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A Libertarian Stoic Principle Explained
Once again, I have ingested a nugget of wisdom that somehow has failed to get published on my blog. Let me do so now. Robin Hanson drops…
Once again, I have ingested a nugget of wisdom that somehow has failed to get published on my blog. Let me do so now. Robin Hanson drops this excellent pearl.
A simple moral principle: when a future change is framed as a problem which we might hope our political system to solve, then the only acceptable reason to talk about the consequences of failing to solve that problem is to scare folks into trying harder to solve it. If you instead assume that politics will fail to solve the problem, and analyze the consequences of that in more detail, not to scare people but to work out how to live in that scenario, you are seen as expressing disloyalty to the system and hostility toward those who will suffer from that failure.
I assume that American politics will fail to solve a whole host of social problems. I have been assuming this since somewhere around the time I recognized people were taking Candidate Obama seriously. But there was ample precedent in my prior understanding of the position of an economist named Zingales and his position on mortgages. What I ended up doing is formulating my Peasant Theory, which is another large story. The bottom line is that I have disappeared into history and have taken it upon myself to pursue the barbell theory of using my cleverness, privilege and social capital to the maximum and expecting only hostility and other minimums from the bulk of society. At the same time, I retain what I think is the necessary principle of respect of common law for the common man. And so I exist in the realm of extreme practicality with expectations of leverage. It’s a different take on organicism, but has a bit in common. It games organicism and eschews the moral halo of civic virtue.
The reason I expect American politics to fail in solving social problems is because there is an interventionist bias in Progressive politics and a rabid desire for power in Conservative politics. Liberals don’t know where to go and are choking on their own multiculturalist hypocrisies. The whole thing stinks, so I’m shorting democracy and am long on decentralized yet globally capable guilds and their networked supply chains. The smart money. I’m hiding behind money and ultra-competency right now, and I’m hoping for protection from the right clubs. It means I have to go outside of the normal boxes of the upper middle class; class prerogatives are insufficient insurance, and I suspect that there is no ‘hookup’ to be found in civic signaling. In other words, I think the millionaires are afraid of the billionaires. That’s a lot of paranoid shit rolling downhill.
So if I can call myself a Libertarian Stoic, it is because I believe in a minimum set of civilizing rules based on Constitutional principles and the need to be left alone. The problem is that we live in a society in which the Tytler Tautology has come true, we are aiming to vote ourselves riches. Regulatory capture and too big to fail and all that crony cruft. Yes I’m encouraged by Brexit, but I expect some bitchy negotiations. Billionaires have unusual longevity. I actually believe everything can possibly go to shit, so I keep my powder dry and a handful of silver handy. Did I tell you that The Book of Eli is one of my favorite films?
What I expect for the future of America is something like the present of India in its big cities. America will adjust its middle class down and will sustain an internal third world. It will take 3 or 4 generations if the current trends prevail, but between now and then the frog boils and the Slice will lose its redundancy.
Originally published at https://cobb.typepad.com.