Regarding Philosophy, Religion, and Government:
a) A Philosophy is a set of related ideas for the purpose of allowing humans to take actions that accomplish ends in the face of necessary uncertainty about the future.
b) A Religion is a habituated philosophical framework, for political purposes, using pedagogy for indoctrination, and which relies ostensibly upon voluntary participation, but because of habituation by the individual and within the environment, is largely involuntary.
c) A Government is an institutionalized philosophical framework using forcible coercion, and therefore relies upon involuntary participation.
What separates a philosophy, from a religion, from a government, is the formality of the institutions, where the increasing formality of the institutions eliminate human choice. What starts as a personal conceptual framework, becomes a framework that a group teaches to others, becomes formal institutions that compel others to adhere to the principles of the philosophy. It is an arbitrary
Everything, every idea, has to come from somewhere. Humans may have natural sentiments. But ideas are something that they come by.
Military, Political, judicial and pedagogical (religious) institutions do not require belief or consent. They compel adherence by the application of force, or, by near universal habituation, deprivation of opportunity for non-conformers. Philosophy alone allows voluntary adherence to Military, Policial, Judicial, Pedagogical as well as Moral, Ethical and Mannerism frameworks. But let’s look at the problem of choosing philosophy a bit…
If there is anyone who is willing to debate me on the limitations of Rand, I’ll take the bet. Even if you bring Peikoff to the table. Yet, despite those limitations, I can defend her propositions against all classical arguments. However, the one I cannot defend it against, is the idea that it is in the interest of the common man, to adopt a political philosophy that is not in his or her individual, temporal, interest. We have but one life, and it consists of limited time. And the proletariat therefore, has a shorter term time horizon than the upper classes.
So, Marxism is in the poor’s interest. Democratic socialism is in the working and lower middle class interest. Libertarianism is in the upper middle class interest. And classical liberalism is in the upper class interest. To argue that Rand is anything other than a class philosophy, is to argue that men are equal. Since men are not equal in ability, health, age, knowledge, experience, skill, resources, and relationships — then any philosophy that attempts to be universal to man is by definition a religion. That’s the provence of religion: universal application. Even if some adhere to tenets out of mysticism, some out of allegory, and some out of rational moral analysis, the tenets are the same. That’s the elegance of a religion, and the cultural principles of cooperation that religious idea sets contain.
Unfortunately religions rely on mysticism in order to capture the attention of the poor and ignorant proletariat. The secular religion does not. It simply attempts to buy their conformity with services, consumer goods and redistribution. It is cheaper to rely upon mysticism. More expensive to rely on redistribution. And it appears to be more economically productive to rely on redistribution. The question is only how to achieve the redistribution, and the limits of it.
Rand, like Marx, Trotsky, Mises and Rothbard, (and Simmel) is simply trying to apply Jewish diasporic religious sentiments to political philosophy. An attempt, that despite the obvious evidence that jewish philosophy is the result of either an arrested or failed civilization. A failed civilization wherein the members of the faith are either unwilling or unable to pay the social sacrifices necessary to hold land. And, having held land, created create the institutions of land holding, and then, by consequence, the institutions of property and built capital needed for an advanced society consisting of a division of labor wherein the natural inequality of humans is expressed by their unequal rewards from participating in the market.
All humans seek to JUSTIFY their SENTIMENTS. An act which is anything but scientific. And an act which is arguably religious – it seeks justification rather than exposition.
A political philosophy that requires unanimity of belief, that does not have cooperative institutions, even private institutions as Hoppe recommends, is to argue that men will adopt a philosophy that is in the interest of other men, particularly those in a competing social class, and is against their interests economically, and socially (status being the human political economy), is not scientific. It is not scientific Because it is COUNTER TO OBSERVATION AND COUNTER TO REASON.
Social status is the native human accounting system. We need no devices to sense it. We must rely upon social status so that human animals can know who to imitate, and learn from and associate with in order to best achieve their potential, and the group’s potential. People form groups: Race, Religion, Language, Nation, Class, Generation and Skill Set or career, then hierarchy within that career, are the broadest and most common. Social cues intra-group are lower cost than social cues extra-group. Therefore people specialize in intra-group social cues. This is why individuals in small homogenous single-city-state societies are more egalitarian than in empires. Empires may be able to dictate terms of commerce and issue inflationary currency, but why they are socially tumultuous if the groups can use the political system rather than the market to compete with other groups.
As Randianism (and Galmbosianism) is counter to reason, because it requires unanimity of belief, despite not being the interest of the working or judicial classes, then it is unscientific. If it requires unanimity of belief then it is by definition a religion. Because it is the belief in the impossible and irrational.
It has replaced superstitious belief in god, with a superstitious belief in the behavior of man.
The market economy is superior because the pricing system is the most effective way of informing people as to the behavior that they must exhibit in order to create a low cost high production society where even the poor have more than our ancestors ever dreamed of. However, the market requires institutions and a minimal private government, which we consider a network of contractual agreements. And if individuals simply REFRAIN from theft, fraud, and violence, then they are in effect, shareholders in that society and due profits on their contributions to it. As such, some minimal distribution from the results of the market are due those minority shareholders. The argument that they pay no costs, and make no contribution to the market is false. Since inaction, even the inaction of refraining from theft, fraud, and violence, is a form of action. To say otherwise is to say only money is action.