Non-Territorial PDAs vs. Heathean Anarchism
Freehold vs. Leasehold
Anarcho-capitalism might be achieved through competing private defense agencies (PDAs) whose jurisdiction consists of its customers' freehold properties. Since all law is private contract, applicable law depends on each pair of individuals and their respective defense agencies.
Another way an anarcho-capitalism community may be achieved is though a private firm providing the community amenities, including police and court services. Thus, there is a territorial monopoly, but only by a clear voluntary choice indicated by leasing land in that proprietary community.
Pro PDA (Freehold)
Let us, then, examine in a little more detail what a free-market defense system might look like. It is, we must realize, impossible to blueprint the exact institutional conditions of any market in advance ... However, we can postulate some of the workings of a freely competitive, marketable system of police and judicial services. Most likely, such services would be sold on an advance subscription basis, with premiums paid regularly and services to be supplied on call. Many competitors would undoubtedly arise, each attempting, by earning a reputation for efficiency and probity, to win a consumer market for its services.
- Murray Rothbard, Defense Services on the Free Market
Protection from coercion is an economic good. It is presently sold in a variety of forms--Brinks guards, locks, burglar alarms. As the effectiveness of government police declines, these market substitutes for the police, like market substitutes for the courts, become more popular.
Suppose, then, that at some future time there are no government police, but instead private protection agencies. These agencies sell the service of protecting their clients against crime. Perhaps they also guarantee performance by insuring their clients against losses resulting from criminal acts.
How might such protection agencies protect? That would be an economic decision, depending on the'-costs and effectiveness of different alternatives. On the one extreme, they might limit themselves to passive defenses, installing elaborate locks and alarms. Or they might take no preventive action at all, but make great efforts to hunt down criminals guilty of crimes against their clients. They might maintain foot patrols or squad cars, like our present government police, or they might rely on electronic substitutes. In any case, they would be selling a service to their customers and would have a strong incentive to provide as high a quality of service as possible, at the lowest possible cost. It is reasonable to suppose that the quality of service would be higher and the cost lower than with the present governmental system.
- David Friedman, Police, Courts, and Laws - on the Market
Pro Proprietary Community (Leasehold)
Their interests will collide with the interests of others and with the common interest in any proposal that would affect land values unevenly. Yet, to avoid such measures would be to throw out planning and coordination of land uses completely, and with it ultimately all land value. ... Aggravating the situation further is the absence of effective leadership to arbitrate the conflicts or to salvage the best of the bad situation. Lacking is someone who, while not identified with any special interest in the community, is at the same time strongly concerned for the success of the community as a whole. (p. 57) ... Property in land cannot be moved to an environment more favorable for its use. Its value as an economic good is a function of its surroundings. Its higher use therefore depends upon rearranging the environment to conform to it. ... Since the possible uses of a site depend on surrounding land uses (ultimately, all human action is land use of one kind or another), it is essential for its most productive use that the uses of accessible surrounding land be coordinated. Seldom can this be done effectively under a multiplicity of separate authorities. If surrounding sites are owned in severalty, the several owners may or may not be able to accommodate their various uses to a comprehensive plan, depending on many, often fortuitous, factors affecting the ability and wishes of each. They are neighbors of circumstance, not ofc onvenience.(p.78)
- Spencer H. MacCallum, The Art of Community
The standard libertarian model of a community is one of individuals who, instead of living physically separated and isolated from one another, associate with each other as neighbors living on adjacent but separately owned pieces of land. However, this model is too simplistic. Presumably, the reason for choosing neighbors over isolation is the fact that for individuals participating in and partaking of the benefits of the division of labor, a neighborhood offers the added advantage of lower transaction costs; that is, a neighborhood facilitates exchange. As a consequence, the value of an individually owned piece of land will be enhanced by the existence of neighboring pieces of land owned by others. However, while this may indeed be true and constitute a valid reason for choosing a neighborhood over physical isolation, it is by no means always true. A neighborhood also involves risks and may lead to falling rather than-increasing property values, for even if one assumes, in accordance with the model under consideration, that the initial establishment of neighboring property was mutually beneficial, and even if it is further assumed that all members of a community refrain from criminal activity, it might still happen that a formerly "good" neighbor turns obnoxious, that he does not take care of his property or changes it so as to negatively affect the property values of other community members, or that he simply refuses to participate in any cooperative effort directed at improving the value of the community as a whole.
- Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed