What Happens to the Common Defense in a Voluntaryist Society?

28 May 2014
There is no guarantee that other nations won't try something if our government just magically disappeared; nor is there is guarantee that a militant group or gang of warlords won't rise up either.  However, there are three things that I take into consideration when thinking about such a subject. 

 

Before I begin I want to ensure that the reader understands that I do not consider my country to include the governments which claim jurisdiction over it.  A country is the general geographical location on a map, often but not always separated from other locations by mountains, plains, rivers, bodies of water and so on.  A nation is a country that is claimed by a government.  Now onward!

 

The first is the fact that people currently in first world countries, those which have matured technologically through an industrial revolution of sorts and are founded in the computer age hold a certain degree of education above the individuals of countries which have not at the very least endured an industrial revolution.  This doesn’t mean that those countries are less intelligent.  It simple means that their general understanding of how to achieve the same level of generally peaceful prosperity may not quite be where ours is.  This is a bit of a controversial and deep subject that might require an entire book to discuss.  For the sake of simplicity I find it sufficient to say that the people of countries akin to Somalia do not typically hold the same level of education concerning the ideas of liberty that we are so comfortable discussing.  That's important for understanding how voluntary interactions, property rights (starting with self ownership), and nonaggression will yield the next two ideas.

 

The second is the idea behind a phrase attributed to a Japanese admiral during World War II:

"You cannot invade the mainland United States.  There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
 

Supposedly Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto made this statement to some effect.  I've read various researches done about this that suggests it may not be entirely accurate.  Regardless, the idea behind this statement is still true.  A generally armed populace is a fair deterrent for such conflicts.

 

Will that stop the tyrants of other nations seeking to subjugate any people without a military under centralized control?  Probably not; but it will likely stop those nations that are not at least close to the manufacturing capabilities and technologies of any 'government-less' country.  This brings me to the third idea.

 

In a country void of a government per se, free market principles among generally educated individuals will likely work together in some capacity, even if it is only for a profit, to generate the collective defense of their associated country.  I actually discussed this concept concerning personal security in a private debate forum just the other day!  This can answer the question about private militias and homegrown warlords.

 

"In a private for profit system there wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly on the legal system as there is currently…Various security and arbitration services could and probably will exist while competing for the same profits.  In order to avoid an all out war it would be in the best interest of each entity's ledgers and reputations to settle peacefully, even if such litigation took a relatively long time.  The cost in money/time would likely be considered far less than the loss of life and public trust. 

 

If another entity finds evidence that a competitor is guilty of accepting bribes then the guilty party will likely suffer dramatic loss of their customers' trust.  Under the current system, which is a monopoly, the accused has far fewer options because the law enforcer and arbitrators are on the same payroll as the taxman.  In other words all three ultimately answer to those who command the guns responsible for collecting taxes or extorting those of us subjected to the monopoly justice system.  Under a monopoly system there is less incentive to be honest because it is more difficult when power and authority are being wielded AND protected by the justification of extortion.

 

Because people are inherently not perfect, there will never be a perfect system.  But through a system of competition for profit and customer loyalty, private security and arbitrators will be dependent on these methods since extortion/taxation will not likely be allowed. {Buy this service or we will punish you!  Sound familiar?  Auto Insurance in the U.S.A. and now Health Care too!}  That will be the probably result as people will belong to different security/arbitration firms if not belong to both separate security and separate arbitration entities altogether.  The way such firms will work will probably be akin to the way auto insurance companies work out claims today.

 

Each separate company will investigate the incident and figure out who is to blame if anyone at all.  The result will be the protection of their ledger for the long term.  If person A is in an accident with person B and one of them is dishonest about the events, it is in the best interest of both insurance companies to figure out the truth.  In doing so they will be able to identify the dishonest person as a higher risk and charge more for their services; similar to the way credit ratings work today.

 

If the same insurance company provides for both persons then the same will still be true.  If not then other alternatives can be sought after.  In the case of private security and arbitration an individual having been the victim of a bad/false judgment may be able to appeal to a third party; a party whose interest will likely be that of earning public trust to acquire more of the disputed company's profits!

 

Again, it's not perfect but it offers quite a number of greater options than a monopoly system does, such as the current."

 

Take a moment to consider that about personal security and arbitration.

 

Now, consider what defense contracting companies that currently work for governments do!

 

Without easy access to extorted/taxed funds such defense contractors would need to compete peacefully for profits by providing a valuable and trusted service and or product.  These defense contractors may continue to only produce products or they may even branch out into the service of providing military style personnel for the common defense, available for purchase like private security and arbitration and insurance.

 

Just as there might be a plethora of private security and arbitration services to replace the existing police and judicial system, private armies working to secure the population of a country may also exist.  Effectively the people would be paying for similar services that previous taxes were in part responsible for.  However, the main difference will be that such payment will be voluntary.  The colored ink in these private army firms' ledgers will be dependent on providing a good service, trust of their customers, providing quality equipment, AND ensuring that their security/defense personnel are trained better than competing firms' personnel; but most importantly, they will profit more if their personnel are trained far better than any attacking army, private or government controlled.

 

Could another country buy out the security/defense firm tasked with defending a populace without a government?  Absolutely, that could happen!  It happens with governments buying out political seats in other governments' legislatures, top employees, and so when installing puppet governments and moles.

 

In a country void of a government as we understand them to be, involuntary, it will be unlikely that only one security/defense contractor will exist.  Multiple if not dozens and dozens to choose from to support will likely exist.  Additionally, because there will be not be a monopoly on the maintenance of a centralized military authority, there will not probably not be any laws to prevent such organizations from popping up; nor will there be restrictions on what the individual will necessarily be able to purchase for his/her personal defense.  The only restricting factor concerning individual defense spending might be the volume of positive numbers in the individual's checkbook!

 

Will this be the case?  I don't know for certain.  This is just speculation.  There are probably dozens of things that I've not considered.  Regardless, such a future is at the very least a couple of generations away.  It must be taught, liberty that is.  Just as we've been taught growing up that government is a necessary evil, liberty must be taught one person and one generation at a time.  This will be an uphill battle because we don't have government schools and laws to coerce people to attend during the most influential years of learning for human beings.

 

-JLD

 

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