The Most Profound 1000 Words You Can Read On Political Philosophy Today.

(worth repeating)

Thank you for asking me to respond. I didn’t respond on LessWrong’s site because (honestly) I thought it was a rather pointless argument. But I’ll convert it from signaling (the author’s criticism and somewhat humorous demonstration of signaling), from moral to scientific language and I think it will be clearer:

1) All radicals do not fit into the center of the distribution – the statement is tautological, not insightful.

2) We all signal, and signaling is necessary for evolutionary reproductive selection.

3) The presumption of not fitting into some locus of the median of the distribution is a democratic one – that we are equal rather than (as I argue) we constitute a division of cognitive labor: perception, evaluation, knowledge and advocacy. (humans divide cognition more so than other creatures because we specialize in cognition.)

4) Our theories do tend to justify our social positions (signaling) but then, we would not have information necessary to theorize about any other set of interests, now would we?

5) The origin of theories is irrelevant (justification is false), and therefore the question of a theory produced by any subset of a polity can be judged by only criticism – its irrelevant who comes up with a theory.

The vast difference between pseudoscience and science in ethics, law, politics, and economics is captured those few words.

Now, to state the positive version: the solution to the fallacy of the enlightenment hypothesis of equality of ability, interest, and value is captured in these additional points:

6) economic velocity (wealth) is determined by the degree of suppression of parasitism (free riding/imposed costs). This eliminates transaction costs.

7) central power originates to centralize parasitism and increase material costs, by suppressing local parasitism and transaction costs. Once centralized they can be incrementally eliminated. If and only if an institutional means of following rules can be used to replace personal judgement.

8) The only means of producing institutional rules to replace personal judgement (provision of ‘decidability’) is in the independent, common, evolutionary law resting upon a prohibition on parasitism/free-riding/imposed costs (negatives), codified as property rights (positives): productive, warrantied, fully informed, voluntary transfer(exchange), free of negative externalities.

9) Language evolved to justify (morality), negotiate (deceive), and rally and shame (gossip), and only tangentially and late to describe (truth). Truth as we understand it is an invention and an unnatural one – which is why it is unique to the west, and why it has taken philosophers so long to understand it. However, westerners evolved a military epistemology because they relied upon self-financing warriors voluntarily participating, as well as the jury and truth telling. (The marginal difference in intellectual ability apparently not common – they were all smart enough. and such testimony was in itself ‘training’.)

10) We cannot expect or demand truth from people unless they know how to produce it. ie: Education in what I would consider the religion of the west: “the true, the moral and the beautiful”. So I consider this education ‘sacred’ not just utilitarian.

11) We cannot demand truth and law from people unless it is not against their interests: ie: the only universal political system is Nationalism, because groups can act truthfully internally, truthfully externally, and can use trade negotiations to neutralized competitive differences. And with nationalism, individuals cannot escape paying the cost of transforming their own societies, and themselves, and laying the burden of doing so upon other societies.

12) Commons are a profound competitive advantage. Territorial, institutional, normative, genetic, physical, and economic (industrial) commons are a profound advantage to any group. The west is the most successful producer of commons so it is even more important to the west. So we must provide a means of producing those commons. The difference between market for private goods and services (where competition in production is a good incentive) and corporate (public) goods, where we must prevent privatization of gains an socialization of losses, requires that we provide monopoly protection of those goods from consumption. But does not require that we provide monopoly contribution to them. Commons require only that the people willing to pay for them, do so. Otherwise there is no demonstrated preference for that commons. Insurance is a commons and I will leave that for another time. Return on investment (dividends) are the product of commons. I will leave that for another time as well. The central point is that we can produce a market for common goods using government just as we do in the market private goods. But that law and commons are two different things. and that there is no reason whatsoever, knowing how to construct the common law, that government should be capable of producing law. it cannot. Law is. It cannot be created. Only identified.

(This is also probably the most profound 1000 words on politics that you will be able to find at this moment in time)


Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute


  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Very concise. With this is it safe to say that you have abandoned libertarianism? Please elaborate your (4). And curt, surely the law may be invented or created?
  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Also, i find your tenth and eleventh propositions problematic. Surely the term you are looking for is commons* and not “truth”
  • Ayelam Valentine Agaliba Your 8 is beautiful beyond words
  • Curt Doolittle—“With this is it safe to say that you have abandoned libertarianism?”–

    Well, does ‘libertarianism’ mean Rothbardianism, classical liberalism, or aristocratic egalitarianism? I think it means that I have abandoned the enlightenment, or perhaps, furt
    her reformed it away from pseudoscience and into science? I think it means that I have appropriated the application of the language of economics to morality in the misesian-rothbardian-hoppeian system. I think it means I retain the scientific (competitive innovative) bias common to those who see liberty as a means of competition – a group evolutionary strategy.

    So I would consider myself a libertarian for those reasons.
    I would consider my self a conservative because I advocate for networks of families maturing at different rates, rather than a universalist. And because I am certain that territory, institutions, and norms are more important than technological advancement in the long term. So I consider myself an aristocratic egalitarian, which is a libertarian predisposition. And as far as I understand it, that makes me a conservative libertarian rather than a social or religious conservative.

  • Curt Doolittle—Please elaborate your (4)—

    If indeed I am correct, and that we are genetically biased to reflect variations in moral spectrum according to our reproductive needs: both masculine-feminine(gender) and desirable-undesirable(class), and that as such we each only perceive and evaluate part of the moral spectrum, and that as such we divide the labor of cognition, and that voluntary cooperation is the means by which we calculate cooperative means. Then it is rational that each group that advocates for a particular part of the spectrum would produce philosophical justifications of their narrative – if and only if they lack the perception, knowledge, and bias to specialize in anything else BUT their region of the spectrum. So, as I have tried to show in Propertarian Class THeory, we develop specialists in each of these domains, and these specialists compete using their skills to move the population one way or another: Gossip(religion/shaming), Violence (law/threat), Trade (libertarian). This is a rich topic of exploration and I only started working on it seriously last fall. But it’s a lot of legs: explanatory power.

  • Curt Doolittle—“And curt, surely the law may be invented or created?”—

    Perhaps this is language, but do we create laws of nature or do we discover them? Do we crate means of suppressing parasitism, or do we discover them. I tend to see all our work in the law as reactive, and therefore we identify errors expressed in the common law the same way we identify science through criticism (failure). As such the common law is scientific. Or as close as many can make it.

  • Curt Doolittle—…10th…11the problematic…—
    Yes I fell into a bad habit. We cannot expect ‘truthful testimony’ if people do not know how to construct it. In other words, truthfulness (warranty of due diligence in testimony) is different from analytic truth.

    I have gotten into the habit (that I shouldn’t) of treating analytic truth as irrelevant, and testimonial truth as the only existentially possible that we can know.

    And if I dont’ keep my rigor I will lose people. So you are correct. I will fix it after lunch. smile emoticon

    Curt Doolittle—8 is beautiful beyond words—

    Thanks. From you that is the highest possible praise I could hear. 


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