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The Burkean Lens — MVP

The first ever Burkean Nation seminar was somewhat of a pilot, an MVP ("minimum viable product") in Silicon Valley-speak. Fortunately, it was a blast to mount and well received by the fellow patriots who joined me in the Community Room of the Monterey Public Library on Saturday. We had well over a minyan in a classroom setting, so I felt good about the group, especially given their active engagement and positive feedback.


Before covering the seminar's content, let me first address the thoughtful questions and comments from the attendees. (Note that these will make more sense after reviewing the seminar content lower in this post.)

  • Dr. Mike: How do we talk about these concepts with others, with our neighbors? The Burkean answer is that when they go to intentions, we go to mechanisms and results. We anchor on results, always. Rinse & repeat. It won't always work, but is always a wise way to go.

  • Dr. Konstantin: Where do bureaucrats fit in Burkean Economics? The answer is that bureaucrats are a fixture of Nucleons, in general, and of GovNukes, in particular. They are gatekeepers and should be minimized in favor of self-service and choice on the part of Electrons.

  • Chairman Shane Patrick made two notable comments, the second one being especially trenchant.

    • Presidential Positioning: He noted that Clinton might go closer to the 50-yard line and Obama further left than C35.

    • He also noted that phones are instruments of cCon. I pushed back, but upon reflection, he is quite correct. Smartphones themselves are dCon products, which was my focus. However, his point opens up another cCon realm: Social cCon, as promulgated by X, FB, IG, TikTok, Signal, etc. Social Media amplifies FOMO & Virtue Signaling, driving the widespread compulsions that characterize Social cCon. Those compulsions encourage people to do dumb stuff, up to and including murder, suicide and genocide. 

  • Steve the Builder noted that the pending transition to dCon seems like a Fourth Turning generational change. Every fourth turn, cCon has messed up and dCon has had to take over. Interesting!

  • Talented Tracy wants to introduce me next time, which is GREAT NEWS! As it happens, the next Burkean Lens seminar will be on June 29, again in the Community Room of the Monterey Public Library.

Now to the content of the seminar...


This wasn't a history lesson, other than starting with a quick appreciation of Sir Edmund Burke, the Burkean Muse. We then started with First Principles in the form of the 4 Burkean Touchstones and their inverses.

The end of the beginning is the declaration that America is the World's First Burkean Nation, and thank God for it.

Conventional Reality vs. Burkean Reality

Only results matter. Intentions don't matter, nor the hubbub atop any red hot moment.

Burkeans focus on the real. Burkeans focus on Mechanisms and Reality. Conventional thinkers get distracted by the hubbub that fills their feeds, that bubbling stew of Tweets, intentions, outrages, memes and more.

Burkean Economics

There are two approaches to economics: Financial & Behavioral. Behavioral Economics asserts that economics is about more than finance. It is about people. Why do people do what they do? (Two Tos: 1) To maximize control over their own lives. 2) To avoid sin.)

Financial Economics

Financial Economics are what people think of when they think of Economics: money, and pretty much money alone. Public Economics, in particular, is mostly about financial flows, notwithstanding loopholes intended to reward desired behavior. Economists do talk about incentives and human behavior, but people are secondary to money in Financial Economics.

Burkean Economics

Burkean Economics is a form of Behavioral Economics, a previously unrecognized form. Why do people do what they do? Modeling why & what they do is more important than modeling money, albeit Burkean Economics does explain why money does what it does. 

In fact, money matters greatly in Burkean Economics, but takes a back seat to humanity. Brains and emotions are upstream of money in Burkean Economics. Brains and emotions rule, in relation to money. 

Smart Wins for Countries

Especially at the country level, smart wins. Countries, states & companies that employ more effective collective-intelligence (eCI) win in the end. 

This is why America is the most successful country in the history of the world. As the world’s first Burkean Nation, America naturally employs more eCI than any other nation. We always have.

America became the smartest nation ever upon our founding. We’ve held that standing more or less since, 2½ centuries now. And yet, America has become stupid all of a sudden, starting under Obama and taking a ginormous dive downward under Deathly Pale Old Obama, aka Crooked Joe Biden.

eCI maximizes when all actors in a polity have full access to all public information and retain primary control of their money and property rights. This occurs in decentralized control regimes, of which the Platonic ideal was set forth in the US Constitution.

Centralized Control over Power Mechanisms is top-right in the bottom diagram below. It is the default way of the world, notwithstanding that it stupefies all it touches and therefore minimizes eCI.

Decentralized Control over Power Mechanisms is bottom-right in the bottom diagram below. It is the enlightened way that societies operate, especially since 1776. It makes maximum use of human resources and therefore maximizes eCI.

The Burkean Gridiron

The Burkean Gridiron forms a lens through which government can be analyzed. Please refer to my January 2024 blog post introducing it.

The Burkean Gridiron structure is straightforward. Think of a hundred-yard football field, with the Lefties playing on the left-half of the field and the Righties on the right-half.

  • Economic Systems can be plotted on this.

  • Economic Control Mechanisms can be plotted on this.

  • Results for Humanity can be plotted on this.

  • America's Historic Position & Results can be plotted on this.

  • Presidents can be plotted on this, in terms of their mechanisms and their results.

The Burkean Gridiron is a Burkean Lens, very useful for understanding why public policies and politicians help or harm the people they are supposed to serve.

Better Mechanisms Drive Better Results

The Burkean Lens lets you focus on mechanisms and results, recognizing that better mechanisms drive better results. The Burkean goal is More4More. dCon mechanisms are the better mechanisms that drive More4More.

Next Seminar: June 29

Please join me for the next Burkean Lens seminar on June 29 at 4PM, again in the Community Room of the Monterey Public Library. I hope to see you there!

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Who is David Burkean?


I am David Burkean, America First patriot, ethical pragmatist, avid Burkean and advocate for Decentralized Control - dCon. I'm wary of Centralized Control - cCon. I see in cCon-dCon terms. #More4More follows in the wake.

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