In taking a survey on liberal and conservative morality, I came across a question that asked me to define morality, and gave it an answer that I thought I would share here as part of my ongoing effort to provide conservatives with a framework for rational debate, rather than watch them continue their reliance upon tedious irrational arguments consisting of sentiments (conservatism) or legality (classical liberals) or an absurd single class state (libertarianism) or abandonment of government altogether (anarcho capitalism). Rothbard and Hoppe have given us a language, we just have to apply it to a multi-classed society wherein we hold trade routes and keep the proletariat from revolting.
A Definition of Morality:
In the sequence of cooperative social protocols beginning with manners ( limited personal consequences to one’s status), followed by ethics (externalized consequences of actions wherein one may be subject to retribution) , followed by morals (fully externalized consequences wherein one may steal from others unaccountably or irreversibly), Morality consists of those common habitual principles and descriptive statements by which which we codify and distribute the cultural rules of economic constraint whereby individuals pay for membership in the benefit structure of the group.
In other words, manners, ethics and morals are human social general accounting principles.
VIolation of moral principles is theft from those you do not know. Violation of ethical principles is theft from those who you may know. Violation of manners is petty theft from those who you do know. While these thefts may not be quantitatively measurable because of their incommensurability in units of measure, they are qualitatively accumulative in the form of decreased potential that may be drawn from the opportunities created by the division of labor.
There are habitual property criminals. There are habitual ethical and moral criminals. Moral violations are forced redistributions to moral criminals. There is a Moral economy wherein different moral theories compete for economic dominance, just as there are political and financial economies wherein we compete for redistribution by the violent force of the state. Just as there are competitions between nations we call wars.
it is our failure to articulate these actions as costs that make the political resolution of our differences impossible.
Curt Doolittle – www capitalismv3 com