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courts without government

posted with Lulie's consent:

Lulie: How would the courts work in anarcho-capitalism?
Elliot: a court is just a group of people who you can hire to make a judgment about something
Elliot: this is useful b/c people will often both agree to let a court decide their argument and have that be binding
Lulie: who would hire them tho? wouldn't you hire who says you're innocent/should get money?
Elliot: courts that judge badly would have bad reputations. no one would agree to use them
Elliot: courts that you know in advance will rule one way .. the other people won't agree to it
Lulie: hmm
Elliot: there are a few ways courts would be used
Elliot: 1) people argue, then agree to use one
Elliot: 2) people agree to a contract that says if X happens then a court will resolve it
Elliot: it can say which court
Lulie: who would pay for it?
Elliot: in cases 1 and 2, the people hiring the court. they could both pay half sounds normal. or loser pays
Lulie: pays after ruling?
Lulie: why loser?
Elliot: the loser is the one who was wrong but made them go to court anyway
Lulie: ah
Elliot: it's not very important when they pay. if it's a problem, they could both put up the full money in advance, then winner gets his money back
Elliot: 3) criminals. this may sound tricky: what if the criminal refuses all courts except one w/ really shit reputation that always lets criminals off?
Lulie: ya?
Elliot: so you end up with the police force deciding.
Lulie: who's police?
Elliot: however, this is no worse a problem than the police force deciding who to arrest in the first place, or any of their other policies
Elliot: like any police company
Lulie: what if the criminal hired another police force that is in competition with the first, and his says what he did was fine?
Elliot: then the companies would have a dispute
Elliot: one thing they might do is fight. if one company spends their time helping criminals, hopefully others would want to fight them
Elliot: but if all the companies operate roughly in good faith, then it would be greatly in their interest to work out deals to avoid fighting each other
Elliot: deals -> general policies they all known in advance. such as that the following list of courts are all acceptable for trying people
Elliot: then if company X tries a person in one of those courts, company Y will refuse to interfere
Lulie: What if lots of people wanted to be criminals, so wouldn't hire police?
Lulie: so there wouldn't be as many police, or enough
Elliot: if lots of people wanna be criminals, your fucked, period
Elliot: in a democracy people can elect criminals to make crime legal!
Elliot: recently terrorists were elected to palestinian government. biggest party. they're in charge
Lulie: Would there still be one president or whatever who decides if we go to war?
Elliot: no. "we go to war" is collectivist. anyone who wants to goes to war (including anyone who wants to when paid/hired) is individualist
Lulie: so.. how would going to war work? (like if you wanted to help Iraq)
Elliot: raise/hire an army
Elliot: or persuade an existing one to do it
Lulie: ah
Lulie: Sounds like you'd need a lot of money
Elliot: for your own, yes
Elliot: although once set up it could be profitable to sell your armies services
Elliot: now, some people will be afraid of having lots of armies around run by leaders who could go bad
Elliot: and they are right that that would be scary
Elliot: it's unreasonable to make a big army and set yourself up as sole leader. (or it seems so today. i could be wrong)
Elliot: so, what to do?
Elliot: you need to set it up in such a way as to reduce your ability to do bad with it
Elliot: our society knows of a variety of ways to do this. there exist others as well
Lulie: *listening*
Elliot: like our government has 3 branches with different powers
Elliot: a very similar problem is: what if a guy wants to own nukes?
Elliot: again my answer is: sure ... as long as you make it safe. you need to have security systems in place
Elliot: how good do they need to be? how hard to bribe? well ... if they are better than present day US ones that must be good enough
Elliot: the army would probably want things like written policy documents, and to sign various treaties and human rights documents
Elliot: and then to have a chain of command and have ways lower people can say "no" if u try to break one of the rules
Lulie: cool ^^
Elliot: other mechanisms that help are having decision making processes be public so people know what's going on and it's hard for bad stuff to get started before people notice
Elliot: and letting the public vote on some policies increases legitimacy. and also then u get to use the knowledge of the voters so u get better policies
Elliot: so it's perfectly plausible that some armies would have public votes and go to iraq if the vote said to
Lulie: cool
Elliot: (or let public vote on person in charge of policy, and he decides)

Elliot Temple on June 14, 2006

Comments (2)

Lulie: how do we make badness go away?
Elliot: simple - let the people decide that badness must go away
Lulie: coolo-fantastico!
Elliot: simple - police will decide that everyone who is cool will be so collectively and that is fantastic since we will no longer pay our leaders outright but only hire them on a no-war - no-refund policy unless our leaders can convince us it is safe
Lulie: You is the Dude!!!
Elliot: simple - con't page 583

Bonzo the tap dancing chimp at 12:04 PM on June 26, 2006 | #22
Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you liked my entry enough to write a fan fic. I think you had Lulie a bit out of character though: would she really capitalise "dude"? And maybe she'd spell it "d00d".

Hope that helps,
Elliot

Elliot at 12:10 PM on June 26, 2006 | #23

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)