Re: Confidence: A Basic Politics Puzzle

Eric Watt Forste (
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 18:07:02 -0800

Mark Grant writes:
>BTW, can someone help me with an anarcho-capitalism question? I don't
>entirely understand how PPL/PPAs operate; I can see that for conflicts
>between different PPLs the protection agencies have to go to some kind
>of independent court for arbitration, but what happens for disputes
>purely between customers of one protection agency? I always assumed that
>the agency would settle it themselves, but from rereading 'Machinery of
>Freedom' over Christmas Friedman seems to imply that they would still
>go to an external court.

I would guess that some PPAs would offer the situation you originally
thought, and others would offer the one you understand Friedman to
describe. Unless one or the other business decision proved so
successful as to become standard on the market.

>Finally, how are PPAs supposed to recognize their customers? Do we all
>have to wear big luminous jackets with their logos on or something? I
>can see how to do it in a more advanced society (e.g. everyone has
>implanted computers and radio-networking), but I'm not sure how we could
>do it with current technology.

Kaiser and AAA both use membership cards. Alcor uses ID bracelets
or necklaces. Why are you imagining that the identifications need
to be blazoned out for all the public to see at a distance? Maybe
if the BATF was providing protective services for its employees,
but I don't see why this would be necessary for peaceful PPAs
interested in turning a profit.

(For non-Californians, Kaiser is a big hospital corporation that
provides medical care mostly to employees of large organizations
in California, and for non-Yanks, AAA is a automobile club that
provides emergency road services to its members. The government
runs neither one, and AAA functions as a "reseller" of government
registration and licensing services in California, with great
success and customer satisfaction. Though the government might as
well be running Kaiser, considering how intensely the gaze of the
Central Scrutinizer falls upon it.)

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++