Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Evolution, Interior Capital, and the Cosmic Economy

What is an economy for, anyway? Just for meeting our material needs? Yes, but a free market economy does so much more.

It's analogous to asking what a human being is for. A Darwinian will say, "to pass along his genes to the next generation." Obviously a human being does infinitely more than that, which is precisely why the theory of natural selection falls so short of being an adequate explanation of man. It doesn't mean the theory is false. Only that it is a piece of the puzzle.

No one set out to "create" the "free market" (in the aggregate sense). Rather, it was simply an unintended consequence of freedom -- of people just doing what comes naturally -- in a context of stable law and private property (which are more apparent and objective) and more subtle, subjective factors such as trust, self-discipline, delayed gratification, hope, belief in progress, faith in the reality and reliability of the material world, and a rich moral tradition that values all of these latter terms.

In fact, capitalism has little to do with material resources and everything to do with what I call interior capital. This explains how resource-poor but pneumatically rich nations such as Japan and Israel are such economic powerhouses, while countless resource-rich but pnuematically poor peoples remain mired in poverty (and on micro level, one could say the same of the poorest places in America, all of the economically backward cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades). For these evolutionary stragglers have not learned the secrets of how to create wealth.

Two of the most intriguing subtexts of Money, Greed, and God have to do with creation and evolution. One of the most odd and unexpected characteristics of a free market economy -- and one which liberals still struggle to grasp, or at least pander to their crassroots who don't get it -- is the ability to create wealth from subjective factors alone. The second is its ability to evolve, which is not at all dissimilar to the ability of Life as such to transform and evolve in such shocking ways.

Bear in mind that for a radical Darwinist, "evolution" is not the purpose of natural selection. Rather, it is a side effect only of an intrinsically random and meaningless material process.

The same is true of the free market. Left alone, it comes up with novelties far too diverse to ever catalogue, at such a rapid rate that one generation's luxuries become the next generation's needs. This results in the left's continuous redefinition of "poverty," for in their sour worldview, one generation's luxuries are the next generation's entitlements.

The irony is that in so doing, the leftist undermines the only system that could have created these luxurious new needs to begin with. A stagnant socialist economy doesn't innovate, so one doesn't have to worry about its novelties provoking envy in those who cannot yet afford them.

It is a commonplace to note that man's moral development does not keep pace with his scientific development. But is this actually true? As a matter of fact, I have no fear whatsoever of nuclear weapons in the hands of people capable of creating them from scratch, e.g., the Americans or Israelis.

Rather, the nations and peoples we worry about wouldn't have the ability to build a toaster without poaching on the knowledge of the West. Somehow the irony is lost on the Iranian mullahs who, like the rest of us, rely upon "Jewish physics" to assemble their bomb. Muslim physics couldn't produce so much as a suicide belt, let alone telephones, computers, and airplanes.

The free market definitely leads to unintended externalites with which we must cope, both positive and negative ones. No one planned for air pollution, but neither did anyone plan (i.e., without the entire unplanned scientific superstructure) for the means to cope with it.

And yet, the advanced economies that resulted in so much pollution have arrived at the most successful means to minimize it, mainly because we can afford the luxury of worrying about the environment.

But it is equally critical to bear in mind that positive externalities have a hidden cost that can even exceed the negative type, because we embrace them with such unambivalent enthusiasm, meanwhile failing to realize that we are messing with the very nature of man.

Contemporary examples are social media and video games, which seem to have an effect on the very structure of the brain. I see what the latter do to my son, and try to minimize his playing with them, especially at this age, when his brain is still being assembled. (Another example: have birth control pills contributed to the visible increase in wimphood?)

Man lives in the transitional space of the imagination, and to the extent that the imagination is foreclosed in childhood, there may be no getting it back. One is literally exiled into this impoverished country we call "the world," forever chasing after sensation and other phantoms that cannot satisfy.

In an advanced economy, sexual differences take on much less importance. In premodern economies survival is dependent upon a biological division of labor, i.e., farming and child-rearing. And just because a woman can adapt to a modern economy, this doesn't mean she can so readily overcome her womanhood. Likewise, a contemporary man has countless options through which to avoid the developmental burden of manhood. But is this a good thing?

Back to the subject of interior capital. Just as evolution would have gone nowhere in the absence of a "hidden reserve" of genetic potential, the free market would have gone nowhere in the absence of a hidden reserve of psychospiritual potential.

In other words, both natural selection and the free market are mechanisms through which potential is actualized. Conversely, in, say, the old USSR, no one was truly allowed to achieve his full human potential. It was literally against the law -- if not the written then certainly the unwritten law. Indeed, a saint or independent genius would have likely ended up in the Gulag. (Note that left wing PC is just such an unwritten anti-evolutionary law to enforce a static ideological solidarity in the group.)

Likewise, we are told that great leaps in genetic evolution cannot occur in the absence of extrinsic factors such as cladogenesis, i.e., isolation from the group. Otherwise species tend to be static, which is another way of saying that evolution does not occur.

Transposed to human reality, we can see at a glance how isolation from the group -- or what we call individualism -- is the great facilitator of evolution. For only individualism unleashes the full range of human potential and creativity. Bands, tribes, and kinship groups do not innovate or evolve. Rather, there must be something analogous to punctuated equilibrium that accounts for the Great Leaps of mankind.

A committee did not arrive at the theory of relativity, rather, only a solitary genius relatively isolated from the group. To be sure, the group is always necessary -- a point we have always maintained -- but it must be the type of group that not only allows but nurtures and promotes individualism.

Is it possible for individualism to cross a line into narcissism, grandiosity, entitlement, and even sociopathy (i.e., violence toward the group)? Yes, no doubt. Which is one reason why we must always maintain the group/individual complementarity, in contrast to extremist libertarians on the one end and solipsistic and entitled leftists on the other.

Socialist economies are run by committee. Instead of allowing the spontaneous order of the market, they arrive at some pretermined outcome -- say, "universal healthcare" -- and proceed to impose it from on high.

Does it work? No, never, not in the real economic world. For one thing, these systems must parasitize the ceaseless medical innovation that can only occur in a competitive and profit-driven economy. If the entire, worldwide medical system were instantaneously relieved of free market forces, the unintended consequences would be catastrophic -- analogous to unilaterally eliminating our nuclear arsenal. For we would be unilaterally caving in to the arsenal of health disasters awaiting each of us, and which require constant innovation to keep up with.

I'd better stop. Work to do.

34 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

It is a commonplace to note that man's moral development does not keep pace with his scientific development. But is this actually true? As a matter of fact, I have no fear whatsoever of nuclear weapons in the hands of people capable of creating them from scratch, e.g., the Americans or Israelis.

Excellent point. It seems a scientific mind can only truly develop within a cultural context that values truth and objective reality. Another example is the stories that come out of various African nations where people believe that actual curses can be sent by cell phone. They can't properly conceive of the technology even when it's in their hands. For that matter, in truth most Westerners can't, either - but the difference is that they know that it is possible for anyone with an interest to learn and to develop something new.

5/10/2011 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Contemporary examples are social media and video games, which seem to have an effect on the very structure of the brain. I see what the latter do to my son, and try to minimize his playing with them, especially at this age, when his brain is still being assembled. (Another example: do birth control pills cause an increase in wimphood?)

Also a good point, though having grown up with video games myself I think that many games can be beneficial, at an appropriate age and in reasonable doses. I'm far more concerned about TV in general; children's programming tends to be just heinous. Which was true when I was young, too, but at least then it was mostly just afternoons and Saturday mornings. Now, there's no escape. Thankfully, thus far my kid couldn't be less interested in staring at a screen in either case, but like an obsession with junk food I know it's probably only a matter of time...

5/10/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the pill, I think there's more than a little truth to that. Which also makes me wonder if it's really true that sexual differences are less important, or if it's more that sexual differences have become effaced so we only think they are less important.

What would our culture look like right now if masculinity and femininity were still sacred? How many technological advances haven't been made, how many risks not taken, because women on the pill are more interested in safe boys than rugged men? For that matter, how would our current war be different? How many astronauts would be heading toward Mars?

Ultimately, I think obliterating the difference between the sexes will prove to be an evolutionary dead end, even though it appears to be a necessary stage of development for the moment.

On a tangent, if the evolution of man as such is anything like human development, there must be stages where rapid growth gives way to a startling accumulation of fat (i.e. slow growth, apparent stagnation, and a big appetite but little output to show for it). Not so different from how a baby grows, caterpillar style: pudgy, then sprouting up, then pudgy again.

In a lot of ways, we currently seem to be in the pudgy stage. Assuming we don't consume ourselves into a diabetic coma, I wonder what the next stage of growth will bring?

5/10/2011 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people get their beliefs about "leftists" from this doofus, something is very wrong.

5/10/2011 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Yes. Leftists.

5/10/2011 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Besides, the B'ob doesn't tell people what they already know to be true, but why it's true.

5/10/2011 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

We don't need Bob to tell us anything - leftists are all too capable of speaking for themselves...

5/10/2011 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

In fact, they just keep talking and talking. Are we supposed to pretend that what they say is acceptable?

5/10/2011 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Prof. Giljum said...

But in this case, we did have the CEO there at the table, so he could see what the consequences are. We had to make him feel the concern and the anxiety that he was going to have to live with. So we, you know, made all kinds of overtones about sabotaging the equipment, OK? We downloaded a lot of articles off of the Internet and laid them around the plant (Prof. Ancel laughs), about this equipment being sabotaged or that equipment being sabotaged. That’s all they were, nobody was doing anything. (Prof. Ancel interjects: “You never said anything, did you?”) No, no! We just downloaded the articles and laid them out there, OK, for people to read. ‘Hey look at this article I found!’ You know? It wasn’t us, it was members that would do that. We had a group of guys that would always end up at the same shopping center, at the same church as the CEO would on Sundays and that in the evenings. Wouldn’t say nothing, just kind of bump into the guy and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?” you know, that’s it, “How’s negotiations going? Heard they’re not going too well.’ And then walk off, OK? It got to a point where the guy became very paranoid, very concerned, when he would walk out into the plant he would wear a flak jacket and a helmet with a face guard on it because he was afraid of being shot.

5/10/2011 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous energizer bunny said...

...and talking, and talking...

5/10/2011 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous John said...

We dont need any one to tell us what to do while it looks like that it can only help us in our way to evolve

5/10/2011 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, a website about nothing

5/10/2011 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"In fact, capitalism has little to do with material resources and everything to do with what I call interior capital. This explains how resource-poor but pneumatically rich nations such as Japan and Israel are such economic powerhouses, while countless resource-rich but pnuematically poor peoples remain mired in poverty (and on micro level, one could say the same of the poorest places in America, all of the economically backward cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades). For these evolutionary stragglers have not learned the secrets of how to create wealth."

Yes!

Absolutely true.

And any economist that doesn't start off from that understanding, isn't worth trying to understand. They can piddle about with their "economic imperative" this, and CPI that, but if the Moral I.Q. of people who make it up AND those with power over it, isn't well above average... you can have all the gold in Fort Knox (there's an assumption), and your numbers are still gonna be going,
D
O
W
N
n
n
n
.
.
.

5/10/2011 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...all of the economically backward cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades). For these evolutionary stragglers have not learned the secrets of how to create wealth.

No, really, redistribution of wealth with work this time if we just do it right. Look how well lottery winners do.

5/10/2011 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of redistribution of wealth, here's an ER doc's take on the joys of socialized medicine.

5/10/2011 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Hitch contra Chomsky

5/10/2011 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

When the disgruntled employee releases the self-replicating carbon eating nanobots into the wild, do we blame the committee or the individual?

I try to be personally responsible. Really, I do. But I’m not sure if I could sew a nanobot net around my property fast enough to stop em from eating me.

5/10/2011 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

OTOH, I do appreciate the considering of “group/individual complementarity” as an important form of social balance. Now how do we do this thing without forcing turning everybody to turn Japanese and Jewish?

5/10/2011 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

@Troll

If you think GB is tough on libs, you'll blow a gasket at this

5/10/2011 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Now how do we do this thing without forcing turning everybody to turn Japanese and Jewish?

We already did that, cheeky monkey - we sent them west on the Oregon Trail.

5/10/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous funky said...

And they became Mormons?

5/10/2011 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one could say the same of the poorest places in America, all of the economically backward cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades)

I wonder what parallel universe you are writing this from, since in this one, the most economically productive places in the US are urban areas that tilt heavily Democratic (New York, Boston, SF Bay, Los Angeles). Whereas Republican-dominated areas tend to be backwater shitholes that are net recipients of Federal tax money.

5/10/2011 07:26:00 PM  
OpenID son of a preacher man said...

Just like Detroit. Oh wait.

5/10/2011 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

I wonder what parallel universe you are writing this from...

My sources tell me it's a cloud-hidden Bobservatory just beyond the interior horizon of the United States of Mind. Tonga or Calabasas? I dunno.

I really don't care what people say in their bobservatories. But I worry abit when they might go outside with a megaphone and sandwich board and make a fuss about big nanny and non smoking stuff. Calabasas isn't like Tonga.

My main concern at this juncture, is how we're gonna achieve "group/individual complementarity" without making Japanese and Jews go west to become Mormons.

I think Olasky proposed preaching propositioning proselytizing them to being more like mainstream Christians, thus eliminating (in his mind) a need to force anything and keep gubmint small, badda bing, but we're still gonna have the issue of inbreeding in all those backwards conservative areas you allude to.

5/10/2011 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, I have no fear whatsoever of nuclear weapons in the hands of people capable of creating them from scratch, e.g., the Americans or Israelis.

What a curious idea, that only the morally advanced nations are capable of creating nuclear weapons. The Soviets managed it (they had some help from espionage, to be sure, but it was not essential). The Nazis purged their Jewish physicists, but probably could have done it with enough time, but that case kind of supports your point.

I don't really see how the Israeli nuclear capability is different in kind than the Pakistani, though, since both derived from original research done elsewhere.

5/10/2011 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

It's not a parallel universe. Perpendicular.

5/10/2011 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous flunky said...

Brazentide,

The solution to your dilemma, is not to worry about making xtranormal videos, but to make sure the US is kept “too big to fail”.

5/10/2011 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Redestribution of wealth works great for those doin' the redestributin'.

So what if the vast majority of us get hosed?

Ever notice that most corruption occurs when neocommies are in charge? That's a feature, not a flaw of the democrat party.

5/11/2011 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Redistribution of wealth is all fun n' games until someone loses an I.

5/11/2011 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In the great fauxtopia the left seeks are collective calls free?

5/11/2011 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I think, deep down, leftists really want a barren, apocalyptic world like the one in Mad Max (and countless other futuristic flicks.

Of course, a world like that ain't as romantic as they imagine...hell, folks would forget that word altogether as anarchy prevails.

Anarchy is only "cool" when the light of liberty is still shining.
But once that light is extinguished, then real anarchy and fear takes over, and it ain't "cool" no more.

That's when you'll hear leftists screamin' for the police and military they so despise.

5/11/2011 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "Redistribution of wealth is all fun n' games until someone loses an I."

;-)

5/11/2011 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

Sorry, it is neither my video nor my dilemma.

My generation has known for decades that we will be the ones with the short end of that particular stick.

The only dilemma exists within those that expect something other than waste, unsustainability, corruption, and an addicted voting block from your average Leftist social program.

5/11/2011 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous flunky said...

On a deeper note, and in line with the video, SS appears to have been formulated assuming some things. One of those things assumed was that good jobs would keep on happening in the good ole USA. But change being the usual thing, the big corporations have learned how to globalize their profits, as well as their workforce. And so have many smaller businesses. If things keep going this way, SS will eventually have to cut payouts just to remain solvent. Or flex with the change somehow.

But my concern involves self replicating carbon eating nanobots. And Mt Everest sized asteroids hurtling towards earth. If the latter happens, I’m not so sure that an invisible hand will swat it away. And the way things are going, it’s more likely the astrophysicists will be laughed off as power hungry academics, and the building of The Messiah a Leftist boondoggle.

Anybody have anything to say about "group/individual complementarity"?

5/11/2011 10:29:00 AM  

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