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Private Police Forces in Past Societies?

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MIke Mayne posted on Fri, Jan 21 2011 3:48 PM

I am familiar with instances in history/modern times where there have been private fire fighting "services" provided for a nominal fee as opposed to a public good. I am involved in a debate in which I am looking for instances in history where there was a private police force in the same structure as say the aforementioned fire fighting service. Can anyone provide me with a good example?

Thanks!!

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Lyle replied on Thu, Feb 3 2011 8:26 PM

Autolykos:

Not sarcasm.  However, what does my signature by Ludwig von Mises mean to you?

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Not sarcasm.  However, what does my signature by Ludwig von Mises mean to you?

"There is no such thing as a universally valid logic."  - Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

There was still the main obstacle to overcome: the devastating criticism
of the economists. Marx had a solution at hand. Human reason, he asserted,
is constitutionally unfitted to find truth. The logical structure of mind is
different with various social classes. There is no such thing as a universally
valid logic.
What mind produces can never be anything but “ideology,” that
is, in the Marxian terminology, a set of ideas disguising the selfish interests
of the thinker’s own social class. Hence, the “bourgeois” mind of the
economists is utterly incapable of producing more than an apology for
capitalism. The teachings of “bourgeois” science, an offshoot of “bourgeois”
logic, are of no avail for the proletarians, the rising class destined to abolish
all classes and to convert the earth into a Garden of Eden.

Obviously, Mises was summarizing Marx's view on the necessarily ideological nature of reasoning done by those living in a society with different social classes. He was not affirming that particular proposition; he was explaining it before providing a refutation.

"I cannot prove, but am prepared to affirm, that if you take care of clarity in reasoning, most good causes will take care of themselves, while some bad ones are taken care of as a matter of course." -Anthony de Jasay

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Lyle replied on Fri, Feb 4 2011 4:01 PM

Solid_Choke:

 

So what you are saying is it's possible to make a proposition without actually supporting it?

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Are you being purposefully dense, Lyle?

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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Lyle replied on Fri, Feb 4 2011 4:25 PM

Mr Schnapps:

If one does not refute a proposition made, as Solid_Choke suggested Mises did, does this mean, implicitly, one supports the proposition by silence?

 

A mere inquiry.  If I were to make the proposition that "Government will always exist," must I necessarily be a supporter of such a proposition merely for having made it?  And if not, does making a proposition, therefore, necessarily consitute an argument (or one from ignorance for that matter)?

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Lyle:
Autolykos:

Not sarcasm.  However, what does my signature by Ludwig von Mises mean to you?

Thanks, I'll have to take your word on it.

Following Solid_Choke, I'd say you're quoting Mises out of context. He was paraphrasing the view of Marxist polylogism.

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Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Lyle:
Mr Schnapps:

If one does not refute a proposition made, as Solid_Choke suggested Mises did, does this mean, implicitly, one supports the proposition by silence?

Apparently more of Human Action needs to be quoted to you. The following is immediately after Solid_Choke's quote:

But, of course, the logic of the proletarians is not merely a class logic. "The ideas of proletarian logic are not party ideas, but emanations of logic pure and simple." [2] Moreover, by virtue of a special privilege, the logic of certain elect bourgeois is not tainted with the original sin of being bourgeois. Karl Marx, the son of a well-to-do lawyer, married to the daughter of a Prussian noble, and his collaborator Frederick Engels, a wealthy textile manufacturer, never doubted that they themselves were above the law and, notwithstanding their bourgeois background, were endowed with the power to discover absolute truth. [p. 75]

It is the task of history to describe the historical conditions which made such a crude doctrine popular. Economics has another task. It must analyze both Marxian polylogism and the other brands of polylogism formed after its pattern, and expose their fallacies and contradictions. [Emphasis added.]

That last line clearly shows that Mises stands opposed to the propositions of all polylogisms, let alone the Marxist variety. He was hardly supporting the proposition by silence.

Lyle:
A mere inquiry.  If I were to make the proposition that "Government will always exist," must I necessarily be a supporter of such a proposition merely for having made it?  And if not, does making a proposition, therefore, necessarily consitute an argument (or one from ignorance for that matter)?

You conceded defeat in the other thread, so why are you bringing it up here? Still looking for a way out?

In everyday English usage, statements like "Government will always exist", taken in isolation, are interpreted as statements of objective knowledge. That means people making such statements are understood to support them, at least implicitly.

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So what you are saying is it's possible to make a proposition without actually supporting it?

It is possible to state a proposition without affirming or denying it, but in this case Mises denies it (which I implied when I said that he refuted it).

If one does not refute a proposition made, as Solid_Choke suggested Mises did, does this mean, implicitly, one supports the proposition by silence?

I never suggested such a thing. I explicitly said otherwise. Seriously, read it again.

"I cannot prove, but am prepared to affirm, that if you take care of clarity in reasoning, most good causes will take care of themselves, while some bad ones are taken care of as a matter of course." -Anthony de Jasay

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AJ replied on Sat, Feb 5 2011 4:08 AM

Now this is downright disconcerting. I always thought the whole paraphrasing thing Mises did was ripe for out-of-context quoting, but I never thought anyone would actually do it. And I see Lyle still hasn't changed his sig. Where is Capt. Picard when you need him?

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Lyle replied on Sat, Feb 5 2011 4:20 PM

In everyday English usage, statements like "Government will always exist", taken in isolation, are interpreted as statements of objective knowledge. That means people making such statements are understood to support them, at least implicitly.

This is what I was looking for.  Thanks!

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You're welcome, I think. :P

How was it what you were looking for?

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Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Lyle replied on Sun, Feb 6 2011 3:07 PM

It is what I was looking for, not in the sense that Ludwig Von Mises implicitly agreed with Marx for having quoted him (Mises went on to refute such claims of Marx to be contra-reason), but in the sense that a universally valid logic is necessary to prevent confusion and to promote cooperation.  Some have looked to government for this "standardization" of logic.  I assume they have done so to promote by aggressive force ORDER.  However, the experiment has resulted in CHAOS (one sector of society attempting to debauch or enslave another).   As Thomas E Woods Jr points out in "Meltdown,"  government is not necessary to standardize law and order.  The market is perfectly capable of this IF that is what consumers so desire.  Government can simply institutionalize law and order that has previously existed.  The idea is that government protects private institutions rather than creating them from a conservative perspective.  This is noble but if what's being conserved is wrong or detrimental to society, the flexibility of change does not exist.  This is where statist liberals want their way with government and a "living" constitution. They want to create new public institutions. But government cannot adequately discern or represent the tastes of the people. Government only makes sure that we will fight against eachother, not that we won't.  Only the market can adequately represent the diverse hearts and minds of the people. The market is flexible enough and strict enough when consumers desire it.  If government gets in the way of what consumers desire, a disconnect occurs, either it is strict when consumers want flexibility or flexible when consumers want strictness.   Government is an unnecessary middle man that stunts growth and progress rather than promoting.  In a sense, those who want democracy or monarchy get both in the market rather than one or the other in the state.  The market is, therefore, positive-sum, whereas, government is zero-sum.

I am now reading "The Myth of National Defense" and am pleasantly surprise at what I am reading.    

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That's an interesting way to put it and I essentially agree. Glad I could help!

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Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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In the Middle Agescommunes served as private police forces.

Indeed. There were many legal and institutional features of ancient and middle ages society that libertarians often know nothing about, and which often provide an enlightened understanding of just how a property-and-contract society would function.

I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Not so sure that it is exactly what you are looking for but I'll post it. You may have heard of H.H. Holmes. He has often been called "the first modern serial killer". He killed an unknown number during the 1893 World Fair in Chicago in his so called "Murder Castle". He was brought down by a private detective of the famous Pinkerton firm, Frank Geyer. Geyer was investigating an insurance fraud committed by Holmes (who apparently made a fortune through such schemes) and he became concerned about the fate of three children of a woman Holmes had seduced. Although this was strictly none of his business, he managed to convince his superiors to give him time and money to find the missing children. And the rest is history as they say.

Without Geyer there's little doubt Holmes's nefarious murders would have ever been uncovered. He had been arrested but nobody suspected he was a savage serial killer: the authorities thought they had just arrested a sophisticated swindler.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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