What if the concept of morals (specifically, like, the golden rule and the nonaggression principle and homesteading and the right of self-ownership) is just propaganda? If these values are propagated by the uber elite to minimize competition, then it would certainly make sense from the farmer's perspective to make the livestock horrified of doing "evil". It seems a much simpler answer than "proving" some kind of moral system. This may mean morals are propagated by the people with ultimate power in history. Suppose by creating morals, we are just making ex post facto rationalizations for a reality we've grown up with and a pattern we've seen in history. The people we consider "evil", and we wonder how they sleep at night, they clearly do sleep, and propagate, and they don't all kill each other like barbarians.
What if unlimited competition is the free market? Do you ever wonder if they—the uber elite, the trillionaires or whatever, the people who control the people who control the people who control—have completely different moral values than the rest of society, and they sleep just fine?
This blew my mind when I thought about it. Really, nobody has any comments?
I think that the uber elite is simply "amoral", they have no system of morality, or if they do it's simply based on what's best for them in the long run.
Ya the whole concept of morality and proving a system of ethics has puzzled me for a long time, though usually instead of assuming that it's a creation of the elite I've more wondered whether or not these values were created by people in order to maintain a safe and civilized society.
I mean some philosophic beliefs do not recognize right and wrong or good and bad. Classical virtue was "get what you want." Jesus (as well as most religions) preach altruism and poverty. I could take a guess and say that the elites who subscribe to renaissance-esque mystery schools (Masons, Rosicrucians, etc.) simply don't put value in self-sacrifice as most people do.
Unless I'm reading it wrong, this just seemed a rehash to me of Marx's uberbau argument.
"the nonaggression principle and homesteading and the right of self-ownership"
If this were really elitist propaganda then they would actually be popular concepts that received mainstream attention. They don't, so they aren't.
At any rate, I think that morality originally was incarnated as an outcome of social norms and the need to fit in within society, and that sense then it has been manipulated by individual whim. What cases of this there specifically have been, however, are things which I do not know.
With all this said, morality is such a blatantly defunct concept that is so blatantly used to control people for a whole variety of reasons and through many different ways, that I see it as somewhat irrelevant to focus upon.
I've more wondered whether or not these values were created by people in order to maintain a safe and civilized society.
And I would think most people hold a similar perception. I myself do (did?), so challenging that specific belief was how I came up with this.
Really, I've learned enough about slavery to have come across a theme several times: Revolts often (always?) didn't end well for communities of slaves, and a runaway slave, caught or not, could lead to terrible consequences for the remaining slaves. So slaves would utterly reject the idea of liberty and ostracize peers who entertained such ideas. On a larger scale, this is the story of society (slaves) versus the State and its rulers (masters). So society rejects people who threaten the State. So I thought society, to cope with this reality, may have created a myth: that we don't kill or steal or impose our will on other humans because that's "evil". And the State, never willing to waste an opportunity, and always looking to kill more than one bird with every stone, realized this and supported institutions like religion and concepts of "benevolent" rulers—which, coincidentally, they also controlled.
Unless I'm reading it wrong, this just seemed a rehash to me of Marx's uberbau argument.
Not that I think you're wrong or right, but from reading that wiki I think what I'm positing is quite different. I'm simply suggesting that morals are a myth we've imposed and elites have supported. Although, regarding Marx's Base-Superstructure theory, I would tend to disagree: in my understanding, the elite set the zeitgeist of a given period, and society reacts. It's just, the vast majority of people in history are part of society so it seems from our perspective like we have control of the general influence. I'd object to the idea that society determinse the superstructer by pointing out that that people with power control things, and if I'm right then morals are society's myth to cope with that fact.
I think that morality originally was incarnated as an outcome of social norms and the need to fit in within society
I agree. This view is consistent with, not in opposition to, my idea. So maybe society (slaves), in order to cope with the reality that they are plain slaves, adopted a myth. In this case, the idea that it isn't OK to kill each other or to steal or to impose yourself on others. Naturally then, elites siezed this opportunity and promoted such ideas through institutions which they controlled.
From what I gather, vulgar Marxists basically claim that elites create the Superstructure (cultural mores, laws, ideologies, etc) as a self-contained mechanism of control to preserve current power relations vis-a-vis the relations of production (peasant-Lord, employee-capeetalist peeg, etc), where I suppose by extension that means that as the process of History (big "H") moves forward, the majority of the non-elites go from docile to hostile, leading to revolution (overthrow of Base and Superstructure) and voila!, you step into the next stage of History with a new B-SS.
(Non-Vulgar) Marxists apparently grant that relation between the Base and Superstructure is more organic than this, but that these elites nevertheless do manufacture it, if in part subconsciously, and in so doing attempt to cement everyone's position vis-a-vis the relations of production. That isn't to say that peasants or workers etc don't contribute to shaping or sustaining the Superstructure, however, just that they are at least initially complicit (and by extension I imagine less so as the Historical wheel turns toward their eventual implosion of it).
First, I’d say that this is an interesting insight.
Second, I’d say that there never has been, nor will there ever be an elite so powerful as to actually control stuff on a grand scale, let alone impose morals. No one controls the world, it is a spontaneous order. The same for morals. If, understanding the weaknesses of the statist mentality of the masses, a few manage to exploit the system to get on top, amen to them. But this does not mean that they somehow created the system, they just exploited it.
Third, the vision of a world with no moral values, as in where you will never avoid doing something just because it is ‘wrong’, is enticing at a very basic level. But I think it is simply enticing to our primitive brain, and in itself is of no value. In a world with no morals, we’d soon go back to primitivism, I’m afraid. And morals value would spring back up in time.
I don't really have all the answers, it's still something I'm figuring out, and I could be somewhat else completely wrong.
there never has been, nor will there ever be an elite so powerful as to actually control stuff on a grand scale, let alone impose morals. No one controls the world, it is a spontaneous order.
What I'm suggesting isn't opposed to spontaneous order, and it isn't really about a few elites setting the entire stage of history. Clearly, society can and does spontaneously form myths to cope with reality, and elites have incentive to support and perpetuate those myths through institutions they control.
I imagine this theory in a few steps: We know that humans form myths to cope with reality > We know that communities of slaves raise their offspring to reject people who threaten rulers because that threatens the community > So maybe society, as slaves, formed myths about morals in order to cope, which elites were more than happy to allow and perpetuate since the myths made society control itself instead of the rulers using resources to control society. Society is more comfortable thinking there are reasons (i.e. morals) for why they are being ruled and why they aren't rulers, than simply acknowledging the brutal reality that they are plain slaves.
the vision of a world with no moral values, as in where you will never avoid doing something just because it is ‘wrong’
Spontaneous order doesn't require publicly acknowledged and established and enforced values. The order is, by defitnition, automatic and natural, spontaneous. Clearly, despite an abundance of varying beliefs, society has managed to organize spontaneously with "evil" people ruling everyone who thinks that it is "evil" to dominate others.
EDIT: Occam's Razor says the simplest answer is the better answer. Instead of trying to justify morals, we can simply acknowledge the role morals play and analyze it from that perspective. Whether morals are true or not is irrelevant, because we know that the role they play is to prevent competition for power.
From my perspective this is a huge discovery, so to me it makes sense that nobody's really interested. Anyways, it's still blowing my mind and I hope to write a decent thread about it soon.
The role of NAP-type values in society is to form a non-aggressive majority. The function of these values, then, is to minimize competition for power.
And we know that history is written by the victors, the conquerors, those with relatively more power. The vast majority of humans aren't necessary to the survival of the species, but only the ones with relatively vast power—only a committed minority.
So it seems everyone is duped by this idea that the NAP is just, when clearly society has propagated despite it. We don't need to adopt some objectively true moral code, we just need to recognize that in society you don't survive without fitting in on some level. So you get in where you fit in, those with power dominate and perpetuate the species, and those without invent up ex post facto myths like objectively true NAP values.
EDIT: I've started to adopt a much more efficient way of pattern solving, which is important because as humans we are primarily pattern solving machines: acknowledge patterns > deduce things from that starting point. So for example, my classic propaganda position. We know that establishment outlets produce establishment propaganda, so we accept that, and analyze things in that context, within that sort of framework of acknowledging the brute facts and proceeding to find the implications.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nietzsche. I mean, wasn't this pretty much his whole schtick?
Also, this sounds very similar to, I believe David Friedman's idea, that there should be a competition in ethical theories.
I mean, I don't really agree with this because I buy Hoppe's reasoning, but...I just wanted to pop in and mention the historical antecedents.
"Even when leftists talk about discrimination and sexism, they're damn well talking about the results of the economic system" ~Neodoxy