1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/2911/the-case-for-radical-idealism/

The Case for Radical Idealism

January 3, 2005 by

The libertarian must never allow himself to be trapped into any sort of proposal for “positive” governmental action, writes Murray Rothbard. The role of government should only be to remove itself from all spheres of society just as rapidly as it can be pressured to do so. Neither should there be any contradictions in rhetoric. The libertarian should not indulge in any rhetoric, let alone any policy recommenda­tions, which would work against the eventual goal. [Full Article]

{ 39 comments }

Allen Weingarten January 3, 2005 at 8:29 am

I strongly agree with the late Mr. Rothbard on the need to work for an ideal, and not to compromise it by gradualism. However, I question his tactic where we attain immediate change, without compromise, by “pushing the button” now.

Let us note that sometimes freedom and rights must be restrained by the imperative of survival. For example, take the case of slavery, where Rothbard demands immediate resolution. Had our Founders done so, there could have been no Constitution, and no United States. The three-fifths compromise permitted the formation of the nation, which went on to lead the world in eliminating slavery. Similarly, the War of Independence itself involved the violation of the rights of Americans. One may add that revenue to fuel the government necessitated coercion.

Although government has been destructive and murderous (with excessive and unjustified taxation) the antidote is not to prohibit all government, nor to oppose all government activities. Rather it is to restrict government to those few areas where the survival of our civilization (or its citizenry) is threatened.

So I concur with Mr. Rothbard on the imperative to work for an ideal, but addend that unless we survive, we cannot do so.

Arthur Cinader January 3, 2005 at 10:11 am

A critical weakness in Rothbard’s case as presented is the lack of explicit recognition that the goal sought could not be stable. If attained, just one aberrant group, however brought to a state of national self-awareness and will, would all to soon likely emerge (“the Garden of Eden” problem of evil per se), emerge as a national entity, organize, and conquer before the all-libertarian-other could build a consensus recognizing the danger, and organizing and supporting an effective organization for resistance.(“The Alexander the Great problem”?)

Otto M. Kerner January 3, 2005 at 10:42 am

Re: Mr. Weingarten’s comments

Did the U.S. lead the world in abolishing slavery? I seem to recall that we were second-to-last among the civilized world in abolishing it, although I’m not sure how one can define a slave society as civilized in any event.

Anyway, Rothbard’s point is certainly at odds with the idea that the Constitution and related trappings, not to mention the funding of the government, are necessary for a free society, so they by themselves can hardly justify compromise.

Re: Mr. Cinader’s comments

Did Alexander the Great mostly conquer stateless societies, or did he mostly conquer other states?

Geoffrey January 3, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Indeed, the US most certainly did not lead the world in abolishing slavery. As Rothbard has argued elsewhere, the US was one of the last countries to do so and, unlike most of those preceding it, only did so violently. It also should not be overlooked that Lincoln’s war paved the way toward an acceleration in the growth of the state, and Lincoln’s primary purpose was not to free the slaves in any case.

Regarding points made by the two other commentors, of course Rothbard’s arguments are in opposition to the US Constitution and the state in general; he was an anarchist. See Rothbard’s four-volume history of America up to the revolution, Conceived in Liberty, for his take on the founding of the United States of America.

I am, however, not convinced that a free market anachist society would work without the existence of certain well-developed institutions and the adherence by a majority of population to libertarian values. Such a cultural change will certainly take a long time. While Rothbard is clearly aware that instantaneous change is impossible (or at least highly improbable), I think he greatly underappreciates the underlying cultural institutions and values that would be required to make the ideal anarcho-libertarian society possible and maintainable.

Steven Kane January 3, 2005 at 12:51 pm

“Some libertarians them­selves maintain that we should not frighten people off by being “too radical,” and that therefore the full libertarian ideology and program should be kept hidden from view. These people counsel a “Fabian” program of gradualism, concentrating solely on a gradual whittling away of State power.”

I’ve had discussions with these kinds of libertarians. I think they are totally misguided. This is precisely the strategy that the socialists have used! If you look at the growth of government it has grown gradually over the decades as more and more programs were implemented that have never gone away. This is how the state operates, it gradually removes people’s freedoms and expands. To think that libertarians could possibly reverse this trend is absurd. This strategy is a one way only street because the state loves to expand, it never wants to contract. In order to reverse this trend liberatarians would have to join the government and implement this gradualism.

As Rockwell pointed out in this article:

http://mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=1499

“To become a bureaucrat to fight bureaucracy, to join the state in order to roll it back, makes as much sense as fighting fire with matches and gasoline.”

Hence, gradualism/incrementalism works for the state, but it will never work for freedom lovers.

Brooks January 3, 2005 at 4:34 pm

Rothbards point on deficits and tax cuts I entirely disagree with. To allow tax cuts that lead to deficits, with interest, is insanity. The starve the beast method does not work. It just puts the gov’t in debt with interest that our later coerced tax money will have to pay for anyway, or our devalued currency. Either way not something I will advocate, and I don’t see the conservatives he mentions who support only tax cuts with spending cuts I’v mostly seen just he tax cutting kind regardless of spending.

I supported Browne’s proposals for slashing spending and debts in leaps and bounds, in short order, bringing sanity back to the federal gov’t. But in the end if he were to have vetoed every bill, ala Ron Paul, not constitutional. Eventually the R’s and D’s would just work together and override the vetoes with far more spending then a once or twice through veto, then a compromise with a Browne Predidency would produce. I also think that too fast an approach could scare people and markets into an economic deep freeze. How much would you be willing to buy new goods if at 71 your soc. sec. was up in the air? Min. wage laws and 40 hr weeks were gone? The monetary system was being utterly demolished over night? Financial markets and people in general would become very very cautious.

I also do not believe that courts and police should be anarchized, when business competes in the market place consumers win, some businesses lose. In competition of police forces, people die. Except for a credit union model of ownership by the users of a police force, and even then I would find relying on contracts between small armed entities to be dangerously close to gang warfare.
Brooks

Neil Craig January 3, 2005 at 4:51 pm

I remember reading Friedman’s Free to Choose in which he listed the programme of the 30s American Socialist Party which compared closely (nationalisation of Amtrac, the TVA, welfare, environmental controls on oil exploitation etc) with current practice. On the other hand they hadn’t got rid of the rich & powerful. Real life is more messy.

To a large extent this is a question of temperament. If you really want to do something you will keep your principles, if you want to be something in politics you will have to discard them. Of course if you want to sit in your bath saying how dreadful all politicians are you will keep the principles to defend yourself from success.

I think it is unfortunate that the anglo-americans use the winner takes all electoral system rather than PR since it artificially excludes from Parliament & therefore from popular debate, those who do not seek a policy agreeable to an instant majority.

Vanmind January 3, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Those are some great words–how easy it seems to wax pedantic.

Before claiming to be champions of “radical” anything, though, we should try living with chronic hunger for decades because our ideas threaten the confidence game of the Establishment status quo.

Curt Howland January 3, 2005 at 8:53 pm

Brooks, your theory about “competition of police forces, people die” is without merit.

Competition between taxing authorities leads to people dying, because of the initiation of force inherent in taxation. If you consider “police” as only arms of the taxing authority, then you would be correct.

Bounty hunters and security guards are a perfect example of “private police”. Both are legally liable for their actions as individuals, unlike the police arms of taxing authorities which are commonly granted immunity from prosecution for their actions while “on the job” working for the state.

So in reality, we have private police already. When was the last time you heard of a security guard killing innocent bystanders? Or of a bounty hunter going postal?

Betty Male January 4, 2005 at 7:15 am

With respect to tax reform, Mr. Rothbard asserts that we must follow an all or nothing path. That virtually assures that we’ll accomplish nothing.

The left has used gradualism/incrementalism for years and that is precisely how and why they’ve been so successful. We should not miss any opportunity to advance liberty, even if it falls short of the ultimate goal.

With respect to taxation, The National Sales Tax would represent a SIGNIFICANT step in the right direction. Not only would it remove the unfettered right of the government to reach into every workers paycheck, but it would make the full cost of government “gimmies” fully visible.
Our current system cascades, causing tax costs and compliance costs to be included as components of price. This quite effectively hides the true cost of government.

We must remove the veil by removing the embedded costs from the price of our goods. Only the Sales Tax will accomplish this worthy goal. When the real cost of government is visible, then we will be able to pursue the next step…controlling government spending.

Betty Male January 4, 2005 at 7:16 am

With respect to tax reform, Mr. Rothbard asserts that we must follow an all or nothing path. That virtually assures that we’ll accomplish nothing.

The left has used gradualism/incrementalism for years and that is precisely how and why they’ve been so successful. We should not miss any opportunity to advance liberty, even if it falls short of the ultimate goal.

With respect to taxation, The National Sales Tax would represent a SIGNIFICANT step in the right direction. Not only would it remove the unfettered right of the government to reach into every workers paycheck, but it would make the full cost of government “gimmies” fully visible.
Our current system cascades, causing tax costs and compliance costs to be included as components of price. This quite effectively hides the true cost of government.

We must remove the veil by removing the embedded costs from the price of our goods. Only the Sales Tax will accomplish this worthy goal. When the real cost of government is visible, then we will be able to pursue the next step…controlling government spending.

Jeffrey January 4, 2005 at 7:45 am

Betty Male disagrees with MNR and then turns to advocating the National Sales Tax–which illustrates precisely what MNR meant. What is usually sold as a replacement tax ends up being an additional tax. This is integral to the whole tax reform racket.

Allen Weingarten January 4, 2005 at 9:17 am

My statement that America “went on to lead the world in eliminating slavery” was based on the book “Uncivil Wars; The Controversy Over Reparations For Slavery” by David Horowitz. Since I am not a historian I cannot adequately answer the critics who claim otherwise. (However the pro-American position was not based on our Civil War, which may or may not have been necessary, but on the international scene afterwards.) I presume that we can agree that America turned out to be head and shoulders above the other countries, and that today it is America who is opposed to slavery in the Sudan and in other Muslim countries, while most nations (and the UN) find it something to be disregarded.

However, the main argument against my position does not seem to deny the exemplary role of America, but to state that had there been anarchy, all would have been far better. This avoids comparing things that have existed, by employing an imaginary criteria of what might have been. It is of course possible that something that never existed could be better than anything else. However, it seems more reasonable to acknowledge that anarchist movements have never worked out in practice, and in theory lack the glue to unify a nation against aggression and barbarism. Nations evolve on the shoulders of previous nations and not out of pure theory. At any rate, the point of contention does not seem to be the tactic recommended by Rothbard (to push the button now) but the theory of whether anarchy provides the solution to the world’s problems. I submit that the solution is Civilization.

Brandon J. Snider January 4, 2005 at 12:07 pm

Is “Richard” intended to be Ed Crane?

LR January 4, 2005 at 2:36 pm

A good strategy would be for libertarians to push radical libertarian philosophy while calling ourselves “reasonable, moderate etc.” Hell, the authoritarians don’t have a copyright on those words, we can define it our own way!!!!

brooks January 4, 2005 at 3:27 pm

==Bounty hunters and security guards are a perfect example of “private police”. Both are legally liable for their actions as individuals, unlike the police arms of taxing authorities which are commonly granted immunity from prosecution for their actions while “on the job” working for the state.

Legally liable to who? The police! The state is the final legal arbiter and the police force behind it. The laws that we have are obeyed with the tacit backing of the gov’t guns. If we are talking about full privatization all that goes bye bye. We are left with the situation of gangs in LA, mobs in NY, and I see no reason why men with guns hired to protect you wouldn’t compete with force against their competition. As nations do, as gangs do, as private police would do.
Brooks

Pellinore January 4, 2005 at 7:27 pm

>>Bounty hunters and security guards are a perfect
>>example of “private police”. Both are legally
>>liable for their actions as individuals, unlike
>>the police arms of taxing authorities which are
>>commonly granted immunity from prosecution for
>>their actions while “on the job” working for the
>> state.
>
>Legally liable to who? The police! The state is
>the final legal arbiter and the police force
>behind it. The laws that we have are obeyed with
>the tacit backing of the gov’t guns. If we are
>talking about full privatization all that goes
>bye bye. We are left with the situation of gangs
>in LA, mobs in NY, and I see no reason why men
>with guns hired to protect you wouldn’t compete
>with force against their competition. As nations
>do, as gangs do, as private police would do.

This argument ignores a couple of key points:

1) Unlike government, private companies can only act within their means. War, even on a small scale, is expensive. It is exceedingly unlikely that a cost-benefit analysis would lead one company to “declare war” on another.

2) Unlike government, private companies are subject to massive public scrutiny and must kowtow even to “consumers” who have never and will never purchase their services, but who like to run exposés in the New Yorker and whatnot decrying the evil of this company and that one. Declaring open war on another private company in order to increase market share is bound to create all manner of bad PR for a given private company, and therefore cost it massively in bottom line profits viz. lost revenue, on top of the massive costs of actually fighting a war.

3) Most ideologies that advance private contracts as a replacement for law are not predicated upon the threat of coercive force at the hand of the state for enforcement, but by the immensely more intelligent and efficient threat of organised ostracism. If you screw over enough people to where no one in the country will rent you so much acomodation as a shack, or sell you so much food as a loaf of stale bread, regardless of how much money you offer, this is a far greater incentive to honour your contracts and the general principle of non-agression than the threat of doing 3-5 with time off for good behaviour.

Pellinore

satior7 January 4, 2005 at 10:04 pm

This is probably off-topic and deserves another thread, but can we clearly and succinctly define private property. Let’s focus on boundary cases

e.g. If you buy a house, do you have oil/mineral rights underneath the house? If not, does this mean you don’t have a right to future “real options” on your factory?

rothbard’s essay on property and air pollution is a good place to start.

Francisco Torres January 5, 2005 at 8:51 am

“If you buy a house, do you have oil/mineral rights underneath the house? ”

You should. It is YOUR land. If you lived in Mexico, however, the government would take away your property for reasons of “public interest”, meaning the government will extract the oil or give someone else (not YOU, of course) permission to mine the minerals – normally this someone else is a compadre of a political big-shot. It is allowed by our constitution.

Francisco

brooks January 5, 2005 at 11:52 am

Let’s go through each of the points seperately, shall we?

This argument ignores a couple of key points:

1) Unlike government, private companies can only act within their means. War, even on a small scale, is expensive. It is exceedingly unlikely that a cost-benefit analysis would lead one company to “declare war” on another.

Yet gangs, mobs, militias, and nations do it with competitors all the time. Why do you think it would be different with the gov’ts forces and laws completely removed?

2) Unlike government, private companies are subject to massive public scrutiny and must kowtow even to “consumers” who have never and will never purchase their services, but who like to run exposés in the New Yorker and whatnot decrying the evil of this company and that one. Declaring open war on another private company in order to increase market share is bound to create all manner of bad PR for a given private company, and therefore cost it massively in bottom line profits viz. lost revenue, on top of the massive costs of actually fighting a war.

Why? Do you know what happens when reporters report on the mob in Russia? They die, what makes you think it would be any different when a despotic protection agency gets the notion that force works on their competition and consumers? As history shows it has.

3) Most ideologies that advance private contracts as a replacement for law are not predicated upon the threat of coercive force at the hand of the state for enforcement, but by the immensely more intelligent and efficient threat of organised ostracism. If you screw over enough people to where no one in the country will rent you so much acomodation as a shack, or sell you so much food as a loaf of stale bread, regardless of how much money you offer, this is a far greater incentive to honour your contracts and the general principle of non-agression than the threat of doing 3-5 with time off for good behaviour.

This assumes civil behavior at all times and ignores the criminal behavior, neither of which will happen under Austriatopia. Hence the threat of force will have to remain somewhere to prevent disputes from getting violent or criminals running rampant.
Brooks

Pellinore January 5, 2005 at 12:59 pm

“Let’s go through each of the points seperately, shall we?”

Yes, let’s shall!

“‘Unlike government, private companies can only act within their means. War, even on a small scale, is expensive. It is exceedingly unlikely that a cost-benefit analysis would lead one company to “declare war” on another.’

Yet gangs, mobs, militias, and nations do it with competitors all the time. Why do you think it would be different with the gov’ts forces and laws completely removed?”

Disregarding the term “militia” which I think is being used in an incorrect context, gangs, mobs, and nations do not have a cost imperative like private companies do — they are all essentially criminal organisations which extort their expense needs and therefore have no need for a balance sheet. There would no doubt be _some_ private companies who decided to dabble in “corporate warfare” as an experiment, and there is further no doubt that this goes on on a low level already (corporate espionage, for example.) But once you remove the implicit sanction of plunder from the equation, a sanction under which all such organisations operate, the cost-benefit ratio goes off the charts. Even nations have been bankrupted by warfare, such as Britain by WWI. If Britain can be bankrupted by war, how do you think e.g. Pepsi would fare?

“‘Unlike government, private companies are subject to massive public scrutiny and must kowtow even to “consumers” who have never and will never purchase their services, but who like to run exposés in the New Yorker and whatnot decrying the evil of this company and that one. Declaring open war on another private company in order to increase market share is bound to create all manner of bad PR for a given private company, and therefore cost it massively in bottom line profits viz. lost revenue, on top of the massive costs of actually fighting a war.’

Why? Do you know what happens when reporters report on the mob in Russia? They die, what makes you think it would be any different when a despotic protection agency gets the notion that force works on their competition and consumers? As history shows it has.”

Again, the argument depends on a proclivity for criminality on the part of the service provider. Using gangs and the mafia as examples of “private enterprise” is disingenuous at best, since these organisations are far more similar to government in concept and practice.

“‘Most ideologies that advance private contracts as a replacement for law are not predicated upon the threat of coercive force at the hand of the state for enforcement, but by the immensely more intelligent and efficient threat of organised ostracism. If you screw over enough people to where no one in the country will rent you so much acomodation as a shack, or sell you so much food as a loaf of stale bread, regardless of how much money you offer, this is a far greater incentive to honour your contracts and the general principle of non-agression than the threat of doing 3-5 with time off for good behaviour.’

This assumes civil behavior at all times and ignores the criminal behavior, neither of which will happen under Austriatopia. Hence the threat of force will have to remain somewhere to prevent disputes from getting violent or criminals running rampant.”

It is true that the final point is predicated to an extent on a somewhat Utopian vision, but it most certainly does not ignore criminal behaviour entirely — it simply does not accept as a foregone conclusion that private companies will by nature engage in criminal behaviour, which seems to be the very essence of your counterpoints.

Pellinore

brooks January 5, 2005 at 3:41 pm

“Let’s go through each of the points seperately, shall we?”

==Yes, let’s shall!

Joy!

“‘Unlike government, private companies can only act within their means. War, even on a small scale, is expensive. It is exceedingly unlikely that a cost-benefit analysis would lead one company to “declare war” on another.’

Yet gangs, mobs, militias, and nations do it with competitors all the time. Why do you think it would be different with the gov’ts forces and laws completely removed?”

===Disregarding the term “militia” which I think is being used in an incorrect context, gangs, mobs, and nations do not have a cost imperative like private companies do — they are all essentially criminal organisations which extort their expense needs and therefore have no need for a balance sheet. There would no doubt be _some_ private companies who decided to dabble in “corporate warfare” as an experiment, and there is further no doubt that this goes on on a low level already (corporate espionage, for example.) But once you remove the implicit sanction of plunder from the equation, a sanction under which all such organisations operate, the cost-benefit ratio goes off the charts. Even nations have been bankrupted by warfare, such as Britain by WWI. If Britain can be bankrupted by war, how do you think e.g. Pepsi would fare?

How do you ‘remove the implicit sanction of plunder’? Why would they remove the implicit sanction of plunder? Why would you remove militias, the third world kind, from the discussion? And again why wouldn’t mafias, gangs, private protection firms, with no laws or police as societal back drops obey, in general, non coercive means? Especially given the evidence for the reverse in societies with weak gov’t control? Your evidence for why private armies would not engage in war with each other, hostile take overs, or why they would not coerce their clients with extortion, is that britain went bankrupt in WWI? Clearly others have found coercion profitable.

“‘Unlike government, private companies are subject to massive public scrutiny and must kowtow even to “consumers” who have never and will never purchase their services, but who like to run exposés in the New Yorker and whatnot decrying the evil of this company and that one. Declaring open war on another private company in order to increase market share is bound to create all manner of bad PR for a given private company, and therefore cost it massively in bottom line profits viz. lost revenue, on top of the massive costs of actually fighting a war.’

Why? Do you know what happens when reporters report on the mob in Russia? They die, what makes you think it would be any different when a despotic protection agency gets the notion that force works on their competition and consumers? As history shows it has.”

==Again, the argument depends on a proclivity for criminality on the part of the service provider. Using gangs and the mafia as examples of “private enterprise” is disingenuous at best, since these organisations are far more similar to government in concept and practice.

And private bounty hunters and mall security have been known to abuse suspects worse then the police, why do you assume that the private sector would do better when the nature of the work is coercion and competition of coercive units will likely lead to abuse?

“‘Most ideologies that advance private contracts as a replacement for law are not predicated upon the threat of coercive force at the hand of the state for enforcement, but by the immensely more intelligent and efficient threat of organised ostracism. If you screw over enough people to where no one in the country will rent you so much acomodation as a shack, or sell you so much food as a loaf of stale bread, regardless of how much money you offer, this is a far greater incentive to honour your contracts and the general principle of non-agression than the threat of doing 3-5 with time off for good behaviour.’

This assumes civil behavior at all times and ignores the criminal behavior, neither of which will happen under Austriatopia. Hence the threat of force will have to remain somewhere to prevent disputes from getting violent or criminals running rampant.”

==It is true that the final point is predicated to an extent on a somewhat Utopian vision, but it most certainly does not ignore criminal behaviour entirely — it simply does not accept as a foregone conclusion that private companies will by nature engage in criminal behaviour, which seems to be the very essence of your counterpoints.

Private companies whose job is coercion, surely they will, just as criminal gangs do, just as gov’ts do, etc. It is your contention that private companies are immune to the abuses that coercion brings, all evidence points to otherwise.
Brooks

brooks January 5, 2005 at 3:42 pm

“Let’s go through each of the points seperately, shall we?”

==Yes, let’s shall!

Joy!

“‘Unlike government, private companies can only act within their means. War, even on a small scale, is expensive. It is exceedingly unlikely that a cost-benefit analysis would lead one company to “declare war” on another.’

Yet gangs, mobs, militias, and nations do it with competitors all the time. Why do you think it would be different with the gov’ts forces and laws completely removed?”

===Disregarding the term “militia” which I think is being used in an incorrect context, gangs, mobs, and nations do not have a cost imperative like private companies do — they are all essentially criminal organisations which extort their expense needs and therefore have no need for a balance sheet. There would no doubt be _some_ private companies who decided to dabble in “corporate warfare” as an experiment, and there is further no doubt that this goes on on a low level already (corporate espionage, for example.) But once you remove the implicit sanction of plunder from the equation, a sanction under which all such organisations operate, the cost-benefit ratio goes off the charts. Even nations have been bankrupted by warfare, such as Britain by WWI. If Britain can be bankrupted by war, how do you think e.g. Pepsi would fare?

How do you ‘remove the implicit sanction of plunder’? Why would they remove the implicit sanction of plunder? Why would you remove militias, the third world kind, from the discussion? And again why wouldn’t mafias, gangs, private protection firms, with no laws or police as societal back drops obey, in general, non coercive means? Especially given the evidence for the reverse in societies with weak gov’t control? Your evidence for why private armies would not engage in war with each other, hostile take overs, or why they would not coerce their clients with extortion, is that britain went bankrupt in WWI? Clearly others have found coercion profitable.

“‘Unlike government, private companies are subject to massive public scrutiny and must kowtow even to “consumers” who have never and will never purchase their services, but who like to run exposés in the New Yorker and whatnot decrying the evil of this company and that one. Declaring open war on another private company in order to increase market share is bound to create all manner of bad PR for a given private company, and therefore cost it massively in bottom line profits viz. lost revenue, on top of the massive costs of actually fighting a war.’

Why? Do you know what happens when reporters report on the mob in Russia? They die, what makes you think it would be any different when a despotic protection agency gets the notion that force works on their competition and consumers? As history shows it has.”

==Again, the argument depends on a proclivity for criminality on the part of the service provider. Using gangs and the mafia as examples of “private enterprise” is disingenuous at best, since these organisations are far more similar to government in concept and practice.

And private bounty hunters and mall security have been known to abuse suspects worse then the police, why do you assume that the private sector would do better when the nature of the work is coercion and competition of coercive units will likely lead to abuse?

“‘Most ideologies that advance private contracts as a replacement for law are not predicated upon the threat of coercive force at the hand of the state for enforcement, but by the immensely more intelligent and efficient threat of organised ostracism. If you screw over enough people to where no one in the country will rent you so much acomodation as a shack, or sell you so much food as a loaf of stale bread, regardless of how much money you offer, this is a far greater incentive to honour your contracts and the general principle of non-agression than the threat of doing 3-5 with time off for good behaviour.’

This assumes civil behavior at all times and ignores the criminal behavior, neither of which will happen under Austriatopia. Hence the threat of force will have to remain somewhere to prevent disputes from getting violent or criminals running rampant.”

==It is true that the final point is predicated to an extent on a somewhat Utopian vision, but it most certainly does not ignore criminal behaviour entirely — it simply does not accept as a foregone conclusion that private companies will by nature engage in criminal behaviour, which seems to be the very essence of your counterpoints.

Private companies whose job is coercion, surely they will, just as criminal gangs do, just as gov’ts do, etc. It is your contention that private companies are immune to the abuses that coercion brings, all evidence points to otherwise.
Brooks

Pellinore January 6, 2005 at 4:08 am

brooks,

I’m trying hard to understand your argument here. You consistently lump private companies into the same category as mafias, gangs, et al. which is simply illogical, given that the great majority of private companies do not fit this bill. You lament *possible* coercion, fraud etc. that would occur under a theorised private system of justice, yet a public system of justice has done nothing whatsoever to mitigate this societal ills.

You say that absent fear of the law companies would not stick to non-coercive means to profit. I concede that _some_ would indeed dabble, but the fact of the matter is that gangs, mafias et al. have _no_ fear of the law and will engage in this behaviour whether there is the threat of state action or not. In other words, eliminate the state thugs and that’s one less group of thugs to worry about. Perhaps the elimination of state thugs would remove barriers to legitimate self-defence from gangs, mafias etc.

You seem to imply that I deny the fact that _some_ companies are corrupt and will engage in as much corruption as they feel that they can get away with. This is not so; I acknowledge this. But this situation is extant in _both_ scenarios, both the factual world in which we live and the world in which some of us would like to live.

Pellinore

brooks January 6, 2005 at 8:49 am

Pellinore,
I really don’t see how you can look at the vast amount of evidence of private force and not come to the conclusion that it would lead to more violations of rights, if the state, it’s laws, and police were removed and replaced with private competing police forces with their own laws per unit and no agreed upon justice system. We have copious amounts of evidence when the ‘weak’ states in the third world can’t maintain order and private competing groups form, rebellions, rapes, pillaging, extortion, in other words general mayhem. Sometimes not, mostly it’s worse then the state police apparatus.

You say I lump most companies with mafias, gangs, etc. most companies are not private protection forces outside the law. These groups are, third world militias are, rebelling armies within countries are (FARC, etc.). You say I lament possible coercion, there is no possible coercion, by definition a police force is coercion. And they would be beholden only to their shareholders to make a profit, there is clear evidence from criminal enterprise that coercion against comptetition and consumers works when not prevented by the current police. Why you think the world would work better under this system, or lack of system is beyond me.

Remove the state thugs is the removal of one more band of thugs? Are you mad? Do you really think the mafias and gangs wouldn’t just grow in size and power? Violating more rights then ever before? The police at least have an attempt to follow the bill of rights and due process, an IA department that investigates police shootings, etc. Do you foresee the gangs, mafias, and private competing company police forces obiding by something similar to a bill of rights, due process, or an IA dept? Do you think consumers, people wishing to be protected from criminals, would care at all about the rights of suspected criminals? I wish I could believe it would work, my anarchist tendencies are strong, but the evidence and logic point to no.
Brooks

Pellinore January 7, 2005 at 3:24 am

Brooks,

“I really don’t see how you can look at the vast amount of evidence of private force and not come to the conclusion that it would lead to more violations of rights, if the state, it’s laws, and police were removed and replaced with private competing police forces with their own laws per unit and no agreed upon justice system.”

Similarly, I can’t believe you can look at the long history of abuse by virtually every government ever founded in the history of the world and conclude that we are better off with than without.

“We have copious amounts of evidence when the ‘weak’ states in the third world can’t maintain order and private competing groups form, rebellions, rapes, pillaging, extortion, in other words general mayhem. Sometimes not, mostly it’s worse then the state police apparatus.”

In most such cases, the problem is not a lack of a state apparatus — it is too much state power suddenly thrown askew (rebellion, natural diaster, invasion, whatever) and then many competing parties rushing in to fill the power void. It has nothing to do with the provision of security by private parties.

This is the problem I see with your counterarguments: you keep bringing up scenarios that are simply unrelated to my points. Every time I say “private provision of security” you say “gangs, mafias, Third World militias, etc.” which are all examples of the exact opposite of private provision of security.

“You say I lament possible coercion, there is no possible coercion, by definition a police force is coercion. And they would be beholden only to their shareholders to make a profit, there is clear evidence from criminal enterprise that coercion against comptetition and consumers works when not prevented by the current police. Why you think the world would work better under this system, or lack of system is beyond me.”

A system of private provision of security would be concerned with _only_that_ … the private provision of security. Not expansion of power, not speeding tickets, not providing backup for federal raids, not hauling in people for failure to file Form 501(b) etc. etc. etc. Such a system would be less expensive, and would greatly mitigate crime. Police do not prevent any crime unless they get lucky — they are glorified janitors with guns, because by the very nature of municipal social infrastructure police are a diffuse, reactive force. The average policeman might spend 2% of his time on the clock “protecting and serving.” This even takes into consideration those honourable men and women who approach police work with the absolute best intentions and strongest work ethic.

Private security, on the other hand, spends virtually 100% of its time on the clock protecting and serving its clients. It has no choice, because it has a cost imperative to do so. And any private company which attempted to get into the war business, without seperating cost from consumption, would quickly realise that the costs always outweigh the benefits. Only by crossing the line from being an honest producer to a dishonest criminal can a private party suspend the link between cost and consumption and wage “private warfare” with relative impunity from the economic costs. And this happens now, all over the world, despite there being a massive overabundance of statefulness everywhere you look.

“Remove the state thugs is the removal of one more band of thugs? Are you mad? Do you really think the mafias and gangs wouldn’t just grow in size and power? Violating more rights then ever before?”

I absolutely believe that they would collapse inwards on themselves, and basic economic theory bears this out: absent the silent sanction of the state, which prefers a fresh list of enemies to decisive victory in order to maintain a power structure, the balance of criminal organisations such as the mafia, street gangs etc. becomes unstable. They will undoubtedly expand in power and influence in some areas, temporarily. However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.

Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature. A parasite can only survive as long as it has a host; i.e. something feeding it. Criminal organisations, which are often propped up (perhaps inadvertantly, perhaps not) by the state rather than threatened by it, would find no purchase in an area where security was provided by privately-contracted comanies and individuals whose livelihood depends strictly and directly on the protection of the client. The personnel of such companies would likely be far better-paid than policemen are today, would likely have better benefits, better training, and would enjoy all of the self-esteem benefit that comes from being a strong, protective force in the world with none of the stigma of being “one of the pigs.”

“The police at least have an attempt to follow the bill of rights and due process, an IA department that investigates police shootings, etc. Do you foresee the gangs, mafias, and private competing company police forces obiding by something similar to a bill of rights, due process, or an IA dept?”

Not gangs or mafias, but then you continuously bring this straw man up by lumping the exact opposite of my example in with your question.

“Do you think consumers, people wishing to be protected from criminals, would care at all about the rights of suspected criminals?”

If anything, society seems far more sympathetic to criminals than victims. But since _both_ sides of a contract are bound by its provisions, it is certain that different private security providers would have different policies regarding the specific treatment of trespassers, robbers, etc. and clients would be free to take it or leave it, based on whether or not they thought that the company was “too soft on crime” or “too hard on crime.” While it is all but certain that some private individuals would want the services of a company who promised to “kill all drug dealers,” just as some individuals want that from the state now, if those individuals had to bear the _true_ cost of such an enterprise it is exceedingly unlikely that they would long support it, and companies offering such services would likely go bankrupt, with their good bits being swallowed by those market players who were better in touch with the cost-benefit analysis process.

“I wish I could believe it would work, my anarchist tendencies are strong, but the evidence and logic point to no.”

I see neither anarchist tendencies nor logic in your responses.

1) You fear hobgoblins which might exist in a world of private security, despite the fact that those hobgoblins are rampant in the existing, actual, state-worshipping world. You aren’t even willing to give private enterprise the chance to solve a problem at which the state has failed.

2) You continuously mix the problem with the solution; i.e. every time I say “private security forces” you say “but wouldn’t mafias, gangs and private security forces …” This is illogical if ill-considered; downright disingenuous if deliberate.

Pellinore

Geoffrey Allan Plauche January 7, 2005 at 9:47 am

Good points Pellinore. Giving Brooks the benefit of the doubt, however, he does seem to have some legitimate worries. I myself agree that the state is immoral; by its very nature it violates the individual rights that it is sometimes purported to be made to protect. As a free market anarchist I do believe that private security production would be better than statist (in)security. However, this back and forth discussion has highlighted a major challenge for free market anarchists. How do we get to a functional free market in security production? How to we abolish the state in such a way as not to create a power vacuum for criminal organizations or another state(s) to occupy? The answer to these questions will explain why “anarchy” in some third world countries does not work. At least part of the answer lies, I think, in the underlying ethical and cultural institutions that support the free market and liberty. For an anarcho-libertarian society to be achieved and maintained, at least a majority of the people need to adopt libertarian values.

brooks January 7, 2005 at 11:44 am

“This is the problem I see with your counterarguments: you keep bringing up scenarios that are simply unrelated to my points. Every time I say “private provision of security” you say “gangs, mafias, Third World militias, etc.” which are all examples of the exact opposite of private provision of security.”

They are all private coercive units, agreed? Aa private company offering protection is also a private coercive unit. The mafia and third world militias are supported to some degree locally, and do give some degree of protection services? That is the point. Plus that they do violate rights more then state police.

Brooks–You say I lament possible coercion, there is no possible coercion, by definition a police force is coercion. And they would be beholden only to their shareholders to make a profit, there is clear evidence from criminal enterprise that coercion against comptetition and consumers works when not prevented by the current police. Why you think the world would work better under this system, or lack of system is beyond me.

“A system of private provision of security would be concerned with _only_that_ … the private provision of security. Not expansion of power, not speeding tickets, not providing backup for federal raids, not hauling in people for failure to file Form 501(b) etc. etc. etc.

This is wholly inaccurate, if you have companies running security their jobs is to keep their shareholders happy with profit. That’s it. Expansion of power? You mean the consolidation and lean towards fewer competitors that the market is prone to? The buyouts and mergers, many very aggressive. Companies increase market share in many ways takeovers are a lot easier then lowering prices and increasing quality.

“And any private company which attempted to get into the war business, without seperating cost from consumption, would quickly realise that the costs always outweigh the benefits. Only by crossing the line from being an honest producer to a dishonest criminal can a private party suspend the link between cost and consumption and wage “private warfare” with relative impunity from the economic costs. And this happens now, all over the world, despite there being a massive overabundance of statefulness everywhere you look.

There is copious evidence of what weak nations, mafias, and crooked police get into, violating rights, extortion, bribery, sometimes even murder, etc. What we do know is that many nations have very stable police which are legally bound by strict laws on civil rights.

No company would just take a company of similar size for no reason, they would think they could win, or win enough territory to make it worth it. Or they could cartelize, like many companies and mafia for that matter, and divide up territory to stay out of each others way. You also have never addressed the consumer coercive problem, many problems arise from mafia, militia, bureaucrats, and bad police strong arming consumers into paying bribes, etc. How would this not become a problem or be less of a problem under a private system with no laws and no unified force?

Brooks–Remove the state thugs is the removal of one more band of thugs? Are you mad? Do you really think the mafias and gangs wouldn’t just grow in size and power? Violating more rights then ever before?”

“I absolutely believe that they would collapse inwards on themselves, and basic economic theory bears this out: absent the silent sanction of the state, which prefers a fresh list of enemies to decisive victory in order to maintain a power structure, the balance of criminal organisations such as the mafia, street gangs etc. becomes unstable. They will undoubtedly expand in power and influence in some areas, temporarily.

What? You are seriously warped in your thinking if you think the police purposely leave the mafia and gangs in place to secure their jobs. And why would your supposed police job protection of the mafia, leave them ‘unstable’ after the police are gone? Growing and dying? Why?

“However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.

Why would other protection forces care about the mafia territories consumers? Your assuming that a ‘legit’ company would come into get those customers by force for profit, when stalemate and cartelization is cheaper. In fact expansion would occur only if likely successful, a weak and/or small protection agency adjacent to a mafia controlled zone would find itself strong armed into cooperating with the mafia, paying them, joining them, or dying (more likely a few would die or their families threatened and it would scare the rest of the employees). New turf is easy, either strong and brutal enough to take on the mafia to a stale mate, or they lose to them. ‘Superior power of the market’ that’s a good one, the mafia/aggressive company learns you entered his territory picking up customers for cheaper with a better product.

–”That’s just the market Tony what ya gonna do about the Invisible hand?” Please, they are known for their tactics, you know what’s next.

“Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature. A parasite can only survive as long as it has a host; i.e. something feeding it. Criminal organisations, which are often propped up (perhaps inadvertantly, perhaps not) by the state rather than threatened by it, would find no purchase in an area where security was provided by privately-contracted comanies and individuals whose livelihood depends strictly and directly on the protection of the client. The personnel of such companies would likely be far better-paid than policemen are today, would likely have better benefits, better training, and would enjoy all of the self-esteem benefit that comes from being a strong, protective force in the world with none of the stigma of being “one of the pigs.”

Criminal organizations are more predatory in nature, not parasitic. They are thugish groups who use fear and intimidation to get what they want and continous take of you. The private forces that give kids lollipops with their high self-esteem would quickly be crushed by their predatory neighbors.

Brooks–Do you think consumers, people wishing to be protected from criminals, would care at all about the rights of suspected criminals?”

“If anything, society seems far more sympathetic to criminals than victims. But since _both_ sides of a contract are bound by its provisions, it is certain that different private security providers would have different policies regarding the specific treatment of trespassers, robbers, etc. and clients would be free to take it or leave it, based on whether or not they thought that the company was “too soft on crime” or “too hard on crime.” While it is all but certain that some private individuals would want the services of a company who promised to “kill all drug dealers,” just as some individuals want that from the state now, if those individuals had to bear the _true_ cost of such an enterprise it is exceedingly unlikely that they would long support it, and companies offering such services would likely go bankrupt, with their good bits being swallowed by those market players who were better in touch with the cost-benefit analysis process.

So there would be varying degrees of civil rights depending on which agency ‘takes you in.’ As a stranger in an agencies area it would probably be worse, the incentive of the natives is to be harsher with strangers suspected of wrongdoing. If crime were to rise people would accept less liberty for security, many people prefer less crime in return for harsher measures. Without civil rights codified it is likely many a gov’t from local to national would be even more inclined to violate civil rights to secure the people from ‘perceived threats’.
Brooks

Pellinore January 7, 2005 at 11:51 am

Geoffrey,

You (and Brooks) raise a valid concern here:

“How to we abolish the state in such a way as not to create a power vacuum for criminal organizations or another state(s) to occupy?”

This is the key. It should be considered obvious that there is a vast difference between a nation which has arrived at anarchy via crumbling into chaos, versus a society — probably a sub-micro-sized one at that — which voluntarily shrugs off the shackles a lá Galt’s Gulch. Most of the power vacuum issues are caused by, well, the power vacuum — the sudden collapse of a previously iron-grip control structure. This is seen in the Somalian situation, and to a lesser extent in the former Soviet Union in the mid-90s, when the closet socialists of the American media bemoaned the “failure” of very slight movement towards a market society, while absolutely refusing to consider the possibility that seven decades under socialist rule might have contributed slightly more to the situation than three years of half-assed market reform.

Pellinore

Geoffrey Allan Plauche January 7, 2005 at 2:21 pm

Aye… And I do believe that the free market and libertarian values would have a reciprocal reinforcement effect. Just like the state and statist values (be they collectivist, authoritarian, altruistic, etc.) mutually reinforce one another. The difference being that, as Rothbard has argued, statism is contrary to the nature of reality and of Man, statism and statist values are self-defeating. The trick is to get society to converge on libertarian values and the free market simultaneously; and, in truth, I think that is the only way to make anarcho-libertarianism a reality.

Rothbard has argued that it is mainly a problem of human will; parallel-wise and partly contrariwise, I take a page from the (in)famous Dr. Phil and argue that it is a matter of programming: programming our minds and our environment, which will take time and effort. Reliance on willpower has doomed many an attempt to lose weight, quit smoking, etc. It is difficult for people to change entrenched habits of mind and behavior. But it can be done, though we have a generational struggle ahead.

Rothbard was not unaware of the difficulties. In Power and Market he wrote that praxeologically, anarcho-capitalism is the only stable system. “[Psychologically, the issue is in doubt. The unhampered market is free of self-created economic problems; it furnishes the greatest abundance consistent with man's command over nature at any given time. But those who yearn for power over their fellows, or who wish to plunder others, as well as those who fail to comprehend the praxeological stability of the free market, may well push society back on the hegemonic road" ([1970] 1977, p. 264) On the other hand, I think Rothbard underestimated “the personal and cultural factors that promote structural relationships of power” (Sciabarra, Total Freedom, p. 351).

Vanmind January 7, 2005 at 5:21 pm

One key for meaningful change is to no longer perpetuate the destructive cultural lie that “…science and industry are the only worthwhile human endeavours.”

Government wants us all to buy into this baloney because by such deception they “earn” maximum tax revenue. Bankers want us to buy into this baloney because by such deception they can predict, generation-to-generation, the optimal level of wage-slaves that they will have at their disposal to “work the mines.”

Meanwhile, fine artists continue to be humanity’s genius and salvation. So be a radical–maximize your knowledge of and appreciation for the artistic process.

John January 7, 2005 at 5:31 pm

The Somalian situation is not all that bad, actually. Jim Davidson was going to set up some stuff there, but it fell through, for now. http://www.freedonia.org/sovereignty2.html

Michael A. Clem January 7, 2005 at 9:35 pm

“private coercive units”? If one fails to distinguish among defensive, initiatory, and retaliatory force, then any use of force would seem “criminal”, and better to let the government have the monopoly on the use of force than allow a “free-for-all”. But such distinctions do exist, and thus allow us to distinguish between the criminal use of force and the non-criminal use of force.

Economically, it should be clear that the defensive use of force is more cost-effective than initiating force (in addition to the moral considerations). The tricky part is in the use of retaliatory force, effectively providing justice without going too far or not going far enough. But even here, the use of retaliatory force should be cost-effective and morally just if the focus is on restitution, and not punishment.

On a personal level, it should be clear that anarchism is at least possible. After all, why don’t you beat up your neighbors? It surely can’t be simply because of the government and its laws–if you really wanted to hurt your neighbors, you could be sneaky, engaging in petty theft, gossip, poisoning the pets, damaging the lawn and car, etc.

Likewise, if government isn’t really restricting you, then how is it really restricting everybody else other than you? The illusion that “other people” would be creating chaos without government to restrain them is just that: an illusion, an unwarranted fear. Sure there will probably always be some criminals, but it takes the coercive power of government to engage in large-scale evil, intentional or otherwise, largely protected by the unjustified fear that we will be worse off without it. Would we really have been worse off without Napoleon or Hitler? Without Abraham Lincoln, or FDR, or even Ronald Reagan?

Pellinore January 12, 2005 at 5:02 pm

“‘This is the problem I see with your counterarguments: you keep bringing up scenarios that are simply unrelated to my points. Every time I say “private provision of security” you say “gangs, mafias, Third World militias, etc.” which are all examples of the exact opposite of private provision of security.’

They are all private coercive units, agreed?”

No; in fact it is hard to think of any statement you’ve made yet with which I disagree more strenuosly.

“‘A system of private provision of security would be concerned with _only_that_ … the private provision of security. Not expansion of power, not speeding tickets, not providing backup for federal raids, not hauling in people for failure to file Form 501(b) etc. etc. etc.’

This is wholly inaccurate, if you have companies running security their jobs is to keep their shareholders happy with profit.”

They do so, by providing the service requested by their clientele. This general mandate applies to all private companies now, and works reasonably well — yet what you are saying is that in order to increase profitability private security compaies will engage in predatory, irresponsible or immoral practices. Some companies do this today, in all fields, and some will no doubt do it tomorrow, regardless of “which” tomorrow is our future. But I fail to see the logic in assuming that this will be the general state of things with private security. It runs from the idiotic assumption that consumers do not care with whom they do business, that investors do not care where their money comes from, that companies and private individuals do not care what’s going on in the yard next door, when that something is a mini-war.

“Expansion of power? You mean the consolidation and lean towards fewer competitors that the market is prone to? The buyouts and mergers, many very aggressive. Companies increase market share in many ways takeovers are a lot easier then lowering prices and increasing quality.”

It is clear that you know very little about corporate mergers.

“‘And any private company which attempted to get into the war business, without seperating cost from consumption, would quickly realise that the costs always outweigh the benefits. Only by crossing the line from being an honest producer to a dishonest criminal can a private party suspend the link between cost and consumption and wage “private warfare” with relative impunity from the economic costs. And this happens now, all over the world, despite there being a massive overabundance of statefulness everywhere you look.’

There is copious evidence of what weak nations, mafias, and crooked police get into, violating rights, extortion, bribery, sometimes even murder, etc. What we do know is that many nations have very stable police which are legally bound by strict laws on civil rights.”

Here again is an example of me saying “private companies” and you associating the term with various criminal elements. And again, the curious case of a person claiming to have anarchic beliefs all but worshipping the primary arm of the state.

“No company would just take a company of similar size for no reason, they would think they could win, or win enough territory to make it worth it. Or they could cartelize, like many companies and mafia for that matter, and divide up territory to stay out of each others way. You also have never addressed the consumer coercive problem, many problems arise from mafia, militia, bureaucrats, and bad police strong arming consumers into paying bribes, etc. How would this not become a problem or be less of a problem under a private system with no laws and no unified force?”

It’s a problem today, despite a massive overabundance of laws and the unified force of the state …

“You are seriously warped in your thinking if you think the police purposely leave the mafia and gangs in place to secure their jobs.”

Whether purposefully or as a result of the law of unintended consequences, that is factually, demonstrably what happens. See also: South Central Los Angeles, the War on Drugs etc.

“And why would your supposed police job protection of the mafia, leave them ‘unstable’ after the police are gone? Growing and dying? Why?”

I don’t understand the question.

“‘However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.’

Why would other protection forces care about the mafia territories consumers?”

They wouldn’t.

“Your assuming that a ‘legit’ company would come into get those customers by force for profit …”

No I’m not. I specifically assert that the exact opposite would happen, that companies which attempted such activities absent the seperation of cost from consumption which government, mafia, and other criminal organisations enjoy.

“In fact expansion would occur only if likely successful, a weak and/or small protection agency adjacent to a mafia controlled zone would find itself strong armed into cooperating with the mafia, paying them, joining them, or dying (more likely a few would die or their families threatened and it would scare the rest of the employees). New turf is easy, either strong and brutal enough to take on the mafia to a stale mate, or they lose to them. ‘Superior power of the market’ that’s a good one, the mafia/aggressive company learns you entered his territory picking up customers for cheaper with a better product.

–’That’s just the market Tony what ya gonna do about the Invisible hand?’ Please, they are known for their tactics, you know what’s next.”

What about my position makes you think that I do not fully advocate the position that it is perfectly moral and acceptable to use whatever means necessary to _defend_ oneself or those who with whom one has contracted to protect?

“‘Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature.’

Criminal organizations are more predatory in nature, not parasitic. They are thugish groups who use fear and intimidation to get what they want and continous take of you.”

Your rebuttal is self-rebutting, as it describes perfectly a parasitic group that cannot or will not earn the value it seeks to gain.

“The private forces that give kids lollipops with their high self-esteem would quickly be crushed by their predatory neighbors.”

Again, you are mistaking my position of private security for some sort of pacifistic notion.
Brooks–Do you think consumers, people wishing to be protected from criminals, would care at all about the rights of suspected criminals?”

“‘If anything, society seems far more sympathetic to criminals than victims. But since _both_ sides of a contract are bound by its provisions, it is certain that different private security providers would have different policies regarding the specific treatment of trespassers, robbers, etc. and clients would be free to take it or leave it, based on whether or not they thought that the company was “too soft on crime” or “too hard on crime.” While it is all but certain that some private individuals would want the services of a company who promised to “kill all drug dealers,” just as some individuals want that from the state now, if those individuals had to bear the _true_ cost of such an enterprise it is exceedingly unlikely that they would long support it, and companies offering such services would likely go bankrupt, with their good bits being swallowed by those market players who were better in touch with the cost-benefit analysis process.’

So there would be varying degrees of civil rights depending on which agency ‘takes you in.’”

If that is all you derived from the above, I recommend that you reread it.

Pellinore

Pellinore January 12, 2005 at 5:09 pm

Correcting an error from the above post:

“Your assuming that a ‘legit’ company would come into get those customers by force for profit …”

No I’m not. I specifically assert that the exact opposite would happen, that companies which attempted such activities absent the seperation of cost from consumption which government, mafia, and other criminal organisations enjoy.

Should read ” … companies which attempted such activities absent the seperation of cost from consumption which government, mafia, and other criminal organisations enjoy “would be met with failure.”

Vanmind January 12, 2005 at 6:13 pm

Again, I will spell out things in simple terms:

Patronize a fine artist today, for they are the radical genius that evermore will be mankind’s salvation.

brooks January 12, 2005 at 7:34 pm

P”‘This is the problem I see with your counterarguments: you keep bringing up scenarios that are simply unrelated to my points. Every time I say “private provision of security” you say “gangs, mafias, Third World militias, etc.” which are all examples of the exact opposite of private provision of security.’

–They are all private coercive units, agreed?”

P==No; in fact it is hard to think of any statement you’ve made yet with which I disagree more strenuosly.

What are you talking about? Private coercive units, today consist of individual criminals, gangs, mafia, 3rd world militias, and private security agencies. They all use coercion, they all are private. I don’t what’s more clear then that. If the state goes, they remain. You cannot discuss removal of the state in a vacuum. According to todays world these criminal as well as legal enterprises succeed and endure quite well. You haven’t shown why they would do any worse under your system.

P”‘A system of private provision of security would be concerned with _only_that_ … the private provision of security. Not expansion of power, not speeding tickets, not providing backup for federal raids, not hauling in people for failure to file Form 501(b) etc. etc. etc.’

–This is wholly inaccurate, if you have companies running security their jobs is to keep their shareholders happy with profit.”

P==They do so, by providing the service requested by their clientele. This general mandate applies to all private companies now, and works reasonably well — yet what you are saying is that in order to increase profitability private security compaies will engage in predatory, irresponsible or immoral practices. Some companies do this today, in all fields, and some will no doubt do it tomorrow, regardless of “which” tomorrow is our future. But I fail to see the logic in assuming that this will be the general state of things with private security. It runs from the idiotic assumption that consumers do not care with whom they do business, that investors do not care where their money comes from, that companies and private individuals do not care what’s going on in the yard next door, when that something is a mini-war.

You said it right there, that today these violations occur with private companies. Yet today we have the police and laws and courts to deal with these private companies that violate rights, etc. Under your system they no longer would have to worry about the state, and if lo and behold a neighboring private company decided, logically as you point out, that war is not profitable. Then no one comes to the aid of the violated consumers, since war doesn’t pay.

“Expansion of power? You mean the consolidation and lean towards fewer competitors that the market is prone to? The buyouts and mergers, many very aggressive. Companies increase market share in many ways takeovers are a lot easier then lowering prices and increasing quality.”

P==It is clear that you know very little about corporate mergers.

It is clear your faith in a benign and purely consumer oriented business world is unfounded.

P”‘And any private company which attempted to get into the war business, without seperating cost from consumption, would quickly realise that the costs always outweigh the benefits. Only by crossing the line from being an honest producer to a dishonest criminal can a private party suspend the link between cost and consumption and wage “private warfare” with relative impunity from the economic costs. And this happens now, all over the world, despite there being a massive overabundance of statefulness everywhere you look.’

–There is copious evidence of what weak nations, mafias, and crooked police get into, violating rights, extortion, bribery, sometimes even murder, etc. What we do know is that many nations have very stable police which are legally bound by strict laws on civil rights.”

P==Here again is an example of me saying “private companies” and you associating the term with various criminal elements. And again, the curious case of a person claiming to have anarchic beliefs all but worshipping the primary arm of the state.

All that is left without the state is private, private includes criminal and private companies. If we want stateless police, cooperativize at the county level is the only way I can see, I see the evidence for other approaches only leading to violence and violations of individuals rights. (Even in the transition to a cooperative system, I see problems. Which is why I am very wary.) And only a fool would hold to beliefs when evidence pointed otherwise. “The unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates).

–”No company would just take a company of similar size for no reason, they would think they could win, or win enough territory to make it worth it. Or they could cartelize, like many companies and mafia for that matter, and divide up territory to stay out of each others way. You also have never addressed the consumer coercive problem, many problems arise from mafia, militia, bureaucrats, and bad police strong arming consumers into paying bribes, etc. How would this not become a problem or be less of a problem under a private system with no laws and no unified force?”

P==It’s a problem today, despite a massive overabundance of laws and the unified force of the state …

Your assertion is that it would be better without the police or laws, why?

–”And why would your supposed police job protection of the mafia, leave them ‘unstable’ after the police are gone? Growing and dying? Why?”

P==I don’t understand the question.

Why would the mafias grow and die and be unstable with the police gone?

P”‘However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.’

–Why would other protection forces care about the mafia territories consumers?”

P==They wouldn’t.

So everyone left within the mafia zones are screwed?

–”Your assuming that a ‘legit’ company would come into get those customers by force for profit …”

P==No I’m not. I specifically assert that the exact opposite would happen, that companies which attempted such activities absent the seperation of cost from consumption which government, mafia, and other criminal organisations enjoy.

Sorry let me restate, people in mafia zones are begging to be free of the tyranny, but it would take a war to dislodge the mafia. Why would private companies take on the cost for the consumers? When peace and letting the people inside the zones suffer is easier? And if mafia, etc. can’t make a profit today, how do they survive? You’re saying in the future they wouldn’t why? There’s evidence coercion and cartelization is good for the bottom line.

“In fact expansion would occur only if likely successful, a weak and/or small protection agency adjacent to a mafia controlled zone would find itself strong armed into cooperating with the mafia, paying them, joining them, or dying (more likely a few would die or their families threatened and it would scare the rest of the employees). New turf is easy, either strong and brutal enough to take on the mafia to a stale mate, or they lose to them. ‘Superior power of the market’ that’s a good one, the mafia/aggressive company learns you entered his territory picking up customers for cheaper with a better product.

‘That’s just the market Tony what ya gonna do about the Invisible hand?’ Please, they are known for their tactics, you know what’s next.”

P==What about my position makes you think that I do not fully advocate the position that it is perfectly moral and acceptable to use whatever means necessary to _defend_ oneself or those who with whom one has contracted to protect?

Again so another agency goes to war because the mafia area consumers ask, but that is extremely expensive. Why would the company do it? It is extremely unlikely that it would pay out, and questionable, given mafia tactics, that they would win against the mafia.

P”‘Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature.’

–Criminal organizations are more predatory in nature, not parasitic. They are thugish groups who use fear and intimidation to get what they want and continously take of you.”

P==Your rebuttal is self-rebutting, as it describes perfectly a parasitic group that cannot or will not earn the value it seeks to gain.

Few parasites murder family members of opponents, or destroy the property of their victims. Regardless of whether mobs earn anything, coercion has been shown to be profitable.

Brooks–Do you think consumers, people wishing to be protected from criminals, would care at all about the rights of suspected criminals?”

P”‘If anything, society seems far more sympathetic to criminals than victims. But since _both_ sides of a contract are bound by its provisions, it is certain that different private security providers would have different policies regarding the specific treatment of trespassers, robbers, etc. and clients would be free to take it or leave it, based on whether or not they thought that the company was “too soft on crime” or “too hard on crime.” While it is all but certain that some private individuals would want the services of a company who promised to “kill all drug dealers,” just as some individuals want that from the state now, if those individuals had to bear the _true_ cost of such an enterprise it is exceedingly unlikely that they would long support it, and companies offering such services would likely go bankrupt, with their good bits being swallowed by those market players who were better in touch with the cost-benefit analysis process.’

–So there would be varying degrees of civil rights depending on which agency ‘takes you in.’”

P==If that is all you derived from the above, I recommend that you reread it.

I did, that’s still what I came up with, individual rights should not be negotiable.
Brooks

Pellinore January 13, 2005 at 10:19 pm

“Private coercive units, today consist of individual criminals, gangs, mafia, 3rd world
militias, and private security agencies. They all use coercion, they all are private.”

It’s hard to know why the discussion should continue, given a demonstrated misunderstanding on your part of the concept of “coercion.”

“If the state goes, they remain. You cannot discuss removal of the state in a vacuum. According to todays world these criminal as well as legal enterprises succeed and endure quite well. You haven’t shown why they would do any worse under your system.”

When people are empowered to defend themselves, either directly or through the power fo a contracted agent, and _motivated_ to do so by the lack of the utterly unwarranted and misguided belief that the state will solve the problem for them, it is entirely unlikely that any such criminal organisation as the mafia will long be able to maintain its position of power.

“You said it right there, that today these violations occur with private companies. Yet today we have the police and laws and courts to deal with these private companies that violate rights, etc. Under your system they no longer would have to worry about the state, and if lo and behold a neighboring private company decided, logically as you point out, that war is not profitable. Then no one comes to the aid of the violated consumers, since war doesn’t pay.”

Why should anyone come to the aid of violated consumers?

“It is clear your faith in a benign and purely consumer oriented business world is unfounded.”

It’s right in front of our faces, and has advanced humanity more in the last century than the previous several millenia of state-as-god practices, this _despite_ the best efforts of the state and of the early socialists and their bastard ideological children, the proponents of the welfare state, to shackle the beneficience of the market for their own nefarious purposes.

“‘Here again is an example of me saying “private companies” and you associating the term with various criminal elements. And again, the curious case of a person claiming to have anarchic beliefs all but worshipping the primary arm of the state.’

All that is left without the state is private, private includes criminal and private companies.”

To an extent this is true; however this does not make them the same thing by any stretch of the imagination — and you continuously, illogically and perhaps disingenuously, lump them together — another reason why the discussion begins to seem a waste of time.

“If we want stateless police, cooperativize at the county level is the only way I can see, I see the evidence for other approaches only leading to violence and violations of individuals rights. (Even in the transition to a cooperative system, I see problems. Which is why I am very wary.)”

What makes you think that “the general protection/preservation of everyone’s rights” is either practiceable or even desireable? You keep trying to poke holes in the idea of private systems of security on the entirely fallacious reasoning that “no one will protect rights.” Who protects them now? Hardly any government recognises basic natural rights anymore, let alone works to protect them, and there is scant evidence that such protection is even possible.

“Your assertion is that it would be better without the police or laws, why?”

Because the government of every country, for what little good it might serve, is a disaster in the aspect of legal protection. It is continuously abused by the wealthy and connected, it is disregarded by the real criminals, and people lose their motivation to protect their own rights and respect those of others when all responsibility is defaulted on in favour of the notion that “it’s the government’s problem.”

“–”And why would your supposed police job protection of the mafia, leave them ‘unstable’ after the police are gone? Growing and dying? Why?”

P==I don’t understand the question.

Why would the mafias grow and die and be unstable with the police gone?”

Because absent willing victims, they would rapidly deplete their resources in an attempt to expand their power base, as I said before.

“‘P”‘However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.’

–Why would other protection forces care about the mafia territories consumers?”‘

P==They wouldn’t.

So everyone left within the mafia zones are screwed?”

Yes, precisely. They are either screwed or they can take responsibility.

********
“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”

– Etienne de la Boetie
********

These words were true when they were written, nearly five centuries ago, and they are true today.

“Sorry let me restate, people in mafia zones are begging to be free of the tyranny, but it would take a war to dislodge the mafia. Why would private companies take on the cost for the consumers?”

Again, obviously, in all likelihood they would not, unless there was some massive incentive to do so, either economically or perhaps in the rare case of a Warren Buffet type of the future who just decides to donate a billion-dollar war effort to the cause of freedom in general, etc. They would just suffer until they a) figure out that they have to help themselves, or b) die. Either outcome is perfectly acceptable.

Let me try to be succint, as I realise that I seldom am:

–> People who are oppressed, in the vast majority of all cases in history, deserve it.
They deserve it because they are weak and short-sighted and irresponsible, and no matter
how piteous their particular condition may be, how tragic and heartbreaking their story,
in the overwhelming majority of all such cases it is purely because it simply never
crosses their mind to _do_something_ that they suffer — and as such it is no one’s fault but their own that they suffer so.

“And if mafia, etc. can’t make a profit today, how do they survive? You’re saying in the future they wouldn’t why?”

I’m saying that the expansion of power of a given criminal organisation and criminal organisations would be greatly mitigated in a society of private security enforcement, precisely because those forces which are contractually empowered to defend specific property, persons etc. have a vested interest in successfully doing so, unlike policemen, attorneys general, politicians etc. who have no interest whatsoever in successfully defending a _specific_ piece of property, person etc. from harm — only in the general, collective state of crime and punishment, which is great for speeches but bad for the victim.

What’s worse for the victim: telling him “we’re doing what we can, you just keep on believing” or “you’re on your on — try for a head shot.” ?

“Again so another agency goes to war because the mafia area consumers ask, but that is extremely expensive. Why would the company do it? It is extremely unlikely that it would pay out, and questionable, given mafia tactics, that they would win against the mafia.”

Well, we keep coming back to this same point, which seems to shed light on why the discussion is going nowhere: there is no reason, none at all, why any private agency would do this. None.

We are discussing two different concepts here: practical protection and preservation of one’s rights (me), and the leftist fantasy of “social justice” expressed as a matter of law enforcement (you.) Despite copious documented failures for any government in history to adequately protect its population from criminals, and copius, documented instances of governments _actively_abrogating_ said rights, you are seriously asserting that the lack of a state would actually make things worse, because “socially speaking” (as it were) there would be a few victims left behind, therefore we should all be down on the same miserable level until we think of a solution which can be justly distributed to all.

“‘”‘Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature.’

–Criminal organizations are more predatory in nature, not parasitic. They are thugish groups who use fear and intimidation to get what they want and continously take of you.”‘

P==Your rebuttal is self-rebutting, as it describes perfectly a parasitic group that cannot or will not earn the value it seeks to gain.

Few parasites murder family members of opponents, or destroy the property of their victims. Regardless of whether mobs earn anything, coercion has been shown to be profitable.”

OK, put “profit” on your list of words to learn about, along with “coercion.” Stolen money is not “profit.”

Organisations like mafias and governments _produce_nothing_ They are then, metaphorically speaking, _parasitic_ since absent a “host” they lose power. I can’t think of any way to make this more clear.

Pellinore

brooks January 17, 2005 at 12:14 am

“Private coercive units, today consist of individual criminals, gangs, mafia, 3rd world
militias, and private security agencies. They all use coercion, they all are private.”

P==It’s hard to know why the discussion should continue, given a demonstrated misunderstanding on your part of the concept of “coercion.”

Main Entry: co·er·cion
Function: noun
: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will

Looking at society, I see the State, criminals (individual/gangs/mafia), and private security companies as those who employ coercion. Maybe you have a different definition you wish to share?

“If the state goes, they remain. You cannot discuss removal of the state in a vacuum. According to todays world these criminal as well as legal enterprises succeed and endure quite well. You haven’t shown why they would do any worse under your system.”

==When people are empowered to defend themselves, either directly or through the power fo a contracted agent, and _motivated_ to do so by the lack of the utterly unwarranted and misguided belief that the state will solve the problem for them, it is entirely unlikely that any such criminal organisation as the mafia will long be able to maintain its position of power.

So because people become aware that no one is there for them they will rise up and deny the mafia power? Yet areas where mafia have controlled for years, or police states where people are oppressed similarly, there is little evidence of any widespread ‘uprising’ against these powers.

“‘Here again is an example of me saying “private companies” and you associating the term with various criminal elements. And again, the curious case of a person claiming to have anarchic beliefs all but worshipping the primary arm of the state.’

B–All that is left without the state is private, private includes criminal and private companies.”

==To an extent this is true; however this does not make them the same thing by any stretch of the imagination — and you continuously, illogically and perhaps disingenuously, lump them together — another reason why the discussion begins to seem a waste of time.

No one is saying they are the same thing. They are not the same thing, but if we are to discuss society post gov’t police. Then we have to discuss what will be left and that is previous criminal elements, individual and grouped, and private protection companies. And what would become of both.

“If we want stateless police, cooperativize at the county level is the only way I can see, I see the evidence for other approaches only leading to violence and violations of individuals rights. (Even in the transition to a cooperative system, I see problems. Which is why I am very wary.)”

==What makes you think that “the general protection/preservation of everyone’s rights” is either practiceable or even desireable? You keep trying to poke holes in the idea of private systems of security on the entirely fallacious reasoning that “no one will protect rights.” Who protects them now? Hardly any government recognises basic natural rights anymore, let alone works to protect them, and there is scant evidence that such protection is even possible.

When I go to the street corner and protest the presidents war before it starts, the police don’t arrest or harrass me. Bush supporters don’t assault me as surrogates of the State/Bush’s position. I own my house and my car under a protection of private property that if someone were to try and take it I could legally and physically resist them. I can buy and sell goods freely. On general personal protections, I can face my accuser, get a speedy trial, get the police to get a warrant to search my property, not be forced to incriminate myself, own firearms, and not be forced to have the army stay in my house (very important).

You’re saying without laws and the police, with competing companies within geographic areas, or single companies controlling regions with agreements with competitors, that the rights and protections we enjoy now would be better? That I would be assaulted less and treated better by my protection force. Why would you not desire to protect everyone’s rights?

“Your assertion is that it would be better without the police or laws, why?”

==Because the government of every country, for what little good it might serve, is a disaster in the aspect of legal protection. It is continuously abused by the wealthy and connected, it is disregarded by the real criminals, and people lose their motivation to protect their own rights and respect those of others when all responsibility is defaulted on in favour of the notion that “it’s the government’s problem.”

On what basis do you claim every gov’t is a failure in the aspect of legal protection? On what basis would you assume the wealthy and connected would not continue to abuse without the State, or to an even worse degree? Or that criminals would respect private protection even more? And lastly what evidence or logic do you have that people would protect their rights and others rights more without the state?

“–”And why would your supposed police job protection of the mafia, leave them ‘unstable’ after the police are gone? Growing and dying? Why?”

P==I don’t understand the question.

–Why would the mafias grow and die and be unstable with the police gone?”

==Because absent willing victims, they would rapidly deplete their resources in an attempt to expand their power base, as I said before.

Whose willing? Is your daughter worth freedom from the mafia? Your wife? Your house? If you know what they will do if you resist, you are coerced not willing. And since mobs exist under these rules and have continued to exist even with fighting between mobs, it does not follow that they would rapidly deplete their resources under a not State environment. Again since most mafias cartelize mob areas, war is not likely And mobs are more effective by nature against private individuals and organizations, it is more likely they will act against less unsavory protection company neighbors, and win.

“‘P”‘However, private providers of security whose sole focus is to protect and serve their clients’ interests, and who are empowered to this end by the market and society, will prove a far more effective barrier to such expansion than state-controlled forces due to the unquestionable nature of the mandate under which private forces operate. This leaves the criminal with limited options: either continue to feed on his own “turf” to attempt to further his war effort, leave the area in search of “new turf,” or asquiece to the superior power of the market and “go straight.” Since the first option is by far the most likely choice of criminals, this puts them in a position of rapidly diminishing resources against a protective force whose resources are stable or even increasing in response to the perceived threat from the criminal entity.’

–Why would other protection forces care about the mafia territories consumers?”‘

P==They wouldn’t.

–So everyone left within the mafia zones are screwed?”

==Yes, precisely. They are either screwed or they can take responsibility.

********
“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”

– Etienne de la Boetie
********

==These words were true when they were written, nearly five centuries ago, and they are true today.

So you refuse to support the State/Mob, and the State comes for your property and your person, and the Mob comes for your property, person, and family. And you believe that people should just keep refusing support, how very Gandhian of you. Unfortunately we know the tactics of the mob and you will advocate removing the protections of the police from the people expecting more freedom, but likely the reverse would be true. How you can advocate a position removing protections from those oppressed because of your ideologically driven opposition to the State will not advance freedom but tyranny.

“Sorry let me restate, people in mafia zones are begging to be free of the tyranny, but it would take a war to dislodge the mafia. Why would private companies take on the cost for the consumers?”

==Again, obviously, in all likelihood they would not, unless there was some massive incentive to do so, either economically or perhaps in the rare case of a Warren Buffet type of the future who just decides to donate a billion-dollar war effort to the cause of freedom in general, etc. They would just suffer until they a) figure out that they have to help themselves, or b) die. Either outcome is perfectly acceptable.

==Let me try to be succint, as I realise that I seldom am:

–> People who are oppressed, in the vast majority of all cases in history, deserve it.
They deserve it because they are weak and short-sighted and irresponsible, and no matter
how piteous their particular condition may be, how tragic and heartbreaking their story,
in the overwhelming majority of all such cases it is purely because it simply never
crosses their mind to _do_something_ that they suffer — and as such it is no one’s fault but their own that they suffer so.

Let me get this straight, my brother dies fighting against Stalin, and I am to blame for not rising up and dying too? It is not Stalin’s fault or his thugs and supporters, it’s mine. And my death and the death of those near me is acceptable because we’ve allowed it? The mob tortures my dog and leaves him hanging from my tree, but it’s my own weak, shortsighted, and irresponsible fault for not resisting or removing my support from them more. Blame the victim.

“And if mafia, etc. can’t make a profit today, how do they survive? You’re saying in the future they wouldn’t why?”

==I’m saying that the expansion of power of a given criminal organisation and criminal organisations would be greatly mitigated in a society of private security enforcement, precisely because those forces which are contractually empowered to defend specific property, persons etc. have a vested interest in successfully doing so, unlike policemen, attorneys general, politicians etc. who have no interest whatsoever in successfully defending a _specific_ piece of property, person etc. from harm — only in the general, collective state of crime and punishment, which is great for speeches but bad for the victim.

A private force could deter the mobs, but it would take a private force that uses very direct means, at gates to communities, manning your business everyday, etc. Most of society today doesn’t need that level of protection to prevent crime. And why don’t people in mob areas today use these means to prevent mob control? Does the mob supercede these methods already?

I think the problem is apples and oranges. You’re comparing current private agencies with the police, current private agencies jobs are to protect people and property by standing guard over their goods. They man gates and cameras in neighborhoods, at the office, etc. The job of the police is to catch criminals after the fact and prosecute them for crimes. The cost of the police to man everyone’s person and goods would be monumental, same would be if we had private companies protecting everyone’s person and property.

==What’s worse for the victim: telling him “we’re doing what we can, you just keep on believing” or “you’re on your on — try for a head shot.” ?

How about, “We won’t be there, protect yourself, after there’s a problem call us we will try and find the criminal who did this?” Isn’t that how it works now?

“Again so another agency goes to war because the mafia area consumers ask, but that is extremely expensive. Why would the company do it? It is extremely unlikely that it would pay out, and questionable, given mafia tactics, that they would win against the mafia.”

==Well, we keep coming back to this same point, which seems to shed light on why the discussion is going nowhere: there is no reason, none at all, why any private agency would do this. None.

==We are discussing two different concepts here: practical protection and preservation of one’s rights (me), and the leftist fantasy of “social justice” expressed as a matter of law enforcement (you.) Despite copious documented failures for any government in history to adequately protect its population from criminals, and copius, documented instances of governments _actively_abrogating_ said rights, you are seriously asserting that the lack of a state would actually make things worse, because “socially speaking” (as it were) there would be a few victims left behind, therefore we should all be down on the same miserable level until we think of a solution which can be justly distributed to all.

“Social justice” what are you refering to here? Equal protection under the law, equal police for all, what? Again the State arrests criminals and puts the guilty in prison, if people wanted to pay the State to stand on every corner or at every neighborhood or business they could be it would be prohibitively expensive. So those who wish to protect their property/person with private companies do so.

Criminals and weak states have been shown to always create a situation of more rights violated then in accountable states with a more substantive police force. (Also with some states not accountable becoming tyrannical.)

“‘”‘Like the state, a criminal organisation is parasitic in nature.’

–Criminal organizations are more predatory in nature, not parasitic. They are thugish groups who use fear and intimidation to get what they want and continously take of you.”‘

P==Your rebuttal is self-rebutting, as it describes perfectly a parasitic group that cannot or will not earn the value it seeks to gain.

–Few parasites murder family members of opponents, or destroy the property of their victims. Regardless of whether mobs earn anything, coercion has been shown to be profitable.”

==OK, put “profit” on your list of words to learn about, along with “coercion.” Stolen money is not “profit.”

==Organisations like mafias and governments _produce_nothing_ They are then, metaphorically speaking, _parasitic_ since absent a “host” they lose power. I can’t think of any way to make this more clear.

First let’s replace profit with financially rewarding. The mafia’s work is financially rewarding else they wouldn’t keep doing it. Better? Second I would consider the relationship of predator because they use force to extract moneys from their prey. Similarly without prey they would not survive. (I really don’t think the arguement of proper biological metaphor for state/mafia citizen/victim really needs to solving, bigger fish to fry.)
Brooks

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: