ContraryGuy on September 11, 2010, 01:49:19 am
if there were no laws, no police, no "government", no social contract, that everyone would be altruistic and everyone would do that which is in their own best interest; such as being honest, holding true to the word and spirit of all contracts and dealings; never taking from another that which is not theirs...  basically it is another word for Utopia.

Police are not in the business of stopping criminals, but protecting them.  If shopkeepers relied on police to arrest shoplifters, no shoplifter would ever be arrested.

Have you ever asked a policeman if they protect criminals?  Aside from fellow officers, I think they would have a different opinion than yours.

In Lakewood, WA, four officers were gunned down in public by a known(and released) criminal.
Go ahead and ask those officers families if those four died "protecting" the man who killed them.

If someone shoplifts from Walmart in California, and he is detected, Walmart security wait for him to get in the parking lot, so as to avoid spooking the paying customers.  They then bag him in the parking lot.  If no police, the shop lifter would have a big problem.  If no walmart security, he would have no problem.
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And what do they do after they stop the shoplifter?  Does Walmart have its own jail and judge system?  this is the first *i've* heard of it.

quadibloc on September 11, 2010, 03:35:16 am
And what do they do after they stop the shoplifter?  Does Walmart have its own jail and judge system?  this is the first *i've* heard of it.
If there were no police, there would be nothing stopping store owners from taking shoplifters, killing them, and selling the body parts to hospitals. Except public opinon. And since shoplifters are initiators of force, it isn't clear to me that public opinion would necessarily be against this sort of thing in all conceivable AnCap societies - even if it would be strongly against it in some or even most of them.

J Thomas on September 11, 2010, 07:46:04 am

My favorite part was when he made the assumption that we're all right-wing, Faux News-watching neocons.  :D
When somebody starts talking about how horrible Republicans are but says nothing about Democrat flaws or mistakes he's likely to be a Democrat. If he says Hertz is awful he probably favors Avis. Etc.
So if i say that Hitler was a not-nice guy, do i mean that Stalin was a do=gooder?

I believe you are practising a logical fallacy.  I do not need to justify criticism of Republicans by balancing it with criticism of their opposition.

Logically, you are correct. However you have probably noticed that people practice bayesian thinking. Usually people who bash Democrat politicians but not GOP politicians think that the GOP is the answer. Usually if they aren't one-sided about it they'll bash politicians instead of just Democrats.

So if you prefer that people not make those statistical-type inferences which might after all be wrong, you do better to arrange your language so you don't encourage them into that thinking.

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Next time, you could ask me if i am a Democrat instead of making snide remarks.

Anyway, I'm kind of surprised that you are making this argument. From things that JamesD said about leftists, you assumed he was on the right. It's your own logical fallacy (but reasonable statistical inference) I was defending.

terry_freeman on September 12, 2010, 06:33:52 am
Quadibloc ranted: If there were no police, there would be nothing stopping store owners from taking shoplifters, killing them, and selling the body parts to hospitals. Except public opinon. And since shoplifters are initiators of force, it isn't clear to me that public opinion would necessarily be against this sort of thing in all conceivable AnCap societies - even if it would be strongly against it in some or even most of them.

In an AnCap society, shoplifters would be armed, just as everybody else is. Even if they had little support from public opinion, they'd be able to defend themselves. I'd lay odds that, over time, public opinion would tend toward an idea of appropriate justice, which would rule out killing shoplifters and selling their body parts, but would accept milder forms of abuse, more proportionate to the crime.

More to the point, shoplifting would decline in an AnCap society. There would be less hardship, since no government would be stealing ( taxing ) to support itself; nor would the government be restricting access to markets; people would have many more legitimate ways to put food on the table. The idea of entrepreneurs as faceless "exploiters" would lose popularity, as the government schools and government-supported media disappeared. There might be left a tiny core of people who shoplift not because they need to, but because it is an odd hobby. Those people might enjoy the risk of the occasional duel.

But, by and large, "an armed society is a polite society", and an AnCap society would not restrict ownership of personal weapons. Google "not so wild west" and lay to rest your lurid fantasies of shoplifters being slain for body parts. Observe that, in the ungoverned west, their was greater respect for private property than in the "civilized" East.

From an AnCap perspective, this makes perfect sense. Socialist production of goods and services, including the service of justice and defense of property, is inefficient compared to market production of the same. It is not at all surprising that, in a free market ( AnCap ) society, there would be more peace and justice and security, and less murder or theft, compared to a society encumbered with government efforts to provide security.
 

terry_freeman on September 12, 2010, 07:46:08 am
http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/08/spontaneous-order-on-the-road.html

An interesting case study in what happens when we abandon the belief that people "must" be governed by traffic signals and signage. The result? Fewer accidents, shorter travel times, higher traffic flows. Self-organization works in the real world.

Notice how pleasantly astounded everyone is by this result.

Now, think about your experiences in shopping mall parking lots - privately-owned spaces. See any traffic signals? Any police regulating traffic? Any speed bumps? Amazing that it works at all, isn't it? Oddly enough, the same drivers who speed to get through a government-issue red light will almost always negotiate a peaceful way of finding a parking spot when there are no such regulators present.



Mr Bill on September 15, 2010, 12:37:12 am
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700012086/Likeliest-site-for-hit-and-run-accident-Parking-lot.html

73% of the hit-and-run accidents in SLC, UT occurred in parking lots...

MacFall on September 15, 2010, 01:40:56 am
73% of the hit-and-run accidents in SLC, UT occurred in parking lots...

OH NO, MR. BILL!  :(
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.

J Thomas on September 15, 2010, 05:29:22 am
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700012086/Likeliest-site-for-hit-and-run-accident-Parking-lot.html

73% of the hit-and-run accidents in SLC, UT occurred in parking lots...

This is predictable. People are more likely to flee an accident when there are no witnesses, and there are more likely to be no witnesses when the victim's car is parked.

And there are more likely to be accidents involving parked cars where there are a lot of parked cars, and where people are parking cars beside parked cars.

It's predictable that accidents in parking lots are likely to be less serious than other accidents, because the speeds are slower.

This is one of the major reasons that city streets and intersections with no traffic control have fewer accidents and smaller accidents. Everybody goes much slower. Also, in some cases, people tend to avoid those streets so traffic volume is down.

macsnafu on September 15, 2010, 08:36:43 am
[

Have you ever asked a policeman if they protect criminals?  Aside from fellow officers, I think they would have a different opinion than yours.


Their opinion is still just an opinion.  The job of public police is to enforce the law as created by legislators and upheld by judges.  And that means the rights of criminals are supposed to be protected--police are supposed to arrest criminals and let the justice system deal with them.  Admittedly, policemen may get frustrated with the law as it exists, and some will bend or even break the rules, but their official function includes protecting criminals.  This should hardly be a controversial point to make. 
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

terry_freeman on September 15, 2010, 08:54:51 am
Agreed, hit-and-run accidents are more likely to involve parked vehicles than moving vehicles, and there are more parked vehicles in parking lots. ( Imagine that! )

Regarding people avoiding unmarked zones, etc. A town in the UK removed signals and markings, and saw a decrease in accidents and a higher rate of traffic flow. The intersection is now safer and more efficient. There is a youtube vid here: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/08/spontaneous-order-on-the-road.html

One instance does not make a statistical generalization, but it is suggestive.

I find some of the comments on that video amusing. The gist is "It might work in the UK, but American drivers are different."

Reminds me of the reaction of some New Jersey motorists when they cross the border to Pennsylvania. "O my gawd! I have to pump my own gas? There's going to be a major explosion, I know it!"

In almost all cases, New Jersey drivers manage to successfully pump gas into the tank, without major mishaps. By their third time, it is a total non-issue. Then they return to NJ, where only duly-authorized gas station attendants are permitted to engage in this highly complex task.

macsnafu on September 15, 2010, 09:15:07 am
If there were no police, there would be nothing stopping store owners from taking shoplifters, killing them, and selling the body parts to hospitals. Except public opinon. And since shoplifters are initiators of force, it isn't clear to me that public opinion would necessarily be against this sort of thing in all conceivable AnCap societies - even if it would be strongly against it in some or even most of them.

A strange post.  No police in AnCap?  No government police, obviously, but there would most likely be some form of private police or security forces available to deal with shoplifters.  Also, I think there would be something more than public opinion that would be against the killing of shoplifters.  The law, even if it is only common or customary law, would probably have something to say about it.  An important, but often overlooked implication of libertarianism is the idea that the punishment (in this case, restitution) should be appropriate to the crime.  It is difficult to imagine when death would appropriate for shoplifting, especially where they can catch the shoplifter with the goods.

Also, you seem to be engaging in some fudging with the phrase "all conceivable AnCap societies".  I imagine that almost anything is possible in "all conceivable Ancap societies", but I would prefer to concentrate on the more likely or more probable AnCap societies in order to have a meaningful discussion.


I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

jamesd on September 16, 2010, 01:14:22 am
In Lakewood, WA, four officers were gunned down in public by a known(and released) criminal.
Go ahead and ask those officers families if those four died "protecting" the man who killed them.
Police do an excellent job of protecting police.  The problem is that they seem less enthusiastic about protecting anyone else.

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Does Walmart have its own jail and judge system?  this is the first *i've* heard of it.
Walmart should have its own jail, but is forbidden from doing so.  This is part of the general problem that people, groups, and organizations are forbidden to protect themselves.  Police don't like people protecting themselves, but are not very energetic about protecting anyone except police.

jamesd on September 16, 2010, 01:34:41 am
A strange post.  No police in AnCap?  No government police, obviously, but there would most likely be some form of private police or security forces available to deal with shoplifters.  Also, I think there would be something more than public opinion that would be against the killing of shoplifters. 
See http://jim.com/anarchy/ in which I argue that most respectable people would belong to some association that would make trouble for walmart if it was to punish them capriciously.  However, a lot of shoplifters are not respectable people, and might not belong to any such association, in which case I suppose they might get sold for parts.

terry_freeman on September 16, 2010, 06:43:20 am
They may not be "respectable", but beggars (and shoplifters) do form societies. They'd find ways to protect their interests, as they perceive them. In old times, it was common for beggars and thieves to leave secret marks to indicate whether to avoid certain people or to seek others. Nowadays, even beggars may have cell phones. They might tweet each other, for all we know.

If you have plans to harvest body parts in a hypothetical AnCap society, you might find your photo and description broadcast widely in less "respectable" quarters, with a "shoot to kill" order.

quadibloc on September 16, 2010, 10:19:29 pm
An important, but often overlooked implication of libertarianism is the idea that the punishment (in this case, restitution) should be appropriate to the crime.
This is the part that I don't understand.

If the basic principle of a society is that initiation of force is forbidden, and this is not only the first rule, it's essentially the only rule, then, to me, it seems to logically follow from that there is no central authority to say what Hammurabi said - since if you kill the man who killed your relative, a family feud might start, so, instead, you have to just take blood money and be content.

Since the owner of property is the only one who gets to define how important that property is to him, and the only one who gets to define what price he is willing to sell it for, it would seem that the conclusion is that someone who commits a crime or tort, by doing so, becomes the property of his victim if the victim so desires.

A corrupt government could collect taxes by hiring criminals to rob people - and then splitting the proceeds, and then giving the thieves a slap on the wrist. So the power to set a limit to the penalty for a crime is equivalent to the power to initiate force. (For this to work effectively, of course, one would also have to limit the ability of people to defend themselves, which is definitely not a part of AnCap.)

If I'm completely wrong about this, I would like to see how the power to limit penalties for crime to what is considered proportionate can be clearly distinguished from the power to initiate force, and is so distinguished in AnCap theory.

EDIT: One possible reply is that it is usually obvious what equitable restitution is - repairing the actual harm done in the case of a property crime. (Homicide - and, I would hope, rape as well - would still carry the death penalty.) So only imposing a less than equitable restitution would be equivalent to initiation of force, not limiting restitution to what is equitable.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 10:28:19 pm by quadibloc »