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Forms Of Argument
a) Our Republican political system is a trade of violence for argument.
Argument, consent, and majority-voting are proxies for violence. These proxies for violence were the result of the need for expensively equipped warriors to resolve disputes among a military class of necessarily meritocratic warriors, and to enfranchise additional soldiers into western battle tactics, which required individual imitative and consent. But regardless of the reason of it’s origin, we have traded violence for argument.
b) The unspoken purpose of our political structure is the management of the market.
A society cannot have a division of labor without a market. Nor can it decrease prices, nor generate wealth — and particular, the relative wealth needed to defend the market as it becomes more attractive and prosperous. The purpose of government in the west, since it’s inception, is to create a market, and to control the quality of goods in the market, to convert barbarians into observing market behavior in exchange for participation in the market, and frankly, for the shareholders to extract profits from the market, while providing sufficient benefit and incentives to the consumers and traders that the cost of policing property was widely distributed to all ‘enfranchised men’. In effect, soldiers were shareholders in the market and were expected to police that market. The joint stock company was not a modern innovation. It was the very structure of western civilization from it’s inception. Cities were formed as markets under the Germanic manor system, and under the Roman and Greek systems, by fraternal soldiers who defended and regulated them.
The origin of this market is the egalitarian joint-stock company of fraternal soldiers who created, defended, and managed it.
A ‘barbarian’ then, is a person who does not pay the fee for participating in the market: respect for the rules and regulations of that market, the first being, non-violence, the second, maintaining the quality of the market’s ability to attract and serve consumers, so that the joint shareholders could profit from the market.
b) Our political system has transitioned such that it is founded upon economic arguments.
It is no longer founded on moral or religious arguments. Moral and religious arguments are, in the large part, poorly articulated economic strategies. While some are better and some are worse than others, religious arguments and moral arguments are almost entirely economic in nature. Religious arguments in particular are Since IQ and Religiosity decrease together and IQ and Morality increase together, we assume incorrectly that the behavior is not the same despite the different narrative methods held by people at different positions on the scale. Reason and science can be taught but not utilized by a child who must rely instead upon simple narratives and repetition of good behavior, and an elder wise man has no need of fairy tales, and finds his juniors often tedious.
c) Where our political system does not consider economic arguments it considers equality.
Our politics is no longer founded upon roles and responsibilities that are necessary for the maintenance of social cooperation. Cooperation is assumed as a legal, moral, political mandate, as part of the capitalist process, and redistribution now forms the moral component of political argument, rather than role and responsibility. This structure is a result of the increase in the division of knowledge and labor in industrial, post-agrarian, society.
Our political discourse emphasizes the post-productive object Money, but ignores the pre-productive object opportunity. In particular we do not include the opportunity economy as the only means of prospering now that prices are so low. We do not articulate that the barbarians ‘are paying a tax in opportunity cost’ for their citizenship simply by avoiding violence and fraud, and we rarely discuss opportunity costs, since they were a minor import to agrarians, but are the primary source of wealth in advanced societies. This error is a product of temporary irrational wealth in the west gained by the acquisition of a new continent. Government is obsessed with redistribution and insufficiently obsessed with innovation, competition, and accumulating human, intellectual, and built capital for the purpose of maintaining our quality of life.
d) A political argument must contain at least one of these forms of argument.
(Most political argument consists of sentiments supported by selectively applied biases that confirm the sentiments. Very few arguments are sufficiently articulated such that the underlying sentiments are expressly stated. In many cases this is because these sentiments are not understood by the person making the argument. Because of this tendency, )
e) All sentiments are preferential biases, not absolute truths.
Biases are not truths because humans are unequal in their abilities and wants. These different biases are expressions of preferences for uses of capital. Capital is scarce and the uses of it infinite. Therefore uses of capital are in conflict and are irreconcilable. Since they are irreconcilable, parties use a variety of techniques from overstatement, to distortion, to taking advantage of mutual ignorance, to deception, to outright fraud, to corruption, to threats, to violence in order to appropriate capital for their preferential purposes.
f) Democratic Groups must rely upon sentiments in order to achieve goals and form leaders.
Sentiments are goals. Goals can be agreed upon, and means cannot be agreed upon. The democratic process forces aggregation and compromise of means in order to achieve goals. Leadership must form or seize power in order to resolve conflicts over means.
g) All arguments rely upon sentiments, because all arguments MUST advocate a sentiment.
Since people are of different in ages, possessed of different knowledge, preferences, biases, classes, resources, and abilities, rational debate among individuals over means, is of necessity difficult, and solutions that employ complex means, and imply complex causes, are OPAQUE to the majority of participants. Only sentiments, or goals, that express common aggregate desires, are possible across a broad enough polity to enact a policy by the process of democratic violence: majority voting.
h) A scientific argument contains data, assumptions categorized as proposed facts, and a theory of causality without which facts have no meaning
Furthermore it must state how it can be proved false, and in the social sciences no one test is sufficient for proof of an argument – an argument in the social sciences is only possible if considering all similar studies from all similar circumstances from all similar cultures, including the opposing positions. This is the Aristotelian argument. Citation of a study is a guarantee of falsehood. Citation of the full body of studies is the only material reason for judgment.
i) An economic argument should contain ALL of these forms of argument.
(The primary component of an economic argument is a theory of incentives. An economic argument is supported by exhaustive application of correlative mathematics to indirectly accumulated data (economic activity that was naturally recorded, not intentionally constructed.)
j) Economic arguments are the only possible arguments.They are not a preference. They are a necessity.
Only an economic argument is sufficiently useful for a polity that must make capital decisions in a division of knowledge and labor whose scope both in people and time is sufficiently complex that no human can perceive that answer by other means. Conversely, the population may not consist of a sufficient number of people literate enough to communicate rational choices to each class, race, culture, and generation. This problem can be solved by fairly simple education. But such education would disadvantage numerous political groups with selfish motivations.
k) All politicians represent a bias.
They are not corrupt. They are not ill intentioned. They have no choice. The human mind is incapable of synthesizing the universe of outcomes. As such they will advocate any set of preferences to the maximum of their abilities. They cannot do otherwise. they are not hired by their constituents for any other reason, even if they were able to expand the scope of their understanding. However, we can hold them accountable for deceptions. And they are anthropomorphic symbols of opposing arguments for and against the use of capital. And we should see them as such. the fact that we allow the ignorant and foolish into office is a problem with our system of election.
The Limits Of Social and Economic Science
Unlike the physical sciences, all human economic activity is, cumulative, and correlative, not absolutely causal. Certainly, human interpersonal activity is causal, because it is observable. However, systemic data, and all non-contradictory causal derivations and deductions from narrative or factual history are correlative in the sense that they are necessarily insufficient, and open to external causality. We have markets because of our lack of perceptive ability. We have numbers, math, accounting, narrative, and reason to assist in compensating for a lack of perception. But history is constantly open to interpretation due to additional data, or because of an increase or decrease in the scope of the context of the causes and incentives we are applying in our analysis. This difference in scope of context, is the reason that scientific argument is often difficult to use in resolving political differences; due to the fact that most scopes of context are related to class, knowledge and intelligence, and are generally expressed as ‘time preferences’ – longer and shorter time horizons, as well as expressed as ‘population preferences’, – the scope of people to be affected by the outcome. That is because, while events are the same, the level of ‘noise’ in economic activity varies considerably,
Survey data is a formal argument of sentiments – it is not scientifically causal. It is only scientifically descriptive. And it is open to distortion and deception to the degree that it is universally suspect.