An Introduction to Philosophy Part 5 Ethics 5 - Transcript

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Introduction and Visual Cues for Empirical Evidence

[0:00] Hi there, it's Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain Radio. I hope that you're doing well, and I also hope that you're not just listening to the audio cast of this, because we have some visual cues, some not-quite-special-effects, but some visual cues to go over the introduction of some facts into our debate. I know, it's a little bit of a shock.
Just breathe, and we'll get through this together. I know that we've been talking a lot about theory, but I hope to be able to show some empirical evidence for the kinds of theories that we've been talking about over the past few podcasts, with particular attention to property rights.

[0:42] Now as you remember we talked about if you want to put forward a moral theory then that moral theory has to be logical rational empirical universal testable reproducible independent of time and place and so on just as any scientific theory or biological theory and so on would have to be and i hope that i don't have to spend a lot of energy trying to convince you that the the scientific method, is, say, better than alchemy, prayer, or mysticism in determining and examining the facts of reality, creating valid theories, moving forward the progress of human knowledge.
I think that if you believe that a prayer is better than science, well, I'm sort of guessing you haven't made it this far.
So, what I'd like to do now is talk about ways that we could empirically verify or validate certain theories, particularly those with regards to property rights.

Verifying and Justifying Property Rights

[1:41] So, as you may have remembered, I talked about the universality of property rights, and there's lots of theories which I've talked about in my podcast about why property rights are valid, basically based on the foundation that you own your body, therefore you own the effects of your body, therefore you have moral responsibility, and if you create something or transform it from a non-usable product to a usable product, so if you catch a fish in the sea, then turn it into a dinner, then you have created a product as surely as if you had invented it, it out of thin air since it was useless swimming in the bottom of the ocean.
And so there's lots of ways to verify and justify the foundation of property rights from the sort of Lockean view of the infusion of labor or enclosures to the view of self-ownership and therefore owning the effect of one's body and so on.

[2:29] But we can, let's just say that we accept the universal validity of property rights as simply based on the axiom, which I think is actually enough, of saying that That either human beings have property rights or they don't have property rights.
You can't have human beings who have property rights and then have human beings who do not have property rights.
Or at least you can't argue for a true or logically consistent, which is really the same thing.
You can't argue for a true and logically consistent moral proposition, which says some people have property rights, other people don't have property rights, because what is going to be proposed for a human being must be proposed for all human beings, again with the minor exceptions of people who are not competent toddlers and so on.

Testing the Validity of Property Rights for All

[3:14] So let's say that the theory that we're at least going to put to the test would be that property rights are valid for all human beings now if it's true that property rights are valid for all human human beings, then there should be some test for that.
See, we're putting forth a theory like all rocks fall to the earth at 9.8 meters per second per second or something like that, and it's nice, it's logical, and so on.
But we really do need to test this theory. We do need to look for empirical evidence.
I don't believe there's any value in philosophizing in a vacuum, but we do really want to have a look for some empirical evidence.
Now we're going to make some assumptions here and we're going to say that violence is bad that prosperity is good that living is better than dying then having your children live is better than having your children die and things like that i hope that i don't have to go into a whole lot of explanations there are logical explanations for all of these positions but if we say that something like the non-aggression principle which is thou shalt not initiate force against your fellow man is a universal valid and positive moral obligation.

[4:37] Or you could even say that it's a negative, and it's a thou shalt not, then we can see some specific and measurable results.
What do human beings do when they're not being aggressed against in a violent manner?
And fortunately, both the contemporary world and the existing countries throughout history provide incredibly powerful labs for examining this kind of position.
So we have societies wherein the use of force, And I'm simply going to talk about to the exclusion of the state for the most part, because we'll get into politics later.
But we can generally say that in countries like Canada, the United States and England and so on, that sort of Western democracies, that the initiation of the use of force against citizens and between citizens is less than it would be in a place like Niger or Syria or Iran and places like that.
China of course to a large degree as well.
So if we accept that there is a valid moral proposition called the non-aggression principle that you should not initiate the use of force against your fellow man but that you can respond to it in terms of self-defense then we can measure the amount of violence that is aggressed against or it's initiated against citizens across the world and we can do that through violations of property rights.

The Evolution of Property Rights and Exchange

[6:01] This is one of the few areas in life where there are sort of fairly clear statistics going back quite a long way.
If I have a property right to that which I create, then I am not going to surrender that property except sort of either voluntarily through an act of charity or gift giving, or I'm going to surrender it in exchange for something, right?
So if I have five dollars and you have a pen, then we can choose to exchange the $5 for the pen.
If I want the pen more than I want $5, and you want the $5 more than you want the pen, then we have a win-win interaction, which is purely voluntary.

[6:40] So, if I have property, then I have the option to have it controlled or not controlled, either by myself or subject to the violence initiated by others.
So, in particular, In particular, we're going to look at violence against property and its measurable results throughout history.
Violence initiated against the innocent for the purposes of transferring or controlling their property.
So, we're going to start to have a look at Western history, and then we'll compare it a little bit to sort of modern history.
We're going to start with looking at Western history throughout the Middle Ages and the 17th century.
Now a property rights in land throughout the middle age the dark ages in the middle ages were extraordinarily restricted property rights in terms of capital were also extraordinarily restricted because there's a historical hostility that the in particular the catholic church has towards something called usury which is lending money for interest right i give you a hundred dollars and you pay me back next year at 105 dollars so property rights in terms of land And...

[7:48] In terms of capital, and in terms of occupation, were very much controlled through violence, through the state, and through the church.
You did not have the right to kick people off your land.
You did not have the right to consolidate land, to buy up other people's lands, and to put it together in a sort of larger and more economically productive whole.

[8:09] In the realm of occupations, you had to go through an extraordinary lengthy apprenticeship, even for fairly brain-dead had occupations and the state controlled a vast amount of public services and you had these medieval guilds which restricted the right with the sort of gun of the state or I guess in that case a sword and pistola of the state in the background you had these medieval guilds which restricted the right for you to work within particular occupations even if that was your preference so if I wanted to become a bricklayer I had to apprentice for seven years because because Lord knows you can either become a doctor or learn how to slap bricks on top of each other.
Not that it's a bad occupation to do that, but it really doesn't require objectively seven years of education to learn how to do it.
Things were so restrictive in the medieval world that if I was a shoemaker and you were a shoemaker, and somebody was walking, we both had shops on opposite side of some medieval town, and a potential customer, just some person, was walking down the street, if I sneezed, you could actually bring charges against me and have me thrown in jail.
Because if I sneeze, then the person has to say, God bless you, and then we can enter into a conversation.
So it's a form of unfair advertising to sneeze when somebody is walking down the street if there's a potentially competitive situation.
This is, of course, a gross violation of personal property, not only of the body, but of the property that one owns.

Violent Interventions and Restrictions in Trade and Labor

[9:33] So we had incredibly violent interventions on the part of the state, or on the part of private or semi-private institutions like guilds that were protected by the state, and this took the form of interventions in land, in capital, in labor, career choice, and so on.

[9:53] And also in the realm of trade, you had enormous interventions in the rights of property throughout the Middle Ages.
You had something called mercantilism wherein if I want to go and trade with France I have to go and apply if I'm a British guy I have to go I want to go and trade with France I have to go and apply to the king for a special permit which only I can get which allows me to trade cotton with France or something like that and nobody else can go and trade it in return for which I give an enormous amount of money to the king who then pays for soldiers to go and stab and kill anybody who who ends up interfering in my sort of king-given right to trade cotton with France, right?
So this is a very violent intervention in the rights of other people to engage in voluntary trade with people overseas.
This, of course, occurred domestically as well, that you would get a license from the state to produce cotton or to produce candles, or you would have to do it through a guild, and if you try to go outside this closed and very coercive system, then you would get thrown in jail, fined, killed if you resisted, all of the juicy initiation of the use of force that the state is relatively famous for throughout history, and we'll talk a little bit more about the contemporary world of the state when we get to the series on politics.

Violent Destruction of Property Rights and Mercantilism

[11:18] So I think it's fair to say, not too controversial, that in the realm of property rights in particular, there was an enormous amount of violent destruction of the rights of property, violent interventions in people's rights to control either their land, their capital, their own bodies, their minds in terms of the occupations that they pursued, their ability to trade with others and overseas. seas.
All of this was tightly controlled and regulated and controlled through a system of mercantilism and common law property, or the commons as they're called, where everybody sort of kind of owns and kind of doesn't own like a public park.
And you had tariffs, taxes, mercantilist licensing.
You had massive, massive controls over how it is that people could spend their time, energy, and resources.
And one of the things that began to change as a result of the the industrial revolution, sorry, as a result of the scientific revolution of the 16th, 17th centuries, as a result of the Enlightenment, as a result of the rediscovery and implementation of Roman law, as a result of a number of factors, mostly philosophical though, you started to get in the mid-18th century something called the Enclosure Acts.
And we'll just talk about England for the moment, if you don't mind.
It's fairly central to the story of what we're talking about.

[12:38] And what happened was, historically, land had been heavily divided among people, and I've got sort of a graphic here which will talk about this a little bit.

[Stef shares graphs throughout the rest of the show]

Look at this, we actually have some graphics. graphics.

[12:53] So on your left-hand side, you see the kind of division of land that occurred.
Let's see if we get this in a little bit more closely here.
The kind of division of land that occurred prior to the enclosure movements, when everything had sort of been historically put in, and this is sort of how land was divided.

[13:09] For those on the audio, it's kind of like a Rubik's cube from hell.
And then we can see here, this is what happened in terms of ownership after the enclosure movement. movement.
So basically what happened was there was a massive consolidation of property.

Introduction of Property Rights in Land

[13:23] And what that really means is that there was the, fundamentally, there was the introduction of property rights in the realm of land.
So historical squatting, and you couldn't throw people off your land even if you were a lord, and all these kinds of things were kind of put by the by, and property rights were allowed to be created and implemented in the realm of land.
So beforehand, hand you had all of these um uh you had all of these uh rights like you had a gleaning right if you were a peasant that you could go and pick off the stuff that your lord had left over from his harvest uh you had all this common land that you could let all your sheep graze on but the land was so heavily subdivided and there was no property that basically people didn't invest in productivity improvements in their land so you know if you're like me you have a big lawn to mow which is kind of a drag but what you do of course is you if you're sort of right next to a public park you mow your land but you don't go and mow the public park right because it's not your land right so there's no reason to sort of manage it and control it and tend to it and invest in it and so on you don't landscape the public park you don't landscape the woods that you don't own.

Lack of incentives for productivity improvements in agriculture

[14:36] So there really was no particular incentive for people to invest in productivity improvements when the land was so heavily subdivided, when there were so many controls on capital, right?
And there were so many controls on trade that there was simply no reason for people to improve their agriculture.
Now, of course, with the Enclosure Acts, what happened was people began to introduce crop improvements.
And of course, this had started since the 12th century when they figured out that if you put a shoulder harness on an oxen, you can pull a plow much more heavily rather than strangling it, which they had in the Roman times.
The big problem in the productivity of agriculture was they had these kind of neck harnesses that the more weight the oxen or the horse pulled, the more they would choke. So they put shoulder harnesses on, which was much more productive.

[15:24] Now what happened was as the enclosure movement went underway there was a large incentive for people to begin increasing the productivity of the crops that they were growing in the land right so you have charles townsend's also he was called turnip townsend i don't think for his shape he had a four-field crop rotation system that he introduced which was adopted fairly widely in england it was a new system of farming farming which used complementary crops to rejuvenate the soil.
So what it means, of course, if you continue to plant wheat every year, you're going to strip the nutrients out of the soil and you're going to end up with sort of dead land.
So what farmers had to do in the past was they had to leave the soil fallow.
It's called fallow, right?
Like you just don't plant anything for a year or two to let the soil regenerate.

Consolidation of land and the shift towards factory work

[16:09] But this guy introduced a series where you could grow winter crops, you could grow turnips, which allowed you to, of course, have more livestock.
Massive increases, 5, 10, 15, 20-fold increases in the productivity of food at the same time as there's a consolidation of land, which means that people are free, I mean free in a loose sense of the word, free to leave their farms and go and work in the cities in the new factories.
And the new factories were possible because restrictions on usury, on the lending of money for interest had been lifted, and so people were free to do with their capital as they wished, because, I mean, to use an economics term, people began to understand the time value of money, because usury always seemed like cheating, right, until you sort of understand it, that people would rather have a big screen TV today for the same price than next year, and because they want it today, and they want to enjoy the big screen TV for that year, they're going to pay a premium, which is called interest.

[17:05] Jethro Tull, not just a manic flute player, but also also an 18th century agricultural innovator, he invented a seed-planting drill.
Before hand, in the Middle Ages, I mean, I shouldn't laugh because, I mean, I'm no farmer, but they would basically just take the crops and sort of throw them out across the land, and the birds would peck them, and some would fall in a useful place, and some would fall in an unuseful place, and so on.

[17:31] But Jethro Tull invented the seed drill. It drilled into the ground, you drop your seeds in, it planted them at sort of uniform intervals and depths, and it was a great big machine that really worked.
So basically, there were huge innovations in agriculture which resulted in massive increases in crop production.
And so here's an example where we have a testable hypothesis.
Human beings have property rights. we have a system of massive and violent violation of property rights, historical squatting, you have interventions in trade, in terms of the mercantilist system of licensing for trade, you have tariffs and taxes and guilds and usury laws which make it illegal to lend money at interest.

[18:17] Which still exist in the Muslim world, and you should see the complicated nature of Islamic banks and how they try and lend money to pretend that they're not lending at interest.
But so basically if human beings do universally have property rights then there should be a measurable change when those property rights are allowed to function in a normal way and we do see very strongly here uh the um the results we can sort of see very strongly the results of this kind of stuff so let's have a look i'm going to sort of hold up another another chart here oh look at at that the gripping graphics it's almost like you're watching cnn isn't it now what you see here uh going from left to right and we're starting at 1200 ad and so you know just at the beginning of the the middle ages and we're going to 2000 ad and this is real wages this is for building workers although it's common for most this is real wages uh so this is money adjusted for inflation and all that kind of stuff purchasing power and you can see sort of chugging along the middle ages nothing's going on, you're getting sort of a hundred bucks, a hundred units.

Respect for property rights and the rise in real wages

[19:26] And then starting around the sort of mid-18th century, mid-19th century, you begin to see this massive climb.
And of course, this is the result of what happens when you actually begin to respect the reality of people's property rights.

[19:42] This is unprecedented in history. This particular graph is why we have have the incredible society that we have now with all of the innovations and all of the economic growths and so on.

[19:55] Now, let's have a look at gross domestic product per person in pre-industrial England.
This is up to 1950, and the only one I could find of this is versus India.
And here, of course, this is 1250 to, actually, to the year 2000, and we've gone off the chart here.
But here, you can see we're chugging along, we're chugging along.
When you begin to respect property rights, then the gross domestic product per person begins to go up enormously.
Again, there's another example of how all of this stuff can work.
Look, if you want to look at a fairly, I mean, this is somewhat subjective, but here's an example of male height, right? So this is some indication of health.
Male height in Europe and Asia, 0 AD to the year 2000.
And you can see here, we're going from 0 AD to the year 2000.
And I'm going to sort of zoom in on the right-hand side here.
You can see this enormous growth in the height of men during and after the Industrial Revolution, starting at around 1800, because, of course, they were actually getting enough food to eat so they could grow to a relatively decent height.

[21:05] Now, there's lots of theories about the growth of the Industrial Revolution, but certainly the one factor that is different from all preceding societies, is the recognition of property rights throughout, or the increased recognition of property rights.
It was not available in the ancient world where you had a very strongly divided ruling class from the plebeians.
And, of course, you had an enormous superstructure, understructure of slaves, who, of course, the existence of slavery is a complete violation of property rights.
And here, for instance, let's just have a look at England and see how it ranks in terms of its size versus its economic output.

England's Rise to World Dominance

[21:44] And in 1700, England had a population about one-third that of France, and about 4% that of both India and China.
And, of course, England had a position of world dominance in terms of trade and to a similar degree, military as well.

[22:01] So, Britain defeated France through the Napoleonic Wars to emerge as the unchallenged European power by 1815.
By 1850 Britain still had a mere 1.8% of the world's population 1.8% of the world's population the area of the British Isles is only about 0.16% of the world land mass, so this to me blows my mind this is what happens when you recognize and respect ethical theories or ethical realities I would argue such as property rights and so on that you have 1.8% of the world's population 0.16% of the world land mass.
Britain produced two-thirds of the world coal output, half of the iron output, and one-half of factory-produced cotton textiles.
I mean, doesn't that just blow your mind? Completely unprecedented.
This is what happens when you recognize and accept ethical theories.
1.8% of the world population, 0.16% of the world landmass, produced two-thirds of the coal output of the entire planet.
Half the iron output and one-half of the factory produced cotton textiles.

Britain's Influence on Worldwide Industrial Development

[23:18] Output per worker was higher in Britain than any other countries.

[23:24] Now, by the mid-19th century, and this was quite true in terms of the corn laws and some of the laws that were passed against the final remaining tariffs in agricultural production within England, Britain, by the mid-19th century, also pursued an armed policy of enforcing free trade or forcing free trade on other countries.

[23:42] Britain used to show force in Persia, now, I guess, Iran or Iraq, in 1841 to force it to concede most favored nation status.
It intervened in Egypt, nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, in 1841 out of displeasure with the protectionist Pasha.
Pressure so england had quite a strong influence on the worldwide development of the industrial revolution because it used now this is of course quite a bit of a tragedy which we can see being played out in the modern world as well that england became wealthy through the recognition of property rights and then used the wealth that the recognition of property rights generated in order to create an empire to run a large army to grow the government which of course we can see happening in the United States at the moment.
This is the typical story. Freedom produces wealth.
Wealth makes the government greedy to increase taxes.
Wealth corrupts the government by giving it so much money and power that it ends up becoming expansionist, and then it all collapses.
Well, we'll get to that. That's just a bit of a taste.
Anyway, so here's another example of how we can look at what happens when you recognize the reality of property rights, right?
I mean, When you recognize the realities of navigation, you get where you want to go.
When you recognize the realities of health based on nutrition and exercise, then you get to maintain health, right? So here's another example.

[25:11] 1660 to 1851. These are the number of patents filed by year.
1660 was the year that the patent system in England first began.
So here, this is from 1660 to 1851. You can see what happens in the late 18th century.

[25:27] Do do ah heaven heaven this is a wonderful thing this automatic light adjustment so here from left to right we have on the left hand side we have uh you know trundle trundle trundle very few patents and then i'm sort of zoom in here when we start to get into the 18th century when we begin to have the recognition and expansion of property rights in land labor capital and so on you begin to see an enormous increase in the amount of patents that are being created.
And of course, the simple basic fact for the reason behind this is the same reason that socialism and communism and fascism don't work economically, is that the basic principle of economics is that people respond to incentives.
If I'm allowed to keep the products of what it is that I earn and make, then I'm going to have a greater incentive to do that.
And if I don't get to keep the products of what I earn and create, then I'm not really going to do that.
So once you start to respect property rights, the existence of property rights within people, then you are going to see an extraordinary increase in the amount of investment that they're willing to put.

[26:29] So let's have a look at British gross domestic product normalized. So in 1860 is 100.
So this is a British gross domestic product over the very long run.
Oops, let me just under center that.
And so here you can see we're trundling along from the year 1200 on the left hand side of your screen.
And then we begin to get the Industrial Revolution in the late 17th century, and here you can see of course this massive increase so that we have this enormous increase to 1900.
I mean, this isn't even counting the sort of 20th century. So there's an example of what happens to gross domestic product when you recognize the property rights. When we have a look at.

[27:12] Productivity, so this is economic efficiency, and there's lots of factors that go into this, but let's just have a quick look at this.
This is from the year 1200, which is on the sort of left-hand side of your screen.
We trundle, we trundle, we trundle, and then 1800, which is the horizontal line, is a factor of 100, and then we go up to the year 2000, we can see asymptotic increases.
I mean, this is just massive and absolutely unprecedented in human history.
It has never occurred before.
And I don't mean to labor the case, but I just want to make sure that we understand that we're not just talking about subjective ethical theories here, but that they have very measurable and real results in the world that is.

[27:52] Here is productivity levels in cotton cloth production.
Cotton was hugely fought over in terms of import duties and tariffs, and they were largely broken down.
And so here this is from 1760 to 1880 1760 to 1880 so this is just sort of during the actual sort of considered to be the major years of the industrial revolution so on the left hand side you can see from 1760 to the early 1800s sort of this time period here there's pretty much smack occurring as far as productivity increases grow you begin to put property rights in land capital capital, and labor, and you have this massive increase through the 1880s of the efficiency in cotton production.
It's sort of estimated that one particular process went down from 32 days to less than a day.
Here's another example. I'm not expecting you to read this. I guess you could pause it. I'm not expecting you to read this.
This is productivity growth in nail production, production, you know, the bang-bang hammer nails, from 1200, the year 1200, to 1869.

[28:57] And if you can have a look at sort of the, you can look at the day wages and the efficiency of production.
In 1200, basically, in 1200, the efficiency of production, which is the base value, is 100.
1850 to 1869, it's 1238, a 1200% increase in the productivity value of nails, which which have, of course, enormous and massive impacts.
We have, of course, the Black Death is pretty bad for nail prices.
So let's have a look here. I'm just going to tell you that it's real, right? So you can have a look at this.
I guess you can pause this. And of course, if you go to, then you can see all of this sort of stuff.
But if you have a look at the efficiency of production there, you can see that we end up going to, you know, from a sort of very low number to a very high number.
So, again, it's not quite as gripping as the charts, but we shall keep going.
Again, this is all about the recognition of ethical theories.
Is it measurable? Is it testable?
Figure 12 here, productivity growth rates by region in England from 1770 to 1869. Again, this is during the height of the Industrial Revolution.

[30:06] Now here, we can see, in the South, there was a lot more control.
It's the center of government was London and so on. And in the Northwest, there was a lot more freedom for people to own their own capital and see the results of it.
And you can see, again, from sort of 1600 to 1850, the Northwest is the sort of top dark line, where you have less violence, less initiation of the use of force against citizens. and you have a much higher productivity growth overall.
So again, this is measurable results of the respect for property rights.

[30:40] Here, something for the ladies, you can see that this is deaths by pregnancy.
So you can see here that from 1600, you had a percentage chance of dying in each pregnancy of 1.55%.
By 1800 to 1837, you had 0.5%. This results in women getting married earlier on, which is a good thing, I guess.
I mean, they can get earlier because they're not reducing the risk.
They can reduce the risk of pregnancy, or because the risk of pregnancy is reduced, they can get married earlier.
This is fairly important. The changes of death by pregnancy in the course of the average marriage, in the course of the average marriage in the 1600s to the 1650s, almost 10% of women would die from pregnancy, and by 1800 to 1837 that was down to 3.3% of women would die from pregnancy I gotta tell you, I think that's fairly good again, these are all measurable results of recognizing of recognizing um.

The Impact of Property Rights on Environmentalists

[31:45] Property rights, universal ethical theories. Here, this will make the environmentalists get kind of twitchy.
Here we have the growth in world population from, you know, 10,000 BC, to the year 2000, and of course there are many people who are appalled at this as being an example of how we're destroying the planet and blah blah blah, but funnily enough, I'm quite happy to be in the 5.5 million people who were alive in the year, a billion people who were alive of the year 2000.
Lots of people do like to control a population, they just don't particularly want to be in those who are cult.
Let's have a look at an example of when you, as I mentioned before, there were usury laws that were very common and very rigidly enforced throughout the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, early Middle Ages, and this all began to change over time, and you you can sort of see this going on from 1600 to 1650, that the limit on interest rates was controlled.
And so you can see here that when we look at this chart, the top line is the limit on interest rates.
The bottom line represents that it's this full two percentage points that it goes down when you withdraw the use of violence against people's right to control their own property and lend at interest.
And you may not think that 2% is a huge amount, but it's pretty significant if you've ever taken out a mortgage.

[33:13] Now, let's have a look.

[33:16] This is sort of an alternate source, but you can see real gross domestic product per person in England from the 1260s to the 1990s. So this has the whole deal included.
So on the left-hand side, you have the early Middle Ages, 1260s.
On the right-hand side, you have the 1990s.
Again, massive asymptotic increase in productivity, wealth, health, people not getting, women not dying in childbirth and so on and, we can also have a look at some other I need to go through all of these and, we can also have a look at some of the gross domestic product, per capita in England relative to modern economies and this is a truly shocking and ghastly.

Shocking Disparity in Per Capita Income between Countries

[34:07] Chart.
The human suffering that's behind these numbers is almost impossible to comprehend.
But let's have a look here and we can see that...

[34:20] The UK in 1995, $16,000 was the average sort of income, and Mexico.

[34:29] $7,000, right? That's pretty bad.
If we look down here, we can begin to see that England in the 1860s is equivalent to Indonesia in 1990, England in the 1400s and 1760s is equivalent to Egypt, and places like Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, and Chad are equivalent to England in the 1300s, right right before the Black Death, in terms of their per capita income, right?
This is completely shocking.
This means, of course, that places in the modern world are so controlled by violent warlords in the forms of state power, so they have their property rights are so violently controlled and violated that they actually are living back in time in the early Middle Ages.
And this is, to me, completely appalling and completely shocking.
You can see very clearly that the amount of economic growth is inversely proportional to the degree of violence within society, and when you include state violence, which of course is the majority of the violence that occurs in less developed economies, then it's very clear to see that when you violate the universality of even something as obvious, at least simple, as property rights, that the result is starvation, death by infant mortality is extraordinarily high, why people's caloric intake is extraordinarily low, extraordinarily low.
You have women dying through childbirth. Life expectancy, perfectly measurable.
Life expectancy for these countries is abysmally low.

[35:58] And these are countries who have access. I mean, this is the thing to sort of understand. It's amazing to think about.
These countries which exist in a early Middle Ages state in the modern world, they exist that way even though they have access to all the information and technology that has been developed by the West, largely the West, since the Middle Ages.

[36:20] In the Middle Ages, there was no internet, there was no way to get access to capital from outside countries, there was no way to figure out how to build a factory.
When you wanted to build a factory, right now, you just go order all the parts for your factory and assemble them, but when the Industrial Revolution was occurring, you had to build the factories to build the parts to build the parts to build the factories, right? So there was an enormous amount of bootstrapping going on.
None of that is required in the modern world.
So these countries that exist in this barbaric, subhuman, violent squalor.

[36:54] Have access to incredibly more resources than the Western countries that were going through the Industrial Revolution in the late Middle Ages.
So the degree of barbarity that is represented by the amount of violence that is inflicted upon these citizens, the control, violation of their property rights in persons, in land, in capital, in occupation, is absolutely evil.
And we have worked quite hard to develop an ethical theory, free of religion, which doesn't violate the is-ought dichotomy.
And we can find pretty strong empirical evidence for what happens if property rights are true and you violate property rights when you respect them you can see the growth that occurs within economies when you begin to respect and more universalize property rights not that they were ever respected universally which we'll get to when we get to politics but you can also see both looking in history and looking in the modern world across different cultures what happens when when property rights are not respected, and the rule of violence is the only rule, so to speak, that there is.

The Importance of Respecting and Universalizing Property Rights

[37:55] So I hope that this helps you to understand that we're not just philosophizing in a vacuum here.
We really are trying to find some particularly strong evidence for what it is that we're talking about, because we don't want to claim that the scientific method and empirical verification is very important for our theories and then reject those in the moral realm.
So I hope that this has been helpful. Thank you so much for listening.
I will talk to you soon. Thank you.

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May 2024

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