Re: Anarcho-Capitalism Stability

Harry S. Hawk (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 14:04:54 -0500 (EST)

Robin asked:
> > of you so damn confident that you know how such things would actually
> > function, or which minute variation would actually be best?

> Mark Grant responded:
> >This is basically an engineering decision; authoritarian societies
> give >you many single points of failure which libertarian societies
> can eliminate.

Robin also wrote:
> The most common concern about PPLs is that is that local competition
> will soon result in local authoritarian monopolies, which may be
> private patrols now do), and people on the street would need to wear
> some distinguishing mark if they want buy extra deterrence.

We tried as many might recall creating PPL for this mailing list and
this was a very doomed effort. It's failure shouldn't be seem as a
failure to PPLs (they just might not work well for small mailing

We I think we learned a few things.

The first is that your PPL needs to be some what selective about who
it admits, much like the admission committees at private clubs, coops,
and condo's.

You might buy a particular type of deterrence as might an other member
say extra protection from those with Undergraduate degrees in English
(like myself). You even though you have this deterrence you might try
to avoid English majors, but an other member of the PPL, with
deterrence "in hand" so to speak, might start baiting English Majors
and even hanging out at "their" bars (making fights), and try to date
"members" of their population, etc.

The real cost for your membership and the cost of the membership for
this more aggressive person would be different. This aggression minded
member could really hurt things, getting more and more English majors
polarized against you and/or your PPL, etc. Again not only increasing
the real costs but also making agreements with other PPL's more
difficult to maintain.

I know this is a silly example but I'm trying to get to is a way of
showing that running a PPL might not be as straight forward as it
seems. In my co-op no one is allowed on the roof after 8pm, yet when
there are fireworks many use the roof and in general day in and day
out it is also used. It (the rule) is there not to stop be from using
the roof at 10pm but to prevent me from being a trouble maker on the
roof and the Co-op having no recourse. Likewise there are 100 other
rules that our part of our house rules, most of which are not enforced
unless someone complains.

Would PPL's be the same way? Lots of house rules? And how would PPLs
deal with differences in personality (e.g., aggressive and more
passive people or even better the ones who are very reasonable and the
ones that are not.)

Would PPL's have a internal Jury's.. (e.g., "mr Hawk we will you drop
from the PPL if you don't remove the 'kill all English majors' bumper
sticker from your car" vs some other PPL member w/ a bumper sticker
that might say, "English is a stupid way of speaking."

Ultimate we know there are many shades of grey and that people often
has little incentive to be reasonable and that it can even be hard to
agree on what is reasonable and what is not.

One last point: A Roman Catholic PPL with the Pope is charge and 100's
of years of written theology to backup and help direct the PPL might
have some strong advantages cost wise over a NEW PPL that ExI might
run. As an exercise try to think of the various advantages and
disadvantages an RC Church vs ExI PPL might have.

Thanks for you time,


Harry S. Hawk

"Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority," [said] Justice John Paul Stevens