Saturday, 14 May 2016
The majority of us believe we need Government to do certain jobs in order for society to function, these core jobs depend on your political beliefs. For example an ardent Socialist will state everything needs to be run by the State, food, clothes, industry and so on. Many in the West take the view that the market can do these functions very well but believe the Government needs to do other functions such as Healthcare, Education and Transport. Then there are Minarchists who believe Government should have very limited functions for example to only provide law and order. Finally we get onto someone like myself who believes we would all be better off if a Government didn't exist. That a Society should be built on voluntary actions rather than coercion and force. Anarchy does not mean without the rule of law. The word is taken from the greek word anarkhos, meaning without a a ruler, a very important distinction. Many libertarian anarchists believe very strongly in law, order and private property rights.
We believe the market could not possibly provide legal services and law enforcement. Surely this needs to be done by a Government and is too complex and vital for the market to provide? I would argue the very fact that it is so important necessitates the need for the competitive market to provide such a service rather than a monopoly provider, similar to why food must be provided by the market and not a Government. The legal system is no more complex than the software market, or car industry, indeed many of the complexities we have in our legal system are because the politicians are lobbied by big legal firms to make it as complex as possible in order to drive costs up and drive out any competition in the form of start-up companies.
Legal services would be provided because 99.99% of people want good and fair legal services. Most of us are law obidding citizens. Therefore the marketplace would provide such services and consumers would once again decide who were good and bad market actors. To provide an insight how this may work this video is well worth a watch. In a free market however there would be many more innovations then mentioned below. The video just outlines a theoretical framework, in reality a market would be far more inventive and cost effective over time.
A flaw with the minarchists view point that the Government should provide and administer the law is to assume that the Government will not change the law to interfere in other aspects of peoples lives. If we imagine that the Government were to be stripped of all powers apart from legal services then what is to stop them changing the law at some future date, for example to pass laws how healthcare should be delivered and so on. Then what is to stop them passing laws mandating that all citizens must pay a fee to enable "free" healthcare for all. All a Government needs is control of the legal system to expand its tentacles into all aspects of peoples lives, thats why the law should never be a political entity it should be as decentralised as possible and provided on the basis of consumer demands. In the end freedom is where the individual has the power to associate with what ever group or organisation they wish. Government mandated law is incompatible with this definition of freedom.
People can not envisage how policing services would be provided. Surely the poor would have no policing if there was a profit motive? Surely the rich would only be able to buy law enforcement. If we go back to my comment earlier if 99.99% of people want a fair and just legal system then thats what the market will cater for. The rich could not easily buy legal favours as companies that did this would have their reputations ruined in the marketplace. In fact the wealthy have the most to loose if there is not a just and fair legal system. People would riot, loot and general chaos would happen if people believed there to be a corrupt private police system, a situation the wealthy most certainly wouldn't want. Even the private police forces would not want this as it would be bad for their profits they would spend more of their time and energy dealing with such a scenario. Disruption, crime and violence is bad for business and a private police force would be driven to avoid this and do all they could to create a civil society for everyone. In reality with the current Government police force we already have a two tiered system where people in poor crime ridden communities get ignored by the police force in general with the poor and minorities rightly are not trusting the current policing. In Detroit they sometimes don't bother turning up which is why people don't bother calling the police anymore. Just ask Socialist Venezuela how well the Government provides food, energy and law enforcement as looting and general lawlessness continues.
Below is an example of a private police force that has been created as the Government police force has completely collapsed and refused to help out Detriots citizens. So much so that a murderer literately turned himself into a local police station and they didn't care and let him go. Its a remarkable case and shows despite the Detroit police having a multi-million dollar budget, the alternative service below does it better and charges businesses and wealthy individuals for their services. They then provide free policing to less affluent areas of the community as even the wealthy want law abiding citizens among all income groups. The video also shows a completely different philosophy to policing, rather than antagonising or looking for arrests the private police force tries to diffuse situations using peaceful and non-confrontational means.
I would argue if the Government would get out of the way in this area then people would have far better legal services and society would be far more civil. Our current system provides very poor services. Defendants on a regular basis don't turn up or decide to pull out on the day of a court case hearing. They don't care as they don't have to pay as the bill it is just picked up by the taxpayer. It can take months if not years to get a case closed or gain justice (just look at the Hillsborough disaster, it took 27 years to get justice due to corrupt monopolistic policing that was able to cover it up for so long). In a private system court hearings would be done like most other private services within weeks if not days. When I phone up a broadband supplier I expect them to act in a very prompt manner and its in their interests so they can receive my money and to prevent me going to an alternative supplier. With a political system you have no real say in what service you want. Instead in a private system we would be able to show our disgust by switching to another company and giving bad reviews for other consumers to act on. Freedom is the use of your wallet giving the individual the power to act.
The Government in reality doesn't care about making things safe. If things stay the same then its a great item for the political agenda where they can say we need to solve crime when they have no real intent or means to do so. They are not answerable to customers rather the taxpayer can always be guaranteed to cough up regardless of the service provided. In a private legal system there would be a great incentive to drive crime down as low as possible. Criminal behaviour is bad for business and profits this would put a check on any such behaviour. Also law enforcement officers rather than working for the monopoly Government employer could operate on their own in their own company. Like the officer above they could disrupt the current market and try out new ways of law enforcement. A Government monopoly service provides no such means.
Most people believe that because the legal system is so important then we need a Government to administer it. On another point many of us believe that food, clothes, computers or cars are too important to give control to the Government. So then why do we believe law is any different to the services already provided by the market? Law is just a service after all and we all want a fair and just society. Let law and security be free and we will all enjoy a more robust and just legal system.