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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16455/the-tyranny-of-government-courts-and-prisons/

The Tyranny of Government Courts and Prisons

April 12, 2011 by

Compulsory labor permeates our legal and judicial structure: we are forced to play along with all they demand. FULL ARTICLE by Murray N. Rothbard


Tony Fernandez April 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

Anybody who has served for jury duty knows just how woefully inefficient these public courts have been. Time to give private courts a greater market share.

B.K. Marcus April 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

Tony Fernandez, I highly recommend “The Enterprise of Customary Law” (June 29, 2007) by Bruce L. Benson. It’s excerpted from his book The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State.

Freedom Fighter April 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I know that libertarians are practical, down to earth, rational and efficient.

But I can’t help to think that all the freedoms that libertarians want are shallow, transient and futile.

Don’t you realize that we are subject to an offense even greater than jury duty ? Speaking of conscription, our mere presence on earth, as human beings, is a conscription.

If the government is a tyrant, then so is nature and so is God.

I long for the day that Libertarians will revolt against God and claim full ownership of their soul.

What good does it serve me to own my own house and get my full paycheck if I don’t even own my own soul ?

Our very existence on earth is the product of nature’s complete brutality. It decides what will be our species, our sex, our likes, our dislikes, our country, our time of birth etc.

We have no freedom whatsoever.

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 1:10 am

Dude, please stop getting high and posting.

Most sober folk really don’t have the patience for this burnout bullshit

Andy April 13, 2011 at 2:12 am

“Our very existence on earth is the product of nature’s complete brutality.”

I like it.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

Sure, so let’s add to it and have the government enslave us because we’re already “slaves”. In fact, we’re all going to die, so why waste time and not just kill oneself now?

Seriously, what a boring philosophy.

Tyrone Dell April 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Yes. You and I and everything else are prisoners in this jail called Reality.


Gil April 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm

How can private police exist if they can’t apprehend suspects, can’t enter private premises, can’t prevent suspects from leaving the town/country, can’t seize items as evidence (thats’ theft), etc.? How private courts operate if witnesses can’t be forced to stand trial, can’t force people onto a jury, force witnesses to tell the truth, let alone hand down a sentence that has to be abided by, etc.?

Daniel April 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm

The same way they worked countless times before?

The fun about free markets is that what you demand can come about in myriad ways, of which, only a few you could possibly imagine.

Maybe you should accept that it’s simply that you’re against people cooperating freely in ways you cannot control.

Read a goddam book.

Gil April 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Gee, how about some examples that would be morally superior to the court system? I can imagine private harassments, vandalisms, beatings, mutiliations, lynchings, assassinations, etc..

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 1:08 am


And because private vandalism, beatings, etc would not have the shield of legitimacy to hide behind, it would be subject to the social and opportunity cost of enacting “justice” and would therefore not be an antisocial gaggle of neurotic do-gooders screwing people for doing a roling stop or buying sudafed

Gil April 13, 2011 at 3:11 am

Let people kill one another and have God sort them out, eh?

Andy April 13, 2011 at 3:40 am

No, let the market sort them out. There must be some undiscovered value in a corpse. Prostitution, afterall, IS legal in a Libertarian world. A very crafty pimp could do quite well, anyway. :) And perfume manufacturers.

You guys REALLY need to watch “hole in a sheet.” You think you know what true liberty is, but you don’t know shit. :) Stop being slaves to the rule of property.

Andy April 13, 2011 at 3:23 am


“…antisocial gaggle of neurotic do-gooders screwing people for doing a roling stop or buying sudafed”

A little exaggerated. Is there even the slightest modicum of prevention in Libertarian philosophy? Some things, such as meth lab explosions and delusional addicts commiting violent crimes, are foreseeable and preventable. Damage control doesn’t suffice in all cases.

I disagree that private beatings and vandalism would have difficulty finding legitimacy in a culture of Jerry Springers.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

Which in turn corresponds to a culture of Bush’s and Obamas and FDRs. I fail to see your point. And no, prevention, unless there is very clear and identifiable threat of aggression, has no place. We do not support PreCrime.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

“You guys REALLY need to watch “hole in a sheet.” You think you know what true liberty is, but you don’t know shit. :) Stop being slaves to the rule of property.”

We do. If all you have to add to the discussion are hollow caricatures, I think I’ll pass.

BTW: stop being a slave to idiocy.

Andy April 14, 2011 at 6:23 am


“Which in turn corresponds to a culture of Bush’s and Obamas and FDRs”, who subsequently operate private security companies and arbitration firms after leaving politics and otherwise engage in free market activities.

They are homogeneous with the society they control and live within. Self-governance is susceptible to the same impulses. We have a dual nature that includes cooperation and aggression. We survive by finding a balance, not by separating ourselves from our natural survival tools.

“…what you demand can come about in myriad ways, of which, only a few you could possibly imagine.”- Daniel. With absolutely no standard other than that which you conceive for your property? I don’t believe my caricature is that far from the mark, Inquisitor. :) We do have a responsibility to our neighbors, in my opinion.

“A potential action by one person has to affect someone else before any they question of legality can arise;” The Enterprise of Customary Law. Potential; capable of being or becoming. How does this not apply to a meth lab next to my house?

“Because the source of recognition of customary law is reciprocity…participation in their enforcement is likely to arise only when substantial benefits from doing so can be internalized by each individual.” TECL. Does this not also apply to internalizing detriment? I’m going to “cooperate” with something that has potential for a substantial detriment to me?

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 1:13 am

I can find you a youtube video of a drug cartel in Brazil (PCC) doing a trial in a court of their own making and judging a man for murder one

scineram April 13, 2011 at 4:27 am

Trial by drug lords. Now that is an improvement over jury of peers.

integral April 13, 2011 at 4:31 am

Then you must be a pretty terrible guy.

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

Actually, they did a pretty good job


Despite being uneducated at their own language, they were able to assemble a court with prosecution and defense counsel, witnesses, determine the nature of the murder committed (accidental/negligent vs self-defense vs intentional, provoked/unprovoked), determine a punishment (if applicable) for the accomplices (in this case, no punishment), have a clemency plea (which was denied), then executed the defendant.

The video’s in portuguese but you can ask me about any details.

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

I’d like to add that this was documented because the police had tapped all the cellphones, yet were unable to stop the sentence from being carried out.

Andy April 13, 2011 at 4:29 am

wrong place

Andy April 13, 2011 at 4:33 am


You are forgeting about the dreaded “shun”, shaming people into the vast, unclaimed tracts of land to make their fortunes and become useful again to the good folks in reglar society. I would take a beating over a shunning anyday.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:56 am

Not “shaming”. Merely refusing to associate with them. It works well. If you want to be thrown into a prison or beaten instead, be my guest. I’m sure firms will arise that will cater to the masochistic.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

All of which occur now and worse yet, enjoy the sanction of government “legitimacy”.

Andy April 13, 2011 at 5:30 am


“…you’re against people cooperating freely in ways you cannot control.”

The victim and the perpetrator would have to contractually agree upon a resolution? It seems more like the perpetrator would be the externality (probably negative) of a financial agreement between the offended property owner and a paid enforcer, based upon the standards of the property owner and the willingness of the enforcer. Sounds fun. I’m sure everyone would shop for the fairest prosecutor, putting aside there own stake in the claim in the name of equality.

There is some plausibility with insuring against breach of contract with no need for a court system in a free market, but no contract exists in a criminal transaction. What exactly are you breaching besides the humor of a specific property owner?

BioTube April 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

The current theory is that an aggressor gives up his rights to the degree he violated the rights of others. Thus, a man convicted of a crime would be indentured to restitute his victim; wrongful convictions would probably be handled by some form of insurance held by the courts.

Inquisitor April 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

You know, it’s almost like people who criticise private law/order simply have no clue about what it entails and haven’t even read the most basic texts on the topic. But it could just be me…

Gil April 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’m sure many people would prefer vigilante action over statutory law. Many criminals probably prefer the current system because they’d be swinging dead in a tree if people administered their own justice.

Tyrone Dell April 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm

One idea might be that your community could voluntarily ostracize labeled offenders. How does he travel when no taxis will pick him up? When no roads will let him take his vehicle on their road? How will he eat when no one will sell them their produce? He is effectively banished from your community. His standard of living will have plummeted. He will be forced to relocate.

andy April 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Steal? It seems unlikely that banishment would be very effective in larger cities. I probably wouldn’t even recognize a picture of any of my neighbors. Who has time?

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