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Natural monopoly in the market for protection services?

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Maurizio Colucci Posted: Mon, Sep 19 2011 2:56 PM

Could you sum up the evidence against the existence of a natural monopoly in the market for protection services?

Here is my attempt:

1) I remember David Friedman citing as evidence the habit of State police to subdivide itself into independent units, districts or something like that; but I cannot find the source; can you help?

2) if protection were a natural monopoly, it would not need to use the force to prevent competitors, would it? Does the fact that the government outlaws and will use force against competitors not prove that its market is not a natural monopoly? What do you think?

3) if there were a natural monopoly, would it not follow that a world government would be more efficient in protecting property rights?

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Sep 19 2011 3:33 PM

 if there were a natural monopoly, would it not follow that a world government would be more efficient in protecting property rights?

Let me paraphrase that:

" if there were a natural monopoly (free market), would it not follow that a non-free market aggressive group would be more efficient in protecting property rights?"

How does one follow the other?

The government is not a natural monopoly but an aggressive one.

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Hi,

I think there was a misunderstanding, let me restate: "if the market of protection were a natural monopoly, would it not follow that a world government would be more efficient than the US government in protecting people?"

does it make sense to you now?

Second:

The government is not a natural monopoly but an aggressive one.

 

Of, but why is it not natural? Do you mean that aggressive IMPLIES not natural? that is, you are embracing point 2?

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Sep 19 2011 3:53 PM

if the market of protection were a natural monopoly, would it not follow that a world government would be more efficient than the US government in protecting people?

Not really, unless you assume the world government is more efficient that the US government by default.

Here is what you are asking:

If a natural monopoly in cell phones is the best, why not delegate all cell phone service provision to Virgin Mobile? Just because there can be a "best" doesn't mean that any one company will achieve this "best." Similarly, just because a natural monopoly in government may be best, it doesn't mean that any world government we create will be best.

Furthermore, remember that "monopoly" is a restrictive term, as we define it to be a company which engulfs competition in some defined area. But this definition of area is arbitrary. For example, even though AT&T was given a monopoly by the government, it wasn't a world monopoly, just a local US monopoly.

Considering this, what do you define as a "monopoly"? Because natural monopolies may be superior, it doesn't mean worldwide natural monopolies will be superior.

why is it not natural

"Natural" doesn't mean that it arises through spontaneous processes (of which everything does, really). It means non-aggressive. If you're interested, read The Myth of Natural Monopoly. It explains that natural monopolies have not occurred, and monopolies which have occurred have been government granted. This implies that natural monopolies means free market, or non-aggressive, monopolies.

aggressive IMPLIES not natural

Yes, by definition.

if the market of protection were a natural monopoly

I don't think you can theoretically derive the "natural monopoliness" of an industry. Monopolies are de-facto, not calculations by economists. Remember that central planning doesn't work.

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Because natural monopolies may be superior, it doesn't mean worldwide natural monopolies will be superior.

 

I don't follow... natural monopoly is defined as a monopoly which has INFINITE economies of scale. i.e. the larger, the more efficient. So according to this definition, it seems to me a worldwide monopoly must (have the potential to be) more efficient than a smaller monopoly.

 

Thanks for the myth of natural monopoly, I am going to read it now :)

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Private police are not outlawed, at least in my country. But if there is a crime the government police claim to have jurisdiction. It is the claim of jurisdiction that is the reason why they can not be classified as a natural monopoly. Unlike other private police forces their services are not requested directly.

It is unlikely that there would be a natural monopoly in a service like police protection. Due to the nature of the service. Even plumbers would have more chance of a natural monopoly developing although it would seem just as unlikely. Plumbing company could develop a house plumbing solution that is so good that everyone in a specific region purchases it and due to supply or manufacturing advantages or other reasons, they could retain a monopoly, as one example. But the police force service does not have the means to gain a natural monopoly. I have seen private police in SA and they are very fast to come to your house when an alarm goes off, that is because if they don't show up, the person can change to one of the many other security companies.

If a police force gain a monopoly through force then that would not be a natural monopoly in my opinion.

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Sep 19 2011 4:41 PM

natural monopoly is defined as a monopoly which has INFINITE economies of scale

Eh, I doubt that. This is quite nearly impossible, as then you could say that there have never been natural monopolies because no company has ever had above 99% of the world market share. Since this is a pointless definition, as it is unlikely to ever happen under any system whatsoever, it is more useful to limit the definition of monopoly to a business within a certain area.

according to this definition, it seems to me a worldwide monopoly must (have the potential to be) more efficient than a smaller monopoly.

Given that it was achieved through the free market, which is the only true test for efficiency. But government is not achieved through the free market.

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Private police are not outlawed, at least in my country.

 

I doubt it :) if you forbid me to patronize another company (i.e. to quit being your customer), you are outlawing competition (in any relevant sense).

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As a slight aside, how would opening up the current market to more competition, because after all what is the U.N. and the global state agenda if not the ultimate monopoly, be any worse than the current situation?

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Maurizio Colucci:

Private police are not outlawed, at least in my country.

I doubt it :) if you forbid me to patronize another company (i.e. to quit being your customer), you are outlawing competition (in any relevant sense).

Private protection service companies do exist. Body guards, private investigators, you could even go as far as hiring swat or hitman or ninjas or your own military contractor.

The government police have a monopoly through jurisdiction laws.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Sep 20 2011 3:23 PM

Can you give some links and "official" testimonials that these companies work well? It seems like a great piece of evidence to have.

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Anenome replied on Wed, Sep 21 2011 4:52 PM

Law has a territorial monopoly because of the nature of law. You cannot have a competing law in the same jurisdiction.

As for protective services, there's room in a free society for both police and private protective services, but the law courts would be government courts, as locking someone away must be done within a legally proscribed process, under objective rules of evidence, procedure, and trial.

What the government has is a monopoly on coercion within society--meaning that it is the only entity that can use coercion (non-defensively) to adjudicate disagreements between members of society and to protect society.

This doesn't mean you can't use self-defense or stop a crime in progress--but when it's all over you'll still call the police to lock away the attacker, not do it yourself.

Where governments become abusive is when they become agents of aggressive coercion rather than purely agents of responsive coercion used to end aggression.

The invention of a constitution was the first time in history that the government was made subject to the law in such a way that it was limited to the protection of rights. The US constitution was a good first effort, but it left a lot of loopholes for statism and thereby aggression. The proper role of government is to protect rights within society from aggressors.

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@anenome:

 

I strongly suggest you to read this. http://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html

there are a lot of nonsequiturs in your comment.

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James replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 3:14 AM

What the government has is a monopoly on coercion within society--meaning that it is the only entity that can use coercion (non-defensively) to adjudicate disagreements between members of society and to protect society.

 
Wahahaha...
 
What strange and exotic universe do you hail from where government wasn't established as a coercive institution?
 
It's like you're saying the Sicilian mafia is a wonderful social club until it starts committing crimes.  But all the other secret societies can go to hell, because they're not Sicilian. :p 
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Anenome replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 3:17 AM

Maurizio Colucci:

@anenome:I strongly suggest you to read this. http://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html

there are a lot of nonsequiturs in your comment.

We shall see.

He starts off with a "monopoly on shoes" example that I hope he doesn't intend to extend, because the political and economic realms cannot be conflated successfully for the purposes of examining law. There is nothing about shoes that makes manufacturing shoes as a monopoly a necessity, however the nature of law is such that it -must be- monopolistic. This is not a non-sequitur.

He asks:

"So, from a moral standpoint I have no more right to do it than anyone else."

The answer is the right of law to exist is drawn from the consent of the governed.

"Well, first of all, there are incentive problems. If I'm the only person who has the right to make and sell shoes, you're probably not going to get the shoes from me very cheaply. I can charge as much as I want"

Our current government can indeed be viewed as an entity that sells protection from aggressors at monopolistic prices. However, the price charged can be curtailed constitutionally. It simply wasn't in the case of American government. Since the ability to tax can be constitutionally prohibited, this is not an innate aspect of nor essential to the nature of a government, meaning taxation is a feature of an abusive government, not of all government.

His economic analysis is well off to, as he assumes people cannot substitute:

If I'm the only person who has the right to make and sell shoes, you're probably not going to get the shoes from me very cheaply. I can charge as much as I want, as long as I don't charge so much that you just can't afford them at all or you decide you're happier just not having the shoes. But as long as you're willing and able, I'll charge the highest price that I can get out of you — because you've got no competition, nowhere else to go.

In an economic scenario where you don't like what's on offer, such as this, you can make your own shoes or begin substituting in sandals, boots, etc.

All of this ignores, again, that reasoning that competition is good in the market does not mean competition is good within the same government in the same region.

"Government Is a Forced Monopoly"

Yes, but it is so because law, by nature, must exist as a monopoly within a jurisdiction to function. Your author needs to brush up on his philosophy of law.

Now, as I predicted, your author made an economic argument and now attempts to switch context over to government:

"So those are all reasons not to have a monopoly on the making and selling of shoes. Now, prima facie at least, it seems as though those are all good reasons for anyone not to have a monopoly in the provision of services of adjudicating disputes, and protecting rights, and all the things that are involved in what you might broadly call the enterprise of law."

Here's what Rand had to say about competing governments:

A recent variant of anarchistic theory, which is befuddling some of the younger advocates of freedom, is a weird absurdity called “competing governments.” Accepting the basic premise of the modern statists—who see no difference between the functions of government and the functions of industry, between force and production, and who advocate government ownership of business—the proponents of “competing governments” take the other side of the same coin and declare that since competition is so beneficial to business, it should also be applied to government. Instead of a single, monopolistic government, they declare, there should be a number of different governments in the same geographical area, competing for the allegiance of individual citizens, with every citizen free to “shop” and to patronize whatever government he chooses.

Remember that forcible restraint of men is the only service a government has to offer. Ask yourself what a competition in forcible restraint would have to mean.

One cannot call this theory a contradiction in terms, since it is obviously devoid of any understanding of the terms “competition” and “government.” Nor can one call it a floating abstraction, since it is devoid of any contact with or reference to reality and cannot be concretized at all, not even roughly or approximately. One illustration will be sufficient: suppose Mr. Smith, a customer of Government A, suspects that his next-door neighbor, Mr. Jones, a customer of Government B, has robbed him; a squad of Police A proceeds to Mr. Jones’ house and is met at the door by a squad of Police B, who declare that they do not accept the validity of Mr. Smith’s complaint and do not recognize the authority of Government A. What happens then? You take it from there.

Ayn Rand. The Virtue of Selfishness (Kindle Locations 2023-2036). Penguin USA, Inc..

This helps explain why law must hold a jurisdictional monopoly.

As for his 10 points:

1. He conceeds that an explicit social-contract, ie: law, would be fine. His objection is to an implicit contract. In that we agree. (and his example is silly, wearing hats?).

2. In an anarchist society, people would have to invest resources to their personal protection that they wouldn't need in a law-based society. And there would be less trade than in a law-based society due to the trust factors Hobbes cites. That would have to be conceded even by an anarchist. Thus, Hobbes' argument is a good one.

Today we have people delivering a billion dollars in goods on credit. Would that happen in an anarchist society? Perhaps, but not to the same degree.

3. "Law Merchant" wouldn't work in a large society, wouldn't apply to criminals, and still allows Madoff-style theft without recourse.

4. Hah, he actually addresses the Rand quote I gave above. And concedes it? And he later on assumes governments must tax--a non-sequitor of its own.

5. He concedes that anarchy has no court capable of ending a dispute coercively. How is this helping your case exactly? A gov court can use responsive coercion to resolve an intractable dispute, so his assertion that no other system can provide a solution is false.

6. Property was greatly improved when a third party was involved to recognize title. Previous to this, title meant holding the deed, and deed theft meant title transfer. There were princes traveling all over europe stealing deeds. Current system is far better. Furthermore, the title system is likely to be expanded with the use of location-aware GPS on all products and property.

7. True anarchy as a society would be a return to historical tribalism or modern gang-warfare. There'd be no other guarantor of protection. Forget organized crime, it would be a return to coercion as a primary method of dispute resolution and relationship between people.

8. I'm not really worried about 8. My concern is more about the ability of a slave-lord under anarchy to take slaves and then hire enough protection to keep them. Anarchists seem, amazingly, unconcerned about such. I think society needs an impersonal institution (police) whose job it is to stop aggression within society, whose proper role is to force the slave-lord to stop slaving. Anarchy has no equivalent. His solution of selling claims to damage is laughable.

9. A market can only exist in a society where rights are respected. What you have under anarchy is barter. What use would money be in a society where counterfeiting is not stopped. So his appeal to markets under anarchy is silly.

10. This is obvious. Tribalism would result and tribes would have the equivalent of law: the whims of the leader of the tribe. It would be a pure return to whim-worship and law made by autocrats. Why he makes the leap to a cartel I have no idea. The result would be many small tribal units.

Meh. Unfortunately I didn't find much challenging to my ideas in his article, and even less of it based on principle rather than what he hoped would work.

If stopping aggression within a society is a desireable thing, then we can collectively set up a legal jurisdiction and an enforcement mechanism tasked purely with the ability to use coercion responsively, that is to only protect rights and protect against aggressions within that society, and make it also illegal for that entity to aggress itself. That is the proper role of government, and it's been shown to work and to produce a prosperous and free society, even if today's societies have on the whole gone far into the aggressive realm.

Meanwhile, the anarchists have to figure out how to create a society with no impersonal force to hold-back or prevent aggressions within society, none of which have been shown to be effective within a society. Thousands of societies around the world and not one has self-organized into an anarchist society?

What anarchy is really about today is a response to political over-organization. In the broad expanse of human history, every time we've had lots of freedom people said, "let's organize!" and they did. Then things got too restrictive and people said, "We want freedom!" and they tore the restrictions down.

We're in a restrictive phase, and those calling for anarchy are simply propagating the vast wheel of repeating history without the perspective to see that they're doing nothing special or unique. They are little more than Visigoths standing at Rome's gates, ready to burn the city.

The true departure from the wheel of history begins with the US constitution, that radical document of limited government power, that subjected government to ethical rules of behavior--something governments hadn't been limited to previously.

Freedom is a middle concept; it is defined neither by too much independence from each other (anarchy) nor too much dependence. It is right in the middle, and "What is the right amount of government" has been the question since the US was founded. We can use the NAP to find that right amount. It is that government should be limited to responsive coercion used to end aggression, and limited only to that. Tha produces a free society, and also one that is completely ethical, indeed ideal.

The US constitution unfortunately left many loopholes for statism to grow, but the concept has proved a working one, and it's up to us now to improve upon the document and either change our states or found new ones.

 

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@anenome

I am not sure if you are just trolling because you keep repeating arguments which have been clearly refuted in Long's text... so I am only going to reply to a few sentences of yours which clearly struck me as wrong.

you say: "The answer is the right of law to exist is drawn from the consent of the governed."

I don't know what to say except you should pay more attention to the text. This point of view has been refuted by Rod Long  in point 1. The argument is circular, because it assumes the governent owns all the land in the first place. In case you don't see why, here is the short explanation: you claim I consented to be governed; I ask you "when did I consent?"; you answer "you did when you decided to live within this territory, you accepted the laws posed by the State". But this _presupposes_ the State is the owner, and not simply the neighbour. Instead, the owner is the one who _homesteaded_ the place. Surely not the state.


you write: "One cannot call this theory a contradiction in terms, since it is obviously devoid of any understanding of the terms “competition” and “government.” Nor can one call it a floating abstraction, since it is devoid of any contact with or reference to reality and cannot be concretized at all, not even roughly or approximately. One illustration will be sufficient: suppose Mr. Smith, a customer of Government A, suspects that his next-door neighbor, Mr. Jones, a customer of Government B, has robbed him; a squad of Police A proceeds to Mr. Jones’ house and is met at the door by a squad of Police B, who declare that they do not accept the validity of Mr. Smith’s complaint and do not recognize the authority of Government A. What happens then? You take it from there.
____Ayn Rand. The Virtue of Selfishness (Kindle Locations 2023-2036). Penguin USA, Inc..______This helps explain why law must hold a jurisdictional monopoly."


I can't believe you are writing this after reading that piece. (but maybe you wrote it before). The error in her argument has been clearly pointed out by Long (and david friedman in "the machinery of freedom"). Briefly, such a behavior from the protection agencies would just be economically suicidal. Such firms would be outcompeted on the market by firms who solve their disputes by preemptive arbitration contracts (i.e. by submitting their dispute to the judgement of a third party decided in advance).
 

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James replied on Thu, Sep 22 2011 5:05 AM

He starts off with a "monopoly on shoes" example that I hope he doesn't intend to extend, because the political and economic realms cannot be conflated successfully for the purposes of examining law. There is nothing about shoes that makes manufacturing shoes as a monopoly a necessity, however the nature of law is such that it -must be- monopolistic. This is not a non-sequitur.

 
False dicotomy.
 
Why is there a demand for shoes?
 
Malapropisms:  Because they keep your feet warm, dry and protected, because they look nice, because it's more comfortable, because they're good for squishing bugs etc etc.
 
Correct answer:  Because people want them.
 
The same applies to law.  The 'malapropism' might be an appropriate answer for why Jane or Bob or Lesedi finds shoes personally useful, but this is a fundamentally subjective, individual valuation.  It might be good marketing, but it's not good economics.  All you can know for sure about why there is demand for shoes is that people want them.  You can't tell them why they should want them.
 
Why is there a demand for law?
 
Malapropisms:  Because it makes everyone safer, because it results in more wealth and productivity at the end of the day, because people are ethical creatures, because people obey God, and it's what God wants, because life really sucks without it...
 
Real reason:  Because people want it.
 
Now, if we asked the most powerful and established shoe-maker in the land - who is, admittedly, the undisputed natural authority in this matter - whether he thought there should be a territorial monopoly on shoe production, what do you think he might say?  Do you not think he might be able to come up with a 'philosophy' (which means 'adorable lie', incidentally) about how people's feet would all be warmer, safer and more attractive if he had an enforced territorial monopoly on shoes?  Assuming, of course, that he would be the one to receive this monopoly privilege?  Do you think a 'constitution' or manifesto of some kind on his website, containing promises about how wonderful his shoes are going to be is going to make his shoes as good as they would be if the consumer could choose between his and a potentially unlimited number of alternative models?  Do promises of quality in advertisements ensure quality products?
 
I'm telling you as a student of the law that there is nothing special about it that makes it impossible without territorial monopoly, but if you ask the most renowned judge in the land whether he thinks he should be the only oneyou're putting him in a position of impossible moral hazard.
 
You can establish a jurisdictional link without a monopoly on service provision over a given territory.  What do you think happens when you go to a different country and break the law there, or even a different state or province or whatever the case might be?  Does your own country swoop in guns-a-blazing to rescue you from being punished for breaking a law that doesn't apply at home?  No, they don't.  They most likely have an agreement with the foreign country, and in the unlikely event that they don't, you're on your own for assuming the risk of travelling somewhere where they do not promise to protect you.  How is international law possible if law requires a monopoly to work?  Of course governments do have territorial monopolies, but why couldn't this sort of inter-DRO protocol negotiation occur without such a thing?
 
What about a network of radio towers for cellphones?  Why is it that you can use your provider's towers to call someone on a different provider?  How do they manage?
 
What about insurance?  How is it that insurance companies can negotiate with each other to settle claims?  Often loathe to use the state courts, mind you, and inclined to use their own pre-agreed arbitration panels instead?  I wonder.
 
All good things are desired.  All desired things which are scarce are governed by the rules of economics.  There is no reason why protection and arbitration - good, desired things - are only possible through enforced monopoly.
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Anenome replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 4:05 AM

James:

He starts off with a "monopoly on shoes" example that I hope he doesn't intend to extend, because the political and economic realms cannot be conflated successfully for the purposes of examining law. There is nothing about shoes that makes manufacturing shoes as a monopoly a necessity, however the nature of law is such that it -must be- monopolistic. This is not a non-sequitur.

 
False dicotomy.
 
Why is there a demand for shoes?
 
Malapropisms:  Because they keep your feet warm, dry and protected, because they look nice, because it's more comfortable, because they're good for squishing bugs etc etc.
 
Correct answer:  Because people want them.
 
The same applies to law.
No. Want is not the only criteria, you must take into account the nature of the thing. It is the nature of law to have a jurisdictional monopoly. Want can't change that, and the same can't be said of shoes (except perhaps that each pair has a monopoly on your foot while being worn :P )
 
James:
Why is there a demand for law?
 
Malapropisms:  Because it makes everyone safer, because it results in more wealth and productivity at the end of the day, because people are ethical creatures, because people obey God, and it's what God wants, because life really sucks without it...
 
Real reason:  Because people want it.
It still begs the question of why people want it. Which leads back to your so-called "malapropisms." A person does not innately want law without reason, they want law because they expect to benefit from it, to gain. Law that doesn't lead to the values a person wants will be actively NOT wanted, such a repressive dictatorships.
 
James:
Now, if we asked the most powerful and established shoe-maker in the land - who is, admittedly, the undisputed natural authority in this matter - whether he thought there should be a territorial monopoly on shoe production, what do you think he might say?  Do you not think he might be able to come up with a 'philosophy' (which means 'adorable lie', incidentally)
Where do you get this stuff? "Adorable lie"? I hope you're joking. And in any case, only philosophy based on reason is worth discussing, so the idea that someone can just manufacture a philosophy that will hold water is a bit silly.
 
James:
about how people's feet would all be warmer, safer and more attractive if he had an enforced territorial monopoly on shoes?  Assuming, of course, that he would be the one to receive this monopoly privilege?  Do you think a 'constitution' or manifesto of some kind on his website, containing promises about how wonderful his shoes are going to be is going to make his shoes as good as they would be if the consumer could choose between his and a potentially unlimited number of alternative models?  Do promises of quality in advertisements ensure quality products?
Again, let's stop talking about shoes and talk about law directly. Shoes aren't very akin to law.
 
James:
there is nothing special about it [law] that makes it impossible without territorial monopoly
Logical support? Reasoned example? Historical example?
Blank out.
 
The barest reasoning about law will show you it must have a jurisdictional monopoly: suppose, as an extreme example, that you had a law in one place that driving about 50 mph carried the death penalty, and another law that said driving below 60 mph carried the death penalty.
 
The thing about law, unlike shoes, is that it must be consistent to be just, it must be a legal system that works in concert with itself. Because of this law, unlike shoes, requires a philosophy (philosophy of law). And this is an enormously complex field in practice.
 
James:
You can establish a jurisdictional link without a monopoly on service provision over a given territory.
What do you mean by "service provision" here, police force? If so, I'd agree that enforcement of a law need not be monopolized, but the law itself must have a jurisdictional monopoly to be just and cogent.
 
James:
 What do you think happens when you go to a different country and break the law there, or even a different state or province or whatever the case might be?  Does your own country swoop in guns-a-blazing to rescue you from being punished for breaking a law that doesn't apply at home?  No, they don't.
Because they recognize a jurisdictional boundary. You're not helping your case here. This has nothing to do with competing law in the same jurisdiction.
 
James:
How is international law possible if law requires a monopoly to work?
A jurisdiction must agree to be bound by international law. There's no contradiction.
 
James:
What about a network of radio towers for cellphones?  Why is it that you can use your provider's towers to call someone on a different provider?  How do they manage?
Again, using economic examples to prove anything about law is a losing proposition that seems to be leading you to false conclusions.
 
James:
What about insurance?  How is it that insurance companies can negotiate with each other to settle claims?  Often loathe to use the state courts, mind you, and inclined to use their own pre-agreed arbitration panels instead?  I wonder.
Economics. Not law.
 
James:
All good things are desired.  All desired things which are scarce are governed by the rules of economics.  There is no reason why protection and arbitration - good, desired things - are only possible through enforced monopoly.
Applying these maxims without context is silly.
 
If by protection you mean private vs public enforcement mechanisms (police) and by arbitration you mean private vs public courts, then I agree these things do not need monopolies, and they don't have one even in America.
 
But law requires a monopoly by nature. You cannot have competing law in one jurisdiction that says two different things about the same action. One or the other will be tossed out when you go to enforce one of them.
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Anenome:
But law requires a monopoly by nature. You cannot have competing law in one jurisdiction that says two different things about the same action. One or the other will be tossed out when you go to enforce one of them.

This is true, but it is not at all at odds with a polycentric legal order.  Your mistake here is in conflating jurisdiction with territorial monopoly.  Anarcho-capitalists are saying that jursdiction need not be defined by territorial monopolies but rather by voluntary membership to defense agencies, insurance companies, or whatever form these services end up taking.  This idea is already commonly practiced in various rules that apply to members only.  For example, you may come into my workplace and make racial slurs without losing your job, while the same is not true for me.  In this case, we have 2 sets of rules in one territory (and a very small one at that) that take a different stand on the same action that manage to be well enforced, and no one even thinks twice!  You see this stuff all the time with dress codes and "employees must wash hands" signs.

Your speed limit example assumes that two different entities would be enforcing seperate speed limits on the same stretch of road, which is just not what anyone is advocating.  Like the policies in my workplace, the laws of this road would be created by its owner.  He might hire a firm that specializes in such things to draw up the laws and another to enforce them, but its not as if multiple competing firms would just be making up speed limits and standing around to enforce them. 

 

 

 

 

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Anenome replied on Tue, Nov 29 2011 3:55 AM

Hmm, help me understand what you mean by this then.

mikachusetts:
This is true, but it is not at all at odds with a polycentric legal order.  Your mistake here is in conflating jurisdiction with territorial monopoly.

I'm quite sure that you can't have laws about the same thing in the same jurisdiction, regardless anything else you want to mention. Where you could is where there's clearly one set of law that's superior to the other and cannot be superseeded, but you could make a law that was more strict than the superior law. Speed limit is a good example.

As for you "employees must wash hands" rules, those are not questions of crime.

So perhaps if I restrict the comment to criminal law. You could not have two equivalent-power bodies of criminal laws in the same geographical jurisdiction.

mikachusetts:
  Anarcho-capitalists are saying that jursdiction need not be defined by territorial monopolies but rather by voluntary membership to defense agencies, insurance companies, or whatever form these services end up taking.

Certainly, the enforcement of law need not be a monopoly. But the law itself has a jurisdictional monopoly on criminal law qua law by its very nature.

mikachusetts:
This idea is already commonly practiced in various rules that apply to members only.  For example, you may come into my workplace and make racial slurs without losing your job, while the same is not true for me. In this case, we have 2 sets of rules in one territory (and a very small one at that) that take a different stand on the same action that manage to be well enforced, and no one even thinks twice!  You see this stuff all the time with dress codes and "employees must wash hands" signs.

That's not an example of law being enforced tho, it's the severing of voluntary association if rules are transgressed (company from employee). Thus why we call them "rules" or "codes," not "law."

mikachusetts:
Your speed limit example assumes that two different entities would be enforcing seperate speed limits on the same stretch of road, which is just not what anyone is advocating.  Like the policies in my workplace, the laws of this road would be created by its owner.  He might hire a firm that specializes in such things to draw up the laws and another to enforce them, but its not as if multiple competing firms would just be making up speed limits and standing around to enforce them.

Could he create law? Or is he just creating rules. Generally, the members of civilized society ceded the right to retribution to an institution of law rather than carrying out the prosecution of law themselves. Hiring a company to enforce your law makes them rather beholden to pleasing you, non-objective.

There's a lot to agree with in your passage here, but I don't think an individual can make actual law for his stretch of road. What he can make are rules, whose highest penalty would be banishment from the property. A road owner could not, for instance, enforce the death penalty for exceeding 35mph which would involve an abridgment of another's rights. Nor could he charge $1m for exceeding his speed limit, as that would involve coercively seizing property, forcing someone to pay, etc. Only an institution in which retributive justice is imbued can do that, and that must be a government agency. It is the proper purview of government.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Nov 29 2011 4:33 PM

Law has a territorial monopoly because of the nature of law. You cannot have a competing law in the same jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of what? You can absolutely have competing arbitrators/adjudicators in the same territory. To phrase such a situation as "competing laws" is intentionally missing the point.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Nov 29 2011 7:59 PM

What defines the jurisdiction? Why can we have different laws in the US and in Canada? Aren't national border really arbitrarily drawn? So why not have different laws in the US? We seem to be comfortable having different laws in different states. Moreover, different police forces in different states as well.

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Anenome replied on Fri, Dec 2 2011 2:38 AM

Clayton:

Law has a territorial monopoly because of the nature of law. You cannot have a competing law in the same jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of what?

Should be perfectly obvious. The jurisdiction of the law, which means the geographical extent or region(s) to which a body of law applies. Law by its nature must have a monopoly within its jurisdiction. It does not matter where the jurisdiction is or how the bounds of that jurisidiction was chosen, only that law, once in force, is the final say on legal matters in that region.

Clayton:
You can absolutely have competing arbitrators/adjudicators in the same territory.

You're missing my point. Law. Is a written body of rules with legal force to compel them to be followed. Arbitrators are outside law. Adjudicators are also outside law. Arbitration has nothing to do with law--it's dispute resolution outside a court of law. Adjudicators are what carry out arbitration, but can also mean formal judges of law.

Nothing in law requires that arbitration be illegal. Even our own current system has arbitration. Arbitration works well for willingly partners with an honest dispute and generally does not require coercion on the part of the adjudicator to enforce a settlement.

But, there are kinds of legal disputs which cannot be entered voluntarily nor resolved voluntarily. Mostly these are criminal disputes. You don't take a thief to arbitration, you take them to a court of law where they will have their rights transgressed, legally, by the court of law because they themselves have transgressed another's rights. Only a law court can coerce legally, and arbitration court cannot.

Clayton:

To phrase such a situation as "competing laws" is intentionally missing the point.

Clayton -

Why do you insist on conflating the judge and the law the judge is enforcing? I'm talking about law. You're talking about judges and dispute resolution as a process.

The nature of LAW is that is must have a jurisdictional monopoly. You cannot have two competing bodis of law making different rules about the same thing in a single territory.

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Anenome replied on Fri, Dec 2 2011 2:46 AM

Wheylous:

What defines the jurisdiction?

Historically, that would be treaty, agreement of some sort. Or simply a claim, such as a city springing up with no others around--such would have jurisdiction to its extents and surrounding areas.

Wheylous:
Why can we have different laws in the US and in Canada?

Because they are two different jurisdictions. Where laws are different there must always be differing jurisdictions. How is this not obvious tho?

Wheylous:
Aren't national border really arbitrarily drawn? So why not have different laws in the US?

They may be arbitrary, but that doesn't have any bearing on the existence of a jurisdiction. A jurisdiction doesn't care why or how it came into existence, only its extent.

Wheylous:
We seem to be comfortable having different laws in different states. Moreover, different police forces in different states as well.

Sure, they're all different jurisdictions. And law at different levels (city, state, federal) have well defined categoricaly borders and hierarchies so they don't step on each other's toes. These could be called categorical jurisdictions.

What are you driving at tho?

---

The new legal system I'm developing treats jurisdiction in a new way. It allows you to willingly leave a jurisdiction, or reject a jurisdiction's claim over you (which may obligate you to leave that territory, but if your property was on the edge of the jurisdiction you're automatically out). You can then start your own jurisdiction or join another. This would create a system where jurisdictions would be forced to compete for citizens or face losing their entire populace and all power. How sweet would it be to just opt out of the California constitution and all law and start a new state within its borders, something like that.

You can't have law competing in the same territory, but you can have them compete next door to each other if the jurisdictional boundaries are fluid. So, in this legal order, a jurisdiction is not defined territorially, but rather on something like a subscriber basis, with its physical jurisdiction being defined by the extent of the land holdings that its member citizens posses and none other.

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These could be called categorical jurisdictions.

What could be the minimum area for such a categorical jurisdiction?

Can two farmers living and farming alongside have the complete freedom to have their personal laws in their jurisdiction? Let's say farmer A and farmer B agrees that since their farms are alongside each other, if farmer A crosses Farmer B's land, it won't be termed as trespassing.

Do they need to oblige with the trespassing rules of the state in general? It is the law in their jurisdiction that if Farmer A crosses plot of B and vice versa, it won't be trespassing. However, if anyone else crosses plot of A or B, it will be trespassing.

Does the otherwise state law against trespassing invalidates this contract law between these two farmers?

Also, what if Farmer A is living at this end of the state and Farmer B is living on other end of the state. Yet, they have a contract in between them that if Farmer A travels to that end and crosses the boundaries of plot of farmer B, it won't be trespassing?

Why do you think that a contract law actually requires a jurisdiction? And will you allow people to have their specific contract laws going totally against the laws of jurisdiction of that city/county/country in which they live?

As for example, a state, a miniarchy may have a law that forbids growing cannabis. What if a property owner decides to grow cannabis? Will the law of his city/county/country overpass the law of his land?

Now let's say that the same state has also a law against the selling and buying of marijuana. Yet, the farmer decides to not only grow marijuana at his land, he also gets a voluntary buyer for his product and he sells it. Both are going against the state law. Should the state punish them while ignoring the personal law of that farmer who grew marijuana on his private property, his JURISDICTION?

What about the buyer? He simply got involved in a contract law which needed no jurisdiction but voluntary decision. Why should the state's law supersede his voluntary contract law according to which, he bought marijuana at a certain price?
 

I believe that the property of a property owner is his personal state, personal nation, personal jurisdiction. True, some laws requires jurisdiction because they pertain to property, hence, a person with no property cannot implement any such law because he has no jurisdiction (property). What about those contract laws which involves no property, no jurisdiction but voluntary decisions?

Contract laws do not require any jurisdiction; they are not based on boundaries, but on Non-aggression principle. If farmer A sells marijuana to B voluntarily and B buys it willingly, any state law forbidding growth, buying or selling of marijuana is either useless or it is coercive and is against NAP.

In a state where there won't be any public property but only private property, the property owner will have their jurisdiction on their property and there will not be any need of the government because, the monopoly will be of the property owner.

Yes, there will be need of arbitration services, courts, police, which can be privatized as you agree.


Do they need to oblige with the tresspassing rules of the state in general? It is the law in their jurisdiction that if Farmer A crosses plot of B and vice versa, it won't be tresspassing. However, if anyone else crosses plot of A or B, it will be tresspassing.

Does the otherwise state law against tresspassing invalidates this contract law between these two farmers?

Also, what if Farmer A is living at this end of the state and Farmer B is living on other end of the state. Yet, they have a contract in between them that if Farmer A travells to that end and crosses the boundaries of plot of farmer B, it won't be tresspassing?

Why do you think that a contract law actually requires a jurisdiction? And will you allow people to have their specific contract laws going totally against the laws of jurisdiction of that city/county/country in which they live?

As for example, a state, a miniarchy may have a law that forbids growing cannabis. What if a property owner decides to grow cannabis? Will the law of his city/county/country overpass the law of his land?

Now let's say that the same state has also a law against the selling and buying of marijuana. Yet, the farmer decides to not only grow marijuana at his land, he also gets a voluntary buyer for his product and he sells it. Both are going against the state law. Should the state punish them while ignoring the personal law of that farmer who grew marijuana on his private property, his JURISDICTION?

What about the buyer? He simply got involved in a contract law which needed no jurisdiction but voluntary decision. Why should the state's law supercede his voluntary contract law according to which, he bought marijuana at a certain price?
 

I believe that the property of a property owner is his personal state, personal nation, personal jurisdiction. True, some laws requires jurisdiction because they pertain to property, hence, a person with no property cannot impliment any such law because he has no jurisdiction (property). What about those contract laws which involves no property, no jurisdiction but voluntary decisions?

Contract laws do not require any jurisdiction, they are not based on boundaries, but on Non-aggression principle. If farmer A sells marijuana to B voluntarily and B buys it willingly, any state law forbidding growth, buying or selling of marijuana is either useless or it is coercive and is against NAP.

In a state where there won't be any public property but only private property, the property owner will have their jurisdiction on their property and there will not be any need of the government because, the monopoly will be of the property owner.

Yes, there will be need of arbitratory services, courts, police, which can be privatizes as you agree.

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Anenome replied on Fri, Aug 24 2012 8:20 PM

The -only- natural monopoly is the right of the owner over himself and his extended property.

There is quite clearly no natural monopoly in protection services, because each individual is responsible for their own protection and protection services are the hiring out of that need. Thus, the needs of protection services are as varied as the individuals that need it, and in a free market for protection you would get very many specializations and focuses. In the same way that there is no one car or monopoly on car making there cannot be a monopoly on protection, because everyone's needs are different.

 

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