Man – Cooperation


“Man Cooperates”

1 – Man must act cooperatively to disproportionately improve the acquisition of resources.
2 – Man must act to preserve and extend cooperation to preserve the disproportion­ate rewards of acquisition through cooperation.


We don’t start with morality. We start with needing an incentive not to engage in parasitism and predation which for the strong is the preferable state of affairs. The only incentive possible is reciprocity because of the long term gains of scale. Everyone else starts with the presumption that cooperation at any cost is a good. We start with the presumption that only reciprocity is a good. We are right and they are parasites.


The way we ‘calculate’ what is ‘good’ is through voluntary exchanges: cooperation. So the fact that we have different biases provides necessary and advantageous specializations, and our principal problem then is providing ‘markets’ by which we can cooperate and ‘calculate’ group needs through constant exchanges.

Ethics and Morality:…..Propertarianism. (Reciprocity) The Ethics of Non Imposition, production, and investment.


[W]e can empathize with intent and therefore cooperate. We can remember, so we can exchange cooperation over time, as well as forgo cooperation if it’s irreciprocal. Cooperation is so much more productive than individual action that it is an un-substitutable good. So preservation of incentive to cooperate requires profitable(productive) reciprocity.

That which we have borne costs to obtain an interest without imposing costs on the interests of others does not violate reciprocity. All non-criminal/criminal, unethical/ethical, and moral/immoral behaviour can be reduced to statements of reciprocity.

We reduce most questions to “at this moment, what is a person attempting to acquire?” And then “how reciprocal(moral) or ir-reciprocal(immoral) is his action?


1 – Man must acquire resources.
2 – Man must act to acquire resources.
3 – Man must act cooperatively to disproportionately improve acquisition of resources.
4 – Man must act to preserve and extend cooperation to preserve the disproportionate rewards of acquisition through cooperation.
5 – Man acts to preserve and extend cooperation by the suppression of parasitism that creates the disincentive to cooperate, and therefore decreases the disproportionate rewards of acquisition through cooperation.
6 – Man conducts parasitism by violence, theft, fraud, fraud by obscurantism, fraud by moralizing,  fraud by omission, externality, free riding, privatization of commons, socialization of losses, conspiracy, conversion, immigration, conquest, war and genocide.
7 – Man suppresses parasitism by threats of interpersonal violence, promises of interpersonal violence, interpersonal violence, interpersonal ostracization from cooperation, organized ostracization via norms and commerce, when he must by remuneration, and when he can by organized violence in law and war.

The Central Argument To The Origin Of Morality: Cost vs Scarcity

[S]carcity is a universal, unknowable, marginal indifference. It is praxeologicaly non-existent. I cannot know and act on it. Cost is particular, knowable, and decidable because of marginal differences. It is praxeologicaly existential. I can know and act on it.
Scarcity is a necessary constraint between states, that need not reduce local transaction costs, but which must avoid conflict despite differences in in-group (local) rules.

Morality is important between individuals, because they must reduce transaction costs sufficiently to engage in production in a division of knowledge and labor. Morality prohibits free riding, and is determined by costs that are knowable by the actors.
Polities must form laws (rules) of cooperation, that mix the necessary rules of morality (prohibition on free riding), with the rules necessary for the production of commons, with the utilitarian allocation of privileges (norms) that assist in either parasitism or the organization of production or both.

Rothbard, as a cosmopolitan, was trying to justify separatism. Not describe necessary properties of cooperation, nor the necessary properties of rule of law, under which a group of people can cooperate without allocation of discretion to individuals with authority.

( That basic argument should put the bullet in Hoppe’s Scarcity argument forever. Just like I have put the bullet in his Argumentation forever. Just like I have put a bullet in ghetto ethics forever. Just like I have put a bullet in the NAP(IVP) forever. Just as I suspect I may have put a bullet in ‘meaning’ forever. )

The Evolution of Cooperation

1) Acquisitiveness: To survive and reproduce, humans must acquire and inventory many categories of resources, and evolved to demonstrate constant acquisitiveness of those resources.

2) Property: The scope of those things they act upon, or choose not to act upon, in anticipation of obtaining as inventory (a store of value), constitute their demonstrated definition of property-en-toto.* (See Butler Schaeffer) “That which and organism defends.”

3) Value: Human emotions evolved to reflect changes in state of property-en-toto.* As such nearly all emotions can be expressed in terms of reactions to property. (imposed costs here, pre-moral, but also pre-cooperation, and only defense and retaliation, not cooperation)

4) Non-Conflict: That which humans act to obtain without imposition upon in-group members they evolved to intuit as their property, and demonstrate this intuition by defense of their inventory, and by their punishment of transgressors.

5) Cooperative Production: That which humans act in concert with one another to produce. (Important take-away is that the purpose of cooperation is material and reproductive production.)

6) Moral (cooperative) Intuitions(instincts): Moral intuitions reflect prohibitions on free riding by members with whom one cooperates in production and reproduction. (This is where free riding enters.)

7) Distribution of Intuitions by Reproductive Strategy: Moral intuitions vary in intensity to suit one’s reproductive strategy. This intensity and distribution of moral intuition varies between males and females, as well as between classes and between groups.

8) Variation By Family Structure: Moral rules reflect prohibitions on free riding given the structure of the family in relation to the necessary and available structure of production.

9) Resolution of Disputes: Property rights were developed in law as the positive enumeration in contractual form, of those moral rules which any polity (corporation) agrees to enforce with the promise of violence for the purpose of restitution or punishment. Conversely, any possible property rights not expressed, the community (corporation) is unwilling to adjudicate, restore or punish, or has not yet discovered the need to construct.

10) Instrumentation: Property rights are necessary for the instrumental measurement of moral prohibitions because of the unobservability of changes in human emotional states, and our inability to determine truth from falsehood. And as such we require an observable proxy for evidence of changes in state.

11) Family: As a general rule, as the division of knowledge and labor increases, so must the atomicity of property rights, and as a consequence, the size of the family must decline {Consanguineous, Punaluan, Pairing (Serial Marriage), Hetaeristic, Traditional, Stem, Nuclear, Absolute Nuclear}.

12) Transaction Costs: As the division of labor increases, relationships increase in distance from kin, increase in anonymity, decrease common interest, and the incentive to seize opportunities rather than adhere to agreements increases. This decrease creates the problem of trust, which increases costs of insuring any agreement is fulfilled, and decreases the overall number of possible agreements and the number of participants in any structure of production.

13) Trust (ethics in production): As a general rule, for the size of the family to decrease, and division of labor to increase in multi-part *complexity* then trust must increase, and trust can only increase with expansion of property rights to include prohibitions on unethical actions. Mere ostracization, boycotting and reputation are insufficient to preserve agreements (contracts).

14) Moral Competition (ethics in political production): (morals property rights, cheating) As a general rule, the scope of moral prohibitions expressed as property rights, must increase to limit demand for authority. 15) Demand for Authority: As a general rule, if a delay in the production of property rights evolves, then demand for authority will fill the vacuum with some form of authority to either suppress retaliation (conflict) or to prevent circumstances leading to conflict, or both.


Cooperation is disproportionately more productive than individual production. We evolved to cooperate when possible. But it is only beneficial if it is mutually productive, rather than asymmetric in result, and parasitic.

The current proceeds of anthropology, genetics, and cognitive science, tell us that violations of the evolutionary preference for cooperation, are reducible to ‘free riding’: that is non-contribution. Since in any set of individuals, if we do not require productive contribution, then some are the victims of free riding (parasitism) and others benefit from free riding (parasitism).

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