“you know you’re at a bitcoin conference where during a presentation some one cuts their credit cards up and burns their dollars saying “our company doesn’t accept murder money” and everyone applauds”
— Friend of mine’s status just now.
— Friend of mine’s status just now.
— Benjamin Tucker
— Charles W. Johnson (“Burn Corporate Liberalism”)
Anonymous asked: Libertarians generally support a non-interventionist policy, but do they take it too far? Non-interventionists opposed the League of Nations, to the detriment of the world.
I’ll answer this question later (along with several others), but for now (and I’m serious): is this question serious or a joke?
Patri Friedman, grandson of Milton Friedman and son of David Friedman, destroys the idea of democracy in 2 minutes.
tayman asked: Could you recommend some introductory reading on free market in law? Like I understand the basic idea of the disputing parties contracting an impartial arbitrator. Different arbitrators would offer to interpret the facts based on different philosophical positions. If the parties disagree on which philosophical approach the system seems to break down fairly quickly.
(I assume this is understood, but as a general disclaimer, I don’t endorse everything in these sources — which would actually be impossible, since they disagree with each other on a few points.)
Something like the problem you’re presenting was my main hang-up with the idea before accepting it. The first part of the answer is that people might value their philosophical differences, but they’re still often willing to negotiate when they actually have to pay for them.
Let’s say that I take a really, really strong retributive view of justice (in reality, I don’t), and furthermore felt pretty strongly that the proper response to murder should be the death penalty. Let’s say that you don’t. Let’s say then that you kill one of my family members.
I might want you to face the death penalty, and it might be something I look for in a defense agency (that they’ll prefer arbitration agencies that support retributive justice, and also use the death penalty). So there would be some market demand for retributive justice generally, and the death penalty specifically.
But of course, I’m not the only part of this equation, and that’s not the only incentive faced by the relevant parties (myself included.) Plenty of other people don’t favor retributive justice, and even more people don’t favor the death penalty (or at least don’t want to face it themselves). So there will also be a market demand for defense agencies that prefer non-retributive arbitration agencies, and there will be even more of one for ones that prefer ones that don’t use the death penalty.
That’s where I assume you’re saying it would break down, because the conflict seems irresolvable. But that’s assuming that my desire for the death penalty is totally inelastic with regard to its price, which it probably isn’t, even if I believe in it pretty strongly. I’d likely be willing to take something else, if I knew that it would cost less. And even if I balk at the idea of a completely non-punitive response (e.g., a pure restitution set-up), I might not balk too loudly if I’m literally receiving money as a result of it.
So the vast majority of these sorts of problems will be resolved through the economic incentives that the relevant actors face. But there are also more interesting, finer points. Like, how long does it take for a piece of property to count as abandoned? How much force is considered proportionate in particular cases of self-defense? What sorts of things are necessary to communicate that you don’t want anyone in a given area in order for it to really count as actionable trespass?
Those worries can be resolved the same way they were historically: common law precedent. That process will also probably be made even more efficient, given the introduction of market dynamics.
The specific worry I used to have was with cases where it seems that people have pretty damn price-inelastic philosophical differences. You might think here, for example, of people who aren’t just anti-abortion, but are actually willing to blow up abortion clinics. You might also think, going back to my earlier example of retributivism, of someone like Rorschach.
But this worry is still too much. These cases are outliers, not the main people that defense agencies / arbitration agencies will be dealing with. The only market they will likely find for their willing-to-do-battle martyr-level demand are essentially vigilante groups of fellow true believers, not for-profit agencies.
Of course, sometimes those vigilante groups can have a serious effect on the market. And sometimes that’s a good thing. Take the case of slavery. John Brown and anyone who took Lysander Spooner’s plan for the abolition of slavery to heart are probably going to not give a fuck about the costs associated with enforcing absolute prohibitions on slavery, and are willing to face personal risk for liberating slaves. This will in turn effect the market, because it will make the kind of “protection” that slaveholders want a whole lot more expensive, and expensive in a way that would be completely (and fairly immediately) unsustainable without forcing other people to subsidize it. Which of course was exactly how slavery survived in virtually everywhere it was practiced (especially the United States, which had fugitive slave laws and conscripted people into slave patrols). So here we would see slaves who revolt and those who help them as legal entrepreneurs.
But notice that once this violent abolitionism has made slavery dramatically more expensive, it’s probably not likely that most defense agencies would take on the risk of protecting slaveholders. In other words, if you pressed a button that abolished the government of the United States and de-monopolized law during the 1850s, it wouldn’t have turned into one big Bleeding Kansas. Market processes would have drifted things toward the more efficient solution (which is abolishing slavery and not respecting the claims of anyone who thinks that they own a slave.)
I think that I rambled a bit with that answer, but I hope it was helpful.
— Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
a university degree is nothing but an expensive and time-consuming work permit
The best way of understanding the general trajectory of my political development is that I identify really strongly with Karl Hess.