Friday, January 13, 2017

On the Rectification of Names in Politics

Actually Existing Democracy, Part One


Powerful people don't think like you. You look up at the system and see injustice. The powerful look down at you and see incentives for wealth, power, and success. It is these incentives that drive their behavior, and it can be shocking and enraging to see the world through their eyes. But that is what we are going to do. We are going to look at how the system really works.

The Subject of Economics is Incomplete

Economics is defined as the study of how humans fulfill unlimited wants with scarce means. It is the view of this author that the entire economic profession erred when it classified the study of government as something separate and distinct from itself. This occurred because the economist failed to correctly rectify the terms used to describe what the state was doing. He took the states terminology of itself for granted rather that realizing that all worlds the state uses to describe itself are meant to conceal its true activity. The state is by nature a corrupt and coercive institution. As such, it's politics is never rationally described on the face of things because it has an institutional need, one may say a marketing need, to hide what is really does in order to gain public support and minimize insurrection. Lying saves money are reduces the number of people you have to kill; it is utility maximizing.

The second flaw in economic analysis is the idea that humans are motivated by greed — that man is homo economicus. But money is only one path to utility, and the ultimate utility for a human primate is sex, and more directly, what sex produces in the form of children. Humans are biological organisms and thus all utility is derivative of those things that yield reproductive fitness. As a result, the whole range of what yields fitness is the proper study of economics. An expansive and complete economics would be defined in terms like, "the means by which humans further large wants of sexual fitness in the face of limited means of achieving sexual desires," with wealth pursuit being only one of those means, and pursued typically by men. Women do not typically pursue wealth for reproductive success since men are not hypergamous like women are, and since a high status female (high in the financial sense) may actually harm her reproductive success. For a woman, high status is found in high attraction, and not in high wealth. All of these forms of utility are proxies for reproduction and sex.

Utility does not just come through money. In point of fact, money is one of the weakest motivations. It also arises through the pursuit of power, status, popularity, charisma, and beauty. Popularity often translates more effectively into reproductive success that any of these other ones.

Secondly, economics must contain the full range of human behavior that enables physical survival, since one cannot reproduce if one is dead. And thirdly, the subject of economics is incomplete if it does not encapsulate politics completely.

One often hears endless debates over what exactly IS capitalism. Oftentimes the libertarian argument is made that "this isn't the true capitalism," meaning, and activity that is exploitative and corrupt cannot really be indicative of capitalism because it occurred under market conditions that were distorted by the violence of the state. This debate is even more pronounced when left libertarians point out that the state nearly always puts its thumb on the scale on the side of capital and against labor.

These endless arguments over terminology are useless and I won't engage in them. We will define ALL human activity through economics and start by defining the role of the state in it. Then we will see that there is no such thing as this "ism" or that "ism," but that it is all just a market of human behavior, and that the state lies at one extreme of coercive market behavior while the "free market" lies at the other extreme. It is a continuum of market behavior ranging from one theoretical state of pure voluntary exchange on one side, to another extreme of pure coercive slavery on the other, with the vast majority of human behaviors ranging somewhere on this continuum and all being more or less distorted by asymmetrical coercive force. Even the simple relationship of an employee to their employee involves an asymmetry; the employer knows more about what the employee is worth financially than the employee does, and the employer has more bargaining power since the employee may become homeless if chronically unemployed for too long. So a simple, seemingly consensual transaction can be less consensual that it looks.

A lot of economics is about the behavior of humans under conditions of theoretical pure competition. It is easy to model mathematically. This is about actually existing economics as it really occurs, and specifically about actually existing democracy.

The Rectification of Names

Our goal is to understand economics completely. This means that the political realm must be explained economically. Since all politicians have an incentive to lie, the study of government has been systematically misrepresented. The entire field lies in confusion. Our first task then is the rectification of names. We must accurately describe what government really is.

Let us go through a list of terms and replace them with more correct ones.

  • The free market is actually a theoretical pure archetype. In reality all transactions are semi-free in modern corrupt states since the state is producing various market distortions for its clients. The free market is thus semi-free and always operating under distortion.
  • The state is actually a coercion market. That is, it is a market that sells coercive force to private buyers. While it is true,that it often legislates in the general interest, (the criminal code is an example of this), it is also true that it is in the general interest of its client lobbyists and public interest groups to have a properly functioning society and economy. Just as the selfish desires of individual businessmen may lead to an "invisible hand" of collective public good in production, so the selfish interest of various pressure groups acting upon the legislative process may also produce legislation in favor of the general welfare, especially if they negotiate and compromise their interests against each other. So despite the fact that the state is a marketplace for the purchasing of laws, it may still legislate for the common good most of the time. Even parasites need a function economy to expropriate.
  • A senator or congressman is actually a coercion market broker that sells other peoples money. The state has a monopoly on the use of force. But it sells this monopoly through either bribes or campaign contributions. A very real example is the ban on Canadian drug imports. Canada has a process for drug approval that is adequate for drug safety. There is no legitimate reason to prohibit the importation of Canadian pharmaceuticals. Yet, this is done anyway. Every truck driver that is arrested for crossing the Canadian border with safe drugs that are legal in Canada is being arrested to enforce the cartel rights of American pharmaceutical manufacturers. This is done only to enforce artificially high prices for drugs, and this sort of thing is done in countless industries.
  • A lobbyist is actually a buyer of coercion market services, (force) or defense from force, (protection).
  • A campaign contribution is actually the financial sponsorship of a coercion market broker with the expectation of future reward in the form of economic rents, favors, or protections from force.
  • A bribe is a direct purchase of a vote from a coercion market broker. A bribe entitles the purchaser to buy the vote of a Congressman on the honor system: the Congressman may not vote the way he is bribed to. Generally, all bribes are aggregated with the others, so that the highest total aggregation of bribes wins out. Bribes are less effective at buying political positions than candidate sponsorship (campaign contributions), thus, the buyers of the coercion market (lobbyists) have allowed laws to be passed that outlawed bribery because it was less effective at controlling politicians than sponsorship. Campaign finance laws are not intended to protect the voter. They are intended to make the process of vote buying more reliable by switching the market to a model of candidate sponsorship, similar to the way individual athletes are sponsored by advertising.
  • There are two voting systems in a democracy. One is the formal vote that all Americans may participate in. The other is the market vote. In the market vote, first the market decides what candidates it will sponsor (give contributions to). It chooses from a range of options the candidates that are most likely to produce a return on investment. The longer the candidate has been in office the more established his voting record and the more predictable and less risky he tends to be as an investment. Thus, the market favors incumbents and they tend to win elections more often than challengers. A conservative war hawk may receive market sponsorship (contributions) because he is tough on crime (good for the pockets of police unions), a war hawk, (good for the pockets of defense contractors and veterans), while a Democrat may receive sponsorship from labor unions, teachers unions, academics, and students because of their financial interests. Conversely, a libertarian will often not receive much sponsorship because he enriches no one. The market vote has the effect of sorting out unprofitable candidates. Since sincere politicians tend to be mentally unbalanced, it often times also has a screening effect on the mental health of candidates. AFTER, the market has sorted for profitability through sponsorship the formal vote is held where the people "decide" who will be their leader. Of course, all candidates have already been chosen through this market sponsorship mechanism that behaves exactly as if it were a formal vote that uses money instead of ballots. Thus, all elections are really two-part affairs; one involving money and a second part involving ballots. The first election, the monetary election, produces a sorting effect of candidates in favor of the market. The second election then chooses from these candidates.
  • A monarchy is a monopolized coercion market that "underperforms" at redistribution. If performance is measured as redistribution then monarchy underperforms at it best. Note that "redistribution" here says nothing about its direction upward or downward, and the term "performance" does not make a moral assertion.
  • A multi-party democracy is an oligopolistic coercion market. These oligopolies are usually operating on various versions of the Westminster system. Oligopolistic coercion markets have the most generous welfare states and the most responsive governments.
  • A two-party democracy is a duopolistic coercion market that remains duopolistic because the two players (political parties) cooperate to exclude third parties with winner-take-all rules.
  • A political party is actually a firm whose "profits" come in the form of votes. Since profits in a coercion market are a zero-sum game between competitors, and a negative sum game for society as a whole, one firms "profits," (or votes), must always come at the expense of the other. Actors are willing to participate in a zero-sum game because their utility comes from power, and because of the economic rents they receive. Costs are ultimately paid by third-parties.
  • Voting is actually giving profit to one or more of the coercion brokers sponsored by a party and it's campaign contributors (financial sponsors).
  • Votes are a form of property in government which is non transferable, cannot be accumulated, can be used only once, are exercised anonymously, and are theoretically equal. Votes are a type of share, or corporate stock which pays no dividends directly, and which has zero transferability rights. The act of eliminating transferability rights (sale of votes) protects small players at the expense of larger players.
  • Redistribution is actually "market performance" in a coercion market.
  • Indoctrination is actually marketing for power. Indoctrination is to the state what marketing is to the firm.
  • The coercion market has at least five actors; the buyer (client of the lobbyist), the sales broker, (lobbyist), the primary seller of other peoples money, (the permanent civil service), the secondary seller of other peoples money, (Congressman), and the defender against attack (person or group being expropriated). Usually, the defender is absent from negotiations.

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