Q&A: Creating Property Rights

Asked by Butch:

Is it impossible to create a Libertarian order of ‘property rights’ with private courts and enforcement? Or is it simply cheaper to centralize the rents into a central organization, which is why we don’t see the private courts, arbitrators, etc. that libertarians think can replace the state?

Curt responds:

1) Let’s contrast Crusoe’s Island, where the sea forms a fortress around his territory, and the distance poses an unbearable cost of crossing… with reality: the North Black Sea steppe, and the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean in the center of the fertile crescent.

What is the cost of developing the institution of private property on Crusoe’s island versus on the horse-plain, or the alluvial plain?

The cost of suppression is much higher everywhere OTHER than where it is already subsidized by a major power: in this case, the sea. (or in eastern Europe or the European ghetto: one of the major powers.)

Meanwhile, we have outgroup members who are conquering, enslaving, killing, raping, pillaging, robbing, and if for some reason they can obtain the technology or numbers to do so AND there is conflict that they feel needs resolution.

Now, given that in consanguineous bands, the only private property you do not have to share is that which is un-sharable, and up until we have farming, tools, territory, and therefore inheritance, we really own most things collectively because attempts at privatization are seen as ‘greed’.

So at the low end, we have to pay the high cost of suppressing local and even familial rents, so that property can be placed in utilitarian hands willing and able to put it to productive use.

Above that, we must suppress crime in its various forms: violence, murder, theft, fraud — all of which inhibit cooperation.

Above that, in the middle we have to suppress local ‘rulers’ and gangster’s ‘rents’.

And above that, we must suppress external forces and organizations from attempting to take the territory and order it differently from how we are choosing to order it.

So whether we choose the false narrative of Crusoe’s island and do not see the costs, or we choose the empirical examples of the different regional territories and civilizations and we do see the costs, is one of whether we want to honestly expose or dishonestly obscure the high costs of creating that condition of liberty that we reduce to “property rights”.

The incentive to restore the ‘natural’ order of parasitism, from the ‘unnatural order’ of productivity, is always with us in every culture. Because man is a rational creature, and chooses what is rational — and parasitism is rational.

2) Once we centralize costs and use them to suppress local costs, we can then begin to suppress central corruption (rents) by outsourcing and thereby creating competition.

We can eliminate the need for monopoly production of commons through assent, and can instead create the opportunity for a market of commons prohibited only by dissent (law).

But the costs of maintaining this vast apparatus of suppression of rents at every level, and conquest and predation at the top and bottom remain the same: huge. (Which the puritans understood but the libertarians do not).

3) But either true = true, and moral = moral, and therefore natural law = law, or we will devolve the society.

So as far as I can tell we require a monopoly judiciary at the top, a monopoly king to resolve matters not decidable by other means, and a monopoly natural law for which all decidability stands.

To say otherwise is to say one wants to obtain benefits without paying for them (parasite), or that one wants to extract parasitism from others by circumventing natural law.


Butch’s Notes

Short Answer

The short answer is “No, a Libertarian order of property rights with private courts and enforcement is not possible”.

The reasoning provided above is that unless a monopoly judiciary exists, then there is an opportunity to extract rents (parasitize) on the judicial process. Basically, as in low trust societies, the legal system is up for sale to the highest bidder. A monopoly judiciary is a central requirement to sustaining a regime of ‘property rights’.

Island Privilege

The above post essentially explains ‘island privilege’: the sea subsidizes high trust because it prevents parasitism and predation from neighboring tribes. ‘Property rights’ is a high trust normative commons (shared behavior). In order to create ‘property rights’, parasitism must be incrementally suppressed (hence Curt Doolittle’s Incremental Suppression Service) and Curt lists the increments of parasitism:

  1. local: friends and family (see nuclear family, empty nesters)
  2. local: community members (violence, murder, theft, fraud, etc.)
  3. middle: local rulers/gangsters (justice for hire, libertarian ‘arbitration services’)
  4. highest: external forces/groups (tribal conquest)

Those living on islands are insulated from the highest level of parasitism (it is suppressed by the sea), so in effect, the process of building high trust is subsidized by the sea.

See: bonobos, a gynocentric group which lives south of the Zaire river, protected from invasion by chimpanzees.

See: galapagos islands, many creatures almost completely devoid of fight or flight response thanks to being protected from all large predators by the sea.

Property Rights and Liberty

Property rights and liberty are essentially different views on the same phenomenon. Liberty is an order where individuals are allowed to choose their own means of production. Without property rights, then division of labor is not necessary, therefore liberty is not necessary.


Related Post

“NONE OF US IS A POLITICAL ISLAND.”

—“I’ve heard many say they don’t believe the government should create and enforce laws that require certain actions be taken, such as for personal safety, general public safety, and reduction in personal injuries and resulting lawsuits, etc….I’m not going to say every Libertarian is like this, but I’ve heard this kind of thinking from such adherents a few times. I personally don’t agree with political ideals that treat each person as a practical island. A diverse, highly interconnected and fluid society cannot function that way, and I think it would probably end up being economically inefficient and unhealthy, ethical considerations aside. Of course, Libertarianism is more complex than that one issue, but it’s one that I disagree with in particular”— Athena (From Quora)

That’s right Athena. None of us is an island. Even Crusoe got to his via boat.😉

Unfortunately, there are foolish people in every political philosophy. Libertarianism is not immune, any more than is progressivism or conservatism is immune.

Unfortunately, once ignorant, socially incompetent, intellectual adolescents here the term “non-aggression principle” they apply this ideological hammer to everything that looks vaguely like a nail; the same way progressives use equality, diversity, and racism; and the same way that conservatives use meritocracy.

All three points on the political triangle advocate their priorities over those of the other two. Progressives advocate nurture, caretaking, and prevention of harm and all but ignore social capital and liberty. Conservatives advocate the accumulation of social and behavioral capital equally with liberty and caretaking. And libertarians advocate liberty at the expense of caretaking and social capital.

Libertarians place higher moral weight on liberty than the other groups do. And as such, their political preferences take on the name that represents that preference: Libertarianism.

Libertarianism is an evolutionary extension of Classical Liberalism. Classical Liberalism is likewise a revision of Greek Political philosophy. Both of which are the result of unique european preference for sovereignty (aristocracy).

Unlike all other world political traditions, which attempt to concentrate and manage the limits of power. Classical liberal institutions rely upon the balance of powers and consent among those powers. This reflects the european ancient prohibition on monopoly of political power. The prohibition against tyranny.

Chieftains, Kings, Presidents are judges and administrators, empowered to resolve and prevent conflicts by the ascent of their peers (other nobles – which should be translated as ‘business owners’ because that’s what farmers and craftsmen who are heads of families are).

The libertarian intellectual research program seeks to totally eliminate the coercive power of government, while at the same time providing the institutional, organizational, and procedural means by which people can cooperate and prosper, without the bureaucracy, corruption, self interest that results from monopoly bureaucracy and political representation.

Now, Rothbardian Libertarianism, which copies the ethics of the Jewish ghetto, advocates Anarchy – no government at all, calls itself ‘Libertarianism’ in a linguistic attempt to claim the they are the sole proponents of the preference for liberty. A fact which frustrates the other ‘libertarian’ factions, who are more intellectually honest.

While Classical Liberal libertarians may prefer something between… “Private Government” that resembles Lichtenstein, the small germanic states prior to German unification, or most clearly, the English model of layers of private government we call constitutional monarchy, but which is merely a continuation of ancient anglo saxon methods of government.

So, continuing the tradition that makes use of the separation of powers and the prohibition on bureaucracy and professional politicians, libertarians divide the functions of government into different institutions.

Technically speaking there is only one necessary institution of government: The common law. All other political institutions are not necessary, put preferences. Some libertarians would prefer to limit government to this one function, and other libertarians would like to make use of all of the functions I list below.

NECESSARY INSTITUTIONS
(1) Law: judges (courts) which adjudicate differences (conflicts) based upon just one universal law of private property and the common law, and naturally evolve the common law as was historically practiced by judges. Under this common law, everyone has universal ‘standing’ so members of corporations, politicians and bureaucrats who are today insulated from law suits by a requirement for ‘standing’ would not be, nor would those special privileges for government employees exist. Instead, people who care could control companies and other organizations both with market pressure AND with legal pressure.

*The conflict over the definition of property.*
Now some libertarians (the ones that most likely seem immoral (because they are), suggest that the definition of property is that which we can both verify by our own senses: our bodies and the stuff we know we own: IVP (Intersubjectively verifiable property). These are the people that obsess over the term NAP (the non-aggression-principle).

While the NAP and IVP (NAP/IVP) are sufficient criteria for ethical relations between states, the NAP/IVP limits you to prohibitions on theft and violence. But this leaves open all the unethical and immoral behavior that all societies prohibit of their members.

So for all intents and purposes, NAP/IVP legally institutionalizes permission for immoral and unethical behavior like scams and every other possible means of deception and criminal behavior. ie: it’s the ethics of the ghetto.

The rest of us who are NOT observers of the NAP/IVP and therefore not members of the ever-present vocal minority of Rothbardian ghetto-libertarians, have been trying to distance ourselves from these ‘thin libertarians’, or ‘immoral-tarians’ or as the conservatives call them ‘aspie-tarians’, who are busy advocating Rothbardian Ghetto Ethics.

The movements that distance themselves from such are called ‘thick’ libertarians who intuit, feel, think, believe, or what have you, that the NAP/IVP Rothbardian Ghetto Ethics are insufficient criteria for the formation of a polity whose members possess liberty.

Some of these people are banded together into the “Bleeding Heart Libertarians”. The BHL’s do not have a plan. they just know that Rothbardian Ghetto Ethics are somehow not right. The criticism of BHL’s is that they don’t have a plan, and that any solution they talk about simply expands the state further.

Others want to make use of private institutions to provide public services wherever possible. Some other people (on my side of the fence) are fairly rigorous and extend property rights to all those things that people act as if are a form of property, and therefore allow us all to adjudicate our disputes in court without the need for a third party. This is a very simple solution to a very difficult problem.

Other people want to return to the past – which isn’t going to happen unless we reinvent the church, treat it as an independent wing of the government, and return most domestic social services to control of that branch of government. (This is not a crazy idea really, since it’s that set of services that have expanded most and consume most of the budget, and the failure to separate that service from the commercial functions of government has probably led to our current state of conflict.)

PREFERENTIAL INSTITUTIONS
(2) REGULATION/INSURANCE: The purpose of regulation is to prevent harm, particularly irreversible harm, and to use the polity as the insurer of last resort. To accomplish regulation, the libertarian preference, rather than reliance on a monopoly bureaucracy, is to use competing insurance companies.

(Now, before you run away with criticisms, you’d have to understand how rigorous libertarian theory is on this topic. How universal standing, universal personal accountability, affect this. Today you cannot easily sue the guy who sold the poor family next door a cable plan that made them debt slaves, but under libertarian law you could. So people who want to ‘do good’ in the world would be able to, and not dependent upon approval of bureaucrats for it.)

3) COMMONS: Developing all the infrastructure that we need and desire. Some infrastructure is necessary for competitive survival, some is preferential, and some is a luxury. However, it must be possible to construct commons, even if they are constructed by private firms.
Most libertarians would deny this and state that commons are the responsibility of private parties, otherwise we get into taxation.
Most libertarian solutions suggest we vote our tax dollars to those things that we really want ourselves over the internet, sort of how we run auctions on Kickstarter.
Others suggest that we use a lottocracy (people are randomly selected like juries and proposals are put in front of them and they choose which ones.) The idea is to eliminate politicians who are open to special interest groups.

(4) CHARITY: Most libertarians want a return to the civil society where people conduct charity personally, and where it is the defacto ‘job’ of a lot of people to administer it. I think those of us who are a bit more institutionally creative, see five or six solutions to the problem of charity. (I’m going to address this later because I’m running out of time.)

5) CREDIT: borrowing money on behalf of the populace for the production of commons. Most libertarians would argue that if a population can print its own money then it is doomed, however, I won’t address that argument here.

6) DEFENSE. (Not much to say here that isn’t obvious) Other than that under fifth generation warfare (what terrorists do) our ancient tradition of forming a militia, and training it under the Swiss model is probably the most effective military with the least international intervention we can come up with. Our current model doesn’t work well. And it will just get worse.

Others have demonstrated how to create private firms that provide defense, however, history has told us that such groups never are effective compared to an armed citizenry.

At present, nuclear weapons are an insurance policy and a necessary one. One’s freedom of self determination probably depends upon possession of nuclear weapons.

CLOSING
I hope this is somewhat helpful. My main purpose is not to enumerate all possible libertarian institutional solutions, although If I had a little more time I’d do that since I think the internet community would actually like that. It’s to (a) position the ‘everything is a nail’ Rothbardian’s as what they are – the passionate lunatic wing of liberty; (b) outline the underlying problem we’re trying to solve as the elimination of monopoly bureaucracy that always accumulates to the point of predation tyranny and failure; (c) show that we have thought (a lot) about how to continue the western tradition of divided government as a defense against tyranny, and that we have some solutions to it – most of which rely on just expanding the methods of our ancestors.

Affections.
Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev.

 

 

 

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Property and Norms

From Cultures Are Portfolios Of Property Rights:

Cultures are portfolios of property rights. The composition of, and distribution of those property rights, varies from culture to culture. In each culture, those rights are expressed as norms. Property rights themselves are a norm. Those property rights perpetuated by norms may be more or less beneficial than other portfolios of property rights.

But any idiot who thinks that (a) formal institutions don’t matter – such as libertarians or (b) that formal institutions are sufficient – such as progressives, will have history prove him wrong to the chagrin of the people who understand (c) that norms are a form of property – conservatives. Norms are a commons that we all pay for. The tax we pay for them with is forgone opportunity to consume them, and absorbing the risk that no others will absorb them too.

One of the most difficult problems I have  when attempting to discuss Propertarianism is property. What is it? I want to get across two important ideas here: Property is a Norm and Norms are Property.

Property is a Norm

This may not seem intuitive to you. After all, an apple is property. It exists. You can touch it, you can trade it. We call this ‘intersubjectively verifiable property’: that which we can all subjectively verify that it exists. Given this common understanding of physical property, such as an apple, this leads one to scratch his head and ask “How can an apple be a norm?”. That just doesn’t make sense.

Let’s look at it from another perspective. What if that apple were on the Moon. Would it then be property? Not really. No-one owns the moon. No-one owns the apple. Therefore it is not property. So we see there is actually a difference between the apple and property. An apple is an apple, but it may or may not be property. What’s the difference? It’s how we treat it. If we treat it as property, then it’s property. You see, an apple becomes property through an act of human behavior.

What’s a norm? “Norms are cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions)”

Customs and traditions are behavior which are the result of values. An apple becomes property through social behavior (custom/tradition). An apple on the moon isn’t property. An apple on a grocer’s shelf is property. The difference? The presence of humans behaving in a certain way.

What is the norm (the behavior, the custom or tradition) that we call property? The norm is ‘non-parasitism’ (Thou Shalt Not Steal). Group cooperation is valuable to us, and in order to maintain group cooperation we have a rule of non-parasitism: each person will produce what he needs and not take what others have produced.

In nature, the strong take from the weak, and a state of nature is a state of war (Hobbes). War is not cooperation, it is conflict. You have an apple and I have a rock. I hit you on the head with my rock and take the apple. That’s nature. But that destroys cooperation, and cooperation magnifies our production, so we build rules to preserve this cooperation. We then teach these rules to our children and enforce them. These rules are norms of behavior.

Once we create the norm of non-parasitism within a group (a laborious process), then all forms of theft are barred (by custom/tradition). So, now you have an apple and I want the apple but I can’t steal it (per our norm), so we negotiate a deal, a trade. Under the norm of non-parasitism, trade is the only mechanism remaining by which we can (knowingly) transfer objects to one another. Any object which is transferred in this system (of the norm of non-parasitism) is property. The system of trades within which we transfer these objects is called a market.

When non-parasitism is the rule, then the trading of objects (property in a market) is the only thing that is left. So, property only exists as an act of a social norm: non-parasitism. Property is a norm of behavior, not a physically measurable attribute. When we refer to property, we are really referring to property rights, and all rights originate in contract (agreement). Therefore property = property right = contract = agreement (of reciprocal behavior) = norm of behavior.

As an aside, it should also be clear that non-parasitism (the norm), property (the objects) and markets (the method of transfer) are all different ways to look at the same thing. There can be no markets without property. There can be no property without the norm of non-parasitsm.

Norms are Property

Once you understand that property is not a real thing, but instead is nothing more than an agreement of human behavior, a norm, then we can take the next step to understanding an expanded portfolio of human capital.

The process of discovering the rules of cooperation which then magnify production to yield prosperity for a group (values), and the process of transferring these rules (customs and traditions) within the group (horizontally) and through time (vertically/(intergenerationally ) is not free. The acquisition and transfer occurs only at a high cost. Allowing children to roam free is cheap (in the short term), educating (domesticating) them is expensive (in the short term) but yields long term benefits in increased group cooperation. Domesticating every man, woman and child is expensive.

The loss of this norm of non-parasitism (corruption, theft, fraud) is costly both to individuals and also to the group as cooperation is disrupted. Therefore, protecting property rights (remember, rights are a contract within a group) means protecting a norm: non-parasitism.

There are other norms which have beneficial long-term outcomes and which have been propagated (horizontally) throughout groups and (vertically) through time. Monogamy and marriage are such a norm. I’ll refer to monogamy/marriage as marriage, which is a set of social norms which were developed to regulate the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation. Females, when given the opportunity, will breed with the highest ranking males (status) that they can attract, and will offload the cost of resulting offspring onto the group. Prior to the modern welfare state, this would have been family members with primarily the woman’s father and brothers providing resources for the offspring. Gestation, lactation and child rearing are resource-intensive activities which generally a single female cannot perform, thus requiring group cooperation. When a male produces offspring, but does not provide the necessary resources, then he is externalizing the cost of his own reproduction onto others. The creation of externalities (imposition of cost) are a form of parasitism. Thus, the norm of marriage is an extension of the norm of non-parasitism with regards to the activity of procreation.

The destruction of the norm of marriage (single motherhood financed through the redistributive welfare state) allows for the imposition of cost via externality upon men (taxpayers) who do not receive the benefit of having their genes propagated (gene propagation is the ultimate purpose of acquisition/production). It also creates a host of other costs to the group via propagation of social pathologies which are associated with the children of single mothers (dysgenia).

In the case of the norm of property rights and marriage there is a reduction in parasitism which is achieved, which maximizes cooperation and has other beneficial long term effects. This means that norms are capital, a form of property. They are expensive to discover, propagate and maintain, and their destruction imposes costs (or reduces benefits). For this reason, humans will defend norms, customs and traditions in exactly the same way, and for the same reason, that they defend physical property. Therefore, norms are property.

The portfolio of human capital includes not only physical objects, but also norms of behavior (customs and traditions which transfer values). Property is a norm, and norms are property.

Operational Property

In Dissecting Propertarianism I state that I currently believe that the core Propertarian proposition is :

Libertarian/Misesian economics is a pseudoscience because it uses induction (scientific method) rather than operationalism.

I then request concrete examples. It sounds to me like Propertarianism might have something to do with property, right? Can property be formulated operationally? How do we do that?

Libertarian definitions of property usually begin with ‘self-ownership’. In the theory, self-ownership is evident because only you can move your limbs or choose which thoughts to think. You control your body, therefore you own your body. Rothbard uses self-ownership as the first form of property, and then uses the Lockean idea of mixing labor with nature to create ownership. This is known as the Labor Theory of Property (LTP). Because you own yourself, if you then use your body to plant a seed and tend and water it, then the resulting fruit is your property. According to this theory, then locking a man in a cage or forcing him into slave labor is a violation of his ‘liberty’, or his property right in himself.

You will notice that in this  we have abstract concepts that cannot be observed or measured: ownership, rights and liberty. Then these abstract concepts are used as building blocks and to extend out and build all of Libertarian economic theory based on this definition of property. From a review of Ethics of Liberty:

Rothbard, by contrast, reasons by strict deduction from self-evident axioms.

[snip]

Rothbard is much more consistent and rigorous than even I had imagined.

One illustration must here suffice. As even Macaulay’s schoolboy knows, Rothbard grounded his political ethics on the principle of self-ownership: each person rightfully owns his or her own body. Few libertarians would dissent; but few if any have seen the implications of this principle so clearly as Rothbard.

To many libertarians, freedom of contract is the be-all and end-all. As Rothbard notes, unlimited freedom of contract, far from being a consequence of self-ownership, in fact contradicts it. Given self-ownership, and acquisition of property through “mixing one’s labor” with unowned property, of course, one may enter freely into all sorts of agreements with others.

Notice the givens: self-ownership and the Labor Theory of Property. Do you see how these are fundamental, but untestable (not empirically verifiable) self-evident axioms? Whenever we read a term like self-evident axioms, realize that it is time to start thinking very critically about what follows.  From here Rothbard clearly sees the implications of the principles. Consistently and rigorously. I would add Platonically.

We see the assertion in the review that what Rothbard is doing is scientific, rigorous and consistent. I think this is what CD means when he says that Mises created a pseudoscience. Libertarian economic theory uses the language of science and uses logic to build an entire theory based on self-evident axioms such as self-ownership and the LTP. Where is the science? Where is the measurement? The repeatable experiments? Nowhere. This is Platonism: high theory with no grounding back into reality. It functions logically, as long as you don’t stray outside of the boundaries created by self-evident axioms.

The problem that CD articulates throughout Propertarianism.com is that this definition is a very narrow definition of property. CD includes the term Demonstrated Property in the glossary:

DEMONSTRATED PROPERTY – an expanded definition of property that is based upon the full scope of what humans consider to be property, based upon what they demonstrate that they consider to be property. Demonstrated Property is the definition of ‘property’ used in Propertarianism.

What we are now trying to determine is ‘what humans consider to be property’ operationally. How is that operation performed?

From The Evolution of Cooperation:

2) Property: The scope of those things they act upon, or choose not to act upon, in anticipation of obtaining as inventory (a store of value), constitute their demonstrated definition of property-en-toto.* (See Butler Schaeffer) “That which an organism defends.”

In A Century of Mysticism, CD makes the following statements:

  • “Mises’ intuition was correct that if you cannot reduce an economic statement to human action, it cannot be true.”
  • “Economics is not deducible from human action.”
  • “I try to reduce ethics back to operational statements with testimonial truth”.
  • “Your testimony can be supported by an existence proof if it is reduced to operational statements.”
  • “Mises is wrong that economics is not empirical because we cannot deduce all of economics from our initial assumptions about human action. We can however observe all the possible results of human action, and then find a way to describe it.”

I think I would now like to amend what I believe to be the Propertarian assertion of economic pseudoscience previously formulated in Dissecting Propertarianism:

Libertarian/Misesian economics is a pseudoscience because it creates rational (reasoned) logical arguments deduced from untestable and unprovable assumptions (Platonic rationalism) rather than observable human action (testimonial truth, Instrumentalism, operationalism).

Nowhere in the Libertarian/Misesian system is there an existence proof of property. In operational terms we see this amazingly simple definition of property: That which an organism defends. What is the existence proof that something is your property? You defend it.  That is something that is observable. Defense is an operation.

So we see the Libertarian view of property as very narrow, applying only to physical objects, because of the way in which it is theoretically rationalized. But if we take ‘that which an organism defends’ as an operational definition of property, then we see that ‘property’ expands, to include very intangible forms. Under ‘Propertarianism’ in the glossary:

b) That the human concept of property is broad in scope, encompassing their bodies, their physical property, genetic relations, associations, opportunities, norms, and even cherished memories and beliefs. That humans treat as property all that they have acted to invest in. And that they will only invest in what they can treat as property. And when that entire scope of property is enumerated, all human behavior is reducible to expressions of changes in the the state of property, and all emotions reactions to changes in the state of property.

That leads to a broad definition of property, again from the glossary under Property:

DEMONSTRATED PROPERTY

Types of property based upon observations of what people actually consider to be their property:

I. PERSONAL PROPERTY

Personal property: “Things an individual has a Monopoly Of Control over the use of.”

a) Physical Body
b) Actions and Time
c) Memories, Concepts and Identities: tools that enable us to plan and act. In the consumer economy this includes brands.
d) Several Property: Those things external to our bodies that we claim a monopoly of control over.

II. INTERPERSONAL PROPERTY
Cooperative Property: “relationships with others and tools of relationships upon which we reciprocally depend.”
a) Mates (access to sex/reproduction)
b) Children (genetics)
c) Familial Relations (security)
d) Non-Familial Relations (utility)
e) Consanguineous property (tribal and family ties)
g) Racial property (racial ties)
g) Organizational ties (work)
h) Knowledge ties (skills, crafts)
i) Status and Class (reputation)

III. SHAREHOLDER PROPERTY
a) Recorded And Quantified Shareholder Property (physical shares in a tradable asset)
b) ARTIFICIAL PROPERTY: (property created by fiat agreement) Intellectual Property.
c) FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY : Formal (Procedural) Institutions: Our institutions: Religion (including the secular religion), Government, Laws.
d) INFORMAL INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY: Informal (Normative) Institutions: Our norms: manners, ethics, morals, myths, and rituals that consist of our social portfolio and which make our social order possible.
“Those properties in which we have invested our forgone opportunities, our efforts, or our material assets, in order to aggregate capital from multiple individuals for mutual gain.”

If you are familiar with the Libertarian conceptions of Property, then this list of types of property can be mind-blowing, especially concepts such as ‘informal institutional property’. But, this is where you end up when you leave the Platonic playground and actually begin to instrumentalize economics, and to use operational definitions. As we dig deeper, you will find that many of us already intuit this broad range of property, we intuit what we should and should not defend. I expect that many Libertarians will scoff and retreat back into their little walled garden of property, because this expanded definition is a lot to tackle, but those who can actually understand the difference between science which uses observable phenomenon versus pseudoscience which is based on ‘self-evident axioms‘, will want to dig deeper into the topic.

That is what we plan to do on this site. I welcome your comments, insights and contributions, as we move forward exploring this vast intellectual landscape that CD has exposed for us.