I remember my distaste for chemistry in high school, because I could never understand (and still don't) how to prove an "equation" like

2H2 + O2 → 2H2O.

What chemical laws made this "identity" true? How do you derive similar reaction equations? Do you just experiment and memorize every single reaction formula or are there any a priori rules?

I mean, it looks kind of like algebra, but with totally mysterious axioms and theorems, if any.

Power Overwhelming

It's a mistake to think feminists want "equality" or ever did. If men and women are enemies battling for power, as the feminists would have it, then the end goal of the women cannot reasonably be a détente; instead, it must be unconditional surrender of the men.

And here's one strategy to achieve total dominance: the feminists indeed wanted to free women -- contrary to all reason -- to have as much sex as they wanted, but that was only step 1. Step 2 is now to have women use sex to accuse their lovers of rape.

Thereby bringing all the coercive might of the state upon their heads. All is fair in love and war which are, according to the feminists, the same thing!

What a clever roundabout plan hatched by some crafty dominatrix long ago.

The Politics of a Polis

A city consists of property owners and renters who are essentially guests in the city.

Each group of people needs the other dearly, as yin and yang need each other.

Owners are rooted, invested into city governance, and have a lot to lose if the city's political system deteriorates, because their private property values will fall if the public authorities fail to function properly, and there are indeed many ways so to fail.

But without Guests, the Owners' property values will definitely at the very least not rise, since Guests will not be able to turn into Owners and by competing with each other for limited space, bid up the prices of real estate. Further, Guests who are usually young people make city life interesting, and Owners on their own will end up living in a sleepy and boring little town. Finally, the Owners' property values will fall in the long run, as the new generation seeks to escape this boredom and moves out of town.

Guests are highly mobile, being able to leave a city which has lost its appeal literally in a day or two. They are therefore very sensitive to the Owners' political mistakes. And we have already seen that it is not in the interests of Owners to upset the Guests.

At the same time, the disincentives to Guests of making political mistakes are much reduced. So they ruined this town, they'll just move to a neighboring one. The Owners, however, will suffer gravely. As a result, Guests cannot reasonably have the right to vote or hold public office. In fact, a Guest who is "offended" that he can't vote can be advised that he benefits considerably from the fact that other Guests can't vote either. By disenfranchising all Guests, each Guest is made better off.

Moreover, Guests benefit from ceding all political power to Owners in yet another way, namely, that rogue criminal or undesirable Guests can easily be given the boot and driven out of town by Owners. A good Guest is thereby protected from bad Guests.

A balance and love between Owners and Guests can make a city exceedingly prosperous.

Important Things

So, I'm looking at my Panera receipt, and it says: "Accuracy Matters."

I thought only black lives mattered. Well, live and learn.

Men and Women: an Un-PC Difference

It's hard not to conclude that while men are an order of magnitude more physically violent than women, women in their turn are an order of magnitude sexually dirtier than men.

As an extra subtlety, however, nothing is worse than a violent woman or a male sex fiend.

What Law Is

A law is a command of a judge or legislators addressed to a particular group of the employees of the executive branch of the government, and an incentive to the citizens.

No Taxation?

"No taxation without representation" is a slogan that invokes the ancient conception of liberty; "taxation is theft" is a rallying cry of the modern conception.

Francis’ Econ

The Pope is lucky he's not making his economic proclamations ex cathedra; otherwise, the Holy Spirit would tear him a new one.

Бродить по Земле

I.e., to walk or wander or roam the earth is, when rightly understood, a natural human right.


So, I'm reading the specs of Intel's new i7-6700K processor, and I see that it's "conflict free," meaning "'DRC conflict free', which is defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules to mean products that do not contain conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and/or gold) that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries."

Are these guys crazy or what? What do I care about some criminal gangs in Africa?

Will the savages really become civilized if denied a little bit of funding? The spirit of conquest and enslavement cannot be pacified by boycotts.

Moreover, to the extent that the "armed groups" mine minerals and sell them on the market, these inhabitants of the Dark Continent are precisely not savage but quite peaceful. They participate in social cooperation by supplying useful items to the world's consumers. This behavior should be encouraged not spurned. The richer the Africans become, the less taste they will retain for destruction.

Besides, it should be easy for a nation whose citizens do business freely with Congo, etc. to buy their minerals (at lower prices due to reduced demand), lie about or conceal their suppliers, and re-sell them to everyone else. American solicitude is vain.

Also notice the hypocrisy, as though the Western nations are exempt from the scourge of the government bending the industry into producing weapons of destruction:

War has become more fearful and destructive than ever before because it is now waged with all the means of the highly developed technique that the free economy has created. Bourgeois civilization has built railroads and electric power plants, has invented explosives and airplanes, in order to create wealth.

Imperialism has placed the tools of peace in the service of destruction. With modern means it would be easy to wipe out humanity at one blow. In horrible madness Caligula wished that the entire Roman people had one head so that he could strike it off. The civilization of the twentieth century has made it possible for the raving madness of the modern imperialists to realize similar bloody dreams. By pressing a button one can expose thousands to destruction. It was the fate of civilization that it was unable to keep the external means that it had created out of the hands of those who had remained estranged from its spirit. ...

Only one external limit is posed to this rage for destruction. In destroying the free cooperation of men, imperialism undercuts the material basis of its power. Economic civilization has forged the weapons for it. In using the weapons to blow up the forge and kill the smith, it makes itself defenseless in the future. The apparatus of the economy based on division of labor cannot be reproduced, let alone extended, if freedom and property have disappeared. It will die out, and the economy will sink back into primitive forms. Only then will mankind be able to breathe more freely. (Nation, State, and Economy, 252)

Is that the aim of the Securities and Exchange Commission? To impoverish Africa to such an extent that they'll revert to swords and spears in their internecine wars?

This is the ultimate of contempt white liberals show to blacks. The Africans must be such half-children, half-devils that there is never even a hope for them to come to control their destructive impulses. There is no other way to a semblance of peace but to cut them off from the world economy so that their power to do harm to each other is also diminished.

Libertarianism, Mises continues,

is rationalistic. It maintains that it is possible to convince the immense majority that peaceful cooperation within the framework of society better serves their rightly understood interests than mutual battling and social disintegration. It has full confidence in man's reason.

It may be that this optimism is unfounded and that the liberals have erred. But then there is no hope left for mankind’s future. (HA, 157)

Are the Africans not listening to reason? Are these people really past redemption?

Down with Sanctions!

I want to benefit from 100% free trade with Iran.

The Pathetic Republicans

One Trump hater calls the "schism" within the Republican party as between "governing Republicans versus ideological provocateurs. It's politicians who believe in wielding and reforming government as a vehicle for change on one hand, and those who see a career in public service as a mark of ineptitude, if not an outright vice, on the other."

Yes, the traditional job of the Republicans is faithfully to conserve left-liberal victories.

"What voters want, too, is a nominee who won’t let himself get pushed around when his closely held values are under attack," Matt Bai continues.

Republicans have values? Other than to strengthen and consolidate the state that has grown in size, scope, and power from Obama's ministrations? Hate to break it to you, Matt, but... no.

I'll take a "provocateur" (who is fully right that government work is unnatural to man) with an actual ideology any day of the week.

The Pathetic Democrats

They are so politically correct, they can't even rouse themselves to fight Hillary for power.

Ironic how the Democratic chieftains themselves have become victims of their own brainwashing.

Black Lives Matter…

... to the extent that black people contribute to society and do not matter otherwise.

In fact, black adults who fail to contribute to society are not alive at all but spiritually dead.

Or undead, if you prefer.

Virtues and Human Diversity

John H. Riker suggests that "for Aristotle all good persons are alike...; Aristotle's ethics cannot respond to issues of diversity -- cannot respond to different groups of people valuing genuinely different forms of life," especially given "the radical individualism of modernity in which the singularity of each person is affirmed." (Why It Is Good to Be Good, 5)

This is scarcely a problem for my system in which virtue is explicitly set off against on the one hand nature and on the other hand narrow happiness.

As a result, when asked, "What's your poison?" nothing prevents St. Smith from saying "I study and collect butterflies"; St. Jones, "I am a Vegas high roller" (gambling as such is not a sin in Catholicism); and St. Robinson, "I love airplanes and flying them."

Their saintly character -- through which they are indeed somewhat, though hardly 100%, alike -- is compatible with an immense variety of ways of pursuing narrow happiness, as well as of the environment including people around them in which this pursuit proceeds.

Moral Responsibility

At its core, it is a rather simple notion.

If you fail to do you duty, then you are blamed.

If you go beyond the call of duty, i.e., supererogate, then you are praised.

If you do your duty and nothing more, then no one notices.

Complications arise quickly, though. When A blames or praises B, then whose moral ideal, A's or B's or "society's," is involved when expressing responsibility?

Why did B fail? Are there extenuating circumstances?

Can duties conflict? How to arbitrate between conflicting duties?

What is the purpose of blame? To cause B to pay what he owes? To make him repent? To teach virtue to others via public shaming?

If B is part of an enterprise association, can he excuse himself by saying that he was just following orders?

Conversely, if B is an employee of company X, is X to be held liable for unauthorized misconduct of B?

If A is the brains of a criminal operation, B is the muscle, and C contracts with them to steal some expensive stuff, how is blame to be apportioned or divided between them?

If A is insured by X against fire, and a fire occurs, did A exercise sufficient due diligence to qualify for a payment, in which case "doing" a duty is a matter of degree?


Types of Knowledge

I have asserted that there are three kinds of of judgement. Wisdom and prudence are intellectual virtues, while justice belongs to the will.

For self-regarding virtues, then, it is the heart that judges. Those duties are to hone and shape the soul that cause the soul to see itself the clearest. The fruit of the yang-self-love and yin-performance-of-duties is self-knowledge, with the caveat that the only way to "find" yourself is to build yourself. Whatever personality one judges most lovely and least hurtful (such as due to inner turmoil from spiritual contradictions) gets built.

Self-knowledge of the self worth knowing, i.e., a life both lived and examined, is fruit of justice and fear of the law. Self-knowledge is born from the will that is both strong and holy.

We have then the following kinds of knowledge or "apprehension of truth" for each type of "judgment concerning the truth" (these terms are from ST, II-I, 68, 4):

Judgment Apprehension Flavor
Wisdom Understanding A priori deductive
Knowledge A posteriori analytic
Justice Understanding, Self-knowledge, "Third eye" A priori synthetic
Prudence Knowledge A posteriori inductive

"Third eye" would seem to sum up the essence of the child of justice and iron willpower.

Jesus’ Union

Recall our 3 trinities within: nature (will + intellect + power), virtue (duty + moral ideal + personality), and narrow happiness (plan + execution + pleasure).

Jesus indeed had 2 natures that were entirely separate and unmixed with each other. He was fully God and fully man.

He also has 2 personalities, one divine, the other human, but those two were so inextricably and fully intertwined as to form a single person. For example, Jesus enjoyed not only the vision of God even while incarnated but even His full comprehension. At the same time, He had a human body including the brain. His body may have been exceeding healthy and handsome, but it was the body of a particular human being, and supplied Jesus with a unique and distinct human personality. These two personalities were united such that "who or what sort of person Jesus was" was different before and after the Incarnation.

Thus, we say, as per the orthodox teaching, that Jesus was two natures and one person.

Finally, Jesus' pursuit of happiness was a single thing. There were no separate either in reality (as for nature) or in the understanding (as for virtue) for Jesus divine and human planning and executing of His plans to achieve His goals. There were no "divine actions" and "human actions" for Jesus; there was just a single set of "Jesus' actions" and Jesus's enjoyments. The choices Jesus made and deeds He performed in life were all for the sake of Jesus' good, in whatever variety of things (including humanity's good) it consisted.

We have then that Jesus was: 2 fully separate natures, 1 personality fully interwoven or fused from 2 persons, 1 pursuit of happiness.

Choices and Institutions

Let's say there are 4 types of pastries I can buy with $2: a bear claw, a cobblestone, a pecan braid, and a blueberry scone. I can only pick one. If I choose to enjoy a cobblestone, then the cobblestone ought to be, and every other alternative, though also loved, ought not to be. This is a categorical ought, unconnected with any "is."

Having chosen the pastry, I now ought to pay the $2 for it. This is a hypothetical ought, derivable from the "is" in a straightforward manner as a means to an end.

Consider now a doctor who ought to follow the ethical guidelines of his profession, or a person who, after promising to meet another for lunch, ought to keep his promise, or a chess player who ought to obey the rules of the game. Are these oughts different from the 2 above?

For a clue, consider what Mises says about slavery:

As soon as a man has decided in favor of his subjection to a hegemonic system, he becomes, within the margin of this system's activities and for the time of his subjection, a pawn of the director's actions.

Within the hegemonic societal body and as far as it directs its subordinates' conduct, only the director acts.

The wards act only in choosing subordination; having once chosen subordination they no longer act for themselves, they are taken care of. (HA, 196)

Somewhat similarly, the young person's choice to become a doctor is categorical; his obligation to conduct his business ethically is hypothetical to his wanting to stay a doctor. If he behaves unethically, then it is questionable whether he understands what "being a doctor" means.

A man who makes a promise chooses categorically to accept the institution of promising; having chosen thus, he is bound to behave according to the rules of the institution.

Insofar as one decides to start a chess game, this decision is categorical; but now that the game is in progress, he needs to abide by the rules of chess if his actions are to have any meaning.

A single exchange is a contract; a marriage is a covenant, till death do us part, etc.; the difference being that no one exchange necessitates another; but marriage is a life-long relationship, and once two people have married (in so doing accepting the institution of marriage), they need to do and keep doing right by each other if they are to stay married.

We can see that our distinction between categorical and hypothetical oughts remains, and rule-bound institutions are a special case of it: the end chosen is to benefit from the institution; the means to the end is to respect that institution's nature.

Utilitarianism and Rationality

Geoffrey Thomas wonders about utilitarianism: "... there is no obvious ground on which your valuings give me a reason for acting. Why should I value your valuings being satisfied? But utilitarian morality as a social institution requires us precisely to value one another's valuings in such a way as to promote the general welfare."

Well, Smith should value Jones' "valuings" if Smith happens to love Jones. Charity unites the wills, such that the lovers' spiritual hearts indwell in each other. As I write in my book, "It is a good piece of advice that if you love a friend, then give without further thought: the profit to the beloved is your profit. And if you are loved, then take without fearing that you will need to repay the favor: your profit is the profit of the lover, as well." (SAtK, I, 38)

But utilitarianism does not require love in order to be serviceable when rightly understood. It can work full well in a society of mutually disinterested persons.

Again, utilitarianism is a guide not to the individual citizen but to the legislator. Harmonizing an individual's search for his own profits with the welfare of society at large maximizes utility, so far as any reasonable calculation showcases. Let the laws be such that, on the one hand, no man is prevented from discovering and traveling to a position in which he can best serve society; and on the other hand, social cooperation serves each individual better and better with time. Enacting such a regime is then the task of a wise utilitarian.

There is perhaps a simpler way to think about it. In a big world where labor is scarcer than land, with moderate overall scarcity of gifts of nature, people produce and exchange their goods. But any economic exchange benefits both parties, whereas any political violent expropriation and confiscation necessarily harms one party. If we continue to disallow interpersonal utility comparisons (assumed by our mutual disinterestedness), then only the former unequivocally increases utility. Such society should be built that encourages production and mutually beneficial trade, in particular, laissez-faire capitalism.

Whether we are dealing with a small society (in which immoral behavior is immediately irrational) or large society (where the connection is less obvious if still solid), we let people worry about and pursue their own good rather than the impossible general welfare, and entrust this latter to the care of judges and lawmakers.