Re: The Freedom of Digital Information

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 13:37:16 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > > > You know Lee, here is a point I have never been satisfied with in the
> > > > Libertarian or free market approach. How is privately produced law
> > > > enforcable?
> > >
> > > With guns, just like regular law. How else?
> >
> > um... I supoose you are being sarcastic. Unless you are talking about some
> > kind of paid gun for hire mafia or gangbanger hit squad.
> No, I'm being as plain as I can be. Isn't that what "enforce" means?
> Isn't that exactly what a "government" is, a generally-agreed-upon
> gun-for-hire? Private protection systems will be no different--the
> only difference is that there will be a market of competing ones
> instead of a single monopoly. If you wrong me, the agency I've hired
> to protect me will want to earn that fee by seizing you physically
> and extracting whatever punishment its policies call for. The agency
> /you've/ hired will want to prevent this, and the two will likely
> negotiate a contract between themselves about how to settle the
> dispute (which will probably involve arbitration by a private judge).
> But the end result is just the same as it is with a monopoly
> government--eventually, whoever is judged wrong is seized physically
> by armed agents and fined or jailed or whatever (in a private/civil
> system, fines and property seziures will be more common than jail time
> because it is more economically efficient).
> This is all really basic stuff that's covered well by Friedman and
> others, so I won't elaborate more.

Friedman covers it all very well. I think though, that there will be far less
outright force than Lee states, mostly likely only against those who try to O.J.
and refuse to pay civil judgements. Private protection agencies will have
agreements made between each other. There will likely be an industry association
or two that have standards that all members must adhere to and require of their
customers. Those individuals who don't like these standards could try to insure
themselves through a 'fly-by-night' equivalent, which WOULD be goon-squad
oriented, or else would 'go armadillo' where they are self insured.

There may be some market pressure for conglomeration of PPAs, but without
government imposing barriers to entry, there will always be room for start-ups
to gain customers who are dissastified with ACME Protection Racket, Inc.

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