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Theory of Conflict

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Malachi Posted: Thu, Aug 16 2012 6:59 PM
Its time. Involuntary action is praxeological. We know that non-catallactic exchange is destructive, so a criminal organization must externalize its costs somehow. What are the conditions under which costs can be externalized? Bruce Lee wrote that there are oly three ways to overcome opposition, pace, force, and fraud. Since the resources are already owned, the pace would manifest itself as basically winning the tactics/technology conflict cycle, meaning youre able to win the engagements, take the resources, etc. Force is simply achieving a victory in known conflict through exceeding your opponent in one or more directly effective pursuits. Governments, and other criminals, tend to use fraud most of all. The ideology here is the means by which one man is ale to live at the expense of another. Even the widespread (or occasional) use of pace and force needs a cover of deception to operate effectively. So, my first contribution to the theory of conflict is that success in a conflict tends to require some sort of false signalling behavior.
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gotlucky replied on Thu, Aug 16 2012 10:36 PM

Malachi:

Involuntary action is praxeological.

I'll think about this a little more, as there seems to be an interest on this forum developing about this subject. However, when I first read this, I totally thought you meant "involuntary" as "instinctive" action. And I was like, lol wut, this is the total opposite of praxeology.
 

But I totally get what you mean by involuntary.
 

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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:50 PM
Lol, nice catch. I was actually hoping you would take an interest in this topic, I really need the help, exhibit one see above. I guess I should say that coercive action is within the domain of praxeology.
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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 8:20 PM

"Coercive", "forceful", or "violent" would be much better terms to describe what we are talking about. I think that this could be a very good idea and thread if we really work on it. It's also important to remember that the more that we talk about institutions, the more that we can narrow the parameters in which we are working the scenario the more that it is possible for us to tell in the first place. Let's get our top internet forum Austrian-enthusiast economists on it...

Anyway, so as with all praxeological inquires we have to be looking at that which gives rise to conflict, and the results of this as a system.

Now we know that in order to spawn any action that the individual must believe that the it will achieve his end. Therefore he must have some reason to believe that he can overpower his opponents, so long as being overpowered himself is not his goal. There will be a tendency for violent groups to be overpowered by more powerful groups. This partly depends upon how definitively one group defeats another group, whether or not any specific "battle" results in the death of this individual, or whether he lives to fight another day. This will continue between groups until there is only one group left or the remaining groups have reached a "state of rest" and they no longer wish to fight.

Anyway, that's just sort of a musing. Anyway, some things to identify:

  1. What are the major systems in which coercive conflict takes place?
  2. Within these systems what are the major factors that affect people's decisions?
  3. How do real factors affect peoples decisions and outcomes?
  4. What kind of people will succeed and rise within these systems?
  5. How does this affect society as a whole and others within society?

That's my two sense. Working outside of a framework is chaotic and difficult. There's a reason why economics is extremely unique in its place in praxeological reasoning, because it's a lot easier to identify what's going on when you have a common goal, profit, and the quantitative system of prices to directly organize production.

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Malachi replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 9:15 PM
Thanks for your reply. I agree that this subject is more difficult because the metrics just arent available. A funny anecdotal digression: you may be aware that mcnamara was secretary of defense during the vietnam war, and he had ties to business, the auto industry if I recall correctly. Well he tried to bring his style of management over, and it was a disaster, perhaps for many reasons, but it was an inescapable disaster because they couldnt measure success in a war with the kind of metrics they wanted, body counts, number of villages pacified, etc. Well in operation iraqi freedom here comes rumsfeld, with ties to business, who tries to get the army to use 6-sigma. I heard that was one of the main reasons he got replaced. Other thinkers on warfare have addressed this topic as well, I remember a navy captain told me they used the tonnage of shipping that had been sunk as a measure of effectiveness of submarine warfare in ww2. He suggested that the price of bread might have been a better rubric.

the systems that immediately come to mind are three classes of warfare and four classes of criminal act. I think warfare could be broken down into clandestine, restricted, and open war based on the exposure/use of strategic assets. This should be read to be inclusive of nonstate belligerent wars, like feuds between clans. The four classes of criminal act are robbery, theft, extortion, and fraud. I guess assault and destruction of property would make six criminal acts. I'll offer up some definitions and you guys let me know if you want to work them around some. Assault is (unwanted) force against a person (not in self-defense). Theft is taking someone elses property, and robbery is theft plus assault or threat of assault. I thought about extortion for a while and I think extortion is like the gunboat diplomacy I referenced in a another thread, where violence/threat is coupled with a a non-catallactic exchange for nominal value. This can involve elements of fraud as well. Fraud is when deception arises to a criminal level. Deception can be murder, if a beverage is labeled as potable but contains poison. I dont know exactly where to draw the line but I imagine it has something to do with objective and subjective descriptions of a product, etc. Murder is contained under assault for purposes of analysis, because essentially both involve causing harm to a person with the intent of causing harm, as opposed to robbery or theft where the motive is material gain. Those are all systems we can break down. And I am done for the time being, whew

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:25 PM

First, I just want to say that we should not let A Praxeological Account of Law slip by this thread. It is very relevant to this discussion, but law is a special category in my opinion, as it seems to contain both socially cooperative and socially adversarial behavior.

Second, I think Neodoxy is right in that we need a framework if we want to do this effectively. So, let's make sure we all have the same starting point:

To me, it seems that there are two major categories of human social behavior, socially cooperative and socially adversarial behavior. The focus of economics is socially cooperative behavior, i.e. voluntary trade. I want to clarify this, however, that this can account for slavery and murder contracts. Even though there is aggression, the economist focuses on the voluntary exchange between the slave owner and the slave trader, and the exchange between the murderer and the person who is hiring him. So I think it makes sense to say that economics is entirely within the realm of socially cooperative behavior.

So, I think what we want to look at here is the science of socially adversarial behavior. Austrian Economics explains what happens when people cooperate, so what happens when people don't want to cooperate? That seems to be our focus, and it seems to be a tricky subject. As I said above, I think that law is a subject that actually falls in both categories of social interaction. First you have the dispute/conflict. That is the socially adversarial behavior. But as Clayton demonstrated, law first arises when adversaries decide to resolve their dispute through cooperation. So law falls in both categories. So, I think more specifically, we want to look at what happens when adversaries don't want to resolve their disputes through cooperation. What happens when they want to remain adversaries?

Also, there seem to be some subcategories of socially adversarial behavior. I'm going to name some off the top of my head: politics, war, and duels. Maybe there are more, but those seem to be the most obvious subcategories.

Duels: At least 2 parties decide that the only way to resolve their dispute is through violent conflict. Right now I am using the word duel somewhat loosely, as I'm not referring to only formal duels, but really any fight between 2 or more parties but is also small in nature. This will certainly have to be more specifically defined, and we may end up using a different word than duel.

War: At least 2 parties decide that the only way to resolve their dispute is through violent conflict. But what differentiates war from duels is the scope of the conflict. The 2 parties in a duel are individuals. The 2 parties in war are at the very least gangs, and they are often fullblown states. This should probably be more specifically defined as well.

Politics: Politics is the science of running governments, and governments/states are organizations that have a territorial monopoly on production of law and related services. I think Hoppe has a really good definition somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look for it right now. What differentiates politics from duels and wars is that there is not typically open conflict. The threat of violence is usually enough to citizens. I think this category is probably the most complex of the three listed so far. I might also end up rereading The Prince just to see if Machiavelli had some insights that will be relevant to our discussion. It's been years since I read any of his work.

Okay, I think that is all I have to say for now. What do you guys think?

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gotlucky replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 1:04 AM

 

Neodoxy, I want to take a closer look at some of the things you said:

Anyway, so as with all praxeological inquires we have to be looking at that which gives rise to conflict, and the results of this as a system.

Bingo.

Now we know that in order to spawn any action that the individual must believe that the it will achieve his end. Therefore he must have some reason to believe that he can overpower his opponents, so long as being overpowered himself is not his goal.

I think this is close, but it needs to be amended.  The first sentence is spot on, so I will focus on the second. Let's look at what conditions are necessary in order for an individual to choose adversarial behavior. We know that first and foremost, the individual must believe it will achieve his end, but we are more interested in the conditions that an individual would believe adversarial behavior would achieve his end:

  • The individual must value adversarial behavior more than cooperation.
  • Rewards must be greater than the risks.

Maybe there are more criteria? Anyway, I think the first statement is easy enough to understand, but I want to explain the second. I'm not sure about this, but it seems at first glance that it might make more sense to think of it in terms of risk/reward than cost/benefit. Certainly there are costs and benefits associated with any action, so I think that in the case of adversarial behavior, perhaps risks and rewards are a subset of costs and benefits. For action in general, I might say to myself that the cost of growing my own garden is too high in relation to the benefits, so I will not grow a garden. But for adversarial behavior, there are additional costs to the physical exertion. There are risks. For the thief, there is the risk of being caught and then facing down opponents. For a brawler, there is the risk of being injured. So, I think it is safe to say that for an individual to pursue adversarial behavior, he must not just consider the benefits to outweigh the costs in general, he needs to also consider the rewards to be greater than the risk.

I am hesitant to go one step further and say that the individual must think that he will be successful. I don't think that any criminal necessarily thinks he will not be caught. I think we can say that he probably thinks it's unlikely, but I'm not sure. I think for right now, the most precise we can be is to say that the risks are less than the rewards.

There will be a tendency for violent groups to be overpowered by more powerful groups. This partly depends upon how definitively one group defeats another group, whether or not any specific "battle" results in the death of this individual, or whether he lives to fight another day. This will continue between groups until there is only one group left or the remaining groups have reached a "state of rest" and they no longer wish to fight.

I think this is mostly right, so here are my thoughts. In any given territory, there can be at least one adversarial group. We call the state the group that is not just the dominant group, but the dominant group by a wide margin. It is so dominant that it has a territorial monopoly on the legitimate use of force. But what happens when there is not a dominant group, or if the state is no longer as dominant and another group has closed the margin of power?

It seems that these groups have two options. The first option is that they could cease to fight each other, and they could portion out the territory between each other and dominate their respective territories. If this happens, then we must study the politics of such an arrangement. The second option is that they continue to fight each other for dominance until they decide upon option one or one does actually achieve dominance. This process is known as war. Once the process of war concludes, then we can study the politics of the resultant victorious group.

So it seems that the subcategory war is a process, and the subcategory politics is the science of governing. Is there a word for the science of war?

 

Anyway, that's just sort of a musing. Anyway, some things to identify:

  1. What are the major systems in which coercive conflict takes place?
  2. Within these systems what are the major factors that affect people's decisions?
  3. How do real factors affect peoples decisions and outcomes?
  4. What kind of people will succeed and rise within these systems?
  5. How does this affect society as a whole and others within society?

  1. Duels, Wars, and Politics
  2. Placing a higher value on adversarial behavior than cooperative behavior, at least for the action in question. Cost/Benefit, and more specifically Risk/Reward.
  3. Not sure yet. I think the risk/reward dichotomy may yield some useful answers.
  4. This is a good one. I think it depends upon the category of adversarial behavior. Qualities useful for a grunt soldier are different than the qualities of a commanding officer which are different than a politician.
  5. With the exception of law, which is both adversarial and cooperative (though so long as it isn't statutory law, it is probably more cooperative than adversarial), adversarial behavior probably always negatively affects society as a whole. Voluntary exchange makes individuals and society wealthier. But adversarial behavior is a zero-sum game. At best, adversarial behavior can only shift the wealth from one to another. But much of adversarial behavior is destructive, so any adversarial behavior that is destructive necessarily makes some individual and society as a whole poorer.

Comments please!

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gotlucky replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 1:08 AM

@Malachi

Have you read the Bible wikipedia entry on trespass?

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gotlucky replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 8:52 AM

Just one more thing to note. Adversarial groups with individuals who may behave cooperatively within the group and sometimes with others. What makes the group adversarial is that the goals of the group are adversarial. Not all members of the group must act adversarially in order for the group to be adversarial.

This idea will need a lot of work, as it would be easy to just ditch methodological individualism, and I think that would be bad.

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Malachi replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 12:12 PM
So, I think what we want to look at here is the science of socially adversarial behavior. Austrian Economics explains what happens when people cooperate, so what happens when people don't want to cooperate?
I agree that this dichotomy is critical to this discussion and that dispute resolution systems bridge the divide. This characterization seems pretty fundamental to this discussion. A lot has been written about violent interactions, but I wish more of it was methodologically individualistic. Even higly esteemed warriors such as chesty puller have observed this, most of the books written on combat address the actions of battallions, regiments, divisions, air wings, corps, and armies, not to mention nations. As it becomes relevant, I look forward to referring to some source material that probably hasnt been used in austrian circles much before, I have mentioned this on forums before. There is a minor connection, bill lind writes for lrc from time to time and he is a scolar of fourth generation warfare. There might be others but one of the most intriguing things is that the fourth generation warfare seminar in quantico has independently developed some things that seem to echo austrian analysis, at least in my opinion.
Duels: At least 2 parties decide that the only way to resolve their dispute is through violent conflict. Right now I am using the word duel somewhat loosely, as I'm not referring to only formal duels, but really any fight between 2 or more parties but is also small in nature. This will certainly have to be more specifically defined, and we may end up using a different word than duel.
these can also be limited in scope, as many times what is being settled is a question of honor or social status, and the end is not the death of the adversary but humiliation or injury. Thisis somewhat akin to the idea of laws of war, which do exist and have effects on human behavior, despite the superficial incongruity. Its kind of like how means and ends are inseperable, "victory" in a given conflict is not "just winning" but achieving a specific end state. One on 1 conflicts can also be categorized in terms of the information state, position, and mission (offensive or defensive) as these are tactical factors. It breaks down into three types of engagements: an ambush, where one party has time to prepare and the other is caught on the move or temporarily halted; a meeting engagement where both guys are on the move and become aware of each other's imminent aggression at effectively the same time, and an assault on fortifications, which is a siege where one party has had time to occupy and prepare the area. These categories apply regardless of the number of belligerents, and result in 5 individual "roles." ambusher, ambushee, sieger, siegee, and simple belligerent in the case of a meeting engagement.
Politics: Politics is the science of running governments, and governments/states are organizations that have a territorial monopoly on production of law and related services. I think Hoppe has a really good definition somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look for it right now. What differentiates politics from duels and wars is that there is not typically open conflict. The threat of violence is usually enough to citizens. I think this category is probably the most complex of the three listed so far. I might also end up rereading The Prince just to see if Machiavelli had some insights that will be relevant to our discussion. It's been years since I read any of his work.
I think youre right. My intuition is that we will eventually construct a taxonomy of aggression that shows how the simple acts and behaviors of successful belligerents give rise to more complex behaviors through either dialectical or evolutionary means, resulting in the most evolved form of parasitism, using a combination of pace force and fraud, and consuming the most wealth.
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Malachi replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 12:45 PM
I think this is close, but it needs to be amended.  The first sentence is spot on, so I will focus on the second. Let's look at what conditions are necessary in order for an individual to choose adversarial behavior. We know that first and foremost, the individual must believe it will achieve his end, but we are more interested in the conditions that an individual would believe adversarial behavior would achieve his end: The individual must value adversarial behavior more than cooperation. Rewards must be greater than the risks. Maybe there are more criteria? Anyway, I think the first statement is easy enough to understand, but I want to explain the second. I'm not sure about this, but it seems at first glance that it might make more sense to think of it in terms of risk/reward than cost/benefit. Certainly there are costs and benefits associated with any action, so I think that in the case of adversarial behavior, perhaps risks and rewards are a subset of costs and benefits. For action in general, I might say to myself that the cost of growing my own garden is too high in relation to the benefits, so I will not grow a garden. But for adversarial behavior, there are additional costs to the physical exertion. There are risks. For the thief, there is the risk of being caught and then facing down opponents. For a brawler, there is the risk of being injured. So, I think it is safe to say that for an individual to pursue adversarial behavior, he must not just consider the benefits to outweigh the costs in general, he needs to also consider the rewards to be greater than the risk.
I think this is good, we need to account for the cost/benefit ratio for success and failure, because I think that more successful aggressors employ advanced patterns that have escape networks. Like when a con artist gets caught in the act by his mark, a policeman appears almost instantly to "arrest" him so the mark doesnt even have to call the real cops.
So it seems that the subcategory war is a process, and the subcategory politics is the science of governing. Is there a word for the science of war?
"warfare" is the closest I can think of, although you can take classes on military science, naval science, military aviation science, etc. There is a long quote at the end of chapter one of "mcdp 1 warfighting" that defines war as composed of art, science, and social components. I wanted to quote it but I cant figure out how cause its in pdf.

http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/mcdp1.pdf

Bellology? Bellumology? Theres definitely some scientific aspects. Technology of weapons systems is an obvious example, but theres the scientific aspect in training and some tactics are so logical and cause/effect based I would consider suggesting that they be examined as science. Of course here is an opportunity to nail down some terminology, so we can get on the same page. "tactics" refers to the lowest level of combat decision making. Please understand that when I use "tactics" in a theoretical context I am usually referring to the decision-making aspect, somehow. Techniques are things that are done the same way every time, theres is not competitive decision-making versus an adversary like in a tactical engagement. Strategy is the highest level of decision-making for a belligerent, and the operational level is used to connect tactics and strategy.

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BransonBow replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 12:47 PM

Duels: At least 2 parties decide that the only way to resolve their dispute is through violent conflict. Right now I am using the word duel somewhat loosely, as I'm not referring to only formal duels, but really any fight between 2 or more parties but is also small in nature. This will certainly have to be more specifically defined, and we may end up using a different word than duel.
these can also be limited in scope, as many times what is being settled is a question of honor or social status, and the end is not the death of the adversary but humiliation or injury.

This is a good observation and we should use this to differentiate between politcal and social duels. Since politics is the act of governance a political duel would be something like a gang war where one group attempts to exert control over the other. A social duel, as is mentioned, is one where control is not desired but just inflicting injury ie someone touches your girlfriends butt at the bar so you hit him.

There are also two ways to achieve victory in the conflict, exertion of force ie coming to blows, and intimidation ie yelling and screaming. Intimidation is the most "peacable" of these actions and allows one party victory without getting injured.

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Malachi replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 12:51 PM
Reading wikipedia now, thanks. I agree that we need to maintain focus on the individual. Abstracting this out to the roles involved in these engagements might help, we could define the players in a given "theft", "assault" etc by the things that they do. After all, a purely descriptive criminal lexicon would be useful for private law. That entry actually does explain all sorts of things.
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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 2:09 PM

Alright, let's get to it.

Now one type of forcible behavior which seems to have been overlooked thusfar, although which could be forced under one of the other labels which has been thrown out there, which is law enforcement. The defense of property is inevitably forceful, and we can't forget this because an attack upon property does begin conflict.

Now throwing out some more factors which I have been thinking about:

The conditions under which conflict will cease

1. One party submits unconditionally to the other party

A. The losing party no longer wishes to continue conflict

B. The losing party is physically incapable of continuing conflict for some reason other than his own death

2. Both parties cease conflict

A. Both parties stop direct conflict without consultation

B. Both parties decide to stop open conflict through some sort of agreement or arbitration.

C. Both parties are incapable of continuing conflict

3. One party or both parties is dead (Usually only possible with small conflicts)

A. One party killed by the other party

B. One party is killed while attempting to kill the other party

C. One party is killed by some unrelated party or event

D. One party dies of unrelated natural causes

The Effects of this, the numbers correspond. It's important to remember that the effects of these will vary wildly depending upon the system in place. For instance the effects of a brawl will be very different from the end of a war or political submission.

1. The winning party gains a great deal of control over the other individual. In almost all cases it will mean that one side has been made worse off, one side might or might not feel that he has been made better off

A. In this case a lot of the matter depends exactly upon the nature of the submission. So long as it is not coupled with B, then the winning party may change his conduct a lot based upon whether or not he still fears anything that the winning party might do. If he fears the possibility of further physical conduct then he will base his actions partially based upon the will of the defeated party so as to avoid rebellion. If he does not care about anything that the defeated party does, then he will take whatever he wants so long as he does not fear retaliation from another party or the indirect effects of doing whatever he wants from the defeated party.

B. This condition can technically only really apply between small groups of individuals, where they are physically restrained or knocked out. If it is the former then the individual will likely either kill the individual, remove himself from the situation, attempt to relieve tensions, or ensure that the individual who is restrained will remain restrained for a period of time. If the person is knocked out, then he will either be restrained, killed, or the winning party will rush to perform his goals before the party wakes, assuming that he fears that the knocked out party is still going to retaliate.

2. This gives a whole ton of wiggle room. All there has to be is some non-conditional surrender and agreement by both parties.

A. This must mean that both parties are incapable of continuing conflict. There would be some deal of uncertainty in this because they would likely not know what the other group was thinking. It's foreseeable that the same non-communication which could lead to this cease-fire could lead to perpetual conflict because of the fear of not knowing what the other group is thinking. In this case it is likely that both sides feel that they have lost.

B. This is the most common form of dispute-resolution, so much so that there are too many considerations to be focused upon here, even though this should be our biggest area of investigation. It is up to ex post facto judgment to determine who has won or less. Both sides could either believe that they have actually benefited, only one could, or both could feel that they have been made worse off.

C. Part of what matters here is what exactly continuing conflict means. In some cases it could be practically impossible to get to this state, in others it is all too possible. This will most likely mean that both sides have been made worse off because of the conflict because they are currently so crippled.

3. Unless something changed and one side was striving for death, or death in a certain manner, we can safely say that this has resulted in loss of at least one party. It depends upon what was lost and is gained by the resulting death of the other party, by any remaining parties, that determines whether or not anyone has benefited. I feel that this is enough to say on the subject except that once again this is likely only possible in really small groups.

So for the most part we will be dealing with 1. A, 2. A and B, and 3. A. Most other forms of conflict resolution are generally irrelevant IRL

Other things we should be considering as to the nature of the conflict

  1. What is the intended goal of the conflict, what is the stated goal of the conflict, and what is the difference? I think an important thing for us to do is to make a dichotomy between "True" war, a "False war", and a "Mixed war". For instance if the war in Afghanistan was actually entirely a matter of control of oil, then this would have actually be a "False war" in that the stated reason which is supposed to motivate the actors is actually irrelevant.
  2. What does it mean to be in conflict? Are we using tanks or fists?
  3. Who controls and makes up the parties? For instance in a democracy at war this could change dramatically, and you could consider that either a new party is formed or the existing party changes its personality entirely. By this measure it's also very hard to judge whether or not this party has gained or not.
  4. As conditions are changed by war, how does this effect any possible outcomes. Let's say that two small countries nuke each other until they're out of bombs, but new, primitive conditions of conflict now continue with whatever resources are left. The original conditions of the war may well now not be present, but new conditions may well be, I.E defending whatever is left of their civilization.
  5. What are the factors which dictate victory?

I think what we really need to focus on are two man conflicts, and conflicts between modern representative democracies. One is simple and gives us basic practice, the other one is complex but gives us a rather specific system to work in.

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David B replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 3:31 PM

Alright, my favorite topic in Praxeology.

I approach this differently than you. 

Malachi : Involuntary action is praxeological.

Involuntary action is an oxymoron in my opinion.  Action is by it's very definition an action chosen that demonstrats the highest preference of the man at that time and place.

While I understand what you mean, I think that is a difficult way of saying it.  So, perhaps coerced action is the proper term.  In which case, I'd say more generally that a coerced action is one in which a man seeks to avoid a bad which would necessarily occur if the man did not act (or he believes would reasonably occur) and that the causal source of the "bad" is the mind of another man.

But, that may not be enough.  If I swerve to avoid you coming into my lane, on the highway, was my change of direction coerced?  I adjust my behavior all the time, to avoid a "bad" which I can link causally to the action of another man.  So, do we need something else, like intentionality?

So, threatening to shoot you if you don't leave my property, means that if you leave my property your behavior was necessarily by the definition above coerced.  Hmmm... so without an idea of legitimate claim on property, can we even understand a concept of coercion?  Is it still coercion?  I think it is, but then in this case, the use of force to alter another's behavior needs a new vector: justified.  But that introduces a need for a mechanism to establish in a binary way justified/unjustified.

I think we have a bunch of interesting concepts here that end up also existing in the underlying concepts of action, scarcity, time, etc.  I think the effort of abstracting them makes sense, because having them may help us analyze and quantify HOW political and social power, at all levels, micro (think personal interaction) , meso (think family, company, tribal) and macro (Think larger social/political units).

I wanted to start there, I have a lot of thoughts in this realm, and feel that there's a lot that remains undone.

Of course  as I've stated elsewhere my atomic unit for this whole discussion is incompatible intentions between two human minds.

But that comes later.

Malachi : pace, force, and fraud

Pace and force seem to be the same thing just different metrics,  one is the efficiency or speed of the application of a specific set of factors that produce the action.  Force seems to be more the ability to outsize the output.  Pace: get there first, Force: get there with more.

Fraud seems to require misdirection, which is about altering the other's perception of the "battlefield".

In the context of voluntary interaction, these factors may also be used in the natural competition for resources (sales) that producers of economic goods may go through, but I'm not sure I'd relegate the competition itself to the realm of conflict.  

Perhaps, my objection to placing that type of indirect interference with the other's behavior into the realm of conflict is because I want to confine the conflict to the realm of norms about what constitutes a just behavior or an unjust behavior, and pushing such norms into the competition realm of economics seems to be detrimental to us all.  But that's value judgment, and therefore not appropriate to the formation or application of theory.  Not that one can't, just that praxeology demonstrates that it has negative consequences in terms of quantity and quality of goods in the market.

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A few thoughts on duels in response to these questions:


    1. What are the major systems in which coercive conflict takes place?
  2.  Within these systems what are the major factors that affect people's decisions?
  3.  How do real factors affect peoples decisions and outcomes?
  4.  What kind of people will succeed and rise within these systems?
   5. How does this affect society as a whole and others within society?

1. Running with what gotlucky provided for duels we can continue to break them down into 4 other categories: political and personal (what I called social earlier), formal and spontaneous.
A.  Political duels are carried out to control another person or property (mafia wars, black mail). It seems to me these have a profit motivation.
B. Personal Duels are carried out when someone feels insulted (guy steals your girlfriend, gossip).
C. Formal Duels occur when both parties are aware of the conflict and have set up rules of engagement (shoot outs at high noon). This serves to deter retaliation and to finally resolve the conflict.
D. Spontaneous Duels occur when there are no formal rules to engagement and seem to happen more so with a personal conflict (confronting someone about spreading false rumors).

2. There are 2 factors which affect decisions. Either one party feels under served by the formal courts or the formal courts don't recognize the conflict. For example someone who's house gets robbed and they find the thief and beat them up instead of calling the cops. This individual feels that the conflict is better resolved by fighting instead of the courts. In the case of gossip or rival drug dealers, the courts don't recognize these conflicts so their only other option besided ignoring the offending party is to engage in violence.

3. I don't know, but I do notice a pattern in particular instances of personal conflicts. The first is intimidation. A threat is issued (stop talking shit or I'll kick your ass!). This gains a victory without having to resort to physical violence. The other party either is intimidated, engages back with intimidation, or enages with physical violence. This pattern continues until one party walks away or they fight.

4. I'm not there yet.

5. Duels keep in check certain norms in society by providing a physical consequence to action. There is a real possibilty that cheating on a spouse, gossiping, etc. will get your ass kicked and this deters some from the behavior. The duel also serves as a security measure for the victor by making an example out of the loser, kind of like a small scale show of force. The victor displays that they are willing to go toe to toe with those who will offend them and what happened to this opponent could happen to others.

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David B replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 5:35 PM

 

neodoxy : To me, it seems that there are two major categories of human social behavior, socially cooperative and socially adversarial behavior.
 
We need to establish these categories first as necessary categories and that there is some distinction to be established by reflection or by observation.  If we don't do so using the same rigor which Mises applied, how can we know we stand firmly in our conclusions, and how can we be certain that the understanding that we achieve from it has real value.
 
So, here's my attempt at breaking this down into logical and necessarily distinct categories.  Action can be differentiated into social action and asocial action.  Social action can then be differentiated into cooperative action and adversarial action.  But we need to create some concrete attribute that distinguishes each, and then make sure we dig out he implications.
 
So social action necessarily requires a second person.  But action is necessarily an individual behavior.  Men don't act, man acts.  So, a social action is an action committed by one man, BUT is an action that intends to use his fellow man as means to an end.  That differentiates social action from asocial action.  However, let's be clearer, if the other man is unconscious, the action cannot be social, since there was no "Man" on the other end, there was simply an object in reality without it's own action(meaning goals) with which I had to  account for in my own action.  That's a second interesting key, that social action must necessarily interact with other as an intentional reasonable being.  Forcing another person either by threat or by violence necessitates imputing intentional action to the other party.  I don't knock out a rock, or point a gun at it, in order to use it, nor do I speak with it, etc.
 
So not only does social action require using one's fellow as means to an end, it requires imputing the categories of action to the other man also.  That's important.
 
So, now we already have the praxeological categories in the second party of a social action.  So how do we arrive at a distinction between cooperative and adversarial.  I don't think we can without a concept of property or legitimate use of matter.  Here's why, if I use a gun to get you to give me something, or to get you to walk to a location, etc., I have achieved my end, and if you did the behavior I wanted, you necessarily did so voluntarily meaning that your own action was initiated and performed by direct control of your body.  Of course you're not happy with the situation, because you've been compelled, but the only difference between that, and running away from a bear attack or a fleeing or hiding in a cave to avoid a tornado, is that there's a human mind and action on the other side of the phenomena to which you adjusted your behavior.  This btw, is I believe the position of what's called "realpolitik"
 
So, I've basically laid out a case that says without a theory of legitimate use, you can't distinguish between cooperative and adversarial.  Otherwise all you have is empirical events, that one might subjectively find are not   preferable.  Meaning that without a sense of proper use or legitimate use, I can't think of dealing with your pointing the gun at me in anyway other than how I'd treat a bear, run or fight.  To use communication of any type to alter your behavior, would necessitate some type of action on my part designed to change your choice of action.  Enter negotiation (I think this requires an abstract form that involves the exchange of information).
 
If I point a gun at you, one can infer that the behavior you are eliciting from me meets some end of yours.  Mustn't every social action necessarily be an action designed to alter the ends of the other?  Meaning, I can change your physical arrangement in reality by obeying the natural laws of physics, but I can't get you to do things that require your capacity to act, without changing the ends at which you aim.
 
I'll stop here, I have more to say, but I think this micro analysis is a necessary component that provides a means for analyzing all of the other behaviors described in this thread as we build up to higher levels of social behavior.
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David B replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 6:00 PM

David B:

So, I've basically laid out a case that says without a theory of legitimate use, you can't distinguish between cooperative and adversarial.  Otherwise all you have is empirical events, that one might subjectively find are not   preferable.  Meaning that without a sense of proper use or legitimate use, I can't think of dealing with your pointing the gun at me in anyway other than how I'd treat a bear, run or fight.  To use communication of any type to alter your behavior, would necessitate some type of action on my part designed to change your choice of action.  Enter negotiation (I think this requires an abstract form that involves the exchange of information).
 
If I point a gun at you, one can infer that the behavior you are eliciting from me meets some end of yours.  Mustn't every social action necessarily be an action designed to alter the ends of the other?  

I think I was unclear here.  My point was that all social actions are necessarily an attempt to alter something about your internal decision making process and your preferences.  So, an action that intends to alter your action from what it would be without my action is a social action.   The adversarial/cooperative dichotomy can't be simply that I'm trying to make you do something.  That's implicit in social action.

There needs to be some additonal critera in order to constitute adversarial action.  Again, I'll go back to scarcity, legitimate use of matter, and an abstract conflict at the level of the mind about the use of resources in reality.

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I'll be honest here I haven't read through the whole thread but something y'all might want to look at is "Rationalist Explanations for War" by James Fearon. It's basically the starting point for contemporary rational choice models of conflict in the relevant literature.

 

http://www.columbiauniversity.net/itc/sipa/S6800/courseworks/rationalist.pdf

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I think Adam Knott was also working on the praxeology of force.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Malachi replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 7:27 PM
Thats awesome
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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 1:24 AM

@Malachi

Can you paragraph or number your classifications above? I find it really hard to keep up with what is being said in a big paragraph when the subject is constantly changing.

@Gotlucky

I agree with your amendments to what I posted. I think that they easiest way to restate it would be: a man will perform an action so long as he believes that the possibility of success provided by the action is worth the risk of forgoing the costs inherent in performing that action and the possible consequences of performing that action which the individual in question perceives.

Now I'm mostly going to address your three classifications. The biggest problem I see in them is that where exactly duels end and wars begins is a little shaky. Theoretically a duel could be massive in scope, a huge riot between a huge number of people with few or no real declared sides or goals. I think what really marks out a war is clearly defined sides and some degree of organization and chain of command. It's hard to argue that a "gang war" isn't really a war, even though it may only involve 100 people directly, and insofar as one is able to argue that it's not it's because of the disorganization and individuality usually associated with gang membership. So I think that there's

1. Duel: Chaotic fighting between loosely defined and poorly controlled parties of two or more (fairly common)

2. War: Relatively organized fighting between fairly small to infinitely large groups of two or more (common)

3. Conflict: Fighting between a relatively organized group and a relatively disorganized group. One could argue that the war in Afghanistan and Vietnam are like this because many times the U.S is fighting against semi-autonomous guerilla forces (fairly rare)

4. Politics (Omnipresent)

It's important to note that our definitions need not be entirely precise. Just as Mises acknowledged that it's hard to determine at what point a meduim of exchange could be qualified as money, so too it could be difficult to determine some of these categories.

Now that we have some basic methodology and categorization down I think that we should focus directly upon the most pressing and the most easily analyzable systems: War within a hierarchical military command which functions on behalf of a democratic mixed economy, and politics. We should start by listing out types of wars. To some extent politics may be seen as an entirely different category

@David B

I'm glad you're on this thread, and I'll respond to some of what you said later, but for now I just want to say that I don't think that we should be "too rigorous" at the moment, as dangerous as that sounds. While I don't think that we should let stupid stuff slip, the fact is that creative thinking, like what we are doing now, is incredibly difficult. I think that we should be throwing ideas out, as it were, and letting them slosh around while basic categories emerge, and only then after we have a general idea of what the structure will look like to we start from the basics and fully refine our investigation.

My god, this thread is going to require sooo much reading...

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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David B replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 11:02 AM

Neodoxy:

@David B

I'm glad you're on this thread, and I'll respond to some of what you said later, but for now I just want to say that I don't think that we should be "too rigorous" at the moment, as dangerous as that sounds. While I don't think that we should let stupid stuff slip, the fact is that creative thinking, like what we are doing now, is incredibly difficult. I think that we should be throwing ideas out, as it were, and letting them slosh around while basic categories emerge, and only then after we have a general idea of what the structure will look like to we start from the basics and fully refine our investigation.

My god, this thread is going to require sooo much reading...

Nevertheless I'll continue, I'm really worried about not having a foundation it's just fluff and noise.

I think I may have found a way.

So the question was how to differentiate between cooperative action and adversarial action, if social action is action that uses another human being (as a human being) as means to an end, then I asked, what differntiates between cooperative action and adversarial.

What leads me to an answer is fear.  But fear isn't present in any way that I understand praxeology.  All we have is preference which is directional.  Toward an outcome or away from an outcome.  I need diagrams here.

Logically, V is the value function of our actor, X1 happens with no action, X2 happens with action A, so if V(x1) < V(x2) then A.  Meaning that if our actor values x2 more than he values x1 then he will perform action A.

Ok, so let's examine what happens when I point a gun at you, and ask for an action B.  There's an implied action C that I'm going to perform if you don't perform action C, which is shoot you (action D).

So what I've done is present you with two alternatives, and the third one which was removed by my gun is the key.  Current reality is X1, if I shoot you is X2, and if you do what I want is X3.  The form of the hierarchy of value from the point of view of the person threatened is, V(X2) < V(X3) < V(x1), otherwise you would have chosen to perform the action anyway.

Meaning that the form of a threat or adversarial action is to present a necessary outcome that is less preferred to the wished for action, but more specifically that the necessary outcome is causally linked to an action of the man pointing the gun.  This is all perception based btw, thus the idea of a bluff, or misdirection.  I think the source of the adversarial relation is the causal link of the future event to the actions of a specific actor.

Again pointing a gun at a person only works because of the social nature of the act.  I am assuming knowledge, categories, and logic in the mind of the other person.  Secondly, I'm presenting a future state of reality that I assume he will find less preferable to the current reality (he's alive and uninjured).  Thirdly, I'm asking for an action by him that I want and which will remove the threat of harm.  Again, the adversarial nature is the fact that the future I'm making him aware of is one that would be caused by me.  

I think that's a semi-formal definition of a threat.

I don't think this is necessarily a conflict, but at least we can classify threats on a larger scale as taking their form from this form.

The inverse of this situation is if the future presented to the other person is instead one prefers to current reality if they do act.  That would be a cooperative interaction.

So, adversarial, presentation of a future worse than current expectation if action X isn't performed.  Cooperative, presentation of a future preferred to the expected future if action X is performed.  Exchange is mutually beneficial.  Extortion is singly beneficial, even thought the giving of money was made preferable to dealing with the future the threatened action was performed.  One party is better off.

All forms of social action also intend to change the way in which the target of action, acts.  It may be through education, or argumentation, or through presenting cooperative action, win-win or win-lose (in the mind) is the way I would think of cooperative vs. adversarial.

What does lose-lose look like?  No one tries to create lose-lose, but individually each of us would seek to avoid avoid lose-lose. or lose-win.  Thus lose-lose is an accident, in other words an unforseen outcome.  Where lose-lose occurs or lose-win occurs, man would seek to create knowledge and theory and technology to avoid these situation, just as he would create technology to allow win-lose or win-win social action.

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I am surprised noone mentioned Schelling. I do not fully agree with his works, but I've got a number of take-home points from them (was a long time ago, before my exposure to Mises, might be worth a re-read). IIRC, generalization of both threats and promises to commitments, and what makes them credible was one of the most interesting ideas. BTW, game theory in general is a good starting point for exploration of conflict, except it usually postulates quite rigid world, in which participants cannot negotiate to come up with new ways to cooperate, and must just choose from a number of levers to pull or buttons to push, so to speak.

On an unrelated track, I think it may be useful to approach building the theory of conflict from the following direction. Imagine the most primitive animal able of conflict. Not all kinds of conflicts are possible, e.g., extorsion requires threat, which requires ability to communicate. Then add more abilities to the animal to allow for more advanced kinds of conflict. How many levels of such abilities can we construct? Do they form a pyramid, a tree, or a network?

The Voluntaryist Reader - read, comment, post your own.
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David B replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 1:35 PM

Andris Birkmanis:
I am surprised noone mentioned Schelling. I do not fully agree with his works, but I've got a number of take-home points from them (was a long time ago, before my exposure to Mises, might be worth a re-read). IIRC, generalization of both threats and promises to commitments, and what makes them credible was one of the most interesting ideas. BTW, game theory in general is a good starting point for exploration of conflict, except it usually postulates quite rigid world, in which participants cannot negotiate to come up with new ways to cooperate, and must just choose from a number of levers to pull or buttons to push, so to speak.

On an unrelated track, I think it may be useful to approach building the theory of conflict from the following direction. Imagine the most primitive animal able of conflict. Not all kinds of conflicts are possible, e.g., extorsion requires threat, which requires ability to communicate. Then add more abilities to the animal to allow for more advanced kinds of conflict. How many levels of such abilities can we construct? Do they form a pyramid, a tree, or a network?

I've been reading some of the descriptions of Schelling, I like the things said.  Personally, my goal is integrated formalization.  If (and some disagree) Praxeology is in fact a priori, then it's categories would produce conflict.  Even more so, the existing theories about conflict ought to be integrable with Praxeology.

I also like the idea of building a theory of conflict by removing features of man, and then re-inserting them.  

For example, I don't think there is such a clear cut line between human action, and the pseudo-intentionality of other biological systems.  In fact, the similarities point to some interesting categories that might be relevant.

Here's my thought experiment, I'd ask what is the most generic description of perceptible phenomena that gives rise to the categorization of certain existents as life?

So, it's not pure regularity.  The earth rotates around the sun at a regular interval, we don't interpret that phenomena as intelligent or alive.  But a lack of regularity is also not considered to be indicative of life or intelligence.  Think of noise (like when listening to a radio frequency that doesn't have a radio transmission present).  So if it's not regularity in phenomena and it's not irregularity what is it?  Well, I think it's actually a class of regularity characterized by complexity.  So, the one might see regular patterns that are not simple patterns.  Again, that's not necessarily enough.

Anyway there's lot of stuff here.

BTW, one of the reasons I want to put down some formal logical propositions is because formalizations of that type are useful in applying them to the real world and checking if your premises about the situation in reality are accurate.  If we know our fomalization is valid, and applicable, then when we see results that don't match, it necessarily means we're missing something.  That's important for the use and construction of technical solutions. 

Note, that the solution is mathematical in construction, but like all praxeological formalizations, they are not quantitative, but qualitative.  I believe the only proper mathematical relation for use in understanding action phenomena is "greater than/less than".

I have two ways I could describe a value function, and I would define it as the internal evaluation of potential future realities it's output is 1 future reality as the preferred over all potential realities considered.   However,  that doesn't produce action, so one has to be more clear.  The value function that produces action relies on the other function to evaluate potential realities, but the action value function has to consider potential actions available now, and so it's input is potential actions now, and it's output is the preferred action.  The only relationship I know about is that the action returned by the V(set of Actions) function means that the action returned (or performed) has a value > actions not taken. But we also know that since the evaluation of potential realities must have been an evaluation of the realities produced by the actions considered, that the reality produced by this action was valued more highly than the ones discarded.  Here for example is where Mises explains causality as a feature of human action and logic.

Secondly we can't know the other persons value function, except by learning about the kinds of action it produces.  We can see (empirically) that changes in the knowledge content of the mind, effect the kind of actions returned by the value function.  Your value function is a risk to me.  Meaning the less I know about you, the harder it is for me to predict the outcome of your value function.  However, the idea of a threat, is the implication that I know enough about your value function to force it to produce an outcome I want, by limiting it's options to a binary choice (or apparently binary from my point of view).

Not only do we assume that the other human being is praxeological, we also have to assume that you value remaining alive if we wish to use a threat against you.  All social action, however, begins by assuming that the target operates on praxeological categories: knowledge, action, prediction, risk, scarcity, value function (my term for preference generator), etc.

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David B replied on Sat, Aug 25 2012 10:00 PM

Did I kill this thread?  I thought we were working on something substantive here.

BTW, meant to throw down the gaunlet.

Property as a concept cannot arise without conflict.  That should tell us something about what it means for something to qualify as property.

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Malachi replied on Sat, Aug 25 2012 10:11 PM
No, its my turn but I havent had much time recently
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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BransonBow replied on Sat, Aug 25 2012 10:13 PM

I haven't forgot about this thread. I find it very interesting, I just don't have the knowledge to offer anything substantial. I thought the qualifier for property was scarcity? When a thing is super abundant there is less incentive for an actor to engage in adverserial behavior as they have choices to the use of that thing. Why fight you over a tree when there are a thousand other tree's in the forest I can use?

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David B replied on Sat, Aug 25 2012 10:58 PM

BransonBow:

I haven't forgot about this thread. I find it very interesting, I just don't have the knowledge to offer anything substantial. I thought the qualifier for property was scarcity? When a thing is super abundant there is less incentive for an actor to engage in adverserial behavior as they have choices to the use of that thing. Why fight you over a tree when there are a thousand other tree's in the forest I can use?

Awesome, something to interact with.  

I think you do have something to offer, talking about the ideas is important.

Superabundant is the same as not scarce.  Superabundance doesn't lessen incentive to conflict, it removes the possibility of entering into conflict over the thing.  Think of air on earth (under normal outdoor conditions).  How could I come into conflict with you over breathing air?   I mean it literally.  I don't think that I could.  It's not just that the have choices to use that thing, A thing is not scarce if there is no action one can reasonably engage in that would require the item, but could not find a sufficient amount of the thing.  

Time for example is never superabundant.  Every action a man could possibly engage in takes time, and there is a limited amount of it.  Necessarily only so many actions could possibly be taken in a day.

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BransonBow replied on Sat, Aug 25 2012 11:26 PM

Superabundant is the same as not scarce.  Superabundance doesn't lessen incentive to conflict, it removes the possibility of entering into conflict over the thing.  Think of air on earth (under normal outdoor conditions).  How could I come into conflict with you over breathing air?   I mean it literally.  I don't think that I could.  It's not just that the have choices to use that thing, A thing is not scarce if there is no action one can reasonably engage in that would require the item, but could not find a sufficient amount of the thing. 

It's really hard to think and type at the same time lol. I typed and erased a dozen times. I think you could come into conflict with me over air. There is only so much oxygen in the atmosphere. It's not really the supply of a thing, but the use of it is where the conflict arises. Think of pollution, the argument is over who gets to do what with the air. One person wants clean air, the other wants to pump co2 into it. The supply of it does come into play, but ultimately it's how the supply is used that creates the argument. The supply provides and incentive to do one action or another.

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David B replied on Sun, Aug 26 2012 8:41 AM

BransonBow:

Superabundant is the same as not scarce.  Superabundance doesn't lessen incentive to conflict, it removes the possibility of entering into conflict over the thing.  Think of air on earth (under normal outdoor conditions).  How could I come into conflict with you over breathing air?   I mean it literally.  I don't think that I could.  It's not just that the have choices to use that thing, A thing is not scarce if there is no action one can reasonably engage in that would require the item, but could not find a sufficient amount of the thing. 

It's really hard to think and type at the same time lol. I typed and erased a dozen times. I think you could come into conflict with me over air. There is only so much oxygen in the atmosphere. It's not really the supply of a thing, but the use of it is where the conflict arises. Think of pollution, the argument is over who gets to do what with the air. One person wants clean air, the other wants to pump co2 into it. The supply of it does come into play, but ultimately it's how the supply is used that creates the argument. The supply provides and incentive to do one action or another.

I do in fact agree with you.  It is possible to come into conflict over probably just about anything.  It would be interesting to see if we could actually come up with something that could not be superabundant.  But I believe examination of the history of conflict and norms around it would demonstrate time and time again the appearance of norms as a response to a transition from a superabundant state to a scarcity state.  

Pollution for example is an example of a change to the environment where a previously superabundant good (clean air) is no longer superabundant but becomes scarce.  Think of crab fishing in alaska, or in the Chesapeake Bay.  Property rights would take the issue out of the commons, and allow owners to choose aquaculture.

In the air department, I've often wondered what an economics of breathable air would look like (potable water also) in a human habitation in outer space.   If we ever reach the point where man has spread through the solar system, I imagine there will be some interesting markets around breathable air.  If I recall correctly, the Asteroid Belt, contains more matter than the inner solar system put together, including more water, oxygen, nitrogen, etc.  And more of all of the metals we use in industry.

I think if we take those 3 examples, breathable air on earth prior to pollution, with pollution, and in space habitats, I think we can see that history will provide multiple examples of transitions like this, from a superabundant state, to conflict over externalities, to direct productization of the scarce good, service, or resource.

It might be interesting to look at history and find examples that run in the reverse.  In fact, I'm guessing that technology may in fact provide just that.  Famine in parts of the world isn't an issue.  Think about our critical needs, air(3 minutes), water(3 days), food(3 weeks).  I think it's amazing that as fragile as the human body is, and as scarce as potable water can be, think Las Vegas, Nevada.  We aren't in constant conflict over water or food, even in places where the potable water supply is relatively limited, and the costs to provide it would necessarily be higher than living near the Great Lakes.

Good stuff, thanks.

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BransonBow replied on Sun, Aug 26 2012 11:45 AM

If I could do a brief summary:

1. Conflict arises over the use of a resource.

2. Norms and Technology arise to mitigate the conflict.

3. The conflict can come in 3 forms:

a. War- conflict between 2 organized groups

b. Duel- Conflict between individuals and un-organized groups

c. Politics- ??( Would this be a non-violent conflict ie a debate then a vote on a course of action ?)

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David B replied on Sun, Aug 26 2012 1:30 PM

BransonBow:

If I could do a brief summary:

1. Conflict arises over the use of a resource.

2. Norms and Technology arise to mitigate the conflict.

3. The conflict can come in 3 forms:

a. War- conflict between 2 organized groups

b. Duel- Conflict between individuals and un-organized groups

c. Politics- ??( Would this be a non-violent conflict ie a debate then a vote on a course of action ?)

Good stuff, I might make some minor clarification of how I see this.

1.  Conflict arises over the use of a 3 way intersection of matter, location, and time period.  The conflict is between metaphysically incompatible plans in 2+ human minds.

2. Norms are a term describing technolgy that emerges as a means to reduce the costs of undoing the mess that happens if both plans were to be attempted in reality.

3.  Politics is the field of human social science that seeks to explain and understand all social phenomena (law, government, courts, diplomacy, war, disputes) that arise from conflict.

a.  A duel is a specific type of conflict resolution process that happens at the individual level

b.  War is a specific conflict resolution process that happens at the larger social group level.

Given the above summary, I think there are lots of alternative "technical solutions" to conflict's at all levels, individual->nation state, and that all of them fall under the science of politics.

Open conflict, war, battles, and duels are one specific class of political action.

There are non-aggressive, non-violent conflict resolution processes and technology that are part of an overarching political science.

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Aug 27 2012 1:11 AM

Just wanted to say that I haven't forgotten about the thread. I've been thinking about these things and trying to clarify the way I see it for myself before putting it up here for scrutiny.

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Physiocrat replied on Mon, Aug 27 2012 12:52 PM

Pdf of Adam Knott's Praxeology of Coercion I haven't read it nor know how it would pertain to war but could be a useful resource.

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Malachi replied on Thu, Feb 14 2013 9:19 PM

bump

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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