Explaining Religion’s Survival

One challenge to atheism is: if belief in God is so wrong, why has religion survived for as long as it has? Why have humans been religious, for as long as we know? I have a Hayekian theory. If you are religious, and my theory offends you, assume it applies to every other religion except yours.

I was thinking of a situation where the morally dubious option is very attractive, but something external to me makes it unattractive. For the record, I am for all intents and purposes an atheist. Also, your moral intuitions may differ from mine, but to interpret my point try to step into my shoes. Suppose you are given two options,

  1. You can continue with your current life, but you will not fulfill your most valued dreams. Your current life includes a healthy, loving relationship with your wife.
  2. You can re-start your life, with the guarantee that you will be able to fulfill your most valued dreams. For you, let’s assume, that means being a famous football player, able to sleep with the most beautiful women in the world.

What would make me say “no?” I find it morally dubious to abandon my wife, even if it turns out that she would never be aware of anything. I have a commitment to my wife (or, I would, if I were married), and it just seems wrong for me to abandon her — even if she would be ignorant to it (her alternative life would exist without me ever being in it) — so that I can sleep with dozens of beautiful women in my alternative dream life.1 But, when I was thinking about it, this wasn’t the intuition that made me choose option (1). Rather, I had a feeling that I would be judged, and that I would pay in some way for choosing (2). I am an atheist, but I felt that I would be judged by God. I have never been religious, but that feeling of being judged by some spiritual being did not evolve endogenously; it had to be imparted to me culturally.

“Don’t cheat on your wife” is not the only value religion imparts on believers. In fact, there were probably many religions that did not stress monogamy, and there were probably even religions that valued polygamy. But, most religions do try to instill certain values, and most religions ask for peace between members. The religions that have survived — the most popular and most robust religions — tend to require strict adherence to some set of values. Greek mythology, for example, is partly designed to teach people certain moral rules. These rules might not have religious origins, but rules without religion usually don’t have an omnipotent, omniscient enforcer.

The belief that you are being judged by someone who you can’t evade, who knows your motivations, and will unflinchingly apply the rules by which He commands you to live your life is very powerful. It makes getting away with morally dubious behavior impossible. To get around this constraint, you have to have a very strong belief that there is no spiritual enforcer. I am very skeptical of the existence of God.2 Yet, for whatever reason, having a sense of an omniscient, omnipotent enforcer strongly weighs on my moral intuitions.

Let’s take a step back and move in another direction, that will loop back to the question of why religion has survived. In Rules and Order, Hayek lays out the foundations for a theory of spontaneous order. The set of rules that govern entire societies/communities aren’t designed by a single mind, rather they emerge over time and are selected based on their survival value. It’s easiest to explain Hayek’s argument through an example. Suppose we live in world where there are various communities, each with its own set of rules. Over time, one community develops the heuristic “do not murder,” probably because they notice how much more well-off they all are if they can trust that their neighbors will not murder them. That’s the thing: this rule makes this community better off relative to others, so the probability of the rule being adopted by others is high. Alternatively, a rule that promotes disorder is likely to be abandoned, because societies that employ it will be relatively less successful than societies that don’t (all else equal).

Religion can impart rules that promote disorder, such as a willingness to wage war against non-believers, but these rules usually guide inter-, not intra-, community relations. Rules that do promote intra-community disorder usually die out over time. Implicit antisemitic rules in Christianity, for instance, have mostly died out, because communities that promote religious tolerance and cosmopolitanism are typically more successful than those that do not.

Order-inducing rules can emerge without religion. In fact, most rules that religion codifies probably emerged independently. They were adopted, because they make sense and are order-promoting. But, there is an advantage that religious rules have over non-religious rules, and it’s that religion promotes a kind of self-regulation. Non-religious rules can be enforced by secular institutions of governance, but this is easier today than it was 200+ years ago. If it wasn’t for self-enforcing rules, society may not have advanced to the point where it’s at today. A fear of God (or, the gods) is a powerful enforcement mechanism. So is the vaguer, but related, notion that there is a spiritual enforcer that will make us pay for our morally dubious decisions, even if everyone else is ignorant of our choice.

There is a strong impulse to spread religious values (although, not in all religions — Judaism is remarkably insular). If religious values promote peace, and if these values are “self-enforced,” it will be good for society to spread religion to non-believers, so that they too will be constrained in the same way. There are other motivations behind spreading religion, of course. But, a religion that relies entirely on conquest will not be very successful. Roman and Greek religion, for example, did spread through conquest, but the strongest reasons for accepting certain deities were probably cultural. And, Roman and Greek religion did not survive for long when superior alternatives were made available, even when these alternatives were oppressed (as was the case during the Roman Empire).

If there is no God (or no gods), why has religion survived for as long as it has? Or, if there is a God (or gods), why have false religions survived? Because religions impart order-promoting values, and the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient God that judges all of our choices is a powerful mechanism of self-enforcement. Religious societies were probably simply more successful than non-religious societies, which is most likely the reason why non-religious societies did not exist (or were very rare) prior to the growing secularist movement. Even in increasingly secular societies, there is still an implicit notion of a final judge that we can’t avoid — this is still the same mechanism of self-regulation. One thing that does seem to follow from my theory — and this might make some uncomfortable — is that as superior alternative processes of enforcement arise, religion will become less relevant.



1. There is the additional fact that I would rather be with my wife than with any other woman, but this isn’t a particularly strong feeling for many men, and it was even weaker historically.

2. But, it’s important to me that I cannot be certain of God’s non-existence.

What Makes Austrian Business Cycle Theory Attractive

Tyler Cowen links to a recent paper which explores credit expansion and financial crashes. Cowen comments that Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT) needs more Minsky. I disagree. It reminds me of a passage that I had highlighted in Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, on bubbles and self-fulfilling expectations. One thing that makes ABCT so attractive to me — one of the most attractive facets of Austrian economics, in general — is the emphasis on rule-following behavior. This requires interpreting Hayek’s 1930s work on industrial fluctuations through a 1940s Hayekian lens. One way to interpret the business cycle is to ask why certain rules work for some period of time, which we can call the “boom,” and why these rules suddenly create erroneous decisions during another period of time, the “bust.”

Piketty offers a conventional psychological theory of the self-fulling bubble,

[T]hese anticipated future prices themselves depend on the general enthusiasm for a given type of asset, which can give rise to so-called self-fulling beliefs: as long as one can hope to sell an asset for more than one paid for it, it may be individually rational to pay a good deal more than the fundamental value of that asset (especially since the fundamental value is itself uncertain), thus giving in to the general enthusiasm for that type of asset, even though it may be excessive. That is why speculative bubbles in real estate and stocks have existed as long as capital itself; they are consubstantial with history.

— p. 172.

The above is representative of a fairly common way of explaining bubbles and financial crises. Other explanations, such as Minsky’s might be more sophisticated, but they essentially grasp towards the same idea. I find their insight to be somewhat trivial, because they are vague theories that simplify agents’ behavior in financial markets to “they buy what they think everyone else will buy.” But, and this is an empirical question, I doubt that very many investors make their choices based on the expectation that an asset will continue to rise in value, despite that price diverging from “fundamentals.” Instead, what we see is investors justifying their decisions based on their reading of the “fundamentals” — i.e. the national housing market will not suffer a bust —, only to find out that their interpretation is wrong.

What ABCT does, once fully synthesized with Hayek’s later work on knowledge, institutions, and rule-following behavior, is embrace rational, informed decision-making in financial markets, and then explain how these rules can lead to welfare reducing outcomes if these rules are “distorted.” Hayek’s early model simplified all of these behavior-constraining rules to profits. Investors chase profits, because profits signal healthy, strong investment. Where assets grow in value is where there are profits. To investors, these increased revenue streams are the “fundamentals.” They invest in an asset because that business, or that market, is doing well. Any theory of the business cycle has to explain why these expectations, and the “fundamentals” (the heuristics) that guide them, are suddenly reversed — why do markets, which usually read the “fundamentals” so well, fail in bulk?

Minsky needs ABCT, not the other way around. The ABCT is, so far, the most complete demand-side theory of reversed expectations. I will refrain from claiming it’s the best, because so far maybe it hasn’t been compared to adequate alternatives. And, undoubtedly, ABCT is far from perfect, itself. You also need to take an empirical approach, because the lessons of ABCT have to be generalized — the narrow model is not perfectly applicable (as is the case with every theory). But, the point I want to make is that the credit-boom aspect is not what’s unique to ABCT. You can find that in Minsky. Other economists have made similar connections (e.g. Alan B. Taylor). What’s unique to ABCT is how it puts the story together by trying to explain investors’ behavior, and why this behavior turns out to be systemically suboptimal. It provides a sophisticated explanation, and I don’t think Minsky — or others who rely on psychological, rather than institutional, explanations — succeeds to the same degree.

Quote of the Week

In 1952,…only 6.5 million Americans (4% of the U.S. population, or roughly 9.5% of households) owned any common stock — below the 1920s level of 15 to 20% of households and far below the 2007 figure of 49.1%. In 1952, approximately half (46%) of equity investors owned only one issue (ed. emphasis mine).

— Janice M. Traflet, A Nation of Small Shareholders (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), pp. 4–5.

To Know How Government Fails…

Hayek once wrote something along the lines of, “To know where markets fail, we need to know how they can work.”

I’ve written quite a bit about governance these past two weeks. A long post would be repetitive, so I’ll keep my point short and sweet. I’m motivated — or, at least, reminded of this — by Daniel Kuehn’s brief critique of Bob Murphy’s recent article on space exploration. He thinks that some libertarian economists don’t take externality arguments seriously enough. They aren’t willing to concede the a priori possibility of the existence of a public good. I certainly see where Daniel is coming from, and I agree to some extent or another. But, I think there is another, related problem.

Most economists, libertarian or otherwise, probably do agree that there are such things as externalities, information asymmetries, et cetera. The reason they do think that these do not call for public provision of the affected goods and services is because they assume, a priori, that government can’t fulfill this task without creating more inefficiency than we originally started out with. I think this is certainly a possibility, and is definitely true regarding some (probably extensive) range of goods and services. But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be true.

Libertarian economists also probably overstate the case against government. Or, maybe they don’t. But, I don’t think there is any set of theory out there that can tell us for sure. Actually, there is — The Myth of Democratic Failure (?), “Voting as Communicating,” The Calculus of Consent, “The Allocation of Goods by Voting,”… —, but it doesn’t usually inform libertarian policy prescription and there is probably a lot of room left for research. Libertarians rarely ask themselves, “How do institutions of governance communicate local knowledge and coordinate disparate plans between agents to provide order?” But, to know where government fails at achieving order, we have to understand the process by which it reaches the order it does. If we have no theory about how exchange-based governance works, how can we comment on what the proper role of government is?

This is a theme I’ve been pushing on this blog, because I don’t think most libertarians take it seriously enough. Before we can say how governments fail, we have to know how governments work.

Spain’s Cyclical Disorder

I like to read the comments people leave in articles in Spanish sports papers. I find them funny. There’s typically a decent mix of inter-team hate, intra-team hate, and general conspiracy theory. One can find a similar mix in the press of other countries, but not nearly to the same extent as in Spain. What these comments reveal — although there may be some sample bias — is an emerging culture of mistrust, caused in large part by ongoing depression in Spain and political corruption. Strong economies are built on trust, and this emerging culture in Spain can undermine forces of recovery in a country already handicapped by bad structural and counter-cyclical policy.

In “Economics and Knowledge,” Hayek developed a theory of equilibrium incorporating the role of expectations. In a division-of-labor where each agent relies in large part on others, an equilibrium occurs when the expectations of these agents coincide. For example, you, generally speaking, would only continue to work if you were certain that you would receive a paycheck at the end of the week. Businesspeople have certain expectations of the demand for their product, and of profitability. In the real world, expectations are often wrong — businesses fail, stock markets crash, et cetera. In equilibrium expectations are in harmony, so that everyone’s plans coincide.

The term “coordination” is essentially synonymous with “equilibrium.” For disparate expectations to jive, plans must be coordinated. When plans don’t coincide, there’s discoordination. Coordination differs from equilibrium, however, in that it has a more ambiguous definition. It might be useful to think about it as a spectrum. Plans may not be perfectly coordinated, but people’s actions are not always total failures. In fact, most of the time, things work out. When you take your car to the mechanic, he’s there; your paycheck arrives on time; your landlord expects and gets his rent by the monthly deadline; et cetera. We can also think about an economy having a certain degree of order, where equilibrium is maximum order. The better coordinated plans are, the higher the degree of order.

The concept of order can be applied to business cycle theory. Expectations have played a central role in business cycle research since the 1930s. Most firms do not expect a sharp decline in demand. Those that do typically mistime their preparation. A clear example is the 2007–09 financial crisis. Investment banks’ plans did not work out when a significant fraction of their assets dropped in value. The small businesses which went bankrupt had their expectations reverse. In mid-2006, few people thought that they had a large probability of losing their jobs in 2008–09. The business cycle is a period of discoordination — a loss of order.

Spain’s recession, following a housing bubble, has been particularly bad. Indeed, it feels more like a depression. Spain’s unemployment rate is over 26 percent. Much like during the Great Depression, a large fraction of unemployment is the result of bad policy. The IMF estimates Spain’s average outgap gap for 2013 at –4.338, which is comparable to that of the United States. Yet, the U.S.’ unemployment rate is “only” at 6.7 percent. Bad supply-side policy, in conjunction with bad demand-side policy, has made a disaster of an already bad situation. Spain’s structural problems, of course, have existed for a long time, but they were partly hidden by the boom of the early and mid-2000s. Schneider (2011) estimates that the value of production in Spain’s informal (extralegal) sector has been greater than one fifth of Spain’s GDP since ~1994, falling to 19.3 percent of GDP in 2007 — but, no doubt larger after the crash (although, in part because of a decline in GDP). Large extralegal sectors are typically a sign of bad supply-side policy.

Problems in Iberia go beyond bad policy. Spain’s democracy is more fragile than some people realize. The country has passed a few tests for robustness — such as the (quasi-abortive) February 1981 coup —, and high growth during the late 1990s and for much of the 2000s seemed promising. Indeed, many in Spain were looking forward to the day that the country would replace Canada in the G8! But, the country’s economic woes have been joined with corruption issues in government — and the problem crosses party lines: bribery, illegal payments, money laundering, et cetera. Further, regional banks funded local programs, and the relationship between these banks’ balance sheets, their health, and the political support they receive is unclear. These scandals have made it hard for Spaniards to trust their governments, whether national or local. The range of this distrust has spread to the royal family — especially after legitimate corruption charges against some of its members — and elsewhere.

The extent of distrust can be seen in Spain’s changing football (soccer) culture. Referees are always criticized. It’s hard to find an article on a big Premier League game without reading one manager’s criticism of the referee’s handling of a game. There are constant complaints against refereeing in all sports. But, in Spain, it’s especially bad, because complaints have given way to conspiracy theories. There is this notion that the governing body in Spain, RFEF, implicitly or explicitly supports a status quo that favors Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two highest earning football teams in Spain. The theories go as far as to claim that referees make their calls to purposefully help the the two “big teams” (los grandes). And, of course, between the two big teams fans accuse the other club of corruption. Even players have made these accusations — Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, players for Real Madrid, made comments to this effect after last weekend’s match against Barcelona.

There is, in general, an emerging culture that sees corruption and scandal everywhere. Bonds of trust are disintegrating. This can have dire long-term consequences. Trust, in some sense, is an institution; or, it’s a value manifested in certain institutions. Businessmen spend a lot of time and money establishing a relationship of trust with their clients. They offer warranties, they make sure to always leave their customer satisfied (hoping for the relationship to be repeated over time), et cetera. When there is no trust, the economy suffers. The transaction costs to some exchanges can become too high, and trades which would have led to gains for all parties involved simply don’t take place. To put the role of trust into perspective, recall the 2011 paper by Nunn and Wantchekon, finding evidence that slavery created a culture of mistrust, holding development in sub-Saharan Africa back. This is happening in Spain. While political corruption is hard to compare to slavery, the emerging culture in Spain may have dire economic (and political) consequences for years to come.

Mistrust might make political reform more difficult. Note how untrustworthy Ukrainian protestors have been of the “reformed” Ukrainian government. The same is true of Spain, although in different areas and to a different degree. Governments with fragile relationships with their people are going to have a hard time passing structural reforms that may not produce immediate results. Mistrust also makes a situation ripe for regime uncertainty. Uncertainty over the political climate makes business more difficult and less attractive, especially if this business requires large investments. Mistrust can spill over into the private sector in other ways around. Large businesses — which tend to be villainized when it’s the worst off who suffer the most — can lose demand for their product, even if their product confers to the consumer the highest satisfaction relative to other choices. Mistrust can even hurt relationships between small businesses, and even between small time vendors and their customers.

The effects of the business cycle, especially if these effects are made worse by bad policy and political corruption, can influence an economy for many years thereafter. They can make recovery more difficult. When a people lose faith in their institutions of governance, this mistrust tends to spread to other sectors of life, including business. It itself is corrupting, because it changes the institutions which guide economic processes. It limits trade, and when trade is limited we lose out on gains from trade. Countries like Spain (and Greece) are undergoing this transformation, and if this process isn’t reversed, the consequences can become more dire than they already are.

“Narrow” Self-Interest

Jacob Levy, at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, digs up a comment on Hayek and public choice theory, made by Jeremy Shearmur. Shearmur makes what I believe is a mistake in his interpretation of how economists use the term “self-interest,”

Buchanan argued, steadily, that we should treat people as self-interested. But it is clear that this does not work: there seems every reason to believe that people go into politics for a variety of motives, and no special reason to believe that they are motivated by narrow self-interest.

Notice the adjective that he tacks on to self-interest: “narrow.” But, why should we interpret self-interest, as used by economists, to mean the narrow kind and not the broad kind? Most economists, whether implicitly or explicitly, mean “broad,” not “narrow,” self-interest.

How do individuals choose between alternatives? The subjective theory of value that underlies most of modern economic theory assumes that people attach values to various ends, and that they will choose between ends based on these values and their budget constraint. Suppose, for example, that some representative agent holds strong moral beliefs that call for donating half of her income to charity. In other words, because of her moral beliefs, she attaches what we can assume to be a high value on the end of donating half of her income to charity. And, if she donates that money to charity, we can assume that that end was valued higher than all other alternative ends.

Notice how the concept of “narrow” self-interest is difficult to even define. Assume that it’s about money. If economists really believed in “narrow” self-interest they would have to make the case that it was irrational for that representative agent to donate half of her income, because the alternative of not donating any fraction of her income seems like the superior choice. If y is her post-donation income, 2y > y. But, then they would have to deal with the paradox that the end attached to the act of donating half of one’s income is ranked higher than all other alternative ends, including keeping her full income for herself. But, there is no paradox, because economists know — and assume — that individuals will choose based on a set of subjective preferences.

What leads people to interpret the economist’s use of self-interest as having a “narrow” definition is probably the way economists design their models. People tend to interpret these models too literally. Economists use narrow concepts in order to simplify the model. The model itself is only an imperfect tool to understand the much more complex real world. If we included everything that might influence how an individual values alternative ends we would have a very intractable model and it would not be very useful as a tool, despite being more “realistic.” (See how little insight “more realistic” methods have gained us. See how some of the deepest insights in economics have come from extremely simple models.) So, instead we assume they base their decisions on the amount of money alternative ends return, or some other proxy. That’s the thing: when modeling, economists use proxies to simplify the problem.

This speaks to the recent controversy over how physicists interpret economic problems. I feel that many people missed Chris House’s point. People outside the discipline, who learn the methods for their own specialization, oftentimes misinterpret why economists do things the way they do. This model is unrealistic. This model is missing this or that. They assume that economists are ignorant of some fundamental insight. The fact is, however, that this is simply not the case. They miss the point of why economists model the way they do.

Illusion of Purity

The claim that there is such a thing as “pure libertarianism” should puzzle you. What is the definition of “pure libertarianism?” Do we find that definition in Rothbard? Nozick? Hayek? Mises? Rand? Which Rothbard? Nobody’s views are intertemporally consistent. If they were, our views wouldn’t evolve. The answer can only boil down to a definition which equals exactly what you believe “pure libertarianism” is, because you are going to choose between alternatives based on what you agree with. That seems a bit shallow.

Within some range, “pure libertarianism” will inevitably be impure. Few libertarians would doubt Roderick Long’s libertarian credentials, even though he prefers virtue ethics over a certain brand of deontology. Okay, Long avoids the term “capitalism” (according to his Wikipedia entry), so maybe Long is not a “pure libertarian.” But, no serious academic holds a identical set of beliefs with another. There is always some degree of reasonable disagreement. You cannot define a “pure libertarianism” without defining yourself as irrelevant, because the only “pure libertarian” will be you.

If you accept that there is a range of beliefs that can be considered libertarian, how do we determine that range of “reasonableness” (is that a word?)? Mises — except that government nonsense, but it’s okay, because it’s Mises1 —, plus Rothbard, plus Hoppe? Do we exclude Hayek, Buchanan, Friedman,2 Nozick, Gaus (?),…? Surely, you cannot define the range by what is generally agreeable to you, because that defeats the purpose of having a range of reasonable disagreement. You would have a difficult time arguing that Stiglitz’ political views ought to be considered libertarian. Hayek, though? How could the views of one of the most influential academics on libertarian thought not be considered reasonable in the debate on what libertarianism is? It would, of course, be just as absurd the other way around. How could Rothbard’s views not be considered libertarian?

The point I’m making is that any determinant definition of “pure libertarianism” is arbitrary, in that it requires the person writing the definition to choose based on her own judgment. Where is this authority derived from? What if there is some chance that she’s wrong? There is no way to even know whether we believe in “pure libertarianism,” because “pure libertarianism” is impossible to define with certainty. The concept is empty.

So far, most of you may agree with me. But, I don’t want you to agree with me. I want to give you a headache. I am going to take another step forward, making the strong claim that libertarianism as a political philosophy is too exclusive to be useful.

The limits to what is libertarianism will always be arbitrary. But, if we leave those limits up for debate, I think that debate is easier to solve than the one over “pure libertarianism.” At least, we have a fuzzy border around libertarianism. For example, it’s clear that Krugman is not a libertarian. But, Buchanan is — at least, his ideas can directly inform libertarianism. But, here, libertarianism defines only a narrow group of reasonable beliefs over the right institutions of governance. There are reasonable non-libertarian beliefs, as well.

If a group of people join into a division-of-labor, they will have to develop an arbitration process (whether planned or spontaneously) to settle disputes. There will be several orders of rules. Personal defense associations, for example, will appeal to a higher order of rules to settle inter-association disputes. If you are an anarchist who believes that people will settle into communities with more-or-less consistent political views, you should still recognize that people will want to associate with others outside of their community — there are gains from trade by extending the division of labor. People of different communities may come into disputes against each other, and there will need to be a process by which these disputes — where there are two conflicting set of rules — are solved. Let’s call the highest order of rules, and the process by which these rules emerge, the meta-process.

How do rules emerge out of the meta-process. Maybe a dictator is the final word of the law. That doesn’t seem very appealing. Imposing Rothbardian deontology would be dictatorship, because most people would want a completely different set of meta-rules. Further, we have no way of knowing if Rothbardian deontology is right, and we want the meta-process to at least evolve over time, so that its rules can improve. Because we know that there is a range of reasonable opinion on what kind of rules there should be, the process of rule-making should consider a plurality of opinion.

The people governed by the meta-rules will include libertarians, but libertarians are a minority of the total population. Reasonable debate would need to include reasonable non-libertarian beliefs. The meta-process would be a liberal one. It’s hard for me to accept the possibility of both agreeing with the public reason approach and believe in a libertarian political philosophy. Public reason is extremely attractive, because it is consistent with heterogeneity of beliefs and pluralism (i.e. liberalism); maybe a libertarian political philosophy does not make much sense. Libertarianism can’t even describe the ideal society, because if societies include non-libertarians then the rules, in a voluntary society, will be, at least in part, non-libertarian. Public reason leads to compromise, not unanimous consent in favor of one of the extremes.

The libertarian has some preference set on meta-rules. But, you can’t advocate an overarching philosophy of a just political process that requires either belief homogeneity or coercion of the non-believers. Well, I suppose you could. But, calling that philosophy one of “liberty” should raise eyebrows. Libertarianism, then, is not useful at all for the purpose of helping us achieve a free society. But, (public reason) liberalism can. I agree that this might lead us to other uncomfortable conclusions, but that’s no reason to reject my argument. Of course, the catch in believing that there is some probability (0 < p < 1) that a belief is wrong is, well…that your beliefs can be wrong. So, prove me wrong!



  1. I guess Mises’ “partisan biases” don’t matter.
  2. Both Milton and David. Pure libertarianism might require two points. You earn one point for being an anarchist, which David is. You earn another point for being an Austrian. Sorry David. And Milton might as well be Stalin.