Re: Nozick's Minimalism

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 13:21:44 -0500

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> John Clark wrote:
> >Hash: SHA1
> >
> >Dan Fabulich <> Wrote:
> >
> > >but doesn't the concept of a PPF sort of undermine the whole point of
> > >anarcho-capitalism? I mean, this is my real problem/question. If
> there's
> > >only one PPF making the laws, how can we expect the laws to be formed
> > >fairly under legal market principles?
> >
> >The difference is that no one organization would be making the laws and
> not everyone
> >would be living under the same law, you get what you pay for, you get what
> you think is
> >really important. Example: My PPA strongly embraces capital punishment,
> your PPA is anti
> >capital punishment but only moderately so. Everybody can't get exactly
> what they want and this
> >issue is more important to me than to you, so if you kill me your fate
> will be determined by a
> >arbiter known to be in favor of the death penalty. On the other hand if
> you had paid to join a PPA
> >that was fanatically anti capital punishment then the arbiter would be
> someone who opposes
> >capital punishment.
> I've seen that example. But isn't a *PPF* an organization? Draw a circle
> around my PPA and your PPA and the arbitration agency that they chose.
> That's the PPF. What if someone wants laws that the PPF doesn't want? At
> that point, they have only two choices: join the PPF (through arbitration)
> or fight the PPF.
> In short, it seems like the PPF is a government with a unique mechanism of
> legislature. Minmalist, in fact, as Nozick advocates. And, most
> importantly, not anarcho-capitalist any more.

As long as people are going to want security from risk, there will be a tendency towards such consolidation. However, Nozick is assuming that the PPA insurance policies will be dictated at the PPF level, rather than at the PPA level. A PPF relationship should only consist of agreements as to the handling of inter-PPA cases, at the least. At most, it should only be a matter of centralizing management overhead while maintaining the separate product divisions identities, much like how many insurance companies have several different names which offer different policies, etc. A PPF would be motivated to maintain multiple divisions with separate insurance contracts that have different policies. If they change to a one size fits all, then either an outside competitor is going to fill the product vacuum or a new one will start up to fill the niche.

Now, how does one PPA protect itself from bigger predatory PPA's? With what is called reinsurance. Even today, insurance companies don't stand alone. They insure themselves with other companies, spreading the load around in case of a localized crisis. A freind of mine works in reinsurance, she says that not only do they insure other insurance companies, but they also are insured through other companies.

Mike Lorrey