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Defence in anarchy

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Eric Posted: Sun, Jan 11 2009 10:06 AM

Would simply want to know different opinions on how defence from other nations, and defence from domestic threats would be resolved in an anarchial society. ty

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Stranger replied on Sun, Jan 11 2009 10:53 AM

The myth of national defense

a collection of essays edited by Hans Hermann Hoppe

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Eric replied on Sun, Jan 11 2009 3:30 PM

ty stranger

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Stranger:

I am currently about half way though it, and have taken about 2 pages of notes. I plan on writing a rebuttal in perhaps a week.

But I have a question:

1) Do Austrians/libertarians subscribe to natural selection and/or evolution? If so, do they think natural selection can work in non-living fields? Like medicine, monatary policy, government services etc. ( There was an AP article this week about how the medical field is using natural selection to develop new cures. [try out tons of random and crazy methods, then apply natural selection based on results])

Thank you in advance.

 

Ixtellor

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Ixtellor:
Do Austrians/libertarians subscribe to natural selection and/or evolution?

Some do.  Austrianism and libertarianism are not defined by common religious, scientific or cultural beliefs.  It's defined by a moral principle and an understanding of why man acts.  Other than that, all sorts of non-aggressive beliefs are compatible.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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liberty student:

Ixtellor:
Do Austrians/libertarians subscribe to natural selection and/or evolution?

Austrianism and libertarianism are not defined by common religious, scientific or cultural beliefs.  It's defined by a moral principle and an understanding of why man acts.

And of course, then you have the non-Austrian libertarians.

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community.

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Byzantine:
Government, by contrast, is devolutionary because in the absence of reckoning from profit and loss, economic calculation is impossible.

I like to think of the state as being static.  It pushes against evolution, and tries to impose the same formula regardless of the variables.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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liberty student:

Byzantine:
Government, by contrast, is devolutionary because in the absence of reckoning from profit and loss, economic calculation is impossible.

I like to think of the state as being static.  It pushes against evolution, and tries to impose the same formula regardless of the variables.

If only the state were static!  Many of our problems would not exist now if this were the case.  Just imagine if our government was the same size as in the days of Jefferson, instead of what really happened; namely, the ever growing size, scope and ruthlessness of it.  The state should really be thought of as an ever growing virus ... one that has little consideration for its prey, even to the point in which it risks its own safety.

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ladyattis replied on Fri, Feb 20 2009 8:39 PM

Ixtellor:
Do Austrians/libertarians subscribe to natural selection and/or evolution? If so, do they think natural selection can work in non-living fields? Like medicine, monatary policy, government services etc. ( There was an AP article this week about how the medical field is using natural selection to develop new cures. [try out tons of random and crazy methods, then apply natural selection based on results])

The work of Thomas Malthus predates Darwin's Natural Selection by a few years if I remember right. And that it was Malthusian Social Selection that Darwin would come to use as his basis for Natural Selection. So, in terms of non-living fields, it's already been in use and many sociologists and a few economists that I've read do subscribe to Malthus' concerns.

"The power of liberty going forward is in decentralization.  Not in leaders, but in decentralized activism.  In a market process." -- liberty student

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ama gi replied on Mon, Mar 2 2009 11:11 PM

Eric:
Would simply want to know different opinions on how defence from other nations, and defence from domestic threats would be resolved in an anarchial society. ty

Pardon me, but what exactly is a "domestic threat"? Maybe those ugly yellow Japs who are trying to sell us out to the enemy?  Or the homos who are after your children?  Or those draft-dodging, traitorous peacniks that need to be made an example of?

Bottom line: I get really agitated when I hear the words "defense" and "domestic" in the same sentence.

"As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable."

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You shouldn't get really agitated about that, because the root of all foreign threats is the domestic, tyrannical government's policies favoring conquest.

Also, to answer the topic, I may not be the first one to say this, but in an anarchy, in the rare chance a really crazy unprovoked person or foreign army invaded the land and inalienable, natural rights of a prosperous, at-liberty anarchy society, all the members of the anarchy state would just naturally come together to defend their inalienable right to keep their land an anarchy.

In an anarchy, people could form many private groups in case of a crazy unprovoked threat, to pay for weapons, and even individuals could pay for the weapons.  An anarchy society is superior to the the Authoritarians in the govt that have collected from and deprived citizens of their individual liberties.

To summarize, an anarchy defends itself by the nature of it being an anarchy, just like a free market regulates itself by nature.

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banned replied on Mon, Mar 16 2009 8:58 PM

Ixtellor:
If so, do they think natural selection can work in non-living fields? Like medicine, monatary policy, government services etc. ( There was an AP article this week about how the medical field is using natural selection to develop new cures. [try out tons of random and crazy methods, then apply natural selection based on results])

Austrianism proposes that market selection is the most efficient means of distributing resources.

So, the cures you're talking about may or may not have as strong an effect, and may or may not have strong side effects. Given a general knowledge of the product they are purchasing, consumers will decide which cure they are willing to buy  through what risk they are willing to take in terms of effectiveness/side effects and what they are willing to forgoe to get the cure (the price they pay). Whether or not a cure is desired cannot be known until it is put on the market.

 

Also, keep in mind, Austrianism and Libertarianism are different things. They make sense together, but neither one needs the other.

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megiddo replied on Thu, Mar 19 2009 10:31 AM

As far as I am aware, evolution is a theory of speciation.  It does not imply success, or otherwise.  It implies speciation, or the differentiation of life.

There is a concept in artificial intelligence called genetic algorithms, which attempt a form of simulated annealing to find local minima (or optima ...).  Without reading that article, I have to assume this is what they really meant.  I'm not sure that the medical industry is looking for the speciation of cures.  They are looking for a good cure.  These are different concepts. They are using statistically sound applications of simulated annealing to discover solutions. 

I'm not sure asking if an Austrian "subscribes" to natural selection or evolution makes sense.  It would be like asking if I subscribe to gravity.

Either way, this has little to do with evolution as a theory of speciation.

I am interested in your rebuttal to Myth.  I only found one particularly troubling dilemma as a result of reading it; I just posted this in a separate thread.

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RogueMerc:
ust imagine if our government was the same size as in the days of Jefferson, instead of what really happened; namely, the ever growing size

Didnt Jefferson say that we should "audit" and rework the government for every generation?

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banned replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 3:47 AM

Sickapompos:
Didnt Jefferson say that we should "audit" and rework the government for every generation?

No, that was Maddison. He wanted a policy where a Constitutional Congress was held every 30 years to reassess and rework the constitution.

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jdcoffey replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 8:41 AM

Stranger:

The myth of national defense

a collection of essays edited by Hans Hermann Hoppe

Thanks for posting this.  As a newcomer to Austrian and Libertarian thought, I'm skeptical that national defense can be provided for without a strong state.  I look forward to the read!

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 12:08 PM

ama gi:

Eric:
Would simply want to know different opinions on how defence from other nations, and defence from domestic threats would be resolved in an anarchial society. ty

Pardon me, but what exactly is a "domestic threat"? Maybe those ugly yellow Japs who are trying to sell us out to the enemy?  Or the homos who are after your children?  Or those draft-dodging, traitorous peacniks that need to be made an example of?

Bottom line: I get really agitated when I hear the words "defense" and "domestic" in the same sentence.

What I'm trying to say is how will we not have someone want power. But thats not the point. Would private security create or sustain a market for WMD's and such?

 

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Stranger replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 12:24 PM

Eric:

What I'm trying to say is how will we not have someone want power. But thats not the point. Would private security create or sustain a market for WMD's and such?

Weapons are made to defeat other weapons. What exactly would WMDs be used to defeat? Perhaps large troop concentrations could be destroyed using low-yield nuclear weapons, but chemical and biological weapons have no real purpose.

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 12:37 PM

Stranger:

Eric:

What I'm trying to say is how will we not have someone want power. But thats not the point. Would private security create or sustain a market for WMD's and such?

Weapons are made to defeat other weapons. What exactly would WMDs be used to defeat? Perhaps large troop concentrations could be destroyed using low-yield nuclear weapons, but chemical and biological weapons have no real purpose.

Russian WMD's not to single out one country.

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Stranger replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 12:43 PM

Eric:

Russian WMD's not to single out one country.

I don't understand the meaning of this non-sentence.

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:45 PM

Nvm, I'm sorry I was babbling.

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Eric replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:46 PM

Reading the Hoppe essay has changed my opinion, thanks again for the link.

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Gene L. replied on Tue, Mar 31 2009 4:54 PM

Austrian-libertarianism is perfectly compatible with the young-Earth hypothesis that man was created in an instant approx. 6000 years ago. Even as dinosaurs and human being roamed the Earth, inflation caused boom and bust cycles.  

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DASawyer replied on Wed, Apr 8 2009 11:07 AM

"Austrian" is a school of economic thought. Asking if Austrian economists subscribe to  Natural Selection is like asking if evolutionary biologists subscribe to string theory, or string theorists to marginalism.

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The militia. Period.

Every person being capable of and prepared to defend themselves, their family, and their property, training to operate independently, but together, toward a common goal, which is defense.

Which reminds me, I have some work to do regarding the militias of the US...

For reading I'd suggest chapters 22 and 23 of "World War I The Rest of the Story and How It Effects You Today"

It deals with militias and guerrilla warfare, using the Swiss as an example.

Righteous government, or the righteous lack thereof, is not the producer of a righteous society, it is the product of one.

You can't have my guns, but I'd be glad to give you my bullets...

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I'd edit the post I just made but I keep getting an error message when I try. I snapped a screenshot of it if an admin would like to see it.

Anyway, the militia is absolutely the most powerful defensive forces ever seen. The reason this is a little known fact? Government. Notice how I keep referring to the militia as a defensive force. It is by the citizens, for the citizens defense. It is a defensive force, and it fails at offense, in contrast to a military, which is an offensive force. This is why governments create military's. They want the power to attack, take over, and seize. The also dislike and discourage militias because they defend the populace, and the government desires control over the populace.

The founding fathers of the United States of American knew what they were talking about when they said that the militia is necessary to the security of a free state. They knew what they were doing when they put it in the Constitution of the United States of America. They put it there for a reason. They put it there because it's absolutely true, and possibly one of the most important lessons for people to learn, and that is, if they want to be free and they want to be safe, they need to make themselves that way. They cannot put it into the hands of others and expect to live both free and safe.

Righteous government, or the righteous lack thereof, is not the producer of a righteous society, it is the product of one.

You can't have my guns, but I'd be glad to give you my bullets...

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Send HeroicLife a PM regarding that error.

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

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Yep! A Militia is the best defense. Heck, even Iran has a volunteer militia in addition to their military. But in the USA, if you advocate Militias you are smeared as a "Right-Wing Extremist!"

The horrors! People who want to defend themselves!Surprise

Heck, a militia system won the Revolutionary war. North Vietnam, even though a Communist nation, brought down America with militiamen.

The truth is that there is not enough of the right kind of freedom, the fundamental freedom to choose to be free or not to be free, according to one's preference.

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Eric:

Would simply want to know different opinions on how defence from other nations, and defence from domestic threats would be resolved in an anarchial society. ty

This helped me understand....

  1. The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts - Murray Rothbard

It sounds like the ocean, smells like fresh mountain air, and tastes like the union of peanut butter and chocolate. ~Liberty Student

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Mr. A replied on Thu, Jun 18 2009 8:08 PM

In an anarchical society there would be no need for "defence" as people would have more easy access to guns and other protective technology (note: at a cheaper price and higher quality due to free market) - sure guns could be used for assault, but how would anyone dare to assault anyone who already have protective measures? The fact that everyone, or almost everyone, has guns would be counter-productive to gun-using criminals. So even at the start, criminality becomes a difficult thing to initiate in an anarchic society. However, there are measures such as private police/detective forces, who actually have incentives, by consumer supply-and-demand and market forces, to act at best quality and at a cheap price, as alternatives, or at the side of it all. Private courts, being de-centralized and having no set law to follow, would have rulings to settle disputes which may evolve to crime - shit rulings would be discarded quickly if majority consumers start to see the court as ineffective in their best interests. Court rulings would deal with crime adequately also.

Defence from other nations would be provided by a militia - every war that an anarchic society would go through would be a guerrilla war, really. However, States would not have any interest in seizing the society, due to the lack of another State power ruling that society - any anarchic war would be caused by the opponent State's desire for political/national expansion or resources. Militias are very effective, and anarchic societies would be tough to fade out of existence through force, though anarchic societies are sensitive due to the ease individuals would have in ideological influence (as independent in anarchy and un-coerced to opposing thought), and wouldn't necessarily endorse anarchy though they are living within it.

 

States, on the other hand, offer no incentive (they just can't offer any incentive - it's impossible, because it relies on taxation) for this so-called "defence." Being State-funded, all these "defences" are perverted from market forces and therefore also perverted from direct consumer demand, and therefore: the people's control. The defence forces are susceptible to the State, not the people, and is therefore biased towards State interests, not people's interests. Beause of this, police forces don't really do squat. They just harass people and give people tickets (so now the State has more money and so do the cops themselves). Increasing spending or lowering it is not going to do squat. Mlitary is used for the State's imperialistic interests. Also, police forces aren't immediate: if you get assaulted one day, I doubt the police would be there to protect you. You're the one that has the most need to protect yourself because no one else is as immediate to your needs and interests as you are, and therefore no one else is as immediately answerable to your security as you are. Anarchic society's, ironically, therefore are actually safer. Keep in made that the defence system, being from the State in a nation, is susceptible to State interests, as aforementioned, and therefore the State's defence system can actually be used for the opposite and enforce bigotry, the violation of liberty, the distruction of the individual, and the exploitation of the individual as well, very easily. In an anarchic society, being driven by market forces, this is a really difficult thing to happen.

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DASawyer replied on Thu, Jun 18 2009 11:02 PM

One thing I feel the need to point out is the notion that the militia is not always, and in all cases, sufficient for national defense. It ignores certain basic economic principles we all accept in other contexts: the division of labor. A majority of people involved directly in armed defense functions best in the same sort of society in which a majority of people are also involved in that most basic area of productivity: food production. Differences in military capabilities arise in the same way as differences in wealth production abilities: based upon individual differences, increased through specialization in capital ownership... weapons, in the case of military conflict.

Now, this isn't to say the status-quo is the ideal; it's far from ideal. But I do think the militia needs, in certain times and places, to be supplemented with regular forces. That time and place is not now, I think... but blitzkreig is not the only military threat people face. A highly centralized government can make a nation more vunlerable to blitzkreig.

But the complete lack of any effective central rallying point can make a nation vulnerable to a much more basic form of conquest: the gradual, self-financed eating away of territory by a militarily superior force. So long as the costs of conflict do not exceed the rents that can be collected from conquered lands, conquest can be profitable. Some kind of institution that facilitates and encourages mutual defense (not necessarily The State as we know it) can make this far more expensive than it otherwise might be. A temporary professionalization of forces can be necessary during a period of active conflict, and institutions in place to enable this transition to be done more efficiently can raise the price of conquest even further.

But I do agree that the long-term institutionalization of forces is a bad idea, both because it diverts resources that could be applied to developing the capital structure during a time of peace (thus raising the wealth-producing abilities of the population and, therefore, the munitions-producing abilities should it become necessary) and making the country more worth defending in the first place (thus raising troop motivation and potentially morale), and because the longer such an institution continues the greater the danger that this institution will become... institutionalized. Meaning its goal goes from service to the population to self-perpetuation.

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Juan replied on Fri, Jun 19 2009 12:01 AM
One thing I feel the need to point out is the notion that the militia is not always, and in all cases, sufficient for national defense.
What maybe needs to be pointed out is that libertarianism attempts at replacing war with trade and the the concept of 'national defense' is meaningless in a free society as there's no NATION to defend.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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banned replied on Fri, Jun 19 2009 12:05 AM

Mr. A:
In an anarchical society there would be no need for "defence"

There are no inherent needs in any society. Only wants. Needs are just things that must be met to achieve a want. That being said, If I see that there is a group of thugs going around robbing homes and I want a protection from them, but I don't want to risk fighting them myself, I will need to hire someone to defend me.

Mr. A:
sure guns could be used for assault, but how would anyone dare to assault anyone who already have protective measures?

Because they are insane or suicidal?

 

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DASawyer replied on Fri, Jun 19 2009 8:40 AM

Juan:
What maybe needs to be pointed out is that libertarianism attempts at replacing war with trade and the the concept of 'national defense' is meaningless in a free society as there's no NATION to defend.

"Nation" and "State" are not the same thing. They sometimes coincide, but not always, and never perfectly. A "State" is an area of territory inhabited by a group of people over which a government claims dominion, generally with at least the tacit concent of those people. A "Nation", however, is nothing more than a subset of humankind that happens to share a common language, cultural practices, etc.

Allow me to refine the OP's question.

I know the answer to the question: how, in a libertarian society, is the centralized conquerer dealt with? The answer is that the single conquerer is much less liklely to come in force in the first place. Lacking a bureaucracy that's already in place and available to be taken over, the would-be conquerer is faced with the prospect of having to take, hold, occupy, and administer a territory, and a people, who are already accustomed to ignoring central authority... which is much more difficult than just conquering the capital and safely assuming the people will follow.

However, how does a libertarian society deal with the decentralized conquerer? Now I'm talking not about Adolph Hitler, but about a group of people who find themselves with sufficiently greater military efficiencies that make the costs of taking over territory less than the rents that can be extracted once they've done so (whether those rents are extracted from the subjugated original populace, or land-eager colonizers from the place they came from). I'm talking about situations where Vikings are slowly, piece by piece, raiding and ultimately taking over segments of land, or Americans are slowly, piece by piece, conquering natives, brutalizing their women and children, and then taking their lands. Or inner African tribes, being attacked and enslaved by outer African tribes who have been made strong by Portuguese money.

The argument of the Statist is that the government is an institution by which all the people of a given area have a prior agreement and to commit resources to driving off small conquerers and raiders who would otherwise exploit a situation where, so long as they have the resources to overcome the smaller groups that form naturally, they can take what they will. The Minarchist says it should go no further than that, but that this part is necessary if people want to maximize their personal freedom.

I guess my question is: what is the Anarchist's response, when outlaws (bandits, pirates, raiders, etc.) take over his town, and the people in the next town over say, "It's not my problem?"

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DASawyer:
I guess my question is: what is the Anarchist's response, when outlaws (bandits, pirates, raiders, etc.) take over his town, and the people in the next town over say, "It's not my problem?"

hmmm,  i dont know... what would we do if everyone was naive, foolish, capricious, incapable of accurately judging risk..?

what would we do if people decided to buy no food, but just go to the movies and read books and starved to death?

what would we do....

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

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DASawyer:

I guess my question is: what is the Anarchist's response, when outlaws (bandits, pirates, raiders, etc.) take over his town, and the people in the next town over say, "It's not my problem?"

That's a very unlikely scenario, but... Die, I guess.

Living rightly doesn't produce utopia in which the good guys always win, it just comes as close as humanly possible. I've accepted it, and I'm happy with it.

Righteous government, or the righteous lack thereof, is not the producer of a righteous society, it is the product of one.

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I guess my question is: what is the Anarchist's response, when outlaws (bandits, pirates, raiders, etc.) take over his town, and the people in the next town over say, "It's not my problem?"

Emigrate? There's no right to be protected, and thus no right to institute a state to do so... as if it could really, anyway...

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

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Mr. A:
In an anarchical society there would be no need for "defence" as people would have more easy access to guns and other protective technology (note: at a cheaper price and higher quality due to free market) -

This makes no sense. If we don't need defense, why would we need weapons in the first place?

Mr. A:
sure guns could be used for assault, but how would anyone dare to assault anyone who already have protective measures? The fact that everyone, or almost everyone, has guns would be counter-productive to gun-using criminals. So even at the start, criminality becomes a difficult thing to initiate in an anarchic society.

Even if you have a gun, I just need to shoot you once first to kill you. Then I can take your wallet. What's stopping me?

Mr. A:
However, there are measures such as private police/detective forces, who actually have incentives, by consumer supply-and-demand and market forces, to act at best quality and at a cheap price, as alternatives, or at the side of it all.

Competition between armed forces? Instead of competing for your money by offering better services, they might as well kill the other group to eliminate competition. Better yet, they'll just kill you and take your wallet.

Mr. A:
Private courts, being de-centralized and having no set law to follow, would have rulings to settle disputes which may evolve to crime - shit rulings would be discarded quickly if majority consumers start to see the court as ineffective in their best interests. Court rulings would deal with crime adequately also.

No law to follow? Sounds like the mob. Also, if there's no law, then nothing is illegal. Why is there a court in the first place?

Mr. A:
Defence from other nations would be provided by a militia - every war that an anarchic society would go through would be a guerrilla war, really.

I have to wait until the aggressor is at my front door? And I have to fight? No thanks, I'd rather pay taxes.

Mr. A:
However, States would not have any interest in seizing the society, due to the lack of another State power ruling that society - any anarchic war would be caused by the opponent State's desire for political/national expansion or resources.Militias are very effective, and anarchic societies would be tough to fade out of existence through force, though anarchic societies are sensitive due to the ease individuals would have in ideological influence (as independent in anarchy and un-coerced to opposing thought), and wouldn't necessarily endorse anarchy though they are living within it.

I don't care about taking over your "society". I'm just going to swoop in with my highly trained and organized army and kill all of you. And then take all of your wallets.

Mr. A:
States, on the other hand, offer no incentive (they just can't offer any incentive - it's impossible, because it relies on taxation) for this so-called "defence." Being State-funded, all these "defences" are perverted from market forces and therefore also perverted from direct consumer demand, and therefore: the people's control.

No one would want to pay for a standing army or military research during times of peace. The problem comes when you need it, it'll be too late. Also, when YOU'RE the one paying the cops the most, they'll do everything in YOUR interest. Quite useful when you're the leader of a large drug cartel.

Mr. A:
The defence forces are susceptible to the State, not the people, and is therefore biased towards State interests, not people's interests. Beause of this, police forces don't really do squat. They just harass people and give people tickets (so now the State has more money and so do the cops themselves).

Where do you live? North Korea? I've never been harassed nor given a ticket for anything.

Mr. A:
Increasing spending or lowering it is not going to do squat. Mlitary is used for the State's imperialistic interests.

Decreasing military spending, decreasing the size of the army, and bringing home troops posted in foreign territories won't give much of the "state" (in this I guess you mean people within government benefiting from foreign military operations) much to work with.

Mr. A:
Also, police forces aren't immediate: if you get assaulted one day, I doubt the police would be there to protect you.You're the one that has the most need to protect yourself because no one else is as immediate to your needs and interests as you are, and therefore no one else is as immediately answerable to your security as you are.

The fact that there is a police and that they are bound by LAWS acts as a deterrent against criminals. Also, if  you really are that insecure, why not carry a concealed weapon (assuming that you live in the US)?

Mr. A:
Anarchic society's, ironically, therefore are actually safer. Keep in made that the defence system, being from the State in a nation, is susceptible to State interests, as aforementioned, and therefore the State's defence system can actually be used for the opposite and enforce bigotry, the violation of liberty, the distruction of the individual, and the exploitation of the individual as well, very easily. In an anarchic society, being driven by market forces, this is a really difficult thing to happen.

Anarchy protects you from the threat of 'the State" but creates threats out of EVERYTHING else.

I really don't see what "market forces" have to do with anything in a free for all world.

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Do yourself a favour and open a text - a basic text - on free market defence, before spouting off ignorant nonsense like this, mmkay?

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

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