What is truth? from the Ninth Circle

Seeing the harm caused by the unfettered spread of “fake news,” Macron want to do something. Now Macron is a liberal so he’s sure to continue liberalism long legacy of genocide. Right liberals are concerned but for the wrong reasons.

It is not that Macron qua liberal will abuse his power but Macron qua authority. The only acceptable solution is to play pretend that empowering truth and falsehood is not an authoritative act and demand that he gravely abuse his authority by empowering liars and restricting the honest.

Macron qua authority can be intelligently addressed for his liberal abuses of that authority. Right liberals want to ensure that intelligent thought never occurs and defend the liberal ground they have now. However, left liberals have extended the field and are at the gates.

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Right Liberal Mythology

From here.

To refrain from stealing is the genesis of civilizations! Only two points need to be understood…for this assertion to ring true. First, civilizations rise and fall with the rise and fall of individual freedom. Second, individual freedom rises and falls to the degree that private ownership — the absence of stealing — is respected and adhered to. Individual freedom is out of the question wherever and whenever private ownership does not prevail!

Creative outbursts — the mark of civilization — bear a direct correlation with increase in individual freedom…the record speaks for itself. (Emphasis mine)

Ignoring the history that every civilization arose from deeply hierarchical communities of structured authority and the contradiction between “refrain from” and “freedom” and replacing it with a 1970s acid trip of creative outbursts and maybe, I’ll grant that much.

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Irrational Evolution

The notion that the difference between humans and brute animals is only a matter of degrees proceeds from the positivist assumption of evolutions gradualism. In the historical evolution of species, we see a gradual change from one species to another (judiciously ignoring any leaps).

This is in fact pure conjecture with respect to human intelligence and proceeds along a positivist over generalization. Moreover, we do not observe degrees of human behavior. There is no other species just starting on pyramids, ziggurats, or other symbolic religious structures. We don’t see the gradual development of the sciences or philosophy in other species. On and on we can go.

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Capital Punishment and Liberalism

One of the popular arguments against the use of capital punishment is the problem of innocents. There will always be the possibility that the innocent will be found guilty and executed. Capital punishment is the sort of punishment that is irreversible. Moreover capital punishment is the ultimate punishment. Ergo, the argument goes, we ought never to execute people and instead impose some other serious punishment.

The argument is problematic because even imprisonment is irreversible and tantamount to torture in many concretes instances. We would not want to take that leap but the logic would imply such, in which case it is unclear what punishment should be imposed upon the gravest criminals.

However from the perspective of illiberalism, the argument is problematic in that it attempts to undermine authority because it does that have absolute certainty. There is a chance that a judge will fail to determine guilt correct and impose a punishment undeserved. Since this is manifestly the case, we must eliminate that authority completely. We must ensure that no innocent is ever executed again through a mistake of authority whatever the consequences. Those who oppose such elimination are blood thirsty savages who think only of “When do we get to kill?” That is to oppose is to be the Low Man to be cast from decent society.

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Property qua Political Authority

I have in the past held that property is principally an authority over things and derivatively and concomitantly authority over men. I held this as similar to a father’s authority over his son. He has authority over him and in virtue of this authority he has authority over other men with respect to his son.

However, in the comments of Zippy’s recent post in additional to an old comment of his I’ve started to change my mind.

Property as I pervious thought of it was a material and rational capacity to order things to a particular end. All men possess this power in so far as they are rational. However, this in itself does not imply authority to bind other men with respect to it.

The character of property is as formally distinct from this. That is this material capacity is matter as political authority is to the form. Property then is principally a capacity over things materially but is formally and actually an authority over other men with respect to things.

The unity between property and political authority becomes immediately obvious. The first is a political authority limited by things whereas political authority of a king is absolutely a political authority, that is authority over men themselves. More formally, property is authority over men accidentally with respect to things, whereas a kings authority is political authority in itself.

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Property Rights

At the end of this video, the presenter talks about ITQ, which is a state imposed quote on something that can be traded. I think that the presenter wrongly phrases this as a property right over the object to be harvested. In particular he refers to New Zealand establishing a property right over a certain tonnage of fish for a fisher.

This is not a property right, because there is no specific tonnage of fish that the fisher has any right/authority over. The fisher cannot use his property right to morally bind anyone and thus is it not a form of authority and thus not a property right.

The ITQ is an authorization by the state to harvest a certain tonnage of tuna. The fisher does not have a property right over an specific tuna or some ambiguous set of tuna, but rather he has a certain claim to perform certain activities authorized by the state. The state has made this authorization transferable and the authorization itself is a sort of fungible object, something like a patent. The fisher in a sense owns the authorization and can trade it.

In this sense, the state is not really establishing property rights over the tuna. The state is empowering particular fishermen to engage in certain behaviors. This authority allows the fishermen to bind others, because he can bring others to court if someone prevents him from this activity qua authorized, whereas without it he would not be authorized in the first place.

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Taxonomy of Value

A fungible object valuable…

  • In itself (intrinsic value)
  • … for itself (commodities)
  • … … by nature – food, metals, etc
  • … … by convention – Italian suit, Lamborghini, etc
  • … for another (capital)
  • From another (extrinsic value)
  • … securities of various kinds
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