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Justice system under anarchy: private security, judges, prisons(?), arbitration etc

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David. Posted: Wed, Feb 24 2010 4:25 PM

I have read a fair bit of AE (Econ for real people, econ in one lesson, meltdown, HA), as well as completing first year economics in university. I have always been in favor of smaller government. Since reading Rand and some AE (both books and online), I'm quite comfortably in the minarchist camp (govt courts, police and prisons for physically violent criminals, I'm undecided on roading and prisons for other criminals).

 

I'm interested in reading something about how policing and courts could/would exist under anarchy. Please suggest something (pref.  under 300 words). I'm mostly interested in utilitarian, economic arguments.

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David.:

I have read a fair bit of AE (Econ for real people, econ in one lesson, meltdown, HA), as well as completing first year economics in university. I have always been in favor of smaller government. Since reading Rand and some AE (both books and online), I'm quite comfortably in the minarchist camp (govt courts, police and prisons for physically violent criminals, I'm undecided on roading and prisons for other criminals).

 

I'm interested in reading something about how policing and courts could/would exist under anarchy. Please suggest something (pref.  under 300 words). I'm mostly interested in utilitarian, economic arguments.

Look up the section in Rothbard's "For a New Liberty" (Great book) and also "Chaos Theory"

"Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it." -Thus Spake Zarathustra
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David. replied on Fri, Feb 26 2010 2:01 PM

Does anyone else have any suggestions, or should I go reading Chaos Theory?

 

I also assume that the author(s) of Chaos Theory don't mind it being printed out, with the whole anti-IP stuff?

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Cork replied on Fri, Feb 26 2010 2:29 PM

I would read The Market for Liberty.  It's pretty much the best book on the subject IMO

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The Late Andrew Ryan:

David.:

I have read a fair bit of AE (Econ for real people, econ in one lesson, meltdown, HA), as well as completing first year economics in university. I have always been in favor of smaller government. Since reading Rand and some AE (both books and online), I'm quite comfortably in the minarchist camp (govt courts, police and prisons for physically violent criminals, I'm undecided on roading and prisons for other criminals).

 

I'm interested in reading something about how policing and courts could/would exist under anarchy. Please suggest something (pref.  under 300 words). I'm mostly interested in utilitarian, economic arguments.

 

Look up the section in Rothbard's "For a New Liberty" (Great book) and also "Chaos Theory"

This is excellent advice. As well, I encourage you to explore the seemingly infinite amount of infotmation on this site. Hopefully, when all is said and done you will emerge as an authentic libertaire!

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Stephen replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 10:17 AM

I found Chaos Theory to be a little amateur. Hoppe's "The Private Production of Defense" is what you're looking for.

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 10:26 AM

David.:

I'm interested in reading something about how policing and courts could/would exist under anarchy. Please suggest something (pref.  under 300 words). I'm mostly interested in utilitarian, economic arguments.

It would work exactly the same way, except people would be free to choose whom to hire for these services, and so the providers would have to carefully balance out the costs and benefits.

For example, there would be no point in imprisoning millions of men whose only crime was providing drugs to the market. This does not create a security risk for the clients of any police force. However, homicidal maniacs would still be imprisoned, as setting them free would pose too great a risk to the clients of the police force and possibly require them to compensate the victims for new crimes. It would then be cost-effective to imprison certain men.

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Stranger:

 

 However, homicidal maniacs would still be imprisoned, as setting them free would pose too great a risk to the clients of the police force and possibly require them to compensate the victims for new crimes. It would then be cost-effective to imprison certain men.

Why bother imprisoning them?  No PDA is going to bear the cost of keeping them locked up; depending on the circumstances (ie for exceptions such as manslaughter) the most likely outcome seems to be capital punishment. 

 

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 10:35 AM

sicsempertyrannis:

Why bother imprisoning them?  No PDA is going to bear the cost of keeping them locked up; depending on the circumstances (ie for exceptions such as manslaughter) the most likely outcome seems to be capital punishment. 

Customer preferences in the western world appear to be against capital punishment. No police force will want to be seen as a brutal executioner, and since the number of homicidal maniacs in proportion to the total population is quite low, the costs of imprisonment are insignificant.

It's also an insurance against judicial error. Should the prisoner turn out not to be an homicidal maniac, his protectors won't have cause for war if he can still be released from prison and compensated for the loss of some years of his life.

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Stranger:

Customer preferences in the western world appear to be against capital punishment. No police force will want to be seen as a brutal executioner, and since the number of homicidal maniacs in proportion to the total population is quite low, the costs of imprisonment are insignificant.

It's also an insurance against judicial error. Should the prisoner turn out not to be an homicidal maniac, his protectors won't have cause for war if he can still be released from prison and compensated for the loss of some years of his life.

I disagree.  That may be the preferences of liberal Europe, but for America and advanced East Asian cultures it most certainly is not. The state, as it sits now is the main protector of murderers.  Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 10:43 AM

sicsempertyrannis:
Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

Yes.

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Stranger:

sicsempertyrannis:
Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

Yes.

Then they can count on a quick and painful bankruptcy.  

In fact, they may as well take the capital spent on and burn it.

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 11:55 AM

sicsempertyrannis:

Then they can count on a quick and painful bankruptcy.  

Imprisoning a handful of sociopaths is not going to bankrupt billion dollar industries.

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"Then they can count on a quick and painful bankruptcy.  

In fact, they may as well take the capital spent on and burn it."

I agree with this. This subsidization of murderers is akin to the problem with the "right-to-lifers" and the environmental communists. As a maximum punishment for murder, taking the murderer's life is certainly justified. If people want to keep a murderer who refuses to take any steps toward retribution alive, the costs will have to be taken upon the victim who offers this measure of forgiveness or some organization like "Friends of Murderers", to buy out the victim in return for the murderer's freedom.

David Friedman makes an excellent point on the economics of capital punishment. When a robber knows that he might face life in prison for his crime, but the punishment is the same for murder, he is more apt to commit murder, if necessary, in order to aid his attempt at robbery.

In terms of property damage, there can be a mixture of theft and destruction. If a thief destroys of consumes some thing and has no assets to be seized, the victim is faced with the possibility of total loss (and of course many will be interested in being insured against these cases.) We have a practical limitation regarding murder that a victim's life cannot be restored. Although the life cannot be transferred, it can still be owned legitimately by the surviving kin. This means that the murderer is enslaved, and the kin may legitimately punish the murderer as they see fit. The kin might find satisfaction in torturing and killing the murderer, but maybe they prefer reparation. The security market is thus likely to develop standards for weregeld or "blood money".

If the kin prefer weregeld, the murderer has a bargaining chip in that while his body may be imprisoned, his will, again as a practical consideration only, cannot. The murderer can choose to continue his violent behavior, rather than working to possibly buy his freedom. In this case, the owner is faced with not only total loss but an increasing liability. A lot of workers might prefer flipping burgers to herding prisoners who want to kill their jailers and toss feces at them. Victims have no obligation to provide anything to such folk.

The actions of the juror can't be left out of the equation. If a security firm is unsure if it may face future charges for killing an innocent man, it will be less likely to act in such a way, but, for now, we can assume that this firm acts with a sufficient amount of certitude with regard to the criminal's guilt. In cases less serious than murder, the necessary risk-benefit analysis becomes even more important. The issue of partial-slavery, or the question of what means a penal system may employ in certain situations, becomes more complex.

If a prisoner expresses interest in making reparations in return for his possible future freedom or his life being spared, the costs of this procedure are, at least as a starting point, the responsibility of the prisoner. Proportionality divides into at least 3 basic categories. To what degree the criminal posed a risk to the victim necessarily remains always a matter of history. Evidence regarding the circumstances and the history of the criminal may serve as a guide, but the juror qua historian's judgments are always colored with his own prejudices and are insomuch arbitrary. If the evidence shows that a homogeneous good, say an ounce of gold, was taken with intent, it is easier to say that the proper procedure for "turning back the hands of the clock" and the transaction, of which the victim was an unwilling participant, must be completed by both the ounce of gold being returned, twice over as what was done by the criminal can be legitimately then done to the criminal. The matter of the actors' subjective valuations, for instance in the case of rape, add further complexity to this category.

Finally, the category concerning the penal system is that of the "costs of capture". More accurately, the criminal at this point has been captured and judged, so the penal system is tasked with "recapturing" the, hopefully agreed upon by both victim and criminal, compensation. If certain amenities are necessary to secure the cooperation of the criminal, the jailer might decide to provide such. For sure, this presents a a picture of a very different prison system in a future free society.


Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.—Karl Kraus.

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sicsempertyrannis:
the most likely outcome seems to be capital punishment. 

Or banishment from the village.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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Jackson LaRose:

sicsempertyrannis:
the most likely outcome seems to be capital punishment. 

Or banishment from the village.

Sure, you'd just have to be willing to accept the liability for the damage the murderer does in the next town he goes to.

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sicsempertyrannis:
Sure, you'd just have to be willing to accept the liability for the damage the murderer does in the next town he goes to.

really? Here is a 2 sentence play

"hey buddy, quit vandalising my property and get on out of here "

"shit, ok, i'll go to the next house over, sucks for you cause now you are liable..."

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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nirgrahamUK:

really? Here is a 2 sentence play

"hey buddy, quit vandalising my property and get on out of here "

"shit, ok, i'll go to the next house over, sucks for you cause now you are liable..."

Except that theft would likely be either simply a financial or corporal crime, not capital.

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why are people other than murderers liable for murder?

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 6:51 PM

nirgrahamUK:

why are people other than murderers liable for murder?

You're analyzing this from a framework where there is no collective security whatsoever. In reality there will be an agreement between neighbors to protect each other.

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Stranger:
In reality there will be an agreement between neighbors to protect each other.

Not necessarily.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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if i am known to look out for my property, and that of the neighbourhood and my neighbours enjoy the 'spillover benefit' of my having so acted, and i have received reciprocal benefits in kind wherever my neighbours have so acted, still liability for the murders of others has not come into it.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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nirgrahamUK:

if i am known to look out for my property, and that of the neighbourhood and my neighbours enjoy the 'spillover benefit' of my having so acted, and i have received reciprocal benefits in kind wherever my neighbours have so acted, still liability for the murders of others has not come into it.

You're missing the point.  If instead of punishing a known and convicted murderer almost guaranteed to kill again, you 'banish' him from  your community and he just proceeds to go to kill the neighbor's daughter - is the equivalent of tossing an armed grenade over to your neighbors lawn and calling it a case of 'sh_t happens'.

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perhaps you are missing the point that human agents are not mere automata but beings of will.

so i must ask you whether your 'grenade machine-man' is really a grenade machine, or a man? 

and, perhaps even more to the point, if a grenade is tossed onto your property from the north, why can you not throw it back north? 

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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sicsempertyrannis:
You're missing the point.  If instead of punishing a known and convicted murderer almost guaranteed to kill again, you 'banish' him from  your community and he just proceeds to go to kill the neighbor's daughter - is the equivalent of tossing an armed grenade over to your neighbors lawn and calling it a case of 'sh_t happens'.

So under what rights violation do you bring these 'implicit murderer helpers' to jail? Failure to prevent murder?

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Andrew Cain:

So under what rights violation do you bring these 'implicit murderer helpers' to jail? Failure to prevent murder?

Some sort of negligence. 

But I dont believe anyone will take that risk.  Capital Punishment (my position) or real, actual life imprisonment (Stranger's position, though I doubt this) would be the more likely outcome of a murder trial, and perhaps many rape trials as well.

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sicsempertyrannis:

Some sort of negligence. 

But I dont believe anyone will take that risk.  Capital Punishment (my position) or real, actual life imprisonment (Stranger's position, though I doubt this) would be the more likely outcome of a murder trial.

You will have to show in praxeology where the action of others display our preferences or that other people's actions are actually our own or that we are responsible for the actions of others because I'm skeptical about your argument.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Stranger:

sicsempertyrannis:
Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

Yes.

Preferences aside, capitalizing this with a reality show would easily make back revenue to make holding Manson captive.  Wouldn't watch the show, but a lot would.

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Stranger replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 8:29 PM

Nitroadict:

Stranger:

sicsempertyrannis:
Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

Yes.

Preferences aside, capitalizing this with a reality show would easily make back revenue to make holding Manson captive.  Wouldn't watch the show, but a lot would.

There's no need to be so outlandish. Prisons as they exist today are a system designed to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of taxpayers. A prison designed to protect people on the outside from a group of sociopaths would not need to brutally punish them, it would only need to restrict and monitor their movement. They could be perfectly functional economically within the prison, and earn their own living with which to pay for their imprisonment.

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Stranger:

Nitroadict:

Stranger:

sicsempertyrannis:
Can you really imagine a PDA bearing the burden of supporting Charles Manson from his middle aged years to his golden years, as the state has done with him?

Yes.

Preferences aside, capitalizing this with a reality show would easily make back revenue to make holding Manson captive.  Wouldn't watch the show, but a lot would.

There's no need to be so outlandish. Prisons as they exist today are a system designed to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of taxpayers. A prison designed to protect people on the outside from a group of sociopaths would not need to brutally punish them, it would only need to restrict and monitor their movement. They could be perfectly functional economically within the prison, and earn their own living with which to pay for their imprisonment.

Much better answer.  I will go back to stalking RedLetterMedia for now.

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fakename replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 12:11 PM

Byzantine:
This is an attitude borne of the fact that the State socializes the costs of keeping homicidal maniacs protected from their victims' families via taxation.  If death row inmates had to actually solicit sponsors for their security, their meals, and their medical care, then very few such inmates would remain alive.

What about innovation though? I mean they could take the "demolition man" route and cryogenicly preserve prisoners if that is the customer's wish or eventually lock them up in giant credit cards a la superman?

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