Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Private Property Society and Thinking Like a Government Bureaucrat

I continue to see comments at Private Property Society posts that reflect remarkably boxed in thinking that fails to appreciate that in a PPS problems will be solved, not left to stagnate.

Consider these comments:
Quite interesting question. If the property owner sets the rules he could state that he who drinks the last beer must buy the next 24 pack under threat of an ass whooping. But does the property owner even have to disclose this rule before inviting guests over? How far can they go? Or is there some sort of rules that come along with it. This is an interesting subject. If the rules are not communicated prior to entry, I do not think they can be reasonably enforced


How do you communicate your rules? How do you adjudicate something not communicated? Do you post a sign with your rules? Do you establish some area where any and all comers can enter to read your comprehensive set of rules?


From one of the posts Wenzel made, it sounded like we should just know the rules somehow, magically. Since he did say that someone on their own property has the right to photograph someone else on their property while in the bathroom without their knowledge or consent. Seems like we have to figure out the rules after we have broken them.
If the rules and privacy invasions are written into a contract that the person entering the property must sign prior to entry, that would make the most sense. Before going to Bobs for Superbowl Sunday, be sure to read his rules. Don't want to eat the last hot link and get murdered or have your children have their pictures taken while changing for the pool. 
I'm just being a pest. I do agree with a PPS for the most part. American's today are becoming pretty petty people. There was a story about a new property owner building a cinder block wall onto the driveway of his 90 year old neighbor. How would such disputes be taken care of in a PPS? A 3rd party arbitrator? Isn't that like a smaller version of a state? What if one side refuses to arbitrate? Things can get sticky very quickly unless all of the outliers are considered.
Now in a PPS the owner would have the say for his own rules on his own property but why would this lead to people wandering on to properties all over the place where the rules aren't defined in advance?

Presumably, people would sign up with a protection service that has very clear rules of dealing with situations that are not insane (otherwise who would sign up?). Indeed, I would expect that security services would pretty much compete on how much coverage their sane operating rules cover---not much different from the way cell phone companies now compete on the fact that they cover 90% plus of the US.

Why wouldn't a security firm compete along the same lines?

"Hey, between our own security teams and security firms we have aligned with our sane rules of behavior cover 90% of the entire country. Download our app and we will send out an alarm if you come within in a mile of an area that is not covered by our Aligned Sane Protection Service/"

Entrepreneurs solve problems. They don't sit on logs and say. Gee, how will we ever know what is safe? This is going to be so confusing?

If these are the concerns of security customers. then security firms will compete to offer solutions to these concerns. The PPS is not a government body where rules are dictated and entrepreneurial spirit is suffocated. The PPS is about letting the entrepreneurial spirit run free.



  1. "but why would this lead to people wandering on to properties all over the place"

    Because we are humans and we interact with others to engage in commerce, for social interaction or just travelling.

    How do you intend to establish these security firms? Are you the bureaucrat that magically will find hirelings to perform tasks which must be agreed on.

    Welcome to minarchism.

    What is the initial contact to begin a dialog with your neighboring property owner? Is your estate big enough to be 100% self-sufficient, that you yourself are free from "wandering?"

    Again, how do you establish protocols for initiating contact? Screaming and waving of arms?

  2. Your idea of competing "security teams" in a PPS being like cell phone providers sounds a lot like the concept of competing governments.

    To quote an Ayn Rand passage from "The Nature of Government" on this issue:

    "A recent (mid-1960s) variant of anarchistic theory, which befuddles some of the younger advocates of freedom is a weird absurdity called "competing governments". Accepting the basic premise of modern statists, who see no difference between the functions of government and the functions of industry, between force and production, and who advocate government ownership of business- the proponents of "competing governments" take the other side of the same coin and declare that competition is so beneficial to business, it should also be applied to government. instead of a single, monopolistic government , they declare there should be a number of different governments in the same geographical area, competing for the allegiance of individual citizens with every citizen free to "shop" and to patronize whatever government he chooses.

    Remember that forcible restraint of men is the only service a government has to offer. Ask yourself what a competition in forcible restraint would have to mean.

    One cannot call this theory a contradiction in terms, since it is obviously devoid of any understanding of the terms "competition" and "government." Nor can one call it a floating abstraction, since it is devoid of any contact with or reference to reality and cannot be concretized at all, not even roughly or approximately. One illustration will be sufficient: suppose Mr. Smith, a customer of Government A, suspects that his neighbor, Mr. Jones, a customer of Government B, has robbed him; a squad of Police A proceeds to Mr. Jones house and is met at the door by a squad of Police B , who declare that they do not accept the validity of Mr. Smith's complaint and do not recognize the authority of Government A. What happens then? You take it form there.

    1. Wenzel already took it from there:

      As Wenzel would say, You can't seem to get your mind out of the central planning box/

    2. I've been a Rothbardian thinking about this stuff since 1973. Perhaps it's time to come up with a new definition of "government". We’ve perhaps come up with a better term than AnCap (PPS) considering that there would not be Mad Max “anarchy” under AnCap based upon common usage of the term. Keep in mind that 99% of the population cannot grasp the concept that inflation is a purposeful government program and not a mysterious and relentless force of nature. That is our audience.

      I thought it was obvious that there would be “governance” under AnCap/PPS which is basically a government that cannot violate the NAP. It quacks like a government and barks like a government except that it cannot violate the NAP. Thus, labeling “PPS governance” as a “government” or “voluntary government” seems to me to matter less than what powers it actually has or would have. So perhaps it makes sense to say that we advocate a voluntary and peaceful government.

      We’ve been having these same arguments about these definitions for almost 50 years and getting nowhere. What is it EXACTLY that the miniarchists want a “government” to do that could not/would not be done by a “voluntary government” aka PPS governance because it cannot violate the NAP? That’s really only issue here, right?

    3. @Bob Roddis: These issues have been debated for centuries. The term "governance" is a fudge that allows AnCaps who know better to win arguments on the interwebs. Voluntary government, however, is an oxymoron. To quote George Washington some 240 years ago: "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." Forcible restraint....

    4. A (moving) picture is worth a thousand words:

    5. Exactly. The current state legitimizes itself based on its claim that is alone (based on flawed public good's theory) can perform the necessary services of property/personal protection and dispute arbitration. But if a PPS or minarchist government/governance service is a 100% voluntarily (individual sessession/subscription change not forcefully prevented, compliance actually agreed to with formal contracts and not the mystical social contract), then what does it matter what you call it? Is it really just semantics at that point?

      I wonder if, because the state is all many people can imagine, that many get hung up on the idea of formally agreeing to a protection and arbitration service contract yet are OK with informally agreeing to arbitrary state rule now.

      Every day we implicitly agree to live by the norms that our society's morality dictate without any coercion. How many people really think..."if it wasn't for that pesky state imprisoning me then I would steal from my neighbor today"? It's rare state of mind as evidenced by the fact that most of us are wealthier than ever before in history. Private security and arbitrage need to be designed to deal with those outliers.

      Most of us, most of the time, already agree to those rules as individuals (and a society by abstraction) because the social rules which allows for non-exclusive, peaceful, wealth building are not arbitrary. If you value that outcome your decisions about how to treat other people reflect it. Pretty sure I'd feel safe with children at Wenzel's hypothetical super bowl pool party. Hope I get invited.

      In contrast, the rules for state scale murder and theft and wealth destruction are chaotic and based on the whims of the people in control of the local state apparatus. This ks reflected in the rules of mini-statists who want impose their will on others as well.

      Isn't that the fundamental definition of theft or murder or crime in general? Treating someone else's property and life as your own?

    6. @Hollow Daze / @Bob Roddis

      "The nature and intention of government...are social. Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention is purely antisocial. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him." Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, The State

  3. I'd suggest that the move to a PPS would be messy but once the first generation grows up and is taught from birth about PP and the NAP it would be as normal as anything.
    Imagine a generation of kids brought up recoiling at the thought of violence against another person or their property the way we do now when confronted by pedophilia.

  4. This post could be true of any society where law enforcement is not a public monopoly. In PPS it's not law enforcement because there is no law.

    You'd also want Traveller's Insurance (if actuarially feasible) so you can be compensated if injured on someone else's property. You couldn't expect every property owner to have that coverage. There is some sense to it. Why should we expect anti-social NAP violators to compensate their victims? We can voluntarily insure against potential losses.

  5. I'm not a proponent of PPS because the question of victim restitution has not been answered. I want to live in a society where the law is nothing more than deducing violations of NAP. And where victims of NAP violations are made whole as possible. I am in favor of violating private property rights where it means saving a person on that property from a violation of NAP.

    PPS is not that. But that does not necessarily mean that it is not more free and peaceful than even a NAP society would be in practice. PPS does remind me somewhat of Heinlein's society in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but I don't remember the details of the book enough to compare accurately.

    Here is some more intellectual fodder on PPS:

  6. After millions of years of evolution human nature is still too full of intolerance and fear to even partly embrace NAP or PPS. Even the members of this discussion have difficulty grasping a live and let live world bound only by the distance between your fist and my nose. But human nature also includes the law of association which compels voluntary association to maximize wealth and well being. Intolerance vs law of association, only mother nature can move us in one direction or the other.

  7. Speaking of dirt bags recording people in private, see Lyons Real Estate CEO, Michael Lyon.