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Showing posts from November, 2015

Even the FinTimes can be wrong

I reserve the right to point out that you're wrong.

I will now dance on the bones of other people's economic illiteracy. In this video Mark Thornton undoes an insipid claim by a Financial Times writer that we need more cheap money.

The conciseness of this video gives me ideas for some shorts I might make and publish in the near future. Maybe a trilogy of shorts defining the nature, historical impact, and personal impact of capitalism...

Commentaryism... sticking my oar in where it's not wanted.

Some lovely people were exercising the right to free speech afforded them by Mark Zuckerberg talking smack about the bizarrely named political philosophy called anarcho-capitalism. The discussion was around the amusing meme pictured above. But that's not all. A high-larious meme about conversations that non-ancaps have with ancaps about the world today got my attention, and I present it below, along with what I said in response. The meme suggests two contradictory things an ancap could say in an argument. My response follows immediately beneath the image!

The left one, always & without exception.

Clearly arguments about capitalism require the employment of economics and by some miracle not every ancap you've had a comment war with is an economics buff. This shouldn't be very surprising considering it's the dismal science.


I am, however, so I know where talk of econ begins and ends;

the point of being an ancap is not to apologise for capitali…

Demolishing Common Property in 110 Words

Walker walks onto Proper's land and claims nobody can own land. This situation sees Proper's land put to a use he does not choose or want, and Walker contradicting himself by occupying the land and choosing how to dispose of wherever he stands - this situation is now a dispute between these two people.

Who is allowed to resolve the dispute and by which means?

a. Proper can act to get Walker off his land somehow.

b. Walker can act to get Proper off the land or restrain him so he can't not share it.

c. Neither can do anything and they just stare blankly at each other until they die of thirst

Sapiens? Happier in houses or in animal hides?

In his recent tome Sapiens Yuval Noah Hariri has delivered a forceful and fascinating case for humanity's main exception as denizens of the animal kingdom being our ability to share in things that are imaginary. Examples include mathematics, governments, states, corporations, gods, social castes, and money.

Further examples the praxeologist could add society as an aggregate concept*.

Hariri employs the concept of the inter-subjective to explain how people, not just one person, accept these fictions over time and then employ them in day-to-day life. Inter-subjective means exactly what it sounds like, the meeting of one human-being's subjective reference frame with the equally subjective reference frame of another human-being. In other words it's the phenom that is studied by sociologists - or at least real ones.

When ideas can spread amongst people the incentive to increase linguistic articulacy increases and before long we have deities, shared cultural norms, dispute reso…

Gut Microbes Tell You You're Full

An evil capitalist will one day sell appetite suppressants based on the growing body of knowledge about gut flora and the "I couldn't eat another thing" feeling we get 20 minutes after finishing a meal.

It won't be me, alas. I'm neither knowledgeable, nor rich, nor organised enough to bring together a startup to research and sell such suppressants.

It'll be some other evil capitalist pig that sells (at ever-falling prices) tablets to deaden appetite for food. I really want to see the anti-capitalists' faces when this happens. Let's see them cry out "capitalism makes everybody fat" when people can chow down a $5 tablet to limit their appetite for a week.

Commentaryism - Is Private or Social Property Better for Human Flourishing?

A two-comment thread from, yet again, a Youtube video completely resolved by AnCap217. You'll be happy to know I am not involved, so no text from me follows beyond the wavy line!



You actually increase conflict over scarce resources by granting ownership to whoever can pluck a scarce resource out of the state of nature first. This property norm encourages a speculative race to grab lots of resources early, before they are needed or even useful to the first claimant. It rewards those who shrink the commons by claiming large quantities of resources, for the purpose of later demanding payment (by threat of violence) from those who would have otherwise been able to claim the resources from the state of nature free and clear.

I still find Georgist property norms the best alternative. This recognizes an absolute right to the fruits of human labor (at least those which are rivalrous; there is debates among Geoists about IP, with Henry George himself having…

Commentaryism - No Private Property Sans State

In a futile and stupid back & forth between a couple of semi-informed Youtubers I offered to have a verbal discussion with the one advocating Anarcho-Whateverism. Hereafter things got cray-cray as people threw some bait at me to get me irate and finally challenged me wit a couple of posts worthy of actual responses.

The full text of the comment stream from my 'willingness to debate' post onwards is presented here, and followed by a long text responding to the last comment in the stream by Finnish Anarchist.

Text highlighted in yellow like this is annotations by me.


Matthew John Hayden

Oct 2, 2015

+BadMouseProductions what topics would the debate cover?

Is it supposed to be about the ballsy memes? Remember any such meme is subject to the problem of summarising information about an ideology.

If it's not, and rather you just wanna have an AnCap vs. AnCom tickling contest then I'm up for a chat.

I happen to be informed and intelligent enough t…

Socialism versus Food in Zimbabwe

The Centre For Global Development has reported on the impact on food production of agricultural reforms by the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. Suffice it to say it hasn't been positive. Astonishingly socialism hasn't magically become good for farming.

The aerial photos show the degraded state of the land in Zimbabwe after Zanu-PF's socialist reorganisation of land.

Commentaryism - Private Property =/= Force

This is actually the first of a few Youtube dumps on this topic because I'm in a proprietary mood. What follows is a comment thread from Youtube followed by a brief defence of private property by one Theresa Klein in a couple of Disqus comments on the website of an organisation called Demos.



Free-Market Communist commented on a video on YouTube.
Shared publicly  -  May 30, 2015

Private property is the initiation of force, not taxation.


Anthony Haller
Jul 28, 2015

+Free-Market Communist But is property itself a initiation of force?


Free-Market Communist
Jul 28, 2015

+Anthony Haller
Yes. If not, how do you plan on defending it?


Anthony Haller
Jul 29, 2015

+Free-Market Communist

noun, plural properties.
that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner:
They lost all their property in the fire.

goods, land, etc., consider…