Re: law enforcement for profit

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sat May 27 2000 - 23:44:56 MDT

>From: Felix Ungman <>>Subject: Re: law enforcement for
>Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:17:31 +0200
>on 00-05-24 07.47, phil osborn at wrote:
> >> How do you suggest conflicts between two people with different
> >> should be solved?
> >>
> >> /kpj
> >>
> >> __
> > Who owns the roads??? Whoever provides the roads sets the policy re
> > insurance - or can if they choose, and they probably will, as otherwise
> > might either find themselves stuck in ligigation or without customers.
>There are a number of different roles in this case, the drivers, the road
>owners, the car owners, and the insurers of the drivers, roads and cars.
>Each insurer sets its own policy, of course. But I think KPJ was asking
>happens in case where there are incompatible policies. One extreme example
>would be if a driver who has no insurance at all is responsible for a
>substantial amount of damage (way above what he can compensate for).
How did he get on the road? We certainly have the technology to detect, bar
and/or apprehend people who trespass on private property, such as the roads
in this example. So, his insurance policy and its coverage, including
methods of resolving disputes would have to be compatible with that of the
road owners. Knowledge that the trespasser would be responsible for costs
incurred in collaring or identifying and billing - whichever is deemed more
cost effective in the particular case - would be deterrent enough in most -
but not all - cases.

In a strictly civil legal system, which is what I as a free-market anarchist
am aiming for, you put up with a certain amount of "scoff-law" behavior, on
the theory that it's better to deal with it calmly and cost-effectively than
make a war. You know that in an emergency you're not going to pay much
attention to details of property boundaries, for example.

If your lover is dying and you're rushing to the hospital, you're not likely
to stop and pay the toll, and a society that demanded that you do is both
silly and vicious. But the toll guy or the computer records the incident
and you get a bill. You can contest the bill under the hypothetical uniform
social contract which I see as a key foundation to such as society, but
regardless, the only option other than paying your expenses is to become an
outlaw or segregate yourself into one of the ghettos where congenitally
irresponsible or vicious people can afford to live. Either way, you're not
likely to be allowed to drive on most roads until you do clear your credit
record - and get insurance, or a large bond.

As for people who commit destructive acts, such as murder or killing someone
while driving drunk, for which restitution is out of their possible range,
or full restitution may be impossible, you can either let the system take
its course and let the insurance and collection agencies try to work out the
best possible deal for the surviving victims - family, friends, creditors,
etc., or, if you really think it's worth it and you want to make an example,
or you just can't live with the knowledge that that person is alive, while
your loved one isn't, you can do what you can do today - shoot the person

In the society I've suggested, you would then find yourself in the position
of the original killer - in fact, you would now be responsible for the debts
he or she incurred to his other victims - but you could probably offset at
least some of your liability with what he or she already owed you as a
victim. If it was a jointly agreed upon act by a group of victims, i.e.,
the family of the deceased - to terminate the person who was the cause of
their problem - then they might not end up owing too much at all. I think
that this kind of extreme scenario would be rather rare, but I do like to
look at the extreme ends of a spectrum, where bad theory breaks down, but
good theory shines.

>From a systems standpoint, you can see that in all likelihood, the kind of
ongoing vendetta that is all too common in many societies would be
self-dampening in this kind of system, as the more people who were drawn in,
the more expensive it would get for the perpetrators, as there would be
increasing multitudes of side victims and claims. Better in general to let
it go, collect what damages you can - except in the cases of mad dog

In the case of real predators, once it's established that they're going to
keep piling up victims, then eventually they will find themselves with
literally nowhere to stand, as no one wants them around, and they have no
more resources to pay anyone, and then they will likely attempt something
violent against someone able to defend themselves, or their victims will
decide enough is enough, the guy can't possibly pay restitution anyway, so
there's no great liability in terminating him.
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