Technologies of Cooperation

Curt Doolittle

August 7 at 1:54pm ·

Literal Scripture -> Static Rules (traditional)
Ethical Principles -> General Rules (rational)
Common law -> Evolutionary (empirical)

But you can only produce a common law if you argue to truthfulness (testimony), natural law( empirically), and objectively (truth as sacred).And only warriors evolved the technique of martial epistemology and the initiatic brotherhood of soldiers into testimony, jury, judge, thang/Senate, common empirical law, contractualism.

The fertile crescent could not accomplish that same evolution as could not the other river civilizations – because the capital was concentrated in authorities in order to organize the labor necessary for irrigation – whereas the european plain was wet and temperate allowing for both family farming, manorialism, and pastoral domestication of cattle and horses.

Geographic military and production strategies were deterministic. Whatever order was in place during the age of transformation (Karen Armstrong / Emmanuel Todd / Marija Gimbutas) is the order we still hold today.

Literal Scripture -> Static Rules (traditional)

Asiatic despotism has a static character to it. This provides long term stability: the duration of the Chinese dynasties are legendary. But this strategy has a tradeoff: slow innovation. Innovation is slowed because individual liberty to produce is restricted. This slows change in the society and provides stability, but stability is by its nature static.
We can look at Asiatic despotism and the stability/stasis that characterizes it, as literal scripture. This is also the function of monotheism and a belief in literal scripture.  As a side-note, the Muslims seem to have a system of literal scripture which leads to internal stability and external conflict: Dar al-Islam vs Dar al-Harb. But even among Muslims, notice that their internal culture remains very static, as it is modeled after the life of a single man 1,500 years ago. This is merely a strategy, which has its costs and benefits.

Rock, Paper, Scissors and Fascism

So, these are the rules of the Rock-Paper-Scissors of Fascism  (Liberty/Market, Fascism/War, Law/Culture):

War smashes Markets
Culture obviates War
Markets dissolve Culture

or, using the other set of words provided by Curt

Fascism smashes Liberty
Law obviates Fascism
Liberty undermines Law

The static strategy of literal scripture the strategy of: War Smashes Markets, aka Fascism Smashes Liberty, aka Authority Smashes Liberty. This is the strategy of Tradition.

The strategy of the West has been quick adaptation to reality. We have been winning these last thousand years because we can change and adapt faster. The cost of fast adaptation (provided by liberty: individual choice in the means of production) is instability in the culture. This is the strategy of Markets dissolve Culture, aka Liberty undermines Law.

Fast innovation requires fast adaptation of law to changes created by that innovation. Innovation creates new opportunities for parasitism. Liberty = non-parasitism, so innovation (resulting from liberty) actually produces the very parasitism which destroys that liberty (because the increase in parasitism creates an increased demand for authority to stop the parasitism). In this way, Liberty is self-limiting, there is a feedback loop through which Liberty creates the demand for the Authority/Fascism/War which returns stability.

A Quick Example of the Liberty > Innovation > Parasitism > Authority Feedback Loop

Consider media and language, for example. Humans are biomachines whose brains are coded by genes to release hormones which guide behavior that benefits that genetic interest (as it is understood at the time by the human). We are susceptible to story-tellers, who weave tales which when imagined release feel-good chemicals in our brains. Language was developed to help us to negotiate with one another, not to tell the truth. This innovation created an opportunity for story tellers, who could tell us stories based on truth or stories based on lies (parasitism). In the West, Authority captured this innovation and attempted to limit it to myths which were beneficial and instituted in the Church. In this way stability was restored.

Innovations in media (Gutenburg’s printing press) wrested control of narrative from the Church and distributed it (Protestantism). Eventually, the press overwhelmed authority. With the advent of radio, then movies, those who controlled narrative and story-telling came to rule the world. We currently live in an Age of Lies, as foreseen by Orwell. Each lie is parasitism, and this parasitism is the direct result of innovation, which is creating a massive demand for Authority to end the current set of lies (Political Correctness, Globalism, Multiculturalism).

Once authority is demanded and provided, then the society reaches a stasis, a cooling period where rules are absorbed into culture and law.

Breaking out of Static / Authority Mode: Ethical Principles and Common Law

There are two (or three) ways to break out of the static authoritarian mode: evolve the culture to bar the parasitism that authority is barring, or evolve law to bar the parasitism that authority is barring (or a combination, makes three). If authority is lifted before the parasitism is barred, then the parasitism will simply create conflict which creates the demand for authority.

These two paths are from Curt’s quote above:

  • Ethical Principles -> General Rules (rational)
  • Common law -> Evolutionary (empirical)

I found this post enlightening in this regard:

Curt Doolittle

23 hrs ·

0) Current innovators talk in group evolutionary strategies
1) Intelligent people talk in institutions and incentives.
2) Educated idiots talk in laws and rights.
3) Well meaning fools talk in should’s and morals
4) Idiots talk in meanings and contradictions
5) animals express emotions of acceptance and rejection.
The path of “Ethical Principles -> General Rules (rational)” is #2 above: Laws and Rights. These are merely models in the mind with no empirical content. They seem intelligent and require intelligence to manipulate, but there is a deeper hidden error: lack of relation back to nature (empirical content). These models may work for a time, but the problem with this is that ideas much reach their logical conclusions. Consider the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Was there ever a phrase lacking in empirical content more than ‘all men are created equal’? In what way are any two men equal? Only in the imagination of men could this be true, in some abstract Platonic sense, which in no way relates back to what we empirically find in nature. This is the problem of speaking in ‘laws and rights’: that we now live in a world where this concept of ‘equality’ is reaching its logical (and disastrous) conclusions in Western Civilization. Why couldn’t they have simply stated that our continued cooperation depends on the eradication of parasitism in all its forms?

So, for a time, we might be able to rely on Ethical Principles which are rational but lack empirical content. The problem is that the solution is temporary. The West developed another necessary innovation in this regard, the second path to break out of authoritarian stasis: common law.

In short, common law is discovered law. It is natural law, which is simply law. Civil law is executive law, law by fiat, in effect it is no different than authoritarian dictate written on a piece of paper. Common law are discoveries of parasitism and their solutions. As a new parasitism arises, the problem is brought before the judicial system, which makes a determination of parasitism and the proper redress. Common law evolves in lockstep with each new innovation in parasitism. It is an evolutionary legal system fit for evolving strategies of parasitism. Parasitism disrupts cooperation. Common law restores cooperation. This is #1 above: institutions and incentives. Common law is the institution which restores the incentive to cooperate.

However, the common law solution is the most difficult. Why? Because it hinges on truth. We cannot make rational decisions to restore cooperation without the necessary input of information: truth and truthful testimony. Here we reach the root: #0 from above: group evolutionary strategies. Truth and truthful testimony is the group evolutionary strategy of the West. Through truth we can implement common law, through common law we can maintain cooperation and innovation in an equilibrium. Through balanced cooperation and innovation, we can out-compete all other groups on the planet because we adapt faster than they do.

The linchpin of the competitiveness of our group evolutionary strategy and of the continuation of Western Civilization is truth. Truth is enough.


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