Video 24 Nov 354 notes

laliberty:

Member of EU parliament Godfrey Bloom quotes Murray Rothbard, spits hot fire*:

"Oh, well, Mr. President, I’m minded actually to quote the great American philosopher Murray Rothbard here that the state — the state is an institution of theft writ large. Tax is just about a system where politicians and bureaucrats steal money from their citizens to squander in the most disgraceful manner. This place is no exception. Fascinatingly, and I really don’t know how you manage to keep a straight face when you’re talking about tax evasion, the whole Commission and the Commission bureaucracy avoid their taxes. You don’t pay taxes like citizens pay taxes; you have all sorts of special deals. Composite tax rates, high tax thresholds, non-contribute pension schemes. You are the biggest tax avoiders in Europe, and here you sit pontificating. Well, the message is getting home to the people of the European Union. You’re going to find that euroskeptics are coming back in June in ever greater numbers — in ever greater numbers. And I can tell you worse, as the people get your number, it won’t be long before they storm this chamber and they hang you, and they’ll be right.

Regarding the last passage Bloom should have consulted Rothbard further:

  • "…Another contradictory means would be to commit aggression (e.g., murder or theft) against persons or just property in order to reach the libertarian goal of nonaggression. But this too would be a self-defeating and impermissible means to pursue. For the employment of such aggression would directly violate the goal of nonaggression itself.”

Of course the politicians are apart of an aggressive institution, and yet that doesn’t throw out the concept of proportionality, causality and due process. As Rothbard elucidates in his Ending Tyranny Without Violence—an introduction to Étienne de La Boétie’s brilliant The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude;

  • "…La Boétie concludes his exhortation by assuring the masses that to overthrow the tyrant they need not act, nor shed their blood. They can do so “merely by willing to be free.” In short, 

    Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.[16]

    It was a medieval tradition to justify tyrannicide of unjust rulers who break the divine law, but La Boétie’s doctrine, though non-violent, was in the deepest sense far more radical. For while the assassination of a tyrant is simply an isolated individual act within an existing political system, mass civil disobedience, being a direct act on the part of large masses of people, is far more revolutionary in launching a transformation of the system itself. It is also more elegant and profound in theoretical terms, flowing immediately as it does from La Boétie’s insight about power necessarily resting on popular consent; for then the remedy to power is simply to withdraw that consent.”

I can’t help but think the majority of the public will only remember the parting words of violence, as opposed to the preceding comments regarding the state as an institution of injustice. Tactically to the uninitiated it paints us as the aggressors. As Benjamin Tucker points out in Men Against the State;

  • “Violence is the power of darkness. If the revolution comes by violence … the old struggle will have to be begun anew.”
Text 23 Dec 79 notes Cooperatives Can’t Compete: A Response

howthebolsheviksstolechristmas:

Cooperatives are actually more productive than capitalist firms, tend to pay their workers above-average wages, and employ more people than multinational corporations.

Rothbard was wrong and free capitalism is impossible.

Well I’m impressed one comrade has at least attempted to make an argument; or at least refer to not one.. but two references? That’s unheard of. I’m encouraged. If only you took Rothbard’s advice stated earlier and began to alleviate your economic ignorance because anyone who agrees with the above, or the three “economic” points raised in the first article is clearly a neophyte.

Instead of taking issue with your dismissal of Rothbard and those egregious points; Ludwig von Mises can be referred to instead. Here he essentially lays waste to the entire cooperative movement, and those “economic” points raised are annihilated within. However to showcase how on point he is, I’ll highlight an excerpt from his conclusion, then post an excerpt from your second article which completely and utterly validates Mises and Rothbard’s point that cooperatives can’t compete;

  • "…Experience of a hundred years of cooperative association has clearly proved that cooperatives are not able to take their chances on a free market. They cannot maintain themselves by their own efforts. At least it cannot be denied that there is no record of cooperatives which did stand the competition of private business without government favoritism. In all countries of the world, the cooperative movement owes its development and its present expansion, whatever they may be, to tax exemptions, cheap government credit and other privileges. In passionately asserting that the abolition of these privileges would amount to a suppression of the cooperatives, the spokesmen of the cooperatives confess that they themselves consider these privileges as indispensable for the survival of cooperativism…”
    Ludwig von Mises, Observations on the Cooperative Movement

From your second article;

  • "Alperovitz showcases the history and great potential of co-ops, worker-owned companies, and urban land trusts. He notes the constructive role that is played by municipal utilities, state-owned banks and state-chartered trusts such as the Alaska Permanent Fund. There are also dozens of cases in which states use their investment dollars to help communities, use government procurement to help worker-owned businesses, and provide venture capital to startups.”
  • Alperovitz writes: “Almost half the states manage venture capital efforts, taking partial ownership in new businesses. Calpers, California’s public pension authority, helps finance local development projects; in Alaska, state oil revenues provide each resident with dividends from public investment strategies as a matter of right; in Alabama, public pension investing has long focused on state economic development….

  • Alperovitz writes: “In Indiana, the Republican state treasurer, Richard Mourdock, is using state deposits to lower interest costs to employee-owned companies, a precedent others states could easily follow. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, is developing legislation to support worker-owned strategies like that of Cleveland in other cities. And several policy analysts have proposed expanding existing government “set aside” procurement programs for small businesses to include co-ops and other democratized enterprises.

Nothing more really needs to be said. As usual the Austro-Liberarians are right. So much for anarcho-syndicalism!

Photo 19 Dec 85 notes logicallypositive:




Yeah unless you’re homeless or poor lol




"It is also far easier to sentimentalize the issues and get the public’s juices worked up by sobbing about the homeless, the foodless, etc. and calling for specific provision of these wants far easier than talking about the "moneyless" and calling upon the public merely to supply do-re-mi to the poor. Money does not have nearly the sentimental value of home and hearth and Christmas dinner.
Not only that: but focusing on money is likely to lead the public to begin asking embarrassing questions. Such as: WHY are these people without money? And isn’t there a danger that taxing A to supply B with money will greatly reduce the incentive for both A and B to continue working hard in order to acquire it? Doesn’t parasitism gravely weaken the incentives to work among both the producer and the parasite class?Further, if the poor are without money because they don’t feel like working, won’t automatic taxpayer provision of a permanent  supply of funds weaken their willingness to work all the more, and create an ever greater supply of the idle looking for handouts? Or, if the poor are without money because they are disabled, won’t a permanent dole reduce their incentive to invest in their own vocational rehabilitation and training, so that they will once again be productive members of society? And, in general, isn’t it far better for all concerned (except, of course, the social workers) to have limited private funds for charity instead of imposing an unlimited burden on the hapless taxpayer?”          — Murray N. Rothbard
“State poor relief is clearly a subsidization of poverty. Men are now automatically entitled to money from the State because of their poverty. Hence, the marginal disutility of income forgone from leisure diminishes, and idleness and poverty tend to increase. Thus, State subsidization of poverty tends to increase poverty, which in turn increases the amount of subsidy paid and extracted from those who are not impoverished. When, as is generally the case, the amount of subsidy depends directly on the number of children possessed by the pauper, there is a further incentive for the pauper to have more children than otherwise, since he is assured of a proportionate subsidy by the State. Consequently, the number of paupers tends to multiply still further. …Private charity to the poor, on the other hand, does not have the same effect, for the poor would not have a compulsory and unlimited claim on the rich. Instead, charity is a voluntary and flexible act of grace on the part of the giver.”          — Murray N. Rothbard

logicallypositive:

Yeah unless you’re homeless or poor lol

"It is also far easier to sentimentalize the issues and get the public’s juices worked up by sobbing about the homeless, the foodless, etc. and calling for specific provision of these wants far easier than talking about the "moneyless" and calling upon the public merely to supply do-re-mi to the poor. Money does not have nearly the sentimental value of home and hearth and Christmas dinner.

Not only that: but focusing on money is likely to lead the public to begin asking embarrassing questions. Such as: WHY are these people without money? And isn’t there a danger that taxing A to supply B with money will greatly reduce the incentive for both A and B to continue working hard in order to acquire it? Doesn’t parasitism gravely weaken the incentives to work among both the producer and the parasite class?

Further, if the poor are without money because they don’t feel like working, won’t automatic taxpayer provision of a permanent  supply of funds weaken their willingness to work all the more, and create an ever greater supply of the idle looking for handouts? Or, if the poor are without money because they are disabled, won’t a permanent dole reduce their incentive to invest in their own vocational rehabilitation and training, so that they will once again be productive members of society? And, in general, isn’t it far better for all concerned (except, of course, the social workers) to have limited private funds for charity instead of imposing an unlimited burden on the hapless taxpayer?”

          — Murray N. Rothbard

“State poor relief is clearly a subsidization of poverty. Men are now automatically entitled to money from the State because of their poverty. Hence, the marginal disutility of income forgone from leisure diminishes, and idleness and poverty tend to increase. Thus, State subsidization of poverty tends to increase poverty, which in turn increases the amount of subsidy paid and extracted from those who are not impoverished. When, as is generally the case, the amount of subsidy depends directly on the number of children possessed by the pauper, there is a further incentive for the pauper to have more children than otherwise, since he is assured of a proportionate subsidy by the State. Consequently, the number of paupers tends to multiply still further. …

Private charity to the poor, on the other hand, does not have the same effect, for the poor would not have a compulsory and unlimited claim on the rich. Instead, charity is a voluntary and flexible act of grace on the part of the giver.”

          — Murray N. Rothbard

Link 16 Dec 21 notes Gun Control in a Free Society: Further Clarification»

logicallypositive:

conza:

“Rather than dance around such issues, I’ll give the best example I can think of to demonstrate the difference between the conventional libertarian approach and my own: gun control. As we’ll see, I don’t think my approach is inconsistent with the libertarian creed, but I do think it will (at…

Anarcho-speculationism

Arrogance coupled with no intellectual honesty or curiosity leads one to make ignorant comments like the above. Given you missed it, the point was about demonstrating an alternate approach to the gun control debate; namely focusing on the private rules laid down by legitimate owners regarding their property, and how insurance agencies w/could deal with such instances. It offers the clear solution, the private law framework, which allows for numerous possibilities regarding whatever specific choices future individuals decide to adopt.

Speculation? It already happens to an extent, crowding out not-withstanding. Sure, if Bob Murphy were actually attempting to make the argument that ipso facto this is what the future libertarian free society would look like (beyond a broad framework), then you might have a case. He’s not doing that though - overall it’s a distinctly cetris paribus argument. As illustrated by the preface and footnotes you haven’t read;

  • [35] In fact, households with conventional firearms might enjoy lower premiums, if the insurance company thinks this will reduce the incidence of crime in the area enough to justify the incentive.
  • [36] To charge higher premiums to those who wish to own multiple weapons is no more unjust than the present practice of offering discounts to drivers for taking a driving-safety class, or to homeowners for installing an alarm system. If a particular insurance company is staffed by people who fear guns, then gun owners will shop around for a different insurance company.

"…stripped to its essentials, a system of private law means that people who can’t come to an agreement on their own will literally seek the opinion of a third party. Of course, in a modern western economy, truly private legal systems would lead to specialized training and contractual codifications of the judge’s role in rendering opinions on the cases brought before him or her. Yet the essence of the judge would remain the same as in a more primitive setting:

  • The judge’s job would be to opine on what “the law” had to say about a particular dispute, whether the law was understood as tribal customs passed down over the generations, or instead as a web of voluntary contracts and profitable practices as they spontaneously evolved in a modern capitalist society.

One final point I want to clarify is that I am not here taking a position on the proper scope for a priori constructions of legal theory, versus a more open-ended “the right law is whatever the market says it is” approach of some other thinkers in this area. I am sketching the market forces that operate one step above this level of analysis. For an analogy, an economist can discuss the market for geometry textbooks without explicitly taking a stand on whether euclid’s proofs are “really” universally valid or if they instead are popular only because they are useful for building bridges and other engineering tasks. In the same way, as an economist I can explain the advantages of a private, competitive legal system versus a coercive government system, without delving into the difficult question of what the ideal legal code would look like—or if such a thing even exists. These are important issues, to be sure, but I think they are tangential to the case for private law.

With these clarifications in mind, I hope the reader will enjoy the following essays. In my experience, once we simply imagine the possibility of a society without the state, the case for anarcho-capitalism or “market anarchy” seems obvious.”

          — Robert P. Murphy, Preface to Second Edition of Chaos Theory

Link 10 Jun 27 notes Synthetic, Analytic & the Austrian Trio»

whakatikatika: "some notes on economic methodology, apriorism and the synthetic-analytic hooha"

Yep, though it seems Long is bit off about something there. Rothbard rejected ‘synthetic’ a priori and the ‘synthetic-analytic’ distinction, strictly speaking (though he certainly agreed that the action theorem doesn’t rest purely on formal logic etc.). Maybe it can be made compatible with Hoppe as the referenced paper argues, but there still are significant disagreements at least in the framework.

Strictly speaking, yes absolutely. However, Rothbard wasn’t the main focus of the exchange, Mises was, so it wasn’t touched upon. As I responded to aurochz: "Whether it’s “analytic” or “synthetic” is quite frankly uninteresting." Aurochz takes issue, “you find that distinction uninteresting but decided to include it as the start of an excerpt”? Well besides attempting to provide some context; I care about the underlying principles i.e reality. If certain words within frameworks happen to best help explain the concept, I’ll adopt them. At the core of that, is as you indicate Whakatikatika: "[Rothbard] certainly agreed that the action theorem doesn’t rest purely on formal logic etc", as did Mises in his later years, and as does Hoppe. The “hooha” was because others take issue with that. To a large extent I could care less what academic ‘framework’ it falls under, I’m solely interested in the underlying reality. That goes with Rothbard as well. 

Rothbard:

  • Is our knowledge a priori or empirical, “synthetic” or “analytic”? In a sense, such questions are a waste of time, because the all-important fact is that the axiom is self-evidently true, self-evident to a far greater and broader extent than the other postulates. For this axiom is true for all human beings and could not conceivably be violated. In short, we may conceive of a world where resources are not varied, but not of one where human beings exist but do not act. We have seen that the other postulates, while “empirical,” are so obvious and acceptable that they can hardly be called “falsifiable” in the usual empiricist sense. How much more is this true of the axiom, which is not even conceivably falsifiable! […] Whether we consider the action axiom “a priori” or “empirical” depends on our ultimate philosophical position. Professor Mises, in the neo-Kantian tradition, considers this axiom a law of thought and therefore a categorical truth a priori to all experience. My own epistemological position rests on Aristotle and St. Thomas rather than Kant, and hence I would interpret the proposition differently. I would consider the axiom a law of reality rather than a law of thought, and hence “empirical” rather than “a priori.”[…] Toohey virtually obliterates the distinctions and terms self-evident propositions “synthetic” and “a posteriori,” because, while being necessary and universals, they are derived from experience. […] All this raises the question of the usefulness of the whole “analytic-synthetic” dichotomy, despite the prominence implicitly given it in Hutchison’s Significance and Basic Postulates of Economic Theory. For a refreshing skepticism on its validity, and for a critique of its typical use to dispose of difficult-to-refute theories as either disguised definitions or debatable hypotheses, see Hao Wang, Notes on the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction,” Theoria 21 (Parts 2-3, 1955): 158ff.

I have blogged an excerpt from this great paper previously as you have also now highlighted. The above was written by Rothbard in 1956. As per Rothbard in 1988:

  • "Nevertheless, by coming out with a genuinely new theory (amazing in itself, considering the long history of political philosophy) Hoppe is in danger of offending all the intellectual vested interests of the libertarian camp. Utilitarians, who should be happy that value-freedom was preserved, will be appalled to find that Hoppean rights are even more absolutist and “dogmatic” than natural rights. Natural rightsers, while happy at the “dogmatism,” will be unwilling to accept an ethics not grounded in the broad nature of things. Randians will be particularly upset because the Hoppean system is grounded (as was the Misesian) on the Satanic Immanuel Kant and his “synthetic a priori.” Randians might be mollified, however, to learn that Hoppe is influenced by a group of German Kantians (headed by mathematician Paul Lorenzen) who interpret Kant as a deeply realistic Aristotelian, in contrast to the idealist interpretation common in the United States. As a natural rightser, I don’t see any real contradiction here, or why one cannot hold to both the natural-rights and the Hoppean-rights ethic at the same time. Both rights ethics, after all, are grounded, like the realist version of Kantianism, in the nature of reality.

This also speaks to the opening point, and paper referenced. There is no contradiction between Rothbard and Hoppe. Their conclusions are the same, they’re not incompatible, they just approach from slightly different directions. Mises also joins these gentleman when it comes to the status of economic propositions (they join him). In terms of action-based jurisprudence technically Mises does not, though I would imagine had he been exposed to the ‘a priori of argumentation and communication' he would have changed his mind.

My own view on this subject is one of pragmatic methodological pluralism (Hayekian, neoclassical I guess) and a minimization of these philosophical debates, but I do prefer Rothbard’s terminology to Hoppe’s. And I prefer Mises when he rejects the synthetic a priori stuff too. The action axiom is a self-evident and uncontroversial empirical premise, from which we can make analytic deduction. Conscious decision expressed marginally through action reveals ordinal preference. It’s not dependent on some particular set of statistical data or anything, but it is not demonstrably prior to experience or observation.

I’m sure you’re aware that Hayek departed from praxeology. As Murray Rothbard also notes;

  • "F.A. Hayek’s emphasis on spontaneous order, on the unintended rather than intended consequences of human action, on irrationalism rather than reason, is grounded on the implicit premise that human beings are not consciously acting men but rather are tropistic organisms, reacting unconsciously, in accordance with evolved rules. Hence, for Hayek, at least for the "Hayek II" of the 1940s and afterwards, influenced by the neo-positivist empiricism of Karl Popper, the sharp dualistic Misesian distinction between human action and the motion of stones, atoms, etc. falls away, and human action and the physical sciences are treated with the same epistemology.[17]"

Hoppe’s terminology, i.e attacking “empiricism” etc. is because it is the norm, as Rothbard indicates. I prefer “empirical” as well, and I started out reading Aristotle who was a big influence, but I have no problem attacking “empiricism” and codifying that as “positivism” and “monism”. As for your last points, I don’t see how you’re saying anything at all different to that of Mises, Rothbard and Hoppe. In particular the later Mises (you said you prefer the earlier) would agree with the general thrust here as well as per Rothbard.

  • "The starting point of praxeology is a self-evident truth, the cognition of action, that is, the cognition of the fact that there is such a thing as consciously aiming at ends. There is no use cavilling about these words by referring to philosophical problems that have no bearing upon our problem. The truth of this cognition is as self-evident and as indispensable for the human mind as is the distinction between A and non-A.” — Mises, Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, p.5

  • "Praxeology consists of two main elements: (1) the fundamental axioms, and (2) the propositions successively deduced from these axioms. Neither the axioms or the deduced propositions can be "tested" or verified by appeal to historical fact. However, although the axioms are a priori to history, they are a posteriori to the universal observations of the logic structure of the human mind and human action. The axioms are therefore open to the test of observation in the sense that, once postulated, they are universally recognized as true. Such recognition may be accused of being “introspective”, but it is nonetheless scientific, since it is introspection that can command the agreement of all. The deductive propositions are tested according to the universally accepted laws of logic. (Laws, incidentally, which are also a priori to historical fact.) The fact that a proposition comes at the end of a “long chain of deduction” makes it no less valid than a proposition at the end of a short chain.” — Rothbard, “Mises’ Human Action: Comment”

  • “It seems to be of great importance to first rid oneself of the notion that aprioristic knowledge has anything to do with ‘innate ideas’ or with ‘intuitive’ knowledge which would not have to be discovered somehow or learned.  Innate or not, intuitive or not; these are questions that concern the psychology of knowledge.  In comparison, epistemology is concerned exclusively with the question of the validity of knowledge and of how to ascertain validity - and, to be sure, the problem of aprioristic knowledge is solely an epistemological one.”  — Hoppe, TSC, p. 108.

I don’t think the simple action premise is as broad or as singularly generative as some Misesians seem to sometimes think. Making substantive claims requires a lot of subsidiary empirical assumptions, for instance. Most such assumptions are extremely uncontroversial and can furthermore be substantiated by things like experimental econ and statistical analysis and natural experiment (e.g. historical case studies). And some people are just going to be more or less convinced by some particular method. Hence methodological pluralism.

Hülsmann is slightly at odds with Mises, Rothbard and Hoppe’s approach so I’m not sure why or how that would indicate Misesians aren’t aware of the nature of their subsidiary postulates. I suppose given the discussion it is probably apt to raise the issue, but we were specifically discussing the axiom action here. As referenced to earlier by Hoppe, the second step requires "a description of a world in which the categories of action assume concrete meaning". Rothbard also indicates "they are a posteriori to the universal observations of the logic structure of the human mind and human action". As indicated elsewhere,

  • “It should be noted that for Mises it is only the fundamental axiom of action that is a priori; he conceded that the subsidiary axioms of the diversity of mankind and nature, and of leisure as a consumers’ good, are broadly empirical.”
    — Rothbard, Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics, p.3

As well as from Rothbard here where he indicates the same thing,

  • "Actually, despite the “extreme a priori” label, praxeology contains one Fundamental Axiom—the axiom of action—which may be called a priori, and a few subsidiary postulates which are actually empirical…"
    — Rothbard, In Defense of Extreme Apriorism

In regards to some other people being convinced by other methods, then different illustrations might help them come to grasp the praxeological laws, though it in no way alters the methodology of those obtaining them. As indicated here,

  • "The work of the “economic theorist”, or praxeologist, is to elaborate the laws (such as C) from the various axioms and according to the rules of logic. Clearly neither Mises nor myself has ever cited “facts as if they provided support for his conclusions and for the axioms, postulates, and logical procedures.” I cited facts such as “dollar gaps” not as proof or test, but as illustrations of the working of praxeological laws in (modern) historical situations.”

Your further objection misses the mark. It indicates a misunderstanding of praxeology because you seem to be adamant that step 2 is not part of the process, and yet it is and nothing to the contrary has ever been claimed. As for the piece regarding Leeson and Boettke, they echo Hoppe’s fundamental analysis of Mises from ESAM in every way.

via EMERGENCE.
Quote 30 May 27 notes

Aprioristic reasoning is purely conceptual and deductive. It cannot produce anything else but tautologies and analytic judgments. All its implications are logically derived from the premises and were already contained in them. Hence, according to a popular objection, it cannot add anything to our knowledge.

All geometrical theorems are already implied in the axioms. The concept of a rectangular triangle already implies the theorem of Pythagoras. This theorem is a tautology, its deduction results in an analytic judgment. Nonetheless, nobody would contend that geometry in general and the theorem of Pythagoras in particular do not enlarge our knowledge.

Cognition from pureIy deductive reasoning is also creative and opens for our mind access to previously barred spheres. The significant task of aprioristic reasoning is on the one hand to bring into relief all that is implied in the categories, concepts, and premises and, on the other hand, to show what they do not imply. It is its vocation to render manifest and obvious what was hidden and unknown before.

— 

Ludwig von Mises, Human Action pg 37

In regards to Conza and all those who reblogged that HHH quote nodding in ignorant agreement - proof Mises admits and acknowledges the epistemological status of his theory as analytic a priori. Therefore that little piece I wrote on Godel’s incompleteness theorem applying holds true. Hans Herman-Hoppe has no idea what he’s talking about.

(via praxeologist aka logicallypositive)

Human Action first written in 1940. Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science written in 1962. As per Roderik Long:

  • "What is the source of praxeological necessity? Is it something discovered in the world, or is it imposed upon the world by our own linguistic conventions? Mises himself changed his mind over time as to whether the conceptual truths of praxeology are analytic or synthetic (contrast, e.g., Mises 1940:8 with Mises 1962:4–5), and present-day Austrians are likewise divided (Hayekians favoring analytic, Rothbardians [and Hoppeans] favoring synthetic).”

Given it seems your only in-depth exposure to the ideas of Mises is Human Action… I’d suggest you’ve still got a lot of learning/catching up to do. Hoppe works with the most updated, latest and advanced position of Mises… therefore that little piece you wrote on Godel’s incompleteness theorem applying does not hold true. Mises lays waste to the proposition here, as well as continuing on to make highly disparaging remarks on Popper. To put it succinctly:

  1. "There is nothing wrong with Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.
  2. There is nothing wrong with Mises’ Action Theorem.
  3. There is nothing wrong with Praxeology (The Action Theorem applied)

There is a reason the Action Theorem is not analytical a priori, but synthetic a priori.

Mises, Rothbard, Hoppe would all agree that the validity of the Action Theorem does not rest on pure formal logic. Once validated, however, it becomes possible to deduce praxeological laws logically.”

(Source: )

Link 26 May 21 notes a response: To An Attempted Refutation»

conza: Epistemology: Hume, Kant, and the Misesian Solution

Kant, in the course of his critique of classical empiricism, in particular that of David Hume, developed the idea that all our propositions can be classified in a two-fold way:

  1. On the one hand they are either analytic or synthetic,
  2. and on the other they are either a priori or a… Read More

aurochz:

If anyone gives a crap, I’ll attempt a refutation of this. I was once a libertarian, but never found their philosophical meanderings very impressive even as a libertarian. If you would like to know why, here is some of the reasons in regards to this post and libertarian philosophy in general.

We’re discussing epistemology. Specifically the status of economic propositions. Austrian Economics technically has nothing to do with libertarianism. Your “critique” is really not off to a good start.

First and foremost the Kantian distinction has been attacked by many modern philosophers, unbeknownst to Hoppe it seems, many people did read and take Kant seriously, only they did so in the negative, none of which is addressed here. Most notably Willfred Sellars and Willard Van Orman Quine attacked both definitions in the “Kantian” dichotomy and Quines at least is generally seen as the best attack on the analytic half of the distinction, if you’re feeling brave and ornery you can try to attempt to refute his propositions regarding this matter here: http://www.ditext.com/quine/quine.html

Hoppe is definitely aware. In fact:

  • "…Lomasky [or aurochz] also has some specific nits to pick. As might be expected from an intimidated low roader, they are either unsystematic cheap shots, or they display a complete miscomprehension of the problem.

    I am criticized for not paying enough attention to Quine, Nozick, and entire bodies of philosophic thought. Maybe so, though Nozick, if only in a footnote as Lomasky notes indignantly, is actually systematically refuted. However, one would like to know why that should have made a difference for my argument. Mere reading suggestions are all too easy to come up with in these times…”
            — Hans-Hermann Hoppe, EEPP, p. 410

Hoppe explicitly indicates “I cannot go in to great detail here to explain how Kant justifies this view.[12] A few remarks will have to suffice.” Why? It’s not the point of the passage and would be a digression as Mises was more interested in economics rather than epistemology, that then is what Hoppe goes onto discuss. Why don’t you instead endeavour to read the source?

  • [12] A brilliant interpretation and justification of Kant’s a prioristic epistemology is to be found in F. Kambartel, Erfahrung und Struktur. Bausteine zu einer Kritik des Empirismus und Formalismus (Frankfurt/M.: 1968), esp. chapter 3; see also Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Handeln und Erkennen (Bern: 1976)

The last note of the excerpt also indicates where further analysis can be found:

Instead of ironically throwing out accusations of ignorance, you should probably read the above which elucidates at length against both Hermeneutics, Empiricism, and the arguments you put forward later in your “critique” which touches upon language and dualism.  More to the point though, all you have read is an excerpt from Economic Science and the Austrian Method. The arguments put forward by Hoppe are not only confined to the text posted. Had you read more widely you might have realized your proposition — the red herring you link to does not address Mises position at all.

In regards to analytical philosophy it is one of the most well known papers of all time. What does it say about Hoppe’s analysis that this wasn’t even mentioned in that regard? I’ll let you decide that.

After I skip over the fact that if the above were true it would cripple the whole mission of Mises in Hoppe in one swoop, there are other problems with this paper.

Quine isn’t addressing Mises solution, "given all that will be necessary for his argument is that the denial of it is self-contradictory. Whether it’s “analytic” or “synthetic” is quite frankly uninteresting. I’d recommend you read Laurence BonJour’s In Defense of Pure Reason as he lays into Quine pretty heavily and has some very interesting arguments on rationalist epistemology’s behalf.” There is also Henry Babcock Veatch’s Two Logics: the Conflict between Classical and Neo-Analytic Philosophy, and Blanshard’s Reason and Analysis.

For one, most people wouldn’t interpret Kant’s synthetic view of math as being an empirical view of math, even with Hoppe’s reaching statements like:

  • “Kant had hinted at this solution. He thought mathematics, for instance, had to be grounded in our knowledge of the meaning of repetition, of repetitive operations.  And he also realized, if only some what vaguely that the principle of causality is implied in our understanding of what it is and means to act.[16]”

Most philosophers write one or two things that go against the general flow of their arguments and intentions. Kant’s view was that despite being Synthetic-apriori math was still a pure body of knowledge that we can predicate truths on.

Fortunately for Kant and not so fortunate for foundationalists in general. He didn’t live to see the day when major contradictions to his view started to slowly but surely come to be true. I have mentioned one, here are a few others:

Euclid’s geometry was destabilized with the advent of non-euclidean Geometry. Thus making our faith in seemingly strong axiomatic truths extremely shakey. A destabilization, that Kant didn’t know about. Something we believed true for over two-thousand years and at that, a fundamental truth, was shown to be wrong. No single piece of knowledge was ever as fundamental in making us have collective doubt as to our ability to make a foundation as this. So I think it is definitely relevant in this regard.

I’m amused that you think you’re striking some kind of blow here.

  • "The whole controversy is, however, meaningless when applied to praxeology. It refers essentially to geometry. Its present state, especially its treatment by logical positivism, has been deeply influenced by the shock that Western philosophy received from the discovery of non-Euclidian geometries. Before Bolyai and Lobachevsky, geometry was, in the eyes of the philosophers, the paragon of perfect science; it was assumed that it provided unshakable certainty forever and for everybody. To proceed also in other branches of knowledge more geometrico was the great ideal of truth-seekers. All traditional epistemological concepts began to totter when the attempts to construct non-Euclidian geometries succeeded.

    Yet praxeology is not geometry. It is the worst of all superstitions to assume that the epistemological characteristics of one branch of knowledge must necessarily be applicable to any other branch. In dealing with the epistemology of the sciences of human action, one must not take one’s cue from geometry, mechanics, or any other science.

    The assumptions of Euclid were once considered as self-evidently true. Present-day epistemology looks upon them as freely chosen postulates, the starting point of a hypothetical chain of reasoning. Whatever this may mean, it has no reference at all to the problems of praxeology.

    The starting point of praxeology is a self-evident truth, the cognition of action, that is, the cognition of the fact that there is such a thing as consciously aiming at ends. There is no use cavilling about these words by referring to philosophical problems that have no bearing upon our problem. The truth of this cognition is as self-evident and as indispensable for the human mind as is the distinction between A and non-A."
    Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, p.5

Text 17 Mar 10 notes An Obama 2012 Supporter Attempts to Engage

kileyrae:

conza replied to your post: Apparently Ron Paul was on campus today.

I found a beautiful post for you. And this one too. One more. That was fun.

1. A “beautiful post” consisting of absolutely no arguments. Wow, you clearly have ‘high’ standards! So ‘high’ in fact it leads to directly defending the Federal Reserve! Did Helicopter Ben give you a ‘free’ joy ride to the wonderful land of ‘legalized counterfeiting’ and promise you he’d shower all your favorite government programs with funding? Dr. Ron Paul prescribes a dose of Economics In One Lesson, and some Case Against the Fed to help rectify that blatant economic ignorance of yours.

  • "The financial elites of this country, were responsible for putting through the Federal Reserve System as a governmentally created and sanctioned cartel device to enable the nation’s banks to inflate the money supply in a coordinated fashion." Murray Rothbard

Aren’t you meant to be against the financial elites? Aren’t you meant to be against the poor getting poorer, as they get screwed over via inflation? You don’t care that they lose their jobs thanks to the depression: a product of the central bank artificially lowering interest rates leading to the creation of an artificial boom through easy credit, thus resulting in malinvestment and an inevitable bust?

There is in fact legitimate and valid reasoning behind every single vote Ron Paul has made.. it’s just that you, and your fellow cohort of intellectual sloths are satisfied with taking everything you are spoon fed at face value. How about asking "why?" every once in a while? How about doing your job… which as a wannabe future journalist actually involves doing some investigating!

If you possessed a modicum of competency you would have discovered that the reason Ron Paul was the sole vote against the “Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act” is because he’s not a warmongering economic illiterate who understands that:

  • H.R. 180 is premised on the assumption that divestment, sanctions, and other punitive measures are effective in influencing repressive regimes, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Proponents of such methods fail to remember that where goods cannot cross borders, troops will.
  • Sanctions against Cuba, Iraq, and numerous other countries failed to topple their governments. Rather than weakening dictators, these sanctions strengthened their hold on power and led to more suffering on the part of the Cuban and Iraqi people. To the extent that divestment effected change in South Africa, it was brought about by private individuals working through the market to influence others.
  • No one denies that the humanitarian situation in Darfur is dire, but the United States government has no business entangling itself in this situation, nor in forcing divestment on unwilling parties. Any further divestment action should be undertaken through voluntary means and not by government fiat.
  • H.R. 180 is an interventionist piece of legislation which will extend the power of the federal government over American businesses, force this country into yet another foreign policy debacle, and do nothing to alleviate the suffering of the residents of Darfur.
  • The safe harbor provision opens another dangerous loophole, allowing fund managers to escape responsibility for any potential financial mismanagement, and it sets a dangerous precedent.

So here we discover that you and your contemporaries are nothing but rabidly confused intellectual pygmies. As for the claims of racism this sets the record straight.

2. An excellent example of cherry picking fallacy (content displayed of the bill) with no attempt at all to ascertain why Ron Paul voted the way he did. The error of such an approach is exactly the same as above, except here parts of the bill are displayed. It also attempts to shift the burden of proof. The one supporting the initiation or threat of aggression must attempt to justify the actions, even if done through arbitrary ad hoc legislation created by a self-interested ruling political elite. It’s erroneous to assume that such a framework is an implicit given.

All it does is begs the question of its validity, because I and others clearly didn’t sign any social contract. Furthermore, the point is that it is impossible - not that the said “signing” occurred generations ago. This short video I’ve posted previously lays waste to the concept. You cannot have a contract with a concept. A social contract violates methodological individualism, it contains circular reasoning. The state does not defend us. The state operates in a legal vacuum. A tax-funded protection agency is a contradiction in terms.

3. Here Adam Kokesh from Adam vs. The Man responds directly to: Ten Reasons Not to Vote For Ron Paul. After shattering the arguments, he also provides some of his own ten reasons not to vote for Ron Paul:

  • 10. I hate freedom
  • 9. I love paying taxes for stupid crap the government shouldn’t be doing
  • 8. I don’t want to lose my sweet job groping children at TSA checkpoints
  • 7. I love seeing Bradley Manning tortured for speaking out against all these awesome wars
  • 6. Obama still gives me that tingling sensation up my leg
  • 5. The drug war is awesome!
  • 4. I love paying the inflation tax to the Federal Reserve… even though I don’t know what that means
  • 3. Don’t we need government to protect us from ourselves?
  • 2. But Obama promised to keep me from ever having to take any real responsibility for myself
  • 1. If Ron Paul wins then I won’t get to call anyone who disagrees with me a racist for not supporting our dear great imperial leader Barack Hussein Obama
Photo 4 Mar 19 notes I recently responded to a similar question about how to simply define libertarianism (liberty) here. As you know, freedom and liberty are often used interchangeably and synonymously. Unfortunately the term is generally abused by every movement out there trying to justify their cause. As a result the waters have been muddied and hardly anyone knows what it means anymore. Similarly as Karen DeCoster mentions,
"A popular rallying cry is that we Americans "enjoy more freedom than any other citizens in the world." However, I argue that freedom is not a test of measurements. Freedom is not merely a political end that is to be measured quantitatively against that which has been achieved historically in the U.S., or by others worldwide. Freedom is not a measurement to determine the amount of success that we gain, in increments, against our aggressors. Rather, freedom is an end gained via an objective moral order, rooted in the ability to entirely eliminate all coercion from the State, our main aggressor." — Why We Are Not Free.
Striking at the root as to why there is a lot of confusion regarding the meaning of freedom is Murray Rothbard,
"Some may object that man is not really free because he must obey natural laws. To say that man is not free because he is not able to do anything he may possibly desire, however, confuses freedom and power.  It is clearly absurd to employ as a definition of "freedom" the power of an entity to perform an impossible action, to violate its nature." — The Mantle of Science.
This clears up the erroneous definitions and uses outlined in your question; freedom from pain, pleasure, death, life, boredom, happiness, and oppression. How then, does one properly define freedom? Hans-Hermann Hoppe makes it very clear here:
A society is free, if every person is recognized as the exclusive owner  of his own (scarce) physical body, if everyone is free to appropriate or  “homestead” previously un-owned things as private property, if everyone  is free to use his body and his homesteaded goods to produce whatever  he wants to produce (without thereby damaging the physical integrity of  other peoples’ property), and if everyone is free to contract with  others regarding their respective properties in any way deemed mutually  beneficial. Any interference with this constitutes an act of aggression,  and a society is un-free to the extent of such aggressions.

I recently responded to a similar question about how to simply define libertarianism (liberty) here. As you know, freedom and liberty are often used interchangeably and synonymously. Unfortunately the term is generally abused by every movement out there trying to justify their cause. As a result the waters have been muddied and hardly anyone knows what it means anymore. Similarly as Karen DeCoster mentions,

  • "A popular rallying cry is that we Americans "enjoy more freedom than any other citizens in the world." However, I argue that freedom is not a test of measurements. Freedom is not merely a political end that is to be measured quantitatively against that which has been achieved historically in the U.S., or by others worldwide. Freedom is not a measurement to determine the amount of success that we gain, in increments, against our aggressors. Rather, freedom is an end gained via an objective moral order, rooted in the ability to entirely eliminate all coercion from the State, our main aggressor." Why We Are Not Free.

Striking at the root as to why there is a lot of confusion regarding the meaning of freedom is Murray Rothbard,

  • "Some may object that man is not really free because he must obey natural laws. To say that man is not free because he is not able to do anything he may possibly desire, however, confuses freedom and power.  It is clearly absurd to employ as a definition of "freedom" the power of an entity to perform an impossible action, to violate its nature." The Mantle of Science.

This clears up the erroneous definitions and uses outlined in your question; freedom from pain, pleasure, death, life, boredom, happiness, and oppression. How then, does one properly define freedom? Hans-Hermann Hoppe makes it very clear here:

  • A society is free, if every person is recognized as the exclusive owner of his own (scarce) physical body, if everyone is free to appropriate or “homestead” previously un-owned things as private property, if everyone is free to use his body and his homesteaded goods to produce whatever he wants to produce (without thereby damaging the physical integrity of other peoples’ property), and if everyone is free to contract with others regarding their respective properties in any way deemed mutually beneficial. Any interference with this constitutes an act of aggression, and a society is un-free to the extent of such aggressions.
Link 3 Jan 60 notes In Defense of Mises, Rothbard & the Austrian School»

infinitegames:

libertydefender responded to my post about praxeology with this statement:

It’s already been done; [1], [2], [3], [4]*. And so I issue you the same response

I think, however, that either libertydefender misunderstands me or I misunderstand libertydefender. My first question for praxeologists was whether or not they could demonstrate that all the results of Misesian economics are derived logically from axioms (necessary for their claim of a logically consistent, a priori theory). By mentioning how mathematicians approach this, I may have confused matters. I am not suggesting that economics should rely on mathematical symbols or models. Rather, I was pointing out that the reason mathematics uses a formal language (which, in advanced mathematics, is more akin to English than the symbols most people are familiar with in the basic algebras/calculus) is to rid ourselves of ambiguity and unspoken assumptions. This considerably simplifies attempting to prove that a broad theory is true.

There is absolutely no misunderstanding. I acknowledge all that, and it is precisely what those four* posts address. All you have done is merely reiterated the exact same premises. In regards to your first question, I’m not sure you actually understand praxeology and economic science.

  • "In the study of human action, on the other hand, the proper procedure is the reverse. Here we begin with the primary axioms; we know that men are the causal agents, that the ideas they adopt by free will govern their actions. We therefore begin by fully knowing the abstract axioms, and we may then build upon them by logical deduction, introducing a few subsidiary axioms to limit the range of the study to the concrete applications we care about. Furthermore, in human affairs, the existence of free will prevents us from conducting any controlled experiments; for people’s ideas and valuations are continually subject to change, and therefore nothing can be held constant. The proper theoretical methodology in human affairs, then, is the axiomatic-deductive method. The laws deduced by this method are more, not less, firmly grounded than the laws of physics; for since the ultimate causes are known directly as true, their consequences are also true." ~ Rothbard, Mantle of Science.

Whether the logical deduction is sound or not, you will have to specifically attack the reasoning and "results of Misesian economics". Books have been written on justifying the logical deduction of money (to name one specific area) and it’s praxeological foundations based on human action.

  • "The present work deduces the entire corpus of economics from a few simple and apodictically true axioms: the Fundamental Axiom of action-that men employ means to achieve ends, and two subsidiary postulates: that there is a variety of human and natural resources, and that leisure is a consumers’ good.” In “Power and Market” (p. 1309, in the same volume) he than describes concordantly the “three universally acceptable axioms: the major axiom of the existence of purposive human action; and the minor postulates, or axioms, of the diversity of human skills and natural resources, and the disutility of labor." ~ Rothbard: Man, Economy, and State, p. xxxi.

It’s hardly so broad as to run into the problems you propose. What is broad however, is your criticism. So broad as to render it largely useless. How about instead of this generalized ‘hypothetical’ issue, you state the case (symbolize) with real world examples, and prove that it is necessary “to rid ourselves of ambiguity and unspoken assumptions.” It’s all so blase. What are these apparently unspoken assumptions, where is the ambiguity? 

So, in this article linked by libertydefender, when the author argues against using equations (mathematical models), the author doesn’t refute the argument that Mises et al have not proven their theory logically consistent. I absolutely agree that mathematical equations are insufficient to study economics. Mathematical logic is not, however, equations, and the dichotomy proposed between mathematical and verbal logic is a false one: mathematical logic is verbal. There are, to be sure, carefully defined symbols — but I don’t much care whether you use all words or all symbols, as long as they are unambiguously defined.

Mathematical logic defines all the variables. Can the same be said for attempting to describe human action? This has all been addressed at length in the replies, I suggest an actual post by post, ‘line by line’ refutation might be more helpful in future. Because I really don’t see anything new being added to the discussion here.

I will note, however, in response to this article linked by libertydefender, that when Rothbard says (as quoted in that article):

The use of the calculus, for example, that has been endemic in mathematical economics assumes infinitely small steps. Infinitely small steps may be fine in physics where particles travel along a certain path; but they are completely inappropriate in a science of human action, where individuals only consider matter precisely when it becomes large enough to be visible and important. Human action takes place in discrete steps, not in infinitely small ones

he is adopting a contradictory viewpoint. Rothbard assumes, many times in his work, that supply and demand intersect, absolutely unlikely in the discrete steps he considers.

That’s like the cretinists who claim that evolution is wrong because of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. They think that since we get “more complex” with evolution, it can’t happen because it violates “entropy”.  Which is nonsense, since that would mean we couldn’t even grow.

Similarly, you contend that supply/demand can’t intersect in finitely many discrete steps. Yes not only can it: it does. Different price points are tried. Prices go up and down based on supply and demand. And yet the price points are discrete along the historical continuum.

More to the point, I fail to see how any of the articles libertydefender links address my first argument. There is evidence that praxeology is not entirely generated by its axioms. For example, in Human Action (p. 65 in the Mises Institute edition) Mises writes:

The disutility of labor is not of a categorial and aprioristic character. We can without contradiction think of a world in which labor does not cause uneasiness, and we can depict the state of affairs prevailing in such a world. Experience teaches that there is disutility of labor.

This is a synthetic argument, then, one which requires empirical evidence to prove (there is no way, in other words, to prove this axiomatically, since, as Mises points out, it is possible without contradiction to construct a different scenario.) I don’t recall where, but Blaug has argued that a posteriori assumptions are necessary also to justify Mises’ use of a negatively sloped demand curve (which economists, particularly Steve Keen, have ably demonstrated to be false.)

It was referenced in the last post [3], the very last line - though admittedly not clear. "You made another post, and I’ve addressed it here.” So I suppose it should be have been labelled [4]* (just added into the top). And as you will see it directly addressed those points. In short: It’s always been admitted that there are a priori axioms from some empirical observations.

  • “It should be noted that for Mises it is only the fundamental axiom of action that is a priori; he conceded that the subsidiary axioms of the diversity of mankind and nature, and of leisure as a consumers’ good, are broadly empirical.”  ~  Murray N. Rothbard, Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics, p3.

Your point raised is null and void. Nor have I seen any demonstration of the negatively-sloping demand curve to be false. And the idea of disutility of labor is based on subjective preference.

So when I challenged praxeologists to produce a version of their theory which, unlike Mises and Rothbard’s writings, carefully defines all terms, enumerates axioms, and formally proves every claim, it was to answer these charges. I wasn’t suggesting that mathematics should be used in economics (though I do see a place for it, more on that elsewhere). Rather, I was arguing that praxeologists have failed to accurately demonstrate that they can deduce the entirety of their economic theory from their stated axioms.

I’m not sure why you guys don’t understand, that I understand what you guys are trying to do. It’s like you can’t seem to comprehend that I get it, and object. Nor have you at all proven Mises and Rothbard haven’t clearly defined their terms and proven their claims. This comes off as nothing but an argument from ignorance. What other books/sources have you read? There are considerable resources out there where they do just that (many linked to in the previous discussions above).

logicallypositive:

Thank you, someone who actually understands the point I was trying to get at! And as I’ve demonstrated earlier, if Misesean praxeology truly has any sort of explanatory power, then via Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems it will necessarily be unable to prove at least one result. Conza and others have asked me what the use of symbolization is; infinitegames summarized that pretty well. But necessarily, a symbolic reduction raises further problems which, I am convinced thus far, praxeology is incapable of addressing.

I find the claim I didn’t understand what you were getting at rather amusing. And I’d put forward neither of you have adequately addressed the points raised against, nor made a credible case for the use of symbolizing economics. Obviously that isn’t up for me to decide, but instead the reader, whom I think -anyone not completely invested in positivism, or mathematics- will agree with. In regards to the above, I have already addressed these points here [4] (which wasn’t responded to) and will add to the edifice of argument against.

Precisely what the particular unprovable claim is I am not certain. However, it is problematic for a theory so wide in scope.

Again you admit to having no precise idea what this apparent unprovable claim is, and side with it anyway? What theory so wide in scope? Praxeology isn’t just some theory (Chapter 2 - On Praxeology and the Praxeological Foundation of Epistemology, ESAM by Hoppe). Size is not the issue, soundness is - and your contended "problem" with praxeology, isn’t actually one at all.

I don’t necessarily dispute any of the claims made by praxeology. I think the empirical evidence shows, for example, Austrian business cycle theory to be very accurate. Rather, my issues with praxeology are that it is incomplete.

If you don’t agree with the methodology of praxeology, and the Austrians claims for the status of economic propositions, then your agreement is completely superficial.

Text 28 Dec 5 notes a response to: “I posted this on the Libertarian Party Facebook Page…”

lepus:

“I’ve noticed this in some of the younger libertarian folks online. Unless you have every box checked on this imagined “libertarian” checklist, you are labeled a “statist” or a “closet republican”. Honestly, a group that prides itself on freedom and individual rights SHOULD (in my view) have a broader sense of what being a “libertarian” is, since there are left and right leaning libertarians. Thoughts?”

If you are attempting to apply the principle of non-aggression, sure - it should be a big tent, no matter the philosophical foundation. Issues of contention within the movement (abortion, immigration, fractional-reserve banking etc) need not exclude one from the movement. War however is a disqualifier… as there is no real attempt to apply the non-aggression principle, and to put it simply "war is the health of the state".

There is no legitimate form of “left” or “right” wing libertarianism. These concepts are the remnants of the false left / right paradigm and fallaciously try to apply an adjective (eg. left or thick) to a noun (libertarianism), in an effort to influence what it means… except the attempt is bogus & violates what libertarianism actually is. When a person speaks of things (outside the realm of political philosophy) they do not do so as a libertarian.

Hence, libertarian qua libertarian has nothing to say on those matters. It is left over baggage people still possess. Their earlier positions failed under scruitiny, so the individual undertook an investigation into libertarianism but has not yet succeeded in ridding themselves of a tainted ideology. Libertarianism is unique, it is neither left nor right.

Remaining a ‘statist’ isn’t the key issue either. Hating the state (loving liberty) & being a radical (abolitionist) is.

Murray Rothbard:

"…Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays,you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark. I can think of hardly a single limited governmentalist of the present day who is radical – a truly amazing phenomenon, when we think of our classical liberal forbears who were genuinely radical, who hated statism and the States of their day with a beautifully integrated passion: the Levellers, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, Joseph Priestley, the Jacksonians, Richard Cobden, and on and on, a veritable roll call of the greats of the past. Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he nevercrossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism.

And closer to our own day, such early influences on me as Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Chodorov were magnificently and superbly radical. Hatred of “Our Enemy, the State" (Nock’s title) and all of its works shone through all of their writings like a beacon star. So what if they never quite made it all the way to explicit anarchism? Far better one Albert Nock than a hundred anarcho-capitalists who are all too comfortable with the existing status quo.

Where are the Paines and Cobdens and Nocks of today? Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of “radical” is “conservative,” where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no.

To carry our analysis further, radical anti-statists are extremely valuable even if they could scarcely be considered libertarians in any comprehensive sense. Thus, many people admire the work of columnists Mike Royko and Nick von Hoffman because they consider these men libertarian sympathizers and fellow-travelers. That they are, but this does not begin to comprehend their true importance. For throughout the writings of Royko and von Hoffman, as inconsistent as they undoubtedly are, there runs an all-pervasive hatred of the State, of all politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients which, in its genuine radicalism, is far truer to the underlying spirit of liberty than someone who will coolly go along with the letter of every syllogism and every lemma down to the “model” of competing courts.

Taking the concept of radical vs. conservative in our new sense, let us analyze the now famous “abolitionism” vs. “gradualism” debate. The latter jab comes in the August issue of Reason (a magazine every fiber of whose being exudes “conservatism”), in which editor Bob Poole asks Milton Friedman where he stands on this debate. Freidman takes the opportunity of denouncing the “intellectual cowardice” of failing to set forth “feasible” methods of getting “from here to there.” Poole and Friedman have between them managed to obfuscate the true issues. There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible. Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a “button pusher” who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary – while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.

Ron Paul is a voluntarist*, however to many he is considered a supporter of limited government (and yet would fulfill Rothbard’s criteria of a radical regardless). This indicates precisely why he gets so much support from some areas and so little, even negative from others.

via Lepus.
Text 21 Dec 3 notes Death Penalty and the State

good-gollymissmolly:

conza replied to your post: conza replied to your post: conza replied to your…

The structure remains the same. Shouldn’t the victim, or next of kin be the ones determining the level of punishment? (If ‘aggressor’ found guilty by the judge, jury etc.) Not the state, or yourself? youtube.com/watch?v… :)

What about victims who don’t have a next of kin?  Or a murderer with multiple victims whose next of kins don’t agree?

A very good question Molly. I actually had to stop and think about this (for those who might want to catch up on the exchange [1], [2], [3]). To address your first question..

If the victim had a will, which in a free society built on contracts would be more likely, they’d specify how to deal with such a situation if it were to arise - i.e issues relating to their death, organ donation etc. Dealing with their aggressor -if there is one- would be apart of that, and simply mean following through with their stated wishes. Either in relation to damages and the next of kin affected (children, dependents, spouse), or enacting the ultimate punishment: death. As pointed out in the Bob Murphy video linked above (which you didn’t watch ;p) I think more people would side with putting the ‘murderer’ to work, as opposed to removing their existence, though that is certainly an option.

If there isn’t a will to follow, is someone else able to step in and prosecute as an agent on behalf of the victim? First this needs to be broken down, it’s like there is a property conflict, but one side is missing and would be unable to bring the matter personally to court.  ‘Agents’ can certainly do it for you, but if you hadn’t organized such a thing prior to, then how has the issue come to attention?

Someone must suspect foul play, investigate, find the ‘murderer’ and bring them to trial to see if they are guilty. Who could that be? Who has an incentive to investigate? The insurance company for starters, or some other interested party. Also where did the person die, on whose property? If a renter, then that’s the landlord. If a home owner with a mortgage, then the bank. These institutions, including others in the local community have a direct interest in seeing the criminal be reprimanded so it doesn’t happen again, because it drives down local values and prices, whilst it would raise their insurance premiums given an increase in crime in the area.

The only reason the state is interested, is because it lost a tax payer, and you can’t have people going around killing more taxpayers. That’s the government’s job.

In a free society anyone would be able to take precautionary action against a dangerous person that they suspect for whatever reason. If a person feels there is a dangerous person out there that isn’t being dealt with, then the logical place to address would be any of the local security agencies, because they stand to lose by it (they offer safety as a good).

So the security agencies (or the insurance agencies), would investigate that person’s background, their standing in the community, people who support them, etc. But the point is that the whole community has an interest in dealing with dangerous people. It is today that we have no way of filtering out good from bad people; it’s made illegal through legislation.

For example, it’s illegal to disallow people from your business (egalitarian, anti-discrimination legislation). Illegal to store trade and crime information ('privacy' legislation). We want to do those things, it’s in our interest, but we can’t because we live under a monopoly.

People have a reputation, which can be tarnished through contract arbitration and ostracism, but can also be tarnished through publication of evidence. Which anyone is free to do (unless singing a NDA I suppose), and anyone would be free to act on. However, you are currently not free to protect yourself and your community. Dealing privately with criminals would be perceived very differently probably, in the public eye. Because we would know exactly who is dangerous, yet out there. Best we know now is sex offenders; which a lot of the time was consensual.

The importance of next of kins are only relevant in terms of damages, not so much in terms of reputation/danger.

Or a murderer with multiple victims whose next of kins don’t agree?

I think this would be settled in arbitration among the families after conviction. Prior to, we can only speculate what a private law society would look like. Would there be multiple individual cases brought by the separate dispute resolution agencies against the one individual, or would it essentially take the form of a ‘class action’ suit where the plaintiffs all line up as one against the defendant. Who knows?

Naturally though, the more folks involved the less chance of agreement. The point being though, in a free society, the tendency would be exceedingly towards murder sprees not happening - given proper competitive protection and insurance agencies, not the inefficient monopoly we have now.

via Ut Prosim.
Link 15 Dec 12 notes A response to: ~*~* Evil Moustache-Twirling Capitalist *~*~: Mathematical versus Verbal Logic?»

logicallypositive:

i34.tinypic.com/675b88…. .. prove what? ;p

Everything you can possibly prove about it. It’s synthetic a priori which implies you can symbolize it. If you symbolize it, and…

Link to the complete discussion: here. I’ll try to keep this as small as possible.

So we both agree Mises’ theory of economics is an axiomatic, deductive a priori system of reasoning about economics. Then it necessarily follows from this that, because of its axiomatic and aprioristic nature, that one can express all the results, the axioms, the theorems, the deductions, etc of the praxeological science through the use of logical symbols.

We’re describing humans. Economics is the science of human action after-all. You can’t use symbolic descriptors of human action because action necessarily involves the satisfaction of wants—each of which is dependent upon the individual human. Again, you can’t use symbols; you can only use words. However, if as you appear to want to do - use words, then translate them into symbols and then back into words again, something will be lost in translation.

  •  ”…Without setting forth the comprehensive Austrian case against mathematical economics, one point can immediately be made: let the reader take the implications of the concept of action as developed so far in this paper and try to place them in mathematical form. And even if that could be done, what…

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Link 15 Dec 4 notes A response to: ~*~* Evil Moustache-Twirling Capitalist *~*~: More on automated theorem proving & Austrian economics»

logicallypositive:

Within formal logic, there is a result known as Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems. I’ve written about them before, but basically what the important theorem says is that “Within a second-order or higher system of logic, it can be either consistent or complete, but not both.” So your formal system of logic can either:

  1. be able to express and determine the truth value of every single proposition, but allow contradictions
  2. not allow contradictions, but permit the truth-value of at least one proposition to be indeterminate using the rules of that system

In order to successfully symbolize Austrian economics, one would have to use set-theoretic concepts and functions, at least that is what my intuition tells me. Which means the logic of praxeology would be at least 2nd order, quite possibly even 3rd order.

So what this means is that within the science of praxeology, there exists a non-empty set of propositions which have an indeterminate truth value. Granted, they do have a truth value. HOWEVER, it is impossible to prove their truth within the confines of praxeological logic. In other words, there exist true statements which one cannot prove using praxeology.

Total nonsense. It only applies to math. Yeah, there are statements which we can’t *prove* as true; they’re called axioms.

This is certainly a less problematic conclusion that straight up admitting that the Austrian school is a clever and elaborate tautology, but it is still problematic. Specifically, it means that Austrians cannot use either verbal OR symbolic logic to prove at least one statement which is true. The methodology is incomplete, and thus necessarily lacking. Powerful, but still lacking.

Again, those things we don’t prove are called axioms—for a reason. "Or, as the Thomist philosopher John J. Toohey put it:

  • Proving means making evident something which  is not evident. If a truth or proposition is self-evident, it is useless to attempt to prove it; to attempt to prove it would be to attempt to make evident something which is already evident.23 

The action axiom, in particular, should be, according to Aristotelian philosophy, unchallengeable and self-evident since the critic who attempts to refute it finds that he must use it in the process of alleged refutation.”

A large part of the Austrian mission was to avoid the use of empirical evidence. Sadly, admitting this fact to be true necessarily means to prove that particular proposition, you’d have to resort to some sort of empirical, inductive reasoning. Some sort of econometrics or non-praxeological methodology. It’d be better than nothing, but it’s still a depressing result.

It’s always been admitted that there are a priori axioms from some empirical observations.

  • "Actually, despite the “extreme a priori” label, praxeology contains one Fundamental Axiom—the axiom of action—which may be called a priori, and a few subsidiary postulates which are actually empirical. Incredible as it may seem to those versed in the positivist tradition, from this tiny handful of premises the whole of economics is deduced—and deduced as absolutely true. Setting aside the Fundamental Axiom for a moment, the empirical postulates are: (a) small in number, and (b) so broadly based as to be hardly “empirical” in the empiricist sense of the term. To put it differently, they are so generally true as to be self-evident, as to be seen by all to be obviously true once they are stated, and hence they are not in practice empirically falsifiable and therefore not “operationally meaningful.” What are these propositions? We may consider them in decreasing order of their generality: (1) the most fundamental—variety of resources, both natural and human. From this follows directly the division of labor, the market, etc.; (2) less important, that leisure is a consumer good. These are actually the only postulates needed. Two other postulates simply introduce limiting subdivisions into the analysis. Thus, economics can deductively elaborate from the Fundamental Axiom and Postulates (1) and (2) (actually, only Postulate 1 is necessary) an analysis of Crusoe economics, of barter, and of a monetary economy. All these elaborated laws are absolutely true." ~ Murray N. Rothbard, In Defense of Extreme Apriorism.
  • "It should be noted that for Mises it is only the fundamental axiom of action that  is a priori; he conceded that the subsidiary axioms of the diversity of mankind and nature, and of leisure as a consumers’ good, are broadly empirical."  ~  Murray N. Rothbard, Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics, p3.
Text 14 Dec 12 notes Mathematical versus Verbal Logic?

logicallypositive:

i34.tinypic.com/675b88…. .. prove what? ;p

Everything you can possibly prove about it. It’s synthetic a priori which implies you can symbolize it. If you symbolize it, and create appropriate rules of deduction, you can plug it into a computer program like Isabelle and it will prove every result that is possible to prove deductively

What’s to prove about it? That humans act? It’s already been done.

  • "Mises’s great insight was that economic reasoning has its foundation in just this understanding of action; and that the status of economics as a sort of applied logic derives from the status of the action-axiom as an a priori-true synthetic proposition. The laws of exchange, the law of diminishing marginal utility, the Ricardian law of association, the law of price controls, and the quantity theory of money all the examples of economic propositions which I have mentioned can be logically derived from this axiom. And this is why it strikes one as ridiculous to think of such propositions as being of the same epistemological type as those of the natural sciences. To think that they are, and accordingly to require testing for their validation, is like supposing that we had to engage in some fact-finding process without knowing the possible outcome in order to establish the fact that one is indeed an actor. In a word: It is absurd." ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe, ESAM.

In regards to symbolizing it, I think you have already checked out Mises excerpt from Human Action, but definitely take a look at Rothbard’s journal article on Praxeology. It explicitly goes into this topic around page 5, i.e verbal logic and mathematical logic.  

Mathematics versus Economic Logic by Ludwig von Mises

  • …The deliberations which result in the formulation of an equation are necessarily of a nonmathematical character. The formulation of the equation is the consummation of our knowledge; it does not directly enlarge our knowledge. […] No such constant relations exist, however, between economic elements. The equations formulated by mathematical economics remain a useless piece of mental gymnastics and would remain so even it they were to express much more than they really do.

  • …The mathematical method is at a loss to show how, from a state of nonequilibrium, those actions spring up which tend toward the establishment of equilibrium. It is, of course, possible to indicate the mathematical operations required for the transformation of the mathematical description of a definite state of nonequilibrium into the mathematical description of the state of equilibrium. But these mathematical operations by no means describe the market process actuated by the discrepancies in the price structure. The differential equations of mechanics are supposed to describe precisely the motions concerned at any instant of the time traveled through. The economic equations have no reference whatever to conditions as they really are in each instant of the time interval between the state of nonequilibrium and that of equilibrium. Only those entirely blinded by the prepossession that economics must be a pale replica of mechanics will underrate the weight of this objection. A very imperfect and superficial metaphor is not a substitute for the services rendered by logical economics…

Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics by Murray N. Rothbard

  • …Moreover, even if verbal economics could be successfully translated into mathematical  symbols and then translated into English so as to explain the conclusions, the process  makes no sense and violates the great scientific principle of Occam’s Razor: avoiding unnecessary multiplication of entities…
  • …Although himself a mathematical economist, the mathematician son of Carl Menger wrote a trenchant critique of the idea that mathematical presentation in economics is necessarily  more precise than ordinary language: 

    Consider, for  example, the statements (2) To a higher price of a…

 A Note on Mathematical Economics by Murray N. Rothbard

  • …The best readers’ guide to the jungle of mathematical economics is to ignore the fancy welter of equations and look for the assumptions underneath. Invariably they are few in number, simple, and wrong. They are wrong precisely because mathematical economists are positivists, who do not know that economics rests on true axioms.

    The mathematical economists are therefore framing assumptions which are admittedly false or partly false, but which they hope can serve as useful approximations, as they would in physics. The important thing is not to be intimidated by the mathematical trappings.

I’m not sure of the value of such an undertaking. Or maybe I’ve misinterpreted the intended goal. Whatever the case, I’d definitely be interested in reading your thoughts when you eventually have time to flesh them out :).


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