Subject: Re: [politics] The Notion of Government
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005
P.P.S. SOMEBODY please try to defend the notion of "government" - - - else I'm going to start believing I'm right!!
To have a functioning society, I believe the people have to get together and agree on rules of conduct. (Like, prohibiting force) And rules are meaningless without some impartial group elected or assigned to enforcement. And some judge or jury forum for settling disputes peacefully - is a must. And to survive through the ages, some pre-arranged method for repelling foreign attacks or invasion. Official diplomacy of some kind needs to be in place to help avoid armed conflict.
Humans are the only species that attempt to level a playing field. It's not natural. Like green lawns in the desert, if you see good one, you can be sure people installed it and regularly maintain it.
PS My list of what governments shouldn't do is almost as long as yours.
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005
From: "L. Reichard White"
Subject: Re: [politics] The Notion of Government.
"Maybe we could invent a group of institutions to do only those things--"Not a bad idea!
The secret for such a group of alternative institutions to government-provided services is what I call "advance accountability." That is, the organization providing the services must know at all times that you may withdraw financial support if they don't provide acceptable products or services at reasonable prices. Thus you wouldn't find private protection services trying to stop folks from smoking or selling marijuhana, etc. or trying to enforce other rules antithetical to a free people. Just check out Purelator, Wackenhut, etc. if you don't believe me.
By the way, just as volunteer fire departments will often work gratis for a fire victim that hasn't subscribed, there would be equivalent outreach with free-market protection.
In fact, free-market alternatives to most of those corrupt institutions in u.S society -- the police and the courts for example -- that we assume must be provided by government - - - and thus paid for with extorted money (A.K.A. "taxes") - - - were thoroughly explored by triple PhD. and libertarian David Friedman, Nobel Laureat Milton's son. (Milton admits David is smarter.)
I didn't believe it either till TIGER BJ (Hans, Merilyn, etc.) went to Moscow and unbeknownst to us, we were working for a Russian "roof" (A.K.A. "mafia) in 1998, just after the ruble melt-down. Turns out "roofs" operate just as D. Friedman hypothesized private protection services would - - and they provided impressive protection at reasonable (competitive) prices. In the person of an Aussie Merilyn met in the Mirage poker room, they put up the BR and we split the win. We didn't know the Aussie represented a Mafia.
In the course of events, we got raided by them -- they thought we had ripped them off for their equivalent of a cool million or so. They just didn't understand fluctuations or standard deviation. Despite that and a few moments contemplating what the bottom of the Moscow River might be like in late November, I've been raided by U.S. Customs, and I would prefer a "roof" raid any day. Interesting story? Eventually it will come out in the book, "Six Deck Russian Roulette." Look for it in about a year and a half in your closest Barns and Noble. If I stop spending all this time hanging out with you folks - - -
Health, happiness & long life,
P.S. You can check out David Friedman's notions -- his own presentation -- here: David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom, Chapter 29.
I was skeptical too, till I stumbled into the "roof" and discovered that they operated just as Friedman suggested. For example, I asked if they got in shoot-outs with rival "roofs." My bodyguard Serge (ex-KGB I discovered later) looked at me as if I were nuts and explained there was no future in such a job and if he had to shoot it out, he'd get a job digging ditches or something. They arbitrate, something they told me they hate almost as much as a shoot out.
I asked a LOT of questions. It was almost as if Friedman had a crystal ball. SO the main argument against such a situation was that Friedman was only theoretical. Once I had lived the reality, it was no longer theoretical. And I doubt the "roof" had studied Friedman to come up with their operations manual. Particularly given that to them, we were under suspicion of ripping them off for a million or so, the worst thing they suggested - - - which was over-ruled as barbaric - - - was a body search.
Heck, I've gotten that from customs for essentially no reason.
P.P.S. Bet you assume u.S cops have a duty to protect you. Not so. On June 27th, in /Castle Rock v. Gonzales/, the Supreme Court found the police to have no Constitutional obligation to protect individuals from private individuals. In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court found (/South v. Maryland/) that law enforcement officers had no affirmative duty to provide such protection. In 1982 (/Bowers v. DeVito/), the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, ?...there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.