Article by Ben Doolin on Apr. 7, 2017
Not once, have I explained what a DRO (Dispute Resolution Organization) is without being asked that question.
That should be expected though, given our current life experiences with The State. In our current reality… an armed group tasked with dispute resolution and defensive services IS the government and few people have any experience in a truly free market. The concern about a DRO taking over, though, is the reason that DRO’s could not.
DROs could not exist in a Statist environment since The State claims a monopoly on those services. DROs also are not part of the accidental and unintentional circumstance of State collapse. DROs are the intentional result of a shift away from violence based solutions that happen when that violence is rejected as an acceptable solution to the problem of social order.
This means that DROs only exist where The State (rule by violence) has been rejected by society.
Even now in the midst of extreme Statism, people don’t want a group of violent people having all the weapons and power (if only these people understood that is exactly what we already have). So, the first hurdle any provider will have to pass is the fear that they’ll try to take over.
Any potential provider that couldn’t find a way to overcome that hurdle, wouldn’t even be able to get started because… who would voluntarily pay for someone to rule over you? It takes the ability to steal that money in the form of taxation for that to be possible, which couldn’t happen in an environment where DROs exist.
Fundamentally though, it would be impossible from a practical perspective. Since these services would exist in a competitive free market, the competition would be watching. If they found you stock piling arms, exposing that fact would put that company out of business increasing their own market share. The structure of the business also would not support the extra costs.
Violence is extremely expensive, which is why violence as a policy (i.e. war) is only possible when you can steal the funding through taxation or debt. A single US combat soldier costs $1,000,000 per year in wages, equipment and support costs. Since this is a free market, stateless society… the only source of revenue is customers or borrowing. If you were to ‘randomly’ jack your prices by hundreds of percent to cover the added costs, most customers would leave just for the poor value relative to the competitors. Many though would be suspicious as to the motive. As for lenders, they want to know what you’ll be doing with the money and ‘starting an army’ won’t be an acceptable answer.
The next question is typically ‘but what about rich people spending their own money?’ The first point in response is that, ‘rich’ today is the kind of rich that takes The State to produce, through monopoly creation. If we assume however that there are Statists that got rich and survived the transition to a free society, a billionaire could buy a 1000 man army for a single year. In that time he would face hundreds of millions of armed people (and their paid defense services) that would recognize the billionaire’s actions as simple crime.
Beyond that, anyone found (or even thought to be) building an army would face social ostracism. Being ‘black listed’ might mean no access to trading partners for everything from food and services to utilities and travel access.
Being rich isn’t such a great deal if no one will accept your money.
In conclusion, the concern is valid… but only where The State exists.