—“I generally do not follow socialistic thinking processes such as the concept of trade between groups. Methodological individualism is, to me, the way to go, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out. So I am sorry I cannot agree with this analysis. Individuals trade, and individuals act. This idea of a group having some kind of living reality jump straight out of Plato and was debunked back in the Middle Ages by the philosophers called nominalists.”— Lawrence
Well, you have to create an argument other than ‘the way to go’. Because that’s not an argument. it’s an expression of taste.
Individuals cooperate. They form families. They form friendships. They form cooperative alliances. They form partnerships, corporations, armies, and nations. So empirically, that is what people do. And praxeologically we can easily explain why it is in their interest to do so. And we can explain praxeologicaly why it is against their interest not to do so.
Groups who cooperate out-compete groups that do not cooperate. Universally. And the higher the trust, the more truth, the faster the rate of economic and inventive velocity. The more competitive the group.
The west has successfully out-competed other groups precisely because we produced commons. Including the commons of property rights, rule of law, the common law, the militia, and truth telling. Even science was produced as a commons.
There are productive commons, and parasitic commons. it matters only whether the commons is productive (moral) or parasitic (immoral). A commons is, like violence, value neutral. Commons and violence can be use to create productivity or they can be used for purposes of parasitism.
So not only is cooperation at scale, and the production of commons methodologically individualistic, but it fails the test of methodological individualism to suggest people not seize the opportunity to cooperate to produce returns unachievable by individual action.
Cooperation exists and moral intuition exists to preserve cooperation, for the simple reason that the rewards of cooperation are disproportionately higher than the rewards of individual production.
So the only question is whether you can voluntarily participate and exit such commons, and if you have universal standing in defense from parasitism. If so, then only productive commons can be constructed. This is what we call the Civic Society.
But if you don’t participate, why will members of that Civic Society tolerate your presence? They usually don’t.
So you can’t be right. Praxeologically you can’t be right.
Just how it is.
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine (London).