Game Theory of Philosophy


Every game in our cosmic-economic system begins with its axiomatics; those underlying rules that its players and police hold as self-evident to promote and perpetuate the game. Baseball has three strikes, America has its dream, and capitalism loves freedom. Each machinic information system, even those built single-handedly by a philosopher, develop their foundations upon such axioms, assumptions, and self-evidence. The difference lies in how transparently the observer acknowledges these “self-evident” underpinnings of belief. To secure the axiomatics falls within the spectrum of warfare, in which the sociopolitical force that one system may exert over or against other systems gains expression. No ideas become validated or invalidated through violence. No truth becomes self-evident through war. Only war itself, and the faith humankind places in war, gains any ground in its axioms. Countless lives find their end in a refusal admit that an assumption may be incorrect, often not of their own refusal but of some distant leader.

The line between strong opinions and open warfare, or between one war and another, becomes difficult to trace. The orientation of a system of values against, for secret purposes of domination, any system of significance; this we may call Maneuver Economics. We have discussed these practices in detail throughout Invasive Ideology. The most powerful tool of Maneuver Economics is the capacity to axiomatize other information systems, forcing others to subordinate their internal Information Dominance as an integrated component of a collective presumption of Hegemonic Truth.

In this way, axiomatization that dominates through absorption is semiotic Oedipalization, relegating a rebellious child-system of signs under its father-system of signs. Viewed over time and from a distance, the systems of signs that gain coherence become tree-like. This is Arborescence. Arborescence is a mode of analytic thought that continuously branches, triangulating in a plane that emerges as a power-law between gravity and the sun. This at the heart of all despotic dominance, all control of the individual in society, the driving force of phallic capitalism, and the immense growth of the sciences out of philosophy.

If the cosmos, economy, or mind could all be Oedipalized into arborescence through axiomatization, this begs the question of what we mean by axiomatization itself and its significance in the conducts of our lives. Axiomatics, however coherent the system of rules, can only become “true” to the extent an actor desires participation in the game. The rules of football, baseball, or boxing are not truth-ideas that Clerics aspire to drive toward Hegemonic Truth. No one looks to metaphysics or religion to justify the proper number of rounds, innings, periods, or any other fundamental rule of each sport. Yet, regardless of how arbitrary their original invention or the history by which they came into consistent practice, each new player learns them from a more experienced player. The experienced player presents the rules as self-evident, table stakes to participate in the game. Either you want to play the game, by these rules, or you do not want to play. Full stop. End of argument. The history of philosophy has been the exposure of axiomatics like this, in which the rules of the game as it exists reveal themselves to have no basis other than the game itself.

Baseball has a three-strike rule. It is a rule with no intrinsic worth higher or lower relative to any other potential number of strikes per batter – two, four, seven… Yet at this point, whatever convenience it served players when the game, through oral and practical tradition, invented norms and standardized its conduct, “Three Strikes” has now been axiomatized into the legacy of baseball. Look how strange American culture reinvents other systems of rules based on this axiomatic. Three Strikes has spread into parenting, penal codes, politics, and business.

One may trace the history of its origins and its application in practice, but in the face of such axiomatic dogma no game will permit a meaningful exploration of the question “Why?” This question is meaningless. The impact of axiomatization has immense significance. Another axiom lies buried under every game, the greatest rule of all paternalism: so long as every player has the same rules applied to them, the game is fair. Paternalism is an Umpire. The game, produced by machinic information systems, must axiomatize every outcome, expanding the book of its rules into every exceptional possibility, axiomatizing every outcome into its cohesive framework. Each game becomes an ideological system, reproducing itself through confidence and certainty. Players consider every potential unfairness in support of the self-evident rule at the foundation. In baseball, it is that of three strikes – three strikes become an out, the first two foul balls count as strikes, and if the hitter does not swing at a pitch in the strike zone it is a strike. An entire system builds off a handful of arbitrary rules.

All this serious rule-making, conformity, and enforcement comes with investment. Without billions of dollars spent on fields, training, coaches, players, and the revenue at stake for the winners, such a foolish consistency might not seem as important. Baseball enjoys, in the professional arena, an axiomatizing subordination within capitalism. Capitalism likewise prefers a handful of arbitrary beliefs about fairness as its entire basis, as does any opposing socioeconomic philosophy. One distinction lies in the utter simplicity of its foundation that allows capitalism to axiomatize every other system, including the sale of opposing beliefs. This axiomatic has three nodes: representation, expansion, and acceleration.

Before we continue, let us understand the only real alternative by completing the example of sports. In contrast with the axiomatization necessary for the investment of massive franchises, children left to their own free play often do not formally agree to any complete rules of baseball. Every rule is open to experimentation. They may use tennis balls instead of baseballs, run down-and-back in the absence of four bases, or play without separation of teams. If the wish to take their practice more seriously, they mimic adults. They play a game free of the axiomatizing power of subordination under salaries, bets, investments, and lawsuits. This leaves their sociopolitical product more open to re-valuation.

This likewise introduces heartache and lesser forms of civil warfare. Suppose the children agree to a five-strike rule, or agree to not define any area as foul. Such an arbitrary change of axiomatics will matter little so long as democratic agreement holds steady. That is, as any father knows wells, until one child sees an advantage in unilaterally changing one of these arbitrary rules. In an unfettered phase space, machinic information systems have this childish tendency, to produce unfair games, systems that encourage cheating, winning based on manipulation rather than skill. It is in these moments that Oedipalization of the game becomes the path of resolution for the players, despite their original desire to escape supervision through free play.

When the unfair “nature of the game” cannot attain resolution with an equilibrium exchange of truth-ideas, one of two options occurs. Without a trusted source of resolution, an arborescent father-figure, such a ball field is independent of triangulation under a dominating axiomatic. Then a child is likely to “take their ball and go home” – a metaphor adults use often to describe anyone frustrated with the intricacies of the self-evident foundations of our various machinic information systems. The other option is to bring a parent to the field, thereby ruining the free play of childish creativity.

Now we have two problems in our metaphor. Some systems, some games, one cannot simply “walk away” from. We cannot take our ball and go home when it comes to death, taxes, and a few other axiomatic elements of social and existential facticity. This triangulation of unfairness follows one of two paths. On the one hand, players seek external retribution via paternal information systems by telling mom, calling dad, going to court, or going to war. On the other hand, players seek internal vindication by displacing conflict to a self-evident, autonomous information dominance: “This is how it has always been, there is no helping it,” or “Everyone must do it the same way, so there’s no sense arguing.” These two methods form the normative boundaries of all civilization. They are an integral outcome of the Genetic Capitalism of Will-to-Power. This is the ultimate axiomatic, the capitalism of life-codes. “Thou Shalt integrate your code or your contribution dies with you.”

Many philosophers, teachers, coaches, and priests attempt to hide that their arguments reach a conclusion they held from the beginning. Inspired by the scientific method, like any father who gains a moment of insight from the simple wisdom of his child, we as philosophers should be forthcoming at the outset regarding our axiomatics; we can all join this game on equal footing and with adequate forewarning, knowing the table stakes and the half-time accoutrements up front; or feel free not to play.

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