The Market for Liberty

Linda & Morris Tannehill

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When I began reading the Tannehills’ The Market for Liberty, I realised that what I was reading was something quite special.  Tucked in this book is a treasure trove of quotes and revelations.  This book, in addition to providing me with logical conclusions that had simply not found their way into my head previously, also answered various questions that I had not been able to figure out.  For example, while I had been wondering how a person would be brought to justice if the person had murdered a bum with no friends or family, the Tannehills had figured this out fifteen years before I was born (p. 99).

The philosophy of this book could be described as anarcho-Objectivist.  Influenced most prominently by Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand and anarcho-capitalists such as Murray N. Rothbard and Roy A. Childs, Jr., this book shows how anarchism is not in conflict with Objectivism at all.  If Rothbard presents the consistently-Lockean perspective that Locke himself fails to present, then the Tannehills present the consistently-Randian perspective that Rand herself fails to present.

However, partially due to their reliance on Randian ethics, I wound up with various points of contention with the Tannehills, and as such, choose to spell out these points of disagreements by placing Post-it notes on various pages.  What you find below is both a collection of amazing quotes from this fantastic work, but also my comments, clarifications, and disagreements therewith.  The latter will be written in pale yellow, whereas the former will be quoted in white.


  • Arbitration
  • Debts Arising From Accidents
  • Two Teeth for a Tooth
  • Medical Care, Wills, and Inheritance
  • Force
  • Private Police Will Not Aggress
  • Police Corruption
  • Issues With Ownership and Fraud
  • Extent of Reparations
  • More on Two Teeth for a Tooth
  • Why Killers of the Homeless Will Not Get Off Scott Free
  • “Breaking” Natural Law Has Unavoidable Consequences
  • A Government Doesn’t Defend People, But Rather Get People to Defend It
  • The Market Will Keep Private Armies Small As Need Be
  • Tumour Analogy
  • Business Acts More Justly When Disconnected From Government
  • Stateless Society Would Put Pressure On States
  • Tyranny is Impotent
  • Trade Also Would Put Pressure On States
  • “No More Wars”
  • “The Idea of Liberty…”
  • Question Regarding Inflation
  • Getting Gold Back in Our Hands
  • Example of Government Waste: Hemp
  • Government Employees Get New Jobs
  • Victims of the Power-Grabbers
  • Don’t Blame the Victims of Social Security
  • Revolution ≠ Violence
  • Power of Bad Ideas
  • Forward (1984) by Karl Hess

    The most interesting political questions throughout history have been whether or not humans will be ruled or free, whether they will be responsible for their actions as individuals or left irresponsible as members of society, and whether they can live in peace by volitional agreements alone.

    The fundamental question of politics has always been whether there should be politics.

    Without the state there would be anarchy for that is, despite all the perfervid ravings of the Marxist Left and statist Right, all that anarchy means—the absence of the state, the opportunity for liberty.

    The nation state has never been associated with peace on earth.  Its most powerful recommendation and record is, as a matter of fact, as a wager of war.  The history of nation states is written around the dates of war, not peace, around arms and not arts.  The organization of warfare without the coercive power of the nation state is simply unimaginable at the scale with which we have become familiar.

    Forward (2008) by Alexander S. Peak

    Introduction to this Edition (1984) by Douglas Casey

    The Perception of Anarchy (p. iii)

    The word “anarchy” is never used in this book, as far as I can recall.  I suppose the authors chose not to employ it for much the same reason another great thinker, Robert LeFevre, doesn’t: it scares people.  In the commonly held view, anarchists are violent, unstable characters dressed in black capes, skulking about carrying little round bombs with lit fuses.  The word carries a lot of emotional baggage in people’s minds, and unleashes suppressed atavistic fears when it appears.  Paradoxically, anarchy is perhaps the gentlest of social systems; it is a political manifestation of the ancient Chinese Taoist philosophy, wherein everything flows unrestricted, to its own level, at its own pace.  “Anarchy” is equated with “chaos” and “danger,” while “government” is equated with “order” and “peace,” when exactly the opposite is true.



    PART I—The Great Conflict

    “Since late Neolithic times, men in their political capacity have lived almost exclusively by myths.”—Dr. James J. Martin

    Chapter 1.  If We Don’t Know Where We’re Going…

    Chapter 2.  Man and Society

    The Subjectivity of the Value of One’s Own Life (p. 8)

    The value of one’s own life is a wholly subjective standard, by definition.  It pertains to the self as a subject.  I am under no natural obligation to value my life, and thus suicide is not immoral.  The lives of others are objective—other people are objects external from the self.  One has a natural obligation not to act to infringe upon the lives of others.  But one has no natural obligation to sacrifice for the lives of others just as one has no natural obligation to live or to take any action which requires living.  One may acquire positive responsibility only through one’s positive actions, such as the signing of a contract to transfer alienable property.

    In short, because I am not required to live, I am not required to take action.  But since the Liberty of others is not determined by my existence, I may not act—during my existence—in any way that infringes upon the Liberty of others.  I do not own others, but I do own myself.

    Subjective Value Preferences (p. 9)

    If I do not value my life, there can be nothing wrong in sacrificing it.  Sacrificing may indeed be destructive to my life, but if I do so voluntarily, it cannot be destructive of my values.  All actions committed volitionally are by definition selfish—even allowing one’s self to die.

    Pressure is Not Force (p. 10)

    Many pressures may be brought to bear on a man, but unless he is compelled by physical force (or the threat of force, or a substitute for force) to act against his will, he still has the freedom to make his own choices.

    The Inalienability of Rights (p. 11)

    Rights are inalienable.  But property (except for the self) is alienable, and thus one can alienate him-/herself from his/her right to this or that piece of property.  (The self is inalienable, and thus the right to self-ownership is as well.  That I cannot alienate my body or my will from me or my ownership is why slavery can never be just.)

    Chapter 3.  The Self-Regulating Market

    Money (p. 17)

    Money is used because it makes trading easier and increases the number and type of trades possible.  If you wanted to get rid of a motorcycle and to get in exchange a six months supply of groceries, three pairs of pants, several records, and a night on the town with your girlfriend, you’d find it pretty hard without the use of money as a medium of exchange.  By using money, you can sell that motorcycle to anyone who will buy it and use the cash to buy whatever you want.  Because the use of money makes it no longer necessary for the buyer to have an assortment of the exact goods the seller wants, many more and better trades can be made, thus increasing the satisfaction of everyone.

    Money also acts as the means of calculating the relative worth of various goods and services.  Without money, it would be impossible to know how many phonographs a car was worth, or how many loaves of bread should be exchanged for the service of having a tooth pulled.  Without a standard medium of exchange to calculate with, the market couldn’t exist.

    Fascism (p. 18)

    Facism is the system in which the government leaves nominal ownership of the means of production in the hands of private individuals but exercises control by means of regulatory legislation and reaps most of the profits by means of heavy taxation.  In effect, fascism is simply a more subtle form of government ownership than is socialism.  Under fascism, producers are allowed to keep a nominal title to their possessions and to bear all the risks involved in entrepreneurship, while the government has most of the actual control and gets a great deal of the profits (and takes none of the risks).  The U.S.A. is moving increasingly away from a free-market economy and toward fascist totalitarianism.

    Fascism is an ideology that holds that all human value proceeds from the state (or the nation); in effect, that the state is “god.”  Fascism may employ this economic model, or a model closer to that of the U.S.S.R., or other economic models—so long as the state has ultimate control.  Historically, fascism has tended to employ the economic model described here in this book.  A more-appropriate name for the economic model described is mercantilism or neo-mercantilism.  It’s worth adding that the state often forces the tax-payers to assume the risks involved in entrepreneurship.

    What is The Market? (p. 20)

    The market is not a jumble of distorted and unrelated events.  Instead, it is a highly complex but orderly and efficient mechanism which provides a means for each person to realize the maximum possible value and satisfaction commensurate with his abilities and resources.

    Are Patents Needed? (p. 22)

    It should be noted that the high initial profit realized from a new product is also a just process in which the innovator is rewarded for his investment of time, money, and mental labor.

    Three Ways to Effect the Economy (pp. 22–23)

    Government effects the economy in three major ways—1) by taxation and spending, 2) by regulation, and 3) by control of money and banking.  Taxation is economic hemophilia.  It drains the economy of capital which might otherwise be used to increase both consumer satisfaction and the level of production and thus raise the standard of living.  Taxing away this money either prevents the standard of living from rising to the heights it normally would or actually causes it to drop.  Since productive people are the only ones who make money, they are the only ones from whom government can get money.  Taxation must necessarily penalize productivity.

    Some people feel that taxation really isn’t so bad, because the money taken from the “private sector” is spent by the “public sector,” so it all comes out even.  But though government spends tax money, it never spends this legally plundered wealth the same way as it would have been spent by its rightful owners, the taxpaying victims.  Money which would have been spent on increased consumer satisfaction or invested in production, creating more jobs and more products for consumers, may be used instead to subsidize welfare recipients, controlling their lives and, thus, discouraging them from freeing themselves in the only way possible—through productive labor.  Or it may be used to build a dam which is of so little value to consumers and investors that it would never have been constructed without the force of government intervention.  Government spending replaces the spending which people, if free, would do to maximize their happiness.  In this way, government spending distorts the market and harms the economy as much or more than taxation.

    If taxation bleeds the economy and government spending distorts it, governmental regulation amounts to slow strangulation.  If a regulation requires businessmen to do what consumer desires would have caused them to do anyway, it is unnecessary.  If it forces businessmen to act against consumer desires (which it almost always does), it harms the businessman, frustrates the consumer, and weakens the economy—and the confused consumer can usually be propagandized into blaming the businessman.  By forcing businessmen to act against consumer desires, government regulation increases the cost of the regulated products (which, in our present economy, includes just about everything) and so lowers living standards for everyone and increases poverty.

    Government Regulation Hurting The Poor (p. 23)

    Government regulation not only hurts the poor indirectly, by raising prices, but directly as well, by denying them opportunities to move up and out of their poverty.  Suppose a black man who couldn’t get a decent job decided to support his family by making sandwiches and selling them to the men on local construction projects.  First, he would have to apply, in proper legal language and procedure, for licenses and permissions from all the branches and departments of government which required them.  He would probably need licenses from city and state, permitting him to make sales.  Then he would have to be regularly inspected and certified under pure food and drug laws.  If he managed to comply with all this without going broke or giving up in despair, he would still be faced with the problem of keeping extensive records to enable the city, state, and Federal tax collectors to take part of his earnings and to be sure he paid his “fair share.”  This would require an extensive knowledge of bookkeeping, which he probably wouldn’t have.  Suppose he decided to hire his brother-in-law, who knew a little bookkeeping, to keep his records.  Then he would have to comply with all the laws which harass other employers, including income tax and social security deductions from his employee’s earnings, sales tax, minimum wage laws, and working condition standards.  With such powerful barriers to success, no wonder the poor get poorer!

    “Fine Tuning” Analogy (p. 24)

    Government bureaucrats’ “fine tuning” of the economy resembles the activities of a bunch of lunatics, armed with crowbars, “adjusting” the workings of an automated electronics plant.

    Market Monopoly v. Coercive Monopoly (pp. 27–28)

    Theoretically, there are two kinds of monopoly—market monopoly and coercive monopoly.  A coercive monopoly maintains itself by the initiation of force or the threat of force to prohibit competition, and sometimes to compel customer loyalty.  A market monopoly has no effective competition in its particular field, but it can’t prevent competition by using physical force.  A market monopoly can’t gain its ends by initiating force against anyone—its customers, competitors, or employees—because it has no legal power to compel people to deal with it and to protect itself from the consequences of its coercive actions.  The initiation of force would frighten away business associates and alarm customers into seeking substitute products, doing without altogether, or, in the case of entrepreneurs, setting up a competing business to attract other dissatisfied customers.  So the initiation of force by a market monopoly, far from helping it to attain its ends, would give it a quick push onto the short, downhill road to oblivion.

    Because it does not initiate force, a market monopoly can only attain its monopoly status by excellence in satisfying consumer wants and by the economy of its product and/or service (which necessitates efficient business management).  Furthermore, once it has attained this monopoly position, it can only hold it by continuing to give excellent service at economical prices (and the freer the economy, the more this rule holds true).  If the managers of the monopoly become careless and raise their prices above market level, some other entrepreneur will see that he can undersell them and still make tremendous profits and will immediately move to enter their field.  Then their potential competition will have become actual competition.  Large and well established companies are particularly likely to offer such competition, since they have large sums to invest and prefer to diversify their efforts into new fields in order to have a wide financial base.  In a free society, where large companies were not plundered of what bureaucrats like to think of as their “excess profits” via heavy taxation, any monopoly which raised its prices above market level or became careless about the quality of its service would be virtually creating its own competition—competition too strong for it to drive out.  As is always the rule in an unhampered market, the illness would create its own cure—the market is self-regulating.

    Chapter 4.  Government—An Unnecessary Evil

    Minarchists (p. 33)

    There are many types of minarchists, the most radical of which advocate a form of government which these authors would claim is not a government at all.

    Democracy is Still Bad (pp. 34–35)

    The belief that the people of a democracy rule themselves through their elected representatives, though sanctified by tradition and made venerable by multiple repetitions, is actually mystical nonsense.  In any election, only a percentage of the people vote.  Those who can’t vote because of age or other disqualifications, and those who don’t vote because of confusion, apathy, or disgust at a Tweedledum-Tweedledummer choice can hardly be said to have any voice in the passage of the laws which govern them.  Nor can the individuals as yet unborn, who will be ruled by those laws in the future.  And, out of those who do “exercise their franchise,” the large minority who voted for the loser are also deprived of a voice, at least during the term of the winner they voted against.

    But even the individuals who voted and who managed to pick a winner are not actually ruling themselves in any sense of the word.  They voted for a man, not for the specific laws which will govern them.  Even all those who had cast their ballots for the winning candidate would be hopelessly confused and divided if asked to vote on these actual laws.  Nor would their representative be bound to abide by their wishes, even if it could be decided what these “collective wishes” were.  And besides all this, a large percentage of the actual power of a mature democracy, such as the U.S.A., is in the hands of the tens of thousands of faceless appointed bureaucrats who are unresponsive to the will of any citizen without special pull.

    Under a democratic form of government, a minority of the individuals governed select the winning candidate.  The winning candidate then proceeds to decide issues largely on the basis of pressure from special-interest groups.  What it actually amounts to is rule by those with political pull over those without it.  Contrary to the brainwashing we have received in government-run schools, democracy—the rule of the people through their elected representatives—is a cruel hoax!

    Not only is democracy mystical nonsense, it is also immoral.  If one man has no right to impose his wishes on another, then ten million men have no right to impose their wishes on the one, since the initiation of force is wrong (and the assent of even the most overwhelming majority can never make it morally permissible).  Opinions—even majority opinions—neither create truth nor alter facts.  A lynch mob is democracy in action.  So much for mob rule.

    Government Attracts Bad Men (pp. 36–37)

    Further, a position with even a small amount of power over others is attractive to men who want to wield power over others.  A rational man—a productive man with a high degree of self-esteem—will have no desire for such power; he has more interesting and rewarding things to do with his life (and he abhors slavery…of any kind).  But a man who has failed to set and reach productive goals, a man who has never done anything worthwhile by his own standards, will often seek to disguise his feelings of inadequacy by taking a position of power in which he can experience the pseudo-self-esteem of telling others how to live their lives.  So government, by its very nature, tends to attract the worst of men, rather than the best, to its ranks.  Even if a government were started by the best of men with the best of intentions, when the good men died off and the good intentions wore off, men with a lust for power would take over and work ceaselessly to increase government influence and authority (always for the “public good,” of course!).

    Government Causes Conflict in Society (pp. 37–38)

    Government consists of men who govern, or rule over, others by initiated force.  This means that government inevitably sets men against each other as each interest group seeks to be among the rulers, or at least on good terms with the rulers, instead of among the ruled.  Such conflict between interest groups is most pronounced in a democracy, because in a democracy the course of government is determined largely by pressure groups who have special pull and/or can deliver votes and money.  Each pressure group fights to gain control of the government long enough to force the passage of legislation favoring it or crippling its opponents.  The constant and inevitable political warfare makes each interest group a threat to anyone outside itself and prompts otherwise non-aggressive groups to pressure the government for legislation favorable to them, as an act of self-defense if for no other reason.  Thus, government creates a situation in which each man must fear everyone who belongs to a different interest group or has a different life-style.  Black people fear suppression by whites, while whites are apprehensive about blacks gaining “too much” power.  Middle-class, middle-aged, “straight” people dread the day when young hippies will be old enough and strong enough to seize power and force legislation favoring the “hip” culture.  Hippies, meanwhile, resent the “straight” life-style which the present laws attempt to force on them.  It’s labor vs. management, urbanites vs. suburbanites, tax-payers vs. tax-consumers, in an endless, costly, and totally unnecessary battle.  Without government, no one would need to fear that someone else’s group would gain the upper hand and use the power of law to force its will on him.  People of vastly different occupations, interests, and life-styles could live peacefully together, because none would be capable of using a politician to threaten the others.  It is the power of government which causes most of the strife between various groups in our society.

    Government History Written Around War (p. 38)

    The more areas outside its boundaries a government seeks to control (that is, the more imperialistic it is), the more wars it will have to engage in, and the more prolonged and destructive these wars will be.  Some governments are far more totalitarian and imperialistic than others and are, consequently, more cruel and bloody.  But every government must initiate force because every government is a coercive monopoly.  Wars and repressions are inevitable so long as governments continue to exist.  The history of governments always has been, and always will be, written in blood, fire, and tears.

    Aggressors Protecting Us From Aggression (p. 41)

    [Government] attracts the worst kind of men to its ranks, shackles progress, forces its citizens to act against their own judgment, and causes recurring internal and external strife by its coercive existence.  In view of all this, the question becomes not, “Who will protect us from aggression?” but “Who will protect us from the governmental ‘protectors’?”  The contradiction of hiring an agency of institutionalized violence to protect us from violence is even more foolhardy than buying a cat to protect one’s parakeet.

    PART II—The Laissez-Faire Society

    “Liberty—the mother, not the daughter, or order.”—Proudhon

    Chapter 5.  A Free and Healthy Economy

    Children (p. 47)

    Children must be free to secede from authoritarian parents.  “My house, my rules” is only logical and just if a person is free to pursue the alternative.

    Voluntary Sector v. Government Sector (p. 49)

    Various cell phone providers offer different features, prices, specials, terms, etc.  If I don’t like the features and terms of my cell phone, I don’t have to email my Senator, look for others with the same complaint, sign petitions, vote for Joe Blow, wait months or years to see change exacted—all I have to do is go with a different provider.  Quick, easy, painless.

    If I don’t believe I need a cell phone, I don’t have to have one—nor must I pay for one via taxes.

    Chapter 6.  Property—The Great Problem Solver

    Ownership Of The Moon (p. 55)

    A man has actually claimed to own the moon, and has sold plots of it to various people, making himself rich.  As far as I’m concerned, this man, who in no way has mixed his labour with the soil of the moon, is committing fraud against these people; he owes them their money back.

    Fences and Ownership (p. 57)

    Merely placing a fence around a mass of land doesn’t make that land mass your property.  Only the land under the actual fence is your property.  You must either A) charge admission to access the land, B) use the land for scientific study, or C) farm the land.  You must mix your labour in some way with the land.  Fences aren’t necessary for ownership, but they help in disputes.

    Copyrights and Patents (p. 58)

    I can no longer see any justice in copyrights or patents.  See p. 22 for one reason why patents would be unnecessary, especially in a world without government.

    Voluntary Collectivism (p. 61)

    There will likely be liberal property holders who will make access to their land (parks, beaches, etc.) open to all, including “immigrants,” those without any desire to work, etc.  There may also be voluntarily collectively-owned property, i.e. property held by voluntary collectives.

    Dress Codes (p. 61)

    Some businesses will have dress codes for consumers.  Others will not.  Consumers will be free to choose to patronise the businesses that fit their demand.

    Suits for Pollution (p. 62)

    You can sue for pollution to your property at any time, even if you bought the property from someone else who refused to issue such a suit.  The passage of time does not erode rights (see p. 90).

    I believe this needs further clarification.  Corporation X was polluting property p during person A’s ownership of pA owned p for fifteen years, allowing X to pollute it for ten years.  Person B buys property p from person AX continues to pollute p now that p is owned by B rather than A, and at the same rate as it polluted p back when p was owned by A.  Five years later, X stops polluting p.  Five years after that, B decides to sue X for the pollution of p.  Does B have the right to do this?  Yes, because the passage of time does not erode rights.

    If X stops polluting p before B buys p from A, then it may be true that B cannot sue X for the pollution of p because B bought p from A in that exact condition.  But maybe B can sue X even in this example.  Whether or not B can do so will be determined by private arbiters, what could be called common law.  The decision rendered for this particular case may differ from community to community.

    Chapter 7.  Arbitration of Disputes

    Arbitration or Justice (p. 68)

    Justice is not an economic good—arbitration is.  Justice is the goal of arbitration, and the reason why consumers seek arbitration services.

    Arbitration (p. 70)

    See chap. 12 of Rothbard’s For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto.

    Debts Arising From Accidents (p. 71)

    Debts can arise from accidents.  If you drive your car into my fence, you or your insurance company owes me for my losses.

    Two Teeth for a Tooth (p. 72)

    See Walter Block’s and Rothbard’s perspective on “two teeth for a tooth.”

    Medical Care, Wills, and Inheritance (p. 75)

    It would be advisable that a person make clear in his/her will what kind of medical care he/she will accept charges for while unconscious, whether he/she wants the plug pulled, etc.  If he/she does not consent to medical care in a will prior to receiving care unconsciously, he/she may not be held responsible for paying it.  Even if he/she does choose to accept charges (whether via a will or contractually after-the-fact), he/she can still get out of paying for them via suicide.  Debts would not be transferred to his/her children, but may be procured from the assets held by the suicide “victim” before said assets are inherited by others.  If the person had no will, nobody would inherit the goods—not even the offspring—but said goods would re-enter the state of nature, and could be procured on a first-come first-homestead basis (after the medical providers procured their just share).

    Chapter 8.  Protection of Life and Property

    Force (p. 77)


    PacifistsEvil or UnjustEvil or Unjust
    ObjectivistsEvil or UnjustGood and Just
    LibertariansEvil or UnjustNeutral, but Just
    Others (e.g. liberals, conservatives)NeutralNeutral

    Private Police Will Not Aggress (p. 81, 84)

    A private defense service company, competing in an open market, couldn’t use force to hold onto its customers—if it tried to compel people to deal with it, it would compel them to buy protection from its competitors and drive itself out of business.  The only way a private defense service company can make money is by protecting its customers from aggression, and the profit motive guarantees that this will be its only function and that it will perform this function well.

    Private defense service employees would not have the legal immunity which so often protects governmental policemen.  If they committed an aggressive act, they would have to pay for it, just the same as would any other individual.  A defense service detective who beat a suspect up wouldn’t be able to hide behind a government uniform or take refuge in a position of superior political power.  Defense service companies would be no more immune from having to pay for acts of initiated force and fraud than would bakers or shotgun manufacturers.  (For full proof of this statement, see Chapter 11.)  Because of this, managers of defense service companies would quickly fire any employee who showed any tendency to initiate force against anyone, including prisoners.  To keep such an employee would be too dangerously expensive for them.  A job with a defense agency wouldn’t be a position of power over others, as a police force job is, so it wouldn’t attract the kind of people who enjoy wielding power over others, as a police job does.  In fact, a defense agency would be the worst and most dangerous possible place for sadists!

    Government police can afford to be brutal—they have immunity from prosecution in all but the most flagrant cases, and their “customers” can’t desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.  But for a free-market defense service company to be guilty of brutality would be disastrous.  Force—even retaliatory force—would always be used only as a last resort; it would never be used first, as it is by governmental police.

    Police Corruption (pp. 83–84)

    See Serpico for the level of police corruption existing under government.  This would not exist under a competitive system, as jobs and pay would be dependent upon successful protection—and not corruption.

    Chapter 9.  Dealing With Coercion

    Issues With Ownership and Fraud (p. 90)

    A steals car from B and sells it to C.  B sees his car and repossesses it.  Does B owe C for his losses?  No, A owes C for C’s losses, because A committed fraud against C in the selling of B’s car.

    Extent of Reparations (p. 91)

    If A beats B up, and causes B to be unable to work, then A owes B for his secondary losses (e.g. lost pay), but does not owe the employer of B anything as B is not and can never be the property of his/her employer.  The employer has no right to B’s productivity.

    More on Two Teeth for a Tooth (p. 91)

    Some would argue that if A takes $100 from B, B may take $200 + costs from A: $100 to regain what was lost, and $100 more to punish A insofar as A punished B in the initial act of aggression.  (A is, thus, out $100.  Plus costs.)  To only take $100 from A would be to leave him/her with no net loss (except for the costs).  He/she’s have no reason not to steal.

    Why Killers of the Homeless Will Not Get Off Scott Free (p. 99)

    But suppose an aggressor murdered a grouchy old itinerant fruit picker who had neither family, friends, nor aggression insurance.  Would the aggressor “get off scott free” just because his victim was of value to no one but himself and left no heirs to his property?  No, the aggressor would still owe a debt to the fruit picker’s estate, just as he would if there were an heir.  The difference is that, without an heir, the estate (including the debt occasioned by the aggression) becomes unowned potential property.  In our society, such unowned potential property is immediately expropriated by the government, as is much other unowned wealth.  Such a practice can be justified only if one assumes that the government (or “the public”) is the original and true owner of all property, and that individuals are merely permitted to hold property by the grace and at the pleasure of the government.  In a free-market society, unowned wealth would belong to whatever person first went to the trouble of taking possession of it.  In regard to the debt owed by an aggressor to the estate of his victim, this would mean that anyone who wished to go to the trouble and expense of finding the aggressor and, if necessary, proving him guilty before professional arbiters, would certainly deserve to collect the debt.  This function could be performed by an individual, by an agency specially constituted for this purpose (though it seems unlikely that there would be enough situations of this nature to support such an agency), or by a defense agency or an insurance company.  Insurance companies would be most likely to take care of this kind of aggression in order to deter violence and gain customer good will.

    Chapter 10.  Rectification of Injustice

    Chapter 11.  Warring Defense Agencies and Organized Crime

    Chapter 12.  Legislation and Objective Law

    “Breaking” Natural Law Has Unavoidable Consequences (p. 118)

    Natural law does apply to human relationships, and it is just as objective, universal, and inescapable in this area as in any other.  The proof of this is that actions have consequences…in the area of human interaction as surely as in the area of human medicine.  A man who swallows poison will become ill (even if he has complete confidence that the poison is nothing more than vitamin pills).  A man who aggresses against others will be distrusted, avoided, and probably made to repay his victims (if some government doesn’t interfere).  A man who cheats his customers will be driven out of business by his more reputable competitors.  The consequences of “breaking” natural law cannot be avoided.  No matter how cleverly a man schemes, he will suffer if he insists on acting in a manner which contradicts the nature of human existence.  The consequences may not be immediate, and they may not be readily apparent, but they are inescapable.

    The free market is a product of the working of natural law in the area of human relationships, specifically economic relationships.  Because man’s survival and well-being are not given to him, but must be achieved, men act to maximize their welfare (if they didn’t they couldn’t keep on living).  To maximize their welfare, they trade with other men, and when they trade, each man tries to get the best possible “deal.”  Buyers bid against each other and push prices up.  Sellers bid against each other and push prices down.  At the point where the two forces meet, the market price is set, and everyone who wants to trade at that price can do so without creating surpluses or shortages.  Thus, the law of supply and demand, and all other market laws, are really natural laws, directly derived from the nature and needs of that specific entity, man.  The fact that market laws are natural laws explains why the free market works so well without any outside regulation.  Natural law is always practical—it always “works.”

    Government is an artificial construct which, because of what it is, is in opposition to natural law.  There is nothing in the nature of man which demands that he be governed by other men (if there were, then we would have to find someone to govern the governors, for they, too, would be men with a need to be governed).  In fact, the nature of man is such that, in order to survive and be happy, he must be able to make his own decisions and control his own life…a right which is unavoidably violated by governments.  The ruinous consequences of government’s inescapable opposition to natural law are written in blood and human degradation across the pages of all man’s history.

    Chapter 13.  Foreign Aggression

    A Government Doesn’t Defend People, But Rather Get People to Defend It (pp. 127, 130–131)

    The belief that society couldn’t be defended without a government also assumes that government does, indeed, protect the society over which it rules.  But when it is realized that government really has nothing except what it takes by force from its citizens, it becomes obvious that the government can’t possibly protect the people, because it doesn’t have the resources to do so.  In fact, government, without the citizens on whom it parasitizes, couldn’t even protect itself!  Throughout history, people have been talked into submitting to the tyrannies of their governments because, they were told, their government was vitally necessary to protect them from the even more terrible depredations of other governments.  The governments, having put over this bit of propaganda, then proceeded to cajole and coerce their citizens into protecting them!  Governments never defend their citizens; they can’t.  What they do is make the citizens defend them, usually after their stupid and imperialistic policies have aggravated or threatened another government to the point of armed conflict.  Governmental protection against foreign aggression is a myth (but a myth which, sad to say, most people actually believe in).

    Those who doubt that “the private sector” of the economy could sustain the expense of a free enterprise defense system would do well to consider two facts.  First, “the public sector” gets its money from the same source as does “the private sector”—the wealth produced by individuals.  The difference is that “the public sector” takes this wealth by force (which is legal robbery)—but it does not thereby have access to a larger pool of resources.  On the contrary, by draining the economy by taxation and hobbling it with restrictions, the government actually diminishes the total supply of available resources.  Second, government, because of what it is, makes defense far more expensive than it ought to be.  The gross inefficiency and waste common to a coercive monopoly, which gathers its revenues by force and fears no competition, skyrocket costs.  Furthermore, the insatiable desire of politicians and bureaucrats to exercise power in every remote corner of the world multiplies expensive armies, whose main effect is to commit aggressions and provoke wars.  The question is not whether “the private sector” can afford the cost of defending individuals but how much longer individuals can afford the fearsome and dangerous cost of coerced governmental “defense” (which is, in reality, defense of the government, for the government…by the citizens).

    The Market Will Keep Private Armies Small As Need Be (pp. 132–133)

    In a free-market defense system, the size of the armies and the expenditures for armaments would be automatically regulated according to the need for them.  Consumers, kept informed of the world situation by the news media and by insurance advertising, would buy more insurance when aggression threatened, and less when the tensions eased.  This would be particularly true of the big businesses and industries constituting the largest single insurance customers.  They would be very foresighted in their purchase of foreign-aggression insurance, just as they must be foresighted in all their other dealings.  Furthermore, competition would force defense costs to be held down, so that all armaments would have to be either engaged in necessary defensive uses or disposed of, as idle armaments would not be worth their keep.  No army could grow beyond what the market would support, and the market would never support an army larger than was actually necessary for defense, because force is a non-productive expenditure of energy.

    Tumour Analogy (p.135)

    It is true that the missiles, the deadly chemicals, and the plagues of modern warfare constitute a very real threat. But these implements of mass destruction were ordered to be constructed by governments, and these same governments are continually bringing new and more deadly weapons into existence.  To say that we must have a government to protect us as long as these products of government are around is like saying that a man should keep his cancerous tumor until sometime in the future when he gets better, because it would be too dangerous to remove it now!

    Chapter 14.  The Abolition of War

    Business Acts More Justly When Disconnected From Government (p. 138)

    The present fascistic alliance between government and business, which definitely is aggressive and imperialistic, is a forced alliance—forced by government and by those who use government’s power to extort advantages from legally disarmed victims.  But if they were separated, which partner in this would be the aggressively malicious and imperialistic one? Is business or government the basic cause of aggressions?

    Business, when separated from government, is not only nonimperialistic—it is strongly and uncompromisingly anti-coercive.  Men who trade have nothing to gain and everything to lose from destruction.  Wars of conquest do not gain markets for business.  The most significant effect of war on markets is to damage and destroy them by killing and impoverishing multitudes of people and disrupting the economic life of entire areas.  Private enterprise wins markets by the excellence of its products in competitive trading; it has nothing to gain from imperialism.

    I’m not as convinced as the authors that businesses will never act destructively.  There would still be the occasional business which will occasion to purchase something in the red market, but such businesses will be dealt with in the same manner as any individual that chose to purchase something on the red market—and since it would have no government to protect its interests against justice, justice will be more likely to rein.

    Stateless Society Would Put Pressure On States (pp. 141–143, 145)

    Tyranny is Impotent (p. 145)

    Tyranny by itself is impotent because looters don’t produce and producers can't produce unless they’re free to do so.  The belief that totalitarian nations are naturally stronger than freer ones is an outgrowth of the moral/practical dichotomy.  If that which is moral were, because of its morality, unavoidably impractical, then the good would necessarily be helpless and disarmed, since the evil would have all the practicality on its side.

    Those who persist, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, in believing that totalitarianism makes a nation strong are revealing a sneaky admiration for dictatorship.  Such an admiration springs from a psychological dependency which cannot conceive of having to be free and thrown on one’s own uncertain resources.  The phychologically dependent man longs either to be led and directed in order to escape the responsibility of decision-making, or to dictate to others in order to convince himself of an efficacy he doesn’t possess.

    Trade Also Would Put Pressure On States (p. 146)

    “No More Wars” (p. 147)

    In the final maturity of this free market, there would be no more governments left, and so…no more wars.

    There could still be “wars,” but not on the scale they’re currently fought.

    “The Idea of Liberty…” (p. 148)

    But freedom is stronger than slavery, and a good idea, once spread, is impossible to stamp out.  The idea of liberty is the innoculation which can kill parasitical governments and prevent the disease of war.

    PART III—How Do We Get There

    “If the revolution comes by violence, and in advance of light, the old struggle will have to be begun again.”—Benjamin R. Tucker

    Chapter 15.  From Government to Laissez Faire

    Question Regarding Inflation (p. 151)

    How does continually increasing inflation cause the pain to be avoided?

    Getting Gold Back in Our Hands (p. 153)

    First and foremost, the economy should be provided with media of exchange to replace the dying dollar.  Since gold and silver have proved themselves through centuries of trading to be the most acceptable monetary media, this means that we must get as much gold and silver into the hands of as many private individuals as quickly as possible.  All restrictions on the ownership and importation of gold in any form whatever should be gotten rid of as soon as possible, and Americans should be encouraged to exchange their dollars for all the gold and silver left in the Treasury at whatever price ratio the free market sets.  All the many restrictions on gold mining should be dispensed with so that the demand for hard money could be partially met with newly mined gold.

    Example of Government Waste: Hemp (pp. 154–155)

    [G]overnment investments are notably wasteful and counterproductive.  For example, the U. S. Government once formed an Abaca Production and Sales bureau to take over the growing of hemp in four Central American countries, on the theory that hemp, which is used for the manufacture of rope, was vitally strategic.  But this government-produced hemp was of such inferior quality that it couldn’t be sold, even to the Government’s own rope factory.  To get out of its embarrassment, Abaca Production and Sales sold the worthless hemp to another Government agency, the Strategic Stockpile.  The hemp was then stored, at taxpayers’ expense, in specially built warehouses.  Each year the previour year’s crop was shoveled out and destroyed to make room to store the new crop.  Total loss to the taxpayers averaged $3 million a year.

    Government Employees Get New Jobs (p. 155)

    Government employees would have to find jobs in private enterprise if they wanted to work.  There are two major kinds of governmental employees—those whose services would be in demand in the free market (teachers, librarians, secretaries, firemen, etc.) and those who perform no useful function but simply keep the governmental machinery running (lawmakers, tax collectors, bureaucratic record keepers and paper shufflers, executives in the military-industrial complex, the President and the Vice President, etc.).  The first kind would probably find only minor difficulties in adjusting to a free society.  A forest ranger in Yellowstone National Park might find his job almost unchanged, as the Park was taken over by a private corporation to be run for profit.  Those lawyers and judges whose minds were young and flexible enough to adjust to freedom instead of statutory law could sell their services to free enterprise arbitration agencies.  On the other hand, men who had spent their lives as tax collectors for the Internal Revenue Service or as Federal narcotics agents would find no demand for their “services” and would have to change careers in order to survive—perhaps even to that of garbage collector or janitor (honorable work, for a change).  In a sense, this would be a partial penality for having been willing to make a career of ruling over others.

    Victims of the Power-Grabbers (p. 156)

    Others who have never voluntarily paid into, government treasuries have been made dependent on governmental welfare payments when political meddling strangled the economy and denied them decent jobs.  These people are among the most tragic victims of the power-grabbers.

    Don’t Blame the Victims of Social Security (p. 156)

    Social Security victims hold no responsibility for the system.  You’re blaming the victim.  The government is the culprit!  Further, you’re acting collectivist—implying that all those who suffer from the government’s crimes do so because they did not protest.  Some may indeed have protested!  How could such a person be in any way responsible?

    Chapter 16.  The Force Which Shapes The World

    Revolution ≠ Violence (p. 161)

    Revolutionary action is not inherently violent and thus does not require coordination.  But even violent action requires not coordination—although coordination makes it more efficient, usually.

    Power of Bad Ideas (p. 163)

    Ideas, even seemingly insignificant ones, can have earth-shattering results when they are widely believed in a culture.  For example, in the Middle Ages, a minor religious dogma held that cats were agents of the devil.  Since religion was a very important factor in almost everyone’s life at that time, almost the whole society participated in the religious duty of killing cats.  As the cat population dwindled, the rodent population increased rapidly.  The rats carried the fleas which carried the germs which caused the Black Death.  Between one-fourth and one-third of Europe’s people died and almost one-half of the people of England died within two years, all because of one stupid, bad idea (though a seemingly harmless one)!