O C Sure
Aristotle Applied to Modern Economics
I'm challenged to present this knowledge with good temper. Your challenge, if you feel so inclined, either here or elsewhere, is to argue against the postulates and conclusions presented, or to argue better for them, to embellish them, to improve them, or to unabashedly demolish them. These postulates and conclusions I have been articulating for years and they seem to be unassailable, so far.
The end sought as the result of disseminating this knowledge is harmony. Since harmony resonates from first principles economists have some very rough tuning to do, some have fine tuning to do, while others need to start over with new instruments. These essays are to provide the best instruments to call a better tune and those already familiar with the conducting of these instruments seem to be coming out of the audience and on to the stage. An orchestra has many players, many instruments, a reciprocity of leads and chorus, variations in volume, rhythm, and melody, but always moving in step, whether by halves, wholes, or octaves, toward the same end in concert. Likewise, the harmony within the orchestra guides and maintains the harmony of the audience to the orchestra.
If the aim of these essays will be to arrive at harmony, then they ought to proceed by naming the discord. Certainly, by naming what a problem is we are at the same time moved towards its solution. For the removal of discord is the quickest way to harmony. However, a large part of the problem is naming it in the first place. Further complicating this challenge is the problem of naming the problem correctly so that it too is not out of harmony.
Let us begin by reviewing what was just stated in the spirit of naming what is to be expected in subsequent essays, a broad overview of things to come. From these few simple sentences is to be brought forth the following, not necessarily in this order, or explicitly, but in some respects maybe only as a matter of method:
- harmony and discord of what
- knowing the solution is knowing the problem
- knowing the problem is knowing its causes
- knowing the causes is knowing what the thing is
- knowing comes from understanding
- understanding comes from deduction, dialectical deduction, and demonstration
- standing comes from induction
- standing and understanding as universals and particulars
- to define, ‘of’ ‘finite,’ as genus and differentia
- senses provide the most authoritative knowledge of particulars
- All primitives are first principles, not all first principles are primitives
Further, many of the initial essays will be dialectical deductions from widely accepted beliefs set forth by the Federal Reserve Act, related documents, teachings, and their general acceptance as stated in the International Journal of Central Banking, academia, public educational resources, mainstream media, and popular commentary as the means to name the solution(s) from the problem(s), as the harmony from the discord (or, rather without it). This will be the source material for much of the discussion.
A dialectical deduction states the problem as one of a reputable, or widely held, opinion and then solves it by demonstrating the discord. In other words, showing how conventional wisdom is contrary to the fact. Often the opinion is so widely accepted as true that it is not recognized as a problem. A monster so large that it goes unseen. Dialectical deduction is different from deduction in that a deduction states a fact first, thus moving from fact to fact rather than from opinion to fact. A demonstration is simply pointing to the fact. Deductions are mostly found in the course of scientific work and dialectical deductions in argumentative endeavors but both solve by demonstration – that is, to our senses. Examples of the former might be a doctor studying a patient’s symptoms of illness in order to bring them to health, a developer studying the code of a web application in order to translate it to a mobile application, or a detective studying the scene of a crime in order to discover who-done-it. Examples of the latter might be a lawyer prosecuting or defending at a court which allows opinion and rhetoric (mostly all, presently) to be judged accordingly, a press secretary engaged in navigating away from unfounded assertions, or a righter writer attempting to arrive at harmony by demonstrating the false suppositions embedded in modern economics.
All examples are inductions. All enthymemes, or memes, are deductions. Often the end of an argument may be left as a meme, that is where one of the elements necessary to construct a deduction is not explicitly stated but implied.
In this ongoing composition for harmony, the topics of dialectical deductions ought to include, but are not limited to, nor may they be in this order, the following:
- The Constitution of the United States vs the Federal Reserve Bank [FRB]
- The constitution of the united states and its corruption exacerbated by the FRB
- Why the FRB’s activities are not entirely wrong, the onus is on the citizens
- Indoctrination vs Education
- Money as work, counterfeiting as the theft from work
- Stealing by theft and robbery
- Banking vs cleaning laundry
- Inflation, deflation
- Honest Money as a redundancy
- Money printing, fiat money, debt money, credit money as contradictions
- Economics belonging to the genus of Ethics, not Politics
- Money belonging to the genus of justice, not economics
- Money as representing work, Securities as representing money
- Wealth as the accumulation of work already performed
- Debt as the expectation of work to be performed
- Banking and investing as risk assessment, counterfeiting as risk removal
- Ending the Fed is not the solution
- Public money is not the solution
- Usury as interest is in everyone’s best interest; counterfeiting as interest is not in everyone’s best interest
- The rulers and the ruled as harmony or discord
- Naming the actions not the actor, the essence not the accidental
- The middle class, oligarchy, democracy, tyranny, aristocracy
- states and States, constitutions and Constitutions, characters and Characters
- Principles vs Laws, the natural and the chosen
- Pursuit of happiness vs pursuit of well being
- Government as orchestral, citizenship as audience (active or inactive)
- The conduction of currents, freedom vs compulsion
- Medium of Exchange [MOE] as a contentious argument
- Gold and blockchain as MOE, not money
- FRB doctrine the same as Plato’s doctrine
- FRB is not a Ponzi scheme
- Article 1, Section 8, item 6 of the Constitution of USA
- Article 1, Section 8, item 5 of the Constitution of USA
- To borrow Money on the credit of the United States
- Hyperinflation, theory and practice
- Modern misinterpretation of Aristotle on money
- Aristotle on the Perfect State
- Aristotle on removing money from politics as the means to combining excellence and freedom
- I could be wrong about everything and that lawful counterfeiting may be good
These bullets I just triggered off my fingertips as first thoughts (although I had to look up the Taylor equation) and they could be reloaded as many into one clip or taken separately as a single long shot. Nevertheless, the list rests as an initial reference of talking points from which there is ample ammunition to take aim at oft quoted propositions. If you want something else addressed on its own, in relation to these, or otherwise, do tell and I’ll do my best to hit it.
The first list above are generalities as to the means of analyzing the content of the second list. The aim being to bring about a demonstration contrary to the conventional wisdom. In other words, the application of Aristotle’s works on Logic, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations to the common opinions causing the discord and most importantly with respect to definitions and the turning-of-names. Aristotle did not write a specific work named Logic, but rather six lectures organized together go by that title. They are Categories, Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations. Always with a view toward affirming or denying the theory by the practice, logic is the conductor. At some point, discussion of his work on Rhetoric will become a focus since the abuse of this art ignites the discord and is the fuel of demagoguery.
Although we find many kinds of harmony and discord working as an appropriate metaphor on all orders of magnitude among arguments arising within discussions from all the major subjects, these essays shall for the most part attempt to maintain a view toward the harmony which concerns us all and the discord which impedes it: If stealing is a bad habit, then theft and robbery, by law, cannot be for the common good. Our aim is true if we never let this principle out of our sight. For this principle must always remain precisely under the reticle. It is center target. Sophisms will work to hide this target and dialectical deduction will work to show it. One moves the target, the other holds steady upon it. One adumbrates, the other illuminates. This common good, then, justice, is the composer of harmony and bad laws are the greatest impediment. In the spirit of Aristotle’s recipe for a perfect union, combining excellence and freedom, the aim is to remove the ability to make, take, or fake money out of being involved with the public offices, or government. Whether this be by laws that enable the many to steal from the few, primarily by taxes and regulations, or by laws that enable the few to steal from the many, primarily by counterfeiting, or by being involved with those who are involved in these activities as the means of bypassing or pilfering from those who are not. This is the primary source of the corruption in States. If excellence is absence of corruption, then removing this corruption is a means to excellence; from discord to harmony.
It is an end sought as nothing new. Many across the millennia have said what I have just stated but in different terms, using different words, and maybe tripping up their followers by the impreciseness of their definitions, a rupturing of the cognitive reticle. This, always allowing for their adversaries not only to wiggle loose but to become stronger for it, enabling them to leverage the turning of a name, to move the target, deception by the loss of perception. This may be where the application of logic to the subject of economics can compose a better score, a complex choreography but in concert with a simple end, a better constituting of its elements, with a sight directed away from misdirection, with an attraction listened through distraction, with an uncommon touch becoming more common, a cognitive chewing of the distasteful into the delicious, a fresh scent of a sweeter fragrance. Nothing new, but better; not the end, but the means.
This is not to say that logic has not been applied and I had almost qualified the term by indicating that the logic applied to economics now ought to be a ‘relentless’ logic, an ‘implacable’ logic, or a ‘precise’ logic, but if it is logic then all of these descriptions are superfluous, redundant redundancies. Indeed, to reach for these adjectives comes from the overwhelming academic usage of their contraries, a ‘fuzzy’ logic, a ‘circular’ logic, a ‘pretzel’ logic, and so on. Not to leave to our aim, a large part of all of this will be to refute the sophisms that call the tune into discord. That I almost reached for a qualifier of a term that needs no qualification comes from the centuries of it being qualified as the means to make it appear to be what it is not. This principle is true of many terms, especially in economics. Furthermore, in an effort to maintain good temper with regards to those succumbing to misdirection and moving targets, let us describe their logic that has not yet brought about a whole understanding of the problem as only incomplete, that their explanation has not followed a finished path to arrive at a primitive demonstration but stopped short. Why they stopped short I cannot say in good temper, nevertheless, at some point it will have to be said regardless of temper. If our aim is true, then we must say what is true. The best thing anyone can do for the truth is to speak it. In fact, on rare occasions their logic has indeed hit the target but instead of holding that ground, quickly lost footing, snared by sophistical traps manufactured to stifle the mind by a cacophonous barrage. The dissonant tune once again calling away from the target and into treachery, loudly, comforting, irresistible, beguiling as Sirens.
So much for a prelude. Does it strike the right chord? Let’s bridge into Physics. It comes to mind at the moment and seems appropriate. Besides, nobody studies Physics anymore. Right? After all, the academics say it was debunked. I’d have to be a gazing-out-the-window-rather-be-somewhere-else-you-bore-me-professor nature boy to consider it seriously:
When the objects of an inquiry, in any department, have
principles, causes, or elements, it is through acquaintance
with these that knowledge and understanding is attained.
For we do not think that we know a thing until we are
acquainted with its primary causes or first principles, and
have carried our analysis as far as its elements. Plainly,
therefore, in the science of nature too our first task will be
to try to determine what relates to its principles.
The natural way of doing this is to start from the things
which are more knowable and clear to us and proceed
towards those which are more knowable by nature; for
the same things are not knowable relatively to us and
knowable without qualification. So we must follow this
method and advance from what is more obscure by nature,
but clearer to us, towards what is more clear and more
knowable by nature.
Now what is to us plain and clear at first is rather
confused masses, the elements and principles of which
become known to us later by analysis. Thus we must
advance from universals to particulars; for it is a whole
that is more knowable to sense-perception, and a universal
is a kind of whole, comprehending many things within it,
like parts. Much the same thing happens in the relation of
the name to the formula. A name, e.g., ‘circle’ , means
vaguely a sort of whole: its definition analyses this into
particulars. Similarly, a child begins by calling all men father,
and all women mother, but later on distinguishes each of
- Physics, 184a10
We’ll seat this passage on stage and call upon it to play in the next essay.
Here, and in all essays to follow, all block quotes or quotes in quotes of Aristotle as notated by Bekker numbering are from The Complete Works of Aristotle, The Revised Oxford Translation, Edited by Jonathan Barnes. Here, and in all essays to follow, all quotes of Aristotle unquoted are off the top of my head (see my videos for a demonstration) and thus not noted in the interest of my own economy and sanity; for example, the bullet above that the senses give us the most authoritative knowledge about particulars comes from the first book of First Philosophy, somewhere in the beginning if I recall correctly. The reader should take for granted that I am a virtual bone-head and that I probably don’t have the capacity to originate such substantive clarity in only a few words and that if you do come across such pithy prose that odds are it did not come from me. In fact, odds are it did not come from Aristotle but someone before him, and so on.
But if I do quote someone else, you’ll find it right there in the text with out superscripted numbering that makes you look to the end of the essay for an explanation. If you’re a blockhead like me, by the time you find the corresponding note at the end and then return to where you left off, after you relocate that spot, you forgot what it was about and have to re-read it all over again either from the start of the sentence or the entire paragraph, and if your block is thick like mine once you hit the superscripted number again you may have forgotten what it was and go back to the end, sort of a paradox by Zeno in there somewhere. No wonder videos are the popular medium for popular culture. To avoid that hysterical circle, I keep it linear; like this, for example, “Now if you haven’t got an answer, then you haven’t got a question, and if you never had a question, then you never had a problem, but if you never had a problem well everyone would be happy, but if everyone was happy, there’d never be a love song. Joy was a beautiful girl but to me Joy meant only sorrow,” (Nilsson, Joy, 1972). What was said, who said it, where, and when.
Furthermore, what is the matter and we ought never look to who says what but hold fast to what is being said. It is the theft of substance and the fuel for sophistry to focus on who, where, and when; trivial, pusillanimous pulp – bad rhetoric.
More further, I’ll always use the term first philosophy instead of metaphysics. Aristotle, his contemporaries, and his predecessors, did not know the word, let alone use it, and would most likely scorn its present meaning as an elaborate sophism at best if anything at all.
Whenever Aristotle says something like ‘relative to us’ he is referring to particulars. Whenever Aristotle says something like ‘without qualification’ he is referring to universals. Particulars are greeted by our senses. Universals are the symbols, or objects of intellect, we create to comprehend a multitude of similar particulars.
Also, whenever I see the term virtue, I say excellence instead. Whenever I see the term vice, I say badness or corruption instead. To grasp the difference is to experience the swift sense of liberation by walking further away from Plato. Why was Aristotle against Plato? Be cause Plato taught something comes from nothing. Why are understanders against Plato’s academics even more so? Be cause the academics believed him.
Somewhere above I parenthetically alluded to the fact that once upon a time there were law courts by which no opinion was permitted and the art of bad rhetoric forbidden, only facts were allowed to be presented. Aristotle mentions this somewhere and if I recall correctly it was in Topics. ...Now that would be joy, not sorrow.