Glossary

Below is an in-progress list of terms commonly used and the definitions I have applied to them on the site. If I have made an error, I would very much appreciate any constructive criticisms to improve my understanding.

aggression — an act (or an objectively provable impending threat) to initiate the use of coercion

agorism — an ideology asserting that the practical application of libertarianism is by means of counter-economics

altruism — a code of ethics that states the welfare of others is the standard of an individual’s own value or moral worth, or that states self-sacrifice is one’s greatest virtue

anarchy — the condition of a society without a dominant political institution enforcing rules of conduct within a given geographical area

anarchism — an opposition to political authority; a belief that the abolition of the state and all other political hierarchies are an indispensable condition for complete (political) liberty

autarchy — a society in which each individual rules him- or herself

authority — the obedience commanded by one’s will; the right to command obedience

authoritarianism — a belief that someone is ethically or politically superior because he or she has or claims to have such authority

autistic — involving only one individual (e.g., autistic exchange)

autonomy — the condition of being beyond external control

axiom — a statement that identifies a fundamental base of knowledge; an irreducible statement of knowledge that one assumes true in the very act of trying to refute it

axiomatic concept — a non-reducible primary fact of reality that is implicit in all other knowledge

bureaucrat — an employee whose actions are governed by rules or laws established by a higher authority

capitalism — a social system of individual rights, including property rights, in which the factors of production are furnished privately

capitalism, laissez-faire — a capitalist system in which individual rights are fully upheld

catallactic competition — a market economy wherein each participant strives to excel in one particular trade or skill to satisfy the desires of others for monetary gain

coercion — an act by an individual against the will or without the permission of another human being with respect to that which the human being has rightful control, such as his or her body or property

collectivism — a belief that an individual exists to serve the well-being of a group; the belief that moral dignity or political autonomy (sovereignty) is made on the basis of the group a person is identified as being in

collectivist anarchism — a stateless society whereby the means of production are owned and operated in common

conflationism, left — the criticism of corporate power and plutocracy and other grants of government privilege as if they were the consequences of a genuine free market

conflationism, right — the praise of the virtues of a free market as though they constituted a justification for past and continued government-enforced privilege

consensual crime — an arbitrary dictate to coercively punish mutually consensual acts

constitutionalist — one who believes a government is just or proper to the extent that it strictly adheres to its constitution

conventional politics — traditional means of trying to reform the political system (i.e., electoral politics, lobbying and petitioning)

counter-economics — the practice of participating in consensual economic activities prohibited by the state

citizen — an individual who owes allegiance to a government in exchange for an obligation of protection by the government

crime — a violation of an individual’s rights

de facto — in fact; in reality

deflation — a substantial decrease in the quantity of money in an economy over a given period of time, which typically results in an increase in the purchasing power of a monetary unit that would otherwise take place

de jure — by law; by decree

direct action — actions that sidestep regulations and electoral representation to accomplish goals directly (i.e., agorism, mutual aid, education, strikes, and boycotts)

economics — the science of discovering the meaning and consequences of purposeful human action with respect to (scarce) resources

electoral politics — seeking to achieve political goals by campaigning to elect favorable candidates for political office

entrepreneur — one who acts to achieve a more desirable future situation than he or she thought possible by taking another action or no action at all; the first recipient of a profit or a loss of an economic action

epistemology — the theoretical science concerned with the discover, method, and validity of human knowledge

ethics — a branch of philosophy concerning the proper course of action for human beings

faith — the acceptance of a belief that lacks empirical or logical evidence of its validity or (more often) the acceptance of a belief in something in spite of the available empirical and logical evidence

forcesee “coercion”

free market — the metaphorical venue for the consensually regulated exchange of goods and services

goods — the concrete means that directly or indirectly satisfy human wants or serve the achievement of human ends

government — the individuals and their actions as representatives of the state

human nature — the distinguishable characteristic of a distinct being with a volitional consciousness who possess the faculty of reason

ideology — a set of beliefs

individual — a natural person, his or her rightful agent or agents, or a voluntary group of individuals and their rightful agent or agents

individualism — the belief that individuals retain the highest political autonomy within society or that each individual has values of his or her own, which he or she is entitled to consensually achieve and maintain

individualist anarchism — the belief that the benefits of a stateless society can be most effectively attained by emphasizing individual autonomy

inflation — a substantial increase in the quantity of money in an economy over a given period of time, which typically results in a decrease in the purchasing power of a monetary unit that would otherwise take place

injustice — not treating others as their actions reflect they deserve to be treated, a violation of the rights of others

justice — the absence of injustice; an act of giving one his or her due or that provides restitution for a past injustice

labor — expended human energy

laws of logic — conceptual integrations that describe existence as a conceptual whole

libertarianism — the ideology that upholds liberty as the utmost political value

liberty — the absence of coercion; the independent exercise of one’s judgement in a social context

logic — the language, method and process employed to guide reason within a given field or situation

market anarchy — an anarchic social system whereby justice and defensive services are provided by privately owned enterprises

materialism — the belief that all of existence is ultimately reducible to matter

minarchism — a social system whereby the only purported role of the state is the defensive protection of individual rights

mixed economy — an economic system enforced by a state that contains elements of a market economy and a command economy

moral knowledge — a grasp of the facts of reality that relate to the requirements of human life

moral value — a fact in relation to the requirements for life (The decision to live makes all other choices possible, so an individual’s life must be his or her ultimate value if he or she chooses to live.)

moralitysee “ethics”

morally proper — that which is necessary to serve an individual’s ultimate end, which is an individual’s own life

mutualism — a social system in which ownership is distributed according to one’s direct use of a property

natural law — the application of the principle of natural rights based on the the universal, constant, discoverable, and tangible nature of human beings

natural rights — a social theory which prescribes the congruent necessary condition (the absence of aggression) for individuals to most beneficially cooperate with others in a social context

non-aggression principle — a ethical principle which recognizes the initiation of force as illegitimate but which makes no value claim on retaliatory force

non-violent crimesee “consensual crime”

ownership — the rightful control of an entity one values

peace — the widespread and sustained absence of coercion among individuals

politics — the branch of philosophy concerning the principles by which an individual ought to function with respect to others

power — the capacity to bring about one’s goal

power, economic — power exercised by economic means

power, political — power exorcized by political means

power, social — power exorcized by social means

pragmatism — the belief that principles are valid to the extent they can be applied to achieve an intended end

praxeology — the general theoretical science of discovering the meaning and consequences of purposeful human action

profit — the net gain of contemplated human action

property — the ownable means of economic action

reason — the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by Man’s senses, allowing him to become a conceptual being

retaliatory force — the use of force to defend against an initiation of coercion

right — a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context; a principle regarding how people should be free to act

rightful control — the ability to use in such a way that does not violate the rights of others

social contract (compact) — a purportedly implicit agreement by individuals in society that obliges them to commit certain obligations

socialism — a social system in which rights are vested into society as a whole

society — peaceful cooperation among a group of individuals

state, the — the dominant political institution with the ultimate decision-making authority of enforcing certain rules of conduct within a given geographical area

stateless society — a society without a state

statism — the believe that sovereignty (or political autonomy) rests in the state or that individuals exist to serve the well-being of the state

trade — the voluntary act of exchanging ownership rights

value — that which one acts to gain or keep; a goal

value, life-promoting — facts as it relates to the requirements for human life

valuable — the magnitude by which a value contributes to one’s goal

vice — an immoral or purportedly immoral act that does not violate the rights of another individual

Commenting on culture and politics from the conviction of enlightened individualism — since 2007