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How are people protected from violence in a libertarian society?

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Brycel_young posted on Wed, Sep 19 2012 4:49 PM

Hello,

I'm somewhat new to understanding Austrian economics, but I'm very excited about it all and eager to learn more. One question I have is how are individuals protected from violence of others? I've read a couple places that government should exist, but only to protect the safety of individuals. Is this a common belief, or are there other ways that would deal with the problem more effectively. For example, I'm thinking of cases such as someone mugging someone else. What happens to the mugger? In that case, what role does the government play, and how is the government kept from over-stepping its bounds (i.e. declaring high-emissions vehicles to be endangering others). Thank you for your help!

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These do not directly answer your question, but they will be immensely helpful to you in understanding law and its role in society:

What Law Is

A Praxeological Account of Law

Crusoe, Morality, and Axiomatic Libertarianism

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Welcome!

People will be protected in a similar manner that they are provided with food or cell phones or anything else: markets. 

Hopefully JJ will be here soon to provide you with a plethora of useful links to understand more thoroughly how this could be done.

The only one worth following is the one who leads... not the one who pulls; for it is not the direction that condemns the puller, it is the rope that he holds.

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The second part of my Law Without Government video series features a story about what might happen following a mugging, in a society where you have law but no government.  Government, as defined in the first part of the video series, is incompaitble with libertarianism.

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I'm not sure if there are reliable statistics, but first responders to any kind of accident are often private individuals. Ask yourself what exactly is the "secret sauce" that makes governmental first-responders better, faster, more effective, etc. than private responders? Your question was about security, so ask the same question about security services. What is it that makes government so magically wonderful?

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Hire a bodyguard!

Private police.

“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

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This list is should be good to get you started:

http://candlemind.com/projects/progclub/file/michael/getEducated.php?listID=16

;)

The essential reading is Chaos Theory. Quick read. Pretty awesome.

Essentially, you would have a free market in protection. As Molinari put it in the 19th century, if we know the market is so good at the production of goods and accept as economic law that labor and trade ought to be free, why make the arbitrary exception for security? As such, his very short essay on the matter gives a basic overview of the logic.

Murphy explains, then, why the warlords would not take over.

The matter of private courts is similar to the logic behind private protection - the courts compete for customers and those who are corrupt or bribed fall out of favor with the public.

There's more to it, but I don't have much time right now. Do read the above. They're good.

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Sorry I'm late.  Welcome to the forum!

The Ultimate Beginner meta-thread offers quite a few resources for a wide range of topics.  For this one in particular, you might check:

Courts/Law, Security/Defense (Free Society reading list & threads)

(I really like this one)

 

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Brycel_young:
Hello,

I'm somewhat new to understanding Austrian economics, but I'm very excited about it all and eager to learn more. One question I have is how are individuals protected from violence of others? I've read a couple places that government should exist, but only to protect the safety of individuals. Is this a common belief, or are there other ways that would deal with the problem more effectively. For example, I'm thinking of cases such as someone mugging someone else. What happens to the mugger? In that case, what role does the government play, and how is the government kept from over-stepping its bounds (i.e. declaring high-emissions vehicles to be endangering others). Thank you for your help!

You seem to be looking for some sort of guarantee - that is, some sort of way in which the outcomes you desire will be made certain to happen. That's impossible, even (if not especially!) in the presence of a state.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Thank you all for your help! A lot to look over, but I'm glad to see that there are no shortage of answers

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