Gov't NOT Coercion?

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 05:45:30 -0500

John K Clark ( wrote:

kristen brennan wrote:
>> What's the difference between the theoretical large-scale
>> private police force and the US government? Just scale?

>Scale is part of it but there's more, let's start by considering the
>question of corruption. The better job a private protection agency (PPA)
>does, the more it can charge. If 10$ more is stolen from me if I stay
>with PPA #1 rather than switch to PPA #2 then I will stay with #1 ONLY
>if they charge 10$ less. Each dollar stolen from me is equivalent to
>a dollar stolen directly from the PPA. For this reason it is in the
>financial interest of the heads of the PPA to keep bribery of employees
>as low as possible. Contrast that to the situation today, it doesn't
>cost the police a dime, regardless of how much is stolen from me, and
>they may even make money off my misfortune by receiving payoff money
>from the thief.

IAN: Scale is all of it. The only reason you have this
choice between PPA1 and PPA2, resulting in the favorable
incentives cited, is because PPA1 and PPA2 are SMALLER by
definition than government police forces which contain as
clients all people living within X region, whereas in the
PPA1 vs PPA2 scenario you can pick and choose * because *
you are external to their sphere of land ownership.

I think Kristen is exactly right to suggest that there's
no difference between large private and large government
scenarios. "Gov't" as some special kind of entity is
a myth. The economics of gov't are the economics
of large-scale land ownership, of monopoly.

It's not "moral sin" that makes gov't bad.
This is the "demystification" of gov't.

John K Clark ( wrote:

Ian Goddard <> wrote:
>>The scenario you cite is not resolved by every inch of land being
>>"privately" owned with every landlord having a set of rules,
>>regulations, and rent. [...] You suggest that governments have this
>>unique attribute that if you stand on gov't property you are subject
>>to gov't law, but the same holds for private property;

> With government there is no place else I can go if I don't like it,
> but I can always find a landlord someplace who has rules I like,

IAN: So long as you have enough money to pay
all the rents and tolls in between you and him.
As soon as you ran out of money while looking
for that good landlord, you could quickly find
yourself in debt slavery. Granted many smaller
claims r better, but the only difference in
the cost/benefit analysis comes down to the
size-of-land-claim differential, with the
larger having all the costs of monopoly.

> and in fact there is nothing stopping me from becoming a landlord myself.

IAN: The price of land is one thing that could
stop you. Granted I agree that things will be
more favorable when there are more small land
claims to choose services from, but that's
what I'm saying: the only problems with gov't
stem from the fact that it's so big and thus
is so hard to say no to, i.e., hard to leave.

> By the way, I think Ian is doing us a favor in asking us to
> examine our core beliefs from time to time, it's not good to
> become complacent.

IAN: Thanks, John has the spirit of free inquiry,
refreshing indeed! One of the most important things
for free thinkers to teach, more so than our pet memes
is to do and how to do the "memetic self-check." Always
challenge your memes and encourage the freedom of such
in ones "memetic identity group." One thing one finds
out fast in the conspiracy venues, is that any quest-
ioning of meme type x instantly results in one's
being seen as an defined as an "enemy agent"
by all meme type x propagators.

Such a reaction is antithetical to free inquiry,
and is a primitive memetic defense mechanism.

>>There are claims upon land and the claimants demand a rent/tax from
>>other people who inhabit the areas within the claims. When I got to
>>the Earth, every inch was already claimed, so I have to agree to pay
>>the fees, try to evade payment, or overthrow the claim.
>I will admit that when you're talking about undeveloped land it's difficult
>to make an airtight case for ownership based on natural law. If you go back
>far enough in the history of any plot of land (except perhaps for
>you will find that somebody stole it from somebody else, government land most
>certainly not excepted, but we must deal with practicalities and it's
>unrealistic to expect the way humans manage their affairs to be as neat and
>tidy as the axioms of Geometry.

IAN: Yes, exactly; therefore the basis for any
definition of "preexisting ownership" is void
and the concept of "preexisting ownership" of
X must default to who owned X before I came
into existence or before I discovered X.

"Preexisting what?" Me. Others were first...

> Besides, land is not very important.

IAN: It's as important as owning all of it
means owning the basis of everything, or
owning 70% of it means owning it all -30%.
Land owned is one of the most critical
factors in total control. Saying land is
not important and that gov't is a big
problem is incompatable, because it's
simply the claim to the ownership of so
much land that makes the gov't what it is.

>The thing that disturbs you is the way resources that were not produces by
>human actions, land, was divided up, but that's only a small part of the
>wealth or property of the country. In the USA the rental value of buildings
>and land is only 13% of the value of all property, and most of that is in
>buildings. Mineral wealth is another 3% and it would be zero is somebody
>didn't spend money and expend labor to get the minerals out of the ground.

IAN: The capital value of land is but one
measure of it's power. The right to enforce
law and extract tax/rent upon all who find
themselves on it is the major measure of
the power/value of land. You cannot deny
that fact and critique gov't at the same
time, since the size of the land claim
is the basis of the "evils" of gov't.

> I don't find the argument convincing that because we can't trace a
> clear title to 5% of the world's property that gives government the
> right to control 100% of it.

IAN: But still someone has to be given title
the to land, and it most logically defaults
to the longest running claim, since it pre-
existed most lives, current and historic.

> Their natural law case for ownership of the disputed
> 5% is no stronger than my own...

IAN: Yes it is, if their claim preexisted yours.

>On the other hand, the American government did steal the land fair and
>square from the English, who stole it from the French and Spanish, who
>stole it from Indian tribes, who stole it from other Indian tribes.

IAN: Exactly, but practicality dictates that
for reasons of not fighting wars over land and
getting on with consumer commerce that we fix
it with A claim, and the current gov't is the
longest running and looks like best candidate
on the block. Of course, I think this land-
lord should be about 99% absentee, maximizing
individual liberty. Like Hong Kong was...
Hong Kong with a dash of Holland.

I'm just countering 100% anarchy. Minarchy.

N E W__________________
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