TED Community » Curt Doolittle

About Me

United States, Fall City, WA
Areas of expertise:
Economics of Culture, Political Economy
My website links:
Capitalism V3

More About Me

I'm passionate about

Giving conservatism a technical language so that liberals and conservatives can speak intelligently about developing institutions that allow us to cooperate in building an expanding society.

An idea worth spreading

As societies increase in population due to the productive returns from a division of knowledge and labor, they urbanize - the city and market are synonyms. They first rely on religion: the social rules of conformity and punishing by ostracization. Then, because laws are a means of clearly articulating the use of property within markets, laws are enacted to implement punishment for disobeying the rules - "theft". As society increases in complexity, credit develops as a means of controlling behavior of the individual, so that he conforms to the rules of the market and property. When a society is unable to implement the INSTITUTIONS needed for any of these systems of implementing ORDER, (where 'order' means the rules of the market - the collective - and rules of property - the individual) then the society, the city and it's markets collapse. Because people CHEAT or circumvent the market, without punishment. Conservatism is consciousness of scarcity and order in the city-market.


  • TEDCred score: +0.10 TEDCred reflects your contribution to the TED community.

  • A comment on Talk: Paul Gilding: The Earth is full

    Mar 25 2012: While I agree with the skeptics that the climate argument is highly questionable, I do not think that Gilding's conclusion requires AGW be true in order be correct: The use of inter-temporal economics (ponzi redistribution schemes) and population growth, rather than the more cautious and calculable individual accountability and productivity growth, is simply exposing all of society to extraordinary risk.

    We have no pollution problem. No consumption problem. We have a population problem. And the successful transformation of the argument from suppression of birth rates to growth is one of the great disasters of human history.
  • A reply on Talk: David Brooks: The social animal

    Mar 18 2011: The essence of conservatism is simply a warning against hubris for the purpose of group persistence. The political problem with conservative and liberal sentiments is only whether conservatism is an expression of privilege gained by legal institutions or merit earned in the service of consumers, versus, whether liberalism is an expresson of conviction or convenience for the purpose of obtaining unearned discounts.

    Far too often this is a debate over status-transfer in order to compensate for social status tensions created by he simple fact that the market economy that creates our prosperity rewards individuals with economic and social status or the satisfaction of consumer wants at the expense of the religious, academic, and political institutions what are not rewarded by consumers - and the conflict of status among those different social castes.

    Rarely are these arguments honest, or even understood, from either political perspective.

    Haight, who, like Pareto, Weber and Machiavelli before him, counsels similarly in more contemporary terms. But however it is stated, the fact remains, that we do not argue objective reason from either pole. We justify our sentiments. And our sentiments are not rational.
  • A reply on Talk: Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

    May 9 2010: "The world is changing rapidly and there are many challenges facing us as a species. "

    The world is changing: Yes, the population is increasing due to the adoption of technical institutions of property, calculation and exchange by societies around the world so that they may more effectively compete in a division of knowledge and labor.

    What conservatives wish to do is maintain the institutions that punish people for abusing the institutions that make cooperative life possible in large numbers.. Since there is no institutional solution to the problem of containing government to what is calculable and worthy of risk, conservatives are reduced to resisting ALL government change.

    The institutional problem is well understood and has been discussed for over a century. The social philosophers have failed to produce a post-agrarian set of institutions by which calculabilty (risk managemetn and conformity) can be maintained. What is the minimum government needed maintain market order?