Re: The Education Function

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 12:34:48 -0500

Samael wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Darin Sunley <>
> To: <>
> Date: 11 December 1998 13:15
> Subject: Re: Re: The Education Function
> >The only hole in this, of course, is the lack of ability in most countries
> for a citizen to "opt out" of government services. My brother feels that
> allowing opting out would be a bad idea. I think I agree, at least for
> certain category B services that are both very important and whose utility
> decreases as the amount of buy-in decreases.
> For instance, the army. It's a tad hard to protect no 7 smith street from
> nuclear weapons without protecting no 9 as well (even iof no 7 wants to pay
> for it and no 9 doesn't).

Actually, this is not the case at all. With ballistic warheads of all kinds, using terminal stage interception techniques, the warhead's impact point can be computed about as accurately as the warhead's own guidance system can, which these days is around 20-30 meters. So I could tell if a warhead coming in on a ballistic trajectory were gonna hit me or the guy next door.

Now, you may think "well, if he lets an atom bomb go off next door, he's still screwed", and you would be right. At this point you calculate your expected payoff to yourself for intercepting all incoming warheads withing blast range of your location, versus the utility others in that range are willing to pay for, for your service. Obviously if you only own 1/3 of an acre, then your ABM system is gonna have spillover benefits. But if you own 20,000 acres, then you are likely the only beneficiary.

In a close quarters situation, anyone would be smart to solicit investment in such an enterprise first, or else buy all property in a given area and include ABM services as a benefit to people buying the property from you. You are transferring the costs to everyone in a given area without forcing them to pay, they can easily buy property elsewhere. Otherwise, you will just have to tolerate the unpaid externalized benefits if your own return on investment is sufficient for your needs.

Now, a person investing in an ABM system would best operate in a libertarian society to earn revinue as a contractor to a group of PPAs in a given area, where the individual ABM contractor gets paid a per diem retainer, then a bounty of x dollars per actual warhead intercepted (though I'm sure some PPAs would not like to give an incentive to the throwing of ballistic missiles, otherwise you'll have companies with ballistic missiles and antiballistic missile divisions which help make each other money).

Then again, warfare is something which requires such a large amount of capital investment with such a small amount of profit, that only governments want to practice it. Contrary to scaremongers claims, I would expect a libertarian society to be an extremely peaceful society.

> I hope that people will note that not _everyone_ on there is a pure
> idealistic libertarian and that there is spectrum of people (although
> tending strongly to the neophilic,intelligent, educated, imaginative, etc.).

What you expect people to be pragmatic libertarians? Talk about an oxymoron. Libertarianism is about principled policies, not pragmatic opportunism.

Mike Lorrey