If you look at the animal kingdom, there is an observable pattern to recognize some animals are polygynous, the male having multiple mates, and some that are polyandrous, the female has multiple mates. Note this pattern: When the female is larger like in bees, ants, and humpback whales, then the female has multiple mates. When the male is larger, as in chickens, lions, to lionfish, males mate with multiple females.
If you create a monogamous pairing of chickens with only one rooster and one hen, then the rooster will mount the hen too frequently, causing stress to the hen, often creating a bald spot of plucked back feathers, and it will reduce her egg production. For chickens, the rooster to hen ratio is generally best at one to five or one to ten. With human males being about 15% larger than human females, you would biologically expect humans to be slightly polygamous, and when monogamous, for females to be stressed with too much sex, or males to be frustrated with too little.
Many people see Christianity as the primary source of strict monogamy in world history. However, this is due to a lack of knowledge of history, and a lack of defense of polygamy, as a taboo too dangerous to consider.
It was the Greek reformer Solon who instituted strict marital monogamy in Greek culture in 600 B.C. While economists (David D. Friedman, Price Theory, Ch. 21) can show that polygamy by itself benefits females assuming they have a choice in the matter to benefit from increased choice. But there is no evidence that Solon created strict monogamy to reduce women’s choices, instead it was for the opposite side, to reduce competition among men. In order to facilitate the change, several cultural conditions were created or solidified, such as state sponsored prostitution, support for homosexuality, as well as a common belief that romantic love was only between men.
By the time of Christ, pagan Greek culture had practiced centuries of strict marital monogamy, as well as did the pagan Roman culture they influenced. The first six Roman emperors had 25 wives between them, but all by serial monogamy of divorcing one to marry the next. So even the Roman emperors were bound by the power of their pagan cultural taboos.
So what of Jews under the rule of Greeks and then Romans? I’ll let George Joyce provide the answer in his “Christian Marriage: An Historical and Doctrinal Study” (1933):
“When the Christian Church came into being, polygamy was still practiced by the Jews. It is true that we find no references to it in the New Testament; and from this some have inferred that it must have fallen into disuse, and that at the time of our Lord the Jewish people had become monogamous. But the conclusion appears to be unwarranted. Josephus in two places speaks of polygamy as a recognized institution: and Justin Martyr makes it a matter of reproach to Trypho that the Jewish teachers permitted a man to have several wives. Indeed when in 212 A.D. the lex Antoniana de civitate gave the rights of Roman Citizenship to great numbers of Jews, it was found necessary to tolerate polygamy among them, even when though it was against Roman law for a citizen to have more than one wife. In 285 A.D. a constitution of Diocletian and Maximian interdicted polygamy to all subjects of the empire without exception. But with the Jews, at least, the enactment failed of its effect; and in 393 A.D. a special law was issued by Theodosius to compel the Jews to relinquish this national custom. Even so they were not induced to conform.”
Here we see the interesting case that pagan Rome restricted and persecuted polygamy and the Jews for practicing it, including Diocletian, an equally infamous persecutor of Christians. And then this pattern even continued with the Christian emperor Theodosius. After this period, Christian Roman Emperors would continue the pagan Roman pattern of increasing the punishment for polygamy so that Emperor Justinian outlawed polygamy to the degree that only a few of the wealthiest Jews were able to avoid coerced divorce and keep their wives.by paying a fine of ten pounds of gold in 535 A.D. By the ninth century, polygamy brought the death penalty. In order to end over eight centuries of persecution, Judaism in Europe under Rabbi Gershom decided to self-monitor among European Judaism and prohibit it among their own in the 11th Century.
This is similar to what happened to Mormons in America. The persecution of them became so great they would become the first religion to claim to receive a message from God suspending polygamy. They likewise began rigorous self-policing and persecution of their own fundamentalist sub-sects who refused to give up polygamy.
But this does not address the New Testament for Christians, and how Christians came to generally oppose polygamy. Many centrally influential Christian writers admitted that the New Testament did not prohibit polygamy, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther, who wrote:
“I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter.” De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329–330.
But still others made and still make a claim that it is prohibited by a few different Biblical arguments. First is a claim already disproven by the history above, that polygamy was already not practiced by Jews of the first century, and so didn’t require specific opposition. Next is an argument based on the parallels in Paul’s phrase, “Let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” However, the English of this phrase hides a detail from the Greek that proves and defends polygamy was assumed and allowed.The phrase uses two different words for “own”: heautou and idios. The difference is to clarify that a husband has a wife exclusively that he cannot share. The wife has a husband using a collective “own”, such as in the phrase “Each man return to his own city”. In this case, the man does not exclusively own the city in opposition to others as co-owners, just as a wife’s ownership of her husband does not prohibit other wives owning him as husband.
The final argument is the phrase used for a qualification for elders, “husband of one wife” in most English translations. However, the Greek is mias gunaikos andra. The word mias can mean either “one” or “first”. Context should decide, but in church history, a cultural bias colored the interpretation from the beginning. Gentile converts to Christianity, coming from Greco-Roman opposition to polygamy would assume it mean “one”. But Jewish converts to Christianity would assume this is requiring a man who would keep and not divorce his first wife. Indeed, even though John Calvin opposed polygamy, he acknowledged that the early Jewish Christians continued in polygamy.
Whether one accepts the Jewish or pagan Greek method of interpretation depends on if one contemplates Jesus statement, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law.” In other words, the Old Testament’s concepts and definitions of marriage are used with Jesus correcting misinterpretation. Jesus is not creating replacement definitions.. In contrast to this is the gnostic approach which tries to argue that the Law was evil and materialistic, as was God in the Old Testament, and Jesus was trying to oppose the Old Testament God. In this, official Gentile Christianity orthodoxy, at least through Imperial decrees and laws, chose, perhaps partly by accident, partly by excessive anti-Jewish bias, to follow the gnostic approach to argue against polygamy, even if it was generally critical of gnosticism.
Another issue is an attempt to reinterpret Old Testament texts claiming support for monogamy, such as Adam having only one wife, or Abraham’s second wife causing conflict. But yet, if these did not imply a strict monogamy then, then they can’t be correctly interpreted later to do so. Take the example of Abraham, the example of faith, lived with at least a third wife and unnamed concubines without any implied wrongness.
Further, God used a metaphor of Himself as a polygamist with two wives in Ezekiel 23. To claim that God would use the example of something unethical as an attribute of Himself is dangerously close to blasphemy.
Given that I argue for the legitimacy of polygamy, the question arises, how do you stop the abuse of it? The New Testament did not have to provide an answer as the Old Testament, along with the Jewish understanding of marriage was sufficient. In Exodus 21:10 a man cannot take an additional wife unless he can do so without diminishing his financial support of his existing wife, or her sexual needs. Even a very wealthy man can only satiate a limited number of women unless they all enter the marriage with low sex needs. Further, a wife with sexual desire greater than her husband effectively prohibits him from ever taking a second wife. This limitation makes each additional wife beyond one gets exponentially more difficult. This in effect provides a give and take balancing that reduces the problem of the excessively mounted and stressed hen, or the under-satiated rooster.
This article by Russ Baker goes into great detail to show how the Bush family brought Nixon into politics in 1946, and controlled his every advance. But the remaining mystery of Watergate was that there was a mole in Nixon’s Whitehouse that had to know exactly where to look through 3700 hours of tapes to find the incriminating evidence.
I don’t know precisely who, but we can be sure it was someone under the Bush family control of the CIA. So the Bushes made Watergate public for Nixon failing to give G.W. Bush Sr. the VP position, and because Nixon had secretly backed some Texas Democrats against Bush Republicans.
I can answer one question Russ Baker raises as to the motives of the Bush family supporting Goldwater in 1964 against Rockefeller. (Remember that Bush was more liberal than most Democrats, such that even John Kenneth Galbraith backed Bush instead of Democrat Lloyd Bentsen for Senate in 1970.) Bush backed Goldwater in the 1964 Republican primary as a favor to his Kennedy assassination cohort LBJ. The alternative justification of Bush opposing Rockefeller because of Rockefeller’s divorce and remarriage is laughable ignorance of the Bush family using religion only as a politically exploitable tool.
Modern central-bank-capitalism is a debt based system. Central bank money is created into existence by debt…selling government bonds.
There is an equally famous debt based system called — a Ponzi scheme. The two systems share fundamental similarities. The only way a Ponzi scheme can forestall collapse is to perpetually grow faster with new victims than it pays out to early participants. Bernard Madoff showed that it could go on for a couple decades with just one person knowing the facts.
This is how a central bank operates, but instead of just one person at the helm, it is a semi-united effort of all industrialized central banks. Futher, they have financial control over nearly all the wealth in the world. So the fact it can survive hundreds of years does not remotely prove it is sustainable. It merely proves they have so far managed to encourage on average growth faster than they have expanded the money supply.
There is a specific financial predictor that shows this is collapsing, discovered by the late Dr. Kurt Richebacher. Namely, the declining productivity of each dollar of new debt, sometimes referred to as the change in debt to change in GDP ratio.
The Permaculture Research Institute has an article on the myth (presumption) of perpetual growth that has been built into the modern world’s mainstream economic system. It is an important point to recognize this error. It is one that Chris Martenson focuses on extensively in his Crash Course, but I want to add some commentary.
They use the date of 1776 as a start date of this myth, but the birth of the USA, is not specific or informative enough. Instead we should use the date of 1694, which was the founding of the Bank of England, the world’s second central bank.
Why that event? England lost a war with France and wanted to regain/retain its position as dominant global power. To do so it needed much more money to finance its military, navy, and government expansion. It did not want to be limited to what credit it could obtain through the natural markets…so it nationalized the credit market.
In natural society, money is the most marketable commodity, and credit is loaning money at a rate (interest) determined by the supply and demand for credit. A central bank, such as the Bank of England (or Federal Reserve in the USA), maybe “capitalist” in some definitions of capitalism, but it is the opposite of a free market.
Money is like language. It is naturally created by societies without and before government. Governments (via central banks) replace natural money with fiat money only for their own benefit, so they can expand their power, by expanding fiat money, faster than they could expand natural money. Ah, in there is the mainstream economic profession’s origin of the myth of perpetual growth…unnatural expansion.
Fiat money is just pieces of paper that have no value apart from the weapons of government pointing to the heads of citizens saying it must be accepted as money. However, it cannot perfectly control the degree of value, and that is where “respectable central banks”, unlike that of Zimbabwe or Weimar Germany, exercise just enough self control to stop hyperinflation.
So what are central banks doing with money? Instead of a natural market determined rate of interest, they dictate a rate. This explains how we should define “actually existing capitalism” instead of theoretical capitalism. Such capitalism is when the foundational layers of money and credit are controlled by a central bank, but most other layers on top of that are open/free markets. However, since that fundamental layer is not free, all apparent freedoms that are built above it are not nearly as free as they may seem. It is like in George Orwell’s 1984 where the government has altered language with Newspeak. Language is fundamental, just as money is the language of economics.
In order to stop hyperinflation, while still transferring wealth to capitalist government, a central bank perpetually inflates the money supply, but exercises a degree of conscious self-control, just like the victor who refrains from killing his enemies so he can enslave them.
In Colonial America, tobacco was often the medium of exchange, i.e. money. Sometimes it was wheat, or even whiskey.## So if the “money supply” increased, it did so because people went to the effort to create the valued items to increase it. In contrast, when central banks increase fiat money, that does not increase goods of value. A 10% increase in the fiat money supply means that the previous owners have had their money decrease in value by 10%.
So when economists from Milton Friedman to Paul Krugman say they want a stable increase in the money supply of about 3% per year, that is a 3% transfer of wealth per year to Wall Street and government. Why 3%? Because they can get away with that without causing hyperinflation.
But mainstream economists don’t want to focus on money supply as inflation, instead they prefer to leave that to “the man behind the curtain” and focus on prices as indicator of inflation. So in the 1920s, productivity was increasing such prices should have been falling due to increased efficiency. Instead, the Federal Reserve increased the money supply to keep prices stable. The father of mainstream economics, Irving Fisher, thought such fine and said there was no bubble in 1929, and proceeded to lose his family fortune in the crash to prove he believed it.
But there is another layer of the perpetual growth myth. Without perpetual growth, then all that government “sovereign” debt cannot be repaid short of a hyper-inflationary crack-up bust in the market. Market value would become less than book value…much, much less, like in Greece. Ah, but as you’ve discovered…it isn’t likely to happen with perpetual growth either, because that is impossible as it pushes against natural limits.
Finally, here is why there are no mainstream economist exceptions: The Federal Reserve pays major stipends to economists all over the world to buy their allegiance and cement the Federal Reserve’s legitimacy among economists as a guild. As Gary North points out, economics textbooks will go from a chapter on the dangers and inefficiencies of cartels, to a chapter on the Federal Reserve, without a hint of contradiction or acknowledgement of it as a cartel.
What about economist professors who are exceptions like Prof. Hayek? Even though he won a Nobel Prize in economics, the University of Chicago where he taught refused to even let him teach in the Economics department! So he was not mainstream. Such difficulty getting a tenured professorship in economics has been the case of economists all over the USA if they question the propriety of the Federal Reserve.
Given that Federalism and Antifederalism are 220 year old ideologies, I’m surprised I have never run across the observation I’m about to make. If someone knows who else pointed this out, please let me know. Pay attention to when I capitalize “federalism” as when lower case I refer to the concept, but when capitalized refers to the group of people calling themselves by that name, whether accurate or not.
The Federalists named themselves that. It was wrong. Most Federalists were really nationalists. They named themselves such because of the Colonial public’s distrust of nationalism. In Lincoln’s era, and sympathetic historians after him, the Unionists could point to acts and quotes of many Federalists that clearly had nationalist leanings and statements, as this was what the Federalists desired. The Southern secessionists could likewise point to acts and quotes against nationalism because this is what the Federalists had to say to gain power.
Anti-Federalists did not name themselves. This was a term applied to them by their opponents who called themselves Federalists. So it is more ironic that the so called Anti-Federalists were actually the federalists, just as the Articles of Confederation were federalist while the Constitution was only superficially so.
So it is true that the Constitution, created by the “Framers” who were mostly Federalists who weren’t federalists with just enough Anti-Federalist federalist wording to get passed, was a combination of apparent federalism but hidden nationalism. So the Constitution as applied became increasingly nationalist, and permanently so after the so called Civil War.
If anyone has read the constitution of the former USSR, freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion are enumerated. However, like the Constitution of the USA, there was insufficient protections to stop centralization of power into nationalism which provides no means to protect those freedoms.
Lysander Spooner would write it best:
The practical difficulty with our government has been, that most of those who have administered it, have taken it for granted that the Constitution, as it is written was a thing of no importance; that it neither said what it meant, nor meant what it said; that it was gotten up by swindlers, (as many of its authors doubtless were,) who said a great many good things, which they did not mean, and meant a great many bad things, which they dared not say; that these men, under the false pretence of a government resting on the consent of the whole people, designed to entrap them into a government of a part, who should be powerful and fraudulent enough to cheat the weaker portion out of all the good things that were said, but not meant, and subject them to all the bad things that were meant, but not said. And most of those who have administered the government, have assumed that all these swindling intentions were to be carried into effect, in the place of the written Constitution.
And again another Spooner nugget of genius:
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
[This article was originally posted on Strike-the-root.com on Sept. 28,2004. However, in one of that website’s format changes, mathematical symbols were lost. So it is reprinted here. A few minor corrections and hyperlinks added as well.]
I still find it hard to believe that I may be the first person to make tort and criminal restitution into a mathematical formula that encourages both sides to be as honest and fair as possible in claiming what the most just and equitable amount of restitution should be. Since I am so far unsuccessful in finding this formula in other writers, I will call this the Hobbsian Just Restitution Formula until someone can show me someone who derived it before I did, originally around 1999 though not published till now.
In any case where a wrong is claimed to have been done, whether by intent or negligence, there is the temptation for the alleged perpetrator to seek paying less restitution than is just, and for the victim to seek receiving more restitution than is just. This may not always be so, but a justice system should have a way to minimize this tendency. This formula is a way that can minimize the temptation for each party to have the scales of justice lean in their favor instead of truly balancing.
Take the restitution claimed appropriate by the perpetrator to be Rx, and by the victim to by Ry. Now if they are unable to resolve this alone, they can take this to a third party to act as an arbitrator and judge, whose decision is Rj. Assume for now that Rj is not beyond the bounds of Rx to Ry. If so, then Rx ≤ Rj ≤ Ry. Now here is the important formula to determine who pays the cost of the arbitrator:
Ct (Ry – Rj) / (Ry – Rx) = Cy
and Ct (Rj – Rx) / (Ry – Rx) = Cx
where Ct is the total cost of arbitration and Cy and Cx are the costs of arbitration for the victim and perpetrator to pay respectively.
By this method, if the victim has requested restitution equal to the arbitrated decision, then he will pay for none of the costs of arbitration. Likewise the perpetrator could avoid paying arbitration costs if he had chosen what the arbiter decides. In the event that the judgment falls in between, then they each will have to pay part of the cost in direct proportion to how much they desired more than the arbitrated decision of an equitable amount.
By this method, each party would be financially encouraged to avoid excessive claims to minimize the arbitration costs to be paid. If they can come to a point where the spread of desired restitution is less than estimated arbitration costs, then they could recognize it might be cheaper to resolve the issue without a professional paid arbitrator. The more complex the issue, the more arbitration will likely cost, and the incentive to avoid paying for arbitration also increases.
It is possible that the arbitrator could decide that appropriate restitution is beyond the Rx to Ry borders. Rules can be decided before hand if the boundary points would be limiting or not. It is also possible that the parties do not let the arbitrator know the boundary points until after the decision is reached, if one or both feel that such might unfairly influence the result. They could then just be intended for use to determine who pays arbitration costs. However, it would still be necessary for the parties to know each other’s desired restitution value. It would make no sense to keep it secret from the counter party, go to arbitration, and then discover that you would have agreed to an amount without an arbitrator.
What about lawyers? Different arbitrators might allow or disallow them. In this system, they would rarely be necessary, and most often increase the expected cost for each side that uses one. An arbitrator should be unbiased, and should help both sides explain as well as understand the strength of each argument given by each side. An arbitrator’s goal is not only to make a just decision, but also to explain and convince both sides that the decision is just. This is not the goal of lawyers.
What about non-monetary compensation? This is a significant possibility, and a further complication that could add to the cost of arbitration. If a proposed compensation is to be labor of the perpetrator to the victim, then as the victim would act as employer, then the repayment wage rate would have to be agreed upon as any other wage rate. The arbitrator could help decide this, as well as look for third parties who would accept labor and then pay the labor wage to the victim.
This system does not require the alleged perpetrator to agree that any wrong was done. He can even claim that since no wrong was done, he is owed compensation for the counter party wasting his time. The formula would still encourage him to not overestimate this counter claim.
Additionally, despite modern practice, there is no reason to think this system would not also be best for criminal cases. Punitive damages could be part of restitution paid to the victim, not as fines paid to the state. When victims do not receive restitution through a criminal justice system, there is an increase in both extremes of letting crimes go unreported and unpunished, due to lack of incentive, and of victims groups advocating punishments that do more harm to the perpetrator than would be done by fair restitution. (See Bruce Benson’s books The Enterprise of Law and To Serve and Protect for historical examples of restitution-based free market courts and their successes, as well as the failures created when states monopolized criminal justice systems.)
Religious groups have usually realized that to submit to states in the area of justice is to make the religion a pawn of the state. Jews have always had a Beit Din to resolve problems religious, civil and sometimes even criminal. Islam has Sharia courts for the same purpose. Christians are required to do the same, per the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6. (However, I don’t know of Christian groups that actually have established even informal courts or respected arbitrators for this purpose, other than religious bodies intended to decide purely religious dogmatic conflicts.)
There are many possible complications, but none of them really diminish the value of this formula. What if one party refuses to go to any arbitrator? What if some arbitrators are corrupt? What about appeals? These and many more are all legitimate questions. To answer them all would make this essay a textbook. However, other writers have already insightfully answered these questions, including Murray Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty, Power and Market, Bruce Benson’s The Enterprise of Law, Morris and Linda Tannehill’s The Market for Liberty, and David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom.
These authors (and more like Anthony de Jasay and J.C. Lester) provide quite different methodologies, but reach similar conclusions about the efficiency of polycentric law and arbitration compared to authoritarian, conquest-based law.
Could this be the kernel of truth to the concept of justice? Is justice something that must be created and defined by a government whose origins in conquest of weaker parties precede and supercede its concept of justice (sovereign immunity)? Or is justice a principle where conflicting parties resolve disputes without allegiance to any party above, beyond, superceding, or immune to justice?
Given that people tend to be utility maximizers, judicial systems will be tools to maximize the utility of those who control them. In a state, its laws are written to maximize the utility of the ruling coalitions as opposed to the whole ‘people,’ the subjects, or any other partition of it. If any social group seeks to be classless and judicially independent, it cannot form a state where any weaker party is subject to law made by the stronger. Nor can any part of the group be immune to the principles of justice.
There could be many social groups that could make themselves judicially sovereign-independent. Religious groups mentioned already have such rules, and might intend to be an example to outsiders in being independent from states. It is possible to have multiple overlapping social judicial groups, but this would create hierarchical limitations, as individuals would need priorities as to which social group (with its justice) to place primary association. For example, a conflict arises between parties who are in the same religious judicial group and the same business judicial group. Both groups could not require all members to seek justice for internal conflicts only through that group’s arbitration system. Or if these groups do, and have differing memberships, then individuals who joined both would have to violate one of the groups’ primacy agreements if such a conflict arose.
The reason that justice without sovereign immunity would naturally exist in cohesive social groups is that individuals obtain significant utility from their social group, and ostracism by one’s social group could provide a persuasive influence to those who would consider refusing to accept an arbitrated decision. Several millennia of diasporic Jewish social groups all over the world provide plenty of historical evidence for this non-state judicial system to be sufficient to maintain internal peace and order, especially relative to a state justice system. Social groups then compete non-geographically in the market for members, based on many factors, justice likely being one.