Re: Confidence: A Basic Politics Puzzle

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 18:29:07 -0800 (PST)

> [Mark Grant]
> 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.

Your contract with the agency should specify that. If they want to
use their own court facilities, they certainly can, but it probably
makes more sense to use the same independent courts that resolve
inter-agency disputes to resolve intra-agency ones as well, simply
because they are already equipped for it an experienced at it. Also,
it separates the interests of the enforcer and the arbitrator, which
is probably a good thing.

> 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.

Only a criminal needs to know that. So long as you follow the rules of
your own agency, it has to protect you. If there were some oddball group
who wanted to prosecute people who said some word to them, your agency
would negotiate with theirs either to exempt its members, add that rule
for its members, or some compromise. In any case, that would become part
or your agency's rules, and they would spell out what rules you had to
follow to make their job of protecting you easier (or else charge you
more to amortize the chance of your accidental violations).

Lee Daniel Crocker <>