The Market for "Justice"

Argosy Jones makes a great point in the comments here:

"What does it mean to be a corrupt official in a system where justice is meant to be for sale or wielded in one's own interest? Not staying 'bought'?"

If someone declares that "law" should be determined on the market, then they hardly complain about whatever laws the market comes up with: the market has spoken, after all. So if a group of defense agencies decides that insolvent debtors can be enslaved... well, that is the market outcome, right?

11 comments:

  1. And similarly, if laws are determined by the state/voters, anti-ancaps can't complain about any laws right? The state/voters have spoken?

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    1. No, because governments are a public trust and are held to standards.

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    2. Whereas ancaps tend to treat any "market outcome" as pristine and holy—something no one but the most brainwashed supporters of government believe when it comes to states.

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    3. I wonder if democracy is primarily understood as the driving force behind state power or merely a check on state power.

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    4. Your right to complain was never in question, Ears. Why would you complain? That's the question.

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    5. I wonder if democracy is primarily understood as the driving force behind state power or merely a check on state power.

      It's understood as a check. That's what it has been since absolute monarchism was challenged during the Enlightenment. It's kind of connected to the idea of consent of the governed.

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  2. Right, and if an NBA referee got caught throwing a game because a gambler paid him under the table, I'm sure you and Argosy Jones would laugh your heads off at the idiots claiming that was somehow "cheating" or "against the rules." Anything goes in the private sector! The winner is whoever pays the most to the judge, duh.

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    1. Bob,

      are you saying that ancapistan would be like the NBA - with one authority determining the rules which everyone has to abide by?

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    2. See my new post, Bob.

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  3. When I was a market anarchist, I was constantly troubled by something: what about the people who have no economic purchasing power? what about animals, for that matter?

    The only folks who have a say in ancapistan are those who have purchasing power. Children do not have this power - at least, not very young children, and certainly not to the extent that their parents do. It isn't very hard to imagine a situation wherein children's rights and protection from abuse is hindered or even permitted because there is no way for a protection agency to protect them. Why would they want to, given the fact that their parents would not buy their aid?

    In addition, ancapistan raises some problems with animal rights. I do not think that animals would have much of any rights at all, for the same reasons. I can imagine a nightmare scenario where groups of people band together to form communities where dog fighting and, say, cat torture is permitted for the sake of the enjoyment of its constituent members. We have professional football players (Michael Vick) who invested enormous amounts of money to enjoy watching dogs eat other dogs faces; what would stop anyone like that (and people like him) from forming their own communities, or hiring "special" protection agencies that didn't recognize animals as having any rights? How would other agencies deal with these folks?

    Of course, the regular market anarchist response is that people wouldn't form these communities, presumably, because of political pressure from other communities (or protection agencies). But I see this as flawed; where this a will, there is always a way. Evil people often just don't care about what other people think of them. Political pressure from other members of society can only go so far in restricting people's behavior; if politics were as successful at this as some ancap writers think, we wouldn't even need police (in our current society or ancapistan) to enforce laws against serious offenses which almost everyone takes as wrong; rape, child molestation, and murder. How much easier would it be to exploit a justice system which only can provide for those who have purchasing power?

    As bad as things get within a State society, I cannot find any in the modern world (no, third world countries don't count) where you can burn cats on your front porch for fun.

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