On The Complexity Of Philosophical Arguments, And The Problem Of Conservative And Progressive Discourse.

[W]estern ethical philosophy consists largely in the analysis of norms for the purpose of conducting a criticism of norms, and hypothesizing the construction of new norms. Political philosophy requires an ethical basis, and therefore depends upon ethical philosophy. Political economy in turn depends upon the implementation of institutions within a political system. Therefore ethics have a universal impact on the economy. All things being equal — which they never are — the only measure of any philosophy is the economic status of its adherents.

The process of philosophical argument consists not only in articulating the hypothesis itself — most usually by the reordering of categories in order to establish new categories — but in disproving or diminishing the entire field of alternatives. This process of enumeration, or permutation is taxing. Which is why philosophical arguments are long.

For a norm to exist, we must be able to sense it. The problem with economic content, is that it exists independently of our senses. Without abstract tools (data and numbers) we cannot perceive its existence any better than we can that of the extra-newtonian universe.

Language consists of a graph of interdependent concepts, all of which are reducible to analogies to sensations.

So political economy, which is the study of institutions that govern our norms, whether they are formal rules such as laws or informal habits such as manners ethics and morals, is the reordering of categories whose content we cannot perceive using a language that is contradictory to the subject.

Conservative political language is allegorical, social, economic and inter-temporal for this reason. Liberal argument consists almost entirely of fixed categories that are the product of human perception, and limited in scope to that perception.

This is why economics is hard to talk about in a language other than the movement of curves on graphs rather than expressions of human actions, and why feelings governed by empathic responses and immediate perception are not difficult to express.

It is also why liberals cannot understand the language of conservatives, but conservatives can understand the language of liberals: because liberalism is simplistic evolutionary strategy unconcerned with scarcity and conservatism is a complex evolutionary strategy eminently concerned with scarcity.

Conservatism is more complex than liberalism in the number of instinctual concepts it attempts to integrate, the time frame it attempts to solve for, and the purpose of the conservatives sentiments is to produce a superior tribe at the lowest cost in resources, and therefore conservatism requires scientific experimentation and observation, while liberalism requires only simplistic emotions, temporal reasoning, consumption, and the propagation of as many offspring as possible. ie: nesting and little more.

And in because of this difference, we are unable to conduct political discourse in a rational fashion.

[L]ibertarianism has sought to solve this problem: to expose and articulate conservative principles in rational terms using economic principles and language. This is why libertarianism is limited, as was marxism’s dialectical materialism, to a minority of the population: complexity — that is, unless it is expressed as its first principles: the interdependent ethics of property rights and voluntary transfers. With those two first principles, the conservative evolutionary strategy can be produced without complex articulation of imperceptible concepts. Libertarians have attempted to create the simplicity of religion for the purpose of mass propagation of a highly complex evoluitinoay strategy by articulating the first principles: the minimum precepts necessary from which that complexity to emerge.

Voluntarism and property are simply an articulation of the golden rule: do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you, with specific articulation of the concept of property now that we live in an era where property not relations is our primary source of economic security, as well as our only means of economic production.

I have made the argument that these two different political preferences correspond to the different reproductive strategies of males and females: all choices must have a source, and even if choice were random a source can be deduced from similarities in choices.

Philosophy does not consist of simple statements. It never has. Whether it be the dialogs of socrates captured by plato, or the convoluted attempts to integrate rationalism in to christianity by Augustine, or the abstract justifications of Kant and Heidegger, or the obtuse madness of Marx, or the historical analysis of Hayek. It consists of counter-intuitive arguments precisely because the value of philosophy is in articulating what is counter intuitive to our perceptions. There is nothing simple or direct about it.

It is religion and sensation that lay claim to simplicity, and that is why they are both more successful and widely adopted than is rational philosophy.

That is why the world relies upon norms and religion rather than reason, philosophy and empirical data: because it’s cost effective for individuals to do so, and moralistic pedagogy that makes use of analogies to experience and mythology will forever be more successful a social system than rationalism and empiricism which is forbidden by biology to the masses.

Because we are vastly unequal in our abilities. And only norms which are widely held, and enforced through conformity, can compensate for the difference in those abilities.

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