Re: Nozick's Minimalism

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 18:05:38 -0500

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >> This seems like a fine idea, (presuming I didn't mind, in this example,)
> >> 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? Isn't the PPF a government at this
> >> point? (This was Nozick's argument.)
> >
> >Well, anyone who voluntarily lives in a PPF territory that recognizes no
> >right-to-carry is basically agreeing to become governed in my book,
> because they
> >recognize that they are slaves to the group, or are at least brainwashed
> into such
> >groupthink. Such people really are a threat to sustainable ungoverned
> society,
> >they may not actively want a government, but their own mental laziness and
> >irresponsibility imply a need for one.
> >
> >Only those who insist that their PPA recognize their right to self defense
> at any
> >level will remain ungoverned. Its a basic choice of being a man or a mouse.
> This doesn't seem to cohere. For a good portion of America's history the
> United States had no gun laws. It was still a gov't, wasn't it? Wouldn't
> it still be a gov't if it "respected the citizens' right to defend
> themselves?" What exactly would that entail?
> What exactly is the difference between a local gov't and a local PPF?

Up until the civil war, and usually thereafter up until this century the US government was a nascent PPF federation of monopoly PPA's (i.e. the states). Government was kept to a bare minimum. You will recall that at the time of the Bonus Army demonstrations in the late 20's and early 30's the US Army was so thinly spread across the US that MacArthur could only muster a couple of tanks and a few hundred men. The main difference is that any PPA under a PPF will have multiple insurance policy packages that people are free to choose among, each of which will usually have general blanket coverage of certain things that are common due to standard PPA policies and agreements with other PPAs, but plenty of stuff which is optional, as is the case with car insurance in most places. Additionally people can choose among PPAs to receive their services through, and as much or as little coverage as they want and their PPA is willing to sell them, and even if part of the same PPF, they will maintain brand name differentiation because they will typically serve different market segments, much like different car companies. A government is a one size fits all, one product that comes in any color so long as its black, monopoly.

Mike Lorrey