But… What About The Roads?

Article by Ben Doolin on Sept. 27, 2016


The question did cross my mind, along with many others when I first heard discussions of Statelessness.

It’s normal to wonder about how monopoly provided products and services could be provided absent the monopoly.  Imagine if food had always been produced by The State (well, we’d all starve to death, but imagine a fantasy world where they were actually capable of doing something).  If you suggested The State should not do that, people would freak out and suggest we’d all die of starvation.  If though, you explained that people could grow their own, that excess could even be sold at road side stands, that people could buy large chunks of land and trade their excess crops to others, and that over time relationships would be established with stores to buy from individuals to sell to the public. It would become obvious pretty quickly that there is a logical solution to the problem that doesn’t require a violently enforced monopoly to provide.

Of course the answer to the question of roads is that The State doesn’t build them now, private companies do.  The State is simply a violent middleman that jacks the price up to ten times what it should be, and keeps half for itself.  Besides, where we’re going… we won’t need roads.

After ‘the roads’ the next most common question is… ‘What would we do with bad guys?’

By definition, a free society would be free for individuals to offer any product or service that does not violate person or property.  So, no doubt a free society would have hundreds or thousands of providers offering solutions to the problem of social order.

My personal preference and an example of how it could work is The DRO Model.

The ‘DRO Model’ (Dispute Resolution Organization) is a business model that provides insurance, private protection and dispute resolution services, in the free market, competing against similar or alternative providers.

Insurance could cover everything that is covered today… plus be a ‘guarantee’ to others that you will not violate person or property.  So, presenting valid insurance would mean you’re ‘safe’ to deal with.

The DRO could provide protection services on a contract basis depending on what you needed, from nothing, to 911 emergency type responses, to body guards or more.

They would provide insurance against any loss you suffered. If your person or property was violated and the DRO paid you, that means they have been damaged as a result of the violation of person or property which legitimizes their use of force to recover for associated losses from the offender.

That would be a solid foundation for social order based on the legitimate defense of person and property that is universal to all, without violating person or property like The State does today.

Should you violate person or property (beyond something like an accident), your insurance provider would pay the loss.  If you committed a crime, like theft, I’d expect there to be a 100% deductible (you repay the insurer for the entire loss) and I would expect you to have a serious chance of increased rates or being dropped entirely.  In a scenario where ‘proof of insurance’ became a common condition for participation in society… not having coverage, could make life difficult or impossible.

Should you have a dispute, your DRO would represent you in making a claim.  Should your claim not be clear and the DRO covering the other person disputed it, a third party DRO could be sought to provide a binding decision.

We can’t know what will exist in the future, and this may turn out to be an inefficient solution compared to alternatives the market comes up with.  However, this fairly simple example works very well to show how issues can be resolved in a free society without first violating person and property.

While providing examples can be ‘mind expanding’… the best ‘solution’ to ‘what about [X] questions’ that we get… is to get the person asking the question to think for themselves.  It’s not normal for very many because we’re discouraged from thinking for ourselves.  People expect to ask the occasional question and be given the Statist response that eventually everyone learns to parrot back, without ever considering the truth value of the answer.  So, encourage people to think about their question.  ‘If you were a service provider in the free market, how would you solve that problem?’

Teaching someone to think for themselves… is better than providing a hundred answers.