RE: SOCIETY: The privatization of public security in South America?

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Aug 18 2001 - 19:27:40 MDT

Mike Lorrey writes
> Lee Corbin wrote:
>> "The Problem" that Carlos very well described, is a problem afflicting
>> the whole society. Something is very wrong in a region where citizens
>> *must* go around armed all the time. Peace and reasonable security are
>> absolute requirements for wealth creation.

> You do not achieve 'peace and reasonable security' by laying down your
> last means of defence, nor do you ensure tyrannies, petty and vast, come
> not to fruition by depriving yourself while arming only those you
> empower to lead and guard you.

Very true.

> Note that where the individual is armed, confiscatory forces that
> deprive economic prosperity do not show any strength. Tooting the horn
> of my state, we have the second highest per capita income, with the
> lowest unemployment along with one of the highest gun ownership rates
> (and one of the lowest crime rates), and one of the lowest tax rates,
> and one of the highest economic growth rates. These are not
> coincidences.

You appear to imply that the high gun ownership rate, low crime
rate, and low tax rates are sufficient for a prosperous society.
(Of those, only a low crime rate is actually *necessary*, although
Europe's high tax rates don't help any.) I'm sure that you realize
a number of other factors are necessary. No one has really pinned
down what they all are, but I'm afraid that it's inescapably true
that culture and the basic traditions of a society are very important.
Rather that what many misguided sociologists do---which is to attempt
to focus on the causes of poverty---they should direct their effort
instead towards explaining how prosperous and wealthy societies
come into being.

Another way to look at it is this: New Hampshire society may one
day devolve into a society that gets loses its ability to generate
wealth, even if everyone carried an Uzi, and government became even
more minimal. What would suffice for this horrible transformation
would be that the citizens stop trusting one another to behave
non-violently, ethically, and industriously. But these qualities
are deeply embedded in the culture and traditions of the people,
although it's always possible that they can be lost over time,
especially if damaging government policies that punish wealth
creation and reward sloth are enacted.

> The problems of Brazil and Argentina are not of an armed populace,
> but a failure of an attempt to privatize their economies.

Yes; many of the citizens having to go about in armored vehicles
is a *symptom*, not a cause, of the problem.

> Instead, they have become just two more petty mercantilist
> economies, which treat social programs as merely bribes to
> keep the masses at bay. Only by arming the population as a
> whole can a just resolution to these crises be developed.

I would *not* be confident that this alone will be the entire
answer, though I think that you make a good point that it might
be a step in the right direction---odd as it does at first


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