Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Better service for the rich under anarchy?

rated by 0 users
This post has 53 Replies | 7 Followers

Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 478
Points 10,295
FlyingAxe Posted: Thu, Dec 6 2012 8:55 PM

What is the most succint way to answer (preferably, refute) the following claim? "Under anarcho-capitalism, people would get the quality of 'government' (legislation, arbitration, protection) service proportional to how much they will pay. Hence, the rich will get better protection of the law from the society than the poor."

  • | Post Points: 125
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 985
Points 21,180
hashem replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 8:59 PM

Any time you pay people to have power over others, corruption is inevitable.

To answer your post, why refute it? The truth of it actually seems fairly self-evident.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745

The rich also get better food and housing.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Wheylous:

The rich also get better food and housing.

Yeah, you're gonna need a better answer than that. 

If the quality of your rights are determined by what you can pay for, in what sense are individuals legal equivalents? How is libertarianism possible when individuals have different rights? 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 871
Points 21,030
eliotn replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 10:35 PM

"What is the most succint way to answer (preferably, refute) the following claim? "Under anarcho-capitalism, people would get the quality of 'government' (legislation, arbitration, protection) service proportional to how much they will pay. Hence, the rich will get better protection of the law from the society than the poor.""

That claim cannot be refuted.  But why is that necessarily a bad thing if there is more justice?  Also, the fact that people would find it morally wrong for legal disputes to favor rich people would have an effect on dispute resolution.

Schools are labour camps.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 88
Points 1,455
idol replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 10:39 PM

The rich are already favored. They can afford the best lawyers.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous replied on Thu, Dec 6 2012 11:10 PM

If the quality of your rights are determined by what you can pay for, in what sense are individuals legal equivalents?

At the time of the writing of Friedman's Machinery, the justice system cost roughly $40 per person. RIch people can afford better defense in the sense that if they have a mansion they can get themselves night guards. Your point?

Food and shelter are also vital for survival.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Wheylous:

At the time of the writing of Friedman's Machinery, the justice system cost roughly $40 per person. RIch people can afford better defense in the sense that if they have a mansion they can get themselves night guards. Your point?

Food and shelter are also vital for survival.

So you're taking the ontological status of individuals within a state as given? 

When the rights of an individual are what that individual can provide for, unless there are conditions that allow for equal capacity to provide, there will be disparate sets of rights. 

 

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 1:07 AM

This is a difficult challenge because the poor get such superior protection from the police under the State, and their neighborhoods show it:

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,258
Points 34,610
Anenome replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 1:32 AM
 
 

I think the rich would get higher quality of service, but not of a completely different kind of service.

Ie: The rich might be able to get faster justice, but not be able to buy the court-outcome they want. The rich might be able to hire bodyguards and police escort, but the police would try to protect people's rights equally. They have a reputation to uphold, and no one rich person can pay all that the multitudes of poorer people pay for police protection. Thus it wouldn't make financial sense to cheat the poor of the police services they pay for.

And if any company did, the poor would flock to another service.

How does that compare with today's society, where government overcharge the poor for police service, then drastically underservice them without recourse to another agency.

The poor would be better served in a free society.

 

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110

I'm surprised no one posted Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections by Roderick Long. One of his points directly addresses your question, though Clayton's picture might be an even shorter explanation.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745

When the rights of an individual are what that individual can provide for, unless there are conditions that allow for equal capacity to provide, there will be disparate sets of rights. 

Once again, police protection is not as expensive as you think.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

I pay roughly $200 a year for my renters insurance.  If someone broke into my apartment and stole a whole bunch of electronics, I would file a claim and be reimbursed for my stolen property.

Conceivably, I could pay $100,000 a year for a private security task force that would patrol my block and prevent any break-ins from happening in the first place, and they would also reimburse me for any damages that happen on their watch.

The thing is, its not at all clear that I'm actually better off with the super awesome security group.  Although the level of service is proportional to the amount I pay, at a certain point, that level of service becomes unnecessary.  Sure, I am less likely to experience a break in if I hire the security company, but what matters to me - that I don't have to spend thousands replacing my stuff - is covered in both cases.

 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Fri, Dec 7 2012 10:13 AM

The poor get a better service in a stateless soicety...

But how could a poor person afford private protection he would have to pay for instead of getting free protection, as he does now?” There are several answers to this question, one of the most common criticisms of the idea of totally private police protection. One is: that this problem of course applies to any commodity or service in the libertarian society, not just the police. But isn’t protection necessary? Perhaps, but then so is food of many different kinds, clothing, shelter, etc. Surely these are at least as vital if not more so than police protection, and yet almost nobody says that therefore the government must nationalize food, clothing, shelter, etc., and supply these free as a compulsory monopoly. Very poor people would be supplied, in general, by private charity, as we saw in our chapter on welfare. Furthermore, in the specific case of police there would undoubtedly be ways of voluntarily supplying free police protection to the indigent — either by the police companies themselves for goodwill (as hospitals and doctors do now) or by special “police aid” societies that would do work similar to “legal aid” societies [p. 220] today. (Legal aid societies voluntarily supply free legal counsel to the indigent in trouble with the authorities).
— Murray Rothbard, For A New Liberty, p. 215.
Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Wheylous:

Once again, police protection is not as expensive as you think.

Yeah, you're not getting the problem. In the absence of the state, individuals will have to establish themselves as social agents with the requisite capacity to provide for their own rights. 

When you open up rights to an open ended competitive process you will get vary sets of rights depending on the capabilities and preferences of the consumers. You're assuming an equivalent status of individuals. When that status must be socially constructed and reproduced. So reducing governmental services to a purely instrumental apparatus misses the constitutive function of politics. 

There's more going on here than the cost of policing in 1970s America.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

No one promised total living standard equality under libertarianism.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Yes. Equal rights, non-equal living standards.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Well it's a good thing I didn't mention equal living standards then

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

Well it's a good thing I didn't mention equal living standards then

Then what does op mean by better "services"?

As far as I know, having a more expensive lawer contributes to my standard of living.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 429
Points 7,400

National Acrobat is trying to ask that, if "rights" are conferred by wealth, how do we ensure poor people will have "rights" under a given legal system comparable in any sense to the rich.

NA, have you examined stateless legal orders of past times? Essentially, stateless legal orders can arise in a number of ways (many of which I'm not familiar with), but one such way is via the building up of precedent of past cases that have been arbitrated by private judges. The idea that you "pay" for rights doesn't seem to make sense in this form of emergent law, because it's not that you pay for more "rights" (I don't even think the term "rights" in this context is useful), it's that you pay for a judge whom you think will rightfully settle a case. Given that most disputes of commoners will be with other commoners, I don't see how they could somehow break off into different classes of people, each with different rights, especially since ruling on the basis of precedent demands some sort of consistency and reasonableness (real word). 

Now, I think it's possible the wealth rich people have may tilt how cases are decided over time, and a precedent may develop which favors rich people. I think this is highly dependent on specific circumstances in society, may not be a problem at all, and certainly wouldn't nearly be the problem you envision, which is actually persistently present throughout statist societies in histroy.

There is a lot more to be said on the subject. I can't express it all, nor do I desire to. Hopefully my points here made some sense.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 429
Points 7,400

NA, how about you give us a hypothetical example of the problem you envision? 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 814
Points 14,875
Moderator

Before you answer the question, "Do the rich get a better service under anarchy?" we must first answer what the causes of being rich will be in a voluntarist society. When that is understood the disparity in service will seem irrelevant when it can be some a minimum level of cover will be almost certain to be available to everyone and the fact the poor are screwed today by police cover.

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 850
Points 27,940
Eugene replied on Sat, Dec 8 2012 10:59 AM

Why international arbitration doesn't prefer big countries over small? For example both France and Andora have the same rights. The first reason is that it is too costly for big countries to fight even the smallest countries (which can team up by the way), and because usually people don't want to offend other people if they feel close, and generally Europeans for example feel close to each other.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 985
Points 21,180
hashem replied on Sat, Dec 8 2012 11:07 AM

Any voluntaryist society will have to arise in a world of established statist powers, and will necessarily be a prime threat to the same.  Further, there will be positions of non-voluntary power in the society, such as the entire web of law enforcement. Since power corrupts, it's only a matter of time until the voluntaryist society becomes a tool of the statist world, if it's even allowed to come into existence to begin with. If the outside world is oblivious to this gem of a resource, then it's still only a matter of time until power corrupts from within.

To answer your question "how do people become rich in a voluntaryist society," well, the same way people have always done: obtain as much power as possible. Providing a valuable service may be a means to that end, but where non-voluntary power is institutionalized (e.g. law enforcement) that end is inevitably the same.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Kelvin Silva:

Then what does op mean by better "services"?

As far as I know, having a more expensive lawer contributes to my standard of living.

You need the recognition as able to hire a lawyer in the first place before you worry about the quality of the lawyer you hire. This recognition isn’t inherent to humanity. It is contingent upon particular social structures. Currently the state provides that function. Libertarians haven’t explained what those structures would be in the absence of the state. 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

NonAntiAnarchist:

National Acrobat is trying to ask that, if "rights" are conferred by wealth, how do we ensure poor people will have "rights" under a given legal system comparable in any sense to the rich.

Just for full disclosure, I am very familiar with the libertarian position. I knew of and was a big fan of Ron Paul before his 2008 campaign, I’ve been on Mises since late 2006 early 2007, gone through most of the popular texts, heard the arguments, identified myself as a market anarchist for several years, the whole deal. So I’m not coming in here with some newbie questions. You should just assume that I’ve heard or read, and probably said and written myself, pretty much every argument there is out there. This isn’t to make myself to be some kind of authority or anything. I’m simply saying there’s no need for the 101s or basic arguments. We can move on to the more advanced, nuanced stuff.

NA, have you examined stateless legal orders of past times? Essentially, stateless legal orders can arise in a number of ways (many of which I'm not familiar with), but one such way is via the building up of precedent of past cases that have been arbitrated by private judges. The idea that you "pay" for rights doesn't seem to make sense in this form of emergent law, because it's not that you pay for more "rights" (I don't even think the term "rights" in this context is useful), it's that you pay for a judge whom you think will rightfully settle a case. Given that most disputes of commoners will be with other commoners, I don't see how they could somehow break off into different classes of people, each with different rights, especially since ruling on the basis of precedent demands some sort of consistency and reasonableness (real word).

Sure, but when you enter an arbitration proceeding you’re bringing to the table the social, political, economic status (and the associated rights, obligations, duties and liberties with that status) that has been conferred on or acquired by you. So before we even get to market mechanisms or emergent processes of law provision, there are political prerequisites that must necessarily be established for a libertarian order to come about. 

The reason, I think, this crucial aspect is overlooked by libertarian theory (it shows up briefly in Rothbard’s unsatisfying discussion of his “universal libertarian legal code”) is that it usually employs some type of Lockean frame work where the state of nature and the free and equal status of individuals in that state of nature is taken for granted. Unfortunately, the inherent sociological status of individuals is not free and equal. That freedom and equality must be provided for by some institutional arrangement. 

Now, I think it's possible the wealth rich people have may tilt how cases are decided over time, and a precedent may develop which favors rich people. I think this is highly dependent on specific circumstances in society, may not be a problem at all, and certainly wouldn't nearly be the problem you envision, which is actually persistently present throughout statist societies in history. 

No, not just statist societies, all societies. And the statist ones have dealt with it the best so far. 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Eugene:

Why international arbitration doesn't prefer big countries over small? For example both France and Andora have the same rights. The first reason is that it is too costly for big countries to fight even the smallest countries (which can team up by the way), and because usually people don't want to offend other people if they feel close, and generally Europeans for example feel close to each other.

You’re reifying existing territorial states as primitive actors. Ask Palestine, Tibet, Taiwan, Chechnya, Flanders, Catalonia if all states have the same rights. Ask the post colonial governments of Africa if they possess the same sovereignty as their European counterparts. 

Funnily enough, you bring up the exact issue I am talking about in a different context. Sovereignty developed in Europe as a type of status recognition, bringing along with it political and economic privileges, among European powers. So sure, if you have attained sovereign status you will be treated similarly to other sovereign states. However, achieving that status is the tricky part. 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,255
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

No, not just statist societies, all societies. And the statist ones have dealt with it the best so far.

What's their competition been when they've allowed it?

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Jon Irenicus:

No, not just statist societies, all societies. And the statist ones have dealt with it the best so far.

What's their competition been when they've allowed it?

I'm not sure what you mean by allowed competition

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,255
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Did not criminalise it.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Jon Irenicus:

Did not criminalise it.

That's not really how political competition works. Either you can compete or you can't. It's not a matter of being allowed to or not. 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,255
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

How does political competition work, then? By not allowing alternative forms of organisation so that it can be deemed the best in class? Rome collapsed this way. The US is not even a few centuries old. It is also going to collapse. So will China. These are unstable walking catastrophes. So when you say "best", what do you mean "best" at? Stealing? I freely grant there is no better thief out there, nor a more efficient one at lying and deceiving. If, on the other hand, you actually mean enforcing the rule of law and protecting their citizens, I'll ask by what standard? This hocus pocus of government advocates to try and make states seem inevitable is just stupid.

Whom, precisely, is political "competition" meant to serve?

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Jon Irenicus:

How does political competition work, then? By not allowing alternative forms of organisation so that it can be deemed the best in class? Rome collapsed this way. The US is not even a few centuries old. It is also going to collapse. So will China. These are unstable walking catastrophes. So when you say "best", what do you mean "best" at? Stealing? I freely grant there is no better thief out there, nor a more efficient one at lying and deceiving. If, on the other hand, you actually mean enforcing the rule of law and protecting their citizens, I'll ask by what standard? This hocus pocus of government advocates to try and make states seem inevitable is just stupid.

Whom, precisely, is political "competition" meant to serve?

Well if you read the exchange between NAA and I, 'best' in that context meant best at providing an egalitarian legal status of those subject to its jurisdiction. 

Again you're using market terminology for political phenomena. There aren't consumers to serve with political competition. The reality of political institutions is that they must be established and reproduce themselves. 

 

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,255
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Rofl.

 

How are they the "best" at that, precisely? Market terminology is perfectly apposite for the provision of a service. Special pleading won't get you very far.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 132
Points 1,890
Wesker1982 replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 12:51 PM

OP,

Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqo7XMkbtEk (Rothbard) 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,922
Points 79,590
Autolykos replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 1:50 PM

National Acrobat:
The reality of political institutions is that they must be established and reproduce themselves.

Why exactly must they be established, let alone reproduce themselves?

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

Jon Irenicus:

Rofl.

 

How are they the "best" at that, precisely? Market terminology is perfectly apposite for the provision of a service. Special pleading won't get you very far.

States place individuals under a common condition of subordination. Everyone is subjugated by the state. This creates the overriding identity of the 'citizen' which everyone possesses. There is a measure of unit equality among individuals. 

Whereas previously individuals' identities were constituted by their occupation, lineage, personal connections and so forth. The social structure was extremely heteronomous and this lead to distinct bundles of rights and obligations. 

 

Market's exist in specific political conditions. I'm talking about the emergence of political conditions. Market terminology is inappropriate. 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 149
Points 2,855

 

Autolykos:

National Acrobat:
The reality of political institutions is that they must be established and reproduce themselves.

Why exactly must they be established, let alone reproduce themselves?

I have a gut feeling we mean different things by political institutions. What is a political institutions to you?

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

FlyingAxe:

What is the most succint way to answer (preferably, refute) the following claim? "Under anarcho-capitalism, people would get the quality of 'government' (legislation, arbitration, protection) service proportional to how much they will pay. Hence, the rich will get better protection of the law from the society than the poor."

It's not because a tax-funded bureaucracy claims to universalize the accessibility and quality of a service it renders to society as a whole that it really does that.

And it does not do that because of avoidable "corruption". It does not do that because it is not possible to do it. It doesn't even make any sense outside the realm of rhetorical fantasies.

There are many ways by which rich, powerful and other resourceful people will manage to get effective control of these services in practice, to the extent that it serves them better to do so.

This will happen whether the society is predominantly of privately run enterprises or of tax-funded bureaucracies created by political action.

It's just a matter of economic incentives.

And there's nothing any ideological predisposition can do about that.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,922
Points 79,590
Autolykos replied on Thu, Dec 20 2012 7:11 AM

National Acrobat:
I have a gut feeling we mean different things by political institutions. What is a political institutions to you?

In this case, I mean whatever you mean.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 20
Previous | Next
Page 1 of 2 (54 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS