I thought I would recommend some of the not so well known but nevertheless mind-blowing journal articles that should be read by everyone in the movement, especially by those outside it. This is the eighth in a series of many.
- Property and Contract
- Overview of Contract
- Speech, Promises, and Libertarianism
- Promissory Estoppel and Detrimental Reliance
- The Title-Transfer Theory of Contract: Evers-Rothbard Title-Transfer Theory
- Conditional Transfers of Title
- Enforcement of Promises
- Clarifications and Applications; Transfer of Title to Homestead Resources, Property in the Body, Rothbard on Inalienability
- Theft and Debtor’s Prison
"Here it suffices to present just a few examples of what is meant by a priori theory - and in particular to cite some such examples from the realm of the social sciences - in order to put any possible suspicion to rest and recommend my theoretical approach as intuitively plausible and in accordance with common sense.
Examples of what I mean by a priori theory are:
No material thing can be at two places at once. No two objects can occupy the same place. A straight line is the shortest line between two points. No two straight lines can enclose a space. Whatever object is red all over cannot be green (blue, yellow, etc.) all over. Whatever object is colored is also extended. Whatever object has shape has also size. If A is a part of B and B is a part of C, then A is a part of C. 4 = 3 +1. 6 = 2 (33 - 30).
Implausibly, empiricists must denigrate such propositions as mere linguistic-syntactic conventions without any empirical content, i.e., “empty” tautologies. In contrast to this view and in accordance with common sense, I understand the same propositions as asserting some simple but fundamental truths about the structure of reality. And in accordance with common sense, too, I would regard someone who wanted to “test” these propositions, or who reported “facts” contradicting or deviating from them, as confused. A priori theory trumps and corrects experience (and logic overrules observation), and not vice-versa.
More importantly, examples of a priori theory also abound in the social sciences, in particular in the fields of political economy and philosophy:
Human action is an actor’s purposeful pursuit of valued ends with scarce means. No one can purposefully not act. Every action is aimed at improving the actor’s subjective well-being above what it otherwise would have been. A larger quantity of a good is valued more highly than a smaller quantity of the same good. Satisfaction earlier is preferred over satisfaction later. Production must proceed consumption. What is consumed now cannot be consumed again in the future. If the price of a good is lowered, either the same quantity or more will be bought than otherwise. Prices fixed below market clearing prices will lead to lasting shortages.
Without private property in factors of production there can be no factor prices, and without factor prices cost-accounting is impossible. Taxes are an imposition on producers and/or wealth owners and reduce production and/or wealth below what it otherwise would have been. Interpersonal conflict is possible only if and insofar as things are scarce. No thing or part of a thing can be owned exclusively by more than one person at a time.
Democracy (majority rule) is incompatible with private property (individual ownership and rule). No form of taxation can be uniform (equal), but every taxation involves the creation of two distinct and unequal classes of tax-payersvs. tax-receiver-consumers. Property and property titles are distinct entities, and an increase of the latter without a corresponding increase of the former does not raise social wealth but leads to a redistribution of existing wealth.”
For an empiricist, propositions such as these must be interpreted as either stating nothing empirical at all and being mere speech conventions, or as forever testable and tentative hypotheses. To us, as to common sense, they are neither. In fact, it strikes us as utterly disingenuous to portray these propositions as having no empirical content. Clearly, they state something about “real” things and events! And it seems similarly disingenuous to regard these propositions as hypotheses.
Hypothetical propositions, as commonly understood, are statements such as these:
Children prefer McDonald’s over Burger King. The world-wide ratio of beef to pork spending is 2:1. Germans prefer Spain over Greece as vacation destination. Longer education in public schools will lead to higher wages. The volume of shopping shortly before Christmas exceeds that shortly after Christmas. Catholics vote predominantly “Democratic.” Japanese save a quarter of their disposable income. Germans drink more beer than Frenchmen. The United States produces more computers than any other country. Most inhabitants of the U.S. are white and of European descent.
Propositions such as these require the collection of historical data to be validated. And they must be continually re-evaluated, because the asserted relationships are not necessary (but “contingent”) ones; that is, because there is nothing inherently impossible, inconceivable, or plain wrong in assuming the opposite of the above: e.g., that children prefer Burger King to McDonald’s, or Germans Greece to Spain, etc.. This, however, is not the case with the former, theoretical propositions. To negate these propositions and assume, for instance, that a smaller quantity of a good might be preferred to a larger one of the same good, that what is being consumed now can possibly be consumed again in the future, or that cost-accounting could be accomplished also without factor prices, strikes one as absurd; and anyone engaged in “empirical research” and “testing” to determine which one of two contradictory propositions such as these does or does not hold appears to be either a fool or a fraud.”
Black Light Dinner Party - Gold Chain
Saturated basslines and vintage electronics to glowing harmonics and breathing vocals - BLDPs third release continues the tradition - New York synths, thick, off-kilter beats and Lush Parisian melodies.
"Let us consider an example. When A trades an a to B for one of his b’s, each of them, A and B, gain in welfare in the ex ante sense.
That is, A values the b he receives more than the a he must give up in this exchange. And, similarly, B, ranks the incoming a more highly than the outgoing b.
Perhaps the best illustration of this is that famous front cover of the Saturday Evening Post where Normal Rockwell draws the milkman and the pie man, each sitting in front of their respective trucks, munching away on a pie and slurping at a bottle of milk.
We are given to understand by Rockwell, an artist who would appear to know more about economics than Friedman, that right before the scenario he depicted, the milkman (A) traded a bottle of milk (a) with the pie man (B) for one of the latter’s products (b), and that each did so because he valued what he received more than what he had to give up for it.”
— Walter Block
Reactivating the Cold War with Russia: Syrian Edition
Ron Paul speaking back on June 19, 2012 lays it all out in crystal clear fashion. Speaking truth to power doesn’t get much more lucid than this. His message to the warmongers: leave Syria alone!