A Note on Methodology

Sociologists posit that the development of any populous society will slow at a certain level until it comes to be ruled by a State of some kind. Rather than the root of all success, a praxeological understanding of society would indicate that the State is an unfortunate side-effect of the division of labor, which is the cause and effect of a dense population. In any dense populous society individuals who specialize in the use of violence and deception will inevitably evolve; when these are joined into a cooperative or corporation or other form of organization, and succeed in establishing hold of some territory by ejecting or destroying similar groups, they become what we call a State.

This evolution of a parasitic entity within a social organism theorized here seems similar enough to the posited evolution of certain parasitic microbes, but as Ludwig von Mises noted in Socialism: An Economic and Social Analysis, any metaphor which conflates the social organism with the biological organism is ultimately worthless even if it is not absurd on its face. Human beings are not cells and do not behave as cells, and in this a biological organism is different from a social organism, in all respects of importance to those sciences and humanities which specifically concern themselves with the respective organisms.

We as humans can not know and should not care if the social organism experiences qualia as we, the biological organisms called homo sapiens sapiens, experience them; human beings are neither the cells from which they are made, nor are they themselves social organisms; they are human beings. The thinking of any human individual can never approach an understanding of, nor make any other human understand matters as if he were the 'mind' of the social organism ruling over the human 'cells', if there even is such a thing, no matter how impressive his rhetoric or how 'scientific' the models to which he appeals. Likewise it serves to elucidate nothing to speak of any human will as being at odds with the will of a larger social organism, for society is the result of the wills of humans, and of all of their conflicts, compromises, and fellowships; it is not 'the will of the majority' as such. Neither the 'scientific' mode of analyzing the social organism as if it were a biological construct nor the psychological approach to sociology can match the depth of understanding and the descriptive clarity of the praxeological theory of society. For this reason I shall refrain here from the vulgar scientism of quasi-biological rhetoric in discussing the social parasitism of the military organization, as it will be of no use to the quality of mind I hope to meet in discussion of social theory.