Property Rights and Equilibria of Force

Paul Foley
03 Jun 2001 14:40:21 +1200

On Sat, 2 Jun 2001 11:53:02 +0200, Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:

> I suppose you meant this message for

Gah!  Yes, it was; I keep doing that -- you should have your mailing
list software add a "Reply-To" header pointing back at the list.

>> If you agree with this (and I do), then is there no
>> justification for "public force" at all?
> There is an economic justification to some individuals
> pooling their defensive efforts in a common force.
> There is no justification whatsoever for anyone
> to claim monopoly on such force and force everyone
> to either join or be plundered (or killed if one tries to resist).

OK, so no governments?  In that case, there's no excuse for police
forces to protect *any* property; no need to single out "IP" when
denying protection.  I used to support this anarchistic model, but I
don't think it makes any difference -- if people can subscribe to
various different defensive organisations, they either end up
cooperating with each other, in which case they're effectively a
single organisation anyway, or fighting each other, which is
expensive, and justice suffers on both sides.  Perhaps, therefore, a
public defence force *is* justifiable...and funding for such a thing
must, by definition, be through taxation.

[I don't know whether I believe that or not; depends on the weather.
However, *if* such a force exists, justified or not, it *must* protect
all property equally]

Nomina stultorum in parietibus et portis semper videmus.        -- Cicero

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