Record-Keeping Technology People have been making records as long as they have been writing. Money serves as a unit of account, which makes the consistent tracking of finances and business …
The word “money” comes from the Latin moneta, which is where coins of precious metal were made and stored. Precious metals naturally rose to the top of money markets because they are scarce, long-lasting, and valued by weight. Gold in particular became the standard for money because it is uniquely suited to serve the purposes of money.
Unsurprisingly, not all economists agree on how to approach what used to be called “political economy”. Adam Smith in 1776 defined it as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. It was understood that the default state of mankind was poverty, so the question was how people become wealthy.
The ancient Greeks spoke of three perspectives: pathos, ethos, and logos. From a pathos perspective, emotions and feelings take center stage. From an ethos perspective, reputation and tradition are what really matter. From a logos perspective, reason is what guides to wise action.
Argument against freedom of association constitutes a rejection of ethics. Politics is what you are left with after you reject ethics. It is the systematic violation of consent. It is an endless fight over oppressive control and stolen resources in which association must be either forced or prohibited.
The word “culture” comes from the latin cultura referring to the care, development, and protection required to develop something, as in “cultivation” and “agriculture”. The weeds and rocks have to go and the soil has to be prepared in order for precious seeds to be carefully planted and become a beautiful garden that bears fruit and is worth preserving.
When people wave state flags or sing state songs, it’s easy to cringe at the thought that oppressive monopolies are being celebrated. While this is sometimes sadly accurate, I think it’s important to understand that most people who do so are really thinking of the people and land and way of life that they cherish.
People have been arguing about how to deal with ideas of right and wrong for a very long time. Even now, reasonable people sometimes disagree about where exactly to draw the ethical line on some complex issues. After all, the world is a complicated place. That being said, one idea has emerged over and over again in the quest to understand right and wrong from essentially every cultural, religious, and philosophical tradition: the ethic of reciprocity.
What is your favorite tool? Is it so familiar or compelling that you are tempted to employ it in all contexts? The law of the instrument illustrates this tendency.
Natural Law is the source of your rights. It does not depend on humankind, and it is universally valid. It cannot be voided or amended by kings, constitutions, or legislatures. It is the universe in harmony with reason. It’s not a new idea. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, and many others have taught it in one form or another.