Skip to main content

ACTION


I reserve the right to be wrong.



Humans act to satisfy present desires. Are humans rational in seeking ways to satisfy their desires? Well, they do rationalise, but this rationalisation takes place in a context. That context is; people respond to incentives.

This means our choices of what actions to take will vary depending on the consequences of each possible action. Mainstream economics, dealing with human action to satisfy present desires using scarce resources, includes the actions of collectives of people.

This is a gigantic fallacy in the mainstream approach to rational action. This is a problem with people - including me in the near past - misunderstanding what it means to act. Rational action to satisfy present desires can only be undertaken by a moral agent, one who actually has desires.

A company, bowling club, or government no more desires anything than a forest or a building. These are associations of people and so exist only as ideas in our minds, regardless of whether or not we record their formation on paper.

Since the individual is the sole moral agent, the individual is the only social unit with rights. This also means the individual is the only social unit with responsibilities, that is, to respect the rights of all the other individuals around them.



GOVERNMENT IS RATIONAL

Government is the metaphysical term we attach to the collective of people who do the job of governing or ruling within the territory of the State that is their, and our, ideological monolith. The big problem, as I'm sure is clear already, is that a government does not exist in the real world; it is not corporeal.

Can a government be rational? Of course not! It's a metaphysical assemblage of people, who join and leave it constantly, and who are very numerous. I'm counting the civil service, police and military as part of government.

The individual is corporeal, a physical entity taking up space in the real world. And the individual is a moral agent with rights and responsibilities. A government has neither of those things because, put simply, it doesn't exist.

So government cannot be rational because it is not a person, and so lacks any desires.



GOVERNMENT IS MORAL

A lot of people - the real moral agents - are at work inside government. And they didn't suddenly cease to have desires, and they didn't suddenly cease to respond to incentives. Now it would be easy to say government is not moral for the simple reason that it's not a person, and thus not a moral agent.

But let's go further than just that.

Since there are people in government, and since government is by definition an elite - regardless of how they get into power, all politicians and bureaucrats are an elite - the actions of these people will be unchecked by the competition that checks and balances private agents.

The people in the government are just as self-interested as any other moral agents. Only now they have power over others, something I previously described as freedom gone too far. By definition this also denudes those outside government of their liberty.

Since those in government are now the makers, executors, and enforcers of statutory law, they will tend to grant advantage and privilege to themselves, or at least push to maintain whatever privileges they already enjoy.

This is also how wealthy outsiders will often behave, attempting to get the attention of government so it will favour them. This recalls something Winston Churchill once said of appeasement; that is is much like a man feeding others to a crocodile in the hope it will leave him for last.

State monopolies in law courts, policing, trade regulation, sumptuary laws and even regulation of personal life have in every instance been injurious to the pursuit of happiness by the only moral agents that on this or any other world truly exist; individuals.

Government organisations want to grow just as private ones do, but they do so by rent seeking instead of competitive pricing and innovation. The only innovations in government will be new ways of veiling tax increases or money creation to enrich insiders.

This means governments are unfettered in their constant growth; hiring ever more bureaucrats, passing ever more pernicious regulations, watching the society they're leeching off ever more closely. Every way in which this mammoth acts is detrimental to human flourishing.



So government is amoral, I grant you, but by definition those human beings who govern are immoral because every day they take part in a process of dehumanisation, enslavement and impoverishment of the population beyond their manicured lawns.

If only individuals are moral agents, then only individuals or those people and groups appointed voluntarily by individuals can legitimately contract with other moral agents. Of course this is not the case in the real world, and so the status quo must be fought in a way that truly renders it irrelevant.

A childlike desire for simple truths has lead me to conclude that private property is axiomatically the best and moral way to decide who gets what, that the right to property is based on the homesteading principle, and that homesteading begins in the womb during gestation.

Property is all, and from property flows non-aggression, and from there flows the simple and undeniable fact; taxation is theft, war is murder, incarceration is rape, and policing is assault.

Everything the state does is built on cardinal crime. Sans government, society can get on with the far more boring and far more edifying task of finding new and innovative ways to help each other navigate through life more comfortably, more productively, and more happily.





On the next Ecomony Blogtime; governments and finance houses the world over tremble at the coming of Big Society!

Popular posts from this blog

Will Automation Make All of the Jobs Disappear?

... No.

There is no reason to suggest that automation will dramatically increase unemployment in the short term, or at all in the long term.

Seriously, it will not.

Do read the links in the order in which they appear please. Finding the right comments in the third link might be quite interesting. They are all by a user called BestTrousers and start with "RI" meaning R1.

The main argument used by HealthcareEconomist3 is to give a survey of several works, while BestTrousers goes for comparative advantage.

Why I Am Not a Historical Materialist

Hopefully you good folks can indulge me by forgiving this post. It is an unfinished mess because I wanted it out there as the anchor for a hyperlink from a Reddit thread.
At the momebt everything below is a jumble of notes, but I will be reworking it bit by bit starting today.
Hopefully this post will be sorted out and typed in full before the end of April 2017.


~~~


Historical materialism is the idea that history progresses in stages - slavery, then feudalism, then capitalism, then socialism, then communism - driven by changes in the technologies or techniques of production, and that any human civilisation will exemplify this process.

This makes historical materialism an exercise in both historicism and materialism.

Historicism is the idea that studying the past can reveal history's in-built course or narrative, and so show you the future.

Materialism is the idea that ideas ( and institutions) ultimately* don't matter in determining our destinies, and that therefore only material…

Capital & Labor in the Race to Exploit the Other

The idea that labor exploits capital is equally as plausible, sans assumptions*, as the idea that capital exploits labor. This is only intended as a response to the formal concept, descriptive or normative, of exploitation in Marx's schema from Capital Volume I.

* Assumptions include the power relation whereby capital is just assumed to be above labor hierarchically.

~
~ Capital exploits labor because... ... Capital earns income from production done by labor that capital didn't perform
&
~ Labor exploits Capital because... ... Labor earns income from capital that labor didn't buy
~
Basically in good old formal logic fashion both of those cases above, being factual descriptions, are true at once or are false at once.