On Property and Propertarianism

Hurlock recently posted on Property. I have made a few comments concerning Propertarianism on this blog, but it needs much more study, particularly in Neoreactionary circles. To put it simply, if you are talking about Property but are not versed in Propertarianism, then you are missing the latest and greatest in the theory of Property.

Let me give you an example from Hurlock’s post (emphasis mine):

It is important to realize that all property is private. That is, a specific unit of a good, or more generally a single specific object can only be de facto owned or controlled by a single person. For example, you can’t actually have two agents owning the same orange as a whole singular object together. The two agents might own different parts of the object but they can’t both have sovereign control over the same singular unit simultaneously. Obviously a conflict would arise. And in the end only one of them would end up a de factoowner of the singular object. Sovereignty is conserved.

 Now, look at the Propertarian glossary, and go to ‘Property’, here is a subsection:

    Types of property based upon observations of what people actually consider to be their property:

      Personal property: “Things an individual has a Monopoly Of Control over the use of.”
      a) Physical Body
      b) Actions and Time
      c) Memories, Concepts and Identities: tools that enable us to plan and act. In the consumer economy this includes brands.
      d) Several Property: Those things external to our bodies that we claim a monopoly of control over.
      Cooperative Property: “relationships with others and tools of relationships upon which we reciprocally depend.”
      a) Mates (access to sex/reproduction)
      b) Children (genetics)
      c) Familial Relations (security)
      d) Non-Familial Relations (utility)
      e) Consanguineous property (tribal and family ties)
      g) Racial property (racial ties)
      g) Organizational ties (work)
      h) Knowledge ties (skills, crafts)
      i) Status and Class (reputation)
      a) Recorded And Quantified Shareholder Property (physical shares in a tradable asset)
      b) ARTIFICIAL PROPERTY: (property created by fiat agreement) Intellectual Property.
      c) FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY : Formal (Procedural) Institutions: Our institutions: Religion (including the secular religion), Government, Laws.
      d) INFORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY: Informal (Normative) Institutions: Our norms: manners, ethics, morals, myths, and rituals that consist of our social portfolio and which make our social order possible.
      “Those properties in which we have invested our forgone opportunities, our efforts, or our material assets, in order to aggregate capital from multiple individuals for mutual gain.”

From this small section, we see that ‘Personal Property’ is only one-third of the types of property defined, with the other two being property that is not private. Contrary to the opening assertion, all property is not private. In fact, much property is interpersonal or shared, and it is the shared property that is the most difficult to manage under our current pseudoscientific definitions of and ideas around property. It is immediately obvious that ‘children’ are ‘objects’ which are in fact owned by two people, the mother and the father. Thinking of singular ownership only allows us to simplify how we consider property – it lets us off the hook with regard to the really tough problems. This is why Libertarians come to the wrong conclusions about so many things which reactionaries intuit correctly. What Reactionaries need is a scientific, economic language that we can use to express ownership of property such as consanguineous property, racial property, status and class, among others.

Let’s look at a normative commons as an example, which in Propertarian thought is defined as ‘informal institutional property’. Currently, there is a normative commons which is maligned through the pejorative ‘White privilege’.  Critics claim that this privilege is unearned, and thus is unfair. It is not unfair and it is not unearned because ‘White privilege’ is simply the recognition that Whites have created a normative commons, this commons is a shared property, and it is bought and paid for by bearing opportunity costs. To clarify: every time White privilege is extended to me, I have the opportunity to abuse it. Every time I go into a store, and the store owner allows me the privilege of walking about the store to peruse the wares without an armed guard following me, I then have the opportunity to steal. I could quietly sneak something into my pocket and exit without paying. When I do not steal, I have in effect paid something, because I am bearing an opportunity cost and forgoing the ‘free’ item. Why do I pay this cost? Because it creates a normative commons of trust, by not stealing I am maintaining that commons for myself and others like me to enjoy.

On the other hand, if you and those like you (your co-ethnics) take the White privilege that is extended to you and abuse it, then you destroy the commons. For example, if you live in a ‘diverse’ big city then you are familiar with convenience stores with bullet-proof teller windows where no-one is allowed to enter. The common area, the shopping area, has been physically expunged from the store. If you live in a White-topia such as rural New Hampshire, then you are familiar with homey little stores where you can walk in and peruse freely and engage in some pleasant conversation with a perfectly agreeable White person.

For one group of ethnics to demand ‘White privilege’ and then be unwilling to bear the opportunity costs necessary to create that normative commons, is for that group to demand something that is unearned. That group has demonstrated unwillingness to pay for their privileges. They demand that others take a risk for their benefit, a risk which has been shown to not be worth the cost of taking.

White privilege is a normative commons that has been payed for by paying opportunity cost. It is ‘owned’ by the group of people who pay for it. It is ‘informal institutional property’.

Property is a slippery and essential thing for us to understand, because it is not merely ‘private property’. The Libertarian views of property tend to reduce and simplify it and are unable to grasp it in its full complexity and therefore produce logical, rational, economic arguments for intangible property such as normative commons.

I hope that this one small example on the topic of ‘informal institutional property’ will encourage more Neoreactionaries to study the work that Curt Doolittle is doing over at Propertarianism.com. You will find it instructive. At least I certainly have, otherwise I never would be able to articulate ‘White privilege’ in economic terms.

Multiculturalism is Balkanization

Multiculturalism is Balkanization

Balkanization, or Balkanisation, is a geopolitical term, originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with one another.

When you place distinct population groups in competition for resources, then one group will eventually win. Think about multiculturalism for a second, what is it changing from? It is changing from homogeneous states to mixed-ethnicity states, from mono-cultures to multi-cultures.

Humans have naturally migrated all around the world except when blocked by topographic features. We have lots of historical examples of distinct populations coming into contact. Homogeneous states rarely occur from lack of contact. How is it that these homogeneous states (all one ethnicity) come to exist in the first place? Think about that question for a second before you keep reading.

Homogeneous states exist because throughout time, one ethnic group always either subsumes, ejects or kills the other groups. This is humanity. Like it or not. To say that we should not behave that way is to be Utopian,  and is to ignore the reality of human interaction. To think that one could educate populations to coexist peacefully is Utopian. To believe that competitions amongst the human animal can be arrested, that the Hobbesian war of all-against-all can be negotiated, that the evolution of the species can be halted, is disastrously ignorant of the true nature of the human life.

Currently, Myanmar is trying to deal with its Muslim minority through deportation and second-class citizenship. This is actually the nice way to handle it.


If you want to see the not nice way to handle it, just search Genocide.

If you are a proponent of multiculturalism and a cheerleader for diversity, you might want to think about the future of America. Maybe here in America, there will be a nice resolution. We can always hope, can’t we?

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections

From Quartz: Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says.


You have to go pretty far from America to get some straight talk on democracy. Here’s what CY Leung, Hong Kong’s top city official, had to say about it:

“If it’s entirely a numbers game—numeric representation—then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.”

Ya think? So let me get this straight: if a country lets a bunch of poor people vote, then that country will inevitably get a bunch of wealth-destroying, wealth-transfer policies?

Well, I’ll be darned. Whodathunkit? It’s not like that is perfectly obvious. Or is it?

Let me rephrase: Democracy is retarded.

As an aside, Curt Doolittle wrote in Neo-Reaction in a Nutshell: We Are Ruled By A Theocracy – An Evil One:

The central problem of any post-hunter-gatherer society, engaged in production, is to ensure that the fecundity of the unproductive does not eradicate the increases in productivity of the creative – but that those increases are accumulated as a competitive advantage against the fecundity of not only our own relations, but of those who would replace us. Otherwise all innovation is translated into population expansion rather than advancement. Northern European civilization succeeded faster than all others, in no small part because it concentrated reproduction in its upper classes, not in expanding the burden of its lower classes.

It seems that Hong Kong is wrestling with that problem as we speak, Curt.

Association is Exit

I believe that what I have been trying to address in the last few posts with the phrase ‘group ethics’ and ‘group reason’ is related to the idea of ‘informal institutions’. We are surrounded by informal norms of behavior, which we could call informal contract. For example, when you enter a restaurant you do not sign a contract with the proprietor that you will pay for the meal after you have eaten it, but everyone understands that there is a norm of behavior which we can conceptualize as an informal contract.

Though religions have some very definite rules and order to them, they are not formalized logically into a legally legible format. They are legally informal. We see this in ‘Sharia Courts’, where an official translates Islamic belief into legalism, which can then produce a definitive decision and course of action. Similarly, Catholic leadership interprets Scripture into official positions or policy.

The ‘Separation of Church and State’ doctrine was originally formulated to keep the government from attempting to control the informal institutions of the church, whereby it would control both the formal legal framework and the informal belief system. Among the Moderns, it is often misconstrued to mean that the informal institutions of contract known as the church should have no influence on the formal legal institution (the state), but this appears to be absurd to me. Obviously, the dominant ethny within a state will have need to translate its informal institutions of contract (religious belief) into the formal legal contractual system.

This seems to be the system as it has worked in the past: the group, through thousands/millions of interactions over thousands/millions of lifetimes, formulate heuristics and dicta which are opaque yet functional, then those opaque dicta are translated into a format that is legible to the formal legal system, then the larger legal system can cooperate using the clearly formulated rules. So we see a process for fuzzy logic leading to formal logic. This is Church influencing State. I believe that this is how common law came into being. I believe it would be fair to think of common law as crowdsourced law.

Obviously, if we see the formulation of religious beliefs and opaque dicta as inter-generational risk management heuristics, as rules of behavior which have been crash-tested in the real world, then allowing the State to formulate legal rules based on a single human’s intellectual capabilities, and then forcing those rules on the group system, would circumvent the very crash-testing (debugging process) that generates those beliefs and dicta. Yet, here we are. With an elite religious organization, the Progressives, formulating laws through limited human intellects (individual intellects) then forcing those laws on the populace, completely circumventing the crowdsourcing mechanism. This is the central planning of ethics. Mises rightly found that communism cannot work because it lacks the pricing mechanism, which acts as a sort of nervous system to coordinate production, which is why central planning of an economy is impossible. There are too many interactions to calculate centrally, the calculation must be distributed into a crowdsourced multi-node computational network known as ‘the market’. Yet Libertarians seem to agree that central planning of social organization is possible, neglecting that there are simply too many interactions to account for by a central authority.

Crowdsourcing is a form of ‘group reason’. A groups norms of behavior, informal institutions, and religious beliefs are ‘group ethics’ produced by ‘group reason’, and can be viewed as crowdsourced. The failure of the Moderns’ system is in abandoning the debugging process offered by group ethics, in favor of completely theoretical individual reason transmitted from a central authority.

Perhaps, what we need is the ability to formulate the rules of group interactions. This is a very difficult fuzzy logic problem, one that must be solved, or at a minimum articulated. If we can find the rules of the group-reason/group-ethic/group-cooperation system, perhaps we can then overcome the current notion that the opaque dicta of the group are not arbitrary or ad hoc or blindly reigning traditional custom as Rothbard holds, but are instead incredibly valuable, crash-tested, crowdsourced survival tools.

Is there a single signal, similar to the pricing mechanism, which must be allowed to function freely if we wish to have a functional society? I have an intuition that this signal is association. Individuals decide whether or not to associate with one another. The society then organizes itself into functional groups. All societies are comprised of various group associations based on any number of factors: religious, economic, racial, etc. Multiculturalism, diversity, and race- and gender-based quotas are rejections of free association, they are forced integration, forced association. Free association is not voice, it is exit. It is therefore not dialectical.

Mises’ critique of central planning of the market and the price signal was devastating. Neoreaction needs a similar (simple, clear and explicit) critique of central planning of society. The importance of exit is noted in the Reactionary Consensus: the right of exit must be guaranteed. However, this seems like an aside to me. I am coming to the conclusion that exit must be a central tenet, and it must be realized that free association is exit. The resulting conclusion of the numerous *-realisms listed in the Consensus is that exit/association/dis-association must be a top priority for the efficient self-organization of any flourishing society. It is through association/dis-association that individuals move from non-functional or sub-optimal groups to functional groups. I have an intuition that it is the action of the association/dis-association mechanism through which the individuals of a group form a group consensus of norms and behavior which then become beliefs and informal contract, and is the foundation of group reason and group ethics.