The Economics and Ethics of Violence

by John Dow and Eli Harman 

(eds: this is an example of how propertarian argument is done.)

John Dow
So essentially, the maximum possible taxation that we can levy without diminishing the incentive to voluntarily organise production, we should levy, so that we may construct the most powerful military possible and to maximize the likelihood of supremacy?

Following on from this reasoning, shouldn’t we seek to utilize this military advantage to establish as large an empire as possible, so as we can expand taxation and further expand our military capability whilst neutralizing all threats further expanding our margin of supremacy?

Eli Harman
There are diminishing marginal economies of scale. At some point, they always become diseconomies.

John Dow
So, then the argument becomes, we must expand empire to the limit of profitability?

How may we determine when we have reached this limit?

Eli Harman
When the marginal cost exceeds the marginal benefit.

John Dow
So, we have to pass the limit to identify it?

Therefore, we must expand empire in all possible directions limited only by the observed limits of marginal profitability.

Potential marginal profitability rises with the efficiency of force expenditure. Therefore, surely the polity would seek to expand its’ efficiency in the application of violence, and in doing so, expand its’ capacity to extract marginal profitability from the application of violence?

John Dow
If we accept the rational incentive to utilize violence and exchange for maximum marginal profitability.

Why not gossip/rallying/shaming?

Eli Harman
Because the feminine means of coercion are not correlated to any productive measures, whereas the masculine means of coercion depend on economic production, truth, rule of law, etc… Weak and parasitic, vs. strong and productive.

John Dow
I was under the impression that feminine means of coercion correlate to reproductive measures.

Surely we could take this form of analysis to Reproductive Markets?

In a polity which prohibits rape, females regulate reproductive access.

Therefore, there must be marginal profitability in reproduction. I wouldn’t consider this parasitic.

How else can the establishment of monogamous sexual morality occur but by gossip?

Eli Harman
In a polity which prohibits rape, males can still regulate reproductive access by controlling property. And monogamy can be enforced by law (violence) among men to facilitate assortative mating according to, on the male side, relative wealth and status, and on the female side, relative youth, beauty and fertility. Gossip is not strictly necessary.

John Dow
Hmm interesting.

So, it seems we have Three interrelated markets of exchange.

Three Markets:

  1. Market for Violence,
  2. Market for Production and the
  3. Market for Reproduction.


  • The rational incentive to engage in violence exists where the potential marginal profitability of violence exists.
  • As the capacity for violence increases so does the capacity to generate profit. The Market for Violence (Conflict) establishes the appropriation of energy (profits).
  • This incentivizes individuals to confederate for the purposes of mutually expanding their capacity for violence up to the limit of the marginal profitability of confederacy.
  • This also incentivizes cooperation for the production of resources and technology which expand the capacity for violence up to the limit of the marginal profitability of production.
  • These observations incentivize the formation by the violent confederacy of a realm in which to establish a Market for Production (a Polity), so they may extract the maximum increase in the capacity for violence from its’ production.
  • In order for the Polity to maintain maximum productivity and violent capacity (and therefore the maximum potential marginal profitability on violence) long-term, it requires as much reproduction as possible, which functions as eugenically as possible, to the limit of marginal profitability.
  • Therefore, the polity establishes a Market for Reproduction (Marriage), so they may extract the maximum increase in the capacity for production and violence.
  • The violent confederacy must prohibit all actions by individuals within the polity which diminish the capacity for these markets to function to their maximum efficiency to maintain maximum profitability on their investment in establishing the polity.
  • Therefore, the violent confederacy must limit action to perfect recipriocity of marginal costs and benefits between members of the polity, so as to incentivize productive actions which contribute to the competitiveness of the polity.

(Therefore a prohibition of any form of gossip which diminishes the capacity for these markets to function to maximum efficiency must exist… Thus a requirement for what Curt’s proposed limits to lawful speech)


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