1b) These objective facts, when taken collectively, contain all of existence
1c) A fact is a piece of incontrovertible truth which exists at a specific point in time, or over a length of time
2) Under no circumstances can humans be perfect (or optimized)
3) As a result, humans can’t have perfect knowledge of facts
Result: No claim by humans of objective truth can be correct. Humans can only have working rules.
1) Humans can’t have perfect knowledge of facts
2a) Humans can improve their situation by applying solutions based on correct understanding of facts
2b) The human situation is the current state of either a single person, a group, or collective humanity
3) As a result, humans can improve their situation, but their application of solutions is imperfect
Result: There is a distinction between “correct knowledge”, which can help humanity improve its situation, and “perfect knowledge”, which is an impossibility involving total understanding.
1) Humans can improve their situation, but their application of solutions is imperfect
2a) Humans can improve their situation through careful study and application of innovation
2b) Innovation is anything created or concocted by humans that exists outside of nature
3) As a result, careful study and application of innovations can improve humanity’s situation, though imperfectly
Result: Broad (ideological, say) rules don’t suffice in improving the human situation.
1) Careful study and application of innovations can improve humanity’s situation, though imperfectly
2) Even though facts don’t change, our understanding of facts can change
3) As a result, our imperfection in applying innovations is a reflection of a lack of understanding
Result: When we change our position, it’s not an admission that we don’t think facts are absolute- it’s that we were wrong.
a) retained eternal objectivity, and removed objective truth from the controlling hands of humans
b) removed human perfectibility from consideration (destroying communism), yet protected things like transhumanism and futurism as incremental enhancement
c) defended the ability of humanity to continue solving problems
d) wholesale destroyed broad “moral imperative” ideologies (socialism, modern progressivism, evangelicalism), in favor of incrementalism
Positions: ( 1 ) A laissez faire economic system works remarkably well at the beginning stage of almost any business, for example computers, but in the past such things as fast food, automobiles, and movies. Freedom to innovate and build business ventures is a great strength of laissez faire.
Corollary: Sometimes government research expedites the process. That is, results from government supported research projects can be borrowed intact and made into successful new businesses, as has happened with the Internet and simultaneously the computer industry itself. This was also true concerning railroads in the 19th century. Corollary: The economic purpose of governance is to create fair markets. This does not always require action by the government per se but often it does because no other system can protect those without access to establishments which hold dominant economic power. Also, government, at least in theory, has a neutral referee function and can act as an impartial adjudicator. While this may sometimes not be the case, the ideal of fair judgement is important in maintaining some semblance of fair play.
( 2 ) In mature industries / businesses, laissez faire has an overwhelming tendency toward monopoly formation and the rise of super-corporations that make it impossible for smaller firms to compete. Hence the dozens of car manufacturers of the early 20th century eventually became just 3, and hundreds of TV enterprises have become just 9 giant businesses today. This happens in every mature industry except businesses that are strictly focused on local markets like restaurants and beauty salons. ( 3 ) A mythology of laissez faire distorts the reality of this system. Proponents of laissez faire tell us , for example, that the Free Market is always fair to all businesses and always self regulates for the common good.
often are false and deceptive. Corollary: According to this mythology, regulations always –maybe a few exceptions are allowed– are harmful to the economy and almost always are motivated by ideology-driven politics that serve the interests of special interest groups, especially labor unions.
( 4 ) Laissez faire, because it is over-lionized by many people, tends to be regarded as almost a God unto itself. Consequently, the market in an advanced Capitalist society tends ( overwhelmingly ) to become outright amoral or even immoral. This harms society generally since all ethical principles are thrown to the winds whenever some unethical “product” is perceived as offering large profits. Hence, marketing of inappropriate goods and services to children, and so forth. Corollary: We can see the effects of immoral market forces in exaggerated form in the functioning of illegal businesses like recreational drugs, “businesses” that indulge in a myriad of criminal activities for the sake of maintaining profit margins. Corollary: Because of worship of the bottom line intrinsic to the laissez faire system even national security may be sacrificed for the sake of quarterly earnings. Hence massive technology transfer to America’s detriment. Hence willingness to agree to business contracts with nations like Saudi Arabia and China which, different as these particular states may be, are alike is seeking advantage in obtaining sensitive military hardware, as in the case of the Saudis, or such things as commercial jet basic assemblies, on the part of the Chinese. Laissez faire economic policy, in other words, can easily result in national disadvantage, which we can now see more clearly than before in the case of auto parts shortages etc, that were the result of the tsunami some months ago. It may be that there is much money to be made through usual laissez faire practices but when this results in national military security or national economic security vulnerabilities, then laissez faire can be seen for what it is, excellent in some ways, terrible in others.
( 4 ) The market simply cannot or will not do some things that are very useful to society. In such cases government may decide to act. Hence, the Interstate highway system, the Intercoastal waterway –the canal system used by Atlantic seaboard states– and Boulder Dam and other hydroelectric projects.