Words Poorly Used #140 — Corporatism

In its worst misuse, “corporatism” is given as a synonym for capitalism.  Corporatism is made of fictions, while capitalism is a natural economic occurrence.  Corporatism is the case where statism is used to control purely natural market activities.  When well-meaning people complain about the excesses of capitalism, they are usually resenting the dodging of responsibility, legislatively by the state-licensed corporation or illegally by the marauder.

In free markets, where individual actors make economic choices, interchange will be optimized — both parties will approach satisfaction with the transaction because that was their intent on entering the engagement.  One or both parties may be dissatisfied, to some degree, with some outcomes.  This is a critical point.  The partners in the transaction may realize that dissatisfaction is part of the risk of free exchange, or a partner may feel that she needs help from some authority, some corporate protection from the state.  The alternative may be that an aggrieved party will violate laws to seek adjustment.  When this type of crime is organized we have another form of corporatism — Might makes right.

The capitalist, however, underwrites risk.  She understands that her best interests are served by the risk management that is typical of her field of endeavor.  The finest example of risk management is in maintaining cordial, voluntary exchange.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #139 — Complexity

When a minion uses the word complexity it is an action of CYA, not a true description of a problem.  After all, conventional wisdom holds that if you can truly define a problem, then the solution is forthright.  Complexity is not a definition of a problem.  The speaker of the word complexity is essentially saying, “leave me alone … you are playing with fire (and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain)” and/or “I am a member of the priesthood, and you’re not.”

Complexity is an ambiguous word covering any combination.  It is a minefield.  It is the stuff of unforeseen consequences.  The user of the word can stretch its meaning to post-describe any set of relationships.  Compound relationships can contain more compound relationships, including serial relationships.  Serial relationships can contain more serial relationships, including series of compound relationships.

Number one, the wielder of complexity at least understands the complexity without being able to divine the unforeseen consequences, and number two, such wielder understands that, within limits, she understands more about the complexity than the wieldee.

The use of the word, complexity, does not mean the problem is fully plumbed with a solution at hand.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #138 — Collusion

Rudy is right, collusion is not a crime.  One can collude in planning a surprise birthday party.  Such collusion is only a crime if the birthday party is illegal and if it actually takes place.  Even then, collusion is only a compounding element.

Collusion is a loose synonym to collaboration or participation.

There is a bit of sophistry in saying collusion is not a crime.  Mostly it is an attempt to re-focus on the wrong question.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #137 — Argument

You cannot be “in an argument.”  You can be “in disagreement” when in an argument there is disagreement or misunderstanding.

In a discussion the other day, a friend asked me to pretend that I was doing a performance review on POTUS.  His argument was based on that premise, and the subarguments were 1) POTUS is a CEO, 2) the “economy” is “good,” and 3) there are “jobs.”

I refused to take the bait.  Ayn Rand would have been proud of me because I considered the premises.

An argument is a proposal passed to a discussion.  Both interlocutors can be in agreement, in which case the discussion is short.  Or the receiver can reject the argument, rightly or wrongly — and a discussion never takes place.  Or the discussion descends into a disagreement — and the discussion concludes, eventually, beside the point of the argument.

An argument is a proposal for an agreement, otherwise it is aggression.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #136 — Originalism

These things are backwards.  The much lauded American System has been overtaken by processmongers.  Process overwhelms purpose.

Let’s look at the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the fourth of the Bill of Rights.  What is the immediate history, in colonial times, that led to the Amendment, and what is its direct purpose?  The non-loyalist, non-royalist patriots, who sued for freedom in the lead up to and conduct of the American Revolution, wanted freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.  As a secondary matter, they made the poor choice of wishful thinking about the objectivity of the courts in issuing warrants of reasonable search and seizure.  Why on Earth did they believe that courts would be any different here than in England — they were based on the same general model?  Warrants were supposed to be a buffer between the innocent-until-proven-guilty and an overzealous ruling class.  But in reality, rubber stamp warrants became the norm, quickly.  Why did the founders believe that a ruling class here would somehow avoid the inefficiencies of the ruling class there?

So now we have a world in which a warrant is only a hiccough — a temporary protection of a private citizen’s freedom.  Wasn’t the purpose of that original amendment to document the freedom, not the method by which it would be traversed?

Originalism applied to the purpose of a warrant completely misses the purpose of the freedom.

— Kilgore Forelle

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Words Poorly Used #135 — Prediction

I am highly skeptical of humans who make predictions.  The word “prediction” literally means to say something before it is true.  If something is not yet true, it can be only in one other class — not true.  Whether or not a thing becomes true is a matter of accident, and not causally linked to the prediction of it in any way.  Whether or not a thing becomes true is in accord with the laws of probability.  If a thing is impossible, or highly improbable, there is no dressing up of a prediction that will make it more possible or probable.  Predictions must be stated in words, and words are not facts because words are fictitious and symbolic placeholders for things, which may or may not be factual.

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