For those of you that do not know anything about it, Propertarianism refers to a framework that includes Testimonialism (epistemology), Law (strict construction), Ethics (demonstrated property) and Politics (market government).
Testimonial Truth refers to existentially possible truth, which comes in the form of operationally described testimony, it differs from platonic idealized truth. Testimonialism refers to the set of criticisms that we have to apply if we intend to warrant due diligence to the truthfulness of our testimony. List of criticisms necessary for due diligence:
- Naming Consistency – Non-conflation of identities.
- Internal Consistency – Logical descriptions of theories.
- External Consistency – Empirical observations of theories.
- Existential Consistency – Operational definitions of concepts.
- Scope Consistency – Parsimonious and Fully accounted.
- Moral Consistency – Objectively Moral.
By applying some of those criticisms to a hypothesis, one gets a theory, once it gets exhaustively tested, one gets either a Fact (observation), Law(explanation), or Recipe (process).
By operationally describing theories (sequences of physical actions + instruments + measurements), one can achieve testability and repeatability while, at the same time, imposing a prohibitive burden on speech that contains error, biases, wishful thinking, loading, suggestion and deceit. Instruments used in operational descriptions include physical, logical and institutional instruments; where sensors, IQ tests and property serve as examples of each.
By continued testing of the theories, one eventually finds the limits of a theory (where we “falsified” it), this protects us from using a theory in an invalid scope (where it fails or lacks precision), in matters of cooperation one must add the full accountability of costs upon demonstrated property in order to avoid selection bias.
In addition to testimony by those criticisms, one may issue less reliable warranties of sympathy (understanding of a conceptual relationship), honesty (intuition free of deceits), rationality (subjected to internal consistency), empiricism (subjected to external consistency), and scientifictesting (expensive continued testing, but not testimonial).
Non-Imposition against Demonstrated Property
Propertarian ethics proposes the question of the rationality of cooperationand answers that human agents consider cooperation as a rational choice (instead of parasitism and predation) only if it does not impose costs upon that which they consider their property.
Humans, as with other organisms, need to acquire resources in order to survive and reproduce, this requirement led to the development of an instinct to acquire and inventory many types of capital (physical, monetary, territorial, normative, genetic, etc.).
Humans intuit that capital upon which they have invested, without imposing costs upon their groups, as their property, and retaliate to any attempt of imposing costs to that which they consider their property, this constitutes their demonstrated property. We can divide those into the following types of property:
- Self-Property – Body, Time, Actions, Memory, Concepts, Status, etc.
- Personal Property – Houses, Cars, “Things”, etc.
- Kinship Property – Mates, Children, Family, Friends, etc.
- Cooperative Property – Organizational and Knowledge ties.
- Shareholder Property – Recorded and Quantified shares.
- Common Property – Citizenship, Artificial Property.
- Informal Institutional Property – Manners, Ethics, Morals, Myths, Rituals.
- Formal Institutional Property – Religion, Government, Laws.
One can also state the principle of non-imposition as the requirement that all transactions have the following properties: productivity, symmetry of knowledge, warranty, voluntary, without externalities of the same (previous) criteria.
The principle of non-imposition in combination with demonstrated property allows a polity to construct law in a way that eliminates the need of discretionary interpretation, that means it provides decidability for all questions of law and contract.
Humans evolved most of its emotions as reactions to change in their inventory of property, but they vary in their perception of what constitutes property, with different classes of humans prioritizing different moral intuitions.
Intertemporal Division of Perception, Cognition, Knowledge, Labor, and Advocacy
Humans form a division of perception in that progressives and libertarians have specialist moral intuitions suited to their roles in the community, whereas conservatives give equal weight to the six moral dimensions of (care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, purity). These differences on moral intuitions suit individuals to different roles in a polity:
- “Conservatives” – Voluntary Organization of Cooperation.
- “Libertarians” – Voluntary Organization of Production.
- “Progressives” – Voluntary Organization of Reproduction.
Humans form a division of cognition in that we can classify people with different levels of ability, from those that learn by repetition, to those that learn by imitation, to those that learn by instruction, to those that learn by reading, to those that can model machines,to those that can synthesize ideas, to those that can model abstractions.
Humans form a division of knowledge with each containing local information about their inventories of property and specialist knowledge upon which others depend. As we depend more upon the memories and actions of third parties, trust becomes necessary for complex information networks to evolve between humans.
Humans form two divisions of labor, a reproductive division of labor between the genders in the production of new generations and a productive division of labor in the production of goods and services.
Humans form a division of advocacy where conservatives advocate total constraint on consumption (saving), libertarians advocate meritocratic constraint on consumption (production), and progressives advocate consumption (nurture).
The Three Coercive Technologies
Each of the three classes, into which humans divide, specialize in one of the following three coercive technologies:
- Moral Coercive Power – The use of “words and signals” in order to influence people to behave in a way by the threat of imposition of social costs (opportunity costs).
- Economic Coercive Power – The use of “money and assets” in order to compel people to behave in a way by the promise of material rewards (good and services).
- Physical Coercive Power – The use of “armies and weapons” in order to coerce people to behave in a way under the threat of physical violence (physical costs).
By combined use of the three weapons, a group can coerce quite effectively, the government can use all those weapons to keep control of its subjects, with most people being controlled by propaganda and lies (moral coercion), others being bought with a position in the bureaucracy (economic coercion) and the rest of the malcontents being suppressed by police force (physical coercion).
Strict Construction of Law and Market Government
Propertarian law evolves by incremental suppression of new forms of parasitism, where the judge discovered common law provides the least time lapse between the invention of parasitism and the construction of law prohibiting it.
Strictly constructed law follows from the first principle of non-imposition of costs against demonstrated property, we can use this method of construction to specify contracts, as long as the later (contract) does not infringe upon the former (law).
One can think of strict construction as the programming of law and of contracts, where those may refer to other documents, use libraries of operational definitions, define actionable clauses and conditions upon which the involved parties execute those clauses.
Market Government refers to the Voluntary Organization of Commons by trade between houses of government, where this trade takes place only when all houses of government agree with the terms. Each of the three classes into which humans divide form a house of market government.
Commons refer to material goods and services as well as norms of behavior to which people must comply, in contrast with private goods, humans want to preserve commons, not to consume them, in case of consumption, humans lack incentives to invest in them.
(List of commons: https://propertarianinstitute.com/2016/06/17/institutional-commons-list/)
Humans defend commons into which they have invested resources, that follows from the definition of demonstrated property, as such, we can consider information as a commons and prohibit the “pollution” of that commons as we do with other commons such as rivers.
As such, a requirement of truthful speech (testimonialism) forms a new kind of warranty, just like warranties given to the quality of goods and services, we must now warrant any information we use in public discourse about matters of commons. This does not mean that we must prohibit conflationary and inspirational discourse in private, for pedagogical, aesthetic and hypothetical (meaningful) purposes.
Testimonialism stands as a warranty in matters of law (and contract), where the discovery of law must pass through all of the criticisms, for this reason we have both empiricism (as in the common law) and operationalism (strict construction).
Incremental Suppression of Parasitism
In order to cooperate and expand cooperation, humans require incremental suppression of impositions of cost upon their demonstrated property as relationships move from local to global and become anonymous.
At first humans organize in order to partially suppress imposition of costs (criminal), namely violence, this results in innovations on parasitism that moves to theft and fraud (ethical), as those get suppressed, we have private property, but parasitism evolves towards deception and organized forms of parasitism (moral and conspiratorial).
As such one can judge the moral state of a polity by comparison with the list of all forms of free-riding and those which they actually suppress by their law.
By near total suppression of imposed costs and the absolute nuclear family, we force individuals into market cooperation instead of parasitism (which limits parasitism even within the family), this results in a highly eugenic (meritocratic) civilization which suppresses lower class reproduction.
In order to create incentives for the lower classes to abide by rule of law, they’re compensated with dividends obtained in exchange for forgone opportunities of parasitism and for the policing of the commons.
The Transaction Cost Theory of Government
At first humans had to deal with small communities where the threat of ostracism almost equals a death threat, but as those groups grew in distance of relationships, so did the incentives to impose costs upon others in favor of oneself and of one’s family.
The growth of transaction costs led to a demand for an authority in order to provide dispute resolution, from this, people formed governments as a way to suppress local transaction costs and replace it with a global cost (taxation).
The opportunities for rational cooperation created by government resulted in great wealth, a lot of which went into the hands of government. Ideally, suppression of the centralized costs (bureaucratic and political parasitism) would follow, while retaining suppression of the local costs and the commons built under this suppression (particularly, the property definitions themselves).
In reality, a class warfare for the control of government went on, which led to democracy, that in practice results in redistribution of the rents to the lower classes (the majority) in a winner takes all contest. From this point on, dysgenia and demand for authority follow.
P.S.: To any propertarian that reads this, I know about other topics such as the axiomatic vs theoretical knowledge issue, group evolutionary strategies, family structures, the failure of the enlightenment, the great lies, heroism, personality (autistic vs solipsistic and other issues), demonstrated intelligence, and so on, but I do not feel confident enough on those issues to even try writing about them yet.