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Post 20

Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 8:29pmSanction this postReply
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Landon Erp wrote: " Defense agencies (and police forces) deal primarily in force."

Thank you for writing that.  It is the key to the problem.  So far, none of the govern-mentalists or statists in this thread or in the front page Article on "Nano-archy vs. Anti-archy" came right out and identified the essential distinguishing characteristic.  Within the limits of your knowledge, you are right. 

The problem goes away when to step back and establish a wider context.

Government police departments do deal primarily in force.  However, private security agencies do not deal primarily in force. 

Do restaurants deal primarily in garbage? I mean that private security agencies are to government police departments as food is to waste.  Yes, you cannot have a restaurant unless you have some way to deal with the cuttings and peelings which are inevitable.  Likewise, the reason for value protection is to minimize losses due to all causes.  Human predators are just one set of problems.  Dealing with them does not require force.  However, force is allowed on the same basis that a restaurant contracts for refuse pick-up.   

Another analogy is that life insurance companies charge less to people who are in good health -- who do not smoke, for example.  On the other hand, governments ban public smoking.  Are insurance companies in the "business" of coercing people to prevent smoking?   Your insurer does not "care" too much about you, but neither can they argue away the arithmetic.

So, too, with value protection.  We prevent losses.  If you invite loss, the service costs more.  However, the focus is on you, the customer. 

With government police, the focus is on "perpetrators" who "break the law."  If you suffer a loss, the matter becomes "The People versus The Perp."  You are out of the picture -- if you were ever in it.

The reason that "Objectivists" and "Libertarians" cannot come to terms on this is that they are both arguing from the same assumptions.  They are like ancient astronomers arguing the correct arrangement of epicycles.


Post 21

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 - 4:53pmSanction this postReply
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Ok I'll bite.  What is the "Food" of an agency of force then Michael?

I only discovered free-market anarchy about a year or so ago, a little after discovering Objectivism. I'm
skeptically curious about it as an idea/school of thought.  My understanding of the issue of agencies of force is that they would work in a similar fashion to a combination of bounty hunters, private investigation firms, and literal body guards.

Since under a just system only
initiations of force would be worth being dealt with, how could they be dealt with in any manner other than force.  A lot of the problems of government corruption come from the fact that the government deals with force in areas where there is no force has been initiated by the perp (the Vice Squad of any police department is the best example of this). 

Protection is either preventative or reactionary. 
Preventative doesn't always necessarily require force (but the threat is more or less necessary) but Reactionary is all force. How could an agency be defined by anything other than force.


---Landon



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Post 22

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 4:40pmSanction this postReply
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Landon Erp looked at menu and asked the waiter, "Ok I'll bite.  What is the "Food" of an agency of force then Michael?" ...  My understanding of the issue of agencies of force is that they would work in a similar fashion to a combination of bounty hunters, private investigation firms, and literal body guards. ... Protection is either preventative or reactionary.  Preventative doesn't always necessarily require force (but the threat is more or less necessary) but Reactionary is all force. How could an agency be defined by anything other than force."
A kevlar vest is not a firearm.  Floodlights, locks, fences, alarms, and patrols all minimize crime.  You might say that the patrol is an example of potential force.  I will agree that it might be just that, but I insist that this not its essential nature.  Mere presence is enough. 

Unlike the philosophers who are arguing epicycles and angels on the heads of pins (monarchy leads to antiarchy or whatever), I actually have worked as a private security guard.  I work as a guard on a college campus now.  We are unarmed: no guns, no batons, no chemicals, and -- even though handcuffs are not weapons -- no handcuffs.  Admittedly, a campus is a milder kind of community -- but it is still a community.  We do have assaults.  We do confront violent individuals.  We do so without resort to even "retaliatory force."  We use a lot of "verbal judo" taking the energy out of the conflict

Even as a private patrol officer with weaponry, the preferred method was verbal judy.  For that company, our policies and procedures were unequivocally specific: When confronted, you will retreat. 

Ninety-nine percent of what a private protection agency does has nothing to do with "retaliatory force" and everything to do with prevention

Again, mere presence is often enough.  We have had a problem on campus with electronic equipment being stolen.  I have no problem letting three students into a room 15 minutes before classtime.  If one wanted to wheel out a TV, the other two would not stop him --- but the presence of those other two prevents the perp from acting.  The Powers that Be do not agree with my logic, so I do not open the rooms -- but you see my point.  A is A.  A thief has a nature, which, despite arguments over "free will," it is apparently impossible for him to act outside of.  That is why floodlights work.

As for coercing people into courts of law or whatever: You take a picture of some guy breaking into a store and then plaster them all over his neighborhood.  You will modify his behavior.  I lived in one small town (Marysville, Ohio) where a convenience store posted the names of people who bounced checks.  There was a big sign out front "If you see FILL IN THE NAME tell them to come get their check."

There are a hundred ways to deal with the problems of predation.  Retaliatory force is the last resort of the incompetent.


Post 23

Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 2:15pmSanction this postReply
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As for coercing people into courts of law or whatever: You take a picture of some guy breaking into a store and then plaster them all over his neighborhood.  You will modify his behavior. 

And if it doesn't modify his behavior? 


Post 24

Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 4:25pmSanction this postReply
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Let's say - it WILL modify his behavior, one way or another...

Post 25

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 10:45amSanction this postReply
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I really hate this limited internet time. 

Your argument is pretty sound but the one point I have comes down to this. Metal detectors in school after columbine.  Sure they've probably prevented several disasters since then but there have been a few cases where once the weapons were discovered the kid just opened fire right then and there against the unarmed security and anyone else in their path.

I'd say you'd be right 90% of the time but that exceptionally bad 10% is what you have to worry about. That 10% that's just a little too comfortable initiating force in new extreme and creative ways.

It would be bad enough if this group is always outside an agency of protection/force, but I think Alan Moore put it best when he said "Who watches the Watchmen?"

---Landon


Post 26

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 6:39pmSanction this postReply
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Landon, you assert that "there have been a few cases where once the weapons were discovered the kid just opened fire right then and there against the unarmed security and anyone else in their path." Could you cite specific examples?  It would not make much difference, but it the facts in the instances might be material. 

I will provide this:

http://www.whnt.com/Global/story.asp?s=4054037
15 Year Old Charged With Capital Murder in Teacher's Beating Death
October 31, 2005
NewsChannel 19's Sherea Harris reports:
A fifteen year old boy is accused of punching and kicking 55-year-old Judy Jester to death. Jester, a first grade teacher at Hatton Elementary School, died Sunday from severe injuries to her head and face.

Neither the absence of a firearm, nor the existence of a constitutionally limited government police agency prevented that, nor could it.  Short of actually having a guard in the classroom, or in the school at exactly the right place at exactly the right moment, perhaps nothing could have prevented it.  Perhaps if the teacher were armed, or knew karate, that might have prevented the murder. 

In any event, crimes like these happen in every society.

 


Post 27

Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 4:49pmSanction this postReply
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I got the HALLCREST REPORTS via interlibrary loan.

(You will find these reports cited by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, 106th Congress, among others.)

The Hallcrest Report I: Private Security and Police in America by William C. Cunningham and Todd H. Taylor, Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, 1985. ("This publication reports a 30-month descriptive research project performed by Hallcrest Systems, Inc., MacLean, Virginia, under a grant from the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.")

The Hallcrest Report II: Private Security Trends 1970 to 2000, by William C. Cunningham, John J. Strauchs, Clifford W. Van Meter, Butterworth Heineman, Boston, 1990. ("This publication, The Hallcrest Report II: Private Security Trends (1970 to 2000), presents the results of a descriptive research project performed in 1989 and 1990 by Hallcrest Systems, Incorporated of MacLean, Virginia, under a grant (89-IJ-CX-0002) from the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.")

Once more, the fact is that two out of every three patrol officers in the USA is privately employed.  Government police are a 2:1 minority.  Similarly, while television touts government courts and prosecutors and crime scene investigators, the fact is that much more is done privately -- and that means privately, i.e, not in the public eye. 

On the other hand, there is a curious overlap between public and private police.  In 1989, only about 6% of Americans declared having two or more jobs.  At that same time, about 40% of all publicly employed police moonlighted as security guards -- 50% in Seattle, Washington D.C. and Dade County; 53% in Colorado Springs.  This means in many cases, police officers wearing their public uniforms, carrying their public weapons, radios, and other equipment in the public cars, while being paid privately.  In some cases, the police department itself handles the contracts.  In some cases, the police union does the contracting.  In some cities, police officers run their own private protection businesses.  Obviously, all of this opens the floodgates to conflicts of interest and ultimately (as in the case of New Orleans) to corruption at all levels in all departments, including internal affairs. 

At the same time, these police officers bring with them a fundamental conflict regarding their roles.  Among the  problems cited in The Halllcrest Report II are the fact that police enforce laws, while private protection places a higher value on conflict avoidance.  Corollary to that is the fact that these moonlighters are weaponed, whereas few security guards are or need to be.  That fact creates a severe liability situation for the governmental unit.

From the viewpoint of political science, the problem becomes a gordian knot.  Who guards the rest of the public while the public police are guarding those who pay extra for extra service? 

For Objectivists, the basic problem is that the government is competing directly against private enterprise.   


Post 28

Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 10:02pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Another problem arises when private security guards are legally deputized, and use official governement force on behalf of one side in a conflict between private parties - without being subject to scrutiny from the press, or public open records laws etc. Combine this with the fact that secretive religious and racist groups (such as, for example, the "Nation of Islam") are in the business, and that their members are deputized with the legal powers of police officers, and we have the whole slew of problems that arise when force is exercised without open, public exposure.


Post 29

Monday, November 14, 2005 - 7:52amSanction this postReply
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Adam Reed wrote: "Another problem arises when private security guards are legally deputized, and use official governement force ..."

Adam, another problem arises when private businesses are granted government monopolies and use the power of the state to ...

1.  A company gets a contract to provide food and cafeteria services to the schools of a local government board. 
2.  MacDonalds competes against Burger King, supermarkets (including Whole Foods), gourmet restaurants, truck stops, and your own kitchen.

A.  The government has never been responsible for providing shoes.
B.  Barefoot people are rare in America.

Personal solutions to security needs are not "competing governments."   

Come on, Adam, work the problem. 


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Post 30

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 6:01amSanction this postReply
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Most of the readers here on SOLO accept it as proved that socialism does not work.  Therefore, these facts will not be surprising.
----------------------
In 1975 the Rand Corporation think tank did a study about police efficacy and basically decided that the Detective Bureaus were the least  productive/efficient part of a police agency.  Their report stated:  "The single most important determinant of whether of not a case will be solved is the information the victim supplies  to the immediately responding officer."
 
In another work done by Mark William and John Snortum in  1985 , where 5,336 cases  reported to suburban police departments were analyzed, the two researchers  found that the majority of the cases were solved because people at the scene could identify the perps.
 
Carl Klockars, a professor in Criminology, wrote an article where he stated that "all but 5% of serious crimes that are solved by detectives are solved because a witness tells the detective whodunit, or by thoroughly routine clerical procedures."
-------------------

These citations undescore a fact given to the class I am taking in Law Enforcement Ethics.  The instructor said that only 15% of cases are solved by detectives.  That was a few weeks ago and last night, I asked her for documentation and she emailed me the three paragraphs above.  She is a retired patrol officer, detective, and lawyer.

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 11/18, 6:05am)


Post 31

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 1:59pmSanction this postReply
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Let's lay some concrete.

Michael, can you solve this problem for me?

We have competing enforcement agencies, CEAs.

CEA#1 enforces a law that holds that abortion is an initiation of force against the foetus. CEA#2 on the other hand recognises that to abort a foetus is not an IOF.

A wife becomes pregnant and decides to have an abortion. Her husband contends that this is murder and that she must not go through with it. She disagrees and heads off to the abortion clinic.

Hubby contacts CEA#1 and informs them of the situation, requesting that they step in and prevent his wife from committing murder. CEA#1 accepts the contract and off they go to the clinic.

Wifey's on the table surrounded by doctors when CEA#1 officers storm the clinic. Everyone involved in the procedure is arrested to prevent the murder.

Meanwhile, the manager of the clinic has called CEA#2 asking them to come and remove CEA#1 officers who are forcibly preventing his doctors and patients from going about their business.

Now, what is the likely outcome of this scenario?

Ross



Post 32

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 2:04pmSanction this postReply
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Not the old abortion bogeyman again.

http://solohq.com/Forum/Quotes/0872.shtml#14


Post 33

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 2:40pmSanction this postReply
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Well, Aaron, it's *not* the old abortion bogeyman again. It's a legitimate scenario for this discussion. Jeez, I could have come up with a thousand other similar situations. If this scenario is inconvenient for some then all others will be as well.

It's the *abstraction* that matters, not the abortion debate per se, surely?

Ross

Post 34

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 3:17pmSanction this postReply
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OK, then, in the abstract:

Say you have a substantial minority of population with ethics such that they passionately oppose 'krunerbling' and will risk life and limb to prevent and forbid it. They will cause major disruption under any social system. The result will either be widespread incidents of violence as they clash with krunerblers, or a social system that enforces the powerful minority's will against the majority (ie. it institutionalizes a threat of violence against krunerblers).

Neither anarchocapitalism nor Randian minarchy nor any other system could defend freedom to krunerble against a sizeable disagreeable minority. In a society where such a minority is only a pitiful fraction of 1% of the population, however, it doesn't matter as the trouble they cause is minimal. That's why spreading the ideas of rational Objectivist ethics is vital to have any chance of a free society. It's also why, without pervasive common rational ethics, pointing out that this or that concept for a free society won't work is vacuously true - but irrelevant.


Post 35

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 3:28pmSanction this postReply
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Ross,

If I may anticipate Michael: There will be no shootout at the clinic because such would be the last resort of the incompetent. CEAs will be competitive, therefore, efficient and competent. Therefore, your scenario is impossible. Nike isnít incompetent, Google isnít. But talk about security and people suddenly think it would be incompetent!!

Deadbolts, not batons.


Post 36

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 3:39pmSanction this postReply
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Aaron, sometimes we need concrete examples to expose the fallacy of the abstraction. That's the point of my above post.

It seems you wouldn't like to place your bets either way, and that's fine. My question *obviously* assumes that we have reached the stage where a severely limited state obtains. The question couldn't arise in any other environment.

Ross

Post 37

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 4:11pmSanction this postReply
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Ross-

Point taken. I just get irked by '0 govt vs. damn-near-0 govt' arguments since we're nowhere near either utopia and the debate itself is often needlessly devisive of people who should be on the same side. I hope we live to see a time when such discussions are relevant.

Jon-

I didn't see any bizarre allegories, but overall well done.

MEM-

That's not to knock bizarre allegories; more often than not they're a good thing.


Post 38

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 4:15pmSanction this postReply
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Jon, *why* won't there be a shootout? Or similar corrective measures? Why? If I hold that some action is an IOF & you don't, where is our common redress?

And, if say Nike sued Google for some infringement of it's copyright, seeking damages, then was awarded a sum that Google felt was onerous & was unwilling to pay, where would be Nike's redress in the final instance?

William Dwyer above has quite correctly made the point that all transactions take place within a framework that assumes some final arbitration, some mechanism of last resort, *if required*. You're assuming that a dispassionate & disinterested final arbitration will never be required.

Ross

Post 39

Friday, November 18, 2005 - 4:42pmSanction this postReply
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No - it is assuming this isn't an upstart organization and that prior agreements to arbitration of disputes have been made...

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