September 23, 2017 at 11:07 am #21254
There was a very short discussion of this topic in Tom’s secret Facebook group, but it didn’t leave me satisfied.
All the problems with they way the U.S. Constitution was peppered with “time bombs” (or had new interpretations created later) as described in the Hamilton episode (#1003) — don’t all the same problems apply to contracts in general?
This seems to be a problem especially when people make contracts that are intended to continue even after the original signatories are no longer involved.
For example, in Episode 932, Tom discussed “zoning” with Ben O’Neill — basically, how could you attach contractual obligations to all future transfers of a given property.
The express purpose of such contracts is to bind future property owners to the terms the current property owners want to enforce.
Let’s say you inherit such a property. And let’s say you never particularly agreed to those contractual obligations. Nevertheless, you are lawfully bound to use your property in accordance with the previous contracts, even though you never gave explicit consent to those contracts.
Fast forward two or three generations and imagine the complex network of contractual obligations that would be likely to arise.
And then mix in a bit of skillful Easter-egg hunting and legal re-interpretation and you get the exact same outcome as with the US Constitution.
In other words, starting with a 100% libertarian foundation, based solely on property rights and contracts, and with nobody violating the NAP, you can still get the same outcomes as though you had a State.
Just imagine if those complex networks of contracts had any kind of agreements with private security organizations or private banking institutions, and it only highlights what I am saying.
Is there an error somewhere in this line of reasoning?
Thanks!September 23, 2017 at 11:36 am #21255
You wrote:“All the problems with they way the U.S. Constitution was peppered with “time bombs” (or had new interpretations created later) as described in the Hamilton episode (#1003) — don’t all the same problems apply to contracts in general? This seems to be a problem especially when people make contracts that are intended to continue even after the original signatories are no longer involved.
“For example, in Episode 932, Tom discussed “zoning” with Ben O’Neill — basically, how could you attach contractual obligations to all future transfers of a given property. The express purpose of such contracts is to bind future property owners to the terms the current property owners want to enforce.”
I think the answer to your question lies in the following considerations. Property isn’t just ‘stuff’; it’s the legal right to make use of that ‘stuff’ in particular ways. So, for example, if you rent a house from someone, you’re entitled to live in it but not to sell it as if it was yours. You’re also probably prohibited from opening a business in that house or sub-letting it. So, to take your example.
“Let’s say you inherit such a property. And let’s say you never particularly agreed to those contractual obligations. Nevertheless, you are lawfully bound to use your property in accordance with the previous contracts, even though you never gave explicit consent to those contracts.”
In law there used to be legal instruments known as restrictive covenants. These were conditions that limited in some way or another the use to which a property could be put, and, in the legal phrase, they ‘ran with the land’, which is to say that they were ad rem rather than ad personam. Someone inheriting such a property inherits it within the scope of the existing covenants – those covenants are part of the property he inherits. If he doesn’t want to take the property under those conditions he can decline the inheritance.
So, there’s no question of ‘never particularly agreeing’ to the contractual obligations. Either you took the property, and with it, the contractual obligations running with it, or you declined the whole bundle. Restrictive covenants used to be quite common but for various reasons (not least the exclusion of certain social groups from residential areas under their terms) they have been either severely circumscribed in their operation or abolished. (You’d need to check the law in your area/state for their precise current status.)September 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm #21256
The consent issue wasn’t really my primary consideration, but it does seem important.
Restrictive covenants are the only mechanism with which I am familiar for making collective decisions about property usage (e.g., zoning, Homeowners Associations, apartment complexes with common areas, etc.) in an anarcho-capitalist society.
In such a society, I imagine that over time, most properties would have some kind of restrictive covenants attached to them, except maybe in undeveloped areas.
In such a society, if you accept title to a property — or accept a rental agreement — or in general, if you accept the terms of usage of any given property — then you are giving consent to the restrictive covenants associated with those properties. Even if you didn’t read the contractual details, you are still giving implied consent.
So if you are born into a developed area and either own property or use property in that area, you are giving consent (explicit or implied) to all the restrictive covenants involved in those properties.
Is this correct?September 23, 2017 at 1:03 pm #21257
Hello again, seraphim.
“The consent issue wasn’t really my primary consideration, but it does seem important.”
Did I miss the point?
“Restrictive covenants are the only mechanism with which I am familiar for making collective decisions about property usage (e.g., zoning, Homeowners Associations, apartment complexes with common areas, etc.) in an anarcho-capitalist society. In such a society, I imagine that over time, most properties would have some kind of restrictive covenants attached to them, except maybe in undeveloped areas.”
That’s possible, but I don’t imagine it’s in any way necessary or even likely. Restrictions on alienability of property maximise control but minimise transferability and so, to some extent, value.
“In such a society, if you accept title to a property — or accept a rental agreement — or in general, if you accept the terms of usage of any given property — then you are giving consent to the restrictive covenants associated with those properties. Even if you didn’t read the contractual details, you are still giving implied consent. So if you are born into a developed area and either own property or use property in that area, you are giving consent (explicit or implied) to all the restrictive covenants involved in those properties. Is this correct?”
I would say, again, that property is a bundle of rights to make use of x, not x itself. That being so, when you take title to a specific property, you’re inherently taking over a particular bundle of rights. If those rights are limited in some way, then that’s part of the property.
Historically, restrictive covenants weren’t the only ways to limit the use of land. The entail was a device invented to keep property in a particular family. The holder of the property for the time being was entitled to use in in various ways but not, for example, to waste. An example of waste would have been the cutting down of all the trees on the estate during his tenure, leaving none for his heir. However, and this is important, it was possible to block the entail if agreement could be reached between the holder and his heir and possibly (but I’m not certain) in other ways. Similarly, even if restrictive covenants existed in a libertarian society, it should be possible to set up some way in which they could, with the consent of the interested parties, be circumvented or abolished.September 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm #21258
Yes, my main point was that the US Constitution was used deceptively as a force to nationalize the several states (as described in Tom’s latest podcast on Hamilton – http://tomwoods.com/1003).
The techniques for accomplishing this were sometimes planted in the Constitution deliberately, and sometimes read into the Constitution after the fact.
It seems obvious to me that these techniques could also be used (and frequently are used) (whether in good faith or not) to interpret contractual agreements.
The unavoidable outcome is that a society based on contracts will be dominated by whoever is most adept at interpreting contracts in such a way as to achieve their own objectives, and adept at persuading arbitrators to agree to such interpretations, regardless of the original intent of the signatories to the contract.
This would not seem to be the intended outcome of those who advocate for an anarcho-capitalist society.
Regarding restrictive covenants – in the podcast (http://tomwoods.com/932) they go into quite some detail on
– the real needs motivating people to create zoning laws
– that these needs are legitimate
– that there are many similar needs; and
– the advantage of the restrictive covenant is a private means of achieving these ends without the need of a State.
A simple example of other similar needs is an apartment building where apartments under private ownership but other things (such as roofs, outside grounds, and so on) are held in common and must be regulated by some kind of corporate agreement.
In the podcast, they also discuss the various practical means of modifying and adjusting these restrictive covenants without necessarily requiring 100% consensus — such as the establishment of a “majority vote”, or the formation of a Governing Board for a Homeowner’s Association, with CC&Rs that govern how decisions are to be made.
My point is that an ostensibly Stateless society comprising a network of such property arrangements would seem to have many characteristics of a State. In fact I am having a hard time identifying what makes it qualitatively different from a State.
So I’m hoping someone can either (1) show me the mistake in my reasoning, or (2) show me any other arrangements based on the NAP that would achieve the desired ends without causing the undesirable State-like side effects.
Thanks very much!
SeraphimOctober 1, 2017 at 1:18 am #21259
I ran across this succinct definition of the State by Murray Rothbard:
I define the state as that institution which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as “taxation”; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state.
It seems a Homeowners Association established by some kind of perpetual contract (such as a restrictive covenant) that includes some means to collect revenue to pay for common expenses, which also includes the provision of a private contracted security force, could easily meet these criteria.
Is there a qualitative difference between such an HOA and a State?
It would seem that an anarchist society would need to avoid certain kinds of contracts to avoid gradually taking on the characteristics of a State. And these HOA contracts would fall into that category. What other kinds of things would need to be avoided?October 1, 2017 at 5:32 am #21260
You gave Murray Rothbard’s definition of the state: An institution “which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as “taxation”; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state.”
You wrote: It seems a Homeowners Association established by some kind of perpetual contract (such as a restrictive covenant) that includes some means to collect revenue to pay for common expenses, which also includes the provision of a private contracted security force, could easily meet these criteria.
From the libertarian perspective, the NAP is the foundational principle of any legal order. Within the parameters of the NAP, individuals are free to contract in any way they wish; not to be able to do so would be a limitation on their freedom. One way to exercise their freedom to contract would be to subscribe to a Homeowner’s Association which embodied in its articles a set of restrictive covenants (RCs). It would, of course, be extremely foolish to subscribe to any contract in which the possibility of exiting from it at some stage was not envisaged and the conditions of such an exit set accordingly.
So, take the case of the Homeowner’s Association you mention. Let us suppose that under a RC you are not entitled to keep pets in your home. Now suppose you discover you have an irresistible desire to have a dog – what do you do? Well, you could sublimate this desire and continue to live where you reside or you could go somewhere else. This is the point at which the wisdom of having exit conditions comes in. You should have considered the possibility that no one (at least in the short term) is willing to purchase your home under the existing set of RCs so that would place you in a difficult financial situation. One obvious way to deal with such an eventuality is that the contracts would include a provision that the HOA would purchase your home from you at a pre-agreed price or some other financial mechanism.
You ask: Is there a qualitative difference between such an HOA and a State?
Yes. Using MR’s definition of the state, a HOA either does not acquire its revenue by physical coercion or, if it can do so, its right to use physical coercion to collect revenue results from a contract and so does not violate the NAP. So too, there is no necessity whatsoever that a HOA would have to be a monopoly provider of defence services in respect of the properties under the remit of the HOA. Therefore, HOAs are not states.
You wrote: It would seem that an anarchist society would need to avoid certain kinds of contracts to avoid gradually taking on the characteristics of a State.
Well, yes. Any form of contract that ceded to others a right to help themselves to whatever portion of your income and/or property they deem suitable, from which you cannot exit and which tracks you wherever you go. According to contractarian political philosophers, we are deemed to have entered such contracts tacitly or implicitly. We can’t enter a contract to buy a TV implicitly but we can, it seems, enter a contract implicitly that affects our fundamental rights and freedoms!
You wrote: And these HOA contracts would fall into that category.
The one you described above might do so. Don’t enter such a contract! People sometimes make foolish decisions. There is no mechanism known to man that can rule out completely the operation of human stupidity.October 1, 2017 at 10:24 pm #21261
Thank you, Gerard, this is very helpful. You have such a depth of the historical knowledge here, your feedback on my rambling thoughts is greatly appreciated! It’s prompted me to go read Aristotle and Rothbard and a bunch of other things. But I should probably just buy your new book! ?
I suppose my overarching idea, in these last few threads, is basically this: we are already free.
Free to think, free to act, free to choose. All of us. Regardless of the political system under which we live. There is always something free at the core of who we are as human beings.
“Prosthetics” is a short story by Evgeny Zamyatin from the early Soviet period. As the prisoners were ushered into the gulag, they had to remove and register their prosthetic devices. These were early days, following WW1 and the Revolution, so most prisoners had one kind of prosthetic or another.
But one of the prisoners had no prosthetics. He was chuckling the whole time. Finally his turn came: “What, I don’t have any prosthetics?! But I still have a soul. Do you want to take my soul?! I must apologize, you cannot have my soul!!”
What’s the point?
Even in the gulag, you are still free, if you choose to be free.
Life will always present us with constraints of one kind or another. In fact, we cannot avoid them. Many of us have severe physical constraints. Many of us are constrained by the political or cultural or economic environment in which we find ourselves.
But we are still free. Free to think. Free to respond. In fact, this is the only kind of freedom we really ever have: to choose how to respond to the situation in which we find ourselves. Even if they take away our life.
And… what’s my point?
Even though we are free, we have the State.
It’s a universal phenomenon.
This must mean there is some vicious cycle that brings it into being and causes it to perpetuate and metastasize as it grows. And at the heart of that vicious cycle, there must be some intractable conflict that causes it to persist, despite the best efforts of well-intentioned people over hundreds (thousands?) of years to preserve and protect basic human freedom and dignity.
I came up with a tree of cause-and-effect that shows (or tries to show) that all it requires is a very few people to make the kind of foolish decisions we’ve been discussing — and it starts the avalanche rolling down the hill. And really, the reasons behind it are economic. People may be acting shortsightedly but not entirely without reason.
The arrows represent cause and effect. A -> B means “If A, then B”. Read from bottom to top.
I have a much more detailed version — this leaves out several steps in the logic but hopefully is detailed enough to get the idea.October 1, 2017 at 10:35 pm #21262
Here is the complete graphic. Still needs some work…
To see the whole image in detail, you might need to right-click on it and choose “open image in new window”.
Also, a “precondition” is simply a pertinent fact that relates to the chain of logic. At least, I *think* these are facts. 🙂October 2, 2017 at 3:08 am #21263
Why, if we are free, do we have states? Good question! (Incidentally, I’m unable to see your diagrams properly in these panels. Right-clicking on them produces an error message.)
In Freedom’s Progress? I address (in passing) this question. Here’s an excerpt from the “Preface”.
“While the desirability and necessity of individual liberty may be obvious to libertarians, however, it is not quite so obvious to everyone else. As H. L. Mencken noted, most people want security in this world, not liberty. ‘Libertarians,’ writes Max Eastman, ‘used to tell us that “the love of freedom is the strongest of political motives,” but recent events have taught us the extravagance of this opinion. The “herd-instinct” and the yearning for paternal authority are often as strong. Indeed the tendency of men to gang up under a leader and submit to his will is of all political traits the best attested by history.’ [Eastman, 37] As Brian Doherty notes, ‘…many people loathe and fear liberty, and not just for others—that tyrannical impulse is easy enough to recognize—but even for themselves.’ [Doherty, 509] Not everyone values freedom, then, for with freedom comes responsibility, and the necessity to accept that success or failure are, in part at least, a function of one’s own actions and abilities. ‘Freedom aggravates at least as much as it alleviates frustration,’ remarks Eric Hoffer. ‘Freedom of choice places the whole blame of failure on the shoulders of the individual. And as freedom encourages a multiplicity of attempts, it unavoidably multiplies failure and frustration….Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden’ [Hoffer, 35, §26] In a revealing statement made shortly before the Second World War, a young Nazi remarked to Ida Wylie, ‘We Germans are so happy. We are free from freedom.’ [Wylie, 2]
“The libertarian vision, or at least, my libertarian vision, is not of rugged John the Baptists living alone in the wilderness dining on locusts and wild honey but rather one of individuals integrated into society by virtue of voluntary association, not just because of their status, personal history, family connections, place of birth or other adventitious circumstances. ‘No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’ [John Donne] The completely isolated individual is a creature of fiction; the dichotomy—either group or individual—is false. Some libertarians are so concerned to defend the individual against subsumption into the group that they can give the impression that the ultimate human desideratum is a kind of social atomism, while reluctantly conceding that we must, regrettably, associate with other human beings from time to time! But few men, if any, can be satisfied with their own narrow, time-bound and limited lives and most seek some way in which to transcend their individual limitations. Self-transcendence can come in many forms—social, sporting, military, religious or other. In his legitimate quest for self-transcendence, the contemporary isolated individual risks being re-submerged once more in the group, only this time in much larger and more dangerous groups than his predecessors. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries have seen more than their fair share of such cancerous forms of self-transcendence—Militant Nationalism, Fascism, National Socialism and Communism. Liberty’s progress throughout history has been real and substantial, but it is still a far from complete and its advances are yet capable of reversal”
And here’s an excerpt from the chapter on “The Reformation”.
“Boétie was perhaps the first thinker to explore systematically what may well be one of the most fundamental mysteries of politics—how is it that the few, or the one, succeed in dominating the many? For Boétie, human beings are naturally free and equal: ‘we are all naturally free, inasmuch as we are all comrades. Accordingly it should not enter the mind of anyone that nature has placed some of us in slavery, since she has actually created us all in one likeness….Since freedom is our natural state, we are not only in possession of it but have the urge to defend it. [de la Boétie, 51-52] Being thus free and equal, if one man dominates another, that domination stands in need of explanation and justification. Perhaps that man is stronger than his victim. That may well be so one on one, but it can scarcely explain how, as in the case of political rule, one man or a small group of men succeeds in dominating thousands or millions. ‘For the present,’ he writes, ‘I should [desire] to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation!’ [de la Boétie, 42] In words that are eerily reminiscent of 1 Samuel 8: 11-18, too reminiscent perhaps to be entirely coincidental, Boétie details the depredations typically inflicted on subjects by their ruler: ‘You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows—to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed.’ [de la Boétie, 48]
“The mystery of political domination becomes even more enigmatic when the people are dominated not by some alien conqueror but by one of their own, one who owes his power precisely to the obedience of those whom he dominates. ‘All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin,’ writes Boétie, ‘descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.’ [de la Boétie, 48] This enemy is only one man or, at most, a few, staggeringly outnumbered by the subject population. ‘He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?
“Boétie believes, correctly, that it is not by primarily by force that the many overbear the few. ‘Whoever thinks that halberds, sentries, the placing of the watch, serve to protect and shield tyrants is, in my judgment, completely mistaken. These are used, it seems to me, more for ceremony and a show of force than for any reliance placed in them….It is not the troops on horseback, it is not the companies afoot, it is not arms that defend the tyrant.’ [de la Boétie, 71] The real political structure isn’t a direct relationship between the one and the many, but rather a human cascade, with the ruler being supported by a small number of supporters or collaborators (sometimes rivals), they, in turn controlling a rather larger number of supporters or clients, and so on downwards. Boétie remarks that ‘there are only four or five who maintain the dictator, four or five who keep the country in bondage to him. Five or six have always had access to his ear, and have either gone to him of their own accord, or else have been summoned by him, to be accomplices in his cruelties, companions in his pleasures, panders to his lusts, and sharers in his plunders. These six manage their chief so successfully that he comes to be held accountable not only for his own misdeeds but even for theirs. The six have six hundred who profit under them, and with the six hundred they do what they have accomplished with their tyrant. The six hundred maintain under them six thousand, whom they promote in rank, upon whom they confer the government of provinces or the direction of finances, in order that they may serve as instruments of avarice and cruelty, executing orders at the proper time and working such havoc all around that they could not last except under the shadow of the six hundred, nor be exempt from law and punishment except through their influence.’ [de la Boétie, 71-72]
“If it is not by superior force that rulers keep their subjects in submission; what is the source of the ruler’s power? In an anticipation of a theme that would later emerge in the writings of David Hume, Boétie believes rather that political rule is grounded in the voluntary subjugation of the many, based upon a habit of obedience deriving from prescription, custom and habit, the whole psycho-social edifice propped up by an array of ideological supports. ‘[T]he essential reason why men take orders willingly,’ Boétie writes, ‘is that they are born serfs and are reared as such. From this cause there follows another result, namely that people easily become cowardly and submissive under tyrants.’ [de la Boétie, 62] Astonishing as it may seem, the mass of men actually consent to their own servitude, and Murray Rothbard notes that ‘this consent is engineered, largely by propaganda beamed at the populace by the rulers and their intellectual apologists. The devices—of bread and circuses, of ideological mystification—that rulers today use to gull the masses and gain their consent, remain the same as in La Boétie’s days. The only difference is the enormous increase in the use of specialized intellectuals in the service of the rulers. But in this case, the primary task of opponents of modern tyranny is an educational one: to awaken the public to this process, to demystify and desanctify the State apparatus.’ [Rothbard 1975, 35] If customary obedience is the ground of political rule, then disobedience is the means by which political rule can be undermined; ‘if tyranny really rests on mass consent, then the obvious means for its overthrow is simply by mass withdrawal of that consent. The weight of tyranny would quickly and suddenly collapse under such a non-violent revolution.’ [Rothbard 1975, 16-17]”
If you’re thinking of buying my book, check around on Amazon for the ‘ X used from…; Y new from…’tab to see the best price. The Book Depository is also a reasonably good option.
GerardOctober 3, 2017 at 2:51 am #21264
You can see the full diagram here.
Basically it describes the ultimate causes as economic, arising from the natural desire to specialize and delegate. As soon as someone starts freely delegating defense services to someone else, the chain of events is set in motion that leads ultimately to the State.
Also, in your last post, you mention several undesirable effects associated with the establishment of the State:
Yearning for paternal authority
Tendency to gang up under a leader
Fear of liberty
Fear of responsibility
Irksomeness of responsibility
Desire for self-transcendence (misdirected)
Habit of obedience
Culture of subservience (“born as serfs”)
Consent to servitude
I believe all of these have economic considerations at their root. Here is a diagram illustrating it.
You can see the full image here.
In other words, all these undesirable effects, and the State itself, all originate from simple, straightforward economic motivations.October 5, 2017 at 5:33 am #21265
Thanks for resending the diagram. It’s now coming through loud and clear! I am inclined (at least in part) to agree with your analysis but I’d have to think about it a little more before committing myself.
Gerard CaseyOctober 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm #21266
I am looking forward to any thoughts you have!
I feel I need to emphasize that all these undesirable effects, and the State itself, all originate from simple, straightforward economic motivations.
Libertarians have a tendency to put forward solutions that are ineffective against such fundamental and intrinsic forces.
For example, “education is the answer”. “If only people really understood”.
Or another example, “dispel the illusion”: “If only people would just withdraw their consent”.
These solutions are ineffective against the much more fundamental and powerful economic motivations that create the undesirable affects and the vicious cycles that amplify them.
I have a hunch why such solutions are commonly put forward by libertarians. On Tom Wood’s private Facebook group, I recently conducted a poll asking everyone their Myers-Briggs personality type.
The results were not surprising. Basically, the INTJ personality type occurred more often than all the other personality types combined. And almost all of the remaining entries were some variation of the NT personality type. This is striking, because INTJs comprise only about 1% of the general population, and NTs overall less than 13%. The personality demographic of libertarians is OVERWHELMINGLY skewed toward this type, as compared to the general population.
There are four core Myers-Briggs types:
NT – tend to organize their life around internal mental models of reality / ideological frameworks, and assume it is natural for everyone else to do the same thing. INTJs in particular tend to take this to an extreme level.
NF – tend to be guided much more by personal empathy and intuition
SJ – tend to be guided more by duty and responsibility
SP – tend to be guided more by social intuition
SJs and SPs combined comprise about 75% of the general population,
NFs tend to regard NTs as brilliant engimas, while SJs and SPs tend to regard NTs as somewhat naive idealists.
These dynamics lead to misunderstanding and conflict, based on unrealistic and uncharitable assessments of other peoples’ thinking and behavior.
When NTs observe that other people are NOT guided by an internal mental framework, they have an unfortunate tendency to conclude that those people are stupid or evil. (Is it any wonder that libertarians are seen as condescending and unrealistic at best, dangerous ideologues at worst?)
My proposal is to find solutions that get to the root cause of the vicious cycles — namely, solutions that leverage economic motivations — and try to focus individual and political action in that direction. Educational efforts can be a strong support here, but are not enough on their own to create the sustained behavioral changes that will break the vicious cycles.
For example, I have always been thrilled that Tom does so many “bonus episodes” on entrepreneurship. This strikes at the heart of the attitude of subservience inherent in the “money for work” employment paradigm. There are many other types of efforts along these lines that could bring great results, and could also broaden the personality base of the movement.October 14, 2017 at 10:51 am #21267
After a week, I suspect that you will be disappointed by the results of my thinking!
I agree that some personality types are more susceptible to libertarian ideas than others. The implication of this, for the purposes of libertarian persuasion, is that some audiences are essentially unconvertible, others have to be moved emotionally before reason can get some traction on their minds. I have a great interest in the classical art of rhetoric which consists of finding the available means of persuasion. If ‘location, location, location’ is the war cry of real estate agents, then ‘audience, audience, audience’ is the battle cry of the rhetorician. Persuasion must be tailored to one’s audience. It’s no good expecting them to be where you are or to have read what you’ve read or to share your concerns to the same degree that you do – you’re task is to find whatever it is that will move them and speak to that.
You wrote, “My proposal is to find solutions that get to the root cause of the vicious cycles — namely, solutions that leverage economic motivations — and try to focus individual and political action in that direction. Educational efforts can be a strong support here, but are not enough on their own to create the sustained behavioral changes that will break the vicious cycles.”
I also agree with your more fundamental point that the discovery of economic motivations can be a (if not the) significant inducement to listen to reason. James Harrington was, I believe, the first thinker to make this point, many years ago.October 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm #21268
Thanks for your thoughts!
I am not sure why I should be disappointed in any of this. 🙂
Good discussion, thanks again for your feedback!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.