Tag Archives: Austrian School / Libertarian Theory

Economic Theory: Parable of Broken Vases

The parable begins with a simplifying assumption. This is that it takes exactly two workers to make a vase: one to blow it from molten glass and another to pack it for delivery. Now suppose that two workers, A1 and A2, are highly skilled—if they are assigned to either task they are guaranteed not to break the vase. Suppose two other workers, B1 and B2, are less skilled—specifically, for either task each has a 50% probability of breaking the vase.

Now suppose you are worker A1. If you team up with A2, you produce a vase every attempt. However, if you team up with B1 or B2, then only 50% of your attempts will produce a vase. Thus, your productivity is higher when you team up with A2 than with one of the B workers. Something similar happens with the B workers. They are more productive when they are paired with an A worker than with a fellow B worker.

So far, everything I’ve said is probably pretty intuitive. But here’s what’s not so intuitive. Suppose you’re the manager of the vase company and you want to produce as many vases as possible. Are you better off by (i) pairing A1 with A2 and B1 with B2, or (ii) pairing A1 with one of the B workers and A2 with the other B worker?

If you do the math, it’s clear that the first strategy works best. Here, the team with two A workers produces a vase with 100% probability, and the team with the two B workers produces a vase with 25% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces 1.25 vases per time period. With the second strategy, both teams produce a vase with 50% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces only one vase per time period.

The example illustrates how workers’ productivity is often interdependent—specifically, how your own productivity increases when your co-workers are skilled.

Attempt at refutation here:


Pan-Africanism and Weak vs Strong Ideologies


Can we sort ideologies between those justifying the strong (“right wing” / imposing karma / marketplace for competition), and those justifying the weak (“left wing” / demand sharing / not leaving anyone behind).

Why is it that the ideologies that justify the weak always attempt to deny and destroy heritage?

From economic Marxism to cultural Marxism to Pan-Africanism. What is it about appealing to the weak that requires the left to destroy everyone’s heritage?

friend of mine:

—“Execution of Americo-Liberians (descendants of freed American Slaves) who imposed tyrany and slavery on the autochonous groups in Liberia.

Pan-africanists have never learned from this brutal lesson. You may read the histories of modern west Africa and nevrr learn why the seria leonians and Liberians fought brutal civil wars.”—

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Curt on truthfulness

I suppose it’s not hard to grasp these properties:

1) identity
2) categorical consistency
3) internal consistency (logical and non contradictory)
4) external consistency (external correspondence)
5) existential consistency (existential possibility)
6) moral consistency (moral objectivity)

And i suppose these tests are not terribly hard to grasp:
1) Falsifiability
2) Limits
3) Parsimony
4) Full Accounting

But I suppose logic, mathematics, and grammar are not all that difficult either.

But then again, the ancients didn’t solve this problem.
It took 2500 years.

Curt: Jefferson, Burke & Disraeli



1) Jefferson was the first CONSTITUTIONALIST (USING: LAW/FORCE) An Aristocrat. (Protestant)

2) Burke was the first CONSERVATIVE (USING: MORALITY/GOSSIP) The Upper Middle Class (Tilting Catholic)

3) Disraeli was the first NEOCON (USING: COMMERCE/REMUNERATION) The Middle Class (Tilting Jew)

This in itself is a profound statement about the devolution of western civilization.

Curt on Politicians of various nationalities

When Canadian Politicians speak they are irresponsibly ideologically utopian
When British Politicians speak they are pragmatically utopian.
When American Politicians speak they are always overly optimistic.
When German Politicians speak the are speaking ideologically while trying not to.
When Hindu Politicians speak, they trying to avoid embarrassment by the truth.
When Italian Politicians speak they are obscuring truth with humor.
When French Politicians speak they use false morality to obscure immorality.
When Jewish Politicians speak they don’t have any idea what the truth or lie is.
When Russians Politicians speak they are always telling half truths to hide a lie.
When Chinese Politicians speak they are always lying – its their way of life.

Haille Mariam-Lemar on Polylogism


One of the best things about Human Action is its absolutely devastating criticism of polylogism or the denial of the rational unity of humankind.

In psychology the refutation of sapir-whorf more or less finished its appeal.

Unsurprisingly (and because of its natural appeal to class (ultimately race) analysis) polylogism found its way into philosophy and through philosophy to the sociology of knowledge.

And here is why: it permitted socialists to (1) dismiss their critics as hopelesly trapped in total ideologies and thus incapable of seing the truth of socialist theory, theory, that as they argued, is by necessity revolutionary; (2), it permitted the socialists to invoke Gramsci’s “power function” argument (this argument later found systematic expression in Karl Manheims philosophy wherein it is argued that all scientific theory serves to reproduce structural relationships of one kind or the other).

At this point, it is quite easy to understand why the Africanists beginning with Dubios (who was a socialist) latched onto “structural analysis” despite the plain conflict that results: it is a powerful tool for critising American institutional racism; and yet one cannot tacitly accept polylogism and still be a systematic humanitarian rationalist. (To his credit, Marcus Garvey, Dubios’ great rival – and a grade A racialist – saw this conflict and mocked Dubios badly). (Realising this conflict, afrocentrists, since the 1960s, have embraced the racialism of Anta Diop).

(At this point and although it is just a digression, I will like to note that the anthropological outlook of Boas was influenced by Dubios empirical sociology not the other way round. That Dubios scientific sociology was irreparably damanged by his socialism is no surprise to me, but that is a different matter)

Anyway, recently I have had the misfortune and honor to interact with a few racial chauvinists of “African” extraction and I must say I have been shocked by the intensity of their malady. These chauvinists (whom I shall call afrocentrists) have embraced polylogism to the T. (See my other post below for the difference between africanists and afrocentrists).

What is scary is that they think this embrace of irrationalism is helpful to their cause.

Mark Skousen offers some very reasonable mitigation of Austrian / Gold Bug / hard money dooms-dayers.

This is what I’ve been talking about!

Mark Skousen offers some very reasonable mitigation of Austrian / Gold Bug / hard money dooms-dayers.

Additionally, the West is remarkably adaptive, as evidenced by our heated discussions and perception that we can affect change — that doesn’t happen outside of the West.

My Propertarianism Summary

Putting this here so that I can cut and paste.


Social norms need to be treated as property (ie. defended with violence). Social norms are expesively created. We pay for them with opportunity costs every time we don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t defraud, help our neighbors.

The high trust society of Europe (really, North-Sea Europe) is the miracle that laid the foundation for modern civilization.

Rothbardianism creates a false binary of harm that preserves parasitism.

(Think of Jews benefitting from European law, and high trust, but maintaining separatism, and never sacrificing to contribute to the high trust society.)

Harm is really a gradient, not a binary. Focussing only on physical aggression and relegating lying, fraud by omission, cheating, and other anti-social behavior to a footnote on NAP, is an attempt by cheaters to prohibit retaliation.

This is why an-caps attract a minority of scoundrels. They correctly perceive it as a liscence to cheat and a prohibition on retaliation.

Hoppe realized the importance of social norms, but his reputation is tied to Rothbard’s, so he’s trying to preserve NAP and enforce social norms by voluntary exclusion. That’s good, if it works.

But really it is perfectly just to defend social norms with violence. We invested in the behavioral commons and need to protect our investment.


So libertarians fall into two categories. Some are trying to make the enforcement of the commons voluntary and prevent the mal incentives of bureaucracy. That’s good.

Other libertarians are denying a commons exists, or are active trying to prevent its emergence.


unlanded ethics of diaspora people — I will go to where other people have created property rights.

landed ethics of aristocracy — my family guards this wall. Your family will guard that wall. Inside we will enforce property rights.

Restating the biologicizing of politics and ethics

FUTURE TRENDS: Look for political “is/am” to be slowly replaced with a tracing of incentives rooted in biology. As part of this process, morality will be wrested from philosophers and pseudo philosophers and will be taken over by biologists. Example: leftism will be described as the impulse to care for the weak driven by the biological needs of women and people who fear being out-competed. (edit: ^^ Status signaling needs to be incorporated into this.)