Quote note (#189)

“[C]apitalism in the ribbonfarm sense”:

Capitalism is not an ideology pursued deliberately by some to “defeat” those who live by other ideologies. It is a condition imperfectly closed societies default to in the presence of increasing choice in the environment, usually created either through the actions of outsiders or natural changes.

From a consistently thought-provoking slab of Venkatesh Rao insight porn.

(XS will try its best to get back to it.)

October 7, 2015admin 36 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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36 Responses to this entry

  • Quote note (#189) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on October 7th, 2015 at 3:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Even more, capitalism is a natural state: Darwinian natural selection but for products and services. Even with supercomputer power, no centralized economy will come close to its efficiency and creativity. It never exists in pure form because consumers drive the market, which is why culture and actual leadership are necessary for it to thrive, but liberals deny this because they wish to blame capitalism for the errors of democracy and liberalism.

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    michael Reply:

    while I agree its mechanism is remarkably similar to evolution, an evolution of things and services. I would go much farther its actually a product of evolution its a hominid trait.Maybe even a trait of some other animals.I would bet that even before someone became a talented and prolific stone knapper services were traded [ monkeys seem to confirm the oldest profession is at least prehuman] wet nursing, hut building, slavetrading and food trade seem obvious candidates.Government is a form of trade.Its not simply a behavior or a tool its innate, as are other evolved traits greed envy suspicion mathematics lying body reading to name a few. that serve trade. we could not have survived without it.theres no a communist that ever lived that would truly give it up its only regulation they seek, but regulation of trade is trade

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    Posted on October 7th, 2015 at 3:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#189) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on October 7th, 2015 at 6:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    having now read it he sort of explains the left ratchet at least thats my take we ratchet left because its the only open direction and nature abhors a vacuum.

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    Posted on October 7th, 2015 at 10:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Asher Says:

    If the boundary of a relationship is even slightly open, it has the potential to leak and weaken over time.

    Money quote. Been telling people this for two decades

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    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 3:32 am Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    Idea 1 – Capitalism doesn’t actually exist and is just a slur adopted to attack anyone engaging in commerce.

    Idea 2 – capitalism is just chaotic economic activity in much the same way as bureaucratic activity and resource collection is in public choice theory.

    Idea 3 – capitalism as you see it links directly with leftism making neoliberalism the ultimate rational end to the thing. It needs social anarchy, chaos and atomization which is non-negotionable – the alternative is judgement calls on blocking activity by a sufficiently powerful sovereign.

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    Exfernal Reply:

    Capitalism is possible as long as there are positive sum exchanges waiting to happen.

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    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 3:55 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    And here was I thinking that capitalism required focused intervention by the state to create thing like unified units of measure, money, legal personhood, joint-stock corporations, bank guarantees and all that.

    Commerce is most certainly not the state of nature. In actual chaotic conditions there is no market; there is only family and tribe, friend and foe, and pervasive violence impeding debt collection and every kind of large scale endeavor.

    Any civilized society has had a state for millennia; this is how things work. Everything you hate correlates with a state; everything you love also correlates with a state, unless you’re into New Guinean tribes and that kind of stuff.

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    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    There is trade wherever trade has got a better risk/reward matrix than violence, which happens often in nature.

    None of those legal artifacts that you’ve mentioned is requisite to capitalism to capitalism simpliciter.

    Now you can define state sufficiently broadly so that any time there is trade, there is already a state, but legal personhood, state-sanctioned money, advanced debt instruments, and joint-stock corps, are not required.

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    admin Reply:

    Don’t you know that the State invented gold, weighing scales, and common law?

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    spandrell Reply:

    Funny how every time gold has been a widespread used currency it was in the form of coins with the head of some king stamped on it.

    admin Reply:

    You really want to go all Graeber on us?

    michael Reply:

    the” state “is some traders agreeing to trade their violence labor to each other in return for greater profits because less taxes by neighboring warlord. If they hadnt already been trading they wouldn’t be worth “taxing” in primitive society everyone is a trader including the stray wolf that hangs around camp, so all are interested in free markets and contract to defend them, in more complex societies a distinction is made between the trade of things and the trade labor and ideas this is a false distinction one can not exist without the other and its really just impossible to clearly distinguish them in most cases. violence as politics is trade [technology plus labor] or rather a trade that can be traded. A village may select some how a chief its a job he is assigned it comes with certain negotiable powers he may increase or decrease depending upon his labors and how well he trades them with his warriors hunters women neighboring tribes, he may lose this investment the tribe made in him or he may consolidate it, they invested this power in him to increase productivity. in more complex societies members realized constraints on how much profits the leader could keep would be more efficient. means such as separating the military democracy civil unrest and lending at interest to states are some of the methods.whats interesting is the emergence of traders who need no home base that are equally negotiating with multiple leaders and competing with the leaders at political trade.This puts them at an advantage not only with national leaders but with their former more local traders. The precursor to this was the large corporation able to triangulate better labor and resource trades by leveraging almost monopoly control of large parts of economies and the political power that came with it. only exceptional leaders were able to get good deals as the complexity of these deals increased the talent to keep up with the largest corporations and need to answer to the smaller ones some now thought of as simply consumers or laborers decreased. so not only did the largest traders break free of individual sovereigns the sovereigns broke free of the individual and small corporate traders. many groups of wholesale power traders emerged to fleece the desperate low level traders of what power they still had. of course the sovereigns and multi nats got into this games as well as numerous other players.Some see the solution as a one world government thinking the people might regain control of the sovereign ironically multi nats see this as an easier way to negotiate with sovereigns. and to triangulate micro labor markets even better. Others think dispensing with infidel sovereign altogether and negotiating with large corporations directly to be a better solution.This is a really challenging concept since the large corporations are first movers and well organized, the idea is other corporations will be the enforcers. The problem is the small traders are not valued correctly unions tried to correct this as did trade agreements both have problems It seems if one sees trade as an end in itself a good above all else things will work out eventually their will be one corporation / sovereign if one values other things and sees trade as means to protect and increase these things then something must be solved.

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    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 11:33 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Graeber, and libertarians too, is stupid in thinking that the state can be done away with. States happen for a reason, and in anyplace where there’s a little surplus and the people are minimally smart, some guy will raise an army and found a state.

    And once the state is there, it will try to as much as possible to atomize its subjects and run an efficient extortion apparatus.

    You can’t have an economy without a state, because wherever there are humans smart enough to run an economy, they will have started a state first.

    I don’t know why you think the economy comes easier to humans than the state. Trade happens everytime it’s more beneficial than violence, sure. But violence is more beneficial than trade very very often. If economies happen through spontaneous evolution, why don’t you think of states the same way? Surely it comes easier for humans to gang up some bros and go invade some village, rather than accumulate enough social coordination to run a mutually beneficial trade system.

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    admin Reply:

    Trade is just formalized reciprocal altruism, which happens way before the state.

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    spandrell Reply:

    By that definition trade happens unimpeded under communism.

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    Exfernal Reply:

    Without the notion of private property what is supposed to be traded and between whom? Is there any way of keeping the score under communism?

    admin Reply:

    I don’t see that. Non-reciprocal exaction is the essence of communism. (Though, of course, a fabric of subterranean commerce persists, as Mao realized, and AnCap predicts.)

    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    The problem is that it still happens way, way after violence.

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    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 3:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    @ How can you define trade as formalized recipricol altruism? Altruism is an act of selflessness. Trade is self interest manifesting in exchange for mutual benefit at best, and at worst predation.

    [Reply]

    Exfernal Reply:

    Semantics. You might petition Robert Trivers to change the term more to your liking. What is your proposed alternative name for the concept of reciprocal altruism?

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    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    Robert Trivers doesn’t have a mandate to distort the meaning of words. Trade is more essentially self-interested than altruistic, with any altruistic effects being epiphenomenal.

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    Exfernal Reply:

    Complaining that a logic gate is not an actual gate.

    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    This has nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with rhetoric.

    Exfernal Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_gate

    Are you intentionally obtuse?

    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    Are you?

    Nothing about the subject of this thread or the comment you’re replying to explains why you feel the need to sperg out about logic gates.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Altruism vs. reciprocal altruism.
    Gate vs. logic gate.

    So an analogy is beyond your scope of reasoning. A waste of time indeed.

    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    Yes, bad analogies that are poorly constructed and irrelevant to the matter at hand are a waste of time. I’m glad we agree.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Whatever you say, chatterbot.

    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    Yes, run away because you don’t have an argument.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Would you say the same about reciprocal goodwill or loyalty?

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    Posted on October 8th, 2015 at 5:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Huh? Says:

    I’m surprised at some of the comments here about capitalism without the state.

    I thought the Neoreactionary philosophical innovation as compared to libertarians/ancaps was to stop hating the state, and simply see states as potential corporations, albeit poorly run ones in the existing society. I thought NRx differentiated itself by escaping from the dubious idea that the state is inherently socialist and “bad”, and escaping from the ball and chain of the NAP.

    Did I think wrong?

    Libertarianism puts the emphasis on how capital was accrued in order to define “true capitalism” (concordant with the NAP), whereas the emphasis should be on how capital is used, as this avoids having to justify the first accumulations of capital, and puts the focus on how the capital is managed (concordant with formalism). A state (or various micro-states) run identically to a corporation is not “socialist”. Sovcorp has to justify its appropriations to pass ancap muster, but coercion is a fact of time immemorial, and it is inherent to the state that certain coercive acts are engaged in to prevent further and greater coercive acts. A historical, “reactionary” perspective would recognize and acknowledge this.

    Keep the post on the post-libertarian.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You’re right, of course, that the NRx (i.e. Neocameral) stance = The State is (only) a corporation (though a sovereign one). Both Statists and Libertarians miss the equation.

    I’m not so sure that “Sovcorp has to justify its appropriations to pass ancap muster” — that seems like an assimilation of AnCap to deontological Libertarianism.

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    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Prof. Tom Carson gave a talk on Libertarianism to the Virginia Tech Philosophy Club back in the early eighties, and one of the subjects that came up in the discussion was whether or not there should be a “statute of limitations” on moral claims. At some point, do we say that however Dick acquired his property is a done deal, and let’s get on with our lives? Carson’s view was that, from a moral standpoint, it wasn’t clear why there should be any such “statute of limitations”, but from a practical standpoint, there needs to be.

    But it has to be a reasonable length. If you set the length too short, there will be too much crime.

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    Lucian of Samosata Reply:

    Just throwing this out there, I’m pretty sure NRx in general will agree that 67 years is about the right length.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 10th, 2015 at 2:17 pm Reply | Quote

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