'Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.' -Jose Ortega y Gasset

Questions for Anarcho-Capitalists, Answered

by Ethan Glover, Thu, Feb 05, 2015 - (Edited) Wed, Jan 10, 2018

"A lawyer has a client who has been accused of a crime. He knows that his client will most likely get condemned in, court. If you give him the option of not going to court, obviously he will do it."

"Why would security companies not do the same? Refuse arbitration because they know their client will loose."

"Would their other clients boycott them? How would they know the person their company is defending is a criminal? Do you really think people will harm their own interests (if they selected that firm it is because they wanted to) by boycotting a security firm just because that security firm is protecting its client and refusing to hire arbitrators? People(in this case security companies) tend to be quite loyal to those who pay them. In ancient Rome, Roman soldiers gladly fought each other in order to serve their employers(generals). I know, I know, if it was not for taxes the generals would not have had the money to hire the soldiers, but that does not disprove the point of people are loyal to those who pay them"

Private Security Protecting Criminals

The gist of this question is as follows. How would a free society prevent private companies from protecting criminals? After all, in 50% of the cases, it is the criminal who is paying them. Reputation alone can't solve this problem.

When asking questions about something you're learning, you have to start from step one. I come across this problem in everything. As I begin to get the logic of something, I'll get a flash in my mind. I'll come up with what I think is a witty question.

After asking I find out that I already knew the answer. All I had to do was consider first principles, and I would never have had to ask.

Don't get me wrong, asking questions is great, I love the discussion. I'm only saying this for one reason. I had trouble with some of these questions until I stepped back and started from step one. From there, it was all easy.

This, by the way, is the value of getting to the meat of questions online. In person, discussion is an excellent way to develop understanding. But it often fails to get to the core of the matter.

In a free society, there would be what some call Dispute Resolution Organizations (DRO's). In other words, judicial companies. You would also have private security firms that handle policing.

Let's use the extreme example of murder. Let's say you killed someone. Now you're hoping your security company will protect you from legal responsibility.

We're assuming that the victims representatives (family or friends) are with another company. Otherwise, the answer here is simple. The company wouldn't protect you.

They would hold a hearing and convict someone based on evidence. No matter what, they get paid. Plus, reputation is a bigger factor than if you were with different companies.

The problem this question highlights is a potential, profitable business model. One that protects "those who can't get protection elsewhere."

There are check into cash services that target people who are bad with their money. By extension, there would be low-class security firms that target people with criminal histories.

Once we consider that there is another security firm involved, the issue settles itself. The asker accepts that it's not profitable for companies to war with one another. I won't go over that, but I will say that the victim's company will arbitrate in this case.

In truth, both companies will work together to make sure things are fair. They might each pick half the jury, and come to an agreement on a neutral judge. They'll have standard practices for sharing responsibility.

If your company refuses to take part in the process, the other company has control. It's a poor business practice in which the defendant has no representation at all.

The question assumes the company would refuse to arbitrate. But, it's worse to do nothing than it is to do something. As their customer you'd want to find someone else who will arbitrate.

We already know these two companies aren't going to war. So we also know they're not going to protect you from arrest. They're not going to fight for you, and they're not going to hide you.

If you ran away, your company would more than likely help the investigation. Not to convict you, but to make sure to handle things in a formal way. That's what you paid them to do. They may even try to represent you in your absence as per contract.

If a security company takes up protecting criminals, reputation does come into play. In fact, you'll have a case in which company managers face responsibility and arrest.

"I am on the run, and facing prison time if I get caught. If I go to the Mafia and offer them a huge amount of cash or even a much needed favor they would not even think of protecting me. Because that would give the government an excuse to arrest them all. The government is big enough to utterly crush the Mafia if they have an excuse to do so."

"If we had smaller security companies instead, they would not be strong enough to crush organized crime so effectively. As you yourself say, war would be expensive for private security companies. The mafia would not have to take over society, it would just have to be strong enough to make a war against it unprofitable. It could even make a partnership with some corrupt security companies. Something like this:"

"You have two companies: A&B
The mob only attacks people with security company A
Only protects criminals that have harmed people under the protection of company A
The Mob feigns attacks on company B`s clients and lets its members get arrested by company B(only to have them secretly released obviously)
People switch en mass to company B and the Mob gets a share of the profits.
What`s to stop something like this from happening?"

Mafia vs. Private Security

I'm sorry, but I have to ignore the creative strategy here. This is plausible in today's world, and it doesn't happen. Instead, it's governments who are blaming attacks on other governments.

Let's concentrate on the mafia getting too big.

Government police forces keep the mafia down, but that's not because of their size. If that were the only factor, there are small countries the mafia could take over and rule. But there's something stopping them. You'll know what that something is in a minute.

First, let's take a second to reflect on the fact that the mafia exists. There are criminal organizations that victimize people every day in our current world. As big as governments are, they can't stamp organized crime out.

No government is capable of crushing the mafia. They only deal with things as they happen.

The idea is that without the government, you would have many small companies. The mafia, then, could "defeat" them.

Let me propose this as an answer. When many small companies join to fight a common problem, they become more capable. In normal circumstances, it is beneficial for them to be small and individualized. But for common problems, they would work together.

Say you've got a huge criminal organization. They're victimizing many people who are customers of many security companies. Those companies will join up to fight the issue.

People unaffected would be supportive too. Those people have every interest in keeping the organization from growing. They'd be willing to contribute to helping out through donations or price increases.

Just look at how people react to organizations like ISIS. People want to send the U.S. military into the middle east. They want to take these people out even though ISIS poses no threat to the United States.

"We`ve had stateless society before and there are stateless societies now. They are and were almost always tribal with people banding together with their cousins and neighbors to take care of each other. This makes people very biased towards their clan members, so conflicts between tribes could easily escalate into blood feuds. Here on the Balkans a country called Montenegro(heard of it?) was a tribal society up to the 19th century and had rampant blood feuding, traces of which exist today. (I hear Albania also has a similar problem, but I am not well informed about that )"

"Why would tribal society not arise again with its chronic plague of blood feuds? I mean most criminal gangs are just clans anyway"

"Don`t you ever take sides with anyone against the family again to quote The Godfather"

Tribal Feuds

The question here proposes an interesting scenario. But I think it's comparing apples with oranges. Indeed, tribes in the past have feuded and fought one another. This even continues today in remote areas.

It's important to remember that these sorts of things only happen in "uncivilized" societies. The family feuds of the West may have resulted in a few dozen deaths, but they weren't exactly wars.

I should also note that the idea of fighting over property is a thing of the past. It has become a stupid thing to do. Tensions don't rise that high anymore thanks to modern surveying and public record practices. (No, governments don't need to provide these services.)

It's hard for me to expand on this without an actual modern example. In fact, the examples given are talking about countries that had oppressive governments. It's hard not to contest the whole premise as unrealistic.

I don't see any evidence that people are as violent as the question suggests. I don't know of anyone that would be willing to die for a small piece of land. Especially instead of going through easy to use arbitration.

There are towns all across the US that get enraged with each other over high school sports. You might say that there was a time that this would lead to violence. Despite the presence of public police. But I'd be skeptical of that claim.

If there were no government, people wouldn't immediately devolve and turn into cavemen. They wouldn't start fighting over everything. We moved past those sorts of things centuries ago.

I don't know if I'm answering the question. I don't even know if there's anything to answer. I don't understand the motivation for it.

I'll try to get into contact with the asker, but I don't think there's anything I can say about it. Still, I'd like to say thanks for the questions.

Source: A few questions for anarcho-capitalists