the secular religion), Government, Laws.
d) INFORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY: Informal (Normative) Institutions: Our norms: manners, ethics, morals, myths, and rituals that consist of our social portfolio and which make our social order possible.
“Those properties in which we have invested our forgone opportunities, our efforts, or our material assets, in order to aggregate capital from multiple individuals for mutual gain.”
PROPERTY RIGHTS – “Monopoly Of Use” – A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how and by whom a particular resource is used. More broadly, property rights may be seen as a bundle of separate and distinct rights over a particular good — including at least:
- a) the right of personal use, (consumption, alteration, use, and sometimes destruction)
b) the right to demand compensation as a prerequisite for its use by other people, and
c) the right to transfer any or all of these rights to others (either permanently by sale or temporarily through some form of contractual arrangement).
Property rights may be exercised by governments through their designated officials (public ownership or public property) as well as by private individuals and other sorts of non-governmental organizations (private property). — Johnson.
PROPERTY DEFINITIONS – A set of forgone opportunities that require one refrain from using objects of utility, or refrain from seizing or creating opportunities for gain – ie: self enforced self deprivations – usually described as property both individual and shareholder, manners, ethics, morals.
PRODUCTION – The process of transforming inputs into outputs. Economists vary as to what scope of human activities they consider production — from the most specific being the production of goods for the purpose of exchange, and export, to the most general, which includes all human activity other than consumption.
VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION OF PRODUCTION / INVOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION OF PRODUCTION – I use these terms as more accurate, operational descriptions of Capitalism (the voluntary organization of production) and socialism (the involuntary organization of production).
Whereas with propertarianism, I’ve illustrated the definition of property necessary for the formation of a polity capable of voluntary organization of production in the absence of a state.
Most of my arguments consist of various permutations that point out the fallacies of the libertarian, classical liberal, and progressive canons that do not account for the three genetic problems of (a) outbreeding and extension of kinship trust, (b) minimum Pareto distribution of verbal intelligence, and (c) reduced genetic testosterone and therefore impulsivity, in the construction of a polity capable of the voluntary organization of production, and a sufficient velocity of exchange, such that we produce the constant innovation necessary to stay ahead of both the (i) genetic red queen, the (ii) malthusian red queen, and (iii) the technological red queen – and how those three red queens must be defeated in order to preserve economic prosperity that allows us to have whatever nonsensical social order we choose.
What is the return on an individual’s respect for property rights? For him? For the polity? For man? We cannot construct the voluntary organization without widespread respect. So then how do we calculate the cost if that adherence? Labor has no known value except in exchange. At which point we learn its value. But respect for property rights, and active construction and perpetuation of them, always produces value. Earlier thinkers assumed that membership and participation in the market was sufficient compensation for respecting property rights. But this exchange was possible only because of the possibility of entry. In a world of mandatory inclusion, this choice no longer exists. In a world of marginally different productivity, where the underclasses no longer can provide useful skills, they are mandatorially included, but necessarily excluded. In fact, their only value is in providing instructions in the form of demand, for the organization of production to satisfy their wants and to reward producers. But they have nothing to exchange except constructing and maintaining the voluntary organization of production. This presents us with a logical contradiction. They are forcibly included but necessarily excluded. How do we solve this contradiction? Par them for services rendered, and do not pay them if they fail to render services. Voluntary exchange.
I don’t advocate redistribution for the purpose of equality. I advocate it for the purpose of suppressing breeding, and paying people to assist in the construction of property rights and the commons that facilitates the voluntary organization of production.
This approach gives everyone in the society (local polity that facilitates the voluntary organization of production) the same interests: suppression of the predatory state monopoly, while at the same time maintaining parity between law and morality.
FACTOR OF PRODUCTION / RESOURCE– A human service or material good that can be used to contribute to the success of a process of production. A constituent element of any production process. Examples would be labor, natural resources and capital goods.NOTE: Factors of production can be classified as to (1) human (labor) or nonhuman (material) factors, or (2) original or produced factors. The term “factor of production,” as used by Mises, does not include the time factor, although he has referred to time as an “immaterial factor of production.” NOTE: I use the term “resource” wherever possible, as a synonym for Factor of Production.
PRODUCTIVITY – (1) the number of units produced per hour of effort. (2)the amount of money created in exchange per human hour of effort expended on a good or service. NOTE: It is possible to work very hard and still produce less and less return on your labors – because you are working on something that people are less willing to pay for. Since the number of units may or may not affect the amount of money generated in exchange, productivity can have two contexts.
PROSPECT THEORY – The theory that people value gains and fear losses, and they, value gains less than they fear losses, and, as such, in decisions they weigh both the gains and risk of losses rather than the outcome itself. This can be demonstrated by the fact that if a person is given two equal choices, one expressed in terms of possible gains and the other in possible losses, he will choose the description of the gains even though in fact both are equal. Also known as “loss-aversion theory.”Contrast with rational choice theory. *I use This basic view of human decision making.
PSEUDOSCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC – A methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific, or that is made to appear to be scientific, but which does not adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status. The term is inherently pejorative, because it is used to assert that something is being inaccurately or deceptively portrayed as science. Accordingly, those labeled as practicing or advocating pseudoscience normally dispute the characterization. I use this term largely when referring to the use of methods of mathematical prediction that are repeatedly disproven failing to be predictive, yet the practitioners continue with their methodology unfazed, and unrepentant. More importantly, I use the term to refer to the use of pseudoscientific predictive mathematics to implement laws, which then do not expire along with the theories that were used to justify them. Or which create social and economic fragility.
*I use the term to refer to truth claims that are not laundered of error, bias, imaginary content, wishful thinking and deception by means of truth testing.
Is it possible that fiscal policy is really just industrial policy? Could it be that World War 2 ended the Depression not because it represented a sufficiently large Keynesian stimulus, but because it deliberately created new industries and new technologies that formed the basis of a new sustainable pattern of specialization and trade?
Stimulus in the form of borrowing to invest in new productivity, and encourages people to reorganize and flock to support the new competitive advantage
Stimulus in the form of borrowing to create consumer demand via cheap credit, but encourages people to maintain their existing outdated patterns.
Stimulus in the form of borrowing to create government bureaucracy which in turn creates additional debt, and encourages people to seek rents (parasitism).
PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT AND PRIVATE OPERATION – The use of government to concentrate the capital required to create industries or services which the market cannot easily or quickly develop due to disproportionate risk or externally competitive forces, which are then privatized so that they operate at a lower cost with greater customer service, greater innovation, and competition – thus reducing the cost of regulating organizations that are EXTRA-MARKET (Isolated from markets and prices).
QUALITATIVE vs QUANTITATIVE – Qualitative: open to ordering or prioritizing but not quantification, because of the impossibility of determining a commensurable unit of measure. Quantitative: the categories to be measured are sufficiently commensurable, similar in properties, static in their properties, and sufficiently static in those properties in time, to allow comparison using numerical assignments and those assignments are open to manipulation an comparison by mathematics. Especially: Using prices and money makes objects commensurable – calculable by using money as a proxy, or general symbol by which to compare them.
QUALITATIVE ECONOMICS – The logical analysis of human behavior using the record of what humans have done in history, given the information available to them and the cognitive biases and cultural preferences, and natural limits an capabilities of human beings in real life. The comparison of preferences that influence choice that are a) open to prioritization and order, b) and that any order is highly perishable in time, c) open to cognitive biases, cultural and social norms, and imperfect reasoning d) subject to complexity due to the causal density of information and the generalizing nature of the human mind e) reliant upon subjective values, and the plasticity of utility of resources available to individual humans, information that they experience, and the multitudinous permutation of preferences in a constant state of reordering, f) and therefore impervious to predictive mathematical analysis, except where prediction is of little value.
Talebian Position: The impossibility of predicting the unknown affects of large scale unanticipated events using current mathematical formulae and models. And the abuse of probabilistic, statistical, and correlative mathematics in investing and regulatory policy.
Misesian Position: Economic theory based on the knowledge that there are no constant relations in the sphere of human actions and that the exact future is always uncertain because the value judgments of acting men cannot be determined in advance with certainty.
QUANTITATIVE ECONOMICS – Economic theory that uses correlative, quantitative distribution analysis, in order to recommend predictions. The theories of “Mathematical economists” based on the idea that there are constant relations in the sphere of human actions that can be quantified or measured, thus permitting the application of statistics and mathematical theories to economics. Mises maintains: “There is no such thing as quantitative economics.” All statistics are history, sometimes economic history, but never economics.
RACE, RACIAL, RACIST, RACE-REALISM, DEMONSTRABLE RACE – A RACE is a group of individuals differentiated through distinct physical characteristics and common ancestry, and who demonstrate kin selection with one another (bias in favor of one another). The term MORPHOLOGICAL ( MORPHOLOGY ) refers to people with physical characteristics that are more similar that those of others with similar characteristics to one another. The set (ABCDEFG) is more similar than the set (EFGHIJKL) despite the fact that they both share and human beings are inordinately sensitive to morphological properties or we would not be able to uniquely identify one another. (As can be a problem when individuals from one race are exposed to individuals from another race and have difficulty in facial recognition for some period of time until they have mastered the skill.)
RACISM – the illogical application of the properties of a class to the individual, or the property of the individual to the class. Racism is simply human stupidity. Given the distribution of individuals with similar MORPHOLOGICAL properties, it is impossible to know based entirely upon MORPHOLOGICAL properties what the NON-MORPHOLOGICAL behaviors of the individual may be. In non market activities such properties may be material, but since the market neutralizes morphological properties except at the margins, and most of us act across morphological boundaries under market circumstances, and only non-morphological properties of utility in the market, then the application of non-market properties to the process of interpersonal action inside of a market is simply illogical. However, if we consider that political activity is non-market activity for the purposes of group coercion, then the reality is that morphological non-market properties and behaviors have political consequences. ie: people vote with their race in mind in the majority of cases and it is in their interest to do so. There are no neutral political behaviors, only neutral market transactions. FOr this reason we cannot be morphologically blind in political matters as doing so is simply to confuse the irrelevance of race in the market with the relevance of race in politics — and therefore it is to be preoccupied with a falsehood. The issue political problem in heterogeneous societies is to ensure that no one coerces anyone else by fraud, violence or theft. It is economically disadvantageous to limit one’s ability to reach customers. The market is not racist. Only laws that artificially abuse the market are racist. What people dislike and will always dislike is involuntary racial redistribution, especially redistribution of status and political power, when that power allows us to alter the market with non-market actions.
RACE REALISM – the logical assertion that human beings act, and it is beneficial for them to act, with racial preferences in almost all areas of life, and will always continue to do so except at the margins. And that political denial of this reality does not benefit the cooperation and collaboration between racial groups.
Note: I define these terms according to their Philosophical Usage. Scientific usage varies because statements in the physical sciences are by definition independent of human perception and therefore are simplistic. When we instead discuss the knowledge that humans rely upon for their actions, in scientific terms, we find that humans can rely upon habits, norms, parables and myths, the expressions of which may be arational (not applying rational means), or irrational (the logic used is faulty), but the application of which induces actions that produce desired results. This distinction between irrational and arational lets us separate the expression of human knowledge (which may or may not be rational) and content of statements (which may or may not be true) differently.
RATIONAL – Reasonable. A conclusion achieved through the process of reason. Drawing conclusions form juxtaposing facts to each other and seeing how they relate an in what direction they point. Does not imply that the answer is correct. Only that logic was properly applied.
ARATIONAL – Having no rational characteristics; having no capacity to reason. In philosophy, not within the domain of what can be understood or analyzed by reason; outside the competence of the rules of reason.
RATIONALISM – The principle or practice of accepting reason as the only authority in determining one’s opinions or course of action. The doctrine that knowledge comes wholly from pure reason, without aid from the senses; intellectualism. The doctrine that rejects revelation and the supernatural, and makes reason the sole source for religious truth.
REDISTRIBUTION / REVERSE REDISTRIBUTION – Redistribution refers to the collection of taxes which are then (Redistribution is enforced charity at best, political profiteering and class warfare at the median, or economic enslavement at its worst. Slavery is Redistribution from the laborer to the slave owner.) I use the term to refer to the process by which people who adopt the social ethics, mores, manners, and property portfolio, and thereby contribute FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS, to the maintenance of the SOCIAL ORDER obtain a return on their investment. I object to this process being incalculable and based upon extortion rather than the cooperative development of increases in productivity for mutual gain. I do not object to redistribution. REVERSE REDISTRIBUTION refers to the use of the apparatus of the state to extract money or effort from the lower classes for distribution to the upper classes, usually by way of political profiteering, or credit schemes which PRIVATIZE WINS AND SOCIALIZE LOSSES, or market regulation and CORPORATISM that subsidize industries at the expense of the citizenry.
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM, abbrev. REDUCTIO – (Lat., reduction to absurdity) The process of reasoning that derives a contradiction from some set of assumptions, and concludes that the set as a whole is untenable, so that at least one of them is to be rejected. In general, the use of an example that is too simple to be used in a syllogism or as an analogy, when the CAUSAL DENSITY of the topic under consideration is higher than the example can account for.
REDUCTIONISM – The belief that “simpler is better”. Reducing the complexities of life and reality to seemingly more convenient equivalents. (Usually takes some form of weak scientism and/or naturalism. i.e. naturalism reduces morality to properties which can be described by appealing to biology or psychology)
REGIME UNCERTAINTY : the tendency (whether scientific or not) for businesses and organizations to limit their risk (expansion, or business development, or investment) due to fear of government intervention, especially in taxation. While the effect is disputed, in that the Regime Uncertainty is but one of the number of stimuli affecting human risk taking in an economy, it appears that small business is materially influenced by Regime Uncertainty in the abstract, more than it is by any particular policy. This field needs greater investigation, but it appears to support Mandelbrotian interpretation of stock market data as well as fashion, and political trends in that human perception consists of a set of accumulated and often unarticulated and uncritically evaluated stimuli that due to complexity are inseparable. We know that in at least 2/3 of the population, such environmental suggestibility is extremely high.
RELATIVIST SYSTEM – An ethical system in which right and wrong are not absolute and unchanging but relative to one’s culture (cultural relativism) or ones own personal preferences (moral subjectivism).
REAL (REALITY) – Existing or happening as or in fact; actual; true, objectively so. Not merely seeming, pretended, imagined, fictitious, nominal, or ostensible. Existing objectively: actual (not merely possible or ideal), or essential, absolute, ultimate (not relative, derivative, phenomenal, etc.).
RELIGION – 1. Belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe; expression of such a belief in conduct and ritual. 2. Any specific system of belief, worship, conduct, etc., often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy; any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc., resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system (humanism or communism as a religion). See RITUAL.
RENT SEEKING – People are said to seek rents when they try to obtain benefits for themselves through the political arena, rather than by earning profits through economic transactions and the production of added wealth.
RISK / UNCERTAINTY – Measurable and quantitative risk versus non-measurable and non-quantitative uncertainty. I use these terms to separate closed systems, where no single event can alter the outcome (throwing dice), from open systems where a single, unpredictable, innovative event can make all estimation irrelevant. … ie: “there is too much uncertainty to calculate risk.” See LUDIC FALLACY.
Frank Knight: Uncertainty must be taken in a sense radically distinct from the familiar notion of Risk, from which it has never been properly separated. The term “risk,” as loosely used in everyday speech and in economic discussion, really covers two things which, functionally at least, in their causal relations to the phenomena of economic organization, are categorically different. … The essential fact is that “risk” means in some cases a quantity susceptible of measurement, while at other times it is something distinctly not of this character; and there are far-reaching and crucial differences in the bearings of the phenomenon depending on which of the two is really present and operating. … It will appear that a measurable uncertainty, or “risk” proper, as we shall use the term, is so far different from an unmeasurable one that it is not in effect an uncertainty at all. We … accordingly restrict the term “uncertainty” to cases of the non-quantitive type.
“…there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”—Donald Rumsfeld
RITUAL – “Ceremonies performed in accordance with social tradition.” It appears that human beings — for cognitive reasons that have hard-wired emotional consequences (ie: behavior) — need to collect in groups that share similar predictable habits and actions. We know that these ritualistic environments produce a calming effect, and reduce fear, particularly fear of uncertainty, fear of others, fear of ostracization, and fear of status rejection. We know that the major religions use group prayer to both create the feeling of comfort and habituate the membership into associating the feeling with the religious rituals, and the rituals with the tenets, and therefore bind the group together and to the religious tenets.
The greeks used festivals and temples for the purposes of social bonding. In particular they used Plays and Sports. These are perhaps the two most effective religious vehicles if the canon can be enforced. (The greek plays migrated to entertainment from its original pedagogical celebration, at which point they lost their meaning.) The purpose of these plays is to convey the same messages (sacrifice for the group) regardless of the changing fashions of the time. But at the same time, we must allow these plays, or any of our narratives, to re-express the underlying principles in contemporary terms.
We use politics (secular religion), education (indoctrination), sports (celebration), television shows (community affiliation), literature (mythology), and somewhat less our high arts of Theater (plays),
While in theory if we asked everyone to watch a canon of movies yearly and christened those movies withe a name, we could create a ritual out of them. There is far more personal conviction and habituation involved when one openly participates in ‘the chorus’. THere is even more if one participates as an actor in the play, or an adjunct in the production of it.
WHile the production of such events as plays and sporting events is far higher a cost than simple ritualized chanting, and while a diverse set of plays and narratives is harder to maintain as a canon than a single ‘book’, the fact that one reinvents the plays, and evolves strategies in the games of sport, teaches an important message that cannot be expressed via the vehicle of ‘chanting’ simplicity. That is: that the variation and innovation and evolution within certain constance do not allow the culture to calcify as have the monotheistic scriptural religions. And, since competition is a necessary and unavoidable property of sports, and since any competition between peers requires congratulation of winners, and solace of losers, the society is better equipped by this process to adapt to the process of CREATIVE DESTRUCTION that is required of any economy in order to encourage the innovation that will maintain collective advantages from which opportunities can be exploited, and therefore result in decreasing prices for all members of the community.
ROMANTICISM, GERMANIC ROMANTICISM, GREEK ROMANTICISM – Refers to periods where a society attempts to create a new historical mythos because either they need a new one during their formation stage, or their old stage has failed.
ROMANTICISM – a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalisation of nature. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas.
GERMANIC ROMANTICISM – (undone), (status redistribution and concentratoin under the anglo capitalist model)
GREEK ROMANTICISM – (undone) After the fall of the Mycenaean civilization (whether to invasion by the sea peoples, geological events, or trade pattern changes), greeks lost writing for over five hundred years. Upon their reawakening, they were able to recreate their own mythos. A mythos is a framework of narratives that rationalize the SOCIAL ORDER (rules and accounts) and the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO (accumulated contributions to the accounts). This accidental loss of memory, and the ability to create a new binding mythos, was of substantive social and economic benefit to the Greek civilization. We still make use of this revision today. To some degree our deep knowedge of history makes a new romantic period almost impossible for contemporary society – until there is a cultural victor and the current GREAT TRANSFORMATION is complete across all of the major civilizations.
ROTHBARD, ROTHBARDIAN – Murray Rothbard was and author of economic and political history, and a master of REVISIONIST HISTORY. He is the author of the Libertarian Manifesto, and along with Milton Friedman, the most influential cosmopolitan libertine of the postwar era. Rothbard’s metaphysical framework relied upon natural law and property, and in particular, the ‘non-aggression principle’, or the ‘principle of non-violence’. Starting with that assumption he derives a substantial system of reasoning based upon the necessity of property for cooperation and calculation. A set of ideas which HOPPE uses in his work The Economics And Ethics Of Private Property, which I rely upon in my work. However, like Mises, Rothbard does not incorporate FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS, and by starting his argument with the assumption of non-violence, he effectively circumvents the entire reason for society: cooperation and land holding. See MISESIAN, HOPPEIAN, THE JEWISH ERROR.
RULE / GOVERN / INSURE — (disambiguation)
- RULE: To adjudicate differences under rule of law, using a rule of decidability: the independent, common, organic, evolutionary, law of property en toto: the prohibition on the imposition of costs.
- GOVERN: to construct and maintain commons. (market for commons) –
- INSURE: to construct and maintain insurance. (insurer of last resort)
(End of R Definitions)
SCARCITY – Scarcity is the fundamental economic, social and political problem of constantly varying and unlimited human needs and wants, in a world of limited resources, where not all needs and wants can be fulfilled at the same time. Economics is “the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” – Lionel Robbins.
SCEPTICISM – The denial that knowledge, or even rational belief is possible, either about some specific subject/matter (e.g. ethics) or in any area whatsoever. (scepticism was a big part of David Hume’s philosophy)
SCHUMPATERIAN, SCHUMPETER From: Joseph Alois Schumpater. Innovative, creative and disruptive. – Schumpeterian profits are defined as those profits that arise when firms are able to appropriate the returns from innovative activity.
- CREATIVE DESTRUCTION – The evolutionary process by which entrepreneurs identify opportunities to create profits using any form of innovation, creating a new order of production, and thereby destroy the capital, companies, markets, and social arrangements of the previous order of production. Effectively, refers to the means by which market economies evolve by increasing production and choice, and therefore decreasing prices.
SCHUMPETERIAN INTELLECTUALS* – The Inevitability Of Destruction Of The Social Portfolio By The Leisure Class and Public Intellectuals. Schumpater provided the alternative to marxian rise of the proletariat, and instead, predicted that the leisure class and public intellectuals would create the rise of socialistic policies. (See his book Capitalism, Socialism And Democracy.
When I use the term SCHUMPETERIAN INTELLECTUALS it is a derogatory statement, referring to theft from the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO by individuals who profit from that theft. And they perform this theft under the protection of free speech.
“Schumpeter was among the first to lay out a clear concept of entrepreneurship. He distinguished inventions from the entrepreneur’s innovations. Schumpeter pointed out that entrepreneurs innovate not just by figuring out how to use inventions, but also by introducing new means of production, new products, and new forms of organization. These innovations, he argued, take just as much skill and daring as does the process of invention.
Innovation by the entrepreneur, argued Schumpeter, leads to gales of “creative destruction” as innovations cause old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question is not “how capitalism administers existing structures, … [but] how it creates and destroys them.” This creative destruction, he believed, causes continuous progress and improves the standards of living for everyone.”
SCHOLASTICS – The intellectual speculations and doctrines of the leading philosophers of the Middle Ages, roughly 800-1400 A.D. Their main discussions revolved around such controversies as the reality of universals (nominalism [q.v.] vs. realism), man’s free will (determinism vs. indeterminism) and the compatibility of logic with Christian theology (reason vs. revelation). The most noted medieval scholastic, or schoolman, was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).
SCIENTISM – The view that science is the very paradigm of truth and rationality. Everything outside of science is a matter of mere belief and subjective opinion, of which rational assessment is impossible. WEAK/STRONG SCIENTISM: Weak scientism allows for the existence of truths apart from science, but science is still the most valuable, most serious, and most authoritative sector of human learning. Strong scientism is the view that some proposition or theory is true or rational to believe if, and only if it is a well established scientific proposition or theory. (see also PHYSICALISM, NATURALISM, REDUCTIONISM)
SECULAR, SECULAR GOVERNMENT – A government where men have determined the laws based upon observation of what men do and have done. As opposed to laws of scriptural or magical origination. Rational, real world, supposedly scientific decision making that does not take religious, mystical or mythical criteria into account. Note: Since Marxism is a religion, a Marxist government is not secular. An Islamist government is not secular. No government is materially secular.
NOTE: I tend to use the word ‘secular’ as synonymous with ‘the abuse of the statistical model of prediction’, Scientism, INNUMERACY.
SEMANTICS – 1. The branch of linguistics concerned with the nature, structure, and, especially the development and changes, of the meanings of speech forms, or with contextual meaning. 2. The relationships between signs and symbols and the concepts, feelings, etc. associated with them in the minds of their interpreters: notional meaning. 3. Loosely, deliberate distortion or twisting of meaning, as in some types of advertising, propaganda, etc.
SENTIMENT, SENTIMENTS, RESIDUES, DERIVATIONS – Sentiments are a set of culture and class value judgments, that while rational and economic in nature, are unarticulated, since they are taught by habit, tradition, family, environment, narrative, and allegorical experience. Unarticulated Social Portfolio Contents.
- Class I (Foxes) is the “instinct for combinations.” This is the manifestation of sentiments in individuals and in society that tends towards progressiveness, inventiveness, and the desire for adventure. Class I Foxes attempt to use VERBALISMS to influence the “TIE BREAKER” decisions in a society in order to alter the spending in the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO to change the properties of the ETHICAL ACCOUNTS in the SOCIAL ORDER, in order to transfer opportunity, POWER and wealth from one group to another.That this transfer needs to occur on a regular basis in order for society to adapt, is not in question. Whether or not social stability, the competitiveness of the society is preserved or increased, or whether the power will end up in hands who would materially better the society rather than just reallocate its wealth and power is always open to question.
- Class II (Lions) residues have to do with what Pareto calls the “preservation of aggregates” and encompass the more conservative side of human nature, including loyalty to society’s enduring institutions such as family, church, community, and nation and the desire for permanency and security.
- Class III residues (Group Rituals) have to do with the need to express sentiments through external action. Pareto’s Religious and patriotic ceremonies and pageantry stand out as examples of these residues and will include such things as saluting the flag, participating in a Christian communion service, marching in a military parade, and so on. In other words, human beings tend to manifest their feelings in symbols.
- Class IV residues (Moral Sentiments), the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO, are the social instinct, embracing manifestations of sentiments in support of the individual and societal discipline that is indispensable for maintaining the social structure. This includes phenomena such as self-sacrifice for the sake of family and community and concepts such as the hierarchical arrangement of societies.
- Class V is that quality in a society that stresses individual integrity and the integrity of the individual’s possessions and appurtenances – ‘things that belong together’, or PROPERTY DEFINITIONS. These residues contribute to social stability, systems of criminal and civil law being the most obvious examples.
- Class VI, which is the sexual instinct or the tendency to see social events in sexual terms.
Machiavelli breaks people into two dominant classes: the conservative defenders of status quo (violent ‘lions’), and the radical promoters of change (cunning ‘foxes’). In his view of society, the power constantly passes from ‘foxes’ to ‘lions’ and vice versa. (He did not imagine ‘managers’, the managerial society, the use of credit by bankers, and their use of ‘calculation’.)
NOTE: Machiavelli did not say that “The ends justify the means.” The correct translation would be ‘one must consider the result’. Or ‘one must keep in mind the outcome’. This is a typically teleological and consequentialist view of ethics. He is much maligned, and unjustly so. He is the first political scientist after Aristotle.
Pareto’s Class I and II residues are an extension and amplification of certain aspects of political theorizing set down in the fifteenth century by Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli divided humans into two classes, foxes and lions. The qualities he ascribes to these two classes of men resemble quite closely the qualities typical of Pareto’s Class I and Class II residue types. Men with strong Class I residues are the “foxes,” tending to be manipulative, innovative, calculating, and imaginative. Entrepreneurs prone to taking risks, inventors, scientists, authors of fiction, politicians, and creators of complex philosophies fall into this category. Class II men are “lions” and place much more value on traits such as good character and devotion to duty than on sheer wits. They are the defenders of tradition, the guardians of religious dogma, and the protectors of national honor. For society to function properly there must be a balance between these two types of individuals; the functional relationship between the two is complementary.
Pareto defines the following ‘Residues’.
These residues are universal to all societies. However, each society creates multiple ‘Derivations’ that justify these sentiments. These derivations vary from society to society.
Pareto uses the term “derivations,” for ostensibly logical justifications that people employ to rationalize their essentially non-logical, sentiment-driven actions. Pareto names four principle classes of derivations:
- Derivations of assertion; statements of a dogmatic or aphoristic nature, for example the saying, “honesty is the best policy.”
- Derivations of authority; authority, is an appeal to people or concepts held in high esteem by tradition. To cite the opinion of one of the American Founding Fathers on some topic of current interest is to draw from Class II derivations.
- Derivations that are in agreement with common sentiments and principles: appeals to “universal judgement,” the “will of the people,” the “best interests of the majority,” or similar sentiments.
- Derivations of verbal proof: Relying upon various verbal gymnastics, metaphors, allegories, and so forth.
Jonathan Haidt has improved on Pareto and Machiavelli with Moral Foundations Theory. MFT reduces human political preferences to six sensibilities:
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).
SENTIMENT MAP – (undone)
Haidt found that Americans who identified as liberals tend to value care and fairness considerably higher than loyalty, respect, and purity. Self-identified conservative Americans value all five values more equally, though at a lower level than the liberal concern for care and fairness. Both groups gave care the highest over-all weighting, but conservatives valued fairness the lowest, whereas liberals valued purity the lowest. Similar results were found across the political spectrum in other countries.
4) AXELROD – (undone)
5) DOOLITTLE – (undone)
SILLY IDEAS/ INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SILLY IDEAS / NON-PERISHABLE LAWS – the fact that laws are often made out of ignorance, or based upon faulty reasoning, ideology, utopianisms, pseudoscience or INNUMERACY, or outright FRAUD, and they do not expire along with the theory that justified them. Theoretically, any law should expire in no more than seven years, or upon the turnover of the people who voted for it, or upon appeal by a group of citizens who demonstrate that the reasoning behind the law was faulty. In general, SILLY IDEAS are fashionable ideas implemented as policy but because they are made into law, outlast their failure in society.
SINNER – A magian analogy for a thief: person who lives by theft of the forgone opportunity costs of others. This concept is important, because to ‘SIN’, expressed in magian terms, correctly represents the non-magical, objective, reality of stealing from the SOCIAL ORDER via it’s WISHING WELL, even if the magian worldview lacks the formal methodology to articulate such thefts as action and consequence.
SOCIAL ORDER / ORDER A continuing arrangement of persons according to a set – a portfolio – of imitate-able, generally-expected actions and behaviors, where each behavior requires some form of either a) cost in time and effort, or b) forgone opportunity cost from members, in exchange for the opportunities and securities derived from membership in the group. Note that taxation, or other direct costs are not required for the establishment of a social order. These actions define a collection of property definitions, and the set of forgone opportunities required of members of the society in order to allow them to cooperate non-violently and to establish a division of labor, and peaceful trade and exchange. And if a landed culture, also includes the material contributions needed to maintain the physical viability of the territory, its built capital, its resources, and most importantly its market – without which escape from poverty is impossible. A social order makes use of PEDAGOGICAL tools: supporting myths, literature, arts, and LIMITING INSTITUTIONS that and CALCULATIVE INSTITUTIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES calculative technologies. See CULTURE.
SOCIETY – “Society” is the self-identifying label that individuals use to refer to their SOCIAL ORDER in an abstract, loosely unarticulated form. In general usage, it refers to the set of commonly perceived institutions and norms, as well as the common legal structures that set the rules and boundaries for individual behavior, and property definitions and property rights. In the academic field the definition would include the formal political institutions, the mythology, the rituals, the self-associative IDENTITY (associations) people express, and as set of excluded groups that define other groups. According to Mises: A human society requires the services of a government for the suppression of all antisocial actions. For the suppression of thefts of property and investments in norms. When I use this term I refer to subjective perception held by individuals as unarticulated classifications. I use SOCIAL ORDER to refer to the objective set of institutions. I use the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO to refer to the set of FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS that are required of all CITIZENS who are not BARBARIANS.
SOCIAL PORTFOLIO* – The objectively-stated coordinative functions served by the accumulated forgone opportunity costs paid by members of the society. A group of people rarely understand their forgone opportunities explicitly. Instead, they think of the positive actions and the costs they have paid for making those positive actions. For example, they remember “thou shalt not steal”. They remember it more intensely as a child, who chooses not to steal a candy bar, than they do as an adult, who simply has habituated the suppression of the urge to steal. But as an adult they are more conscious of the requirement that others also do not steal, than they are the accumulated set of sacrifices (costs) that they have contributed to the ‘property’ account of the social portfolio.
SOCIAL ORDER SHAREHOLDER*, SHAREHOLDER (See CITIZEN) – Someone who has paid FORGONE OPPORTUNITY COSTS into the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO, that constitutes THE SOCIAL ORDER’S PROPERTY DEFINITIONS. In western civilization, these shares (enfranchisement) were available to anyone by virtue of wealth demonstration, political participation, and military participation. Democratic society has redistributed these shares without requiring that they be purchased by citizens with forgone opportunity costs paid into the social portfolio or direct military participation, or even taxation. We no longer have voting shares (political participation) as well as non-voting shares (access to the market, protection of life and property). As such citizenship (enfranchisement), and being a citizen shareholder is not valued – because it was not paid for.
According to Brown, social structure is a continuing arrangement of persons in relation to each other. This arrangement of persons is different in a village, a city or a primitive tribe. The characteristics of this arrangement are in fact the characteristics of social structure. In other words, the characteristics of social structure are the characteristics of social groups which constitute it.
Structural features of social life
According to Brown, the most important structural features of social life are as follows;
1. Existence of social groups
Social structure consists of all kinds of social groups within it.
2. Internal structure of groups
These groups, again, have a specific internal structure. For example, the family group consists of *he relations of father, mother and children to each other.
3. Arrangement into social classes
These groups, again, are arranged into social classes and categories such as the castes in Indian society and the economic classes in western societies.
4. Social distinctions
There is again a system of social distinctions between different classes based upon sex, authority, economic distinctions, caste distinctions etc. One finds a system of social distance between them as can be seen between Brahmins and Sudras in India.
5. Arrangement of persons in dyadic relationship
Dyadic relationships are person to person relationships such as those found between master and servant. In social structure one finds arrangement of persons in dyadic relationship.
6. Interactions between groups and persons
Finally, the most important feature of social structure is the interaction between groups and the interactions between persons. An example of interactions between groups is seen when one nation goes to war with another. Interactions between persons can be seen in social processes involving cooperation, conflict, accommodation etc.
Constituents of social structure
As has been already pointed out, social structure is constituted by continuing arrangement of persons in relationship. These arrangements of persons are generally in the form of social groups. According to Brown, “By social group we mean a body of persons having certain cohesion.” The social groups are named differently according to their different forms such as a family, a horde, a clan, a kinship, a tribe etc. Radecliffe Brown has defined each of these types of social groups clearly.
1. The Family
According to Brown, “The family as a group was formed by marriage and the birth of children and came to an end as a separate group on the death of the husband, thus having continuous existence for only a limited number of years.” Thus, family is composed of a man with his wife or wives and their young children. It is a domestic group. It has its own hearth, shelter and food supply. Several families constitute a horde.
2. The Horde
Thus the internal structure of the horde consists of family. According to Radcliffe Brown, “A horde may be described as being politically autonomous, under the authority of the old men, and as being very largely self-sufficient economically.” The hordes constitute a clan. They occupy the territory of the clan. On the average each horde consists of not more than 50 per cent.
3. The Clan
Several hordes together constitute the social structure of the clan. Men connected with a particular territory form a distinct social group known as clan. According to Radcliffe Brown, “The clan was a continuing group which the natives themselves thought of as having come into existence at the beginning of the world and as being eternal: as members were losf by depth they were replaced by the birth of new members.” The clan is a unit of fundamental importance in the primitive social structure. A woman belonged to a clan of her father. Marriage between persons of one clan was forbidden.
The country was usually divided into clans. The male members of the clan constituted the continuing Nucleus of the Horde. The female members moved out after marriage and other female members moved in as wives of the men. The clans constituted a wider system of structure known as a tribe.
4. The Tribe
In the words of Radcliffe Brown, “A number of clans had the same language, and had similar customs; they therefore formed a linguistic community which is referred to as aTribe.” Tribe is not a politically united group. Its members do not Amite in any combined action. It is the hordes of some tribe or different tribes which engage in fighting.
5. The kinship system
Persons of different hordes and of different tribes are linked by means of kinship system. Explaining the nature of the kinship system, Radcliffe Brown has said, “The basis of the recounting consisted of actual genealogical relationships, including therein the relations between fellow-members of one clan.
Thus, the kinslup system cuts across the tribal relationship. Kinship relationships were classified into a number of categories. Each category was denoted by one kinship term distinguished as being nearer or more distant to other kinship relationship. The arrangement of relationships was dyadic, i.e., person to person relationship. Persons use to visit kinship members in other clans and tribes. Thus kinship cuts across club each person had his own particular position in the total kinship structure due to his status in descent, marriage etc.
6. The Moieties
Sometimes primitive social structure is divided into two moieties. Each moiety includes a number of tribes. Each clan belongs to one of the moieties. Thus a moiety is wider than tribes. In the words of Radcliffe Brown, “Essentially the system is a classification or grounding of class, which cuts across the classification into tribes or linguistic communities.”
7. Social sections
According to Brown, the primitive society may have a further dichotomy into two alternating generation divisions. Each clan contains at all times the adult and the children, male and female, thus there is a four fold division of society into sections which have particular names. These sections determine marriage and kinship relationships.
8. Totemic group.
Each clan is a distinct totemic group having its own sacred totem centres, its own myths, its own rites. Each clan has its own totemic solidarity and continuity which differentiates it from other clan. There are totemic ceremonies. Thus totemic group maintains solidarity of primitive society. They provide the religious structure of society.
9. Social classes
According to Brown, in some primitive societies one may find division of social structure into social classes. An example of such a division is the division between chiefs and commoners in Polynesia. Social classes, however, are not found in all the primitive societies.
PRINCIPLES of description of social structure
From the above mentioned description of the structural system in a primitive people Radcliffe Brown formulates the important principles concerning the description of social structure.
1. The description of social structure should include not only the social groups and social classes-but the whole set of socially fixed relationships of person to person as in kinship system.
2. Thus the social structure at a particular place and time consists of the whole set of social relationships among members.
3. Social relationships should be defined in terms of social institutions.
BAND, TRIBE, CHIEFDOM, COUNTRY, NATION, STATE, EMPIRE, CIVILIZATION – (undone)
BAND – The simplest form of human society: with small, mobile, and fluid social formations, with weak leadership that do not generate surpluses, pay taxes or support a standing army A band generally consists of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; consisting of no more than 100 individuals. Bands have a loose organization. Their power structure is egalitarian and has informal leadership; the older members of the band generally are looked to for guidance and advice, and decisions are often made on a consensus basis, but there are no written laws and none of the specialized coercive roles typically seen in more complex societies. Bands’ customs are almost always transmitted orally. Formal social institutions are few or non-existent. Religion is generally based on family tradition, individual experience, or counsel from a shaman. All known band societies hunt and gather to obtain their subsistence.
Tribes consist of many families. Tribes have formal social institutions, such as a chief, big man, or elders. Tribes are also more permanent than bands; a band can cease to exist if only a small group split off or die. Tribes are sub-divided into bands.
In casual usage, the terms “country”, “nation”, and “state” are often used as if they were synonymous; but they have specific meanings.
NATION – refers to a people who are believed to or deemed to share common customs, origins, and history. However, the adjectives national and international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law.
SOVEREIGN / SOVEREIGNTY – A monopoly on the use of violence within a domain. A SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUAL has a monopoly on the use of himself and his property – given that one’s body is one’s property. I used this term as a replacement for the APPROPRIATED TERM of FREEDOM. (Syn FREEDOM IN THE NARROWER SENSE). A SOVEREIGN STATE possesses a monopoly on the use of violence, or more clearly, a monopoly on the use of violent coercion within a geographic territory. Sovereignty is a synonym for MONOPOLY.
SPECULATION / SPECULATIVE – Attempting to forecast a future state given the uncertain conditions of the unknown future. Every human action is a speculation in that it takes place in the in the flux of time.
STATIONARY ECONOMY – The imaginary construction of an economy in which the per capita income and wealth remain unchanged. In such an economy total profits would be precisely equal to total losses. It is only in such an unreal and imaginary economy that the equations of “mathematical economists” would have any validity. See “Mathematical economics.” See EVENLY ROTATING ECONOMY.
STATE – An abstract (irrational) entity that possesses a monopoly on the use of violence within a geography, and a monopoly on the use of violence by people within the geography, against people outside of the geography. The state framework allows states to punish other states for the actions of their citizens. A Government is a body that regulates the market within a territorial monopoly. A territorial monopoly of violence under the administration and control of a bureaucracy whose actions are governed by rules varying from scriptural, to traditional (common law) to constitutional. See FAILED STATE. See PRIVATE STATE.
- 1. (form of abstract deception) A polity becomes an abstracton called a state when there is no political competition (TAX COMPETITION, POLITICAL COMPETITION) or the OWNERSHIP of the institutions ceases to be the property of the MONARCH, and as such, there ceases to be calculable and causal relationship between the owners, shareholders and the bureaucracy. In particular, where the bureaucracy no longer consists of shareholders, and the bureaucrats take ownership of the institutions, processes and regulations, and treat them as personal property to be used for their advantage, in the service of incalculable abstractions rather than calculative actions and calculative results, or where institutions are used to fulfill bureaucratic objectives rather than to directly service the population, whereby the institutions are accountable for the quality, rapidity of that service. Since a ‘State’ cannot know anything or act, the individuals in the bureaucracy can rely upon the rules established by the bureaucracy, and therefore appropriate the institutions and the revenue streams from the founders (monarchs) or investors (citizens). State formation is surrender. It is a symptom of organization acknowledges institutional incompetence because of a lack of calculability, usually because of size and complexity.
2. A specialized type of political organization characterized by a full-time, specialized, professional work force of tax-collectors, soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats and the like that exercises supreme political authority over a defined territory with a permanent population, independent from any enduring external political control and possessing a local predominance of coercive power (always supplemented with moral and remunerative incentives as well) great enough to maintain general obedience to its laws or commands within its territorial borders. The first known states were created in ancient times in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Mexico and Peru, but it is only in relatively modern times that states have almost completely displaced alternative “stateless” forms of political organization of societies all over the planet. (Roving bands of hunter-gatherers and even fairly sizable and complex tribal societies based on herding or agriculture have existed without any full-time specialized state organization, and these “stateless” forms of political organization have in fact prevailed for all of the prehistory and much of the history of the human species.)
3. One of the component territorial political units in a larger federal state that are so called because, although they actually fall short of full independent statehood or sovereignty, they still possess a very large degree of autonomy in decision-making with respect to most of their internal affairs and are thus also legally allowed to exercise various forms of coercion over their regional populations [Example — the 50 states of the United States.].
TERRITORIAL MONOPOLY / TERRITORIAL MONOPOLY OF VIOLENCE – “A government is a network of people who hold a territorial monopoly on the use of violence, and in particular, the ability to make laws and levy taxes.”
THE CRIME OF STATISM – Anarchists have proposed that attempting to institute an abstract state, rather than a PROPERTY MONARCHY (individual proprietorship) or PROPERTY REPUBLIC (shareholder organization), should be punishable by death. The general thesis is that the people’s behavior in the state model is identical to people’ behavior in a theocratic dictatorship, and that the purpose of the state and the bureaucracy will deterministically result in the loss of freedom and virtual enslavement of the people. The idea that the only purpose of the state is to create a justification for forced transfers. When I use this term I refer to attempts to institute the circumstance under which the members of the government is not isolated from market participation, and the effects of that participation. The purpose of the government is management of the market, and the people in the government can only mange the market if they are subject to it’s signals, its causes and its effects, and are rewarded or punished for that participation. NOTE: I agree with the anarchic position on statism. There is no state. And attempts to create it, are invariably for the purpose of oppression. A government is a company that owns the land and lists the terms of contract while operating on that land. Individuals are shareholders. And all these individuals are limited in their perceptive and cognitive abilities, and must rely on market signals (prices) and serve one another to survive.
SUBJECTIVE – Of, affected by, or produced by the mind or a particular state of mind; of or resulting from the feelings or temperament of the subject, or person thinking; not objective. (see OBJECTIVE).
SUBJECTIVE THEORY OF VALUE – The theory, that the value of economic goods is in the minds of individual men and therefore is neither constant nor inherent in the goods themselves; that values of the same good vary, as the judgments of the individuals making the valuations vary, from person to person and from time to time for the same person. See “Subjective-value theory” and “Marginal theory of value” and “labor theory of value”.
SUBJECTIVE-VALUE THEORY. The value theory of the modern economists which holds that the relative values of goods and services, in the sense that values determine human actions, are to be found in the minds of acting men at the moment of their decisions to act or not to act and not in the physical characteristics or the costs of production of such goods and services. Value is thus said to be subjective rather than objective. See “Marginal theory of value.”
SUBJECTIVIST ECONOMICS. Economics based on the theory that the value of goods is not inherent in the goods themselves but is in the minds of acting men; that economic value is a matter of individual judgment which may vary from person to person and for the same person from time to time.
SYLLOGISM, SYLLOGISTIC- A three-part process of deductive argument or reasoning consisting of (1) major premise (usually a general rule), (2) minor premise (usually an individual case employing one term appearing in the major premise) and (3) a conclusion which must follow if both the major and minor premises are true (usually the substitution of the new term of the minor premise in the major premise in place of the term common to both premises). Example:
Major premise: All dogs are animals
Minor premise: Betsy is a dog
Conclusion: Betsy is an animal.
SYSTEMATIC CONSISTENCY – Consistency: obedience to the laws of logic. Systematic: Fitting all the facts known by experience. (We will be employing this method/formula in most of our discussions of arguments)
TACIT KNOWLEDGE / EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE – The tacit aspects of knowledge are those that cannot be codified, but can only be transmitted via training or gained through personal experience. Tacit knowledge has been described as “know-how” — as opposed to “know-what” (facts), “know-why” (science), or “know-who” (networking). It involves learning and skill but not in a way that can be written down. Explicit knowledge is knowledge that has been or can be articulated, codified, and stored in certain media. It can be readily transmitted to others.
TALEB – Philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb, that states that we are using predictive mathematics that is falsely understating our risk and basing our economic security upon it, and creating a fragile economic order, when we should build society and policies that are not fragile, and which account for unforeseen, disruptive events.
Taleb lists his principles for building systems that are robust and resistant to Black Swan Events, which I have edited to more accurate language that conforms to my work:
1. Design For Failure: Design fragile processes, objects and institutions so that they break early while they are still small. Nothing should ever become Too Big to Fail. (De-centralize large banks)
2. Use both physical and functional redundancy as well as competition in the design of complex systems. This allows for failure on an ongoing basis, and privatizes failure.
3. Rely upon calculative measures, not statistical risk management. Attempt to create a CALCULABLE system and thereby Counter-balance complexity with simplicity.
4. Disallow the use of an abstraction like Confidence as a measure. (See GOODHART’S LAW / CAMPBELL’S LAW ). Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. (And abstract indices permit the ERROR OF AGGREGATION.)
5. Legislation and policy should never rely upon the judgement of individuals to refrain from innumeracy, and asymmetric reward whenever they can possibly privatize gains and socialize losses. Which Taleb states as: Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning.
6. Never allow financial speculators and institutions to create agreements, objects or processes that can socialize losses and privatize gains.
7. People who rely upon false models and make errors that affect others should be banned from financial markets.
8. Disallow incentive bonuses to people who operate high risk systems using other people’s capital – it creates risky behavior.
9. Disallow “Financializing” (quantitative mysticism). Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement.
ITERATE ON FAILURE
10. If you fail, then act quickly to correct the problem, and refine your policy. You cannot know everything. Which Taleb states as: Make an omelette with the broken eggs. This is much easier of you design for, encourage, and expect failure.
11. Never become reliant upon a failed institution- they will just do the same thing again. Cut them off and shut them down. Make them pay the price for their behavior. Harm their investors. Investors are the best possible police. Which taleb states Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains.
TALEB DISTRIBUTION / TAILGATING – A distribution of returns that produces frequent small profits punctuated by occasional very large losses. A high proportion of trading – and business – strategies in financial markets have this tailgating characteristic. (John Kay).
POLITICAL / POLITICS
RES PUBLICA – “a public matter or public concern”
BODY POLITIC – a group of persons politically organized under a single governmental authority
BAND, TRIBE, CHIEFDOM, STATE, EMPIRE, CIVILIZATION – (undone)
BAND – The simplest form of human society: with small, mobile, and fluid social formations, with weak leadership that do not generate surpluses, pay taxes or support a standing army A band generally consists of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; consisting of no more than 100 individuals. Bands have a loose organization. Their power structure is egalitarian and has informal leadership; the older members of the band generally are looked to for guidance and advice, and decisions are often made on a consensus basis, but there are no written laws and none of the specialised coercive roles typically seen in more complex societies. Bands’ customs are almost always transmitted orally. Formal social institutions are few or non-existent. Religion is generally based on family tradition, individual experience, or counsel from a shaman. All known band societies hunt and gather to obtain their subsistence.
Tribes are larger, consisting of many families. Tribes have more social institutions, such as a chief, big man, or elders. Tribes are also more permanent than bands; a band can cease to exist if only a small group split off or die. Tribes are sub-divided into bands.
(clan) A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent.
(line / lineage)
- A Nation refers to a people who are believed to or deemed to share common customs, origins, and history. However, the adjectives national and international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law.
- A State refers to the set of governing and supportive institutions that have sovereignty over a definite territory and population.
- A Country refers to a geographic territory under control of the government.
NATIONALISM – nationalism is an extension of familial, tribal, and village trust and loyalty to those people who have common genetic, linguistic and cultural interests, as the economy extends from local, to regional, to international in scope, and the institutions of contract and trade create greater complexity and competition. These institutions then habituate the legal-bureaucratic structure that was developed to served those expanded interests. The members of the bureaucracy then work to perpetuate their instituions independently of the genetic, familial and cultural interests that created the incentives for its origin, in order to give the legal structure greater power than the cultural habits, biases and preferences.
NATIONALIST – an individual who advocates for his institutions and people for one of the three reasons for NATIONALISM: the tribalism of the extended family, the economic organization of the extended family, or the bureaucratic organization that rules monopolistically over a territorial domain.
STATISM, STATIST – A preference for economic and social decisions to be made by the institutions of the STATE under the assumption of homogeneity of interest and preference, trustworthiness, division of knowledge, and the neutrality of the state. Opposite of anarchism, in which the preference is for no decisions to be made by the state.
TAUTOLOGY – Repetition of the same idea in different words. I use this term often in reference to an argumentative error which confuses words and terms with reality, because argument has not been expressed as human actions.
TAX – Originally, the Price Of Citizenship, and a fee for use of the market (city). As the PRICE of their citizenship, ancient Greeks and Romans could be called on to serve as soldiers and had to supply their own weapons. The origins of modern taxation can be traced to wealthy subjects paying money to their king in lieu of military service. The other early source of tax revenue was trade, with tolls and customs duties being collected from travelling merchants. The big advantage of these taxes was that they fell mostly on visitors rather than residents. Taxes – Required payments of money made to governments by households and business firms.
APPROPRIATED TERM – A word that a group has used, often intentionally, by repetition in a new context in order to load its meaning, by association with that context, with sentiments, relations and causal relations that are different from, and often the opposite of, the original use of the term. For example, the term “liberal” was more closely associated with American libertarianism or conservatism. And the word “libertarian” more closely with anarchism. Both terms were appropriated, intentionally in order to convey greater legitimacy to what were radical movements. See FRAMING.
EXPANDED TERM – a term which a political, intellectual or media group uses repeatedly in a new context, in order to load that term with additional meaning other than it’s original meaning – usually in an effort to use the original credibility of the term to legitimize the new idea being propagated.
FRAMING – Framing refers to the social construction of concepts, values attached to those concepts, and the causal relations between concepts, by mass media, political or social movements, political leaders, or other actors and organizations. Most people evaluate concepts through the opinions of their peers. If, through repetition, it is possible for an individual or organization, via media, to create an interest and question in a person’s mind, whereby he must validate those ideas, or complete those ideas, by interacting with peers who are doing the same, then this process becomes mutually reinforcing due to a combination of confirmation and fear of incomprehension of a vacuum. Most public values are framed through such techniques, because the number of issues and complexities in any democratic body are such that individuals remain permanently ignorant of all but the most familiar of processes.
PHYSICALISM – A world view which holds that everything that exists is nothing but a single spatio-temporal system which can be completely described in terms of some ideal form of physics. Matter/energy is all that exists. God, souls, and non-physical abstract entities do not exist. (see also NATURALISM, SCIENTISM)
I AM NOT AN ATHEIST – my definition of GOD, I am not an atheist. I believe gods exist as numbers exist. They are perhaps, our most important abstraction. I do not disrespect religions no matter how ridiculous their dogmas. Those dogmas attempt to rationalize the irrational. They exist to justify sentiments. And sentiments exist to represent meaningful entries in the SOCIAL PORTFOLIO that comprises the SOCIAL ORDER. It appears that a society needs a philosophical framework even if for purely pedagogical reasons. It is also apparent that under the teleological ethical standard, the BLACK BOX of incomprehensible irrationalism comprising any religion’s dogma, should be measured not by it’s content, but by it’s result. Islam may be rational, but in the hands of it’s people it is a mandate for ignorance and poverty, and a cancer to human civilization. The same cannot be said of christianity when it is combined with aristotelianism, hinduism. Although it may be for buddhism unless it is combined with Confucianism. Hinduism’s case is still open.
TERNARY LOGIC / TERNARY ETHICS vs BINARY LOGIC / BINARY ETHICS Refers to the difference between Ternary Aristocratic Egalitarian Ethics and Binary Ghetto Ethics. Argumentatino ethics state that once we enter into debate, we respect property rights by doing so. As such our choices are either cooperation or refusal of cooperation. However, prior to entering into debate we have three choices: violence (theft,harm,aggression), cooperation(exchange) and boycott(abandonment). In aristocratic ethics, we never surrender our opportunity for violence, even once we enter debate, and preserve it as an option at all times.
(important) The first question of politics (cooperation) is why don’t I kill you and take your stuff? If we cooperate for mutual gain then I agree not to kill you and take your stuff. If you want to conduct a positive trade with me I will not kill you and take your stuff. If you try to blackmail me or cheat me or my friends and allies, then I will kill you and take your stuff. It is only rational not to kill you and take your stuff if you engage in mutually beneficial exchange. You have made the error of Argumentation which is that because one must surrender violence to conduct a cooperative argument, that you assume the choice for participants is between cooperation and non cooperation, rather than to assume that the choice is between cooperation, non cooperation, and violence. The logic of cooperation is ternary, not binary. It is only binary when I’m in the ghetto and the monarchy leaves us alone as long as we don’t engage in violence. The monarchy cannot trust either of us to tell the truth, so the monarchy limits its definition of crime to violence, while tolerating unethical and immoral behavior. But that is not a voluntary society. That is a ghetto within a monarchy. Just like Crusoe’s island is a ghetto bounded by the violence of the sea. But aristocracy, which possesses a WEALTH OF VIOLENCE is always in the proposition that voluntary exchange must be more rewarding than the application of violence, and that subjecting one’s self to criminal, immoral and unethical and conspiratorial is simply, always, and everywhere, unnecessary. So for the weak, the choice is between cooperation and non-cooperation, the choice for the aristocracy is between cooperation, non-cooperation, and violence – whichever is more rewarding. Rothbardians are engaged in a complex, obscurantist logical fallacy. Rothbardian anarcho capitalist ethics are PLAGUED with logical fallacies. It is, like Marxism, a rich and varied set of logical fallacies. But logical fallacies none the less. We don’t need the state. However, property rights as defined OR the NAP, are insufficient for the rational adoption of a voluntary society governed only by the rule of law, under the common law.
THEORY – (UNDONE) A theory is an abstract formulation of the constant relations between entities. Or differently, the necessary regularity in the concatenation and sequence of phenomena and/or events. A theory may be true or false. A valid theory attempts to eliminate all contradictions in the application of cause and effect to a given specific situation or set of conditions. The aim of a theory is success in action. A characteristic of a true theory is that action based on it succeeds in attaining the expected results. A theory is implicit in every human action and likewise a theory necessarily precedes the determination of “facts” and the writing of all history as well as the interpretation of every experience.
THORSTEN VEBLEN / THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS –
Veblen combined Darwinian evolutionary ideas with his new institutionalist approach to economic analysis. As a critic of american consumer and commercial culture, he recast people as irrational, economic creatures act to pursue social status in relation to others at the expense of personal satisfaction obtained from respect for one’s self, and appreciation of friends and family;
Preference for Status
This should be restated, that the ‘high’ we get from acquiring status, especially if it is a false positive, and more so if it is a false positive that is insulated from easy refutation, is the highest ‘good’ humans will pursue. This is simply human chemistry at work. (for the vast majority of people there appear to be two consequences: (a) increase in consumption means a growing economy and (b) a lot of people seem to become extremely unhappy because of addiction to this form of inexpensive stimuli.)
While Veblen’s emphasis on signaling was a correct observation, he failed to comprehend the utility of credit, consumption and signaling, for the purpose of creating beneficial incentives in a population. Nor did he understand, as did Hayek, that the consumption of liesure by the wealthy is effectively a research and development program that results in most luxury goods and services becoming available to all.
Invariable Human Context
His final criticism is that there is substantially no difference from our barbarian and feudal past: the very wealthy ignore society altogether except as a commercial vehicle, the aspirationally wealthy conspicuously demonstrate their consumption, and the middle and lower classes attempt to imitate that consumption.
CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION – (Positive Signaling) The acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display the buyer’s income or the buyer’s accumulated wealth for the purpose of signaling social status.
INVIDIOUS CONSUMPTION – (Negative Signaling) The deliberate conspicuous consumption of goods and services intended to provoke the envy of other people, as a means of displaying the buyer’s superior socio-economic status.
CONSPICUOUS LIESURE – The consumption of leisure activities as signaling. (I disagree with this. Largely it is the only way to associate with peers, without having to trouble with the tedium of interacting with the lower classes.) For the upper proletarian, and majority middle class, it may be signaling, but for the upper class, it’s just the only way to be comfortable.)
It is the point at which you become aware of something.
“start of perceiving”
“moment of understanding”
“point of acquisition of knowledge”
“where data becomes information”
TIME – Time, along with space and numbers, is a human conceptual technology, that like the other human technology: money, renders sequences of events commensurable. The fact that objects in the universe are constantly changing state, is separate from the fact that our memories evolved in such a way as to represent observations as events. Which is separate from the fact hat our memories evolved to represent events in a sequence. Which is separate our categorization of events according to some form of human utility. All of which are involuntary circumstances which are separate from the conceptual technology of time as a tool of commensurability between events. A tool without which it would be as impossible for us to render sequences commensurable as it would be to render any other objects’ quantities commensurable without numbers.
TIME PREFERENCE (GRATIFICATION) – Technically, Time Preference pertains to how large a premium a consumer will place on enjoyment nearer in time over more remote enjoyment. There is no absolute distinction that separates “high” (Short) and “low” (Long) time preference, only comparisons with others either individually or in aggregate. Someone with a high time preference is focused substantially on his well-being in the present and the immediate future relative to the average person, while someone with low time preference places more emphasis than average on their well-being in the further future.
TIME BIAS (COGNITIVE BIAS) – A habitual decision making bias towards TIME PREFERENCE, is, as stated, a preference. TIME BIAS is, as stated, a bias. While both behaviors cause people to ‘bias’ the distribution of outcomes, a preference, when repeated over time, can, and appears to, especially least in old age, become an unconscious bias — and at some point develop into an unalterable characteristic of the individual due to the fact that the brain can no longer isolate memories and stimuli. (^Citation needed.)
Therefore while there are biological tendencies that limit intertemporal calculation, and cultural tendencies that influence Time Preference because of explicit and environmental exposure and habituation , over time, a TIME PREFERENCE evolves into a TIME BIAS, and eventually a TEMPORAL DISABILITY. Effectively, inter-temporal calculation is a skill that requires increasingly complex knowledge of the means of production (where we mean, PRODUCTION in the broader sense).
Time Preference (shorter and higher, versus longer and lower) is necessary property of the division of labor in society. Because people have different forecasting abilities due to different knowledge and intellectual abilities, and because they have different access to resources and relationships, and because their knowledge of production cycles vary from short to long, simple to complex, and because forecasting complex future states that each have different periodicities creates a problem of incommensurability, people therefore accumulate habits and skills along similar production cycles, even if their portfolio of skills contains a wide distribution of periodicities. As such, people cluster into groups whose members mutually rely upon ideas, outcomes, and production cycles, with similar periodicity – partly out simple utility. THerefore the division of knowledge and labor, is also a division of knowledge and labor and TIME. A division without which human beings could not cooperate in vast numbers. See ANALYTIC vs SYNTHETIC.
(undone: write addendum to Cognitive Biases)
Limits On Extending Time Preference
Humans have different abilities to forgo gratification. Longer forecasts require more knowledge and greater intelligence. We learn at vastly different rates. Abstract goals and sentiments are transmitted from parent to child. Production processes having different periodicity appear to be cognitively incommensurable, or at least very complicated. Therefore it is NECESSARY that we form a division of knowledge and labor in society because it’s all we CAN do as people with unequal ability. Even if we can educate some people to have increasingly lower and longer time preferences, we cannot teach everyone to have the longest time preference, because they are not able to achieve it, and the division of labor and knowledge appears to require different time preferences.
People cannot learn a longer time preference if it would render them incapable of productive action with the means at their disposal, or if they would be cognitively uncompetitive in production if they attempted to do so.
The Class Effect Of Time Preference
Time preferences is an indicator of social and economic class. Economic Class in a complex division of labor is largely (on average, not deterministically) a function of IQ range. IQ determines the ability to comprehend and manipulate complexity in real time. Forecasting in time is increasingly complicated as we extend our predictions out into the future.
The fundamental problem for any society is extending the time preference of its top performers – in other words, creating the wise, rather than the cunning.
Since the nobility as a class profits from ‘owning society’ it has the longest and lowest time preference. Hoppe himself has that time preference – because like everyone back to the Greeks, we are trying to solve the problem of politics – cooperation rather than conflict. THe assumption here, which appears to be justified, is that a society with longer time preference accumulates all forms of capital for longer term use and creates a more prosperous society that is DURABLE. This also brings into question whether property rights perpetuate across generations, which would be necessary if a society is to accumulate social order as one of the forms of capital.
Nobility are those with longer time preference.
Middle Class are those having a pragmatic time preference due to the need to maximize reward
The lower classes are those that have the shortest time preference for both cultural, environmental, cognitive reasons.
Cultural Time Preference
When a group possesses a similar time preference, it becomes a BIAS. At the extremes, (such as the tribe that has no concept of history) it becomes a group cognitive bias.
She states: “If you want to make a decision that is important, think about how you will feel about it in an hour, a week, a month, a year, and ten years. If you will feel good about it over all those time periods, then it’s a good decision.” This is a useful bit of advice that teaches people to question their time preference.
POPULATION PREFERENCE (PREFERENCE and BIAS) – (undone) – Just as people prefer shorter and longer outcomes, they also prefer outcomes that benefit themselves, their family, their friends and associates, others in their class and tribe, or others across different classes and tribes.
TOTALITARIAN – 1. Designating, of, or characteristic of a government or state in which one political party or group maintains complete control under a dictatorship and bans all others. 2. Completely authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial, etc. 3. A government that impinges upon the FREEDOM’s personal, property, political, national using one or more of the THREE COERCIVE STRATEGIES. (See my full analysis of FREEDOM.) – (undone)
TRADE CYCLE / BUSINESS CYCLE – More popularly, the business cycle. The periodic rhythmical regularity of continuously recurring changes that are assumed to occur in aggregate economic activity. The phases of the trade cycle are loosely: a feverishly booming prosperity which ends in an acute crisis or panic; a period of liquidation, heavy unemployment and adjustment popularly known as a recession or depression; and a revival or recovery period that sets off an upsurge that leads to a new boom.
TRADITION / TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE – A broad description that refers to TACIT knowledge that has been handed down over generations. The set of habits, narratives, sayings, taboos, justifications, morals, ethics and manners that are passed down from generation to generation. Examples: nursery rhymes, class values, manners, myths, stereotypes. See GENETIC FALLACY.
TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS – The incalculability of un-owned resources. The danger of public property. Narrative: Imagine a commons, owned by none, and surrounded by privately owned plots of land. On each privately owned plot resides a herdsman with his herd. Each herdsman has a choice of letting his herd graze on his own piece of land or on the commons. When the herd grazes, it depletes the land and thus cannot be allowed to overgraze lest the land be ruined. Since each herdsman owns his own piece of land, he has the incentive to maintain and cultivate it, and thus wishes to prevent his herd from overgrazing and ruining it. But what of the commons? If he allows his herd to graze and deplete the commons, his own piece of land is left pristine. Thus, he accrues the benefits of grazing his herd, with none of the costs. Further, each herdsman knows that every other herdsman has the same incentive, to graze their herd on the commons over their own land, and therein lies the tragedy according to Hardin, for in that rational yet self interested analysis of each herdsmen ensues a mad dash to use up the commons before anyone else can, thereby ruining it.
TRANSFER / VOLUNTARY TRANSFER / INVOLUNTARY TRANSFER / INVOLUNTARY TRANSFERS – Transfers are Payments that are made without any good or service being received in return. Voluntary transfers are those which the owner of the property desires. Involuntary transfers are those witch the owner of the property does not desire. Much PUBLIC SPENDING goes on as transfers in the form of redistributions.
Comment: Humans have developed a large set of useful knowledge- tools and technology – for assisting them in extending their perception of the world, and their ability to make comparisons and calculations of objects and processes that are beyond their abilities without such tools. Humans are effective at living in the natural world as they could perceive it in pre-history, but the division of knowledge and labor has made both possible and necessary the extension of human knowledge by the means of these tools – these abstractions are abstractions because we cannot directly perceive them. Unfortunately, while some of these tools are useful, they are vague approximations of reality. In order for these tools to work, there must be methodologies – means of ‘testing’, or validating the descriptions of pseudo-reality. Our most common tool is equality: balance – the equal sign, double entry accounting, the calculus of differences in relative motion, general equilibrium, the correlation of , even general relativity and quantum mechanics. These are means of applying aggregates, sums, groups, collections, and balancing them, and in balancing them testing them. Unfortunately, any time you make a category, or an aggregate, you lose information. And when you lose information, in the aggregate, you lose a lot of information. Furthermore, in economics, we rely heavily on correlation between data sets, rather than on cause and effect analysis. And as such, our methods do not correspond to reality. And the results of those methods do not correspond to reality. So it is possible to employ a method with TRUTH TESTS that does not correspond to reality. Practitioners argue that these tools are better than nothing – that they are the only tool that they have to work with. But they are a tool that has proven incapable of prediction. And as a tool incapable of prediction, yet a tool that is used in public policy, this use of false-models is simply a means of LOAN SHARKING. Loan sharking that privatizes the wins for the government and the finance system, and socializes the losses to the people. Since the common people pay very few taxes today, perhaps this is a game for the upper quintiles where everyone wins, and the lower quintiles get products at a discount, and DOMESTIC INDEPENDENCE in exchange for loss of productive work and participation in productive society. But even if privatization and socialization are limited to the TAX CLASSES, the question remains as to whether the redistribution should be accelerated downward, especially if the result of LOAN SHARKING creates debt and emerges as a decline in the purchasing power of the currency.
Truth is correspondence with reality. Identity is correspondence with reality. Identity is necessary to determine causation. Identity may be informative for action, or a distraction. But truth is correspondence with reality when we refer to the test OF a methodology. And the full test of any action is the complete set of consequences that result from the action. (undone – this subject needs a long treatment).
UNDERSTAND, UNDERSTANDING – the ability for a person to repeat, without external stimuli or further input, the cause and effect relationship between two or more concepts or events, by reference to an existing set of memories, and to retain that cause and effect relationship over a period of time, and able to reconstruct that cause and effect. Understanding is the process of constructing cause and effect in a narrative (sequential) format.
UNIVERSAL / UNIVERSALIST – the belief that one’s values are desired by all humans and all cultures despite the impact that the status hierarchy would experience, and the breakdown in the social order that would accompany those values. Democratic Secular Humanism, Marxism and Islam, are UNIVERSALIST theologies.
UNIVERSALS – A property or relation that can be instanced, or instantiated, by a number of particular things. A universal property can be in more than one place at one time and be actualized in more than one substance.
USEFUL KNOWLEDGE / JUSTIFICATION KNOWLEDGE / AVOIDANCE KNOWLEDGE – Knowledge that assists and influences one to act. Knowledge that one use to justify inaction, knowledge that one uses to avoid action.
UTILITARIANISM – The belief which maintains that the action that produces the greatest good for the greatest number is the moral choice. A school of thought, neutral as to ends, that holds that social cooperation, ethical precepts and governments are, or should be, merely useful means for helping the immense majority attain their chosen ends. It holds that the ultimate standard of good or bad as to means is the desirability or undesirability of their effects. It rejects the notions of human equality, of natural law, of government as an instrument to enforce the laws of God or Destiny; and of any social entity, such as society or the State, as an ultimate end. It recommends popular government, private property, tolerance, freedom and equality under law not because they are natural or just but because they are beneficial to the general welfare.
UTOPIA / UTOPIAN – An utterly impractical plan or scheme for an ideal human existence which is unattainable because of the inherent character of man. Utopians are impractical idealists or dreamers removed from reality.
VALIDITY – Something which has been authenticated by reference to well-grounded and sufficient evidence. When I use this term, I mean it in the sense supplied by falsification: that it appears to be true given the knowledge that we have, and we have no evidence to the contrary.
VERBALISM – Imprecise emotive words that have no rational meaning: “An empty verbalism”. A phrase or sentence devoid or almost devoid of meaning. A use of words regarded as obscuring ideas or reality;
VERIFY – 1. To prove to be true by demonstration, evidence, or testimony; confirm or substantiate. 2. To test or check the accuracy or correctness of, as by investigation, comparison with a standard, or reference to the facts. Contrast “SUBJECTIVE”.
WEALTH – The net ownership of material possessions and productive resources. In other words, the difference between physical and financial assets that you own and the liabilities that you owe. Wealth includes all of the tangible consumer stuff that you possess, like cars, houses, clothes, jewelry, etc.; any financial assets, like stocks, bonds, bank accounts, that you lay claim to; and your ownership of resources, including labor, capital, and natural resources. Of course, you must deduct any debts you owe. SEE income.
1) Civic Republicanism
2) Roman Law and Common Law
2) Aryanism, Paganism and Christianity and
4) Individualism, Competition, Innovation, Paternalism Masculine, heroic, individualist, expansionist, materialist, sky worshiping, technological, innovative, disruptive.
CHRISTENDOM – In general, CHRISTENDOM has been replaced by the secular term WESTERN CIVILIZATION. Christendom refers to the Christian world. Consisting of Western Europe (anglo, germanic and latin) but also including Eastern Europe (slavic byzantine), North America (anglo), South America (hispanic), and Australia (anglo). In a historical or geopolitical sense the term usually refers collectively to Christian majority countries or countries in which Christianity dominates or was a territorial phenomenon. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents of Christianity. Corpus Christianum. The Latin term Corpus Christianum is often translated as the Christian body, meaning the community of all Christians. The open issue is whether the hispanic world, which is, at it’s core south american indian, is part of secular Christendom or it’s own civilization.
WHIG – The Whigs were known as the “Country Party”, as opposed to the Tories, the “Court Party”. By the first half of the 19th century, the Whig political programme came to encompass not only the supremacy of parliament over the monarch and support for free trade, but Catholic emancipation, the abolition of slavery and, significantly, expansion of the franchise (suffrage). Whig republicanism had a significant effect on the american colonial thinkers.