John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 07:29:27 -0700 (PDT)


On Mon, 23 Jun 1997 Hagbard Celine <hagbard@ix.netcom.com> Wrote:

>I am definitely missing something. How can an anarchist speak of law
>or legal systems? Who makes tort law, who decides tort law, and who
>enforces tort law? It seems to me that the very state you hate does
>all of this.

You are correct, you are missing something. In Anarcho- Capitalism, there
would still be police and there would still be law, but it would be private
police and private law. PPL's (privately produced law) in a anarchic world
would have private protection agencies (PPA's) to back them up. Disputes
among PPA's would be settled by an independent arbitrator agreed to by both
parties BEFORE the disagreement happened. Something like that can happen
today. When companies sign complicated contracts they sometimes also agree on
who will arbitrate it if differences in interpretation happen. Nobody wants
to get caught up in the slow, expensive court system run by governments. The
arbitrator would be paid by the case, and because he is picked by both sides,
it's in his interest to be as just as possible. If he favored one side over
another or made brutal or stupid decisions he would not be picked again and
would need to look for a new line of work. Unlike present day judges and
juries, justice would have a positive survival value for the arbitrator.

All parties would have a reason to avoid violence if possible. The disputing
parties would not want to turn their front yard into a war zone, and violence
is expensive. The successful protection agencies would be more interested in
making money than saving face. Most of the time this would work so I expect
the total level of violence to be less than what we have now, but I'm not
such a utopian as to suggest it will drop to zero. Even when force is not
used the implicit threat is always there, another good reason to be civilized.

I'm not talking about justice only for the rich. If a rich man's PPA
makes unreasonable demands (beatings, sidewalk justice, I insist on my
mother being the judge if I get into trouble) it's going to need
one hell of a lot of firepower to back it up. That kind of an army is
expensive because of the hardware needed and because of the very high wages
it will need to pay its employees for an extremely dangerous job. To pay for
all this they will need to charge their clients enormous fees severely
limiting their customer base and that means even higher charges. They could
never get the upper hand, because the common man's PPA would be able to
outspend a PPA that had outrageous demands and was just for the super rich.
A yacht cost a lot more than a car, yet the Ford motor Company is far richer
than all the yacht builders on the planet combined.

No system can guarantee justice to everybody all the time but you'd have the
greatest chance of finding it in Anarcho-capitalism. In a dictatorship one
man's whim can lead to hell on earth, I don't see how 40 million Germans
could have murdered 6 million Jews in a Anarcho-capitalistic world. Things
aren't much better in a Democracy, 51% can decide to kill the other 49% ,
nothing even close to that is possible in Anarchy, even theoretically .

In general, the desire not to be killed is much stronger than the desire to
kill a stranger, even a Jewish stranger. Jews would be willing to pay as
much as necessary, up to and including their entire net worth not to be
killed. I doubt if even the most rabid anti Semite would go much beyond 2%.
As a result the PPA protecting Jews would be much stronger than the one that
wants to kill them. In Anarchy, for things that are REALLY important to you
(like not getting killed) you have much more influence than just one man
one vote.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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